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About Charter33

  • Birthday 01/21/1956

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Berkshire, UK
  • Interests
    Model ships -especially HMS Victory (Caldercraft)
    Live steam locomotives
    R/C Aircraft
    Classic motorcycles

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  1. Started work on the tackles for the gun carriages. Eyelets have been bent.... .... twisted....... .... and blackened (after chemically cleaning approximately 15 seconds in Birchwoood Casey Brass Black) Joining a rigging hook to a 2mm single block, and a first attempt at bringing it all together ..... Cheers, Graham.
  2. Charter33

    Ship paintings

    Another sunning piece of work. Love the detail and the atmosphere your work conveys. I was starting to get withdrawal symptoms - keep up the good work. Graham.
  3. .... there's no such thing as 'stupid questions' ...... Good luck! Graham
  4. Hi, Wefalck - I fully agree with you. As with many things in life I believe that often the journey is as important as the destination, and when the outcome is helped by making tools to complete the task, even better, it's all part of the enjoyment. Mill Hill Supplies are the company I was talking about - need to start saving .... Mark - I had read your first reply just as you had intended it to be read. I could see where you were coming from, so please, there is absolutely no need to go stand in the corner. Mr Pucko - that was exactly the biggest issue I had. I did find a 'free' site where you could set parameters and print off a paper copy to stick onto a piece of wood and then cut out, and another where to use the 'free' download turned out to be not so free at all. I looked at meccano gears, and even considered drawing up the gears using the skills I learned (and subsequently forgot) for geometrically constructing involute spur gears as an 'A' level Technical Drawing student back in the early 1970's - but life is too short. I eventually resorted to machining the centres out of Lego gears and fitting an acrylic hub complete with a square hole suitable for 5/32nd brass tube. This, with a little fettling of the corners, was pushed into 6mm dia brass tube, selected as it fitted the Tamiya R/C car miniature ball races. CA glue secured the various bits together. There is definitely a market out there for suitable gears. It should also be possible to get the same sort of results with some form of pulley and belt drive. Do you have access to a small metal turning lathe? If you can get hold of Lego gears (found mine on the popular on-line auction site) I might be able to knock out some 'hubs' ... Cheers, Graham
  5. Thanks for that, Chuck - your comments are much appreciated. Graham.
  6. Yes Mark, and Domanoff's machines are superb, almost works of art. Having worked through the process of designing and making my modest examples I fully appreciate the time and effort that he has had to put into developing them. He has my total respect, as does Chuck and his Syren products. Foremost in my mind when putting together my own devices was the essential requirement that in no way could they be regarded as 'rip-offs' of other makers products. I'm right behind Chuck's fight against piracy. I know first hand what it's like to have this happen. A 'colleague' purchased a pair of the steam shaped hardwood salad tongs I used to sell at the school's Christmas market and promptly sent them to her brother on the other side of the world so he could copy them. A different scale compared to what is going on now, but still irritating! Other sponsors products are also available 'over this side of the pond'. I have found a UK based supplier of Sherline milling machines. I have one of these on my bucket list for the fateful day when I have to retire and will lose access to the equipment and workshops that have been an essential part of my working life for over 40 years. Graham.
  7. Hi, Great idea - but sorry, going into production is a bit of a non-starter. For a start both designs would need a lot of work before I would feel comfortable that they were good enough to be sold, especially the ropewalk where I am a complete novice at making my own rope. I wouldn't want to let anyone down with a product that is not up to scratch. Another point is that when making equipment for my own use you can get away with construction methods that are fine for a prototype but would need radically changing for larger scale production. The other major issue is that the equipment belongs to the school at which I teach. Putting one together out of scrap material destined for the bin is one thing, and using a project to develop understanding of design software can be loosely regarded as 'continuous personal development' - if you can't do it yourself how can you explain it to others?. Unfortunately using equipment belonging to the local Education Authority for profit would be frowned upon, to put it mildly! Shame really - it could help raise the sadly depleted 'future projects' fund. There are a couple of Adriatic fishing boat kits I'd love to get my hands on (I blame donrobinson and Jack.aubrey's excellent build posts for putting temptation in my way) Jacek - those delivery costs are a problem. It's a pity that there don't seem to be any European stockists for those excellent USA produced products but I dare say that there are commercial reasons for this that are way out of my field of knowledge. Mr Pucko - sorry to let you down. (currently enjoying your thread and responses to 'I'm not buying another model for at least 12 months'!) If I can help with any further details that would enable you or others to put together your own versions I'm more than happy to help. Cheers, Graham.
  8. Hi, Feeling a little overwhelmed by the number of likes and comments - thank you all. John - the 2 meter length was chosen simply as it meant it would fit on the dining room table - just!. To be honest I have yet to try it at its full length but hope to soon. Bill - there's nothing like making something like this to fully understand how it works. I made a few mistakes, some real howlers, along the way! There are some truly amazing commercial ropewalks available, but I love a challenge and found myself with a bit of time on my hands. My current aim is to use my version to produce the material for the breech ropes for the gun carriages on my Victory. The instructions say to use .5mm rope but this seems a bit small when I look at images of the real thing. I'm increasing the size of some of the eyelets and trying to use rope of around 1mm, at least that's the plan...... Cheers, Graham.
  9. Hi Robert, I look forward to seeing how you get on. One other point I forgot to mention - different components are often made from various grades of brass alloy and the differing copper content can have an impact on the speed of the process. Best to test a sample first. I found this out to my cost with the round headed pins where 30 seconds proved to be too long and the finish was awful. Wire brushing 200 of them in preparation for a second (but successful) attempt is not something I would want to do again! Good luck. Graham.
  10. Hi Jeff, Have you thought of investing in a drum sander kit? I have found them invaluable - and they are relatively inexpensive. They come in a variety of sizes and consist of a cylindrical piece of rubber mounted on a threaded shaft. When a nut is tightened the rubber is compressed and expands, gripping an abrasive tube. My set of five, ranging from 13mm diameter to 50mm dia., in a plastic case, cost less than £10. They fit in a small electric drill although I find they are best used in pillar drill or a drill mounted in a vertical stand. Graham
  11. Hi Robert, There seem to be a number of different approaches to using the Birchwood Casey product. Some advocate watering it down which apparently slows things down bit. I have found that it works best for me as I described in my previous post. It's essential to ensure the component is grease free. If the item is suitable I have used a small rotary brass wire brush mounted in a pillar drill to clean the surface before then resorting to the chemical cleaning. I used this on my barrels, especially around the breech rings I had added, to remove any excess traces of the CA glue I used to bond them in place. The eyelets, trunion brackets and pins blackend fine with just the white vinegar followed by the ethanol. Latex rubber gloves are useful to avoid contamination from oils in the skin. The secret is to not leave them in the blackening solution too long. If you do the finish flakes off. I give them 30 seconds, remove and rinse in water, and if they need to be darker dip them back in the solution again. As you use the solution it turns a darker blue but over time returns to its original lighter hue - but it doesn't appear to lose its strength. One other small bit of advice - do small batches and keep agitating the solution. An air bubble trapped in the end of the barrel can leave the bore untreated. Once done I leave the components for a while. I read somewhere (on this site but can't remember who's post it was - sorry) that the finish hardens further over time. I then gently buff them with a soft cloth. This removes the matt powder that forms on the surface and any 'bloom' that appears sometimes. I've not added any other finish such as varnish and I don't think it is needed. Hope this helps! Graham.
  12. Thanks for that - it's mainly a case of having readily available access to both the material and the equipment to work it more than any other reason. Clear acrylic also has the advantage of providing views of what exactly is happening, useful when demonstrating to students in the classroom.
  13. Unbelievable - but true! Things had been going so well. The Boss (Admiral) gets a bit touchy about messy processes being done at home, especially when it involves chemicals and strange odors, so I decided that to keep to the secret premise of a happy marriage, ie. 'anything for a quite life' the blacking of the brass components for the gun carriages would best be done at work (school), before and after the working day. Yesterday good progress was made with eyelets, trunion brackets and round headed pins successfully treated ........... ......soaking in white vinegar, rinse, soaking in ethanol, dry, and finally thirty seconds in Birchwood Casey Brass Black. A cheap plastic mesh tea strainer was a big help when dealing with small components. Today my aim was to carry out the same technique on the canon barrels. Once again the work flow was in full swing with small batches moving through the various stages. I hadn't quite finished the final rinse of the last five barrels before the working day started so put I them to one side ......... Lunch time arrives - 30 minutes of piece and quiet, should be able to finish them easily before the next lesson ...... A minor problem - the large 'Belfast' style sink in the workshop is blocked. It's half full of off-white opaque water left by students attempting (half heatedly) to clean paint brushes. The site maintenance team have been notified but, with the school celebrating its Diamond Jubilee at the weekend they are busy preparing for visiting VIPs including a 'minor' member of the Royal family...... No Problem!!!! A small plastic tub was pressed into service, held under a running tap while shiny, clean barrels are transferred from jam jar to tub with a pair of tweezers .... then it all goes 'pare shaped'. The last barrel slips out of the tweezers between jar and tub and drops into the murky depths of the sink..... Sleeves pulled up I start to feel my way over the hidden sink bottom. NOTHING! Had I miss-counted? Did it actually fall into the tub? A quick count of completed and half finished barrels confirmed my worst fears - one short. Could it have dropped through the plug hole? Am I going to have to buy a spare barrel from CWM? Do they even supply them? (I've checked this evening - yes they do) Right, bale out sink, remove screws that hold access panel in place, find tool to undo sink trap ... 5 minutes to next lesson ..... There, gleaming like a golden nugget in the black sludge, the missing barrel ..... big sigh of relief and the sink was re-assembled just as the the students started arriving. With the sink now empty and fully functioning investigation proved that the barrel could only have passed through the small hole exactly in the middle of the strainer in the plug hole, and even then with barely any clearance. Pure fluke .... With the school day over the escapologist barrel was re-cleaned and the supposedly straight forward task was finally completed with the barrels just needing a final buff with a soft cloth. I'll do this just before painting the ends red prior to fitting them on the carriages. I'm now working on shaping 180 small eyelets into rigging hooks ...... no rush ... Graham.
  14. The gun carriage sides needed little cleaning up other than removal of the nibs that secured them in place on the walnut ply sheet when originally machined and squaring up and slightly widening the slots for the joints. I wanted to drill various holes for the eyelets before assembly and came up with this .......... A spare point from a pair of compasses fitted with a handle turned from a scrap of yew marked the centers which were then drilled using a Dremel drill. Two Dremel mandrels were modified to help true up the carriage wheels. The cocktail stick shows how a quick couple of cuts helped to keep the wheels supported while these were vanished. Another batch of five assemblies ......... ..... all now painted and awaiting the fitting of the iron work. I wanted a way to effectively and efficiently convert eyelets (480) into rigging hooks for the gun tackles. This is my solution ....... My focus is now to shape and black the components that complete the carriages together with the breech ropes and tackles. Cheers, Graham.
  15. Hi. Just did a quick search for Sinagot out of pure curiosity - seems Amazon.fr have the Heller kit for just over €18, free delivery, if my French is up to scratch. Any good to you? Cheers, Graham

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