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Bob Cleek

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Everything posted by Bob Cleek

  1. I believe Ed Tosti and others use liver of sulphur gel. It blackens copper, brass, bronze, and silver. Soluble in water, it may be brushed on after hammering (and silver soldering) without staining the surrounding non-metallic material. It's relatively safe. The metal must be clean and free of oils. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liver_of_sulfur https://www.cooltools.us/Cool-Tools-Liver-of-Sulfur-in-Gel-Form-2oz-p/pol-802.htm or google for many retail sources. It's a standard product for jewelers. Follow the instructions. All you need to know.
  2. Yes, but only when it's under water in an airless environment. When it's hauled out into the air and the barnacles and seaweed are scrubbed off, it would probably be more accurately described as blotchy "brown-green." Copper deters marine borers, but it doesn't do much to keep vegetative growth at bay, so a coppered bottom hauled out after a period of time in the water will likely have a lot of crud growing on it. When that is scrubbed off, it will initially turn green very quickly as new verdigris develops on the abraded copper when exposed to air. That will thereafter turn to a "brown" penny color. Think of it exactly like a penny you found on the bottom of a swimming pool or somebody threw into a fish pond for good luck. See: https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/2016/11/18/new-copper-sheathing-2/ USS Constitution's coppered bottom hauled out for repairs. Green color a result of having been scrubbed (in this case, probably pressure-washed) and abrading previously oxidation. Note difference in colors of oxidation, perhaps from differences in plate alloys (e.g. plates wrapped around sternpost between above lowest gudgeon and the one above) and in other areas, perhaps due to intensity of pressure-washing. When she initially was hauled, she likely would have been pretty well covered with growth unless regularly scrubbed by divers while at the dock, which is also a distinct possibility. Note above how very well scrubbed rudder which was brighter green in earlier picture above has, perhaps a few days later, already started to mellow to "penny" color. Constitution being re-coppered. Copper tacked over (black) Irish felt underlayment. Original planking below that. Seams stopped with underwater seam compound. (Brown "stripes.")
  3. The color looks a little "photo-shop-y intense" to me, but the answer is that the "time in water" doesn't make any difference at all. It is exposure to air, not water, that creates oxidation which adds the verdigris color (blue-green) to copper and copper-containing metals like brass or bronze. Acids and heat will contribute to oxidation as well, but not water. It actually happens pretty quickly. The copper oxide forms a patina that prevents further corrosion. The intensity of the color depends upon the nature of the copper alloy and how long the oxidation goes on. The bottom on the boat pictured looks like the water's movement at the waterline has scoured off some of the patina, which is why the upper copper looks darker and browner, and the lower copper near the waterline looks blue green. That's a not uncommon appearance with coppered bottoms. Most oxidized copper boat bottoms look just like an old penny you'd get in change at the grocery store. At a distance of fifty yards, it's often difficult to even notice that a bottom is coppered (coppered bottoms are rarely seen these days anyhow.) They look a lot like red-brown colored bottom paint because that's the natural color of copper oxide. The Statue of Liberty never got her feet wet.
  4. Congratulations on a very nice job! Those old kits can be quite a challenge. A lot of the younger modelers whose experience is limited to kits full of photo-etched and laser-cut parts and detailed multi-page instruction books have no idea what an accomplishment a build like this represents. Don't forget to build a nice case for her. Your heirs will thank you for it!
  5. It's always a treat to drop by and watch your progress, Doris! Thanks for a great "show." You never fail to amaze me.
  6. Aye, that's true! Actually wood decks, other than teak, are not left bare, but oiled or otherwise sealed. The recipe for "ship soup" is 50% linseed oil and 50% ("Stockholm") pine tar, with a dollop of Japan drier added. This is the same stuff used to slurry standing rigging, but with lamp black added. Teak on naval vessels was not favored because teak splinters fester very quickly. It was also expensive, although it found some favor once Britain colonized areas where teak grew. Aside from the Navy, where ships were kept "Bristol fashion" and decks regularly "holy-stoned" (sanded with stone blocks) to keep the deck wood bright, generally, merchant ships' decks ended up close to black because the lamp-blacked tar that might drip from the rigging in the tropics or otherwise get tracked around, ended up being the dominant color after a while. Trivia, perhaps, but possibly helpful to some modelers.
  7. Not to be picky, but... teak, particularly decks, is often left bare and only washed with seawater. Any wooden fittings that rely on friction, such as handrails, cleats, and belaying pins, are often left bare. Bronze fittings are rarely painted at all. But I do agree with painting everything to replicate the actual item I'm modeling, except where the entire model is left unpainted to depict structural components or for stylistic purposes... with the reservation that even wood left "bright" should always be coated with at least a clear sealer, and doing a really good "woodie" is a rare accomplishment. Most all of the kit attempts end poorly. (IMHO... your mileage may vary.)
  8. Interesting process description, but, somehow, turning all that expensive brass into chips for the sake of one little pimple on a plastic airplane model seems like a bit of overkill. We modelers are an obsessive lot, aren't we? It looks like a job for Femo to me.
  9. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned using a Zyliss vise for a keel clamping vise. (Sometimes called a "Z-vise, "Oz Vise" or "10-in-One Vise." Beware of inferior Chinese knock-offs. See below.)* This clamping system is truly the "Swiss Army vise," being originally designed for field use by the Swiss Army. I don't think they were ever sold "retail," but were a standby on the tool and home show circuit in the seventies through nineties. (You know, the fast-talking guy with the microphone on a cord around his neck, "It chops, it slices, it dices, it's ten tools in one!") It is an extremely versatile patternmakers' vice that clamps onto a workbench or wherever you want to put it. The original Swiss "government issue" model by Zyliss isn't made anymore. (Zyliss makes top-end chefs' tools now.) There's been some talk in recent years that later Chinese-made versions are made of inferior castings, but the originals are fairly available on eBay and advmachinery.com was selling new old stock at one point, as well as a slightly different, newer vise from the same designer. Make sure you have all the various parts and attachments that come with the basic vise system if you buy used. Some offered on eBay are missing pieces and you'd probably pay hell to try to find them. Complete "originals" are going for around $60 to $100 on eBay. They were always expensive. New old stock was recently selling for somewhere around $500! They also have an attachment that will turn it into a drill motor driven wood lathe. I can't imagine a modeler not finding many uses for one. Definitely a garage sale "grab it if you find it" item. (With the "turntable" attachment in place, the work held in the jaws can be rotated 360 degrees and tilted through an arc of 270 degrees, making it very useful for planking and rigging work.) See: demonstration videos: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Zyliss+Vise+Manual&&view=detail&mid=67AE3A851F29063984B567AE3A851F29063984B5&&FORM=VRDGAR https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Zyliss+Vise+Manual&&view=detail&mid=5D096BE24AABA6C778E85D096BE24AABA6C778E8&rvsmid=67AE3A851F29063984B567AE3A851F29063984B5&FORM=VDQVAP * I did a bit of googling and came up with the following report on the various brands of the original Zyliss vise. Once again, the Chinese People's Patriotic Reverse-Engineering Collective rears its ugly head: After more than fifty successful years, Swiss production of the original Swiss ZYLISS Vise was shuttered due to unmanageable cost increases around the turn of the decade. During a brief transition period the US-assembled zVise2 was the authorized ZYLISS successor. The only factory-authorized Chinese version was then introduced as the JML Visemaster in Britain, and as the z2 in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. After British distribution ceased, a small quantity of JML product was also sold in the US. Of all vise products currently available, the z2 today remains most similar to the original ZYLISS In contrast, the Gripmaster was an unauthorized reverse-engineered Chinese knock-off distributed starting in 1993 by the now defunct Clark National Products, who typically claimed it was a ZYLISS product, or at least was very willing to create that impression in its demonstrations. Clark had the credibility to do this since they had previously been, for many years, the exclusive US ZYLISS importer. They sold the cheaply-made Gripmaster at ZYLISS prices and under largely false pretenses for many years before unceremoniously going out of business several years ago. Nonetheless many vise parts will fit across the various brands, although there is never any assurance of that. z2 and some residual ZYLISS parts are available from Advanced Machinery in New Castle, Delaware, USA. A high-end alternative product, using a similar design but with more refined engineering and much heavier construction, developed by the original inventor of the ZYLISS and still manufactured in Switzerland today as it has been for over 20 years, is the SWISSREX. This product is currently sold by the factory in Switzerland and also in the US by Advanced Machinery. Finally, the latest in a long string of unauthorized ZYLISS knockoffs was a Chinese product packaged and marketed from Germany, called Mr. Strong. Burdened with a fatal engineering flaw, this product was a dismal failure in the American market despite its clever packaging and initial good appearance, and appears to have not done much better elsewhere. From: https://www.lumberjocks.com/topics/25663
  10. Nice work! You may be on your way to becoming the successor to Gibbs and Cox! Now that you have "done the math," have you considered taking it into production as a radio-controlled kit? I wouldn't be surprised if one of the RC kit manufacturers would find it attractive to add to their line. A three and a half foot Alert-class RC model, with working monitors and 360 degree props could be a very, very cool model. (I don't know exactly how the props could be engineered, but where there's a will, there's a way.)
  11. I'm sorry to hear that the NMM isn't displaying much in the model department. I was there twenty-five years ago. Knowing that bringing SWMBO along would cramp my style ("I don't know why you always have to spend so long in museums reading ever damn little card next to things."), I encouraged her to see Harrods. ("I didn't fly all the way to London just to spend a day shopping in a damn department store!") while I took the water taxi down from the Embankment to Greenwich. It was a weekday and rooms with the models were empty... and dark... special lighting to preserve them. I chatted up the museum guard and he let me take flash photos. (No digital in those days.) I must have shot three rolls of Admiralty models. I didn't have time to see the Imperial War Museum or the Science Museum in Kensington, which I was told also had a lot of great models. (I later heard the Science Museum got rid of their model display.) I'll have to do Portsmouth and Chatham next time around, if there's a next time. If you are ever in the neighborhood, the maritime museum in Amsterdam is not to be missed. It's one of the great ones. (It's art museums aren't slouches either, if you like Rembrandts and Van Goghs. The eating's a lot better than London, too.) The only problem with Amsterdam is that with all its other "attractions," it's quite possible you won't be in any condition to remember much of it afterwards!
  12. Michael, Steam and gas launches around the turn of the last century was a topic upon which I'd previously done some research, primarily on Fred W. Martin's designs for the Racine Boat Company of Racine, Wisconsin. I did a bit of digging in my files and can pass along the following information on the Truscott Boat and Dock Company, which was a much larger manufacturing concern around the same time as Racine Boat. There is a lines drawing and some photographs of a contemporary Truscott Boat and Dock Company fantail launch in the Historic American Engineering Record on line. See: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=Truscott&co=hh The draft is apparently a modern one done by the Michigan Maritime Museum. Apparently the boat is in their collection. The photographs may be helpful for construction details. The Truscott Boat and Dock Company was in existence until 1948 and was a large manufacturing concern. It went bankrupt after the War. It is possible that the Michigan Maritime Museum has draughts of other Truscott launches and perhaps even one with a "compromise" canoe stern. There's also an interesting 2003 thread on the Old Marine Engine Board about Truscott engines similar to Skipjack's with lots of pictures and drawings. See: http://www.oldmarineengine.com/discus/messages/3451/1698.html The original poster, "Curtis" says he has the 1901-1905 Truscott catalogs. Catalogs in those days often had "study plans" lines. Clicking on his name in the post will get you his email address, but his info indicates his last activity was in 2011, so... who knows? Offered for what it's worth. Hope it might be of some help in your research on lines and construction details.
  13. Let me "pile on" and urge you to get a small drill press, or even a drill press and mill combo, from Vanda-Lay Industries. See: http://vanda-layindustries.com/ (When you google "Vanda-Lay Industries," the first "hit" is titled "Lay" for some unknown reason. That's them.) They make a quality drill press that mounts any standard Dremel tool or Foredom handpiece ($140 for drill press w/o Dremel tool.) http://vanda-layindustries.com/html/drill_press_plus.html This "system" can be upgraded with an X-Y table for use as a mill ($190 total for mill/drill ) which turns your Dremel into a mill, saw, cutoff saw, sander, and drill press. http://vanda-layindustries.com/html/acra_mill_plus.html They also make a good router table that mounts the Dremel tool. Add to this a Harbor Freight in-line "foot control" (which you can also use with your scroll saw) and you're good to go. The Vanda-Lay "system" is very well made of CNC'd aluminum and has sufficient stability to do accurate modeling work. As with all "multi-tools," top of the line stand-alone dedicated tools will be better, but you get what you pay for. As for power, you are constrained by the limits of the Dremel's power, but that's plenty enough for modeling work. IMHO, you need a drill press because a hand-held Dremel cannot provide the accuracy and control needed to do good fine scale drilling "freehand." (Pause here to allow time for outcries of dispute from the Neanderthals.) Your hand isn't steady enough, particularly when trying to hold a running, relatively heavy Dremel. Not only do you have a hard time holding a Dremel to drill holes in the right place, but a bit of a wobble at speed will break a lot of bits in the small sizes. The Vanda-Lay stand allows you to drill to exact depths and exactly where you want the hole to be. This is important if you need a series of equally-spaced holes in a straight line, such as for pinrails. I haven't tried their "mill," but I'd expect with the Dremel's power limitations, it would have enough power for modeling tasks. I think it's probably worth adding to the package, given what a dedicated micro-mill and tooling would set you back. I have a Vanda-Lay drill press and find it's great for fine work. I don't expect it to be hogging 1" bores with Forsner bits, though. Vanda-Lay is a small, family owned business in Southern California. I've found them accessible and very helpful. We're not talking the .0005" accuracy of one of Jim Byrnes' table saws or a Sherline lathe or mill, but Vanda-Lay provides basic tools with what I consider a very high "value for the money" factor. So much the better if you already have a Dremel tool and a collection of bits and burrs to start with. Whatever you do, don't buy the comparably-priced Dremel brand drill press for your Dremel tool. I've never had one, mainly because upon examining them in the store, they looked junky. Those who have bought them were not happy with them at all. They reportedly lack sufficient rigidity to produce accurate work. I'd put them in the "toy" category. Basic drill press with optional drill press table ($30 for the table) Vanda-Lay drill presses with milling attachments and various Dremel models. Drill-mill with X-Y table. (Z fine adjustment attachment also available.)
  14. And if you were lucky enough to be in Britian's Royal Navy, you had one of the first real guaranteed veterans' pension systems to look forward to. In those days, that was a huge benefit.
  15. If Mike's your brother, you're certainly in good company there! We'd all give our eye teeth to have half the skill he does! We'll have to watch your progress and determine if ship modeling ability is "nature" or "nurture."
  16. Yes, for a time, I suppose, lapis lazuli was ground up as a pigment and that wasn't cheap then or now. I suppose back when, lots of gold leaf and blue paint was top notch in ship decoration. I must say, I had no idea anyone could find enough historic research to write an entire book about it, though. Good work and thanks for your contribution to our store of knowledge!
  17. And then there was the policy of motivating crews by the practice of distributing prize money. Capturing a fat enemy merchantman could be like winning the lottery for a lowly sailor on one of the naval raiders.
  18. Hi Mark! You're doing great for a first effort. Obviously, you are a skilled "maker," and it's just the subject matter that's new to you. Vossie has given you good advice. I'll just clarify what appears to be a misconception about serving. It's only the "standing" rigging that is served, i.e. the "ropes" that don't move, mainly the "shrouds" which run from the masts to the sides of the ship and the "stays" which run parallel to the centerline of the ship. The "running" rigging, which moves to control the sails and spars and such isn't served. We'd all be in the looney bin by now if all the line on a model had to be served! If you have a lathe in your shop, you won't need a "serving machine" because you've already got one. Just run the line through the headstock, securing it at the head in a chuck or however you wish and at the tailstock with a swivel so that when the lathe is run (slowly) the whole line turns rather than twisting. The excess line can be secured at the outer end of the headstock so it turns with the working part of the line and doesn't twist up and kink. One of those swivels they sell for fishing rigs to keep lures from kinking the line when they spin works well for a "live" end on the tailstock.) You can then tie a thread onto the taut portion of line between the headstock and tailstock and, holding the spool of thread in your hand, serve the shroud or stay easily and quickly. It takes a bit of practice, but it's easy to get the hang of it. I also strongly suggest you get a copy of Frank Mastini's book Ship Modeling Simplified: Tips and Techniques for Model Construction from Kits. It's in print in paperback and runs about $16. Amazon and Barnes and Noble have it, of course, and somebody is selling them on eBay with free shipping for only $8 right now. Mastini's book is a general introduction to kit building for folks starting out and, for that purpose, it's excellent. If you get involved in the hobby, you'll quickly find yourself amassing a library of reprints of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century treatises on naval architecture, ship rigging and naval ordinance, but that will come in due course. Mastini's book addresses the somewhat standard practices of the kit manufacturers and answers a lot of questions raised by the manufacturers' often too brief instructions. If memory serves, it also contains a translation glossary of nautical terms in French, Spanish and Italian, so one can figure out what the foreign language instructions are talking about. I'd consider it a must for a first time kit builder. It will save you a lot of grief and frustration.
  19. Don't underestimate yourself. Your last model demonstrates that you have the skills and ability to build just about anything you'd want. It's just as with the last one, pick something you like, take your time. read the build logs in MSW, ask questions if you have them. Model Shipways kits are relatively high quality and their instructions are clear. You should have no problem. Actually, plank on bulkhead or on frame models aren't more difficult than solid hulls, just different. I think they have a reputation for being difficult only because so many people who are starting out bite off more than they can chew. You don't appear to have that problem. Go for it!
  20. Thanks, weflak! I'll have to add that to my bag of rust tricks. Heretofore, I've been pretty much a wire wheel and steel wood kind of guy.
  21. I've never before heard of using tea leaves for anything other than brewing tea and telling fortunes. How is it done? Is the piece soaked in tea? Are the leave applied wet as a paste and left to sit. Are they rubbed on dry? Can you explain the technique?
  22. Now, now... let's not get pissy. "Different ships, different long splices," as the saying goes. That said, if I ever saw anybody taking sandpaper to my fine drawing instruments, I'd whack 'em upside the head.
  23. Nylon lanyards. One of my pet peeves are the sailing ships used in so many period movies which are rigged with white Dacron line. I understand that modern synthetic cordage is far better in actual use than the old natural fiber cordage that would be historically correct, but in an otherwise meticulously accurately dressed set, white Dacron is a real "poke in the eye." It took a long time for the sailcloth manufacturers to get around to offering natural canvas-colored Dacron sailcloth with a softer hand and I think properly colored synthetic line may now be available. The "traditional look" Dacron sailcloth looks far better on traditional boats.
  24. Truer words were never spoken! You betcha. It's an enjoyable pastime, too. One of the best things about "building it in your head" is that there's nothing to clean up afterwards, either.

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