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    Colorado, USA
  • Interests
    Hiking, Photography, Travel, Cooking, Reading Historical Non-fiction

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  1. Thank you for sharing this build with us. It happily coincided with my introduction to this hobby, and is a build I'll return to time and time again. Hope to see it in the calendar next year, all the best to you.
  2. Thanks for the vote of confidence guys, much appreciated. Even if things are moving slow now I'm still having fun with it, and it's nice to see it sitting out on my workbench. And your logs have been inspirational!
  3. With summer activities in full swing, at least for the time being, work on the model has slowed down dramatically. My wife's garden was in a native plant tour, and that took a bit of work to prepare. But the tour is over and was successful. I did purchase an Amati wood base and mounting columns. These were stained with some cherry stain I had at home. I don't have a drill press so in order to drill a straight hole through the base for the mounting columns screws I bought a Big Gator Mini Drill Guide that I found on amazon after doing some online research. I think it worked great, and I could have used it on various other home projects. Here it is sitting on the base. By hand with a pin vise I drilled holes in the top of the two columns and at corresponding locations in the keel for toothpick insertion. It's not glued yet, but it will look something like this. The oars are all carved and just waiting for me to stain them, and I've also been experimenting with painting cloth for the sails, but none of that is picture worthy. Now there is some local travel on the horizon, including a big hiking trip to prepare for. I'll continue to slowly plug away here, but no need to rush for me. By the way, I'm currently reading Sea of Glory by Nathaniel Philbrick, which has absolutely nothing to do with Vikings, but is an excellent book about sailors and the sea. Thanks for having a look.
  4. We are left to wonder how nice it would look if you had ten working finders. 👍
  5. Maybe here? https://www.rivermuseum.com/research-archives the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, has thousands of items available for research. Among them are historic photographs, books, blueprints, original documents, and other reference materials. The collection also includes materials related to National Rivers Hall of Fame inductees and important river people. Not sure how much is online but the have a research request form. I found that yesterday while researching from that passage I posted, Stephen Hanks turned up. https://www.rivermuseum.com/national-rivers-hall-of-fame-inductees/inductees/capt-stephen-beck-hanks
  6. This has been an interesting thread. Now I'm interested in river boats. Thanks. Here's another story from that book I'm reading about general Western American History. I hope it's appropriate to post here. There didn't seem to be much online information about this particular event, but I suspect some of you guys know about it. It goes on for three enjoyable pages in the book. This is an abridged version which hopefully captures the spirit. The chapter title is "Fasten Down The Safety Valve". Traveling by river steamboat was relatively comfortable compared to traveling by stagecoach or train. But what the steamboat contributed in comfort it lacked in safety, and steamboat wrecks were a regular occurrence, often costing scores of lives. A good number of these accidents occurred during the course of steamboat races. It was a custom during a close race to burn lard, fat hams, or anything else in the cargo that would make a hot fire; frequently, too, the engineer would tie down the safety valve, which otherwise operated automatically to allow the boiler to blow off steam when the pressure rose to a dangerously high level. Although steamboat racing was widely denounced, the racing instinct was ineradicable in true rivermen. One of the most famous races on the upper Mississippi was that which took place in 1854 between the Dr. Franklin and the Nominee. At the wheel of the Franklin was Stephen Hanks, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln and one of the most skilled and courageous pilots on the river. For mile after mile the boats were almost side by side. The passengers who crowded their decks preferred to miss meals rather than a moment of the contest. The rivals were close enough that the passengers could shout back and forth. At Guttenberg the Franklin had to stop and take on wood. The passengers feared that the enforced halt would allow their rival to pass them, but Captain Smith left them no time to stand around and worry. The wood was on a flatboat, which he hitched alongside, almost without stopping. "Now you fellows come and do a little honest work," the mate yelled to the passengers, and the words were scarcely out of his mouth before the air was full of flying cordwood. The Franklin was carrying a plentiful supply of resin in barrels, and this was now fed into the furnaces with pitch, oil, and anything else that could make a hot fire. By the time the Franklin reached Dubuque the boiler breechings and smokestacks were redhot, and crew members were standing by with a fire hose. At Dubuque the Franklin was ahead. There was a wild scene on the levee while freight was being put ashore and loaded aboard, the mate exhorting the roustabouts with a rigamarole of slashing sarcasm and hide-searing profanity that would have made even a bullwhacker prick up his ears. The Franklin was first away and at half-past three that afternoon she steamed into Galena, having made the run from St. Paul in a bit under twenty-two hours. Except for the stop at Dubuque, never once during this record run did Stephen Hanks take his hands from the wheel. - Tales of the Frontier - From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup, selected and retold by Everett Dick, University of Nebraska Press, 1963
  7. Your ship is really a beauty, cathead - not just"museum quality" like it says on the box of my Amati kit, but actually museum-worthy. Also thanks for the picture of your jig for the oars. I was wondering how I was going to paint mine and that was the answer I didn't know I was looking for.
  8. Apologize if this has been covered upstream, but I’m reading a book on Western Americana history and came upon this passage in a section titled “Traders on the Mississippi”. I thought you guys might be interested. "It was common practice for a merchant who lived in a community on the Mississippi to float his produce downriver in a flatboat to New Orleans, where both the cargo and the boat could be sold for cash. The flatboat, which was usually built on the riverbank, resembled a big box about three times as long as it was wide; its square ends were slanted upward from the bottom to enable it to glide through the water better, and it was steered by an oar at the stern. It had to be constructed upside down so the carpenters could fasten the planks on the bottom. The cracks were then caulked with pitch and flax or hemp to make the hull watertight. Next the boat was eased into the water on rollers made of small logs, and then came the “flatboat turning” - an operation in which the whole community took part. A rope was run to the top of a tree on the riverbank and down to one side of the boat. Rocks and earth were piled on the other side until it sank even with the surface of the water. Then the crowd pulled on the rope and flipped the big box right side up. After a bucket brigade had bailed out the water, the job was completed by nailing planking over the hull to form a deck. As soon as the boat had dried out it was loaded with grain, flour, pork and other articles of trade. If any livestock or poultry were carried, they were placed in pens on the deck. Once the merchant engaged a crew of two or three boatmen and a pilot to do the navigating, he was ready to go to market. On the face of it, floating down the Mississippi in a flatboat sounded like an ideal vacation project for adventurous young men, but the account of a trip made by Daniel M. Brush makes it clear that travel by flatboat was far from being a picnic." - Tales of the Frontier – from Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup, selected and retold by Everett Dick, University of Nebraska Press, 1963 The date of the trip was December 22, 1834 and the story goes on to recount how the combination of river and weather conditions just about did those boatmen in.
  9. Thanks cathead, I read it twice to be certain but I get it. You guys are demonstrating that you can teach an old dog new tricks after all. I'm still chipping away at the oars, no pun intended. I was unhappy with a couple of them and thought about ungluing the paddle so I could sand a new shaft. But then I realized I don't have to unglue them, I can simply make new paddles from the scrap sheet. Which I did, and they are indistinguishable from the laser cut pieces. You guys will laugh but to me that was a major revelation, thinking outside of pure kit mentality.
  10. End Of The Line, thanks much for that tidbit, makes complete sense. Next time I'll rotate it 90 degrees.
  11. And thank you for helping new newbies on this long, complex and fascinating road. Your boat is looking great.
  12. Thanks for the encouragement. cathead, I cracked open the blue paint from Tulip and looks beautiful on a practice swatch, so I'm planning to go with it. The colors in my pictures above were lifted from the Tulip website. Steven, I'll try again with the basswood, now that I learned something on the first attempt. Most likely clumsiness on my part is the culprit. I'm thinking I might try to make a kettle on a tripod that you posted somewhere. We'll see how that goes. Thanks again.
  13. With the arrival of good weather I no longer want to spend much time in my backroom basement workshop. But in order to continue working I put a few items into a cardboard box so I could sit on the patio and make the oars. Nothing much to report here except I learned from another build log to use tape on the dowels to reduce the chances of splitting the wood when cutting the notch. Reduce, not eliminate. I've also been thinking about sail color. I bought a book from the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde about the Sea Stallion. They say, "In scaldic verses it is sometimes emphasised that the sail is coloured blue - perhaps it was considered to be a particularly prestigious colour", because of its expense. On a rainy afternoon I played around on the computer and came up with this. I kind of like the blue and yellow stripes in the upper left. I've purchased some Tulip fabric paint and will experiment. Finally, I tried making a chest based on a link Steven has posted in other logs. It was looking reasonably OK for a first attempt at something like this, although the dimensions might be off a bit. But then I broke one of the legs off when I was sanding the corners. The wood is basswood, maybe I need something denser (?) or a steadier hand.
  14. The shrouds are in place. For a while I wasn't sure how to proceed, but finally I just proceeded and am most satisfied with the result. I've seen numerous ways that blocks and lanyards are done on Viking ship models and reconstructions. I settled on using the H-shaped blocks included with the kit, ran lanyards through that, and up to a closed heart in an eye on the shroud. It looks reasonably nautical though to what extent Viking I'm not sure. Debating on whether I should stain the shrouds brown like the lanyards, but at present holding off. They seem pretty even because when I slightly pull on the mast in the direction of the forestay they all snug up at the same time. I now have some understanding of why folks here have high praise from Syren's rope, or go to the extent of making their own with a ropework. In looking at photos I can see the huge difference in how the strands look. For instance check out this in rvchima's build, which looks far nicer than my work. (No doubt the degree of builder skill counts for a great deal.) But I learned a lot and expect there will be more kits in my future. I did purchase some third party rope from Billings and a couple other sources, but settled in the Amati kit rope for the shrouds. However, I did use the Billings for the anchor rope. I blackened the brass chain with Birchwood Casey Brass Black, the first time I've ever used a product like that and once again am basically satisfied with the result. Amati did not show the anchor attached to anything so I added another block to the deck. I guess it's time to start thinking about the sail - how to sew, paint, shape. It's all an adventure!
  15. Just started reading this fascinating build. Steven, if you don't mind a newbie question, early on, like posts #13 and #21 for example, what kind of tools are you using to shape these frames. Apologize if this is discussed elsewhere in the log. I'll eventually get there Thanks..
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