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Bob Cleek

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  1. A spritz of the original WD-40 ought to do it. The extension nozzle on the spray can makes a neat job of it. Do not, however, use any sort of silicone lubricant on your tools or anywhere in your modelling shop. WD-40 now makes a silicone lubricant called WD-40 Specialist Silicone Lubricant. I'm sure it's good stuff, for what it is, but the professional rule of thumb is that silicone of any kind is verboten in any environment where it can contaminate items which are to be painted. Surfaces contaminated with silicone are impossible to paint. Any bit of silicone, even microscopic silicone dust particles, will cause "fisheyes" in fine paint finishes. ("Fisheyes" are small dimples in an otherwise smooth coating surface.) The use of silicone spray lubricants on things like saw blades discharge microscopic bits of silicone onto the saw surfaces, and everything else in your shop. Every single speck of silicone will produce one of the "craters" or "fisheyes" show in the below photo. The only silicone you'll ever find inside an automobile body and paint shop will be the endowments on the ladies in the parts companies' calendars! I don't allow it in my home shop, either.
  2. Yes, indeed! Absolutely correct. The term "tall ship" was popularized by a poem by John Masefield called Sea Fever: I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by, And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking, And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking. The first line is often misquoted as "I must go down to the seas again." The original version of 1902 reads 'I must down to the seas again'. In later versions, the author inserted the word 'go'. Source: https://poemanalysis.com/sea-fever-john-masefield-poem-analysis Author Joseph Conrad who spent 1874 to 1894 at sea and was quite particular about naval terminology used the term "tall ship" in his works; for example, in The Mirror of the Sea in 1903. Henry David Thoreau also references the term "tall ship" in his first work, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, quoting "Down out at its mouth, the dark inky main blending with the blue above. Plum Island, its sand ridges scolloping along the horizon like the sea-serpent, and the distant outline broken by many a tall ship, leaning, still, against the sky." He does not cite this quotation, but the work was written in 1849. These early usages appear to be simply poetic descriptions as would be "a big car" or "a long train." It had no other specific nautical meaning. Modernly, "tall ship" is often used generically in reference to large, classic, sailing vessels, but is also a technically defined term invented by Sail Training International for its purposes and of course, Sail Training International helped popularize the term. The exact definitions have changed somewhat over time, and are subject to various technicalities, but by 2011 there were 4 classes (A, B, C, and D). Basically there are only two size classes, A is over 40 m LOA, and B/C/D are 9.14 m to under 40 m LOA. The definitions have to do with rigging: class A is for square sail rigged ships, class B is for "traditionally rigged" ships, class C is for "modern rigged" vessels with no "spinnaker-like sails", and class D is the same as class C but carrying a spinnaker-like sail. Sail Training International has extended the definition of tall ship for the purpose of its races to embrace any sailing vessel of more than 30 feet (9.14 m) waterline length and on which at least half the people on board are aged 15 to 25. This definition can include many modern sailing yachts that few who use the term to describe large sailing vessels would recognize as "tall ships." Outside of Sail Training International's unique commercial parameters, the term "tall ship" is meaningless as nautical nomenclature and people who use it to describe any particular sort of vessel, such as a large square-rigged one, are only proclaiming their status as landsmen.
  3. One might as well ask the same question about a gentleman's privates. If it looks right, it is right. It takes looking at a lot of them in real life to instinctively judge whether one is too short or too long. It depends on the use intended and is relative to the size of the line that going to be tied to it.
  4. I hear what you're saying, Frankie, but it doesn't comport with my own experience. Myself, I've never had any problem easing off a length of line from a pin, or horsing up from one, either. If you can hold the line before you even throw it around the bottom of the pin, you ought to be able to hold it just as well when casting it off. If for some reason, you want more friction, it's easy enough to take a quick turn around the top of the pin. Contrary to your assertion, the coefficient of friction in line under load is not a "linear equation." Each of the turns does not carry an equal portion of the friction or of the load. The first turn carries most all of it. Additional turns are just "window dressing." Ever notice how nothing comes free until you get down to the last turn or so? And, obviously, nobody ever "casts the line off the pin and lets the line run" more than once. Belaying pins are designed to take vertical strains more or less parallel to the direction of the pin and never horizontal (shear) strains at right angles to the pin, which can snap a wooden pin. The pin itself isn't meant to take the majority of the strain from the line, but rather it's the pin rail itself where the greater part of the strength, as well as friction, comes from. Sheets, which generally carry horizontal strains, should never be belayed directly to a pin rail. Sheets should be carried through a block or around a winch to provide a fair lead to a cavel or deck cleat. Pin rails are for halyards and other lines from aloft. I've belayed lots of lines to pins and hitched lots of sheets to cleats in my 70 years and I've never, ever, "needed a knife to get it off," nor even a fid. That's the advantage of a half-hitch. This thread got me curious and I did a bit of googling. It seems there are many sites purporting to show how to belay a line and hang a coil and almost as many ways the people posting those instructions say it should be done as there are people posting. Welcome to the internet, the world's largest collection of self-appointed experts! As the saying goes, "Different ships, different long splices." I suppose. Being "of a certain age," when I was growing up and infatuated with all things maritime, having a father in the shipping industry in San Francisco when it was the busiest working seaport on the West Coast, there were still a fair number of old timers around "on the beach" who'd served their apprenticeships "before the mast" sailing around the Horn in the big four-masted barks and all sorts of smaller sailing craft. Some were kind enough to share what they knew (and probably nobody else cared to hear them talk about) with kids like us. That's how we learned our basic seamanship. Somewhere along the way, we lost the continuity of that maritime culture. Today, it's become quaint and of interest to many, but it seems much of it has had to be recreated, rather than handed down in a direct line. A lot of the detail got lost along the way. There was a lot more to it than those "playing pirates" and singing "sea chanteys" today will ever know.
  5. Well, what do you expect from anybody who calls them "tall ships?" Rubes for sure! There wasn't any such thing as a "tall ship community" in the age of sail. Neither did real seamen spend half their time singing "sea chanteys" to the music of insufferable amateur concertina players. Three turns will hold without a locking hitch, but that takes more work than a single turn and a half hitch twist. The three (or more) turns build an unnecessary wad of line on the pin and take that much longer to cast off. Consider doing it that way with soaking wet inch and a half diameter line and I think you'll agree. Some say multiple turns are required with modern synthetic cordage which is more slippery than natural cordage, and there may be some truth to this, although I've never experienced it in practice. Others say they do it that way on the "dude schooners" because they can't be sure the "guests" really know what they are doing. It is not uncommon to take two opposing half-hitches on a mooring cleat, however, when the intermittent strains imposed by the vessel's surge alongside a pier or dock may cause a single half-hitch to work loose.
  6. Not exactly. The fall is brought down to the pin and around (outboard) the bottom of the pin, then, with the fall held taut around the bottom of the pin, the loose line is grabbed in the free hand and given a half-turn twist and the resulting loop is cast over the top of the pin, forming a half hitch. That's it. No "figure eight over and under the pin, maybe four or five times." (All but the coil on the right of the four in the picture above look like some donkey has been wrapping the line around the pin over and over again.) That's lubberly and you'd get a start from the bosun's quirt if you tried that back in the day. All that is needed is the single half hitch around the top of the pin. the tension on the line and friction in the half hitch will keep it completely secure. Additional turns and hitches only make it more difficult to cast off the line when that time comes, and it sometimes comes in an emergency when seconds count. Unfortunately, today it seems belaying a line to a pin is almost never seen done correctly. They always seem to over-do it with multiple turns. Seamanship is another of the dying arts. The remaining line laying on deck is then coiled up in one hand (and not around your elbow, either!) Each loop of the coil must be given a half turn with the fingers as it's coiled to keep the line laying fair and not kinking. When the coil is made up in one hand (or sometimes on deck it it's too large to hold, which can frequently be the case in large ships), it is picked up and the free hand is reached through the middle of the coil and a bight is pulled between the line tied off at the pin and the coil and pulled through the center of the coil and over the top of the coil, taking a twist as it does, and the loop resulting from that twist is hung over the top of the pin, thereby hanging the entire coil on the pin. To cast off, the loop is simply pulled off the pin and the line freed from the pin, with the standing part then coming off the coil without fouling. I can do it a heck of a lot faster than I can tell you how to do it. It's one of those details on a model, particularly when restoring an older model, that tends to indicate that the model was "sailor built" by somebody who actually had some blue water under their butt and knew what they were doing, instead of just building a model from a kit.
  7. Good points. Another error frequently seen on model pinrails is that the coils hanging from the pins fail to correspond to the length of the particular falls depicted. A three=part purchase is going to take a third more line than a two-part purchase to two-block it, i.e. a third more the working length. The length of the falls will also vary depending upon the distance from the uppermost block to the pinrail. Neat coils, all of the same length don't exist in real life. Falls should be the correct length to properly portray the coil in minature.
  8. The old wooden box sets (which always had a lot of tools in them for which one had no use whatsoever!) had wooden separators instead of the cheesy plastic ones we see now. You might build some wooden dividers into your wooden boxes and consider throwing the plastic ones out. Good storage keeps everything in its place and makes for much more efficient working. Without it, I spend way too much time looking for a tool "I know I laid down here somewhere." I find machinists' tool chests perfect for storing categories of small tools, which makes sense because that's what they are designed for! Eighty bucks at Harbor Freight:: https://www.harborfreight.com/eight-drawer-wood-tool-chest-94538.html?cid=paid_bing|*PLA+-+All+Products+-+Higher+Sales+Items|New+Products+-+(4)+Price+%2450-70|94538&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&mkwid=4mLmZpFk|pcrid||pkw||pmt|be|pdv|c|slid||product|94538|pgrid||ptaid||&pgrid=1163283597023480&ptaid=pla-4576304837641946&pcid=368003290&msclkid=bfcde081e89815480ca9bd70c4653336 Kennedy professional grade chest at about $300, but much better, with ball bearing drawer slides: https://allindustrial.com/99-010-520-7-drawer-machinists-chest/?device=c&keyword=&campaign=296456090&adgroup=pla-4582558307670047&msclkid=ce02091052cb141766b454e17e367e67&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=**LP Shop - Catch All&utm_term=4582558307670047&utm_content=Shopping Catch All Tool chests come in a myriad of configurations, many "stackable" on rolling cart bases and at many price points. The good ones aren't cheap, but nothing good ever is. For modeling purposes where we aren't going to be loading them up with hundreds of pounds of steel machine tooling and the like, for which the good ones are designed, the lighter and less expensive models will serve without requiring taking out a second mortgage. (Costco sometimes has quite good stainless steel "house brand" models at excellent prices. Harbor Freight has lots of options at, well..., Harbor Freight quality, but a decent enough value at their low prices and suitable for modeling purposes.) Proper tool storage is essential to good craftsmanship and a good tool box is as important a "tool" as any. The less time "looking" and "searching," the more time working. Spending the money on a good rolling tool cart may not be as exciting as spending it on a "sexy" tool, but your tool box is the one tool you will use every time you use any other tool you store in it. And if you live with other people in your household, the locks on most tool chests come in very handy.
  9. It's sort of surprising that the NMM would collect, inventory, and store such a common artifact made as recently as 1925. I suppose it's almost 95 years old now, though. It makes me feel old! Another item for my "Kids today" file, as in: "Don't know what a belaying pin looks like!"
  10. One of the first things I ever learned about machine tools was that if you could only own one machine tool, it should be a lathe because the lathe is the only machine tool that can build another lathe and a lathe can build all the other tools.
  11. I guess this makes Doris a "canceled Czech." Seriously, though, I stopped following her logs on a regular basis for much the same reasons given for her abandoning posting on this forum. When I follow a log, I read every post by the builder and I learn a lot. Her work is truly exceptional and she is a highly skilled modeler. That said, her log became, to my mind, "cluttered" and overwhelmed by gushy compliments and "fan mail" which made reading her log tedious. I'm sure every build logger appreciates the compliments and positive encouragement. Ours is a lonely hobby under the best of circumstances and a compliment from anyone who knows what they are looking at is always treasured. Doris always made sure she acknowledged every comment and "like." That must have ultimately made tremendous demands on her time and caused her to "burn out" on MSW. I, also, was annoyed by the many times she was asked what materials she used or how she achieved a particular effect when those questions had been asked more than once before and answered in depth previously. Such questions impose upon everyone reading the log. I submit that it's enough to occasionally express appreciation for such masters' sharing their work and leaving it at that.
  12. Or lay a piece of softwood on the table, raise the blade, and jamb the face of the block of wood up against the saw teeth and hold it fast there, then turn the arbor nut. The teeth bite into the wood when the arbor is turned by the wrench. I've never changed a table saw blade any other way.
  13. "In the spirit of full disclosure," the above isn't' exactly accurate. It does have a swiveling headstock, but turning tapers on a piece of any length will require providing your own method of offsetting the tailstock center or providing some sort of traveling backrest to prevent deflection of the workpiece.
  14. Yeah, you really don't need them. Just pack 'em up and ship them off to me. You can put the storage space to better use! Just kidding. You've got a Unimat SL and what sounds like a Unimat 3, its successor model. Both are still in demand, although they haven't been in production for decades. Tooling is available on eBay... at a price. Until the Sherlines came along, they were state of the art for modeling. They aren't exactly "watchmakers'" lathes, but they will do that work if the watchmaking spindle is used. These are available second hand, but aren't cheap. As a general purpose mini-lathe and mill (they are combination machines that can be set up for milling and drilling as well as turning) they are great as long as you have the tooling for them and don't expect them to do very heavy work, which shouldn't be necessary for modeling. They also have table saw, jig saw, grinding, disk sanding, jointing and planing, and milling attachments, as well as a thread-cutting attachment. Modern quality scroll saws, and the Byrnes' table saw and disk sander are far better than the Unimat attachments, but in their day, they were the best there were for modeling. Brass belaying pins are a piece of cake on the Unimats. Grind out a tool bit to the belaying pin's profile and you can turn them out in a jiffy. All of the instruction manuals and project books for the Unimats are online in PDF format. Google them up and print them out and put them in a binder. Follow those instructions and you'll be on your way. Don't worry so much about speeds and cutting tools. You won't be cutting exotic or super hard metals with it. All you need to know is in the manuals. Gerald Wingrove's The Techniques of Ship Modeling addresses the Unimat SL's capabilities extensively, including using them for turning out wood and metal belaying pins. In good shape and with only basic tooling and no optional attachments, the Unimat SLs are bringing as much as $800US on eBay these days. Of course, you can then spend $1,000 or more on a collet holder and collet set if one is so inclined!

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