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About molasses

  • Birthday 11/18/1951

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    Joshua Tree, California, USA

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  1. You can rig all the shrouds and backstays outside the bottle but you won't be able to set the masts into a hole or tube. You can use either hinges at the bottom of the masts or use one of two variations on what I call the "divot" method. For this just drill a very shallow hole - just up to the shoulder of the point of a bit the same diameter as the mast - leaving a shallow "divot" to locate the base of the mast. The base of the mast has a matching shallow cone to fit into the divot. Glue a length of thread into a small hole drilled in the center of the mast base and pass this thread through a small hole drilled through the hull at the center of the divot to draw the base of the mast into the divot. The thread can be omitted if you don't mind guiding the mast into place with a tool from outside the bottle. I've used both variations but prefer the thread when there are deck obstructions. It is possible to rig an entire vessel outside the bottle and pull the masts out of the divots which will collapse the rigging like pulling out the poles of a pup tent. Inside the bottle, all that is required is to move the bases of the masts back into the divots. However, this method requires clear space forward of the mast locating divots to allow the mast bases to slide on the deck into position. Having some fore-and-aft stays loose will allow moving the mast bases into the divots around or over obstacles. Conventionally, all of the fore-and-aft stays (six on the foremast, four on the other four) will have to be routed out the bottle - 14 to 22 total, depending on how they're rigged. Here's three sketches of what happens to the fore-and-aft stays. A brig with three yards on each mast, other spars (spanker boom and gaff) and all rigging but the fore-and-aft stays have been omitted. There are two variations on rigging these stays. First is to have the main topmast stay (middle one on the aft mast) route through the foremast (where it becomes the forestay) and through the deck. Similarly with the main topgallant stay (the upper one) through the foremast (where it becomes the fore topmast stay) and through the bowsprit. You won't be able to glue the fore topmast stay sail to the stay, it will have to slide on that stay. The alternative is to rig the main topmast and topgallant stays more realistically by passing the stays through eyes glued to the aft side of the foremast and down through holes in the deck and out the bottle. They can be routed through the same hole as the mainstay. Of course, all the forestays start on the foremast and go out through the hull and bowsprit in this variation. Here we have the two variations on masts. The upper has the bases of the masts fixed in place by hinges. The stays are all the same length as those on the first sketch. Notice how much more line will be needed in order for the masts to fold down. If the stay continues through the foremast then the shortages are added together and it also shows why many staysails can't be glued to the stays when continuous stays are used. The lower sketch has the mast bases loose. It seems possible to attach the stays at both ends to the mast and deck as shown but I would plan for the stays going through the bowsprit being control lines. On a five-master, the main mast stay(s) going through the deck may need to be loose as well. This could cut the number of stays out your bottle down to six or eight, maybe ten. I've never tried the divot method (with none of the stays being control lines - re-erecting a tent with only the tent poles) on more than two masts. I've learned that Murphy takes special interest in ship bottling and I prefer having options when - not if - something doesn't go as planned. If you're intending to rig the shrouds and backstays loose and draw them with the pull of one string, it would depend on 150 tied and glued knots not failing. You would need to glue off all of those threads individually inside the bottle to make sure the standing rigging doesn't go slack if any of those knots fail with time. Depending on how complete you intend to rig Preussen, I see eight or ten control lines in the fore-and-aft stays and two control lines for the spanker boom. Braces, yard halliards, topping lifts, clew lines, bunt lines, leech lines, reef tackles, etc. can be rigged outside the bottle and won't need adjustment inside the bottle, with a few exceptions such as tacks (and those are easy in the bottle but rarely done). I don't see any point in doing up-hauls, down-hauls and both the sheets on all the stay sails (and much of the listed running rigging) on a model of Preussen that isn't much longer than a pen. You're going to have a problem keeping the diameter of the rigging to scale; simplifying the rigging somewhat will help balance over-size lines. Even the finest fly tie thread is grossly out of scale for stay sail lines and many other small lines.
  2. Granted; just like everything else on sailing vessels, there was an evolution, but that formula works well for late 18th century through 20th century wooden blocks for hemp rope. My project is a Napoleonic era warship.
  3. Thanks, John. That was what I was looking for. The diameter correlates pretty closely with what I was getting by scaling off the drawing depending on whether I measured to inside, outside or center of the rather fat lines on my drawing - 12 to 15 inches for 9 inch circumference shrouds but not close enough for sure. Thanks again to all. Dave
  4. I have a set of plans and pages of tables for all the rigging used on a ship I want to model. Problem is that there is no mention anywhere of the dimensions (diameter and thickness) of the deadeyes. I could measure the deck level deadeyes on the hull plans, but that's not reliable and doesn't help with the top mast and topgallant mast deadeyes. Is there a formula relating the deadeye dimensions to the size (circumference or diameter) of the shroud or back stay that will be attached to it? I know the three holes will need to provide clearance for a lanyard about half the diameter of the shroud. I already solved a similar problem with the blocks which don't have their sizes listed either, by using a simple formula. The sheave thickness is 1.1 times the rope diameter and the block dimensions are multiples of that thickness: length, 8x; width (across the cheek), 6x; and thickness (through axle), 4x and add two sheave thicknesses (one each for the sheave and spacer) for double, triple, etc. Seems to me that deadeyes would have an even easier formula.
  5. Jeff, If you look closely you may notice three sizes of clothespins. Here in the States the mini clothes pins can be found at Walmart in the craft section and the small ones in the office supply section. It seems strange they are in different sections but they are.
  6. Time to post some progress. I'm basically focusing on deck details near and on the lower bridge just forward of the main mast. The flying bridge with radar units on roof and the boat with davits and containers below the boat. I drew the components I needed for the flying bridge on the computer and printed them out on card stock. Flying bridge parts with X-acto blade for size reference. Yes, I freaked out seeing them life size and wondering how I was going to cut out all those windows (22). But I surprised myself and all went well. Mostly complete flying bridge. I made the radar cage from 40 gauge (.0035 inch / 0.09 mm) wire with top and bottom made from a narrow strip and two discs of card stock. Other radar is a bug pin with the head built up with a couple dips in gesso. The roof of the lower bridge has two holes drilled in it to receive the two pins which will be cut shorter later - they are much too useful now as handles. Some detailing remains. I worked on the davits, boats and containers as single assemblies on bases from paper. This is essentially the same as on the ship (except the base is a thick steel plate) and works out well for me. Six containers, two davits and a boat. The containers were made from basswood sanded to diameter then cut off to length. I made lots so I could use those that were closest in length, even a couple thousandths difference in length at this size is noticeable. Davits and cradles made from 30 gauge wire. Boats were made the same as the others made earlier. The boats need thwarts, oars, rudders and tillers. These three assemblies will be glued to their places after the ship is in the bottle. At least that's the plan. I may be able to install the boat & davits assemblies before but I won't know until later - it seems better to plan for the worst case at this point. I also made two of these racks with three more containers each. I've assumed these containers hold inflatable life rafts - sixteen total. One of three fire hose reels on deck. Here's the group photo including the motor launch at far right which is now just a painted hull needing floor boards, seating, motor compartment, tiller and rudder. Dave
  7. Where were you two and a half years ago? I'm at 95%+ done fabricating with only deck details left. And I do not want to find that I have a bunch of mistakes to correct. Seriously, Igor, I appreciate the offer but I really don't need them.
  8. I'm working almost exclusively from photos. I was unable to find any plans for Esmeralda or her sister ship Juan Sebastian Elcano. I did find a low-res drawing of the weather deck and the deck below which gave me my deck outline and helped with my best guess at the waterline shape. I also had the dimensions (OA length, WL length, beam, mast heights, etc.) which I used to extrapolate other dimensions from the scores of photos I collected from the web. Deck plan used. The lower deck shows the hull shape at the lower deck which I used to make my best guess at the waterline. The three images below are lower-res versions (for posting here) of high-res images (up to 6 MB) I found and used for my deck detailing. I also used numerous on-deck photos and video tours of the weather deck for specific details and as checks against my extrapolated dimensions. In most cases I have two or more photos of a specific detail from different angles. Spar dimensions were easy to derive; there are numerous photos of Esmeralda under sail in which the spars are parallel or near parallel to the plane of the camera lens. It's easy to compare that length to the WL length or the total mast height in several photos to come up with a number at E's scale (1/640). That's my long answer. My short answer would have to be, "I'm eye-balling it." Dave
  9. I'm posting a follow-up on Ogallala. Upon finishing her I submitted photos to Bottle Shipwright, the quarterly journal of the Ships in Bottles Association of America (of which I am a member), and quickly learned that Ogallala would be the featured SiB in the March issue which I received a few days ago. Here's the cover. I'm not going to bore you with posting the photos from the article because they have already been posted here. As an aside, I mentioned a couple times in this build log that I can't really see my work for what it is. All I can see are the deficiencies no matter how minor. Ogallala has been sitting in a box on a shelf since I finished her in late October - until today. I'm now able to see her as a whole and I'll admit I was impressed and very pleased. If you haven't seen them yet check out my two current projects listed in my signature.
  10. You should be able to save your Word document as a pdf then post it without a problem.
  11. While cruising the web I came across photos of Dan Clapp's insanity, a Skeeter class racing ice boat, which seemed like a good subject for a bottled ship. I also realized that with only eight pieces, one sail and five lines it could be a quick build. I collected several photos and set to work generating drawings. Three photos gave me the ability to generate my best guess for the shape of the hull. This first attracted my attention but is clearly heavily photo-shopped and not particularly useful. This gives a good plan view. One of two profile views. The other profile view. Bow view and intended pose for my model. Part of my drawings for insanity. I chose a 2 liter Pyrex reagent bottle 5 inches / 127 mm in diameter with a shoulder 6 inches / 150 mm above the base and a short 1.060 inch / 27 mm inside diameter neck, about 9 inches / 230 mm tall overall to be displayed vertically. The plans above were reduced to fit the model inside a 4.5 inch / 114 mm circle which will give me at least a 1/4 inch / 6 mm clearance all around. I printed patterns for the pieces to make from wood onto the paper side of freezer paper and ironed these patterns, waxy side down, to appropriate pieces of wood for the five wooden pieces. The hull and outrigger are bass wood. The forward skate strut is .015 inch / 0.4 mm plywood. On the real ice boat the sail runs in a slot in the airfoil cross-section mast and the foot of the sail is captured by the boom. I replicated this by building up those two components from three pieces of the thin plywood glued together in such a way as to make a slot in the mast and boom. The center strip in each was sanded down to .008 inch / 0.2 mm thickness. The mast was built up in a curved fixture to duplicate the curve in the bow photo above. After cutting and sanding the components to final shape I gave them a coat of cheap automotive type primer to fill the grain for final sanding. My five components, from lower left: front skate strut in front of the hull; boom and mast on the top edge of a strip of card stock; and the outrigger which was steam bent to give it a bit of curve. The curve in the mast doesn't show here. I have three skates to cut from .005 inch / 0.13 mm stainless steel shim stock and a sail to make - and yes, I'm going to duplicate the Jack Nicholson sail. After painting and detailing I'll move on to rigging the five lines and get the water and ice ready. Thanks for looking in. Dave
  12. That's one way to rationalize my laziness. I'm very pleased to be back to work on Esmeralda and sharing my progress with my friends here. Thanks to all for the "welcome back". Dave
  13. Welcome to resumption of work on Esmeralda. I haven't worked on it in over a year so picking up where I left off was a bit difficult. I decided I have some re-work to do to incorporate some techniques I learned or improved upon since the last work done. I also have a lazy streak. There are a large number of round port lights on most of the deck hatches that I didn't originally intend to reproduce but decided I can't leave off. I realized I could do them as decals on the eight hatches and prepared them on the computer and printed them on decal stock along with the yellow metal stern relief detail and name. Hatch cover details and stern relief decals. Before applying the decals to the tops of the white deck hatches. After applying the decals. The difference is more noticeable when you click the image. There are 146 port lights in the hatch covers. To do the stern detail I had to photo-shop the relief from a photo of it and adjust that image for the curvature of the stern to print it on a flat surface and for the distortion from the angle the photo was taken. I also had to do some color correction to make it look bright and shiny (the photo was taken on a dark, overcast day so the relief looked very dull). then reduce it for the model. Esmeralda's stern relief. I have to wait about 24 hours before coating all the decals with a couple coats of artist's matte varnish. The photo from which I extracted the stern relief. I realized while I was making the decals that this was the way I should have done the port lights on the hull. Live and learn. If I ever decide to do Esmeralda's sister ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano (a topsail schooner while E is a barquentine), any of the Gorch Fock sisters and clones (nine of them) or any ship with lots of port lights, I'll know what to do. Dave

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