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  1. You actually could. A lot of people who build electronics do. Most surface mount devices are now soldered using a paste that contains both solder and flux. This is applies to each pad on the printed wire board and the component set onto it. Then it goes in the reflow oven and it is preheated and then the solder is melted. Since there is only a small amount it stays where it is put down. You can use a toaster over for the preheat and then a hot air rework gun to reflow the solder. It takes a little fiddling to sort out the parameters, but it should work for any small metal bits as well. This would be using SAC solder which is lead free. The reflow guns can be had fairly cheaply on the web.
  2. Lard oil is pressed from lard. It has been the go to cutting fluid for copper for years beyond count. It sets up just below room temp so when the shop is cold in the winter it has to be warmed to liquify it. It will also get rancid, so keep cold when not in use. There are other fluids that work almost as well for copper, just don’t use anything with sulfur in it. It will turn everything black.
  3. Why not use glass for the port lights, or at least try to? Get some microscope cover slips, glue one down to a piece of very smooth ply or wood with some shellac, CA, or whatever you find easy to dissolve away. Chuck up a piece of your brass tube in a slow speed drill press, and using some abrasive paste or Clover compound core your way through the glass. Once through, dissolve the adhesive away and there is your glass disk. I have never done this with a cover slip, but have done it successfully on slightly thicker pieces of glass. It will take a bit of fiddling to get the parameters straight, but it should work.
  4. If it is a modern design the shrouds will be rod, and probably 1/4” or 6mm. Only if it has a really large sail area for its size, think Farr ( old Mumm) 30 might the highest load segment be 8mm. That would probably be V1 for multiple spreaders or D1 if single spreader. You will never see the headstay as it will be covered by either the foil for the jib luff or the roller furler. The backstay can be either rod, wire or both depending on the type of adjuster. All will terminate in some sort of tang to attach to turnbuckles or other adjusters. Running backstays or checkstays could be wire or now more likely pbo or Amsteel synthetic. These will be lighter and lower stretch than wire. When in doubt go for the cleaner, lower windage/drag solution.

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If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

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