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Bob Cleek

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Everything posted by Bob Cleek

  1. A single layer of planking requires careful layout and fitting, while double planking covers a multitude of sins. It's easier to bend two layers of thin plank than a thicker one, until you get the hang of it. Actually, single planking is easier in my opinion because it's easier to clamp to the frames. Kit manufacturers opt for the double planking because it offers the less-experienced builder an easier go of it and because they can get away with less expensive wood for the first layer. Today's top quality models seem all to be single layer planking, sometimes with the planks laser-cut to save the builder having to spile their own planks. I think many modelers find their first single planked model marks the end of their double planking days. Other's mileage may vary, of course.
  2. Ah, yes. It happens. Go to a local craft or bead store and I'm sure you will easily find something that fits the scale of your model perfectly. They are just round beads. They come in a million colors and sizes. No problem.
  3. I hear you on that! It seems to be a problem just about everywhere outside the US, if comments on MSW are any indication. I see that Barrie, Ontario is only about 145 miles from Buffalo, New York. An affordable Jim Saw may be closer than you think. If my memory of his prior posts serves, MSW forumite Kevin Kenny, who lives in Trinidad and Tobago, has found it impossible to obtain many modeling essentials in his homeland and solves that problem by stocking up on tools and supplies whenever he visits his daughter in New York. He may be able to share some pointers on how that works for him.
  4. I agree! You just assemble a plastic kit. "Glue part number 5A into hole number 5B" and so on. There's no need to understand what the part is called or what its function might be. To a greater extent, particularly with earlier wooden models, be they ship or otherwise, at least before laser cutting, is was just assumed by the manufacturers that their customers has some basic understanding of what they were building and adequate woodworking skills to cut and fit the parts together. Unfortunately, many of recent generations are often clueless when it comes to the manual arts and the high schools by and large abandoning their shop classes hasn't helped any, either. Anybody starting in out in sailing ship modeling would do well to start by reading Chapelle's Boatbuilding and learning how a wooden boat is built from the lines up. That will make their modeling tasks much more understandable. Of course, such advice would be sure to fall on deaf ears in this age of instant gratification. How many kids today know "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey?"
  5. It might have been a good start twenty years ago, but nothing more. Continually acquiring related research materials as one goes along is an essential part of this hobby. The technology of modeling has increased and complexified tremendously in the twenty years since that was written. I would say that any of the then-contemporary "how-to-do-it" books are fairly obsolete by now, save for the very few "classics." Avoid anything with the words "How to" in the title. For example, you will hear about frequently-recommended books on how to build kits, but they will have been written in the days of double "plank on bulkhead" construction long before laser-cut parts and photo-etched fittings became commonplace and they really fall short of addressing what a quality kit can produce today. They are generally a waste of money. There will always be yet another "must-have" volume to acquire. If someone starting out asked me, I'd advise them to first acquire the "classics" that have stood the test of time, such as the books by Davis, Underhill, Longridge, and The Ship Modeler's Shopnotes I and II on modeling technique and Chapelle on American period vessels, if that's your focus of interest. Wrap your head around that information, then take it from there. Also, don't limit your selections to specifically ship modeling books, either. Any good book on any of the related crafts will contribute to making you a better modeler. You will, eventually, want to know about various wood species and their qualities, how to cut, turn, and carve wood, how to finish wood, how to fabricate metal parts and join them together, how to sew, how to make your own scale cordage, how to read "lines drawings" and do drafting, both manual and CAD, if that's your cup of tea, and on and on. This is what makes this hobby one that can stay with you for a lifetime.
  6. This sounds like great stuff! Not only does it provide the advantages you mentioned, but it's unbreakable! Regrettably, "expensive" is an understatement, though. A 4'X8' sheet of the stuff runs around $1,500! Optium Museum F 0001 Tue-Vue Specialty Sheet - 48 x 96 x .125 (acplasticsinc.com) I've "saved" the site address in my "favorites" in case I win the lottery one day.
  7. Got it! That should keep the case solidly in place on the base. I addressed that problem by cutting a rabet in the base edge which the case sets down on. The side of the rabet keeps the case from sliding around.. "Different ships, different long splices!" I used your "notched mitered corner" method on this case pictured below for rigidity as you do. It was built before I'd added epoxy to my armamentarium. I was concerned about the strength of the glued corners given the relative narrowness of the framing, which, for aesthetic reasons, I didn't want to make larger. It was made from a particularly nice plank of hard old-growth redwood I happened to have on hand. This case has held up well for over 35 years, two wives, three kids, and several moves. The somewhat narrow table has always been screw-fastened to the wall, which was a good thing in the big 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake! We native Californians learn to adapt to our environment!
  8. Hi Oakvander,


    I'm located in Petaluma, CA, just north of San Francisco. I've spent my life in the maritime community here (my dad was in the shipping business with American President Lines.) I've been involved with other models folks sought to donate to the local museums through my connections with the late Karl Kortum, the founder of the San Francisco Maritime Museum. (I am an attorney by profession and a local maritime historian by avocation.) I've been building ship models on and off, as well as building, sailing, and maintaining my own wooden yachts for over fifty years. I've studied ship models "in person" in maritime museums in the U.S. and Europe. While I don't consider myself a "professional" in the field, I have to say that I can't imagine there is any museum that would be interested in accepting this model for any purpose other than to sell it off to a decorator or auction house, which for their purposes, would not be worth the effort because of the cost to restore it to marketable condition may well exceed the value of the model itself once it's restored. This isn't to suggest the model is "worthless," but only that those in the business of buying and selling models are looking to make a profit and little else. Moreover, the model is of a vessel with absolutely no local connection, so museums wouldn't be interested. Finally, as is becoming apparent from the posts in your thread, the model itself has no remarkable provenance, although we do know it appears to be a copy of the 16th Century NMG model whose prototype itself cannot be identified. 


    As someone mentioned, there may be a library, a yacht club, or a waterfront bar that might be interested in it for use as decor, but I doubt any of these would pay money for it nor provide an IRS deductible donation receipt for it for anything more than the statutory $500 maximum limit without a written appraisal for it that satisfied the IRS requirements. Here again, none of these would be interested in the model unless it was restored, the cost of which would far exceed the amount of any net recovery from a charitable donation deduction.


    Another problem with selling models is that they are very expensive to ship anywhere because their cases must be properly crated to prevent breakage and they require very special handling by specialist shippers. They rarely survive a long-haul ride in the back of a semi-trailer. Here again, the shipping and special handling costs could well exceed the market value of the model, so the market area is likely to be limited to local buyers.


    If the above discouraging assessment proves to be the case after their further efforts, I'd hate to see this otherwise nicely built model end up in the back of a Goodwill truck or the like. As I have done with deserving models before, I would be happy and grateful to "give it a good home," and restore it for my own "collection," which is hardly what anyone would call "museum quality," but interesting nonetheless. I hate to see well-build models die. However, the economics of it all being that the most I can justify offering for the model is to restore, preserve, and and appreciate it. If that it appears to the owners to be the best option left to them, I'd be happy to have it.


    If you or they wish to discuss it further with me, you can contact me at robert@cleek-elin.com or phone at 415-408-8464.



    1. Show previous comments  13 more
    2. oakvander


      Hi Bob. Thanks for your input. It sure seems like the same model to me. 


      It's not known how it got here. One of the former owners of the house where the model is currently was a bigwig at Barclays, which is based in London. I imagine he could easily have afforded to have it shipped by the most expensive means possible. But I don't know whether it was the guy from Barclays who brought it into the house or another former owner, an architect.


      It's been a fun research project. I've enjoyed learning about the world of ship models. Hopefully the owners will decide the fate of the model soon. 

    3. oakvander


      I also wanted to mention that Dr. Kriegstein suggested that the fact that the model was built by John Franklin is unlikely to change the price estimate significantly. Yet, one of the other forum members just replied indicating that it could. Your thoughts?


      You mentioned previously that Mr. Wall has a gallery where he sells models. I wasn't aware of that until you told me. So, if we got him to do an appraisal, might he make an offer to purchase it (seems like a potential conflict of interest)? Also, would he expect the owner to ship the model to him? They're probably not going to want to do that. 


    4. Bob Cleek

      Bob Cleek

      Ah... The Barclay's Bank connection is a possible explanation. Being a San Francisco native, I recall Barclay's Bank back in those days. It was a British bank that opened a US subsidiary. They marketed themselves as "ever so veddy British" and played on the cache' that they were somehow "higher class." (Remember this was the era when James Bond was considered the ultimate in "cool," instead of the quaintly misogynistic lout he appears to be in his old movies today.) A model like this would exactly be the sort of thing they would have in their SF financial district branch office or conference room. Banks used to have fancy lobbies when customers had to spend time waiting in line for a teller back before ATM machines. (Wells Fargo had (has?) a stage coach and company museum in their Montgomery Street branch lobby around the same era.) I wouldn't be a bit surprised if some executive took it home when there was a move and it was no longer needed... or would no longer be noticed missing. :D 


      I agree with Dr. Kriegstein that the fact Franklin built the model wouldn't change the value appreciably. As a model, it is what it is and it does have its limitations. Franklin was known as a collector and an authority on Navy Board models, but he was not known as a model builder. His being the builder should definitely be told to Wall if an appraisal is done. it's not insignificant, but, while of interest, I also don't see anybody paying more for it on that account. I greatly respect the forumite who made the comment that it may increase the value, but I'm afraid his goodwill and best wishes got ahead of him in that instance. There are really only five or eight ship model builders in the world alive at any time whose works are so highly regarded and well recognized that their handiwork automatically draws attention in the marketplace. Ship models are like any work of art: They don't realize their highest prices until the artist is dead! :D 


      Yes, Wall does sell models, although at this point is seems that he also is doing a fair amount of appraisals, consulting, and restoration and conservation work. I've noticed of late that the quality and price point of his gallery offerings has decreased somewhat in recent years. He used to have a fair number of fine older models of high quality, along with some works by well known contemporary master modelers, but of late it seems he's filled out his offerings with less interesting stuff, including simply nicely made kit models! He still apparently has two or three of the well-recognized professional modelers who seem to sell their works through his gallery. Here's his current inventory you haven't seen it already: Current Inventory – American Marine Ship Model Gallery


      I don't know if Wall accepts models for sale on commission or buys them outright and sells them on his own account.. He doesn't hold auctions, as far as I know. I would expect that he would want the model in his gallery if he were going to try to sell it. Any buyer would want to at least see a model in person before buying and a wise collector paying a good price for a select model would probably want it professionally examined and appraised.



  9. I used to use this method of corner joint before I started using epoxy resin adhesive. I got lazy and tried "pinning" the corners with metal pegs after assembly with the epoxy adhesive, sort of as a "belt and suspenders" approach to make sure everything was fastened securely. It seems to produce a strong joint and I'm not even sure the pegs are necessary, since a lot of the rigidity of the structure comes from the panes set in the grooves. The one problem I've yet to devise an easy solution to is cleaning the glass on the inside of a case that's taller than the length of my arm! I've tried folding a sponge over the end of a stick and wrapping the sponge in terrycloth toweling held in place with duct tape. It's still tedious business. The next case I build, I will wear clean nitrile gloves in the hope of avoiding a fingerprint somewhere deep on the inside of the glass!
  10. Tell her "Better these sites than porn!" I'm sure you can figure out how to avoid getting caught. Most model-building husbands acquire those skills early on. If you have trouble figuring it out, just study how she buys clothes and kitchen gadgets on line!
  11. There is at least one article on building cases in one of the Shipmodeler's Shop Notes volumes and perhaps a few posts about case making on the forum, but the search feature didn't help any when I looked for them. It's a simple enough project to make a case, although it helps to have three arms! A decent table saw is a must and you'll need to have a way of making very exactly accurate 45 degree angle cuts. This is where your Jim Saw will really come in handy! A picture framer's 45 degree corner clamp is also very handy, although one can build their own jig for this purpose easily enough. I've found the best-priced glass can be sourced from places like Michael's that do custom framing. Ask them to cut to the exact dimensions you specify and buy the picture framing glass with the UV-blocking filtering in it. I've also used simple window glass, which is a bit cheaper, but I've found a glazer's shop may not cut to the exact measurements you request and may not have the thinner glass you'd likely prefer. Construction is pretty simple and any article on building cases will give you the details. You can pick whatever method you prefer. I like glass because it doesn't scratch like the plastics can and it's less expensive. It's easier to clean, too. I've found that you can't build a glued box plexiglas case unless you are a pro. They use special proprietary adhesives that dry to an invisible weld at the corners and if your adhesive (I've tried CA) goes anywhere that you don't want it, you'll have a mess that is relatively impossible to buff out unless you are using the professional proprietary adhesive which is only sold to licensees, I believe. If you prefer plastic, you can always build a wood frame case and glaze it with plastic. Plastic out-gasses and that troubles me in terms of archival quality. Others' mileage varies in that respect, of course. One can buy case kits, but they are expensive and the size selection is limited. Purchasing a professionally built case has always been prohibitively expensive in my estimation, although I have the tools to do it in house myself, so I'm biased in that respect. Most of the case kits on the market do not include the glass or plastic. Shipping the fragile built case from the manufacturer is quite expensive, as well. I expect the special handling and insurance is costly. After trying a number of construction methods, I've settled on what I've found to be the most simple. I make two rectangles with 45 degree mitered corners. these define the shape of the top and bottom of the case frame. The top rectangle has a saw kerf cut into the inside sides of it, as well as on the bottom sides of it. (A table saw blade kerf just matches thickness of the glass I use. It should be a tight fit.) The top rectangle is assembled with the glass held in place in the saw kerfs. The corners are glued with thickened epoxy adhesive and allowed to set. Diagonal holes are then (carefully) drilled at right angles to the joints and a dowel or metal pin (or two, depending on the size of the case) is inserted into the hole(s) at each corner and glued with epoxy or CA. The bottom rectangle is assembled in the same fashion, but without the glass, of course, for which reason it will only need saw kerfs on its top sides. Then four posts are cut and saw kerfs run on the two inside sides of each post. (All this kerf cutting will take careful measurements to ensure the kerfs on the posts will be in line with the kerfs in the top and base.) The entire case is then assembled with the edges of its glass sides being captured by the saw kerfs in the top and bottom rectangles and the side posts and the side posts are glued with epoxy to the top and bottom rectangles. (Here again, fitting is critical. A little bit of extra depth in the saw kerfs is helpful. Do not force the glass panes into the kerfs. Don't ask me how I know this!) When this epoxy is cured, again carefully, drill one or two holes in the top and bottom rectangles at each corner and insert a dowel or metal pin cemented with epoxy or CA. The holes for the metal pins can then be filled with a bit of furniture refinisher's wax or putty and will be virtually invisible. If you use dowels, they can be sanded flush. This wooden framed glass box is the top of the case. A base, upon which the model will rest, must be built to accept the "box" cover when it is placed over it. A rabet in the base board edge secures the case over the base and keeps it from slipping around. If one desires, holes can be drilled in the edges of the frame of the glass box and through into the edges of the baseboard rabet and a nail, brass escutcheon pin, or other unobtrusive fastener provided to slide into the holes with a "slip fit." these will prevent a disaster from occurring if someone attempts to lift up the case by the "box" instead of the baseboard, thinking it's all attached and whacks the model with the box! This is particularly relevant to small models that hamfisted cleaning ladies seem to think the can just throw around when they are dusting! It is important to provide a means for air circulation in a model case. Otherwise, an acidic atmosphere can be trapped in the case environment and cause deterioration of the model. The acid out-gasses from various sources within the case environment, including PVA adhesives and without air circulation, can reach destructive levels over time. Only a very small hole is required. A space of an eighth of an inch between the side of the baseboard rabet and the box bottom rectangle and a space of and eighth of an inch between the baseboard and the bottom of of the "box," provided by something like those adhesive felt "buttons" they sell for putting on the lower back edges of picture frames so they don't mark up the walls should be sufficient. The "rule of thumb" is that there should be one square inch of "hole" in a case for every one cubic yard of a case's interior volume, so it doesn't take much to provide enough circulation. An alternate method of providing ventilation is to make the base rectangle higher than the size of the rest of the framing rails and drill a few ventilation holes through the back of it. This "heavier" base rectangle side can also be more aesthetically pleasing, particularly if the baseboard plinth upon which the model is mounted is raised up a bit. See: Nautical Research Guild - Article - Ephemeral Materials in Ship Models (thenrg.org) for more details on preventing acid deterioration in ship model cases. So, there you have it. It's not rocket science, but it does take care and accurate measurements and cutting. Building a case for a 36" model yourself can easily save you several hundred bucks! Oak case with mahogany plinth made using the above-described method. Note the thicker bottom rectangle sides: Detail of baseboard construction with glass box removed showing the mahogany plinth on a plywood baseboard with mitered oak trim around the edges:
  12. And the hobby-oriented retailers frequently have lower-quality less expensive things which, if you search on line, you can find in much higher quality versions for sometimes even lower prices. Consider these online retailers for "ideas." Note also that if you sign up for the email advertisements and catalogs, they are frequently running quite deep discount sales: Micro-Mark - The Small Tools Specialists ⚙️ (micromark.com) Model Expo - Historically accurate wooden model kits made in the USA (modelexpo-online.com) Check out jewelers' supply houses like: OttoFrei.com - Jewelry Tools & Findings Since 1930 Rio Grande Jewelry Supply Jewelry Tools | Jewelry Making Supplies | Wholesaler | Stuller Esslinger Watchmakers Tools and Watch Parts Contenti Jewelry Making Tools | Contenti (Watch for the sales. Prices are often cut drastically, especially around inventory tax time.) Also, check out eBay for any of the things you are looking for. There are often close-outs and tons of Asian knockoffs (buyer beware on those, though.) The Used dental and medical tools on eBay are often great bargains, particularly for tweezers, forceps, dental burs, scalpels and such. One surprisingly fertile area to mine on eBay is the manicurists' supplies. Small paintbrushes for painting women's nails can be had at amazingly low prices compared to the art supply stores. The same goes for abrasive boards and rotary tools. The drafting instrument section on eBay is also excellent for finding useful used drawing instruments such as scales, straight edges, ruling pens, and proportional dividers, often for pennies on the dollar for what they originally cost. While eBay is full of junk, if you know what you're looking for, there are great bargains to be had. I just scored a brand new Buffalo Model 16 dental lab engine and handpiece, a total retail value of close to $1,000.00 for seventy-five bucks on eBay. It was listed as a "steampunk decor item" with the caveat that it was not operational. Knowing they were still in production, I took a chance it might be repairable. It turned out the motor brushes, which are shipped uninstalled with the new units, were never installed and lost, and the belt and one of the pulley wheels was missing. Buffalo is shipping me the missing parts for $45.00. Life is good! EquipmentCatalog_2013.pdf (buffalodental.com) Home - Buffalo Dental Manufacturing Co. Inc. As you may have guessed, I like to shop for tools like Imelda Marcos likes to shop for shoes. One thing I've learned, though, is not to buy a tool until you need it and then, unless it's something relatively disposable, buy the best quality tool you can afford, and never pass up a good deal. You usually have to buy a cheap tool twice. A good tool should last a lifetime, or close to it and they are a joy to behold. It's certainly true that many a model has been built with the most basic of tools and very few of them, so don't let collecting tools get in the way of your modeling. Just start picking them up as you go and before you know it you'll have more tools than time to use them. Start saving now for your JimSaw! Byrnes Model Machines Home Page
  13. This thread shouldn't be eliminated. It should be preserved for posterity. It proves that determination and thought will provide the solution of most any daunting modeling challenge. As they say, "It shows you're thinking!" All to often, someone posts a question, gets the answer, and then argues about why it can't be done that way.
  14. I'll 'third" Allen's suggestion regarding the omission of the copper plate tacks: Please don't! We've got a whole generation of models with the "pox." Three hundred years from now, based on the few models then extant, modelers will be arguing on some other ship modeling forum that "contemporary" models in museums prove the fact that copper plate was held on by three-inch headed round-headed rivets! A note about cutting copper sheet with a lever-action paper cutter (my preferred method) or with scissors: You will likely find that in cutting strips of copper sheet on a paper cutter, the off-cut strip will curl to the side. A strip of cut copper sheet can easily be straightened out by placing one end in a vise and the other in a pair of pliers and pulling hard in a straight line away from the fixed side. When I have a bunch of strips to straighten, I place one handle of a pair of vise-grip pliers in my big bench vise with the grip holding tension set to hold the strips, and then place one after the other into the vise-grips in succession for pulling without having to continually re-adjust the vise-grips in the vise to hold each strip. Using another pair of vise grips on the "pulling" end will also prevent hand-fatigue if you have a lot of strips to straighten. Squeezing an ordinary pair of pliers tight enough to hold the strip while you pull on it can put a lot of repetitive strain on your hand holding the pliers.
  15. The twisted wire method of making eyebolts pictured above works wonderfully for small eyebolts. I find, however, that as the wire size increases, the twisted shaft's diameter increases as well and can easily require a drilled hole much larger than you want on your model. (Sometimes too large to work on a slim spar, making them too weak and likely to break.) Really, what you will find easier, and useful for many purposes, is a jeweler's round-nosed pliers such as Allan pictured in his post above. They are not expensive at all, although I'd urge you to buy the best tools you can afford because they will last you a lifetime and these will get used a lot. They come in various sizes, some with very slim points. They are also made with stepped points which will ensure that you easily make the same sized diameter loop at each step. And, last but not least, there are pliers which have a round point and a concave anvil point for making perfectly half-round bends which are really handy for making hooks: Having the right tools for metal work is pretty important. This last tool is really what you want for eyebolts that are open. Cutting the "twisties" may work, but you'll probably end up with twisted shanks that are too fat and you don't need them, anyhow. Check out online jeweler's tool and orthodontic instrument retailers. You can get these various pliers for as little as five or six bucks apiece, on up to fifteen or twenty bucks in brushed stainless steel for the fancy ones. "He who dies with the most tools wins!"
  16. Be sure to save the box and packing materials. You will need them for sending it back. Tubed quality artist's oils and acrylics properly thinned as they have recommended are fine for airbrushing and also for brush painting. They are intended to be thinned as the user requires. While you may have to acquire the skill to mix colors which perfectly match 1942 Wehrmacht armor paint as opposed to 1943 Wehrmacht armor paint, as some require, tubed paste artist's colors are far less expensive than the small containers of model paints and particularly so the small premixed bottles of "airbrush paint" for modeling. The tubed colors are also far less likely to dry up on your shelf.
  17. The distinction between primer and sanding undercoat is often overlooked. Primer is thin and soaks into the bare wood surface. It can be thinned paint or shellac. I prefer shellac as it is thinned with alcohol and dries quickly to a hard coating that sands easily while penetrating the wood well. For those using water-based acrylics, you should not use a water-based primer on bare wood because the water will raise the grain on the bare wood surface. For this reason, among others, my standard primer is shellac. (Which is also cheap and readily available!) Applying repeated coats of thin primer will take much longer to fill grain and other imperfections, as will applying repeated costs of finish paint. Sanding undercoat is a huge time-saver. Also note that filling imperfections with sanding undercoat has its limitations. It isn't intended for filling a 1/32" gap in planking. For that use surfacing putty (sometimes called "fairing putty",) which is a peanut-butter consistency acetone-thinned material similar to sanding undercoat that is used for filling larger imperfections. Surfacing putty should be covered with primer or sanding undercoat after sanding fair and before applying any finish paint because it may absorb some of the later-applied coating and create a visible difference in the later coat, often a "flat finish" that sticks out like a sore thumb on a gloss finish coat. Once primed, a sanding undercoat is used to fill the small imperfections and grain. This undercoat paint is relatively thick and contains a fair portion of talc (chalk) which is what thickens it so it will fill the low spots and makes it very easy to sand. The undercoat, when fully dried, is sanded smooth. If some imperfections remain, another coat is applied and sanded again, and so on until the surface is perfect. Close examination under good light is preferred, and for final examination running the fingertips lightly over the surface is recommended because your fingertips are more sensitive for judging smoothness than your eyes. Only after the surface is prepared in this fashion, should one apply the finish coats thinly until the desired finish is achieved. Oil-based sanding undercoat can be covered by water-based finishes because it is sufficiently flat to provide a mechanical bond, although if one is using a water-based finish coat, it's safer to use water-based sanding undercoat. Oil-based paint and varnish are preferred for fine finishes due to their more durable harder surfaces which are easier to sand and polish. However, many prefer acrylics for their faster drying time and other more user-friendly qualities. ' And the one rule that must often be followed and is rarely mentioned is to always, always, always, test every paint or varnish you are going to use on a scrap of the same material you are going to finish before you start applying it to the finished workpiece! This may be difficult for the impatient, but the additional time taken will ensure you avoid tremendous grief. Finishing is sometimes a mysterious process. Sometimes the smallest differences in the mixing of materials, their age, or the ambient environment can result in a failure, usually in adhesion or drying. It's often difficult to know why and frequently unpredictable. It's far better to know that before you've an applied incompatible or defective coating to an entire hull or to small, detailed parts that are nearly impossible to strip and start over on.
  18. Using heat from a clothes iron or other suitable device, bend your toe rail to shape first, then glue it in place.
  19. Similarly, I use a old drafting stool like the one below that I scored at a garage sale: The adjustable height tables are a valuable thing to have, but my main concern these days is providing for a solid base for my hands and forearms to ensure steady manipulation. There's a world of difference between rigging "in mid-air" and rigging "with your elbows on the table." I'm currently considering one of the adjustable arm rests like these made for computer users: I'm thinking that mounting these on a bar adjusted to fit the user's sitting or standing height with a lift table behind it, would work well for "getting in close" to do rigging while providing forearm and wrist stabilization. Has anybody any experience with these?
  20. Quality linen thread isn't being manufactured as much as it used to be and is indeed difficult to obtain today. However, interestingly, hemp is making a significant comeback in the fiber industries and, for all intents and purposes, is nearly indistinguishable from linen (flax) in it's properties. Hemp thread is now being produced and sold, and although it hasn't become widely available, it's becoming moreso. Look for it online. Amazon.com: Coats & Clark Extra Strong Upholstery Thread, 150-Yard, Hemp Given that linen is unavailable, Chuck reports that at least one major museum has gone over to Gutermann's Mara polyester which they feel has acceptable archival qualities for use in rigging ship models. See: Gutermann Mara 100 Poly Wrapped Poly Core Thread - Tex 30 - WAWAK Sewing Supplies Anything other than these two aren't isn't being widely considered better for ship model rigging. Check Chuck's rope-making posts in the "More" section in the forum masthead. There are lots of discussions regarding thread to use for ropemaking. In any event, all the custom-made cordage for modeling is better by a long shot than anything any of the kit manufacturers I've seen are putting in their kits.
  21. Yeah, but it's so annoying when you get sticky dried jelly and mustard fingerprints on your shiny copper bottoms!
  22. This could be somebody's lucky day! US eBay has a complete set of Copenhagen curves by a company I've never seen before, but a curve is a curve. The listing ends today and there's only a couple of bids. It's at $51.00 with free shipping! If anybody wants a set of Copenhagen curves for a bargain basement price, this may be your chance. The short listing time probably means a lot of people haven't noticed it yet. Martin Copenhagen Drafting Curves | eBay
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