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  1. Hi Mark, Oil based stains sound really messy to me for this. Also, I believe Minwax stains have an oil based resin resin binder, but that may not stiffen rope if used diluted. I guess this would make the rope waterproof, making any glue sealing a problem. Add to that the environmental issues with solvents. I would not recommend. I do not use hot water to dye rope. Probably would soften cotton rope fibers. Also, no soaking. Residence time in dye is about 1 second as it is pulled through. I suppose low initial torgue in the rope strands could also be at work. I have had no problem with water softening rope - cotton or linen - thread or made rope. India ink is a suspension of carbon black in water with some shellac binder to make it waterproof. Will not fade. I do not know about sepia ink, but suspect the same. Most ink is not a solution, but a suspension of fine particles (i.e. pigment), in this case in water. Soluble, chemical aniline based dyes were invented over a century ago and largely replaced vegetable dyes that were dominant to that time. Vegetable or natural dyes are fadeproof. It is the reason oriental carpets retain the color over centuries. I believe the problem with aniline is that ultra violet light gradually breaks down the large complex molecules, thus weakening the color over time. Fortunately, our clothes spend most of their life in dark closets. Colorfast usually refers the resistance to washing, not to light. On my Victory model I used diluted acrylic gouache to color both hemp and black rope. This too is a pigment, suspension, and has shown no fading in a sunny window for 10 years. Also, acrylic bunder caused no stiffening of rope. Also no softening. Mostly linen rope on that model. I switched to walnut based on Bernard Frolich's process in his book The Art of ship Modeling. He also uses cotton crochet thread. By concentrating in the crevices between strands, dye highlights the rope turns - an advantage of dyeing rope perhaps. Good luck. I wouldn't work this issue too hard. There are good, easy solutions, sorry, suspensions. Ed
  2. Hi Mark, I am with Gaetan on this one. I use walnut dye/stain as well, in the form of Vandyke crystals dissolved in water. Here is a link, but I am sure there are other sources: https://www.amazon.com/Liberon-Van-Dyck-Crystals-500g/dp/B001GU6GVU/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=van+dyke+crystals&qid=1559390082&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spell Natural walnut , as well as other vegetable dyes/stains are non-fading, a key factor. Rit, Tintex or other aniline based dyes will certainly fade, really fade, over time when exposed to light. The dye may be diluted to give the desired shade. It is very close in color to natural hemp. There is no need to dye all the line at once. I dye it in usable lengths of about 6-8 feet on an as-needed basis, by dragging it through a jar of stain as Gaetan suggests. I use a simple wood strip with a wide V-notch to hold the line down when passing through the jar - I use plastic wide-mouth food containers kept covered when not in use. I then wipe the line with paper towel and hang it up between binder clips to dry - about an hour or two is usually enough. I do this with made rope or thread for the small sizes - cotton or linen. Its an easy step. I leave the set up in one corner of the shop. It is somewhat messy. For black, I substitute diluted India Ink. For most of the lines on Young America I then treated the rope by passing it through a diluted emulsion to reduce fuzz and perhaps help with moisture absorption. I used pH neutral pva white glue, but I am sure acrylic emulsion ( matte medium) would work as well. I used one tbsp of glue in a cup of water, but did not test other concentrations. The rope was no stiffened noticeably by this and the fuzz reduction was evident. After all this I pass the line through the flame of an alcohol lamp to burn off any fuzz or fibers lifted by the process - then wrap it on cardboard spools - I should say tubes. Ed
  3. Well. it would be an understatement to say I am overwhelmed by all these most generous comments. It is also nice to hear from those who have been regular but silent followers. I wish I could individually thank everyone for the more than 35 comments and 50+ likes after the last post. Every one of them is well appreciated. Perhaps one more photo would not be amiss. Thanks again, everyone, for all your support throughout the project. Ed
  4. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 323 – Wrapping Up Finally, 99.999% means complete. Since the last post it has been a lot of little chores: snipping rope ends, the last few rope coils, touching up with paint, waxing standing rigging lines, clean up, etc. Some of the "major" chores are described below. The first picture shows the final disposition of the crojack sheets and tacks. These were simply allowed to hang free from the clue garnet blocks with their full lengths coiled on deck. They were tied down to one of the beams under the pile of rope coils to keep them vertical and straight.. The main braces could finally be run, since access was no longer needed to the deck area between the main and mizzen masts. The next picture shows the starboard brace pendant shackled to the outer boomkin eye. The fall of the brace runs from the yard pendant through the lead block on the rail in the center of the picture, then to a deck cleat. The other blocks on the boomkin are the upper and lower main topsail braces. Two missing eyebolts still need to be fitted on the rail. The picture also shows the completion of another chore left over from the volume II work, fitting chains to support the boomkins. The next picture shows both of these. The next picture shows the starboard swinging boom, the lower studding sail boom, being lashed to the fore channel brackets. The alternative would be to store these on the skid beams over the cabin, but this seemed more appropriate, since in port these were often used to moor ships' boats. The next picture shows the model with the dust case removed in the relatively cleaned-up workshop. Finally, launch. Please excuse the amateur artwork. Couldn't resist. Ed
  5. Druxey, I noticed this morning that on my Victory model I located the crojack brace pendants well in from the yardarm - likely based on the rigging notes in Longridge. How soon we forget things. Completely forgotten and the early sources completely overlooked in solving the YA dilemma. Ed
  6. Thanks, Druxey. I do not have that Steel reference and did not think to look in Lever, but there it is. This is how we learn. Rob, you will have to do some research to find a solution to the topsail brace/sail interference. I will be interested in the solution. Apparently crojack sails were not used until the 1840's and then only in certain conditions - like long spells with the wind directly aft. Good luck. Ed
  7. Thanks everyone. Its been great having your comments and support throughout the project and for earlier work as well. Its one of the best parts of this community. Time flies when you are having fun, Greg, but you are right. It goes fast. Druxey, thanks for the input on mizzen braces. Its really so obvious a solution, but like so many good solutions, it needs documentation for authenticity. I never gave this issue a thought until actually running the lines, Then panic, then Underhill to the rescue. May be there in other sources, but haven't found it yet. Ed
  8. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 322 – Running Rigging Home Stretch After almost 6 years living and breathing Young America, I can finally see the end in sight. Another day or two should see the last lines run and, thankfully, the last rope coils hung. From there it is just a matter of tidying up. Rigging the yard braces has been interesting and enjoyable work. The first picture shows the bracing of the lower three yards on the foremast completed. Braces for the double topsail sails and the fore course were added once there was no further need to get my hands in the space over the cabin – at least that is what I thought. Braces were installed working from top to bottom to keep the lower deck area open – the opposite sequence to all other yard rigging. The falls for these braces run through lead blocks on the main rail amidships as shown in the next picture. The lines are then belayed on the main rail. This opening in the main rail, that replaced the original small entryway, was probably added a year or so after launch when the double topsails were adopted. The entryway was moved aft. Aft of the mainmast things begin to get more interesting. The next picture may be a clue. Upper main braces run aft to lead blocks on the mizzen, while all the mizzen braces run forward to the mainmast before descending to the deck. This is a bit of an access nightmare. The next picture shows the area behind the main masthead where the mizzen topsail braces converge, the uppers to pendants shackled to eyebolts in the cap, the lowers to eyebolts and blocks under the top. Unfortunately I had neglected to install the shackled eyebolts in the cap, so the cap and band had to be drilled and the shackled eyebolts inserted between all this rigging. I hate to admit this. The main upper and lower topsail braces presented an interesting problem that took me about a week to resolve. These and the main braces run aft to blocks on the boomkin and thence to the poop deck. This is pretty much standard clipper practice, and quite evident in the two YA photos. These lines each consist of a yard pendant, a running part that runs from the throat of the mizzen topmast stay through the pendant block, the running end of this is seized to a single block. The falls run through this block to lead blocks on the boomkin. This arrangement is fairly straightforward, except that there is major interference between these lines and the lower mizzen braces that run forward from their yardarms to the main mast. These would also interfere with the mizzen lower sail when set – a lesser problem. Various arrangements were tested. I finally settled on the solution Underhill describes in his book, which involves moving the mizzen lower braces inboard on the yard, allowing the main topsail braces to run clear outboard of these. The relocated crojack braces may be seen in the next photo. The main topsail yards are in the upper right corner but the lines are hard to follow in this picture. The next picture may help. The arrows U and L point to the blocks at the end of the brace running parts for the upper and lower yards respectively. The arrow at the yard points to the relocated crojack brace block. The eye for this has to be on top of the yard so the block will be over the jackstay where it will not interfere with the sail. The arrow at the lower left points to the standing end of the lower brace fall where it is seized to #4 chainplate. The upper fall is seized to chainplate #1 to the right. The next picture shows the lead blocks for the two braces at the boomkin and their belaying cleats on deck. The fall of the main brace will run through a third block at the outer end of the boomkin. The next picture shows the falls running to the boomkin blocks on the port side. This solution is consistent with the photos of the ship and has some documentary support, so I am quite comfortable with it. It leaves the issue of interference with a lower mizzen sail, but I suspect that could be tolerated or circumvented when that sail was used. The last picture shows the cutter slung inboard on the davits, finally, after 3 years in a box. The picture shows the next, and perhaps the last remaining rigging riddle: what to do with the crojack, sheets, tacks and lazy tacks. In the picture the latter two are belayed under the boat, awaiting a more acceptable solution for these idled lines. Next time for that – and for the main yard braces that are still left off for access. Then tidying up. Ed
  9. Thank you, erik - for your comments and for posting the Sorlandet clip.
  10. Thanks, again for the comments and questions. Maury, yours is easier so I will answer that first. The answer is: I have no idea. A ome will have to be found for this at some point - a problem for later. Greg, I believe an entire book could be written about what to do with rigging when there are no sails to attach lines to. Writing such a book would require much more knowledge than I possess. The question arises on virtually every running rigging line on a model without sails. Exhaustive examination of as many old photos as I could find, has yielded little in the way of common practice - or attention to any order. I believe much depended on preferences and am not convinced that modern practice is representative of past practice. Also, we need to consider that a big clipper like YA carried a crew of only about 50 (compared to ~800 on a 1st rate or ~300 on a frigate - both with half the sails) - not a lot of manpower to devote to appearance in port. It seems that very much of the modeling is left to our own devices. The specific lines you reference, lower sheets, tacks, clew garnets, and lazy tacks, in my opinion, are the most easily resolved. Since these lines are shackled together to the clew irons on the lower sails, keeping them attached when the sail is unshackled is not too much of a stretch to the imagination. The no-sails configuration to model is another question. I have seen pictures where they are hauled up to the yard by the clew garnets and the sheets left hanging to the deck. Hauling down on the tacks/sheets is also logical, since they may be easily accessed on deck when bending the sail. Pictures of ships in port are usually not portraits of neatness and order that we would like to see on a model. My solution for these is to hold the shackle some distance above the deck and secure all the lines neatly. This is also a convenient way to add downward tension on the model yard. I handle upper yard clews and sheets in the same manner and for the same purpose. In general, I have tried to adopt configurations that leave unattached ends in positions convenient to their eventual use, for example staysail and jib downhauls and halyards tied off together at the base of their stays, bunt and leech-lines stopped at their yard blocks (although these have to be overhauled to the deck to bend lower sails) reef tackle blocks tied off to jackstays, jib and staysail sheets omitted or coiled on deck, bowline bridles tied off to jackstays. I have omitted studdingsail rigging completely except for blocks that I believe would have been permanently attached. I am sure there are many other variations adopted on models - the most frequent seems to be the omission of many lines. Ed
  11. Thanks, everyone. Thanks, Druxey, for the comment on that photo. With that picture I was trying to get the view of the ship shown in the photo taken in San Francisco in the 1860's. Almost got it, but the confines of the workshop and bench height make it difficult. Soon I hope to get it off the bench and into a better setting for whole-ship photos. Pat, there are a number of lines on the model that hook to eyebolts on the channels, specifically the standing legs and tackles on the halyards, also tackle blocks on the fore yard braces. I will discuss the braces for the main double topsail yards and their disagreements with the crojack rigging in the next post. This kept me awake for a couple nights. Ed
  12. Young America - extreme clipper 1853 Part 321 – Running Rigging Continued Still working on the last 1%. Since the last post in late March, the remaining yards on the mizzen have been installed with their rigging. All yard braces had been left off up to that time because they are obstructive to working near the centerline and to reaching into the model to belay lines at the deck. With the completion of the mizzen yards, work on the braces is now well advanced and other finishing-up work has begun. The first two pictures show the model in its current state. Most of the upper braces have been installed. Because there is still a lot of work to be done at deck level, the braces below the topgallant yards are either left hanging or not started. The next picture shows the array of upper yard braces between the main and mizzen mast. This area is quite congested because the mizzen braces run forward. Fortunately there was no fouling of these lines. I say fortunately, because there is little flexibility in running these lines. The connections at the ends of the yard are, of course, fixed. Lead blocks that direct them downward are also pretty well fixed. Main mast braces need to be clear of mizzen sails at those points, as do their falls to the deck. Also, brace lead blocks need to be roughly positioned at heights midway between the upper and lower positions of their yards, otherwise braces would have to be let go to raise or lower the yards, leaving them free to move about. The next picture shows another view of the upper braces. Completion of work forward has progressed sufficiently to allow the sheets and tacks on the lower fore yard to be permanently belayed, as may be seen in the next photo. The three lines are shackled together with the clew garnets in the absence of sails. The tacks run forward to cleats on the catheads, the sheets run aft outside the shrouds, through the hull to belay on cleats on deck. The lazy tacks are belayed on the first pin of the main pin rails at the side. These lines were used to control the clew of the sail while shifting the load from sheets to tacks or vice versa, especially if disconnecting one or the other. This picture and the last two also show that the masking tape used to keep debris out of the hull has been removed, contributing greatly to the overall appearance. This came up rather easily, requiring adhesive clean-up in just a few spots. The next picture shows the focal point of most of the current work - installing rope coils over the belayed lines. This is fairly tedious work – making the coils, allowing the glue on them to set, then placing them over the pins and adjusting them to hang with some degree of realism. As may be seen, the pin rails are tightly packed. So much for all that careful turning of pin shapes. The last picture shows the really tight spacing on the poop pin rails. As mentioned in early posts, these rails were one of a number of possible solutions for belaying the many mizzen lines. Even with the closely packed pins on this rail and the one just forward of the poop break, several lines have to be cleated on the deck. The next post will continue with work on the braces for the lower three yards on each mast, and the interesting problem of routing those on the main mast to acceptable points aft without fouling the crojack rigging. Stay tuned. Ed
  13. Somehow I missed your post, Sailor - will try to locate the videos - any links? Ed

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