Schooner Altair by KeithAug - Scale 1:32 - 1931

398 posts in this topic

Michael, John, Richard,


Thank you for the comments - much appreciated. Also thank you to all those who have visited my build. I hope you have all found a little to interest you.




I do love old ships and boat. The heritage fleet looks wonderful.




I have made a start on the cleats 18 in all. I am fabricating them from a kit of parts - each cleat will be made of 9 components - so 18 x 9 = 162 bits in total.


The basic design is shown in the sketch.DSC05037.thumb.JPG.bc3d253ed03d0017a36a58b8a103cb8a.JPGIt is important to get all the parts as similar as possible - I find discrepancies show up particularly if you know about them!


The foot was made first. I decided the best way to achieve consistency was to shape a brass bar to the plan view of the foot and then to drill the 3 holes. The bar was cut to size and finally shaped with a hand file. The individual feet were then parted off from this with the slitting saw mounted in the mill.


DSC05024.thumb.JPG.df312eb4a1efa89919de0be790dd01ce.JPGDSC05025.thumb.JPG.9de8fafe03db70c60c872cef5478559a.JPGDSC05027.thumb.JPG.5405fa945861b94827b249feaa595719.JPGThe edges of the feet (photo above) still have to have burs removed before polishing. I miscounted and made 38 rather than the 36 required.


The top boss is made from .125" OD tube. The tube was accurately drilled with a series of holes along its length. These holes will take the assembly pins. DSC05028.thumb.JPG.9a78c7aca0f06ea11e5a806844731ea8.JPGI needed to accurately part off the boss's from the tube. I was concerned that the tube would not stand up to the parting off operation without support. I improvised a steady by supporting the tube from the bore using the back end of a drill held in the tailstock chuck.DSC05031.thumb.JPG.926c41ea4e26356de4291e88f3c3bdd8.JPGThe bonus advantage of the steady was that the very small boss's were retained on the drill shank.


I am using cocktail sticks to make sure the boss's don't go walkabout.



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Bedford - re polishing


If the part has machining marks I polish them out with progressively finer grades of wet and dry paper (used dry). I tend to start with 400 grit before moving to 600 grit and then 1200 grit.


Where I can I tend to polish using a bench polisher. I have polishing compounds for hard and soft metals. The compound comes in coarse and fine grades. However I find that I don't get much use out of the hard metal compounds and to be frank as often as not I go straight to the "blue" fine grade compound for soft metals.  



That said I find I often want to do a small amount of polishing on an awkward component and here the convenience and simplicity of the following method tends to win out.


In the words of a very old song:-


Shine your buttons with Brasso
It's only three ha'pence a tin,
You can buy it or nick it from Woolworths. 
But I don't think they've got any in.


The rest of the song isn't really printable on this forum but can be viewed on you tube.


tadheus, Bedford, mtaylor and 3 others like this

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I have now made all the bits for the cleats. The last bits to be made were the wooden cross members.


The cross members were made out of barbecue skewers (bamboo). I didn't have any the right size (0.1" diameter) and anyway the cross section was all sorts of shape. A job for a draw plate but as I don't have one I had to make my own. The holes were drilled using a centre drill. The first hole in the plate was drilled through until the conical section just penetrated the underside of a plate. Subsequent holes were then formed with each hole penetrating .005" deeper than the previous one. The cone of the drill thus generated increasing sizes if hole. I drilled one hole wrong - spot the deliberate mistake.



The holes had very sharp edges and worked very well. All the skewers finished up round and between .098" and .10" diameter.


The cross members needed .04" holes drilled through them .250" apart. I made a simple jig to accurately hold the skewers during drilling.DSC05045.thumb.JPG.222f5ab1c9920bbdec2e753634dd6af7.JPG

I have a load of rare earth magnets which I use to hold drills, milling cutters, etc while I am using using them for a specific task. I find it stops me losing them - particularly if they are small. The magnet here is holding the centre drill as i repetitively change between it and the twist drill. DSC05044.thumb.JPG.83099534fc1e2bed3a1b318dbe278da2.JPG

I needed 18 cross members so I made 20. Somehow I immediately lost 2 so made another 2. I then coloured them with wood dye. Colron spirit based wood dye. I am down to the last dregs of the tin and Colron have discontinued this dye because of VOC's. The pity is that the water based replacement product is useless and does not work. Hopefully someone will know of a decent product????


DSC05047.thumb.JPG.d82f99c308b0742aea10e2d44369d55e.JPGDSC05048.thumb.JPG.e91ac72b37054ff9f60b35c2bfaff7cd.JPGI have started assembly.



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Hello Keith, I share your frustration with subjects like wood dye and most things that now have to conform to various laws and regulations, especially Evostick(you could thin it with Acetone) and Nitromoors(useless, you used to be able to strip paint with it.)

Great job and I hope you find a suitable replacement for the dye, I don't know of one myself.

Cheers Richard

Nirvana and KeithAug like this

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Totally agree with Nitromoors. It used to be brilliant 40 years ago. It would eat through centuries of accumulated paint in minutes - it even went through my kitchen floor. I'm sure its what the "Aliens" used for blood. The modern stuff seems to be a substitute for baby lotion.



Riccardo1966 and Nirvana like this

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