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Charter33

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About Charter33

  • Birthday 01/21/1956

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Berkshire, UK
  • Interests
    Model ships -especially HMS Victory (Caldercraft)
    Live steam locomotives
    R/C Aircraft
    Classic motorcycles

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  1. Superb! Thanks for sharing. Great detail plus some new ideas for bases for displaying models too. Graham
  2. Just a quick note - there are grades of ply that are produced specifically for laser cutting - we use them with the students at school. They char much less than birch ply of similar thickness. Another tip - when cutting wood with the laser cutter I often set the machine up to run at a lower power / faster speed setting and repeat the cut several times until full penetration is achieved. I developed this technique when teaching myself how to use the machine and software by drawing and cutting components for an R/C model aircraft from balsa wood. This reduces burning and is very useful for those small or delicate parts. I have successfully used this on lime (basswood), mahogany, yew and cherry - although not necessarily all for model ship building. I also fully agree with the previous post about using MDF... Best way to learn is to dive in and 'play'. Good luck! Graham.
  3. I'm just grateful we have such a variety of modern alternatives to chose from. 40 'coats' might sound extreme but 'bodying up' the surface, especially on an open grained timber quickly accounts for many, and several can be applied in one session before the rubber starts to grab. I share the preference for a less glassy finish, but watching a skilled polisher achieve one using a clean rubber soaked in meths, hovering just above the surface of the polish with just the fumes producing the final finish is a inspiration.
  4. I use both pumice powder and rottenstone to refine french polish, reducing a 'glassy / gloss' finish to a satin or more matt finish. I usually use a soft lint free cloth dipped in a little linseed oil to pick up the powder and, as Druxey says, use a circular motion to apply it to the french polished surface. To achieve a good finish can take up to 40 coats of french polish, but the biggest difference between shellac polish and other varnishes is the way each layer dissolves into the previously applied layers rather than lying on top. It's this that produces such a beautiful effect. Not sure I'd use this on a model ship itself, but probably on a stand or display cabinet. Hope this is of some interest. Graham.
  5. Hi and welcome to this highly informative and supportive site! It's been my experience that there is little difference in working with wood that has been kiln dried or air dried as long as it has been done sufficiently in the case of air dried. As a rule of thumb it takes about a year per inch of thickness. Poorly seasoned wood will very likely warp, twist or split. Kiln dried tends to be more expensive because of the higher energy costs involved (plus all the possible associated environmental impacts). There is more control over the final moisture content however, and the process is much quicker - months rather than years. Producers often use a combination of the two forms of seasoning to balance cost against time. Just one other point to consider - kiln dried timber can have a different appearance to air dried. Beech in particular can take on a 'pinker' colour when kiln dried compared to a 'creamier' finish of air dried. This has something to do with the steam that is pumped into the kiln initially to deal with any insect or fungal issues prior to the main heating to reduce the moisture content I think. Hope this helps. Graham.
  6. Thanks for the comments you added to my build log Patrick - your comments are much appreciated. I've just been reading your build log (can't understand how I managed to miss it before!). Lots of good advice and I gained some important insights into the challenges that lie ahead. Thank you - your log will be a regular port of call and I look forward to following it in the future. Progress with my own model has also been adversely effected similar health issues over the last couple of years, both my own and the Admiral's, so I think I know where you're coming from.... Keep up the good work. Graham
  7. Hi, I've managed to make a bit more progress...... I did a dry run with the skid beam assembly fitted to the quarter deck to check the height the supports needed to be trimmed to. This turned out to be a couple of mm shorter than the drawing on the plan. I came up with this aid to help remove the correct amount from each end and then sand the ends square. The companionway guard rails could now be completed. I opened out the holes in the end stanchions so two threads could pass through, using one to 'serve' the other. With the steam trunk fitted, plus the galley chimney (shown on the plan but not mentioned in the instructions!!!) it was time to fit the quarter deck. The rear third of the deck glued in place, the weights used to hold things together while the glue dried giving the appearance of an 18th Century container ship......... The skid beam assembly has been painted as have the various brace bitts. The front of the deck, including these, was then glued onto place. Next task - assembling the beakhead bulkhead prior to fitting.... Cheers, Graham
  8. Hi, The only time I've come across this problem was when the varnish hadn't been stirred enough before use. Sometimes, if the varnish has been in storage for some time (and even recently purchased tins can have been on the shop shelf for quite a while) the additive the manufacturer uses to achieve the different levels of finish settles in the bottom of the tin rather than staying in suspension in the varnish. ...... just a thought... Cheers, Graham
  9. Hi, Fitting the upper deck screen bulkhead proved a little more challenging than the simple instruction in the manual. To get it to fit accurately around the beam shelves, stringers and waterways numerous card templates were made before finally trimming and adjusting the screen. To square off the ends of the support pillars and staircase balusters I designed and made these..... ... a pair of sanding aids for each. The '2nd' of each pair has the depth of the recess reduced by 0.4 mm to compensate for the initial reduction in thickness. All done ..... ... and taken back to the original colour with walnut wood stain. Bases of supports and balusters were drilled and fitted with thin brass rod, CA glued in place, before being finally located into matching sized holes drilled into the coamings or deck as required. The elm tree pump was fitted in a similar way. Cheers, Graham.
  10. Hi, Made a bit more progress, slower than hoped for admittedly, but things should speed up in the new year! Production of the tackles begins.......... I gave up with the modified wooden pegs to hold the blocks while the hooks and ropes were being attached. Instead I made use of the left-over brass frames that held the eyelets (480). Pressed into a block of hard foam half a dozen blocks could be mounted with the hooks supported with lace making brass pins. A slit made in the edge of the foam with a scalpel secured the rope until the knot was tied and then given a coat of clear matt lacquer. The thin aluminium tube has the head of a pin crimped in one end - an inexpensive but effective tool to get small drops of glue into awkward places. The final batch of tackles gets assembled............ I'm guessing that time spent practicing tying tiny knots with tweezers is going to be a useful skill when I eventually get to the rigging........ After several sessions the gun carriages have now all been mounted. A Merry Christmas to one and all! Cheers, Graham
  11. Superb work, Robert. Your accuracy and attention to detail is an inspiration - as ever! Cheers, Graham
  12. Just came across this on the BBC News web site: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-asia-46423181/malay-jongs-the-joy-of-tiny-traditional-sailing-boats If you can access it, enjoy ........ Cheers, Graham
  13. Hi, Thanks, barkeater, it was a very satisfying restoration to do. I'm sure I have some pictures somewhere of the yacht before work started - I'll try to dig them out and add them to this thread. She really was in a very poor state. Druxey: I've trawled though articles from old magazines that I've found on-line and discovered some helpful information. I've even resorted to browsing auction sites for photographic evidence but to no real benefit. To be honest the best source I've found so far has been this particular site. Other members have posted pictures that have very similar set-ups for the actual rudder mechanism but there are usually big discrepancies. I thought I'd struck lucky on one thread but closer examination showed that everything seemed to be laid out in reverse order to what I have. Outstanding issues include how the rigging threads its way through all the various eyes and pulleys mounted on the deck and booms and just what purpose the brasswork under the boom in the final photograph serve. I'm in no particular hurry to complete this project but do want to get her correctly sorted out eventually. I've plenty of work to do on my other models in the mean time! Cheers, Graham
  14. Hi, This is the pond yacht I mentioned in Brian's (bsmall) thread about model boats being displayed on lakes and ponds in Victorian parks. I am trying to work on restoring the self steering gear ........ She stands about 170 cm high, 145 cm long and has a beam of 21 cm (67" x 57" x 8 1/4") I have owned her for many years now. This predates my involvement with model ships as such including my current HMS Victory and HMS Triton builds - in fact I was still focusing on winged models and bouncing balsa wood across local heath land at this time. The yacht was found languishing in the attic of a local Rectory and was in a very sad condition. The jib boom(?) was a piece of 1/2" diameter ramin dowel, the cross trees little more than match sticks. The hatch was missing and the hull had been painted in a brown paint that had to be scraped off the hull as it had a constancy close to bitumen. The yacht was destined for the skip but knowing I had an interest in models of all sorts the resident of the house at the time fortunately offered it to me. I turned a piece of teak for the boom and the cross trees are now rosewood. The hatch cover is 'lined' to match the original simulated planking on the deck but I'm thinking of changing it for something with more of a paneled appearance. Inside the hatch is a handle that makes carrying it much easier. I made a stand from mahogany although the keel is flat underneath and she stands quite stably on her own. The hull with it's lead keel and brass plated rudder were hand painted and the whole hull then given several coats of yacht varnish. Over the years this has yellowed slightly but seems to add a nice 'aging' effect. The choice of colours and the gold 'thistle' motif resulted from a student I was teaching at the time commenting on how similar the shape of the hull was to the full size vessel his father owned. I asked for some pictures and this decoration is the result. The three sails are original and have a few small holes caused by the deterioration of the fabric where it was rust stained. My problem is in trying to add the rigging to the steering mechanism. There was very little in the way of rigging when I got her so what there is results from my own probably misguided efforts. I have not been able to find any manufacturers marks or labels so have no idea if it was commercially made or the result of a meticulous enthusiast. All the brass fittings on the deck, mast etc. are as it came to me. There are porcelain lined rings on the deck too. I have no idea if there are any parts missing, but I believe that there may be some springs missing from the rear mechanism. I'd love to get her back in her original sailing condition. I am certainly not planning to convert her to R/C or to ever sell her. She has graced our living room for many years and will continue to do so. If I can get things properly sorted I'd love to get her back in the water. Any help and guidance will be gratefully received. Cheers, Graham

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