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Roger Pellett

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About Roger Pellett

  • Birthday 06/04/1943

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Duluth, MN
  • Interests
    Naval Architect, Scratch Modeler and maritime history researcher. Current modeling interest- Navy ship's boats.
    Nautical ResearchvGuild Member
    Author: Whaleback Ships and the American Steel Barge Company published by Wayne State University Press

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  1. Yup In the late 1960's there was a fight between the Director, Division of Naval Reactors, US Atomic Energy Commission, aka Admiral Rickover and the McNanara DOD systems analysis people to determine if future large attack carriers would be nuclear powered. This took place during the development of the two reactor Nimitz class carrier. Congress sided with Rickover, mandating that future capital ships (carriers) would be nuclear powered. Carl Vinson was a key member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. I was a very junior Naval Officer serving in Rickover's Naval Reactors organization when this happened. Roger
  2. Blame this all on Admiral Rickover, who in the struggle to increase the number of nuclear attack submarines, which had been previously named for fish famously said "fish don't vote." Roger
  3. A true scroll saw or what I call a jig saw stretches the blade between upper and lower attachment points. It is therefore possible to load the blade with considerable tension keeping it rigid during the up and down cutting strokes. This allows the use of very fine, thin blades. With inadequate tension the blade buckles on the down stroke and soon breaks. If this saw is built like an upside down Sabre saw without an upper attachment there is no way to tension the blade and rigidity must be provided by the blade itself. This means that you will be limited to thick blades with sufficient depth to withstand the cantelever bending loads as they do their work. Roger
  4. Lou, You might have ducked a bullet by missing a chance to buy a Suburau. Good friends of ours own a pair of them. One several years old but the other less than a year old. Up here in Socially conscious Northern Minnesota they are very popular, probably due to their "Love" advertising campaign. Anyhow, If they leave either car parked for more than a couple of days the battery goes dead. Worse, when this happens to the newer model a lot of interior services like the power windows have to be reset by the dealer! The dealer's latest solution is to leave the cars on a trickle charger when parked. My friend says it is inevitable that his wife will back out of the garage soon with the charger attached. My son is an engineer for Toyota North America and says that with the onboard computers, security systems, and other electrical loads that continue to run when the car is parked these new cars run the risk of draining their batteries. That being said, I have left my 2011 Toyota 4 Runner parked outside in cold weather for a month and it starts right. Every time I see a Suburau Ad with a guy and his girl friend heading out to the middle of no-where on a camping trip I think of our friends. Roger
  5. The dirigible hanger at Moffit field is a duplicate of the one at Akron, Ohio. According to the internet the Moffit field hanger has been stripped of it’s siding and is to be restored by Google. Both hangers (Moffit and Akron) were designed by Dr Arnstein, a German structural engineer hired from the German Zeppelin Co by Akron, Ohio’s Goodyear Zeppelin Co. Dr. Arnstein was also responsible for structural design of the Akron and Macon. For my First Class Midshipman Cruise during the summer of 1964, I was aboard a minesweeper homeported at Sasebo, Japan. If my memory is correct we used MPC when going ashore. I know that I used MPC somewhere and the only other foreign station I visited during 4 years of Navy active duty was 2-3 days at Subic Bay, Philippines that same summer. Roger
  6. Paul, Most research of Baltimore Clipper type Sailing vessel’s was conducted by Naval Architect and Maritime historian. Chapelle based his research on drawings of American built vessels that he found in the British Admiralty Archives. The ships had been either captured or purchased by the Royal Navy. He published the results of his research in a series of books. Chapelle died in 1975 so his work is “old” but still relevant. Two books deal extensively with Baltimore Clipper type craft; The Baltimore Clipper, first published in the 1930’s, and The History of American Sailing Ships. Both are inexpensive and readily available on used book sites. Both include plans for Dos Amigos. I suggest that you buy one or both to supplement the kit information. The heart of any ship model is accurate depiction of hull form. The current Pride of Baltimore is the second vessel of that name- built to replace the original that sank in the Caribbean. In designing this replacement vessel Naval Architect Thomas Gilmer changed hull shape below the waterline to improve stability. While she appears to be a Baltimore Clipper to the visiting public, below the waterline her hull lines are more “yacht like.” I therefore suggest that you build the model as Dos Amigos. Roger
  7. Justin, If you only have room for one workbench that will be used for model making, fixing kids bikes, and miscellaneous honey do chores my MDF top will not be durable enough. I have another larger workbench also in my shop for rough work. It has a flush mounted woodworkers vice and a large machinists vice. The bench top is made from 2in x 6in construction lumber laid edge to edge topped with a piece of 3/4in particle board screwed down with sheet rock screws. The bench has accumulated 30 years of battle scars, spilled paint, etc and could be renewed by replacing the particle board top but there are a lot of great memories caught up in those battle scars so I decided to leave it alone.Another thing that you might want to add is an organized way of keeping your hands clean. While this may sound silly it has taken me 50 years to learn this. In this regard the kitchen table modelers have an advantage over modelers working in a garage or basement because they are next to a source of soap and water. In my case a combination paper towel holder and shelf for holding a pump bottle of proprietary hand cleaner. Roger
  8. This for me is a timely question as I am just putting the finishing touches on remodeling my workshop including a dedicated workstation for ship model building. I am fortunate to have space for a heavy duty workbench too so this is just intended for light duty detailed work. All of my models are scratch built and this may affect some of my preferences. When our house was built the builder built a rough desk in the basement where the house plans could be spread out. He left it for me when the house was finished. The desk measured 48x30in. I used it as built for many years but recently decided to improve it. In doing so I had the following objectives: 1. Provide a smooth, flat, and level work surface. 2. Provide surfaces easy to clean. 3. Minimize clutter. 4. Provide pleasant surroundings where I want to spend time. Bench Top: The desk was originally surfaced with rough construction grade plywood that was not flat and could not be kept clean. I further damaged it by driving screws into it to secure jigs and fixtures. I replaced the top with one made from 1/2in MDF. The top is fastened to a “ladder frame” made from 2in x 4in construction lumber planed flat on my jointer. The top/ladder frame is balanced to ensure that it stays flat. Not apparent in the photo is a grid of brass inserts screwed into the top. The inserts are each drilled and tapped for a 1/4in-20 machine screw allowing me to secure jigs, honing strop, miter box etc without damaging the top. When not in use each insert is plugged with a slotted head set screw. The top sits in a frame in the desk and is level and flat. Here is the finished work station: The Aluminum panel on the lower left is my speed control for my rotary tool and Jarmac disc sander.It can also be used foe soldering iron temperature control. It is nothing more that a household light dimmer wire.d to a dedicated socket. The adjustable lamp can be easily mounted on either side of the bench. The Aluminum pad reinforcing the unused mounting hole is visible on the right hand side of the bench top. There are brass inserts at the left side of the bench front for mounting my swivel vise, now in it’s storage position at the back left corner. The cupboard stores clutter like my two boxes of small clamps and my numbered drills that I always seem to be knocking off an open shelf. I don’t play golf. The golf ball was borrowed from my son as a final flatness/level check
  9. Yes, I read somewhere that boat designers using a particular CAD proprietary hull lines program were complaining that all of their designs came out of the program looking like a J-26 (a popular American racing keel boat). Roger
  10. Bob’s post above is right on and explains why it is impossible to build as some have claimed, the “definitive” model of any wooden ship. Using the same table of offsets, no two drawings or full scale patterns from the mould loft made by different individuals will be exactly the same. This is because of the decisions made by individuals when plotting and fairing lines. I even doubt if the same individual could produce the exact same drawing twice as he will make slightly different decisions each time. While CAD offers a high degree of precision, I’m not sure that it is any better at transferring offset dimensions into the definitive hull shape because it too must make decisions when plotting curves. I’m not sure that you the user know what those decisions are or if you agree with them. Using offsets taken from a model or builder’s draught, you do not know what changes, minor or otherwise were made in the mould loft, adding another degree of uncertainty. This also may account for the fact that different vessels built from the same plans perform differently, eg; The large 44gun American Frigates Constitution, United States, and President all had different sailing characteristics. Your aim should be to produce a model that faithfully reproduces the characteristics of the real thing while realizing that slight variations are to be expected. Roger
  11. Scow Schooners were also common on the Great Lakes. Both rectangular sailing barges and a more sophisticated hard chine pointed bow type. A number of these have been investigated by nautical archeologists. Look on the Internet. Specifically, historian Pat Labadie wrote a paper describing one sunk off Kelly’s Island in Lake Erie. I bought a. Copy on Amazon. A number of years ago, someone wrote an article about building a model of one the pointed bow scows in the Nautical Research Journal. Plans were from the National Watercraft Collection. The best discussion of scow Schooners and their regional differences that I am aware of is in Howard Chapelle’s “American Small Sailing Craft. Roger
  12. Jack, We have friends that live in Fishkill. A week or so ago they were concerned that because of all the mild weather bulbs were sprouting and trees were budding. I guess that this will put an end to that. Roger
  13. Dave, I assume the same storm that we got. Winter plowing is a cottage industry here, and this year we were fortunate to find a good guy, so hopefully this spring we’ll not find yard damage. We have the same problem that you do. If he plows before the city does, then the city leaves an unwanted gift at the end of the driveway. Today he was able to clean up what the city left. Roger
  14. Eight more inches of snow on top of about two feet already on the ground. The cul de sac in front of our house is ordinary perfectly flat. The mound of snow has been plowed up by the city. Roger Roger
  15. The listed dimension is the length of the block. The other dimensions are proportional. What do you need. I can look through my stash. Roger

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