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Bob Cleek

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Everything posted by Bob Cleek

  1. She's certainly coming together nicely. Lovely model!
  2. A "gun tackle" is any single-purchase tackle. Two single sheave blocks with the top one having a bail at the bottom. The line runs from the bail down to the lower block and back up and through the upper block with the fall coming down from there. So-called because they were commonly attached to each side of gun carriages. As the saying goes, "Different ships, different long splices." It's a matter of taste and there are no hard and fast rules. I suppose one could serve and tar the standing part of a topping life, but why would they want to? The tar would get all over the sails, for one thing, and it would just be an unnecessary job to keep up. The lines pictured in my post are definitely topping lifts. Lines are sometimes spliced into topping lifts, the line running down and around the boom and back up to the topping lift on the other side, allowing the topping lifts to serve double duty as support for lazy jacks. However, at least on the western side of the Pond, lazy jacks are rarely seen on gaff-headed sails because the gaff boom, being lowered between a pair of topping lifts, keeps the sail under control when being lowered. Lazy jacks are more often seen on jib-headed sails for this reason. On smaller jib-headed sails, the topping lift is often just one line run from the masthead to the end of the boom, in which case lazy jacks made up of lighter cordage are more commonly seen. I would expect that lazy jacks were less common on large naval vessels where there were "many hands to make light work" of handing the sail. The conventional wisdom favors less weight and windage aloft and, certainly, less chafe on the sails.
  3. Standing rigging "stands." it doesn't move to operate the vessel. Running rigging "runs" or moves, often through blocks, to operate the vessel. A topping lift is running rigging and would likely not be served and tarred because it has to run through blocks to operate. It would be the same untarred color of the rest of the running rigging. Baggywrinkle is commonly found on topping lifts, though. The baggywrinkle prevents the topping lift from chafing the sail. I don't know for certain when baggywrinkle came into use, so if you are modeling an early vessel, you may want to do more research on that point. Here's all you need to know about it: http://www.scottmckittrick.com/2019/02/18/baggywrinkle-or-whats-that-fuzzy-stuff-on-the-ship/
  4. That depends upon which way you want the grain to run: vertical grain or flat sawn. The planks should not crack if you use heat to bend them. If they do, it's likely that you are simply bending them beyond their limits of elasticity and cutting doesn't have a whole lot to do with it.
  5. Beautiful work, as always. This is such an inspiring build log! Now you've got me going. I can't for the life of me understand how that half-bulkhead drops down to cover the stairwell in the deckhouse. I suppose it could easily be broken down and set in place, but what about the round newel post? How does that fit flush into the sole? And it's got to weigh plenty. That gas strut, if that be what it is, seems way too small. Stranger still, when it's down, the stairwell is closed. One would have to go forward to another hatch and then work their way aft. That steward bringing the coffee and cocktails certainly can't be happy about that folding stairwell hatch! Obviously, in a vessel as well-conceived as this one, they must have done it right, but how do they do it?
  6. You might also want to investigate liver of sulphur gel, which is available from most all jewelry supply houses.
  7. This may, or may not, be obvious, but in the off chance it isn't, do a bunch of tests to determine what effect you will get from any stain. Use decking scraps. You can always darken stains, but you can't lighten them. If you are going to get an effect you don't want, better to get it on a piece of scrap wood than on the deck of a model!
  8. Wefalck, Jaager and Allanyed have the best solution. Experience begins when you start doing it. It's not as difficult as you'd expect. Fruit trees are good. I also have found ornamental shrubs quite suitable, species like privets and similar hedges. Pick forked branches of suitable size and shape. For modeling purposes a pair of pruning shears are perfect. Make small cardboard patterns of the parts you want to make. They will come in handy to match up against the forks and "bents" as you cut them. When you get them home, scrape off the bark (a potato peeler often works well for this if the bark is thin,) let them dry a few weeks in a warm place. Thin stock should dry quickly. After that, lay the crook on a flat surface and plane the two faces flat to the molded dimension you want. Then trace the shape of the piece from the pattern you made and carefully cut it out with a jeweler's saw or scroll saw, if you have one. It isn't just for looks that this method is best. It also, by far, results in the strongest parts.
  9. Now's the time when you might consider fashioning some sort of "prophylactic" for the bowsprit rigging. I usually find or fashion with duct tape something suitably "boxy" out of cardboard that will enclose the bowsprit and bows. It's more for preventing accidents than preventing damage after the accident occurs. Even just a big "box" there is enough to remind the mind that it is to be avoided. Without something of the kind, it is very, very easy in an inattentive moment to collide with, or have something snag onto the bowsprit rigging while reaching across the bench for a tool or walking past in the shop. Bowsprits are really susceptible to such damage and it can often have catastrophic "chain reaction" consequences to other parts of the rig. (Don't ask me how I know this.)
  10. I would definitely coat the wood with a thin coat of shellac to prevent absorption of black paint into the wood. (It would probably be less of a problem if you sprayed the black paint, but why take a chance?)
  11. In real life, particularly in the Age of Sail when pine tar was liberally applied to everything, decks ended up black and covered in tow in short order. Even naval vessels minimized holy-stoning to preserve their decks, save for special occasions when an inspection was to occur. (Frequent holy-stoning would wear the decks down to the fastening heads in no time.) Out of scale (color and size) deck seams and black "nails" in deck planks, like protruding out of scale "rivets" on bottom coppering, seem to be faddish affectations of present day modeling, but, as they say, "each to his own." I've found simply laying deck planks, applying a light coat of varnish, and then a light coat of thin stain or paint of the appropriate color, then wiped off, leaves a suitably darkened area between the deck seams that yields a realistic impression of what decks should look like at scale. Your mileage may vary, of course.
  12. Thanks! That certainly makes it perfectly clear. I was in chemistry class in 1967, too. Unfortunately, I failed to apply myself the the study of that subject any more than was necessary to achieve a "gentleman's C." I had a bad habit of only studying the subjects in which I had a current interest during my college years and every so often in my later life I've been reminded of the costs of that. I had no appreciation for trigonometry until I had to teach myself celestial navigation, for example!
  13. Shellac is a decent enough adhesive for such purposes, but I'd opt for a dot or two of Duco or CA adhesive. I would not "drill and pin them." While barrel and bucket hoops were sometimes riveted and then driven on, I believe most were forge-welded hoops. They are driven down onto the barrel or bucket with a mallet and a "hoop driver." If they were nailed into the barrel, the barrel would likely leak in time, or at least have weak spot in the stave. Hoop driver: See: https://cooperstoolmuseum.com/coopers-tool/ While others' mileage may vary, I'm of the opinion that models are better off left with as little coating as possible. Paints and varnishes are necessary, of course, but I prefer a light rubbing with a 50/50 mixture of boiled linseed oil and turpentine or a coating of thin shellac for unpainted wood and a coating of thin shellac and paint for painted areas. Frankly, I think the plethora of proprietary varnishes, clear coats, and other gunk on the market today is really just a lot of marketing hype. At the end of the day, the first thing that seems to "weather" on a model is the paint and varnish and the thicker it's applied, the faster and worse it goes to pot, not to mention that the thicker the coatings applied, the more fine detail is lost. Scale is important in paints and varnishes as much as in anything else, and perhaps even more so. In judging model quality, poor painting and varnishing is perhaps the most frequent demerit.
  14. What I always wondered, although I took it on faith to be true, is why 90% isopropyl alchohol is prescribed for softening and "unsticking" cured PVA adhesive, but not plain denatured alcohol. It's got an extra carbon atom, but that's about as much as I've been able to figure out about the stuff.
  15. Shellac is one of the best water barriers available. It's sold pre-mixed in cans, usually at "two pound cut." The "cut" is how the dilution of the shellac flakes is indicated. "Two pound cut" means "two pounds of shellac flakes to every gallon of alcohol." This is usually fine for sealing wood. It is the consistency of water and won't build up if a single heavy coat is applied. If you want to thin it, simply add more alcohol. The alcohol evaporates quickly. The shellac soaks into bare wood, permeating the surface and hardening it. Sand your wood smooth, shellac it, and when the shellac is dry, you can sand it again with fine sandpaper or buff it with steel wool, and it can easily be smoothed perfectly. Just don't sand so much that you remove the layer of wood on the surface which has been impregnated with the shellac. What raises the grain is the water soaking into the bare wood. Acrylic paints are water-based, generally, so they raise the grain when applied to unsealed wood. (Another reason why oil-based paints are generally preferred by those who know the difference between oil and water based paints.) Shellac is the only sealer you need. It's cheap. There are lots of products on the market sold as "sealers." There's no need to pay more for them. Anything can be applied over shellac. It's compatible with everything. It cleans up easily with alcohol.
  16. Even with a lot of winches and wire cable, there were multiple sheave blocks in various applications in a J-boat's rigging, certainly with the earlier models. The story is told that when one of the first J-boats was being outfitted after launch, a painter was in a bosun's chair at the top of the mast, about to lay on a coat of varnish on his way down the mast. His helper sent up a bucket of varnish shackled to the end of a halyard. After the bucket was hoisted a ways up the mast, it suddenly took off, accelerating upward on its own, out of control, when the weight of the fall exceeded the weight of the bucket of varnish and the hoist. When bucket hit the block, it drenched the painter in varnish! Here's Endeavor with Sopwith at the helm. she has a double sheave mainsheet traveler block. The double-ended mainsheet is led forward, port and starboard, presumably to winches, although in the foreground is what appears to be some sort of moveable "nipper" on the mainsheet with two blocks attached which may have provided purchase for the mainsheet. They did carry quite large crews and had a fair amount of manpower available. (Hold down your "control" button and turn the wheel on your mouse to enlarge the photo for detail considerably.) Then, again, with the winches Endeavor carries, a lot of double blocking, and hence weight aloft, is eliminated.
  17. I'm surprised none of you eagle-eyed reviewers mentioned that the word, "CAPT" is reversed on his helmet. Somebody must have laid the stencil on it upside down!
  18. I am not familiar with Admiralty paints and I'm not aware of any color conversion charts for Model Shipways paints, which I expect are manufactured by one of the other paint companies and simply packaged under the Model Shipways name. There is one color conversion chart for the now-discontinued (but really great... sigh...) Floquil paints and it provides Humbrol equivalents. It may give you a good start. The colors should be close enough. Keep in mind that nothing comes out the same color on a computer screen. https://www.microscale.com/Floquil Color Chart.pdf
  19. Allowing for the load of gear aft, she floats on her designed lines very well. That's not an easy trick! Nice job!
  20. Nice job! Clean work. You're on your way! Thanks for sharing.
  21. Thanks, wefalck! That adds some more information to it all. Every bit counts. One of the interesting things about modeling boats, and building full-sized ones, is that so many different crafts and technologies have to be explored and, to one extent or another, mastered. I find it fascinating. (Other's don't and buy kits. There's no accounting for taste.)
  22. I don't see why one couldn't use the process for brass as well, although I think it might be faster to build up thickness with copper and then brass, nickel, or gold plate the copper. In the days of real chrome trim on autos, I believe they plated the iron with copper and then the copper with chrome. The plating process is the same for any metal, although the electrolyte mixtures may vary, I think. All the brass and copper fixtures on the old "boardroom models" of the great ocean liners were gold plated. It wasn't "realistic," as they were all painted on the prototypes, but it was a style in modeling at the time.
  23. 3D printing may revolutionize modeling, but it somehow lacks the "organic" qualities of traditional materials and, perhaps, their archival qualities. There does seem to be a way, however, to get the accuracy and detail of 3D printing and the tradition and archival quality of noble metal parts. I think. I'm curious if anybody has ever made metal parts by copper electroplating or electroforming? I've never done it, yet, but I've been checking it out on YouTube, which has a lot of information on what is a common jewelry-making process. Parts can be made with other metals, such as nickel or zinc. It would seem that one could make a part like a ventilator funnel out of dental wax (or a 3D printed part,) or a lot of them out of a mold made from a master pattern, and coat the wax pattern with a metal conductor, such as rattle-can spray zinc paint or India ink and graphite, and let the metal, say copper, build up on the outside. When a desired thickness is achieved, the wax can be melted away in boiling water or however one's creativity dictates and a hollow copper part is yielded. At least that's my fantasy for the moment. If anybody knows anything about the process, I'm all ears.
  24. Truer words were never spoken! Anyone in the market for a scroll saw should google "scroll saw ratings" and read what the woodworking magazines say about what's on the market at the various price points. There are many scroll saws on the market and their quality runs from exquisite to complete junk, but the prices don't always correspond to the quality. Always buy the best tool you can possibly afford unless it's a tool you expect to use but once and forget about. Also, don't over look the used market. Craigslist and the like sometimes have high quality and high priced scroll saws selling for a fraction of the original retail price.
  25. If I could have given two "thumbs up," I would have. Wood is much more forgiving than metal, but safe procedures should always be followed no matter what. A broken mill bit can be a somewhat costly accident, but a broken piece of bit launched towards the operator's face can result in a problem money can't fix.

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