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Bob Cleek

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  1. True. He doesn't have the "Byrnes Trifecta" (table saw, thickness sander, disk sander,) either, but as the saying goes, "He who dies with the most tools, wins!"
  2. I hope it's okay to re-post something from eBay here. I don't know the seller, but I figured the deal was something some MSW forum member would love to hear about. Someone is selling a complete ship modeling shop setup, plus a MS Syren kit and a wooden airplane kit, all for $1,000.00 "buy it now" or "make an offer." (No bidders to contend with. Just "first come, first served.") This seller must have bought just about everything Micro-Mark offers for ship modeling. (Not all of which I'd buy, but his choices certainly include all of the Micro-Mark stuff worth having.) He's got a Dremel "system" with drill press, router, flex shaft, etc. He's got all the hand tools anybody would want. Tons of material and supplies and parts and a nice wooden machinist's tool chest. Everything there for scratch building, too. Plus a bunch of books and magazines. What's odd about it is that all of the stuff looks absolutely clean and brand new, almost like he (she?) bought stuff but never used it. (To some extent, I've been there, done that, and got the tee shirt myself! Haven't we all? ) He mentions that he's selling it all, lock, stock, and barrel, because health reasons preclude his using it. He says it would cost about $3,000.00 to buy, but I'm guessing it would be way more than that. There is a catch, of course. Because of the amount and weight of it all, the cost of shipping would be prohibitive, so you have to pick it up yourself or arrange to have somebody get it for you. He lives in Utah. If you are anywhere in Utah, or know somebody who is, definitely check it out. Even if you aren't in Utah, it's worth drooling over and enjoying the bittersweet feeling of "the one that got away." Here's the link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/234092055148?hash=item3680f94a6c:g:-HMAAOSwGqZg8crL
  3. Tasty! I've never seen Dietzgen spline weights before but I knew they once made them. Usually, what you see on eBay are the similar Keuffel and Esser models. The few I have are a real collection of odd ball homemade "beaters." I keep meaning to cast myself up a nice matching one of these days. Yours are very reasonably priced for "store bought" ducks. I don't know of anybody who's making them anymore except Edson. I'd love to come across a bunch of the fancy bronze ones Edson makes at a bargain price, but $61.00 a piece is too rich for my taste retail. These are really something any serious scratch-builder ought to own. See: Edson Boat Accessories: Spline Weights (edsonmarine.com)
  4. Minwax does use the term "stain" loosely in their advertising text, but if you read the label carefully, you will note that Minwax doesn't call their above product a "stain." They call it a "Wood Finish." That is, "something other than a stain." They claim it "Penetrates, Stains, and Seals," but they don't claim it is a "stain." Minwax does sell stains per se and calls them that:
  5. Yes, well... that's USS Constitution's coppered bottom after her latest restoration, I believe. As discussed here in another post which included pictures of that copper being applied, it was noted that "the hull plates do not look smooth even when viewing from a distance" because the workmen who applied them did a poor job of it. Critically, they used carpenter's hammers to drive the copper tacks instead of a proper coppering hammer with a wide slightly convex face which drives the tack nearly flush with the plate without unduly denting or distorting the plate. The object of it all is to make the bottom as smooth as possible. The more texture to the bottom, the more resistance to the water and the slower the boat sails. Ham-fisted workmen making a mess of USS Constitution's copper plating using flat faced sharp edged carpenter's claw hammers: Cutty Sark's newly replaced bottom sheathed with Muntz metal (a type of patent brass) showing the use of proper hammers by skilled workers: Close up of Cutty Sark's Muntz metal sheathing: Coppering hammer: See: C. DREW Coppering Hammer (numismalink.com)
  6. It's the water that raises the grain. No water, no raised grain. Bend your wood using dry heat. A bending iron is good if you have one. If not, a small clothes iron works well. A piece of metal pipe of suitable diameter can be heated from the inside with a torch and used by bending the wood against it. Some have even found good success by using a microwave oven to heat the wood. Use the forum search engine to see various dry heat methods. Review Chuck Passaro's great video turtorials on plank bending in the resources section under the "More" drop down menu at the top of the forum page. Water based paints run the risk of raising wood grain if they are too thin because of their water content. If using water-based paints, prime the wood with thinned shellac as mentioned above. Shellac will not raise the grain. it is thinned with alcohol. Oil-based paints will not raise wood grain. This is a significant advantage of oil-based paints, although it is a simple matter to prime wood for water-based painting using shellac which dries very quickly.
  7. I hope everybody is sitting down, because this is going to cause a lot of people to gasp in horror... If it's an accurate depiction one desires in the scales we usually build models, using real copper to "copper" bottoms really isn't the way to go. It is difficult to work with and nearly always produces a poor result. Model kit manufacturers include copper tape and foil in their kits because it's just one more inexpensive way to make consumers think their kits are "high quality." As many have noted, prototype coppered bottoms look nothing like what the majority of coppered bottom models look like. To achieve an accurate scale depiction of a coppered bottom, one must consider the principle of "scale viewing distance." Scale viewing distance is the distance between a model viewer's eye and the model multiplied to full scale. In a 1:48 (quarter inch to the foot) scale model, one foot of scale viewing distance is what the viewer would see from 48 feet away from the real ship. At two feet of scale viewing distance, which I'd say was a "close look," the scale viewing distance of a 1:48 scale model is 96 feet, or a third of the length of a football field or about the length of two big semi trailers. For a 1:96 scale model (1/8" to the foot) a two-foot actual viewing distance equals a scale viewing distance of 102 feet. Can your eyes see a half inch copper tack head against a copper plate at a hundred feet? Of course not. One way to accurately depict copper plating at model scales is to use paper "plates" which are of scale thickness. This is quite thin paper. (You can do the math.) Glue the plates onto the hull. Soaking the paper plates in water will allow them to be contoured to bends and curves as needed. When the glue dries, apply a coat of thinned shellac which will soak in to the paper, harden and stabilize it, and serve as a primer for painting. Then paint and weather the "copper" plates to appear, at scale viewing distance, like the real thing. Apply quality paint sparingly so as to preserve the barely visible plate edges. (If for some stylistic reason you wish to depict your coppered hull as bright and shiny, use quality copper-colored metallic paint.) When plating a model hull, "Less is more." is the key. I know that this method will not yield a "real copper" coppered bottom, but it will look a lot more like the real thing than real copper itself and creating that compelling impression of realism in miniature is what it's all about, no?
  8. Remember, best results are realized when you only use synthetic bristle brushes for water-based paint (acrylics) and natural bristle brushes for oil-based paints (enamels.) For very fine detail, check out the offerings on eBay for "nail brushes" (sometimes called "dot brushes,") used by manicurists for painting fingernails. They come in a variety of small sizes and are dirt cheap. Buying fine artists' brushes in small sizes can get expensive fast. Beyond that, the size and type of brushes to buy depends on the size and type of painting you are going to do. Find a local art supply store and buy brushes as you need them. You'll soon build up a good selection. Clean and store your brushes properly and they will last a very long time.
  9. As mtaylor said, you are definitely exhibiting the symptoms of scratch-building, AKA "kit bashing." This is known as "going over to the Dark Side." It seems you've discovered the dirty secret of most kits: there's no way anybody can build a model that looks like the the picture on the box the kit came in without supplementing what the box contains. To achieve a model as good as what's on the box cover, the builder has to do a lot of customization and research, not to mention having the skills necessary. Your work is quite impressive for a novice. The next thing you know, you'll be building from scratch. Before that, do a couple of really good quality models. Don't let the average-quality European (or, God forbid, Chinese counterfeit) models turn you off to the hobby. Try one of the really good kits to really impress yourself with what you can accomplish. Just a couple of observations... I'm not sure if your photos show your coppering as complete or not, but in the off chance they were showing what you thought was a completed job, be aware that the coppering covers everywhere there's wood below the waterline, including the entire keel and rudder. You might also consider adding a patina to the copper (if the tape hasn't been coated to prevent that) or paint it to accurately depict the true appearance of a coppered bottom. This is a stylistic thing, I suppose. Some like shiny copper bottoms, but they don't really exist in real life. Also, cannon balls are colored black, so you may want to paint them flat black. Nice work on the propeller, although I'd be hesitant to encourage people to "flick" it when the model is done. If it isn't permanently mounted as yet, you may want to file or sand the casting seams from it. Fortunately, Mamoli did provide an historically accurate two-bladed propeller. Some kits provide inaccurate details like that, since it's cheaper for them to use the same castings in multiple kits. The propeller would have been of iron and should be painted flat black, of course. If you really wanted to make yourself crazy, you could install an electric motor to slowly turn the prop at scale speed and a smoke generator for the stack. (Smoke generators are a model railroading item, sold in model railroading catalogs.) I mention this just to give you an idea of how creative some modelers have gotten.
  10. Well, I learn something new here every day! I've had one of these pin vises for years, along with a collection of others. I never had any idea it unscrewed to open and contain two double-ended collets!
  11. Sure do. Lots of them. A good selection of tweezers, forceps and hemostats for openers. Do a search on YouTube for "how to tie surgeon's knots" and you'll find tons of video tutorials for medical students on how to tie suture knots with instruments. The micro-surgery videos are very instructive. There are tricks to using the instruments to tie fine knots in difficult places. I recommend you get a pair or two of long 10" or 12" tweezers which can reach across a deck to tie half-hitches on belaying pins on pin rails. I am also a big fan of the "ear polypus.' Here again, get a long one with some real reach. https://www.pjtool.com/4368-8-ear-polypus-alligator-clamp.html?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=ear polypus&utm_content=Tool- PLA- Shopping&utm_campaign=Tool- PLA- Shopping&msclkid=1bff71b841351a0b9cf9114e069d22e3
  12. I still have a stash of that MS "balloon cloth" from the "Yellow Box Era." I don't think it's really anything other than a finely woven linen cloth. It was called "balloon cloth" (or sometimes "ballooner cloth") because they used to make hot air balloons out of it. It was also used by bookbinders to bind high quality hand-bound volumes. I searched for it online and kept getting hits for fabric with hot air balloons printed on it! I only found one source which appears to be the read deal, in three weights: heavy, medium, and light: https://fabrics-store.com/all-fabrics?hsa_tgt=kwd-77240888451493:loc-4084&hsa_grp=1235851277083946&hsa_src=o&hsa_net=adwords&hsa_mt=b&hsa_ver=3&hsa_ad=&hsa_acc=6560444710&hsa_kw=www fabric-store com&hsa_cam=1705433906&msclkid=83c7a17969641b583bd5c18f2c462432&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=[TDM] Branded&utm_term=www fabric-store com&utm_content=Branded
  13. Now that you mention it, I remember seeing that technique in Darch's book. At the time, I also winced at the use of lead shot, which could "bloom" and fall apart. While I haven't yet had occasion to try it, I'd do much the same with FIMO, but instead of placing the line inside a ball of soft FIMO, I'd use a piece of lost wax wire* which would melt away when the FIMO was baked in the oven, leaving a small hole for the line to be run through. If the hook or eye at one end of the block had a small hook in its mounting peg and the FIMO was formed around it, the wire hook or eye would be well held in the hardened FIMO after baking. As most know, FIMO plastic clay (which is sold by other manufacturers under different brand names) can be rolled very thin and block cheek shapes can easily be cut or stamped cookie cutter fashion from the thin sheet of FIMO. * "Wax wire" is used by dental labs and jewelry manufacturers in the lost wax casting process. They are sticks of uniformly sized casting wax in various diameters, usually expressed in wire gauges. See: https://contenti.com/jewelry-casting-supplies/carving-specialty-waxes/round-wax-wires
  14. You would most likely find Harold Underhill's Masting and Rigging: The Clipper Ship and Ocean Carrier, Used copies seem to be readily available through Amazon. There' sone losted for $3.99! That's a steal! https://www.amazon.com/Masting-Rigging-Clipper-Ocean-Carrier/dp/0851741738
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