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About captain.jerry

  • Birthday 08/06/1938

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  • Location
    Summerfield FL
  • Interests
    Making stuff.

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  1. The idea of an off model deck construction is attractive, mostly for the ability for edge clamping of planks, for fitting a margin plank and deck planks with hook scarfs, and for the ability to sand or scrape and prefinish without the interference of bulkheads. Even a small amount of tumblehome makes it almost impossible to install a well fitting one piece deck. One solution to this is to build the deck in two halves or as I did on my Fair American, build it in three pieces. This was easy with the Fair American because of the thick planks of the center strip. The use of substitute beam does not seem like a good idea if the deck has any crown or camber. Building a deck on sheet stock is ok if you can reduce the height of the bulkheads to account for the added height. If you don't do this before installing them on the false keel, you are going to have to look for very thin sheet stock. I couldn't find basswood less than 1/32" thick but I did find a sheet of 1/64" plywood. It is thin enough to be flexible in both directions and you can eliminate the problem of increased deck thickness by using thinner deck planks. By leaving the plywood slightly shy of the curve of the deck plan and allowing a slight overhang of the margin plank, you have the ability to fit the installation of the deck to the bulkhead to allow for slight imperfection of the curve of the bulkhead.
  2. I just wanted to add a few comments regarding milling aluminum. Aluminum is a relatively soft metal and that is often the problem. The harder grades actually are easier to mill. If you order 6061 from any of the on line sources you should have no problem as long as your cutter is sharp. The typical angles and flats that you get at the hardware may not meet that grade. It is generally softer and "gummy" which is the problem. The soft chips may stick to the cutting edge causing the cutter to become clogged. That can be reduced by using some kind of lubricant to prevent the build up. By fiddling with speed and feed rate you can produce better results. Sometimes, slower is better. Most of the micro or mini mills have electronic variable speed. A continuous stream of air can also help keep the swarf from clogging the cut. Slots can be a particularly sticky problem. If the edges of the slot are critical, as in a slide, I usually cut it in three passes using an end mill that is narrower that the finished slot dimension. The first pass is down the middle of the slot, which leaves a small amount on either side. This small amount means that the final cut is taking a much shallower depth of cut and gives a better finish. If you must make a slot with a single pass, use a 2 flute end mill. It has much deeper flutes that help clear the swarf. Don't waste time or money trying to mill aluminum with an abrasive wheel or coated point. You won't like the results.
  3. So I spent the evening searching the internet for examples of gun mounts with dual inhaul rigging. This is the only one that I found: It is from the Model Expo On-line website and is referenced as an Amati kit of a French gun. It is interesting in that it shows a similar low profile carriage and the dual in-haul but there are so many seemingly odd details that I don-t know that it can be used as a historical reference. And why would an American privateer have french style guns. Why are the running lines black? Why is the breech line passed through a hole in the carriage and not looped over the cascabel? Here is another photo of a french gun with the breech line passed through a hole in the carriage. I think it looks wrong but maybe not?
  4. Brian, Thanks for the response and for the picture of the gun aboard Californian. I have never seen a double inhaul rig either nor have I ever seen it mentioned in discussion of gun rigging. It hardly makes sense but there it is in that drawing and there are the twin deck eyebolts on the Model Expo plans by John Stevens from 1952. I don't have a lot of confidence in the un-attributed drawing but that is why I raised the issue. I haven't been getting a lot of responses on this log for some reason so if there aren't some additional opinions forth coming, I may raise the question in a general forum. That is an interesting photo of the stowed gun, lashed in to the bulwark.. It is another condition that I have not seen before. It sure does make for more deck room, and without moving the center of gravity of the ship, moving the weight outboard reduces rolling motion. I am also un-familiar with the Californian so I will check the internet for more information.
  5. Thanks for responding, Brian. I did not include a clip from the deck plan from the Model Expo kit but it does show two deck eyebolts behind each gun. Nowhere in the instructions or on the plan sheet does it identify these eyebolts and the only reference to rigging the inhaul is in the sketch above which shows a single inhaul tackle. There is a partial set of plans available on the internet with no reference to its origin and is probably pirated so I will include a small clip from the deck plan which shows the double inhaul rigging as described above. This set of plans is close to the Model Expo plans but show a number of differences. If anyone knows the legitimate source of these plans, let me know.
  6. It occurred to me this morning that many of you do not have a copy of the manual and can't see what I am talking about. Here is a clip of the page and it includes a red arrow that points out the eyebolt that I believe should be used for the inhaul, rigged to the twin eyebolts on deck. It also shows the lower profile of the gun carriage construction.
  7. Gun Carriages: The deck is in place and I can no longer avoid the cannons. The ones that come with the kit are not so great as has been noted by others building this model but I started there. The laser cut sides can be used but the piece for the bottom is useless. There is no taper front to back and the axle stubs split off as you would expect from the cross grain orientation. The wheels can be used so I assembled the carriages using the untapered base using 1/16" square basswood for axles. The result was not as bad as you might think but still pretty bad. Against my usual procedure, I decided to look at the instruction manual. on page 20, Fig 20A there is a sketch of a jig that can be used to assemble the carriages but the carriage parts bear little resemblance to the kit supplied parts. There are some dimensions for the jig and a small not that says "Take other dimensions from plan sheet #1." Turning to plan sheet #1, I find a plan and elevation view of the "Deck Gun" next to the "Bower Anchor" but it has no dimensions. It is interesting in that the plan view is an exact for the carriages shown on the "Deck Plan" on the same sheet so even though there are no dimensions given, I know that the scale is in keeping with the model scale ( 1:56 ). The elevation view bears no resemblance to the kit parts and there is a sketch on page 21 of the rigging of the gun and the carriage looks exactly like the assembly on page 20 and on Sheet #1. All of this makes it worthwhile to try building one according to the plans. The carriages are not difficult but the wheels are another story. Smaller in diameter than the 3/16" lasercut kit parts, I decided to turn them as an integral part of the axles and the sand the axle flat between the wheels and glue them to the underside of the carriages. This is the unpainted and unadorned result. This looks pretty close to the style and size of the gun in the sketch on page 21. One notable difference between this carriage and the one built from kit parts is that the height of the trunion is lower by 1/16". This makes a much better fit to the gun port height which is a problem that has be noted by others. Here are some pictures for comparrison: While looking at the sketch on page 21, I notice that there are two unused eyebolts on the rear of the carriage. Since the sketch is meant to show the rigging of the guns, what can these be? I think that this answers another question that I have had. Looking at the "Deck Plan" on Sheet #1, there are two eye bolts on the deck behind each gun position, just outboard of the thick planks. I believe that the guns must have been rigged with dual inhaul tackle and that they were rigged to the dual eye bolts on the inboard end of the carriages. The style of these carriages is slightly different from any that I have seen in that there are fewer steps in the sides. Is there evidence of this style used elsewhere? Jerry
  8. I had to replace my motor as well. I was not worried about the historical accuracy so instead of an OEM part, I went with a slightly larger Baldor motor from Blue Ridge Machinery. I haven't had to replace belts for a while but I think I get them from Blue Ridge too. There seems to be a lot of sources. At the moment, the drill function is way more useful than the lathe and since the lathe bed takes up a lot of space on my small worktable, I made a clamp on base that gives me what i need. Used this way, i don't have use of the X/Y positioning but that has not been a problem. I can fabricate any special holding fixture that I need and eye ball positioning has been good enough. I also get a lot of use from this setup as a holding device or a convenient rotating spindle that is easier to use than when it is mounted on the bed. Jerry
  9. Does anyone have and use a Unimat. These things are not hard to find and replacement bearings are easily available if you have one in rough conditions. For a shop with limited space, I can't imagine a more useful tool. I have bigger and better tools but they are out of service until I get my new shop finished. My Unimat has been with me for years and It is NOT for sale
  10. Here are some of the pictures that were promised a few days ago. Obviously painting is not my strong suit. Not even a suit at all. But the camera doesn't lie, even if you ask it to. I hope that the pictures are self explanitory. I'm in no condition to do any better tonight, Pain killers ... Jerry
  11. 2449 Hi Jeff Thanks for asking. Progress is a difficult thing to measure sometimes, sort of like advancing to the rear. I am an inexperienced ship model builder and some of the things that are interesting or important to me may not be so interesting to others. As an example, many builders of this model have chosen to eliminate the raised or thick planks down the center of the deck for reasons that are unclear to me. The Rodgers model has it so why eliminate it. It does ad a challenge to sanding and finishing the deck but challenge goes with the territory. Is it unsightly or not authentic? Hardly! I think it adds interest! Does it represent a tripping hazard? No! It provides a reference and a toe hold that that slippery that deck hands would rely on. The real hazards are the inhaul eyebolts on deck, but no one eliminates them. As a sailor who has had to go forward to free a fouled headsail at night in heavy weather, you depend on a secure foot hold to get the job done. That doesn't mean that I haven't had my problems with the deck. Mostly having to do with the steering wheel. A working steering system has to have a way for the steering ropes to get below deck and it can't be just a hole. There are lots of things to think about when designing a steering system that I won't go into here but keeping the line winding smoothly on the drum takes some planning. I have wrestled with the main cabin bulkhead as have most other builders but I have installed a temporary/permanent? version of the bulkhead, ladders not included. I have also installed the rear deck, the transom and the fancy rails, most of it painted. I haven't included any pictures, mostly because I had not planned to make such a long entry as this but I just saw your post and wanted to respond. I understand your challenge with the wire work, tiny little things that go "PING" and disappear into the void. I'm holding off on that until I get moved into my workshop. That is still months away. My son-in-law and I have been doing much of the work that we are qualified to do and some that we are not. My workshop will be a 10' x 16' climate controlled room in a 34' x 72" barn with two other climate controlled rooms, 4 horse stalls, feed and equipment storage and a home for two dogs. All of the super structure is up and some of the partition walls are framed. The electricians got most of their work done last week but there is still a long way to go. I'll try to get some pictures up soon. Maybe I should do updates more often. Jerry
  12. I am rapidly approaching the point of installing the deck but one thing that holds me back is the feeling that something else needs to be done first. What about the deck structures? Surely the two gallows and the forebits need a structural foundation. They can't have just been stuck on top of the deck, but there does not seem to be any correlation with the location of bulkhead position or any other sub-deck structure. I am thinking that the vertical posts must penetrate the deck and attach to something. How about a little help here?
  13. A man, a plan, a deck.....a failure, aw crap. I was going to completely plank the false main deck including thick planks and margin planks before installing it on the ship. The 1/64" plywood false deck has been profiled to fit closely within the already installed waterways. The reason for this approach is that I could not see any way to sand the bow part of the outer decks at the bow where the raised center part joins the converging bulwarks. My plan was to plank the outer decks, including the margin planks. Scrape and sand them level while there is no interference from the thick planks or the bulwarks. Then plank the thick center part of the deck. Scrape and sand it level, which can be done without marring the outer decks. The completed deck could then be installed, probably with a bit of trimming and fitting. On Monday, the outer decks were planked. On Tuesday morning, this was the result: The deck has developed a severe negative camber. This very likely due to being moved from a very humid environment (my Florida back porch work area ) to a relatively dry environment ( my air conditioned den/TV room ). I have moved it back to the humidity and have wrapped it around a soft cylindrical form ( a roll of paper towels ) but I don't know if that will reverse the camber or not. I will check the results tomorrow morning but since I am leaving at noon for a week long visit with my son, his wife, and their three month old granddaughter in Pennsylvania, the deck will remain on the towel roll that long. I really would appreciate some input on this problem. My computer is not going with me so I won't respond until next week but I really need some advice. On a totally different subject, take another look at the first picture above. That is not a transparent plastic rule . . . or is it? No, that is a solid stainless steel rule. I did not notice that it had become transparent until the file was uploaded for this post. How did that happen? Jerry
  14. Hi Jeff It took me a while to reply to your post but I certainly appreciate your comments. My planking turned out way better than I had expected. Good thing it did. Like you, I have no idea how to approach the second layer. I barely made the rabbet deep enough for the first layer pf planking so there is no way to get another one in there and so it will be painted. Now that my number one fear is behind me, my new number one fear is planking the deck. There is no way to cover up mistakes with paint. The instructions recommend planking the deck before the bottom bu I went the other way and I am glad that I did. Doing it that way let me let me get a good edge clamp on the planks using rubber bands. Now on to the deck. I plan to use a margin plank without nibs. Getting a good finish on the deck is going to take a lot of scraping and sanding and I can't see anyway to do that in the ship, particularly at the pointy end and with the two level surface so I am going to use a false deck and do all of the deck work that I can out of the ship and then install the deck. I know that gunport clearance can be an issue and it is important to keep the deck level as low as possible so the false deck is a piece of 1/64" thick plywood sheet that offers strength and flexibility with minimum thickness. I may take a bit off of the bulkheads as well. Right now, I am working on cutting and fitting the plywood sheet. Jerry

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