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Roger Pellett

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About Roger Pellett

  • Birthday 06/04/1943

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  • 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. I suggest that you review Ed Tosti’s build log of the ship Young America in the Scratch Built models section of the forum. Ed is a master of using and blackening miniature fastenings. Another trick learned from Ed is the use of black monofilament plastic fishing line to simulate iron fastenings. Roger
  2. I wish to correct yesterday’s post responding to Lou’s post. Upon further examination of the drawing there are two tanks in the third funnel marked “F and S water gravity tanks,” not “Feed Water Tanks”. Lou is, therefore, correct. These are storage tanks for fresh and salt water probably intended for “hotel” services such as drinking water and sanitary drains. The feedwater expansion tanks do not appear on the drawing. Roger
  3. No Lou. The condensate system in a steam plant is an enclosed system that returns condensed steam from the turbines back to the feed pumps where it is pressurized to boiler pressure and sent back to the boilers. In theory this is a completely enclosed system with leakage neither or out. This is necessary in ocean going vessels as any salt from salt water would eventually concentrate in the boilers. In pracrice, fresh water from the condensate system is lost from various vents and drains and from blowing down the boilers to remove impurities. Fresh water must, therefore, be added. This “make up” water as well as water needed for “hotel services” is produced in evaporators that distill salt water. This is a separate system. In addition to providing necessary head for the feed pumps, the tank high up in the ship performed two other functions. First as a daereator where air entrapped in the system could be vented off. Second it served as a reservoir to control condensate/ feed water surges when the ship was maneuvering. Over the years steam steam engineering has progressed where no usable energy is wasted. I don’t know where Leviathan’s steam plant was on this spectrum but I would guess that space and money would have existed to include a lot of refinements. Roger
  4. Some steam engineering: This ship would have had a regenerative feedwater system in which waste steam and steam bled from different turbine stages was used to heat the feed water before it passed into the boilers. This means that the water entering the suction side of the feed water pumps would be hot. The design of the feed water pumps required a certain pressure in excess of the boiling point of the water to prevent cavitation at the pump inlet. For those interested the technical term for this is “Net Positive Suction Head.” The feed water tank in the aft funnel would have held heated water that had passed through the feed water heaters and was about to enter the feed pumps. The height of the tank relative to the pumps provided the necessary head to prevent cavitation. Roger
  5. What was the point of using the old hull? It would seem that you could have easily carved a new one from scratch. That stern needs some serious reshaping, and even then you will not be confident that this model matches the lines of any known vessel. Roger
  6. The most fragile part of a ship model is obviously its rigging. Before copying the rigging of a model (either on your own model or in print) it makes sense to learn something about the model being copied. Has the model been rerigged, or restored? If so who rerigged it? When was it done? What sources were used? In the absence of such information, what evidence do you have that the rigging is original? If you are committing your conclusions to writing, you should document your evidence. In his book Peterson failed to do this so there is no way to judge the accuracy of the models that he copied. Even if the rigging of the models in the museum is original, although they are housed in a Swedish museum, none are Swedish regional watercraft. How knowledgeable was the model maker about the details of three foreign vessels? Unfortunately, Lee’s book is not useful for rigging small fore and aft vessels. For cutters and sloops Steel’s Masting and Rigging supplemented with Tom Cunliffe’s Hand Reef and Steer is a better choice. The book on period American rigging practices has not been written. Roger
  7. I find Disc sanders to be very useful. I have two, a 10in dia one driven by my homemade thickness sander’s shaft and a small “Jarmac” sander with 4in disc on my workbench. Human nature puts a premium on convenience. If you need to go to your table saw and mount your sanding disc every time you want to sand a little from a strip of planking guess what? You won’t take the trouble and your workmanship will suffer. Buy a small bench top disc sander. Roger
  8. Dave, What do you mean by “Once resizing of all of the kit parts, this kit will be for sale to the first interested modeler?” Are you referring to the kit or the finished model? Roger
  9. Steve, An unusual and massive project well done! I’d like to weigh in on a couple of points raised above. Spare prop: Up here on the Great Lakes where mishaps in narrow, shallow channels are not uncommon ships are often fitted with propellers with bolt on blades, and often carried spare blades on their fantail. Even today, propeller work is performed without dry docking in the Duluth Harbor by trimming the ship by the bow to expose the screw. Although replacing a large heavy screw might require dry docking, US Navy advanced bases included floating dry docks so a ship carrying its own spare could be quickly repaired. The location near the bow of the vessel probably has to do with maintaining her longitudinal trim. Lifeboats: I personally think that your model would be more interesting if you show the boats uncovered. Vacuum forming is a technique easily mastered with a minimum of equipment that you probably have around the house. If you are unhappy with the kit provided boats you could vacuum form a whole fleet of new ones in an evening. Roger
  10. A friend just told me about a ship modelers club that meets in Naples. If any forum members belong, I would like to know: Are guests from out of town welcome at your meetings? If so, where and when do you meet? Roger
  11. Mark, I’m sorry to hear about your inner turmoil. It sounds like you have found effective treatment that works for you. I’m glad that you are beginning to see a path out of the darkness. Regarding Licorne; As the shipwright it is up to you to declare when she is finished and judging by your posts you have the makings of an impressive model even if you declare her finished now. So why don’t you clean her up, mount her on a display board and enjoy her. If in the future you decide to work on her that’s great otherwise display her as a wooden ship under construction. Roger
  12. The Tamyika (sp?) primer is first class and I bought mine at Hobby Lobby. I have used it for priming cast metal military figures. Roger
  13. Griphos, Do you use Mesquite for ship modeling? What are it’s properties? I have a couple of logs given to me many years ago that I have never used. Roger
  14. A major problem with breech loading guns was obtaining an effective gas seal. In designing a pressure containing mechanical joint the designer must consider two different factors. Containing the forces from pressure, and creating a seal to contain fluid leakage. The wedged can technology might have been sufficient to withstand explosive forces from black powder but would have leaked badly. Although as Welfalk points out breech loading required precision machining, another advance for many calibers was the brass cartridge that would expand against the barrel. German major caliber guns at Jutland used brass powder cartridges. The Royal Navy used silk bagged ones, relying only on the machined screw threads at the breech for a seal. Roger

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