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About biltut

  • Birthday 02/20/1947

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    Roanoke, VA

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  1. Jeff, I have used Klingspor for years and had good results with the adhesive holding over a long period of time. I would agree with Bob on the 220 grit, probably about as coarse as you need unless you are cutting some brass with it. I just listened to an article on the Fine Woodworking podcast that recommended changing sandpaper whenever you think it might be time and not waiting until you really think you need to. Probably good advice and I would be less likely to change it when needed if I had to stop and cut a piece although you could cut a few pieces prior to waiting until you need it.
  2. Mark, I am pulling up a chair on this build really late in the game after you have worked through your problems so far. I built a plank on bulkhead from a kit about twenty years ago so I understand some of the problems you have suffered through on a much smaller basis. I am getting up there in age but it seems like I remember Dave Roach who owned Pier Books years ago telling me there was a forum on this build which made me particularly interested in your efforts but I see I must be mistaken since there does not appear to be anything other than the French forum. Nevertheless, I look forward to following this build and admire the work and your treatment of the problems so far.
  3. This is a very simple rope walk to build with parts easily obtainable. I built this some years ago and with a little bit of experience turns out beautiful rope. I used the motor off an old Emesco dentist drill which gives me the capability to throw a switch and reverse the direction of the motor. I also purchased the “Jim” rope walk but was in the middle of rigging a model and did not have time to devote to learning the nuances of the machine at the time to produce really nice rope. That is on my list of things to do in the near future. Just really wanted to praise the simplicity and value of the “Phil Kroll” model for anyone considering building one.
  4. Another process I have been using if you use dye stain for coloring is to dissolve some small chips of bees wax in turpentine along with the dye stain then run this through a cotton rag until the desired color is achieved then hang the rope to dry. I have been using this on some running rigging colored with a mix of golden oak and a darker walnut dye to achieve the appropriate color. I am not sure where I found this process but may have been a suggestion by Erik Ronnberg.
  5. I agree with everything said about the quality and working abilities of Apple. Fortunately, I live in the middle of Apple orchard country and find it easy to obtain when the are pruning their trees. Then some wax and a few years of drying and you will have some nice apple at no charge. A little off subject, but also have had some good luck with dogwood which is fairly prevalent in my area.
  6. John, This may not be correct, but I always leave my deadeye lanyards not secured so I can tighten up later after some of the other rigging has messed it up. I always just leave it tight enough to not pull the other rigging askew and then use the shrouds to balance everything. The tension , of course , should be equal on all shrouds. I have had too many times when something has pulled one shroud off and I had to go back in and tighten the lanyard when I had already secured it and trimmed it. The ratlines really should not cause any sagging in the shrouds if tied properly. Good luck!
  7. I would never tackle rounding a mast or any other spar anyway other than by hand with a small plane, taking successively tapered sections by hand although I know many use the lathe practice successfully. As an owner of a number of different lathes, if I had it to do all over again, I would choose the Sherline, as you can add to this as your skills develop and they are a great company making a great product. Good luck with your search. Taig also makes a nice tool, a little less expensive and there are Unimat 3's available sometimes on E-Bay but usually over priced. I wouldn't consider any Unimat other than the 3 or the earlier SL.
  8. I realize I am late in mentioning this but have not been on the website for a couple of weeks due to a hospital visit. I like many others that have mentioned this above, have been a sucker for every saw produced looking for one with some degree of accuracy. Like everyone else has reiterated this have finally been solved with the Bryrnes Saw. I did however fail to see you mentioning the Preac which I used for many years prior to the production of the "Jim" Saw. This is a great little saw with a lot of capabilities. I have no idea how available they are now or how they are priced but sooner or later everything shows up on E-Bay and this is one great little saw. I still use mine to supplement the Brynes Saw. Just thought I should mention this.
  9. I would watch E-Bay for a used Starrett. I own a few of these and they very accurate. Probably run around the same price as the Tamiya Richmond has mentioned. Good luck I just hate the cheap ones being made now, as it seems none of them are centered
  10. Jack, This is a great product and appears to take up very little space. I do a lot of painting in my driveway and the west wind whips through there constantly. I will be shopping for one of these today. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
  11. Welcome Rich, Another great book that I used to construct small boats for a whaling ship is To Build a Whaleboat: Historical Notes and a Modelmaker's Guide Hardcover by Erik Ronnberg. I think this is available on Amazon for less than $15.00, This is an excellent book by an excellent modelmaker. Good Luck!
  12. I will chime in with more positive comments on the Treenail cutter. I bought mine years ago and still use it. Checked their website again to see if replacement cutters were available and noticed they have discontinued the cutter and only limited replacement parts are available. As mentioned above it jams up and is difficult sometimes to clear but a quality product. When cutting treenails with it I find that boxwood is the best wood. In summary, I would not hesitate to purchase any of their products.
  13. Excellent advice from Chris, Never use CA on rigging anywhere except to treat the end of your rigging to stiffen it when you thread it through a block or other small hole. I built kits years ago using CA and it has since crumbled or destroyed many of the knots where I employed it. In those past years, it was recommended by many but it hadn't been time tested. Diluted PVA glue is perfect for the job and the clove hitches are very easy to do.
  14. John, 


    Was just looking through some posts and saw that one of your builds was the Dorothy.  I have always thought I would like to tackle that someday and have all of the books that I know of on the Dorothy but no plans.  Did you obtain a nice set of plans for this? 


    I am located in Roanoke but was very close to some of your members in the past, both of which are now gone.  Marvin Bryant and Tom Tragle.  Did you know these folks?





    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. biltut




      I thought I sent you an e-mail regarding this after finding the reply this weekend but who knows? I may have failed to send it.  Marvin and Tom were both close friends and I used to visit with Marvin when he went to see his daugher at Radford College.  Tom was a great help to me in my early years of modelmaking encouraging me to build from scratch.


      I am impressed with your Dorothy and would love to have more info and pictures of your progress if available.  I would also be interested in copies of the plans.  I assume this was bread and butter construction.  I would gladly pay for any charges to reproduce the plans.  I have searched high and low for more info on this and have accumulated some of the publications but no success with any plans.  


      I hope this e-mail reaches you, I have no idea what happened to the last one I sent you.  I have been a member of this group for years but not much of a participant and I am lacking in some of the technical skills on this group.  Sorry for the long winded reply.

    3. John Cheevers

      John Cheevers


      I saw your email yesterday. I am about a week from finishing the model--delivery is Friday 7/19. The model hull is bread and butter and carved 35 years ago or so. The deck house is one piece of pine which I did as an experiment in shaping wood in 3 dimensions. the rest is standard scratch construction. All scratch except the ports, the prop, and the sheaves.


      I have a set of plans in 1/4"=1' scale which you are welcome to. 


      087 a.jpg

    4. biltut




      Thanks for the quick reply.  Didn't mean to badger you over this but couldn't find evidence of my last e-mail.  Get back to me when you have a few minutes and I will give you an address for the plans and any other info you have available.  Anxious to see the final results, looks like a retirement gift and should be very well appreciated.  



  15. I will second the comments above and add the suggestion to keep an extra bottle of thinner available while spraying to clean the brush between sprays, for instance when you stop for a few moments to rearrange your parts. Even for a couple minutes I will run a quick cleaning spray of thinner through to prevent gumming up. It doesn't take but a second or two for these fine needles to clog. Good Luck! The produce a beautiful finish.

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