Jump to content

How I make Clue (Clew) Blocks by Dan Vadas

Recommended Posts

Hi all,


Here's a small "tutorial" on how I make the rather tricky Clue (aka Clew) Blocks. The ones here are scale 9" blocks and are just 4.5mm long in 1:48 scale. I'm also making 8" and 6" blocks using the same techniques.


I start by cutting the stock for as many as I need from English Box. I find this the best wood to use for these as it has no grain and is very dense, important features on something this small that requires a number of holes.


Next I set the 0.020" kerf blade on the table saw to cut a shallow groove for the sheaves.


Then I drill the sheave holes using my mill - saves a lot of time and ensures accuracy, but it can be done using a Dremel or Pin Vise. Here's a pic up to this stage :


Clue Blocks 010.jpg


Back to the table saw again, and I cut the various steps required :


Clue Blocks 001.jpg


Clue Blocks 002.jpg


Using a very narrow chisel made from an Xacto blade I clean up the holes and round off the shoulders of the "sheaves". This not only improves the look of them but makes the line pass through them more realistically. The two blocks on the right in this pic have been shaped :


Clue Blocks.jpg


Next I drill the two holes for the strop through the head of the block using a Pin Vise :


Clue Blocks 003.jpg


A sanding stick fitted with 240 grit paper is used to shape the head of the block in both planes, and I cut the **** of the block with a sharp Xacto. The sides of the block are rounded with a small flat needle file :


Clue Blocks 004.jpg


Clue Blocks 005.jpg


Once detached from the stock I tidy the rest of the block up with the sanding stick, and also cut a notch for the strop (that stops it from slipping off the block later on). Here's the finished article, the coin measures about 19mm in diameter :


Clue Blocks 006.jpg


Clue Blocks 009.jpg


I use most of the above techniques for making all my blocks, the only real variation to these is the shaping of the head of the block and the drilling of the two strop holes. On normal blocks I use the table saw to cut a 2nd shallow groove in the stock for the strop.


:cheers:  Danny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is how I tie the strops to the clue blocks. Below is a pic from TFFM on the configuration of the Clue block, Sheet block and Tack at the foot of the sail.  Note that the clue block strop has a large eye to enable it to turn around the eye in the boltrope :


Clue Block Strop 001.jpg


First step is to tie the seizing for the eye. Here's the setup I use. The wire hook gives me more room to work the seizing around the strop :


Clue Block Strop 005.jpg


I start by tying the seizing with a single knot around the strop :


Clue Block Strop 006.jpg


Then I apply some dilute PVA and tie 2 half-hitches around the strop. This gives the effect of a siezing and won't come undone later on :


Clue Block Strop 007.jpg


Next I turn the block/strop assembly around in the vise and tie a single knot around the **** of the block :


Clue Block Strop 009.jpg


Clue Block Strop 003.jpg


More PVA is applied to the knot and I pull it tight :


Clue Block Strop 010.jpg


Clue Block Strop 004.jpg


Continued in next post ........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...