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About wefalck

  • Birthday 05/01/1956

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  • Location
    Paris, France
  • Interests
    19th shipbuilding and naval history, indigeneous boats and their history

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  1. I should have added that the varnish I use is the kind of thin cellulose varnish that is used to protect silver and brass ware from tarnishing. In continental Europe we call it zapon lacquer and it dries alsmost invisible.
  2. Is there a particular reason that you are building at such a large scale ?
  3. Any equipment that constitutes an Ohm-resistor (collector motors, soldering irons, incandescant bulbs, etc.) can be controlled with a simple dimmer - but check that it is rated appropriately. Dimmers are either available for wall mounting (which can also be set into a workbench) or as 'plugs' to go between the plug of your equipment and the wall socket (hence, no installation is required). I have a dimmer hooked up to a foot switch from which I run all machines. This has the advantage that they are only under power when needed and that you can interrupt them by simply lifting your foot. The rpms are preset, so you can return to the same setting by pushing your foot down.
  4. The tool of choice would depend on the location and its accessibility. I typically use the following: - micro-scissors for eye-surgerey (Castrovejo-style); they can be very expensive, but I got mine as 'seconds', which are good enough for our purposes - check ebay et al., where one can find all sorts of medical instruments these days; the most useful is the curved type, as it lets you get close to the point of cutting. (Found even on Amazon ...) - ordinary scalpels with replaceable blades - broken-off pieces of razor-blades - there a special holders for these, but they are ridiculously expensive; you can hold it in a pin-vise with a double-slotted head/collet; razor blades probably give the cleanest cuts after scissors. - antique biological lancets for tight spaces; they have to be honed on an arkansas stone to have a really keen edge. Don't use your scissors and lancets for anything else but rigging work. I soak all splices and knots in clear varnish, rather than PVA or CA glue, as I can loosen them with solvent, should the need arise. Incidentally, you will find that splices are much more common than knots. The latter are mainly used to belay ropes, rather than attaching them to say blocks. You can fake splices by drawing the end twice through itself using a needle, cutting off the excess and then roll the splice between your fingers with a bit of varnish on.
  5. An Australian got a new boomerang for his birthday, so he threw his old one away, so he threw his old one away, so he threw his old one away, so ....
  6. Following Basil Greenhill ('Archaeology of the Boat'), the shell-first method may have originated in extended dug-outs: the dug-out was heightened by adding planks; dug-outs were also widened by heating them and spreading out their sides. Eventually, a dug-out was a too small a base for a boat. Also very large trees became increasingly scarce, so that the back-bone was reduced to a keel or floor-plank. Some native craft around the world (including actually Europe) were built until quite recently on the basis of extended dug-outs. On the other hand, the shell-first method, commonly associated with the wood-rich northern countries, seems to have also been used around the Mediterranean and other places of th World. Edge-fastened (with tenons and mortices) planks were assembled into shells with internal structural timbers being added later in the process. Edge-fastened planks, whether overlapping (clinker) or butting against each other is the key feature of the shell-first method. The other way to conceive a boat is to cover a structural framework with a skin, be it hide, cloth or wooden planks. Here any edge fastening (e.g. by sewing) does not give structural strength nor shape, but only serves to make the skin water-tight. In frame-first building the wooden planks are never edge-fastened, but only attached to the frame.
  7. I know what you mean, I admire people, who get whole battleships done - we are getting lost already in the details of such seemingly simple projects ...
  8. Exactly. I am actually using one of those plug-in dimmers that go between the plug and the wall socket.
  9. Of the single shrouds, one would go around the front of the mast and the other around the back. It would be the art of the rigger and the mate/officer in charge to make sure that all shrouds are set in a way that they take up the strain relatively evenly distributed.
  10. Interesting. I would have thought that the double-shrouds would weigh down on the single ones and through friction secure them additionally, thus taking some of the strain from the lashings (which, incidentally would be double or triple, as for the lower end around dead-eyes).
  11. Instead of a splice, the single one may also be just lashed together as the double one: each side reaches over to other side, together forming a loop. The correct method would need to checked in period reference books.
  12. Plank-bending inserts for soldering irons have been on the market for 50+ years for a few quid. Essentially, they are rod with a disc or something egg-shaped in cross-section at the end. You can even make one yourself, dito the wooden die for shaping. Get yourself a heat-controlled soldering station with exchangeable tips for the same amount of money and you can use it for soldering too
  13. As an avowed tool-junkie I would love to have a peek into his tool-chest ... Sticking sanding paper to palette-knives sounds like a good idea. Although I have 'inherited' a bunch of them from my mother, when she went to a retirement home and had to give up porcelain painting, they are too big for my scales. Perhaps one can make ones own micro 'palette-knives' from bent thin steel strips with a suitable handle. They should have the same size as toolmakers rasps/files or watchmakers echappement files.
  14. Carrier hardness vs. hardness of the abrasive vs. hardness of the material to be worked on is actually very important. If the carrier is too hard, the abrasive gets squashed and becomes ineffective, if the carrier is too soft, the material may smear over the abrasive, rendering it ineffective. This is why we have relatively soft abrasive wheels with red iron-oxide as binder and the grey ones with harder Si-carbide as binders. Soft polishing pastes (say 'rouge' in oil) would smear around a steel lap and not do anything. An old-time watchmakers polishing kit would contain lapping disc made from steel, bronze (bell-metal), and boxwood. A little anecdote: as a student I worked in the institute for tunnel engineering of the ETH in Zürich (Switzerland); my job was to prepare samples for testing different pre-cutting configurations for tunnel-boring machines. For this I had to drill large cores (150 mm diameter) from different rock types, ranging from granite to sandstone. We had a large drill-press and a core-drill with a diamond-impregnated rim. I was really struggling with some of the granites and we thought something was wrong with the core-drill. So I took it back to the distributor; he chucked it up in his concrete-drilling machine and went through a slab of high-quality concrete (from a nuclear power station) like butter. He explained to me that we just got a drill with the wrong binder (brass) and that it smeared over the diamond grains, when drilling in very hard rock, such as granite.

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