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Everything posted by HSM

  1. "1. You can use it to collect small parts as they are cut off - make a collection tube that fits the hose, and then place a piece of hardware cloth or window screen at the juncture of the hose and tube. Place the tube opening near the saw blade The piece will be sucked into the pipe and trapped against the screen." This is a great idea Bob, I will try this! When cutting small parts with my preac they fly everywhere.
  2. Brilliant idea! Anything that makes tying ratlines easier or more accurate is always welcome!
  3. A few things that I have in my workshop that I like: I have several switches all next to each other that are run to plugs on the workbench. One powers the mini table saw, one the drill-press, one the disk sander and the other the vacuum. I can turn on and off the vacuum and any of the other 3 tools with one hand. Wire one plug above the workbench to the lightswitch, and color that plug red. Use that plug for a soldering iron or plank bender, so even if you forget to turn it off, it goes off when you leave the shop and turn off the light. Have an area for painting and staining. Hang a shower curtain(s) as best you can to section off that area and have an exhaust fan sucking from that area. Keeps the fumes out of the house very well! Lots of light, with one movable so you can focus it on your workspace. Have a deep laundry sink for cleanup. In cabinets, drawers are better than doors/shelves, and more small drawers are better than fewer large drawers. Most of the parts and tools we use are small so large drawers get cluttered fast. Opposite to the previous item, thin drawers with a large footprint (think map drawers... maybe 10cm tall...) are great for storing different cuts of wood, plans, metal, etc... I have a foot-switch that I plug my dremel into. The switch on the dremel is always on, but the tool only runs when I step on the switch. A drying-rack made out of wire shelving suspended below a furnace duct. That's all I can think of right now, but there may be more...
  4. Minwax also sells a "pre-conditioning" product that (I think) is basically the liquid carrier in a can of stain, but without the pigment. This wets the wood and when the stain is applied it is much more even.
  5. Are the rest of the masts more clearly documented? Look for an online photo of the replica from the side and measure the mizzen relative to the mainmast and then use that ratio for the model.
  6. I have always used a thread and needle to "sew" the ratlines through the shrouds and then glue them in, even on scales as large as 1:76. Right now I am working on a 1:47 scale ship (Friedrich Wilhelm zu Pferde from Euromodel) and will try the clove hitch method. Not looking forward to it though!
  7. They were for fighting fires and were not unique to clipper ships. The HMS Victory has them.
  8. I use a needle to thread the thin line through the stay and preventer. You can adjust the tension of each segment to keep it relatively straight and avoid pulling the two stays together.
  9. Oh, one more thing that I would like to see (from Syren specifically) is an option for bulk-orders of blocks. If you could offer a package of blocks to replace all of the kit blocks in the MS Rattlesnake (for example) builders could order that for the MS kit or any similar ship. It is impossible to offer such a package for every kit, but a few generic 20 gun, 50 gun, 100 gun packages at 2 or 3 different scales could be doable... It's amazing how easy something is to suggest when SOMEONE ELSE has to do the actual work ;-)
  10. One thing I would like to see (and Chuck you already do it) is detailed pictures of what is being offered. When I am looking for cleats I see a list of 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, etc... or something similar. If there are no detailed photos or just a crude drawing or description I have no idea how good they really look or if I will be able to use them until they are delivered. Often I order anchors, belaying pins, carronades and cleats for a kit upgrade or a scratchbuild and end up with some grossly mis-shaped or out of scale. Detailed pictures make the sale easy!
  11. Try mcmaster.com. Everything mechanical including belts.
  12. My guess is that is a measuring tool. If you open it up and then touch one of the the openings to both sides of a material you can measure the thickness of that material by measuring the opening at the opposite end. Measuring the thickness of a ship's boat would be a good application for that tool.
  13. Totally agreeing on the Dremel being a great first power tool. I use it more than all my other power tools combined. Another thing, if you haven't already bought it a digital caliper is very helpful for us because you can immediately convert between metric and imperial with it. Much easier to read too.
  14. I use the same stuff wefalck spoke of. The brand name is called "liquid tin" and is meant to tin the copper of printed circuit boards. Dip the brass in this stuff and it looks very much like stainless steel or chrome if you shine it up. http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/MG-Chemicals/421-500ML/?qs=X5SXQx2ktnMrYFBNsFayFg==
  15. Hmmm... can't think of what that might be. What does it look like in the side-view? Are there any other drawings of the chainplates and channels? Is the box-art photo of any use?
  16. I use Testor's dullcoat in an aerosol can. Whatever type of flat clearcoat you use make sure it is mixed/shaken/stirred well.
  17. Richard, is that piece of paper covering the whole transom, or just the area where the letters are? What do you use to glue that on?
  18. The type of plates, the surface they were glued to, and the way they were attached is important. If you can detail this we can probably offer better assistance.
  19. Agreed the first power tool should be a dremel, but since you already have that, and full-sized versions of the rest.... IMHO the best tool to get you started ship building would be a miniature table saw. The rest of the full-sized tools can be used to make miniature stuff with some limtations. Most hardware store 5" disc/belt sanders work better than the model sized versions because they have more power and rotational inertia if you are sanding frames or other larger items. A full-sized drill press will work as well as (probably better than) a miniature one as long as the chuck can accept very small drill bits. If you're kit-building I'm not sure how often you'd use a lathe for ship building. In my 30+ models I have used a lathe maybe 12 times (I have access to one at work). More often than not I can chuck a piece of wood in the drill press and use files to turn railings or whatever I need. This is my experience, might not work for everyone, but it works for me!
  20. I use acrylic paints from the craft store almost exclusively. They are cheap and easy to find, come in thousands of colors and stick very well to wood or properly primed metal and plastic. I don't see a need for special model paints. 30+ ship models later I haven't seen a reason to change!
  21. That's quite an ingenious device. Thanks for posting it!
  22. I've always resisted making full sails because I don't think I have ever seen them look like sails do in full scale, full of wind. Not saying it's impossible but it would take a ridiculous amount of effort to make it look good. Model material can't possibly mimic the stiffness or flexibility and the way gravity acts on full-sized fabric and rope. I do like the look of partly furled sails if made from silkspan or similar material though. They can look very realistic.
  23. If this is a legacy piece that will be a family memento of your Opa, and you can commit to finishing it off that is great! But ship model building and especially a complicated subject like the Vasa can be very daunting. We have discussed often the number of kits that are started with good intentions and then are left unfinished. Completing a legacy model is kind of like restoring a damaged one, and the philosophy there is to use as much of the original parts and techniques as possible, and for the completion or restoration to appear as if the model were made by the original builder, start to finish. Start by making the masts and see how the process goes. Evaluate how much you like spending time at it, and what chance you give yourself to see it through to completion. If you are still excited about it when it comes time to start rigging or permanently glueing your new stuff to the model then carry on! Keeping it within the family is of course the best way to go. The suggestion to start with a small model to build some skills is a very good one. Building and rigging a ship model is actually quite easy and doable for someone moderately skilled with their hands, it's just that those easy tasks have to be done hundreds of time before you are done! Perseverance is more important than raw skill. You have a long-term project, and more of a marathon than a sprint so understand that it may take a year or more. If you don't enjoy the process, or you lose steam or interest then consider having someone else complete the model before permanently altering the existing work. Perhaps there is another family member that could do it, or you could hire a professional to do the job. I have done several restorations and completed one legacy model (Constitution, from the masts-up) and I am sure others on this list could complete the job as well, if you decide to go that way. Just something to consider.
  24. I agree that compressed air is compressed air, no matter how it is made or how much the compressor cost. Everything involves compromise and you will have to give something up to get something else. Low cost, quiet operation, small size, useful for other things, smooth airflow... It's a personal preference balancing act. I generally don't buy hobby equipment (except for my Preac table saw) because they are made for hobby-sized jobs and can't be used for much else. My drill-press is from Canadian tire and takes a #80 bit, my compressor can blow up a car tire or power an air-nailer, and it works marvelously with my airbrush.

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