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Everything posted by Charter33

  1. Stunning work and attention to detail, an inspiration as always! Graham.
  2. Yes - that's the one, Bruce. It was 'donated' to me by the father of one of my former students when he up-graded to a larger machine. The electricity company did their work at the beginning of the summer break. It only took a few days. They then left the trench work open for the next month. I got away with some light surface rust that was easily dealt with. A couple of bearings had to be replaced anyway and I also took the opportunity to replace the 3 jaw chuck. Bought a nice but inexpensive 4 jaw independent at the same time. It was left to dry out for a very long time before connecting it to the mains supply! Cheers, Graham
  3. Hi, Thank you for the kind comments and 'likes'. I am genuinely appreciative and humbled. I decided to diverge from the instruction manual and turn my attention to the issue of the fire buckets. I'm not the first to feel that the tapered brass items supplied with the kit, although adequate, are a little bit lacking in detail. To be honest my initial attempts to re-machine the supplied components was not a success! Deprived of access to the workshop machines at school I would usually use because of the current global health situation I have been restricted to using a very old and well used Hobbymat lathe that has definitely seen better days. It has really 'been through the mill' including being submerged in water for a while. We were very fortunate to have the Design and Technology Department modernised and re-furbished several years ago and this meant the total clearance of all the rooms. A lot of equipment, including some that were my own personal bits and pieces, were moved to a boiler house on site. This would have been fine if the electricity company had not had to up-grade the power supply to that area. They negated to fill the trench that they had dug to install the new cable and a couple of days of storms and torrential rain left the building's floor under at least a foot under water. The fact the lathe would even work once it had dried out was a surprise. The difficulty I had with the buckets was finding a safe and effective way to mount them to allow the re-modelling being carried out. In the end I had to admit defeat and think of a different approach. I was fortunate to have a short length of 6 mm brass rod at home and made the replacement buckets from scratch. If I found one of my students making this type of cut with a parting tool like this I would not be happy! - but under the circumstances.... My intention was to achieve a result that mimicked the metal band around the lip of the buckets and the slight flair at the base where the bottom was riveted in place. The latter was achieved with a careful touch with a needle file. After blacking with Birchwood Casey Brass Black solution, the top band was taken back to bare metal with 'wet and dry' abrasive paper. Eyelets were added for the handle. The instructions say to use 0.1 mm thread for this, but I decided to use copper wire strands from a scrap of 13 amp multi-strand electrical cable of similar thickness to replicate the leather straps, also blackened in the same way. Adding these proved a bit of a challenge. One down, twenty, plus a few spares to go... Whether it's possible to add the distinctive GR and crown cipher may prove a step too far - but, to quote Baldrick from the 'Black Adder' TV series - I have a cunning plan....... I'll share this in the event of it actually working....! Teaching a 'practical' subject via a computer at home for eight hours plus a day is hell!!!! MSW and my model help maintain my sanity. Take care and stay safe, Graham.
  4. With the completion of the Quarterdeck Barricade assembly a minor psychological milestone has been reached - I'm exactly half way through the first instruction manual! Before finally fixing it place, together with other deck fittings, I wanted to add more detail to the inner bulwarks, notably the black mouldings that feature so significantly on the scale 1:1 version in Portsmouth, something the original kit omits. With building materials unavailable from local model shops which are now closed for the foreseeable future it was time for a bit of improvisation. I do have some 1 x 1 mm mahogany strip stashed away but there was no way it was going to bend to the curves without breaking. Another one of those moments when a reluctance to bin anything that just 'might be useful one day' bore fruit - a short length of twin and earth cable left over from a bit of DIY many years ago was pressed into service. The central copper earth wire is 1.3 mm diameter. I needed it to be 1 mm. Using an old steel rule of the required thickness as a guide, lengths of wire were filed .......... and then finished with abrasive paper. The 90 degree bend at the end, once rotated 180 degrees, allowed for opposite sides to be flattened to the right thickness. This bend was then twisted 90 degrees so the third side could be finished. The remaining side was left with the radius that would eventually face inboard. Card templates were cut to aid drawing the correct profiles ........ and with other features like the kevels and staghorns in place the copper strips were cut, bent, filed and soldered. And finally, after a couple of coats of dull black paint these were fixed into position. Shot garlands to follow..... Take care and stay safe in these challenging times, Graham.
  5. Welcome back!! I look forward to following your progress again - I often look to your Build log for inspiration, and those photographs you took on board are a significant research source when I try to add detail ...... thank you. Graham.
  6. Hi Wallace, Was the headstock bearing a plain journal bearing or a ball race or needle type bearing? If it's the former I'd be tempted to use bronze rather than brass. In the UK I get small lengths from live steam model locomotive suppliers. If it's the later, many bearing suppliers have the facility on their website to type in the dimensions required and then match them. I'm not familiar with that particular make of lathe. I own a Poolewood 28-40, and, like you enjoy turning bowls, chair parts etc. Good luck with the search! Graham.
  7. Hi, What did I receive today? - the postman delivered an off-cut of velcro from my sister. Sounds a bit uninspiring, but let me explain. A nine inch length of velcro, just the hoop, not the loop, was more than enough to complete the friction sander I made the week before last. With full time retirement getting ever closer I decided at the end of last year to try my hand at taking part in a couple of craft fairs, selling some of the bowls, automata and other small wooden items that I make. The plan was to see if I could make what my Grandfather used to refer to as a bit of 'pin money' to finance hobbies such as model making and the on-going restoration my motor bike. To cut down the time it was taking to get a decent surface finish on the turned bowls I thought of buying a friction sander - then I found out how much they cost! Just couldn't justify the outlay. After a bit of on-line research I decided to try and make my own, for as little as possible. The handle and interchangeable heads are turned from elm off cuts, the ball races spares from my serving machine. Brass bar off-cuts from the 'scrap' bin were used to make the knuckle, while the knurled adjuster nut and lock nut that secure the shaft to the handle were reworked from a tired and battered chisel honing aid that was worn beyond use but I hadn't had the heart to throw away. The ferrule is half a 22 mm diameter copper pipe connector, and the thumb screw that locks the knuckle was machined from a short stub end of titanium I had as I'd run out off suitable brass. Neoprene rubber from an old Pilates mat cushions the sanding discs. The only cost incurred was £3.99 for a pack of 50 6 mm dia. insert nuts from Screw-fix. The remaining 48 will no doubt find a use...... eventually. Just one slight fly in the ointment - it will be sometime before I can try it. My lathe is in my school workshop, the school is closed for the foreseeable future, and teaching is now done remotely from home via computer. Stay safe, Graham.
  8. Hi Will, Lovely grain, very much like the figuring - my guess is walnut, but not the grade usually found in model ship building. As a veneer there is a beautiful box crying out to be encased in this........ my fingers and creative juices are itching in anticipation, you are one lucky bunny to have this to play with - good luck! (oh so jealous!) Cheers, Graham
  9. Hi, Thank's for the comments and 'likes' gentlemen - always genuinely appreciated. Robert - your photographs of the original ship are proving to be a great source of information, as is your own impressive build log - thank you. Wallace - welcome aboard! In fairness I feel I should flag up the observation that has occasionally been made on this site that although the main aim of this hobby is to complete a well made model, the journey travelled to achieve this is equally, if not more, enjoyable and important. That said I must confess that sometimes I will occasionally climb off and break the journey, take a deep breath and admire the view for a while, usually by choice, but sometime forced by circumstance. It's taken a while to get to the current stage, and there's a long way to go - but I will get there, eventually. No pressure..... Cheers, Graham
  10. Hi, I can't believe it's over a year since I last added to this build log.....! Here are some details of the progress that I have made: With the quarter deck in place it was time to cut the tops off the forward bulkheads. Next job was to re-install the outer forecastle gunport strips that had been removed following the advice of Shipyard Sid. The beakhead bulkhead had the roundhouses fitted and was painted. It will have the additional decoration added before it is finally glued into place. It’s currently just dry fitted. With the deck planked and tree nailed, using the method previously explained, and inner bulwarks fitted… …. I made up the quarterdeck screen assembly...... I decided to try and produce a modified version of the belfry. The uprights provided in the kit seemed to lack detail of the mouldings as shown in John McKay’s ‘Anatomy of the Ship’ and were restricted to just the front and back surfaces. I also wanted to replicate the copper roof. After a bit of experimentation, and a few failures, I came up with a way to press form thin copper sheet into an acceptable shape. This is the result ….. Second planking on the outside of the hull and inside the bulwarks was completed, gunports lined and then all painted. The cap strips were glued into place. I couldn’t find anything provided for the small curved sections just ahead of the poop deck so laminated some. Two strips of walnut were soaked and then clamped around a former, in this case a wooden collet I had made to hold ‘turned’ wooden components for some automata I’ve been making. Once they had dried these were glued and re-clamped before being cut and sanded to size and fitted into place. Forecastle gratings were assembled but I chose to make them up separately from the deck rather than following the method outlined in the instructions. Having gone to the trouble of trying to replicate the dovetail details of the coaming joints on the gratings on the previous deck, (which are now hardly visible!), I was keen to try and do the same thing here. Probably the hardest aspect was trying to sand the slight curve that was needed on the top surface. The galley chimney was given a bit of attention with the addition of two handles and the impression of the seam on the main body prior to painting, using pictures of the chimney found on-line as a guide. The Forecastle Breast Beam assembly has also now been completed. All these pieces are dry fitted and will be glued in place once some more painting has been done, including the cap strips, and a few other additions have been added to the inner bulwarks. Cheer for now, Graham.
  11. Dan – your news left me stunned and initially speechless, made more poignant by travelling a similar journey over recent years. Seeing you name listed in the ‘recent posts’ section made a post a ‘must’ to read, your work in all modelling mediums pure inspiration. I’d never appreciated just what could be achieved in card! Your sage advice and encouragement genuinely motivational and appreciated. Thank you. I struggle to think of anyone for whom the term ‘legend’ is more appropriate. Best wishes, Graham.
  12. Gorgeous!!!! A stunning build..... thank you for sharing Graham
  13. Hi Mark, Without doubt a bold choice for your first model ship! Having said that I should own up and admit that it so happens that it is my own 'second' build and as a relative novice I can appreciate where you're coming from. You're in for a great journey and joining this forum is probably the best thing you could have done to help you on your way, There are some stunning build logs here and I could not have made the progress I have without the sage advice of other members. Many build logs are now my first port of call when tackling new and challenging stages. Of the builds currently under way I recommend the work of 'Bertu' as a good starting point but there are also many others - using the search function to find these builds is time well spent. As for helping other novices to benefit from your expected mistakes, take look at my log - I made some real howlers! Looking forward to seeing your work. Cheers, Graham
  14. Oh that was a battle I also had to get through, the boss was not a 'happy bunny' at the prospect of me getting back on two wheels. But, as has been quoted on this site before, it's often easier to ask for forgiveness rather than permission, and now she's now bemoaning the fact that I treated myself to a single seat from Corbin in California and replaced the old double seat. Sometimes you just can't win ....
  15. Love that Triumph, Chuck! My route to the Commando started with learning to ride in a field on a Norton 500T trials bike at the age of 13. My first 'proper' bike on the road was an early Norton ES2 500cc single (plunger frame) and I went to college on a Norton 19S 600cc single complete with Swallow side-car. Three years later I returned from Teacher training on a Norton Dominator 88 with a Steib side-car which quickly became a solo machine. After a brief fling with a Honda 400/4 the big 850 came into my life. Sadly all the previous bikes had to be sold on to meet the needs of a growing family - it makes me wince when I see how much they sell for now! Eldest son has his eye on the beast now - but he'll have a long wait. And yes, the Commando is now being regularly ridden.... happy days.
  16. Today I took my bike out for our first run together in about 16 years having just completed a long and protracted restoration. It’s a 1975 Norton Commando 850 Mk 3 that I bought back in 1992 and used for pleasure and the daily commute to work (school) including three years with my oldest son on the back when he was a student at the school. When my second son also joined us in 2003 it was time to reluctantly buy a car and the bike, now in need of a bit of significant TLC and with funds being tight, was consigned to the back of the garage with intention of probably using it as an eventual retirement project. The Admiral suggested selling it – no chance! Fast forward to December 2015. ‘Christmas’ isn’t the only C word in the house. Won’t go into details but for several months I had the dubious pleasure of driving to St Luke’s in Guildford every week for treatment. On this journey I was often passed by various classic bikes heading in the opposite direction. The majority were heading over to ‘Jack’s Place’, a café in Bagshot popular with many groups of bikers who regularly meet up in the car park on a Wednesday. Wearing little more than a hospital gown and lying on a table while the hospital equipment did its ‘thing’ I made the decision not to wait for retirement but to get my bike back on the road and, among other things, to get myself over to Jacks and join in the fun. The restoration required the bike to be striped right down and then repaired, fettled and re-assembled as funds permitted. It’s taken nearly four years, two long periods in hospital and a change from full time to part time employment. Mechanically the bike is now as good as ever if not better. There’s still some cosmetic work to do and she remains a work in progress. But today, grinning from ear to ear … ……. we made it to Jacks.
  17. Another stunning picture - and just a hint of Turners 'Fighting Temeraire' in the sunset and juxtoposition of sail and steam? Love it. Thank you.
  18. Superb! Thanks for sharing. Great detail plus some new ideas for bases for displaying models too. Graham
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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

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