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SJSoane

HMS Bellona 1760 by SJSoane - Scale 1:64 - English 74 gun, as designed

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Thanks, druxy, that makes sense. I have made my gunheads ⅓ the length of the barrel, with a 70 degree angle on the sides of the gunhead. I expect that should give enough mass?

 

For my first effort, I used a conical gunhead shape that I saw in the David Antscherl Fully Framed Model section on gun casting, and had no problems with the voids. Then I got too clever on the second effort, and made a gunhead like I saw in an 18th century contemporary engraving, with a narrowed neck at the top of the gunhead. That is when I got into the void problems. So I am back to the Fully Framed Model idea, which is where I should have stayed. But I learned why the gunhead needs to have greater volume!

 

One learns more from mistakes than from first successes; when it is successful right off the bat, you don't know what variables you got right and yet are sensitive to change.

 

Mark

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Air at the bottom of the casting needs to escape.  Better through a bottom vent that up through the metal, possibly causing the streaks along the barrel at the upper end.

 

Agree with Druxey on having plenty of metal in the ladle.  As your reach the end of the metal you are also more likely to pour slag.

 

Ed

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Hi everyone,

 

Slowly moving along with the cannon, in between long bouts of shoveling snow.

 

I built all of the boxes for making the moulds. I will be putting the cannon halfway into clay, as seen in David Antscherl's Fully Framed Ship, and in the excellent tutorial here http://modelshipworldforum.com/ship-model-casting-and-resin-techniques.php

 

I learned from last time to make the box only the height of the clay at first, and then I will add another box on top for the first pour of rubber. I made the box the full height the first time, and then found it quite difficult to level the clay and work the clay against the master while reaching down into a tall box. This way, I can work the clay to the top of the box. I will have a sleeve to hold together the two levels of boxes when I am ready to pour the rubber, as seen in the sketch.

 

While I was at it, I also made the boxes for casting the plaster of Paris around the rubber moulds. With four masters and five boxes per master, it turned out to be a lot of box construction. I did discover that the Byrnes tablesaw worked beautifully for cutting the foam core, as opposed to a ruler and scalpel. Everything was kept perfectly parallel and perpendicular.

 

I epoxied the trunnions into the barrels, using the jig below to ensure that they projected equally on each side.

 

And then best of all, Chuck's Syren cyphers arrived today. They are the perfect size for my cannon--thanks so much Chuck--and they look terrific on the barrel. It is a tiny detail that eventually eluded my own skills and tools, and I am sorry to have learned one of my limits. But looking at Chuck's exquisitely detailed laser cut cyphers on my barrel masters has convinced me that high quality done by someone else should take priority over not such high quality done by me (my wife very kindly described one of my efforts as looking like bird droppings on the barrel; painful to hear, but true).

 

While I was at it, I ordered the mould clay from MicroMark. The clay I had previously purchased at an art store in Denver was stiff and difficult to press up against the master; hopefully this will be better suited to the task.

 

Mark

 

 

 

 

 

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I have finally received the last supplies for casting (delivery is slow in rural areas, I have found).

 

While waiting, I purchased Chuck's Rope Rocket ropewalk, and tried making the breech ropes for the 32# guns. I still have much experimentation to do with different threads and combinations, but the first efforts look pretty good.

 

(this barrel was an old casting; but it was darkened and so shows the final effect).

 

Mark

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Edited by SJSoane

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Nice looking breeching line. I believe that the line wrapped around the cascabel and crossed over itself before it was seized.

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Thanks, Chuck, all credit to your great machine!

I posted a few more comments on my first efforts (questions about how to tie off with even tension) at:

 

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Exactly! You can understand why this method was used as the breeching absorbed the end of recoil.

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I have been silently following this build over time and it is stunning.

 

I do have a question about the seizing on the breeching. I ask only out of curiosity, but was the seizing like that shown in the photograph or seized vertically? I recall somewhere seeing it done vertically, but that may or may not be correct. 

 

Russ

Edited by russ

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Hi Russ, thank you for your kind comments about the Bellona build. At the rate I am going, it will likely be the only ship model I will make in my lifetime (except for a kit when I was 16), so the journey itself is very much the point of it for me. I hope my journey and the Bellona build will  finish at about the same time!

 

Interesting question you ask about the breech ropes. I did a quick look at some resources this morning, and did not find anything about the direction of the seizing. I also saw a secondary source drawing showing the breech rope with a full wrap around the cascable button and no seizing (see below).

 

Do you recall where you saw something, or do others have a source they could direct me to?

 

Best wishes,

 

Mark

 

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What I read must have been referring to the throat seizing used when rigging shrouds to deadeyes and crossing the shroud lines. There a throat seizing was used. That must have just stuck in mind when crossing lines like that. 

 

Russ

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Hi Russ,

 

Even as I looped the rope around the button in the photo above, I saw the need for some kind of seizing; otherwise, it would just fall off when the gun was pulled back to the side after firing. I will keep looking around. Thanks again for pointing this out; a new topic to research!

 

Best wishes,

 

Mark

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I could see using the seizing you show if the ropes were bound side by side, but when the ropes are crossed, it just seems like the vertical throat seizing would be more appropriate. Good luck with your search. 

 

Russ

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Mark,

Do you have a copy of Anatomy of the Ship - The 74 gun Ship Bellona by Conway.

Section J  contains sketches on the armament.

Below are two of the many.

 

I am told there are some inaccuracies but I haven't the knowledge or expertise to say what is what.

 

I will look look in a couple other books I have.

Image J7 Bellona Armament.JPG

Image J11 Bellona Armament.JPG

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Irritatingly, there is no reference beyond a turn around the cascable in Caruana's volume. However, as a gun might tend to 'leap' on recoil, a turn around the cascabel with the seizing above (as shown in the previous post)  might be more logical.

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Any other books I have are too early ( breech rope threaded through a hole in the side of the carriage cheek) or later (with the breech rope threaded through a ring cast above the button) and so they were rigged differently.  Most do not show any seizing but seizing makes sense as I imagine with the thrust backwards a spring back forwards might likely occur and the breech rope might be thrown off.

 

Was the breech rope turned over or under the cascable and then seized?

I envision the large line (breech rope) would lay better (downwards) if turned over and seized under as Druxey recommended, otherwise it could be one more safety hazard.

 

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Pretty amazing, I cannot find any contemporary drawings showing how this breech rope is rigged. I found a photo of a section model of a 3 decker ca. 1760 in Brian Lavery's Ship of the Line vol. II, p. 156, and it shows the breech rope just draped over the top of the button, not even wrapped around. Of course, the rigging on that 18th century model could have been redone any number of times before its current state.

 

I guess the 18th century draftsmen were not keen to draw draping ropes.

 

I think the logical idea would be as Alan showed and druxy suggests with a seizing running in a vertical direction. This direction of seizing would be much easier to install, going with the lay of the ropes. But perhaps it would not have a seizing at all? It would be time consuming to move a cannon, first needing to cut the seizing to get the breech rope off the button. Or, would the breech ropes move with the cannon? Or is it seized loosely so that it can be slipped off the button? I can see why they cast a ring over the button towards the end of the century, because this earlier practice is not a very elegant way of retaining the gun, the more I look at it.

 

Ah, where is that time machine when we need one!

 

Mark

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Where indeed? Sigh. I've often thought about the idea, so wrote a novel about a steampunk time machine to get it out of my system.... Like the concept, it didn't work.

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druxey, I would love to read that steampunk novel. Would the time traveller have focused on ships?

Maybe the novel could answer all of these questions definitively, and in a few generations it would all pass down as absolute truth. No more historical worries for our successors.

Plus, I want to see your design for the steampunk nautical outfit...😊

 

Mark

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Mark

Regarding your thought of perhaps no seizing at all....

 

I can tell you from my experience that seizing a line or whipping was common practice and would not be given a second thought.

 

The thought of the sight of an unkempt ragged cut line drove my kind nuts.

 

In my full time job as a mechanical designer I once stood at our company display booth at a technical show in Chicago and backspliced a barrier rope because the sight of it drove me nuts.

 

I would put good money down on it.

 

They would want everything tiddley and squared away.

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Thanks, Alan, this is very helpful. Thinking through a detail, it is nice to understand how the sailors would have viewed it, not just in practical, functional terms, but also in their sense of what is right.

 

Also, it occurred to me that the later idea of running the rope through a ring cast in the cannon would most assuredly have anchored that breech rope to the cannon more thoroughly than just a seized turn around the button. Moving cannon must not have been a main priority with the detail.

 

Unless someone comes up with a contemporary drawing, I am going with the seizing and turn as you and druxey have been suggesting.

 

Thanks for your great observation!

 

Mark

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As for the breeching ropes, weren't the English at that time using a hook on the end on the end of the breeching that fit into an eyebolt?   That shows up on many of the French ships but I'm sure about the English.   As for not being in any plan... "why put it in the plan, we know how it goes" would be the answer if you went back in time and asked.

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I've seen some sketches showing hooks on the ends of two breech ropes engaged in the rings of eye bolts on the cheeks of the carriage.

 

I imagine this was followed by the single line wrapped around the cascable because in my mind the thrust and impact would eventually distort and tear the ring apart.

 

If you chose to use the hook method I would mouse the hook so it doesn't jump off.

 

Edited by AON
Big fingers. Small keys on phone.

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Hi Mark and Alan, Interesting you would mention the end of the breech rope. I happened to see a secondary source drawing with the rope end forming an eye through the bulwarks eyebolt. That couldn't be right later in the century, because the rope would be permanently connected at both ends, with no way to remove the cannon with the breech rope rove through the cast ring on top of the button. Maybe when the rope just looped around the button this might be possible. But it does seem logical and efficient to have hooks at the ends. This would also alleviate the problems I mentioned earlier of how tightly the loop around the button would have to be seized or not.

 

Sure wish I could see a drawing!

 

And Mark, you are so right about why anyone would do a drawing at the time when everyone knew how it worked.

 

Mark

 

 

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I believe that the eye-splice at the bulwarks was replaced early on by a half-hitch, then seized to itself allowing removal of the breeching rope.

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