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Looking for tips on creating sail seams by pencil


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I am approaching the time when I am going to have to make a decision on how to set up the sails on Bluenose.  I had bookmarked a number of topics on MSW 1.0, but unfortunately did not download any of them :(

 

Sewing the seams and edges of the sails feels like it would be out of scale, so I am hoping that those who have used pencil, seam tape, other alternatives to the sewing machine, can step in here and provide their tips, techniques, things to watch out for, etc.  I will be most grateful for any information our members can provide.

 

Thanks,

Bob

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HI Bob,

      I use pencil for seams all the time. Number 2 hp.  for me I try to keep it light, not a heavy hand. because when staring and comparing i just notice that seams on sails just don't stand out very much, so i try to keep it suddle. i have Chapelles book on schooners but have not picked it up in long time. but i can if you need me to. But if i remeber right the width of a bolt of material in america is 24 or 22 inches, and that is what i go by to locate my seams. But check and verify that first Bob, its been along time since i checked, because i have been furling my sails lately..

   As for the perimiter of the sail itself I learned from Cap'n Bob to use two way tape. it helped to create a nice crisp even seam along the whole length of the sail. I use to fold over and glue but that did get a bit messy for me. there are different thicknesses of twoway tape. i hope im helping you here.... 

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I too use a pencil to make the seams, but continually sharpen the pencil.  I like to use a clutch pencil and renew the point each seam.  A mechanical pencil that holds the smallest available lead (0.2mm I believe) is also good as it maintains the same width for the entire seam.


Allan

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Thanks for the responses.  I will roll all this information into my consideration process.  For those using pencil for the seams, is that pencil on cloth, pencil on silkspan, or some other material I haven't thought about yet?

 

Thanks,

Bob

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I am sorry, but if your wife or girlfriend has a sewing machine, I think you should still give that a try. I made sails for my Conny, learned how to use the machine and found it not too difficult.  The little blue dots were left over after I copied the spacing from a drawing, but the 'seams' are actual stitches. I used thread that had almost the same color as the cloth so they would not stand out too much. But, of course, you can use any color you like.

post-246-0-89968100-1363122049.jpg

 

I even cross-stiched the edges to incorporate a line.post-246-0-85941100-1363122036.jpg

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Bob,

For sure try the sewing.  For me I find the stitches to be out of scale so went to pencil.

 

Jay,  NICE cross stiching on the bolt rope.

 

Re: what material?  I use 800 or 1200 TC linen in off-white color.  The fine weave is about as close as I can get to scale with linen. 

 

Allan

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Allan, I really don't know the designation of the cloth I used for the sails. I went to a fabric shop (Joann's) and looked for the lightest cloth I could find. At first I used white (used that for making flags) and later decided on muslin. It has the same color as canvas, so I don't need to dye it and from a distance looks OK to me. The bolt from which it came should have had the thread count but thus far I have not checked that nor bothered to actually count. 

 

However, when thread counts go over 500 it is not the same as what I know about this. Here is part of an article on Wikipedia:

 

'Thread count is often used as a measure of fabric quality, so that "standard" cotton thread counts are around 150 while good-quality sheets start at 180 and a count of 200 or higher is considered percale. Some, but not all, of the extremely high thread counts (typically over 500) tend to be misleading as they usually count the individual threads in 'plied' yarns (a yarn that is made by twisting together multiple finer threads). . . . ."

 

I should also add that the cross stitching along the selvage was easy. But I was not as successful  when I did that along an edge that was cut at a diagonal. I ran into a lot of ragged edges. But I charged ahead thinking some of that would go against the mast or spars any way. The leading edges of the jibs also run along the selvage, but the leech is not.

Edited by Modeler12
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