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Roger Pellett

NRG Member
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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- Great Lakes Steamship Benjamin Noble
    Nautical ResearchvGuild Member
    Author: Whaleback Ships and the American Steel Barge Company published by Wayne State University Press

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  1. Many years ago, I built a POF Model of the New York Pilot Boat Anna Maria using the Hahn Method. I used Howard Chapelle’s drawings purchased from the Smithsonian, and lofted the frames. It produced a model that I am pleased with. It can be argued that Hahn himself built a model like you are contemplating. One of his last models, the Ship of Line Alfred, featured the more complex bent frame, filler frame type construction. While you could use the Hahn method to build a model that from outward appearance features correct scantlings is not suited for building the highly detailed POF models that replicate exact Admiralty construction practice as these models require details such as chocks within the frame structure. Keep in mind that when you wander from British or French ships builtin Royal Dockyards, ships were often not built with Hahn Style framing. Many vessels were built with widely spaced heavy frames to define hull shape with lighter frames or frame segments added in between. These lighter frames and segments were fastened to planking but not always to the keel. Roger
  2. One of these sunken vessels, the Schooner Dot, was apparently a “Canaller,” a specialized ship designed to navigate the restricted lock dimensions of the Welland Canal around Niagara Falls. The current issue of the Nautical Research Journal includes the first of a two part article about building a model of one. Roger
  3. It looks like a great deal for someone, but It’s sad that you can’t finish it. Therefore, no “Like” button.
  4. This guy pounces as soon as I come through the door. It doesn’t matter what I’m wearing.
  5. My Lionel train catalog is called Sherline. Every time I think that I’m fully equipped, I find another accessory that I gotta have!
  6. Thanks for all of the Likes and comments. Keith: No, no fruit trees. There is a dedicated green space between our house and those on the next street over. It's swampy and heavily wooded. The trees seen the window are European Buckthorn, an invasive species. Fall comes early here with colors peaking the first week of October. Trees are now bare. Roger
  7. I know that you are enjoying “freelancing” this model, but sooner or later you are faced with mechanical reality- does what you are doing actually make physical sense. Such is the case with the windlass. With two cables wrapped around the windlass barrel, how do you drop just one anchor, and what do you do with the unused cable. Deep sea vessels on long voyages would sail with anchors securely lashed down and cables stored below. The anchor and its cable would only be readied for use when she vessel reached shallow water near its destination. You are building a coasting vessel, that could need its anchors throughout the voyage. It would, therefore, not be unusual to have one anchor set up to be used, with the other on standby as a backup. Windlasses on coasting vessels often were equipped with an arbor or beam extending across the top. This allowed the unused cable to be hung in loose coils encircling the windlass barrel. When the other anchor was dropped the windlass could rotate without engaging the second cable. I also believe that whenever possible, crews avoided rotating the windlass when dropping the anchor. The cable screaming around the windlass barrel propelled by the weight of the anchor must have been dangerous to both ship and crew. They did this by laying out the required amount of cable in large loops on the deck ahead of the windlass; between the anchor and the windlass. Once the anchor hit bottom, the ship was backed and the cable could be paid out gradually. Roger
  8. Our local Ace has a K&S display and a good wire selection. My only gripe is that the overdo the “Helpful Hardware” business. Whenever I go into the store, someone sticks to me like a leech. If they’d just leave me alone they might be surprised what I might buy.
  9. CHAPTER 8 (continued) The Rabbit hole: in late July my wife and I visited a fellow model builder and NRG member and his wife who live nearby in Wisconsin. I was astonished by his collection of beautiful scratch built models, several of Lake vessels. I was intrigued by the way that he had added interest by giving viewers a peek of the ship’s machinery through an open door, hatch or skylight. Returning home, I decided to add the same feature to my Benjamin Noble model. I will show the engine room skylight open revealing the top of the triple expansion steam engine below. I also decided to show the coal bunker partially filled, visible through the open coal bunker hatch. This all required an examination and reconstruction of the ship’s internal arrangements. I was able to do so with reasonable accuracy from the structural drawings that showed the rectangular trunk passing from the engine room to the deckhouse roof. This same drawing also showed the coal bunker and located the two boilers. I was surprised to discover that the layout of the coal bunker and boilers differed from the usual layout of Great Lakes ships- see drawing below. Instead of locating the coal bunker at the forward end of the deckhouse, the bunker wraps around the boilers with the hatch behind the smokestack. Why did the Noble’s designers do this, and why not use the generally accepted arrangement? Answer: by doing so they increased the volume of the hold by the 7000+ cubic feet that would otherwise be taken up by the bunker. So then, why did the designers of other Great Lakes ships favor the more common arrangement that cost them hold volume? For every cargo that can be conceivably be carried aboard ship there is what’s called a “stowage factor” that lists the volume required by one ton of cargo. The principal American Great Lakes cargo was and still is iron ore. In the early 1900’s, coal was a secondary cargo, loaded when the opportunity presented to avoid returning back up the Lakes in ballast. The stowage factor for iron ore, a very heavy cargo, is about 20 cu ft per ton. When hauling iron ore the ship would be considered to be fully loaded well before her holds were full. Sacrificing hold volume for bunker space, therefore, did not affect the carrying capacity for vessels built to haul iron ore. Why did the Noble’s designers need the extra hold space gained by her unusual and costly bunker arrangement. She was designed to carry a very light cargo: pulpwood with a stowage factor of over 140 cubic feet per ton. When she sank, she was carrying railroad rails, stowage factor 12 cubic feet per ton. There was a lot of empty space in her hold that was subject to flooding if her hatches failed. The subassembly in the second photo below fits into a space chiseled into the poop deck. Parts of it will be visible through the engine room skylight. The other part is the coal bunker. The two boilers would have been underneath.
  10. CHAPTER 8- A Major Milestone and a Rabbit Hole Since my last progress report almost three months ago, I have been working steadily on the model. A couple of weeks ago, I reached a major milestone, I fastened the two hull halves together. Before I could do this, I spent considerable time adding necessary hull openings; hawse pipes, mooring pipes, porthole linings, the propeller shaft tube, and piping inlets and outlets. Once the halves were fastened, I added the keel plating and the propeller boss reinforcement plates. The final keel plate aft awaits installation of the lower rudder support shoe, that first requires installation of the rudder and propeller. The White supports utilize the female threads embedded in the bottom of the hull but the supports themselves are temporary. The grey color is primer. As usual, the digital camera shows areas that need to be cleaned up.
  11. Yeah, Osprey books seem to be an example of “too much of a good thing.” I started buying them many years ago to use their color plates for painting model soldiers. They have now expanded to cover campaigns, military hardware, tactics, and now ships. I have been unimpressed with those books dealing with maritime subjects. Roger
  12. Valeriy, They will just be imitation gears- deck winches, cargo winches, and gears for turning vowel ventilators. That guy’s fixture is really clever. I have a large heavy gauge aluminum angle. I’m going to use it to make a knurling fixture that mounts on the cross slide of my lathe; similar to the one shown in the Sherline catalog.
  13. Thanks Valerie, The project that I am working on will require a lot of gears. I just bought a pair of knurling cutters on eBay. Now I need to build a fixture to hold them. Roger
  14. In his excellent book, Hand, Reef, and Steer, Tom Cunliffe discusses Flax sails and provides instructions for tanning them as Wefalk mentions. He also explains in his droll manner, that waterfront rats consider flax sails to be an important part of their diet so precautions need to be taken to protect them. (The sails, not the rats!) Roger
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