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I am new to the forum and to ship building. Well sorta new. I began the Swift in 1999. Life and work conspired and the Swift went into storage after the bulkheads and main deck planking were completed. I recently dusted off the box and started again. I have the rigging left to do. I made a ton of mistakes. So far I have been alone to sort the probems out. But at this point I'm not sure about things. So I Googled them. And that lead me here to your forums and build logs. They are a Godsend of information. I've just mounted the main and fore sails to their respective masts. Next I'd like to mount the Jib on its halyard and stay (correct terminology?). I am studying the plans to understand exactly where each line goes. My plans don't have much detail. For instance I found that the flag and throat halyards have to feed through little holes drilled into the masts. NOWHERE are these holes indicated on my plans. I only found out about them by looking at pics in Gabe K.'s build log. Great log BTW!!! When I worked the hull I got my first big surprise: As I know more than one Swift builder has discovered, the bow profile you get, does not match the required stem post contour. A little wood putty? Not hardly. Way too big a gap to span safely. I used little blocks cut from a spare bass wood plank and glued them into a random mosaic pattern to build out to the needed profile. You can just see the little squares in two of the hull photos. That did the trick. My first big thrill came with planking the deck. I included 2 photos of the planking. I was inspired by "Historic Ship Models" by Wolfram zu Mondfeild and "Ship Modeling from Stem to Stern" by Milton Roth. I don't know if a Virginia Pilot ever had a deck like mine, but the books made it seem plausible, I like it, and at ths point its here to stay. Even so I would appreciate any feedback on the deck and it appropriateness. So if this is an error, I will know better next time. Next surprise was due to a big mistake I made in the bulwark planking. I did not check to see if I had enough plancking to do the bulwarks. As a consequence of using a complex planking pattern on the main deck, I ran short of planks to do the the outer bulwarks. BUMMER. I contacted AL for more. The wood was cheap. The shipping was not. I conserved the few remaining original planks to randomly intersperse with the new ones. The new blanks are much lighter and have a much tighter grain than the 16 yr old originals. Going down it looked horrible but on completon is hardly noticeable. When I had to get the replacment wood from AL, I ordered twice the wood that I needed "just in case." Good thing as the shipment got mangled during transit ruining a third or more of each plank. But the extra wood covered the loss. Note the hull pic with some bulwark planking done, you can see the the hull is waiting for new wood. BTW this has the best veiw of the mosaic used to fill in the bow. Another consequence was spare time while waiting for new wood. So I decicded to build the deck houses. I planked the houses with the narrow sepalia (mahogany like) strips. When the new wood came in I switched back to hull planking, where I finished the upper bulwarks straight way and dived into the 2nd hull planking proper. Here I made a big mistake, for the lower hull I continued to use the narrow sepalia planking that I'd started with on the deckhouses. The wide sepalia planking was the correct stuff to use. Needless to say I ran out of the narrow planks. Too far in to it to back out, I devised a jig that let me cut the wide planks into narrow ones. This allowed me to finish the hull. A comment about mistakes like this: They make you feel really stupid, but sometimes they workout. The narrow planks fit around the hulls compound curves much better than the wide planks ever could have. Plus it just looks better and probably is closer to scale. Checkout the finished hull pic. The Sapalia (mahogany look alike) really shines and is just gorgeous. Lesson: Take your victories where you can. Also note the mix between old and new Mukali (bass wood like) in the upper bulwark. Not too bad given the disaster it could have been.
I am at the stage of installing the rudder. Ship is the Lively from the Lumberyard. The fittings are very flexible and I am not sure what is the best way to proceed. Do you install gudgeon first, then mach up the rudder or do you glue both together and attach? Also, what is the best adhesive? Epoxy, CA, etc. The fittings are blackened and the hull is painted and poly varnished.
My AL San Francisco II comes with a piece of brass wire and some brass strips to make the pintles and gudgeons of the rudder’s hinging mechanism. No matter how hard I try, once the brass strip is crimped around a piece of wire to make the pintle the whole thing just becomes too big. The pintle sticks out a mile behind the rudder – you can fit a bus in-between the rudder and the transom. Any advice on how to make my own pintles and gudgeons (on a 1:96 scale) will be appreciated (method, tips, tricks, jigs, special tools… anything). And out of curiosity, did the way the rudder was hinged vary much over the centuries?