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davec

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Richmond, VA
  • Interests
    Scratch built plank on frame

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  1. Greg - agree those are amazing looking hooks. Would love to know how he is able to photo etch rounded edges. I’ve been working on the quarterdeck breastwork. I turned the spindles on my lathe with a vandalay duplicator. Was pretty pleased with how it worked. It has been sitting in a drawer since a frustrating attempt to use it to turn brass cannon barrels 7 or 8 years ago. Works much better on wood. I cut the upper tenons with my preac table saw, then reset it and did the half lap joints. The railings took a while. I cut them to shape and scraped the molding around the edge. I also used some escapement files on the molding around the end grain. I drilled 1/16” holes at the centers of the posts, then filed square openings. A square drill bit would be a really useful invention. I bent the upper rail to shape. The lower rail was much more delicate, and broke at one of the openings when I tried bending. The curve is gentle enough that it held shape with the glue joints. I cut a form the shape of the quarterdeck beam and used it to glue the upper rail to the posts in a curve. Once it was dry, I used spacers and glued the lower rail in place. I clamped it to the upper rail so it followed the same curve. I glued it to the quarterdeck beam that I made a few years ago, drilled for the bolts, and brushed on minwax wipe on poly. I’m considering redoing. I will be installing the gangway. When I looked at the breastwork as drawn, it was a little narrow and left a gap between the end of the rail and the edge of the gangway. I used the drawing in TFFM, which looked closer. The clearances at the sides look a little narrow. After I finished, I realized it was probably drawn on the NMM plans. Sure enough it was, about halfway in between the two drawings in length. I have the breastwork leaning in place in the picture. The bit pins supporting them are a few mm too short, and will need some extensions. I think I will install the gangway, and see how the spacing looks. I’m assuming the crew was pretty thin – if it looks like it was usable, I will install it as is. If not, will need to go back to filing square holes, which I’m not looking forward to.
  2. The gun is rigged and installed. Rigging is morope left over from a prior build. I bought a rope rocket from Chuck to make rope, and started putting it together on New Year’s Eve. Got to the part where you need the really small Allen wrench, and found mine got lost in the move. While I was digging around looking for it, I found he morope. I’d forgotten how nice it looks, and how hard it is to work with. Led to a few compromises. The breech rope is a little on the short side. It is 3 times the bore length like it is supposed to be, but that isn’t long enough to really reload the gun. I tried making it longer, but didn’t like the way it looked – the morope just hangs in a non realistic way. I also wanted to have the gun run out. Morope doesn’t coil well (won’t absorb dilute white glue), so I frapped the tackles. This was probably done for storage, not when they were run out, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the ends. Not sure there is a right answer – can’t imagine there were situations where the gun was run out, but the rope was left in a coil on the deck. I’m also not really happy with the hooks. Even silver soldered, they look like bent wire. The ringbolts should be recessed, but I didn’t think of it when I had better access to the bulwarks. I couldn’t figure out how to do it now that the pumps and bits are in place. Looking for suggestions for doing any of these things better next time (other than the obvious – use different rope material and recess the holes for the ringbolts at the same time I drill them). I’ve got the gangway and knees ready to install. The holes in the bulwark are for the locating pins for the knees. Completion in sight – very short list of incomplete tasks: need to slightly extend the bit pins the quarterdeck beam sits on (sometime a few years ago I made them about 1/16” short), make the quarterdeck and gangway railings, and ladder to the gangway.
  3. Thanks everyone for the likes and kind comments. Greg - definitely agree that for anything more complicated that a sixth rate (or maybe even just one side of a sixth rate) this would start getting very tedious. I've decided to add the gangway to the finished side. It turned out to be good practice with patterns to get all the angles and joints on the knees right, and will make this model a little bit different from the other finished echo cross sections. Will hold on installing until the gun rigging is complete and the gun installed - don't want to make access to installing all the rings and ringbolts difficult. Hoping to get the breeching and gun tackles rigged and installed today before going back to work tomorrow. Happy new year everyone! Dave
  4. I have been thinking about the next project, and avoiding ones with lots of guns because I am intimidated by the repetition. I think the only thing worse might be building just one. The workshop turned into an armory this month. These guns have lots of parts- I think I count 44 not including the rigging and gun barrel. After figuring out how to make each part, I realized making more than one of each wouldn't have been too bad. The barrel is not scratch - it is an Admiralty Models one that I bought when I purchased the plans from David and Greg. It is beautifully turned, and it didn't make sense for me to try to turn one when I already had such a good one. The wooden parts are all swiss pear, and most of the metal work is brass. I used a few pieces of copper when I wanted to blacken in place. All plans and dimensions were from TFFM. Andrey Kudin's Le Fleuron videos were also helpful (worth watching if you haven't seen them yet), particularly for rolling the axle caps and milling the ogee under the quoin- he has lots of neat techniques. Getting much happier with my metal blackening and silver soldering, and lathe turning the axles and wheels worked much better than previous efforts - way less in the scrap bin than usual. .
  5. Somehow it has been a year since the last update. We spent a year renovating a house and moved last February, and it took a little while to set up the workshop. I seem to be back in some sort of building rhythm since last month. Outside details are done including chain plates and all the moldings and rails. Chain plates were a big step forward for me in terms of metal work and silver soldering. They were an experiment in copper so I could shape them around the deadeyes and blacken them in place with liver of sulfur. Deadeyes are ebony. The pumps were a challenge. Someplace along the way (probably about 3 years) ago I miscalculated on the path of the pump shafts and they ended up a few millimeters further inboard of the bitt pins than they should have been. I also had some of the decorative shaping on the bitt pins at the same height that the rhodings needed to be attached. I ended up adding some shims between the rhodings and the bitt pins. Hopefully some 18th century shipwright had the same problem and solved it the same way. The pump shafts and rhodings are brass. My silver soldering continues to get better, and Greg’s post about metal blackening, particularly the sparex, was unbelievably helpful getting chemical blackening I was happy with. I have an old Vanda Lay duplicator for my lathe. It has sat in a drawer since a really frustrating attempt to duplicate brass cannon barrels on my last model, which was an epic fail. I tried it again on the quarterdeck balustrades, and found that it works really well on wood. Base, pedestals, and quarterdeck beam are also done. I’m a gun, quarterdeck breastwork, and ladder away from finishing.
  6. Hi Mark - I've been using a microtorch and it has been working OK. Few things that might make a difference. I put the hacksaw blade in a vise and break it into 2-3" sections. I find this size scraper much easier to handle when forming the shape. It also less metal for the heat to dissipate from compared to using a full length blade. I don't heat the entire blade. I just focus on the edge I will be filing. Much easier to get a small section red hot than the whole blade. Dave
  7. Hi Greg - great looking deadeyes, and awesome cutter. I spent a long time trying to grind one by hand, and still needed to do a lot of the rounding of the edges on the lathe. Not sure if you had the same experience as I did loading the deadeyes in the chuck for drilling. I found it was hard to do with one hand while I tightened the chuck with the other, and it was tedious to load it level. I ended up standing a short dowel with lightly less diameter than the deadeye in the chuck. It gave me a little platform to rest the deadeye on so I could tighten the chuck with two hands, and made sure that the deadeye was always level for drilling. Turned it into a few second process, which helped a lot given the number of deadeyes. Dave
  8. I started with the table saw because it is much more useful for other things around the house. I use the table saw all the time for other projects, but only use the band saw (so far) for slicing billets for my models. If I was only buying one tool, it would be the table saw, unless this is really the only thing you will be doing.
  9. Hi Elia - I have been milling my own wood for a while - few thoughts: 1) you will need a thickness sander as well. you can't get the tolerances you need with a 10" table saw, and will need to sand out the saw marks. 2) consider a band saw. when you cut billets from a 2-3" block with the big saw, you have a big, scary blade raised pretty high above the table. even with push sticks, it feels pretty dangerous. I've been much happier since switching to a 14" band saw with resaw blade, where I have a lot more control and can keep my hands much further from the blade 3) you will have a lot of waste, particularly cutting stock for masts. As you cut the strips from the billets, many will end up curved as the tension on the grain gets released. Not a big deal when cutting planks, but a big problem for masts and spars. 4) won't be cost saving even with the prices of precut wood given the cost of the equipment, unless you are building more models than I will have time for in my life. But it is fun, you never have to wait when you need wood, and you aren't limited to the sizes that are commercially available. Dave
  10. Planked the quarterdeck bulwark with ebony and pear and installed the scuppers. No finish applied yet. Scuppers are 2 and 2.5 mm copper refrigerating tubing. I’m becoming a big fan of copper – so much less finicky to blacken than brass. I started working on the decorative moldings and fenders. Spent most of the weekend making a planksheer hance that fit right. Still having a lot of trouble scraping the molding neatly around curves, particularly the tight curve on the hance. Looking for suggestions.
  11. Michael - looks great! looks like the garboard strake is perfect, you have great symmetry, and the run of the planks will be spot on.
  12. Great to see you back Michael - Pinnace looks great! Looking forward to seeing the progress. Dave
  13. Not sure how I missed your log before. Absolutely spectacular! Congratulations on finishing such a beautiful model.
  14. Not sure why 3/32 would be preferred to 1/16. For checking fairness you generally want something thick enough that it will bend to a smooth curve, but not so thick that you need to do a lot of work (heat, soaking, etc) to have it bend without breaking. Rattlesnake is a great kit and beautiful ship - enjoy. Dave
  15. The upper deck is planked. Cutting the planks around the pumps was interesting. I wasn’t sure what supports the planks over the openings on either side of the mast step. I put some supports in even though I didn’t see them on any of the plans. The planks are holly. I will put some clear water-based polyurethane over them, which I used on the lower deck and didn’t change the whiteness of the wood significantly. The treenails were my first experiment with bamboo. Not sure what took me so long to try it. I have been using the same type wood as the plank to minimize the contrast between the plank and treenail so it wouldn’t look too busy. The bamboo is MUCH easier to draw through the drawplate. It seems to have a reasonable contrast with the background. I drew the bamboo down to the .018 hole (second smallest on the Byrnes drawplate) and used a .020 drill. The other experiment was marking the locations on the model, then taking the planks off and drilling, treenailing, and sanding the planks prior to installing them on the model. I was pretty happy with it – it was a lot easier than trying to navigate the drill near the bulwarks or bitt pins. I have a few more rows of planks on the bulwarks and outer hull. I need to see how bamboo treenails will look on these planks. It they look funny because they don’t match the pear, cherry, and boxwood treenails that I have already used, I will finish with the same. If it isn’t too noticeable, I will finish with bamboo. The next model will be treenailed with bamboo- just so much easier to work with.

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