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Bob Cleek

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  1. I've used heat guns for stripping paint and varnish from full-sized boats for ages, and before that for big jobs we used propane torches. I wouldn't ever use a heat gun on a modeling job, though. IMHO, they are way too hot for that purpose. In order to bend wood successfully, the wood has to be heated all the way through. It's tricky to do that with a heat gun, which can burn the wood surface long before the interior of the piece is sufficiently heated. I'd say the hair dryer is a better tool for small jobs.
  2. Excellent point! I failed to mention it. When I mix artists' oil paints for modeling, I keep a notebook of the final ratios I use. I measure the tubed paint by the inch or fraction thereof, as extruded from the tube. I put the artists' oil paint on a piece of brown paper bag and let it sit for a half hour or hour to let some of the oil leach out, thereby increasing the oil to pigment ration. I then transfer the oil paint with a palette knife to a small container. (I have a stash of 35mm plastic film cartridge containers, but these are getting more difficult to come by these days.) I add thinne
  3. I can't speak to New Zealand, but here in the States the most desirable ebony is embargoed pursuant to the Lacey Act, 16 USC 3371-3378. "Gibson Guitar Corporation was raided twice by federal authorities, in 2009 and 2011. Federal prosecutors seized wood from Gibson facilities, alleging that Gibson had purchased smuggled Madagascar ebony and Indian rosewood.Gibson initially denied wrongdoing and insisted that the federal government was bullying them. In August 2012, Gibson entered into a Criminal Enforcement Agreement with the Department of Justice, admitting to
  4. Your mileage obviously varies. In my experience, properly seasoned and heat-bent wood will stay where it is put within normal ambient humidity variations. Those variations are also greatly dependent upon the species of wood involved. (Museums are full of old models that are proof of this.) As a matter of science, the smaller the piece of wood, the less it tends to shrink and swell with changes in moisture content. It is absolutely true that in single-layer monocoque wooden hull construction "If the planks are glued to each other, all stresses are shared by adjacent planks and the movement is a
  5. No difference, really. Just remember you can paint oil-based paint on top of acrylics, but not acrylics on top of oils. Paint manufacturers long ago discovered that if they created the impression that one had to use primer, they could sell twice as much paint to people who didn't know whether they needed to prime a piece before painting or not. The fewer coats of anything that you put on a model, the less detail is lost and the better the scale impression will be. (Ideally, you want the thickness of your paint coats to be "to scale" too!) I don't use primer unless I need
  6. Black ebony is nearly commercially extinct at this point. Pure black ebony only comes from the heartwood of very old trees, most all of which are now gone. What little is available is not pure black and full of checks and voids. Real ebony is very oily and presents challenges when gluing. The prices are astronomical. Ebony is also subject now to various national and international import bans. Some nations will not permit the importation of items made of ebony without acceptable documentation of the age of the wood being prior to the effective date of various endangered species laws. This has
  7. I can't imagine why anyone would have any need to edge-glue planking at all. It adds nothing structurally and creates a lot of messy work. Properly spiled and bent plank should easily lay fair on the frames or bulkheads and glue at the faying surfaces between the frame or bulkhead and plank face should be more than adequate. A plank which has to be forced into place isn't done right. Do watch Chuck's videos to learn how it's done correctly. You'll be glad you did.
  8. Even to this day, stern-in "med-mooring" is common practice in Mediterranean ports. Many local vessels carry a gangplank for the purpose.
  9. I appreciate the work you've put into your approach, but, as allanyed mentioned, there are specific butt shift patterns which are distinctive to the construction method of vessels and periods. Your "every other plank" butt placement is glaringly incorrect to a knowledgeable eye. Similarly, deck planks are always fastened with trunnels (wooden pegs) or with metal fasteners which are countersunk with the holes plugged with wooden plugs. No bare metal is visible on the deck surface. Wooden decks were regularly holystoned (sanded with abrasive stone blocks) to keep them clean and free of tar. Pr
  10. "Powder horn values range widely depending on condition, type of carving, and market conditions. A simple piece containing a name and date could be worth a few thousand dollars, while intricate examples with historical engravings have been valued at $30,000 or more." https://www.invaluable.com/powder-horns/sc-UVH6H0R6BL/ See: https://www.pbs.org/video/antiques-roadshow-appraisal-1849-ohio-carved-powder-horn/
  11. I'd suggest you have that 1850's powder horn appraised if you haven't already.
  12. Lovely model, Roger! I'd say a great example of "understated elegance." The original poster was specifically asking about finishes applied with a brush, so I didn't mention spraying. I'll say this about that... I do a lot of spraying and, for a long time now, even more spraying than brushing, especially on "the wide open spaces." I use my trusty old Badger double-action airbrush. I would never approach a model with a "rattle can!" I hate them. They are expensive in original cost and more often than not, they crap out before they're empty. And more importantly, they're
  13. Paint should be thinned to about the consistency of milk, or even thinner in some instances. If you are experiencing brush strokes and runs, you are applying the paint too thickly, either because your brush is overloaded, your paint is too thick, or both. Repeated thin coats should "lay down" without any brush strokes or runs whatsoever. Keep applying until the coat is even and covers fully. This can sometimes take several coats. The goal is to cover the surface adequately with the least amount of paint build up. For sanding between coats, "less is more." Many sand so aggressively that they re
  14. A lot depends upon the type of wood you're planning to finish bright (clear.) If the wood has open grain, it will be difficult to finish bright and obtain a smooth finish without considerable filling and that filler will have to match the appearance of the wood, which can sometimes be tricky. When finishing a model, "less is more." Others may have a different opinion, but I am not a big fan of clear acrylic or polyurethane finishes for models, although they are great for finishing bar and table tops. That said, some claim good results using thinned polyurethanes (sometimes marketed pre-mixed a
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