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About abelson

  • Birthday 01/14/1949

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  1. Finished the jolly boat. Added the backboard, rudder, tiller, gudgeons and pintles, mast and oars. The gudgeons and pintles were difficult because they are so small. The oars are delicate and require a lot of sanding. I plan to leave it off ship for now. With that done, I’m moving on to main top mast shrouds. Stay tuned for progress.
  2. Completed the lower shroud rat lines. All and all, I’m happy with the way they turned out. I decided to build a jolly boat that I purchased from Crafty Sailor. The scale of the kit is 1:72 (1/16” scale). The kit jolly boat is 2 3/4” long (14 ½’ at 1/16th scale). At the Syren scale of 1:64, the jolly boat would be 3 3/32” (16 1/2’ at 3/16” scale). To the novice eye, the difference won’t be noticeable. So, a little shorter boat is okay with me – I’m not looking for an authenticity here. If you buy this kit, you’ll need to read the instructions very carefully as they’re a little confusing. The kit comes with 3 laser cut sheets (1 pear and 2 plywood). It’s very important to soak the ribs at least overnight in order to bend them. After installing each rib, I wiped a little water on it with my finger and then dried it with a hair dryer. I’m satisfied with the way they turned out. The transom piece was beveled to the engraved line and then glued to the keel frame. The planking boards were next. They’re numbered successively on the laser cut plan sheet from a7 to a13 and marked R (starboard side) and L (port side). The ends of each plank (except for the last plank a13) are beveled and the burrs are sanded smooth before soaking them. Note: the laser cut (taper) should be installed face down to reduce the width of the joints. The planks are alternated port and starboard or starboard and port depending on your preference. Installing the planks is tricky. I started at the keel and worked back to the transom, applying CA to each rip one at a time. Once completed, the planks were sanded, wood filler was applied to fill in the joints, and finish sanded. Next, I removed the jig with no problem. With that done, I assembled the keel pieces and glued the complete keel to the boat. This was a little tricky – a lot the sanding to get the proper profile to fit the keel. The boat looks surprisingly good, but small. Added the “shoulders” to the hull as per the instructions. They are very thin. I soaked them, fit them on the hull, and held them in-place with small clothespins while I glued them. I applied a little CA on the underside of the shoulders with a toothpick. Before installing the boat interior trim, I primed the hull below the shoulder and later brushed on two (2) coats of finish white paint (ModelExpo MS4831). I wasn’t sure how to finish the interior of the boat. I have read where other modelers have used tung oil, so I decided to try it. I like the finish, but the contrast in color between the pear wood and boxwood wood is quite obvious. Completed the rest of the interior trim (see photos for progression) and applied tung oil. Note: I pre-fit the stern benches, glued them together, and then installed them as a complete unit. The breast hook broke while I was beveling it, so I had to fabricate a new breast hook. It’s not identical but it fills the void, so to speak. Added ringbolts fore and aft to hang the jolly boat. I Made up the double block tackles for the davits. I used 3.0mm blocks and .012 tan line. I drilled a hole on the underside of each davit for an eyebolt. I seized a generous length .012 line to each eyebolt and then glued each one in the predrilled hole. I then reeved the line through the blocks and the davit sheaves. I’m thinking, given the high seas, that the jolly boat would have been more secured than just hanging it from a hook – just my thoughts. Remaining bits are the backboard, rudder, tiller, gudgeons, pintles, mast, and oars. It was a good exercise in a miniature side build.
  3. While still waiting for my Model Expo order, I decided to make the main topmast pendants. These were made from .018 black line. Starting with the fore top mast, I made an eye at the end of the line by wrapping the line around a rounded needle nose plier, applying a little CA, and then seizing the line with black thread. To get an approximation of the length of line, I scaled the length of the pendent below the top (3/4") and added 3/4" to fit over the cheeks on top of the mast. I then cut the line at an angle 1 ½” long. The cut ends of the two pendants were then glued and seized to the respective lines at a distance of 1” from the eye. The eyes were painted black. After installing the pendants, I attached a clip to the end of each pendant to stretch them out. Note: With the method I used to make the pendants, I had to remove the 1/8” single block for the main top gallant stay in order to install the pendants. No problem though, as I was able to re-rig the 1/8” block with the top mast off ship. One dilemma though. I finally received my Model Expo order. The order included four (4) 1/8” (3.0mm) double blocks instead of 3/32” (2.5mm) double blocks. I decided to order Falkonet 2.5mm blocks from Model Expo. These blocks match the scale of the 3/32” D block shown on Plan Sheet 7. They are very small and need to be drilled out in order to reeve the .012 line for the top braces through them. I reviewed some other build logs to see what size blocks were used. I found photos but no discussion on this. But, based on the photos are saw it appears that other build logs have used blocks larger than 3/32”. FYI, there is a discrepancy in the pictorial size of the main stay blocks on Sheet 7. The upper D blocks are depicted larger than the lower D blocks – they’re both noted as 3/32”. The upper D block near the mouse appears to be 1/8”. For comparison purposes, I superimposed a 1/8” D block, a Falkonet 3/32” D block, and a 3/32” S block on Sheet 7 (see photos). The 3/32” Falkonet block appears to be slightly smaller than the 3/32” S block. So, the dilemma is, what size block to use. I might be over analyzing this, but I think the 3/32” blocks are too small for the .012 rigging line, so I will use the 1/8” D blocks. Accomplished my goal of installing the 1/8” double blocks for the Fore Top Sail Braces and the Fore Braces. To the novice eye, I don’t think the larger blocks will be noticeable. The process was simple – seized some .012 black line to each block, tied the loose ends to the main stay with an overhand knot, applied CA to the knot, trimmed the ends, and painted the knots black. Thought this would be a good time to add 3/32” S blocks to the traveler rings on the jib boom. These were set up in the same manner as the 1/8” D blocks above. Lashed the sheer poles and the futtocks staves to the fore lower yards. I used sewing thread to lash the futtocks staves. Next, the futtock shrouds were wrapped around the futtocks stave a la the main shrouds. The fore lower catharpins were rigged same as the main lower catharpins. Note without incident though. Murphy’s Law reared its head again – I got a little overzealous in tensioning the catharpin and the futtocks stave snapped. I was able reset it with some CA glue – catastrophe averted. Whew. Next up, the fore lower shroud rat lines. Stay tuned.
  4. I used Syren tan .025” brown rigging line for the breech ropes and .008” for the seizing. I have been unable to order from the Syren website lately. I think I read somewhere where they're going our of business????
  5. Excellent work on the quarter badges. You obviously can see three dimensionally - not everyone can.
  6. Nice work. Progressing well. For the gun ports, did you use the pieces cut from the bent planks? Did you plank over the ports and then cut them out?
  7. Finished the starboard side shrouds. For the catharpins, I followed WalrusGuy’s build where the catharpins are lashed in two parts to the shrouds. I made the first part of the catharpins from .018 black line made with an eye splice at each end and 1 1/8” long. Note: I realized later, after looking at the detail on Sheet 5, that the catharpins should be shorter (about ¾”) - it’s important to look at the plan sheets as well as the instructions. The second part consists of short lengths of .018 black line reeved through the eye splice and tied around the stave at each end as shown on Sheet 5. The first part was easy. The second part was difficult because of the need to adjust the lengths of the tie lines to center and tension the eye spliced line. I set up the ties port and starboard, secured one loose end with CA, reeved the other loose end through the eye, wrapped it around the stave and attached a clip to it (see photo). Then, I adjusted the clips to center the eye splice line, secured one tie with CA, and then tensioned the line by pulling on the loose end of the other tie and securing it with CA. The loose ends were trimmed. After a couple of failed attempts, I successfully completed the cartharpins. I'm satisfied with how they turned out, although one has a little kink in the line (from CA glue). I hope the lower fore main cartharpins will be easier. I’m still waiting for 3/32” double blocks for the main stay. Model Expo sent 3/16” single blocks instead of 3/32” double blocks. In the meantime, I decided to begin “rattling down” the lower shrouds. I used the prototypical card with lines on it to help evenly space and level the rat lines. I spaced the lines at a ¼” (0.22 row spacing on an Excel spreadsheet). The .008 ratlines were tied using clove hitches, except for the first shroud where an overhead knot was used – found it easier to secure the line this way. This is definitely tedious work – patience is a virtue here. I found the process easier as you move up the shrouds. I applied CA to each clove hitch and touched them up with some diluted black paint. So far, I’ve completed the port side lower main shrouds and futtocks shrouds rat lines, but not without incident. While doing the rat lines on the futtock shrouds, the seizing on the aft most shroud came undone at the hook - Murphy's Law. I decided against reconstructing it. I was able to re-seize it. I don't really like the way it turned out, but I'm willing to accept some imperfection here over the aggravation of otherwise having to replace it.
  8. Great innovation on the "multi-cleat pinning jig." And, I share your frustration on items pinging off the tweezer - some of them never to be found.
  9. I’m still waiting for the four (4) 2.5 mm (3/32”) pear wood double blocks from Model Expo. I wanted to seize them to the main stay before adding the fore lower shrouds but that’s not going to happen. In the meantime, I completed the first pair of shrouds on the starboard side and one shroud on the port side. I had to order more 3.5mm deadeyes. The kit comes with the exact number needed for the lower shrouds. I lost or misplaced 4 deadeyes. While waiting for the deadeyes, I decided to make the mouse for the fore stay and fore preventer stay same as the main stay and main preventer stay. I measured the length of .04 and .028 black line required for the stays using Sheet 7 and cut each length 13”, allowing for wrap around the mast head, the 5mm closed heart, and making the eyebolt. I set up each stay and determined where the mouse needs to be positioned and applied CA to secure it. I painted each mouse black and finished them by seizing with black thread. I’ll put this aside until I finish the fore lower shrouds. My Model Expo order arrived, so it’s on to the fore lower shrouds again. I completed the first port side pair, the second starboard and port side pairs, and the single shrouds. No problems here. I left the single shroud lanyards loose in case I have to remove them to install the lower double blocks on the main stay. Now, on to setting up the fore stay and fore preventer stay. The fore stay and fore preventer stay were setup with Syren 5mm closed heart (I like the thickness of these hearts over the laser cut ones provided with the kit) seized to the loose end of each stay. The closed hearts were set up with .012 tan lanyards reeved between the hearts and the open hearts on the bowsprit collars added in Chapter 16. This is a big milestone. The rigging is starting to take shape. Now onto the sheer poles and futtock staves. Lashed a 1/32”x 1/32” sheer pole and futtocks stave on the starboard and port side of the main lower shrouds. I painted them black before lashing them. The sheer poles were easier to lash than the staves. The futtock shrouds are next. I seized a hook to one end of each .021 black shroud. The hooks were made from 1/32” brass eyebolts. After seizing the hook, I cut the line to about 2" long. The hooks were attached to the deadeye plates and the loose ends were wrapped around the futtock stave, glued to hold them in-place, seized to the lower shrouds and trimmed. I used black sewing thread for the seizing. So far, I’ve completed the port side futtocks shrouds.
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