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Falls of Clyde 1878 by GAW - scale 1: 96 - iron 40 frame hull centre section

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Fascinating work, as usual, Gerald. I've seen resistance soldering demonstrated; it is a very useful tool and technique for neat soft soldering. I wish one could silver solder the in the same way!

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October 2017

 

Fig-89- With all of the Stringers in place the next task is to install the remaining Hold Beam Pillars. On the Falls of Clyde these are 3” in diameter for the tween decks and 4” in diameter for the main hold.  On the model I have, as in most cases gone a little oversize for strength and convenience of available materials, and used nickel silver wire at .031” for the upper and .046” for the lower Pillars.  Each Pillar has a small plate silver soldered at the top, shaped and bent to accomodate the bulb in the Bulb Iron Beams to which it is attached and supporting.  Each has then had the two rivet heads formed on it at the front, and is tinned with soft solder on the back.  The anchorage at the bottom is in the form of a ring and collar. The ring part being again provided with a pair pf rivet heads opposite to each other and is tinned on the underside.  These are then slid onto each of the Pillars, ready for assembly into the hull.  On the Tween decks this is no problem, as they are each attached to beams above and below. However locating the lower Pillars on top of the Keelson required a little jig.  This consisted of an aluminium angled plate, that exactly fitted between two frames and bent to pass over the Keelson, with a small cut out above the Keelson for where the base of the Pillar is to to be attached, as with the Tween deck Pillars each of the Hold Pillars is located directly over a Frame.

Fig-89.JPG

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Thank you for your comments, always pleased to have them.  Regarding Resistance Soldering Druxey, yes it can be used for silver soldering, if you have the power, however it is more akin to spot welding, as if you move the carbon rod at those temperatures, you are very likely to get sparking - ie, spark erosion  - and in place of a joint you will likely have a hole.  Better to stick with a flame for silver soldering.  However if it is a ‘must have’, flux the parts, place a sliver of silver solder between the parts, hold them all together with the tip of the carbon rod, then switch on and hold you breath - it can be made to work.

 

For those of you interested in looking into the future - as I stated right at the start, this is number two of a trio of models of the Falls of Clyde, number one being the half model, that was used to furnish the shape of the Frames used here.

 

Number three is now well on it’s way. being the fully rigged, sails furled, water line model, that will also be featured in this Build Log, when it is completed.  For a quick - one month only - look see, check out the following link:

< http://www.wworkshop.net/Home_Page_/News%26_Comments.html >. 

I now have the full length -  width - and the hight of the subject, it is just the filling in-between that is going to take up the time.  The masts and three lower yards on each, are clothed in .010” brass sheet, as per the originals were made with wrought iron plate, however I have left inside the original hard wood sticks, for added strength and convenience.

 

Brass and nickel silver wire are used though out, with silver soldering used to create the parts, and soft solder to assemble them.  Why Nickel Silver wire?? - I happen to have a lot of it, and find it much stronger and harder than brass of the same size.  Small eyes formed in Nickel Silver wire are more likely to take the strain than brass or copper, which would likely open up, so would need for eachto  be silver soldered closed to avoid this,

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Thank you for your thoughts and comments on resistance silver soldering, Gerald. Most informative. Thanks also for the url. Amazing work, beautifully executed. (Folk: if this site is available to view only for one month, rush, don't walk there!)

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November 2017

Fig-93 -  With the Framing complete we now come to the Plating.  As I stated right at the start, I had to imagine the construction from start to finish, to be able to create the tooling required before I could even start the project, for as far as I could assertion, no one had written on the subject regarding building an iron ship in miniature, to show the actual construction.  As I hope we have seen so far, my assumption as to how to proceed has produced something resembling the aim of the project.

 

With the ships Plating - which is somewhat far down the line in the construction process  - although some Plating has been attached to get this far, but only to assist in holding the Frames in position, until the Stringers were in place, my original thoughts have changed slightly when I actually got to this point.

 

Not being one to take two days on a process, when I can find a way of doing in in two hours, a close look at the actual Plating methods on the full size ship, looked somewhat daunting. However I did start to proceed down that road, each plate cut to size and rivet heads applied. Tye Plates attached, curved to form - the sheer line - then attached to the Frames.  Once in place I had second thoughts, the finish was not quite what I had intended.  I decided that I do not need individual plates, I can better do this in strips with the plates scribed in the appropriate places, particularly for the ‘Out’ Plating, as no rivet heads show, they being countersunk, and on this scale invisible.  Also I was a little concerned with the out side finished look of the Plating, it was not as smooth and even as I had wished for.

 

For the past 35 years I have been creating miniatures of classic cars, the finish of which is high gloss and perfectly flawless, so my mind-set was somewhat amiss with regard to the new subject.  Then going through my hundreds of photos of the Fall of Clyde, I came across this one taken against a setting sun.  OK she is 139 years old, and we all get wrinkles as we grow old,  But this is iron plating attached with rivets and the use of hammers, in a very big way.  This is not a modern yacht with polished fibre glass hull. With that in mind I was a little happier, a not ‘high gloss’ paint finish, and a ‘very’ slight irregular finish is part of the character of this subject, even when new.

 

My problem  with the Plating had been trying to attach each individual Plate to each individual Frame, and getting more wrinkles than I needed.  Although ideal, it is not necessary for the finished project.  The Plating to be looking to scale, has to be no more than ‘010” thickness, as the actual full size Plating was only 11/16” thick when new, this is still slightly oversize, but for me acceptable.  It is next to impossible (for me) to make every Frame + or - .001” correct to it’s shape and position for it’s full length in the miniature, and soft soldering a 010” thick brass Plate to several of the Frames, is not sufficient to pull the the Frames into line - as I think to some extents would be the case in full size practice, as the thickness of the wrought iron of the Frames is somewhat thinner than that of the large iron plate to which it is hammered home in the riveting.

 

With lengths of plates marked out on a single cut strip seemed the order of the day.  These were cut with a simple ‘V’ shaped tool, working from both sides, so when almost cut through, a slight bending will break off the strip.

Fig-93.JPG

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Fig-94 - The sheet cutting tool - top - made from high speed steel flat, ground at the cutting end, into a sharp ‘V’ form, then undercut to form a hook, so that when scribed across a sheet of brass, will form a  simple groove.  From past experience this is very easy to turn to accomodate the very slight sheer at the centre of the hull, by tapping very lightly along one edge from the centre outwards left and  right, with the flat pain of a hammer - preferably a repouse hammer.  If it is too much, then tap the other edge, and it will go back.

 

Working sheet metal had always been a mystery to me, until I read a book on Silversmithing, where the Smith can take a flat disk and with just hammering, can form it into a beaker.  The biggest revelation to me was to learn that,  one can ’thicken’ the edge of sheet metal as well as make it thinner, just by hitting it with a hammer.  To see this in action, check out the link:

< http://www.wworkshop.net/2.3_Alfa_Build/Gallery-18.html >

Fig-94.JPG

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Fig-95 - For individual Plates, as well as strips, after they have been run through the RHM, to produce a double row of rivet heads on the long sides. the Plates will then need to be tinned with soft solder for the final attachments.  Soft solder will not stick to a dirty surface, and above all we do not want solder around the tiny rivet heads, as it is all but impossible to remove.  To overcome this, apply the tip of a felt tip marker pen to the area where the solder is not wanted.

Fig-95.JPG

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Fig-96 -  Now with the rivet head side of the Plate down, and a small sheet of aluminium held on the back of the Plate, and just clear of the depressions of the rivet heads, apply a very small amount of flux, then drag the loaded soldering iron along the edge of the exposed Plate edg.   the aim is to leave just sufficient soft solder - tinning - in place to make the soldered joint in the  final assembly, with out additional squeezing out from under the Plate of excessive solder..

Fig-96.JPG

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December 2017

Thank you Johann for your generous comments, I am honoured to have your visit, having checked out your own excellent work in the field and envy your ability to manipulate tools.  I never could get one of those jewellers saws to cut a straight line, much less follow a pencil line as close as your very good self.  And you work so cleanly, I can only assume that you are a brain surgeon by profession. 

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I did not realise until about  two thirds through the month. that last month was a very big life changing anniversary for me, that you might well find of interest - also some new photos of  FofC No.3 - for more details check out:

< http://www.wworkshop.net/Home_Page_/News%26_Comments.html >

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Fig-97 - I started off the plating by making and fitting them single, then found it less of a problem to make the plates in strips, with just a scored line to mark the joins.  However in both cases the Butt Straps are required on the inside, to join each of the plates together.  these are provided with four rows of rivet heads and made in long strips and cut to length as required.  All parts are tinned with soft solder on the contact sides, so that the minimum of heat applied to the parts with the aid of the carbon rod soldering unit is all that is required to make the joint.  Where the Bilge plating rounds the Frames the plates are curved with the simple die and punch, in this case a carved hard wood block, and a short length of 1.250” aluminium bar.  The brass plating is only .010” thick, so it is very simple to manipulate, once the initial curve has been imparted to it.

Fig-97 .JPG

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Fig-98 - Before the plating is finally fitted (soft soldered) in place, a small length of angle iron (brass) first has to be attached to every junction where a Stringer crosses a Frame.  In full size practice this would have been riveted to the Frame before the Stringer was riveted to both, (Fig-78-A)  but on this scale, it is better able to be done at this stage.  The small lengths of brass angle ready tinned can be seen in the dish, all chopped exactly to length with the aid of the miniature Guillotine (Fig-40).  Each is provided with a tiny spot of flux, placed in position then touched with the carbon tip to melt the solder and make the joint.

Note that I do not say, “touched with a HOT carbon tip”  In resistance soldering one always ‘touches’ the part with a COLD carbon tip, then press the foot switch on, when sufficiently heated to melt the solder, the foot switch switches it off, and it can be removed from the work.  To touch the part with a live  - hot - carbon tip, is to destroy it via spark erosion.  A couple of mistakes soon teaches the right way to do this.

The order of plating is to fit the ‘In’ plates first, then between these short lengths - Fillers Strips (Fig-78-C) -  of brass strip of the same width as the Frame, and thickness as the Plating is soft soldered to each Frame, between the two rows of ‘In’ Plates.

Fig-98 .JPG

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Fig-99 - With the Plating taken around the Bilge, I next made and attached the Upper Deck Sheerstrake, this being on the Falls of Clyde the uppermost ‘In’ plating and just above the level with the Main Deck. The very slight curve of the length was created as described at Fig-94, by tapping lightly along the lower edge with the flat of a repouse hammer.  This needless to say before the rivet heads are applied.

 

Part of the upper works is a wide Stringer plate that runs around the Hull at deck level to the out side edge of the Frames and riveted to the deck beams.  On top of this on the out side edge, runs a length of angle iron, there is also a second one inside of this and parallel with it, riveted to the Stringer plate, between which forms a Gutter, or the Scuppers.  It is to the out side angle iron that the Upper Deck Sheerstrake is attached at the top. The plating is provided with two rows of rivet heads at the top and bottom, it is the lower of the top two rows that line up with this angle iron.  The upper row, together with the lower one are both used to rivet the Bulwarks in place.

 

The strip of plating is clamped to this top length of angle brass and on the lower edge to the Frames and where good contact is made with most of the Frames, touched with the Carbon Rod tip to make the joint.  It is not necessary to attached every Frame, as all are firmly held in place by being attached to the Stringers on the inside. However the side deck Stringers with the angled brass length attached on top, make for a smooth run for the Upper Deck Sheerstrake to be soldered to it for all of it’s length.

Fig-99.JPG

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Fig-100 - Showing the inside of another strip of plating, ready curved and provided with the required Butt Straps at each join of plates.  This being an ‘In’ plate, it shows the double row of rivet heads to the upper and lower edges.  It being the other side that is tinned to accomodate the ‘Out ‘ plating.

Fig-100.JPG

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You are definitely Master of Moving Metal! Your brief history was fascinating to read: congratulations on the Significant Anniversary. I hadn't realized that you were responsible for that lovely Bucklers' Hard diorama, although I was well aware of your beautiful model car work.

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Gerald, indeed enjoyable to read the information on you work anniversary, and the trials of replicating in model form the idiosyncrasies of full size subjects. The benefits of the building jigs are really apparent when it comes to the complex soldering sequences.

 

Michael 

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January 2018

Thank you all for your generous comments  - necessity is the mother of invention, so they say - wanting to eat, when you have just given up a paying job to take on the world single handedly really does concentrate the mind, when it come to designing and making jigs and tools to help the process along.  A happy, healthy and productive New Year to you all.

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Fig-101 -After all of the ‘In’ Plates are attached, and the Filler Strips soldered between at each Frame the Out Plate is ready to be attached.  This is done by first fluxing the joint and then locating it precisely with the ever useful Sellowtape.  After which a flattened tip of the Carbon Rod resistance soldering unit is used to lightly spot joint the strip in several places.  when all is satisfactory the flattened tip can be slowly and carefully run along the edge of the strip to make the joints.  This needs to be done with great care, by first securing the model and your self in a comfortable position, then placing the Carbon rod in position, before switching it on.  Then with a follower - to hold down what has been heated and soldered, held behind the Carbon Tip it can be moved along the edge to melt and solder the running joint.  Then switch off before removing the hot tip, or spark erosion may occur, that with only a very thin brass being soldered, will likely mean a hole burnt though it.

Fig-101.JPG

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Fig-102 - Strips of sheet brass, marked up and cut from a sheet, Note the two strips below the rule with the very light shaping to accomodate the slight sheer fore and aft of the centre section.

Fig-102 .JPG

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Fig-103 - Showing the inside of an ‘Out’ strip of Ships Plating.  Note the Butt Straps and the slight curve of the Sheer, but no rivet heads.  Each of the Frames has been provided with a Filler Strip to accomodate the Out Plating, so this strip is now ready for soldering in place.

Fig-103.JPG

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February 2018

Fig-105 - The Falls of Clyde was built as a general cargo vessel, but with special ports in the sides and at the bow for loading timber.  There are four in the bow, plus two others, one on each side, at the midship section onto the tween decks.  It is interesting to note that on the original draft of the cross section of the hull, dated 1878, no planking is shown on the tween deck, but is shown on the main deck and in the hold. Diagonals and stinger plates, are shown, which makes one wonder, if the planking for the tween deck was temporary and considered as part of the cargo. Here we see the impression in the Falls of Clyde hull plating of one of the side loading ports.  The port appears to have been welded closed when she was converted to a tanker, but the position of the hinges is still plain to see.

 

 It was not possible to access the side tanks at the time of my last visit to photograph the inside of the side loading port, it was hard enough  to get permission to get on the ship at all because of the sorry state it had been let to get into by the Bishop Museum, and only then after signing a declaration that it was at my own risk.  However I have since seen photos of the inside at this point, and it is just a welded plate in place of the original door.

Fig-105.JPG

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Fig-106 - This shows the two upper loading ports at the stem, leading onto the tween deck, and apart from the shape indicates what the inside of the side ports would have looked like, with the two large locking bars in place.  Incidentally, the steel ship Balclutha in San Francisco also has timber loading ports in the sides, and are complete with these same style of locking bars in place.

Fig-106.JPG

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