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Bob Cleek

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  1. What Jaager said. Shellac works fine. You can add coats to develop the level of gloss required and if the gloss is too great, it can be toned down using a Scotch-brite pad or steel wool, or simply wiping with a fine cloth dampened with alcohol. Remember that gloss must be toned down on a model to properly depict brightwork to scale.
  2. If you have Xfinity with the "talking" remote, just say "free to me" into the remote. That should bring up a menu. Go to "Bluprint" and then to "jewelry" and you'll find them. The woodworking tutorials are good, too.
  3. I can't see any possible reason to use thread or "rope" to portray caulking in deck seams. If one wishes a wider seam to show, as with larger scales, the usual method is to glue a sheet of black card stock of suitable thickness to the flat side of the deck stock piece and then rip deck planks from the deck stock piece as would normally be done. The result will be deck planks with a black "stopped seam" on one edge which can be laid down to depict a laid deck with the black seams of the proper thickness between each plank. If the card stock is saturated with thin clear shellac before gluing to the plank stock, the laid deck may be sanded, together with the edges of the card stock, without concern that the card stock will "fuzz" when sanded.
  4. No, I don't. Varnish would't add anything to the appearance or longevity of the finish paint coats. Sometimes, I do use shellac alone (or on top of a stain) as a finish coat to represent a varnished surface. By applying multiple coats of shellac, the finish becomes shiny as the number of coats increases, so the "scale gloss" level can be controlled. (At "scale viewing distances," finished surfaces which are glossy when viewed up close on the prototype will appear less than glossy.
  5. Yes. The mechanics of it are basically the same as a commonly used jig for scarfing full-sized joints in full-scale boatbuilding. It that application, a three sided open ended trough with sides cut to the desired scarf angle permit a plane or a router to slide on the inclined edges of the jig and cut the scarf in the face of the pieces to be scarfed.
  6. It's up to the modeler. It's my practice to pretty much shellac all the wood on a model as I go along these days. I also use thinned shellac on cordage that requires shaping. As the shellac dries, the cordage can be bent to shape and when fully dried, the rigging line will hold that shape. This is how I avoid coils of line on pin rails and elsewhere that look like stiff lariats that belong on a cowboy's saddle instead of anything ever found on a ship. Shellac also serves well as an adhesive for paper and cardstock bits and pieces and, if thickened, can be used in more demanding adhesive applications. I generally keep a jar of shellac and a paintbrush that lives in a small jar of alcohol with a top that has a hole drilled into it to hold the brush handle and a pair of long tweezers handy on my bench. (The hole in the brush jar cap allows the brush to remain in the alcohol while the cap minimizes the alcohol's evaporation. The alcohol in the brush jar will mix with the shellac off the brush over time and the shellac in my shellac jar will often start to thicken as the alcohol in it evaporates some. I just pour some of the alcohol from the brush jar into the shellac jar to thin it and I then add fresh alcohol to the brush jar as needed. This is an economical way to use the materials, although shellac and denatured alcohol bought in gallon cans from the hardware or paint store is dirt cheap compared to any modeling paint company's "sealer" and proprietary solvents. For small pieces, I simply hold them in the tweezers and dip them right into the shellac jar and pull them out and shake or tap off the excess shellac over the shellac jar. That avoids the difficulty of thoroughly coating a piece with a brush while it's being held. The tips of the tweezers clean right off with a dip in the brush jar and a wipe with a paper towel. Shellac is very easy stuff to work with and it dries very quickly without brush strokes, so it doesn't require any skill to apply it. (Unless, of course, one undertakes the challenge of French polishing, which was once a separate craft in and of itself and has little or no application to modeling, save for building bases and case frames if one were so inclined to replicate an Eighteenth Century model case and stand.) A single coat of thin (right out of the can) "white" (bleached clear) shellac soaks right into the wood and is practically invisible. It does four things I value: One, it permits fine sanding to a perfectly smooth surface, which is especially helpful when using softer woods that tend to "fuzz" and when thus sanded smooth, it is easy to dust and tack the piece to remove all dust from the surface before applying the finish coats. Two, it provides a sealer coat so that paint applied to the surface does not soak into the wood unevenly and it provides a surface for good, uniform adhesion of the paint. Sealing is also very important when using water-based finish coats which often have a tendency to "raise the grain" of softwoods. Three, it tends to retard the absorption of moisture and slows wood movement due to fluctuations in ambient humidity. In practice, this is often a negligible consideration, but, in theory, at least, very slight movements of the wood components will, over time, albeit sometimes great time, loosen joints and weaken the structure. Four, it is a completely safe and reversible archival material. Shellac is non-toxic. It is what is used to make M&M's and jelly beans candy shiny. It has been known in the written record going back at least 3,000 years and archaeologists have recovered shellac artifacts of that age that remained in good condition. It is perpetually reversible. Simply applying alcohol will soften and dissolve shellac even decades and centuries after it was first applied. Many have no concern about the archival quality of the materials they use in their models, which is certainly their prerogative. For myself, I like to think my models will survive me and may even be around a good long time, so using materials proven to be as long lasting as possible will help to ensure that outcome. I know that may be a much less than likely conceit, but the fantasy makes modeling a bit more fun for me on that account. I believe I wouldn't be far wrong in assuming that all of the period museum models, and certainly the Admiralty Board models, were sealed with thin shellac. Until the advent of synthetics (those ersatz abominations such as "wipe on poly" ,) sealing raw wood with shellac was the standard practice for fine painted finishes and "French polishing" with shellac was the standard "clear" finish applied to fine furniture.
  7. The plane runs on the "rails" upon which those side plates run. The rails are adjustable as to the degree of taper desired. The side plates are adjustable to set the height of the plane above the work piece. The side plates are shop made and they are apparently fastened to the sides of the plane body with bolts which are placed in drilled and tapped holes in the side of the plane body.
  8. It looks like a current model Stanley No. 101 or a similar knock-off. These are must-have modeling tools in my book. Original Stanley 101 plane and squrrel tailed hand planes. (15/16" irons) Current Stanley Model 12-101 with folded sheet metal body. Ten bucks on Amazon. Some places have them for as little as eight bucks. The new ones are made of folded sheet metal, but entirely serviceable. https://www.amazon.com/Stanley-Tools-12-101-Small-Trimming/dp/B00DF3FP68/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_sims?ie=UTF8 Kunz (Germany) still makes heavy cast iron copies of the old Stanley 101s in plain and "squirrel tail" styles. The squirrel tail is my favorite. Original old cast iron Stanley 101's are collectors items these days. Kunz's cast iron regular copy runs $20.00 and the squirrel tailed one goes for $21.00 from Highland Woodworking. I prefer the hefty feel of my Kunz cast iron ones over my current Stanley sheet metal bodied one, although the current Stanley 101 is lighter in an apron pocket. https://www.highlandwoodworking.com/kunzpalmplanewithhandle.aspx For use in the jig set-up illustrated in this thread, I'd expect the sheet metal bodied current Stanley 101 would be more suitable as it would be easier to machine the body sides to accommodate the "sled runners" than would drilling and tapping a cast iron Kunz model.
  9. Beautiful workmanship and a very practical design, HYW! Thanks for sharing your beautiful tools and jigs. While I'll probably never be capable of your metalworking skills, your devices are a great inspiration to me. I'm not sure what the function of the yellow "bumper" (?) on the metal rod might be, but from your creative design, I can see how I can build an similar adjustable "sled" to mount on my lathe cross-slide. This will permit me to chuck a mast blank into a chuck mounted on my headstock and use the integral dividing head to plane tapering polyhedra as required. In such an arrangement, I can also use the lathe to turn the mast blank and obtain perfectly round tapers as well. In other words, I've already got the powered chuck and dividing head, so all I need to do is build the "taper jig" for my late. My "spar lathe" is a Craftsman/Atlas 12"X42" and there is a tapering jig for the lathe, but they are somewhat rare and quite expensive when one can be located. Unlike the manufacturer's tapering jig, your adjustable "sled" does not require the use of traveling backrest, which is a plus in terms of ease of operation. Thanks again for sharing another great modeling tool. Keep them coming!
  10. Interesting historical footnote. I'm no expert, either, but I can't seem to come up with a reason the Royal George's carpenter or bosun didn't simply didn't send somebody overboard to knock a temporary plug into the hole outboard. It was only three feet below the waterline on an even keel. That would have made it possible to accomplish the same thing as heeling the ship with far, far less work or risk. I ought to have been the first solution that occurred to any competent ship's carpenter or bosun's mate. Better yet, I'm wondering whether or not that fact ever occurred to the Board of Inquiry!
  11. For sure! They definitely are going to change the way I solder. After listening to Solder Smarter for about fifteen minutes last night, I put it on "pause" and went and got a pen and paper and started taking notes.
  12. "Channel surfing" last night, I stumbled upon a gold mine of professionally produced instructional videos on a wide range of topics including woodworking and jewelry making. These are being offered on an apparently new "craft network" called Bluprint TV. Because of the Covid-19 "lockdowns," my cable provider (Comcast Xfinity X1) and probably others, are offering free premium pay channels for a limited time (at present, at least until 40-9-20. )(I found Bluprint by saying "free to me" into my voice-controlled remote control.) On Bluprint, I found a "jewelry" subsection and in there I found two really good streaming video series on soldering jewelry. They are directly applicable to soldering ship model parts, of course. One, Solder Smarter: Strategies for Better Results featuring a jewelry maker named Joanna Gollberg, runs perhaps two hours (I didn't keep track) and begins with an complete instruction on the use of the Smith Little Torch and all the basic techniques of soldering. I'd considered myself a fairly competent solderer after doing it for well over fifty years, but I found myself continuously learning one new thing after another in this online course. These Bluprint instructional courses are head and shoulders above anything on YouTube, as far as "how-to-do-it" videos go. These are real professional level courses with competent teachers and high production values. Bluprint also has other more advanced courses on soldering, jewelers' metalworking, and even on the proper uses of flex-shaft tools. I figure I'll be spending the next few evenings going through them while I "shelter in place." They are also currently available free as streaming videos at https://shop.mybluprint.com/jewelry/classes/solder-smarter-strategies-for-better-results/40550 . https://shop.mybluprint.com/jewelry/classes/soldering-success-in-every-scenario/58346 https://shop.mybluprint.com/jewelry/classes/metalsmithing-at-home/35434 https://shop.mybluprint.com/jewelry/classes/getting-started-with-the-flex-shaft/40629
  13. The Smith Little Torch runs on oxygen and propane, acetylene, or MAPP gas. (I believe they also run on natural gas, which is about the same as propane.) I don't know of any small propane-only torches. Propane-only torches seem to start with the regular "plumber's torch" sizes which are too large for small modeling work. (These aspirate air into an integral combustion chamber.) Small non-oxygen torches seem to be limited to the small butane torches. Running straight propane through the Little Torch will get you a flame, but it won't be hot enough to be of any use. Think "butane cigarette lighter." It's the oxygen that causes the intense heat. I don't think you can go too far wrong with the Smith Little torch with oxygen and propane for modeling work. The disposable Bernzomatic oxygen bottles are priced comparably to the Bernzomatic disposable propane, acetylene, and MAPP gas bottles. These sizes last for a long time doing small work and are compact and easy to store. If you are a gas cutter and welder, you can use large oxygen tanks, of course, but the Bernzomatic disposable bottles are the least expensive way to go if you aren't already "cookin' with gas."
  14. Druxey is correct about the metal recycling programs in Britain during the War. (And, later, in the U.S.) However, if the period depicted in the model is "circa 1940," it has to be remembered that the War in Europe began in September, 1939, and British "metal drives" began in July of 1940. It seems highly unlikely that serviceable cargo vessels, equivalent to today's tractor-trailer trucks, would have been cannibalized for their metal at that point in the conflict. Moreover, Britain's famous "iron railing" scrap iron drive, and pretty much all others in Britain and the U.S., are generally recognized by historians to have been more a propaganda effort to galvanize civilian support and participation in the war effort than anything else. They focused primarily on the large amount of Victorian-era iron fence and gate work that, at that time, was deemed "expendable." It certainly was good propaganda. Nobody wanted to be the only "unpatriotic" one on their block with iron fencing and gates still standing in front of their house! In fact, it appears only a small fraction of the ornamental ironwork contributed to the war effort ever was used for wartime production and, while some made its way into the post-war recycling chain, an awful lot of it seems to have simply been dumped. (Reportedly, wartime Thames Estuary pilots complained that so much ornamental ironwork was being dumped in the Thames Estuary that it was throwing off their ships' compasses!) Curiously, after the War, the records of what was done with the more than a million tons of valuable British hand-wrought ornamental ironwork was discovered to have been mysteriously shredded. Ever since, there's been quite a bit of resentment over the loss of what was a signature piece of British architectural heritage that was destroyed for political reasons rather than wartime necessity. See: https://www.londongardenstrust.org/features/railings3.htm https://mashable.com/2016/02/03/wwii-scrap-metal/

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