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Young America by EdT - extreme clipper 1853

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Ed I am constantly amazed by the amount of detail that you are incorporating into this model, It is making me want to revisit everything I thought I needed to know about rigging. And how innovative were the sailors of earlier times in making the wind and cloth work for them as efficiently as possible.

 

Michael

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10 hours ago, EdT said:

Some basic clarification of the basis of my rigging work may help.  There is no set of plans or definitive data describing the full rigging of Young America.  The ship had a 30 year career, several different owners, and many different captains.  The ship evolved from the extreme clipper concept of her early career to the more mundane plodding of her later years.  Her career spanned a period of major changes in ships' rigs as chain, wire, and new iron fittings emerged.  For these reasons I have never represented that my design is a replica of the actual ship or any other ship.  The design is based on input from the best primary and secondary documented references available to me.  Thanks.)

This is indeed so true of these clipper vessels...rigging was being invented as were nearly every aspect of them....the theme of speed left no area or subject untouched.  As you have aptly pointed out, in the short lives of many  clippers, their look took on(In some cases extreme) adaptations or improvements.  My own experience(And clippers are all I model) has taught me this very important lesson.

Thank you for enduring my own criticisms and questions.  It was never about your work or your attention to detail or mastery of wood/metal working in such small scales.

 

We are all blessed you have taken your time to share your build with us.

 

Rob

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 306 – Fore Topgallant Yard 2

 

While the spanker rigging was going on, I also worked on rigging the fore topgallant yard.  In the first picture most of the ironwork has been fitted as well as the fore royal sheet chains.

 

1167318468_YA30601.jpg.14420972d70cb06786ed693e5c336de2.jpg

 

At this scale these chains are well under the size of any available chain by a factor of more than 2.  As with other small chains shown earlier, these were made by twisting a doubled loop of wire by approximately the correct number of turns for its length – assuming one turn per 2 links - an imprecise process for sure.  The next picture shows a closer view of the chain and the sheet block under the center of the yard.

 

1160411463_YA30602.jpg.00174db25cfd1b9fac79cb0a5c298045.jpg

After erecting the yard and completing its rigging, I decided to replace this chain with a slightly heavier version. I will show it in a later post.

 

In the next picture, the yard's halyard - a somewhat larger twisted wire chain - has been passed through the topgallant mast sheave with a pin inserted to hold it in place.

 

1670654091_YA30603.jpg.aec7edaae1f461ad66cbfa1b6b37f3e8.jpg

 

The chain may be seen just behind the mast in this picture.  The position held by the temporary pin is set to suspend the yard just above the topmast cap.  The chain halyard runs down behind the mast to a tackle shown in the next picture.

 

729443083_YA30604.jpg.444a5053a24e24468b388842d99960db.jpg

The tackle is long enough to allow the yard to be hauled up to its full height.  In the next picture, the yard with all its bench-installed rigging has been mounted on the mast. 

 

697426343_YA30605.jpg.a5925c9aa9d72ce9e8ce90657961501f.jpg

 

The halyard, slanting out due to its stiffness (see arrow), has not yet been connected at the sling band. Bunt and leech lines were routed down the mast before erecting the yard and may be seen draped from their double blocks above.  The wire chain sheets are doing their own thing.  Twisted wire behaves exactly opposite actual chain, which drapes beautifully in graceful curves.  Wire chain has to be carefully shaped to do so.  This will be done later after the loose ends are connected to the royal clue lines. 

 

In the next picture, the halyard chain has been connected to the sling band, the bunt and leech lines are rigged and the clew lines are connected to the chain sheets below.

 

1924642309_YA30606.jpg.3830fdd6928629052e7d20710d531372.jpg

 

The royal sheet chains described above, were the first to be connected after the halyard, so that these could be used to pull down the yard.  The next picture shows the halyard and its eyebolt as well as the two chain sheets hauled down below the sheet block.

 

1241979427_YA30607.jpg.8382879858a0723b7e2f404d253635f4.jpg

The thin chain sheets (later replaced) may be seen in front of the mast in this picture.  Each leg is connected to a rope line that runs down to belay on the main rail, port and starboard.  The bunt, leech, and clew lines run down inside the shrouds, through shroud fairleads and belay on those rails as well.  The next picture shows these lines running through the top fairleads.

 

1854928626_YA30608.jpg.7c1ec7634af23639ae2aaef9cdc046af.jpg

 

All these fairlead holes are starting to fill up.  The arrow in the picture points to the halyard chain.  The main rail pins are also filling up as shown in the next picture.

 

1852879392_YA30609.jpg.e0468400a4596d580c50fedae7174b30.jpg

Finally, a view of the model in its present state.

 

620993795_YA30610.jpg.e59a84e61a9c55124146e2357946e768.jpg

Ed

 

Edited by EdT

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I have also been battling with the subject of very small chains (actually chain rails in 1:160 scale) and found a (for the moment at least) reasonably satisfactory solution by twisting together two strands of wire of the scale thickness of the wire from which the chain would have been made - as you did, but then twisting two strands of these twisted wires together in the opposite direction. Looks reasonably close to a twisted chain ... no pictures yet, as I did only some experiments.

Edited by wefalck

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Hello Ed,

That second last photo WOW. Looking at that one could almost believe you are standing on the deck of the real ship. Wonderful work indeed.

 

Kind regards,

 

Dave :dancetl6:

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Absolutely Amazingly....beautiful Ed.

I was wondering how you were going to run the sheets...but it appears you shackle them to rope then run that down to purchase and to a pin on the rail.....? or is that just the haul?

 

Sweet.

 

Rob

Edited by rwiederrich

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Beautiful work Ed.  I especially appreciate the arrows you have added to draw our attention through the web of lines.

 

By the way, the natural droop of the chain you refer to is called a "Catenary" curve. 

 

Cheers,

 

 

 

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Wefalck, I was so intrigued by your idea that I immediately tried it with 36 gauge copper wire.  Here is the result:

 

Img_0430.jpg.ceec454c59d1a543817926b6329a35e5.jpg

A little out of focus using only my iPhone, but very credible - and with a little work.... worth some further exploration.

 

Rob, it depends on the size of the sail.  The topsails run to triple purchase tackles - at the deck for the lowers (or singles), at the top for the uppers, which have short travel.  The topgallants run down to a simple whip from the deck, the royals and skys go directly to pins.

 

Ed

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Ed; I'm a rookie in this wonderful world of model ships. All I can say it has been an immense joy following your build and learning so much from it. I sincerely appreciate the added time you spent to photograph your work and then write about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your photos are great especially the one that appears that a person standing on the deck snapped the pix...Moab

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Hi Ed

I have to agree with Dave above, that second to last photo looks like its taken on a/the real ship, awesome

And again thanks for the arrows

Regards

Paul

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Ed,

Instead of twisting wire, I have knotted yarn of the approximate thickness, which came rather close to the desired result. Come to think of it, it's what may turn out what I need for my current build

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I've tried yarn as well, but it doesn't look as smooth as wire. A possibility would be black monofilament, but it is not so easy to knot in knots that don't open again and into equal knots.

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I have been away for a little while and must say it is a joy to see the progress of this very fine model; as usual you have done a superb job on modelling and researching this fine ship.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 307 – Small Yard Arm Bands

 

Up until this point, the eyebolts in spar bands, including yardarm bands have been inserted and glued into holes drilled through the bands and into the wooden spar.  This provides a strong eyebolt connection and anchors the band securely on the spar.  On smaller yards the diameters at the ends are quite small, approaching 1/16" at 1:72.  Drilling through the mounted band becomes more difficult at these sizes and drilled holes into the small spar weaken it.  A different method was adopted for the fore royal yard and will be used on other smaller spars.  Yet another method will be used on the very small skysail yards.

 

In the first picture, eyebolt holes are being drilled into a length of copper tube with an ID slightly smaller than the fore royal yard arm.

 

560462683_YA30701.jpg.9b72056333dc2e8c07c5376611d23ac8.jpg

A slight flat was filed on the top surface of the tube and the drill bit projection kept short to reduce the tendency of the bit to "skate" on the round surface.  When the necessary holes were drilled, twisted wire eyebolts were inserted and silver-soldered into the tube.  Before soldering the eyebolts the OD of the tube was filed to reduce its thickness.  In the next picture the eyebolt protrusions into the tube are being ground out using a small diamond grit bur.

 

878843957_YA30702.jpg.fce1c099408bb22ccbac7faf7edb2430.jpg

The end of this tube was then sawed off to produce the yard arm band.  In the next picture a hardened steel mandrel and a wood block are being used to restore the round shape of the band and to begin its enlargement into a tight fit over the end of the spar.

 

1830948397_YA30703.jpg.1bebfa572fd35ed8354350a6077aed37.jpg

Final enlargement of the band was done as shown in the next picture by lightly tapping the band with a hammer using the vise jaws as an anvil – until the band was just large enough to be pressed on to the yard.

 

1157640530_YA30704.jpg.fd95946b24a08fa2eb19ea018a9949d2.jpg

The next picture shows the band fitted to the royal yardarm.

 

439424954_YA30705.jpg.638245c02fbc44e8bf9f123b29a485ab.jpg

The band was later removed for polishing before final installation.  The other fabrication steps on this yard follow those described earlier so I will skip those steps.  Note that the yard has been drilled for jackstay stanchions and for the skysail sheet sheaves, which have yet to be carved out.  As with other yards, all copper ironwork was blackened on the yard as described in earlier posts.

 

The last two pictures illustrate the replacement of the royal sheet chains on the topgallant yard.  This change was mentioned in the last post.   The first picture shows the new, slightly larger, royal sheet chains installed on the yard.

 

1967857210_YA30706.jpg.d7701bd3bb71be4f160b5159f41dd992.jpg

This work was done in place, requiring removal of the old chain, re-threading of the sheet block, and re-connection of the two rope falls below the block.  Ratlines on the topgallant shrouds – and other areas - are a work in progress.  The last picture shows the new twisted wire chain at the port side of the yard.

 

1400976752_YA30707.jpg.cc762884aa0db7b7796148eafde6b6da.jpg

 

The twisted wire chain is stiff, so it stands up by itself and will need to be shaped later – along with all the foot ropes and stirrups.  The pin in this picture anchors the chain in the sheave temporarily to allow the loops below the yard to be initially sized and shaped. 

 

Ed

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Fantastic....I'm not sure but did you ever describe your method for making the long twisted wire sheets, and halyards?  I have an idea, but would like to know your method.

They are quite even and clean.

 

Rob

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Rob,  put the ends of a length of wire in a vise, loop the bight over a hook in a a hand drill, maintain moderate (not too much) tension, turn the drill to make the chain.  Wire size about the diameter of the wire on the chain. Number of wire turns = number of links in that length of chain/2 - approximately.  Each turn represents two links.

 

Ed

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 308 – Foremast Top-hamper

 

I will use the term "top-hamper" to refer to the upper parts of the masts. That is, the royal/skysail/poles, the royal and skysail yards, plus the associated rigging. I do not much care for this term, but it was commonly used at the time and will make my descriptions more concise.  These parts are being discussed together because I expect to prefabricate the entire assembly complete with most of the rigging on the workbench before mounting the whole assembly on the model.  Hopefully this will reduce the strain of assembly on the upper masts where most of the work is small and above my shoulder height.

 

The first picture shows the pole mast and the royal yard with some of rigging lines.

 

1782862076_YA30801.jpg.817809b615065473084d12a8a5f77eab.jpg

The skysail yard and its rigging has yet to be added to this array. In additional to rigging normally fitted at the bench on normal yards – the foot ropes, sheet chains, and blocks – the yard bench assembly includes reeving and connecting the standing lifts, buntlines, leechlines and the royal sheet falls that were rigged after erection on each lower yard.  The next picture shows the standing rigging of the royal pole section of the mast.

 

1504232681_YA30802.jpg.a1a6d7af9d1332832a2ab0f08dcc425e.jpg

From right to left are the two shroud pairs, the two-eyed masthead strop for the royal standing lifts, the doubled backstays and the fore royal stay.  All these lines are coiled to avoid – or at least minimize - a major entanglement.  The next picture shows the mast temporarily set with the royal components attached.

 

1499200819_YA30803.jpg.057646c052078684182dee52513b42d1.jpg

This assembly was then removed so a similar amount of rigging for the skysail could be added before final erection.  The skysail yard that will be fitted to the upper part of the assembly is shown in the next picture after blackening of its copper work.

 

1114553094_YA30804.jpg.7b43b261e99110ab721e953c992b26f6.jpg

Ironwork on this yard is minimal, just the sling band and the jackstay stanchions.  Because this is the highest yard there is no sheet block under the center band.  The four shackles for the yardarm bands are shown to the right of the penny in this picture.  The 2.7" diameter arms (.0375" at 1:72) on this spar are too small for the banding described in Part 307, so they were fitted using black rope strapping to simulate the iron bands.  The next picture shows the yard with the shackles and banding, as well as the jackstays fitted.

 

1942882554_YA30805.jpg.6aa95ee5e60e7fce84568589681c92e5.jpg

The rigging for this spar, plus the standing rigging for the skysail section of the mast will next be added before the mast is set.

 

 

Ed

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To reduce arm fatigue, Ed, had you considered either a lowering electric table or a portable adjustable stand to rest your elbows on while rigging?

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Thanks for the suggestions, Druxey.  Arm fatigue is one problem, shaky, unsupported hands are the major issue.  I actually have an adjustable arm support beam that clamps to the case on either side or at any height or at varying distances off the center line and I use that frequently, but probably haven't had it in any of the pictures.  Even with that available, maximizing the work on the bench seems desirable - goes faster and is easier - but the entangled web on the assembly has to be sorted out or somehow minimized - working on this latter problem.  Still a lot of work to do aloft.  So far, I am liking this method.

 

Ed

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As always Ed your attention to the tiniest details is exemplary! Yes, the 4 shackles floored me. I also agree with your sentiment that it is certainly easier to work seated at the workbench where possible. My own workspace consists of a variety of places that can be worked at both sitting and standing.

 

Michael

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 309 – Foremast Top-hamper 2

 

I mentioned in the last post that the topmost pole mast and the two upper yards were to be installed with most of the rigging fitted at the bench.  The first picture shows the assembly erected on the topgallant crosstrees.

 

2143535436_YA30901.jpg.be363225cd39bcad68134f54f0496cae.jpg

The two forward stays – the royal and the skysail – have been threaded down through the bowsprit, but most of the other lines are dangling in a tangle - as yet unconnected.  The running rigging lines – clew-lines, buntlines, leechlines, and skysail sheets – all of which are quite long - are coiled to avoid a real tangle.  The next step was to run the standing rigging lines to their connection points to clear some of the mess.  In the next picture the lifts on the two upper yards are rigged and the backstays for the upper mast sections have been run – but not yet connected.

 

142134613_YA30902.jpg.e0bbe0d758475e2738e723a3e545ed7c.jpg

The arrows point to the royal standing lift, the royal backstay and the skysail backstay on the port side.  In the next picture the skysail sheets below the royal yard have been run and the clew-lines for both yards are being rigged. 

 

1458688937_YA30903.jpg.8f34d9622a8a24ea29c524bdd61ac9e4.jpg

These lines serve to pull the yards down on the lifts.  Arrows point to the clew-lines that attach to the chain sheets.  All these lines pass down through the fairleads in the top and belay on the main deck rails.  Once the yards were held down, the halyards were passed through their mast sheaves and secured to their central sling bands on both yards.  In the next picture the arrow points to the dangling royal halyard chain that runs down from the mast sheave, and will eventually be connected to a tackle to the deck.

 

821893714_YA30904.jpg.9cff62a07a355d8154a7c98827d994d6.jpg

 

This picture also shows the royal shroud pairs.  These run from the masthead down through holes at the ends of the crosstrees and are seized to eyes on the topgallant mast band in the lower part of the picture.  The next picture shows the upper mast backstays connected to the deadeyes on the starboard channel

 

2056321531_YA30905.jpg.b7c2869764e7fef99d1082831f148b3a.jpg

Starting from the skid beam and working aft, the channel connections are – the wire for the standing end upper topsail halyard, the two topmast backstays, the tackle block for the skysail halyard, the topgallant backstay, the royal backstay, and finally the skysail backstay.  The deadeyes and lanyards on these standing lines decrease in size down to 6" diameter and 1 1/2" rope size, respectively.  The lanyards on the last three backstays will be tied off later once the tensions are set – and the mast made vertical.

 

The next picture shows the bunt and leechlines rigged on the royal yard. 

 

97904843_YA30906.jpg.c05489201fb4d8dd7615c3f900625ac9.jpg

 

The skysail has only lifts, halyard and clewlines.  Except for the truck at the top of the mast, some neglected ratlines on the topgallant shrouds, and a couple dozen rope coils on the pin rails, the foremast rigging is now complete.  Braces are being saved for last.  The next two pictures show the mast at this stage.

 

204664943_YA30907.thumb.jpg.22620787c55f93fad4441ff2903ed45d.jpg

 

756570338_YA30908.thumb.jpg.e31535db1bc6426253814a67dadb2fa2.jpg

This was a lot of rigging to sort out.  I hope the descriptions are not too confusing.  On the remaining masts I will use this same process, but leave off the clew, bunt, and leech lines  to be done in place.  Coiling these small cotton ropes results in a lot of fuzz when they are untangled and stretched out.  I had to replace a couple. Rigging these in place reduces this problem.  I have also begun treating cotton lines with diluted pva to further reduce fuzz.  More on this later.

 

Ed

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Magnificent Ed...just wonderful work.  I too have been tackling the small extremely numerous lines of the upper most yards on my GR build.

 

Your work inspires.

 

Rob

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An impressive web of lines, Ed. Must be hard to keep track of which belays where without one line fouling another.

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40 minutes ago, druxey said:

Must be hard to keep track of which belays where without one line fouling another.

Your not kidding. I am going to have to get your books  Ed just to understand all of it.

 

Michael

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Thanks everyone, for the likes and comments.

 

A lot of lines, Druxey - and no studdingsail rigging - 100 or so lines wisely left off.  There is more than enough opportunity for fouled lines, and many have been run more than once - especially as we move skyward.  The fairleads in the top and on the shrouds help a lot, but that does mean if a line has to be rerun it must be pulled back through the fairleads, rerouted and threaded through them again - tweezer work.  Getting through the upper shrouds and futtocks in straight runs has also been fun.  So far, the belaying plan has held up, with only a few revisions - to my great relief.  There was a logic to this that could only have evolved over time and by experience.

 

Micheal, making this understandable in one book will be a challenge for sure.

 

Ed

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I'm sure that un-reeving lines must be accompanied by muttered imprecations!

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Hi Ed,

Just catching up after being away for some time. The detail and craftsmanship continues to amaze. One does not realize just how many specialized parts and pieces there are, until seeing your closeups. All the more astonishing how all of this evolved over time, and became more complex, in the latter years of the sailing ships. Fewer crew, more complexity in the machine.

 

Mark

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