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Henry Grace a Dieu (Great Harry) by Louie da fly - Scale 1:200 - Repaired after over 50 yrs of neglect

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I can see the “cods head, herring tail” shape of the immersed body.  
I rather suspect that this saying was not published till a century or so later, but I expect that the lessons were being learned and acted upon earlier

I find it interesting how blunt an entry can be without too much harm to the drag, but how sensitive the ship is to the aft run.

And maritime growth!

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On 1/8/2021 at 12:02 AM, liteflight said:

I rather suspect that this saying was not published till a century or so later,


First I know of is Matthew Paris (Oops!) Baker "Fragments of Ancient Shipwrightry" 1586 - about 40 years later, but I'm sure the principle had been known for a long time. (Matthew Paris was a completely different dude - a chronicler and artist in the 13th century.)



Edited by Louie da fly
Got the name wrong
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11 hours ago, liteflight said:

I see Ned Kelly in the crew of the ships


Convergent evolution, I'm sure. The guy's wearing what's called a "barrel helm" or "great helm" - at about 1215 this is quite an early one - they were in vogue for a couple of centuries. Despite appearances, the visibility through the eyeholes is pretty good, and you'll note the many breathing holes in the lower half - very important when you're exerting yourself. 







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Now the hull has been fully sanded and I'm working on planking the stern just above the waterline. 






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Nearly finished. More photos when I get it all done.


And I've finally bitten the bullet to start on the longboat. Built on a plug (which I smothered with butter - hey, it was easily to hand and today's pretty warm - but I wiped the surplus off with a tissue - - to stop the boat sticking to the plug).


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Waiting for the glue to dry. Next to start putting on the strakes.



Edited by Louie da fly
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Well, I had to pull all the planks off the flat stern and do it again. If you look at the photo of the stern in my previous post you'll see that where the side planks meet the stern planks, the join is a sort of zig-zag. This is because the side planks don't join the frame at right angles  they were all somewhat twisted.


I was able to smooth off the outside of the planks by sanding them, but the inner sides of the planks were still twisted, forming the zig-zag. I was nearly finished planking the stern, having decided "that'll be good enough"





 when I decided "No, it really won't - it'll sneer at me every time i look at it."


I needed to smooth off the inside surface of the side planking, and that meant all the stern planking would be too short. I wasn't sure exactly what configuration these flat sterns have at the join. I wasn't going to just follow other people's models, but I realised there are existing ships I can work from - I first thought of the Batavia - quite a bit of the stern still exists. Unfortunately the timbers at the join are all so badly worn you really can't see how they were joined.  


File:WTF Marlene Oostryck Maritime Museum Batavia stern.jpg


Then of course I thought of the Vasa - much better.


r/interestingasfuck - Swedish Warship Vasa , it sunk on 1628 and was recovered in ocean in 1961 almost completely intact.


Note that the join seems to be arranged so an absolute minimum of end grain is exposed to the elements.


So here's my second attempt at Great Harry's stern planking. I'm much happier with it. Port side first - stern planks being  replaced:




And now the starboard side. Penultimate plank in place:




And all finished:




Of all the things that went missing in the 50 or so years between making the ship and returning to it, what I most regret losing is the longboat. I made it from very thin slivers of bamboo. I didn't use a plug - in fact I have absolutely no recollection of how I made it - I remember it had a keel (bamboo) and a transom stern, but I don't even remember if it had frames. But it was quite beautiful.


Now I'm making a replacement - on a plug - and this time it's double-ended. Although there are contemporary pictures of boats with transom sterns, both those of the Great Harry show double-ended boats, so I'm going with that.

image.png.8cc48128b6a58351dde07c7a6d56a48d.png        image.png.9b31b0346304b23c67c4f5e9c0dcf9ed.png   


This is my first bit of clinker building, and I have to admit I'm not too happy with the way it's going. The strakes are way too wide in my opinion even if you allow for the overlap, and anyway they overlap too much. I'll continue with it and see how it ends up, but I'm seriously considering doing another one.


(BTW Druxey, I made the plug taller than the boat was going to be because I was originally going to follow Woodrat's technique of putting frames in first, then changed my mind.)














Last thing. The main starboard channel had broken off at some point in the past (the port channel went the way of all flesh). I had intended to keep the starboard one and tried gluing it back on. Unfortunately, with the reconfiguration of the after half of the ship, making the stern considerably narrower, the channel no longer fits. You can see the gap at the after end. I thought about adding a bit of timber to fill the gap, but I think I'll probably have to make a whole new channel.


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Re: Your longboat.


At this small and challenging scale, you might try another wood product- paper.  Strips of heavy weight high quality paper might be easier to use than wood.  This little boat is paper planked over a wood core.  It is 40 years old.image.thumb.jpg.d1ed4320c0a0f202a3ce31cd7d08ddaf.jpg



I am am interested in these early ships’ boats as I would like to add a model of one to my collection.  A couple of years ago I bought the AOTS volume for Mary Rose as the promotional literature said that it included information on her boats.  When I received it I was disappointed to find that the reconstructed boat pictured bore no resemblance to the iconographic evidence available; especially the Anthony Roll.  Worse yet, they made no effort to explain or justify the design that they presented.




Edited by Roger Pellett
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Thanks for the likes, people.


Roger, the paper idea for planking sounds interesting. The wood I'm using (walnut) is almost paper thin but somewhat brittle, but I'm also considering going back to bamboo, which I found very strong and flexible in very thin planks.


I agree  about the Mary Rose boats - I shared your disappointment and disillusionment. AFAIK no boats have been recovered (I'm sure we would have been told), so I'm assuming they just made them up. I'm far more interested in following the iconographic evidence unless something concrete turns up in the archaeological record. The Anthony Roll and the Embarkation at Dover show boats (one boat in the latter seems to have a transom stern) and there are others if you're prepared to do the work of looking for them. But nothing reliable otherwise.


Banyan, I can still see evidence of the neglect; particularly the paintwork still needs to be repaired. I don't mind a bit of patina, but this paint has cracked and peeled. BTW, I think I should change the title of this thread - on reflection it was more like 50 years of neglect. 



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  • Louie da fly changed the title to Henry Grace a Dieu (Great Harry) by Louie da fly - Scale 1:200 - Repaired after over 50 yrs of neglect

Some more work - I decided the starboard main channel could still be salvaged if I inserted a sliver of wood in the gap:




I've glued on the new port main channel to replace the one that was lost.




And I've glued back the piece of the port side fore channel that broke off sometime in the past  (I'll tidy up the glue once it's set):






And I bit the bullet with the longboat, pulled off all the planks and split them in half lengthways to make them narrower, so they follow the hull shape better and are more correct to 1:200 scale. And started putting them back on.












Very difficult to clamp these - there's really nothing for the clamps to "bite" on, so most of the time I hold the ends of the planks between finger and thumb till the glue dries - not easy; keeps slipping out of my hand.


Something I found very interesting, which might be occasionally of help when working with thin wood - rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol/isopropanol), which I use to dissolve PVA (white) glue, also seems to soften wood! I wouldn't recommend it as a standard technique (apart from anything else, the fumes aren't good for you, the usual ways of bending wood are perfectly adequate, and I don't know what the long term effects on the wood will be). But if you are trying to bend some thin wood into a very tight curve, it might help.





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I have been enjoying as always your zigzagging between the construction and  the research / Hunting of the Clue (even though there seems to be no Bellman to tell you three times what is true)


A couple of snippets that might be useful when you make the next butter boat

1) when you raided the kitchen for butter, you might also have used kitchen wrap (Gladwarp, as we call it).  giving the plug a wrap in it will prevent sticking

2) The paper idea is good, and extremely fine pine veneer is available* as cone-shaped wraps sold as holders for party favors (sic).  (about .008" thick)

3) all white glues are hot-melt.  so if you carefully lay a fine line of glue on the overlap of the plank already fitted (I use masking tape to limit the width to about 1mm. Leave to dry, smooth next plank into place and apply heat (small temperature-controlled soldering iron?) starting at one end.  You get instant adhesion 


*in Australia.  I will recall and post the name of the chain of shops who sell them

Edit - this is the product, but not the chain store where I got mine - the wood is said to be poplar



I freely admit that the Henry Grace butter boat is tiny and the hot melt technique may prove challenging/difficult/impossible



Edited by liteflight
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Thanks for the info and advice, Liteflight.


1. I used Gladwrap on the plug of my dromon with good results, but I felt the longboat was too tiny. I hope I don't regret it!


2. I'm fortunate that I'm pretty crap at using a drop-saw (the only tool available when I was cutting sheets from the the bit of walnut tree-trunk  which the neighbour gave me when he cut down his dead tree). It meant that some 1mm sheets were 3mm thick, some 2mm, some 1mm, and some paper thin, which is what I'm using for the longboat planking. I now have a bench saw, but it's not yet installed in the re-vamped workshop, so I'll have to see if that works any better.


3. I think the final option would be the one :D


And here's a bit of progress. More planks on the butter longboat. I've been using finger and thumb as "clamps" to fix the ends to the stem and sternpost. Just a bit of patience while the glue dries.


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I've added a stringer halfway up the aftercastle bulwark for belaying (about waist height or a bit above) - IIRC Mondfeld's book says such things as belaying pins, kevels etc may not have existed in the period we're talking about, and cleats at this scale would just be too small.




Here's the rudder - rough cut out, and finished (took about 5 minutes). Now I have to work out what to make my pintles and gudgeons from. I'm leaning toward blackened paper, but I haven't yet made up my mind. I do have very thin aluminium, but paint scrapes off it very easily. Maybe I can rustle up some brass shim.


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And first moves on another figure to go on deck. He's shorter than Henry - only 8.4mm instead of 9.4mm.


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Rudder fixings:

 Paint adheres to aluminium more securely if treated with an etch primer to etch the surface.  But difficulty of soldering might count against it

However steel cans are tin-plated steel and are strong, solderable and paintable, as long as the thickness is acceptable

My Scots upbringing is always trying to minimise ( preferably eliminate) expenditure, but shim brass is readily available, and it can be chemically blackened, but you would have to buy it!
I see you have deployed your giant match again - probably carved from a telegraph pole cut down in a nearby street

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Thanks, Liteflight. I may still go with paper, my only concern is whether it's strong enough for the job.


I finished the planking on the longboat:


20210121_190458.thumb.jpg.90701073f8e559109b866a63e5cb1ec2.jpg   20210121_190506.thumb.jpg.f83df26354949ff1ef6a7ed07d324a15.jpg


And then discovered the butter treatment wasn't adequate. The boat stuck to the plug and I had to rip it apart to get it off.  :default_wallbash:




Fortunately it mostly retained its shape, and all I really had to do was glue it back together again where needed. However, the strakes did lose some of their curve so the boat became considerably narrower. I fixed it by gluing in a temporary crosspiece - which might end up as a thwart, though I doubt it - it seems too big.






I still have to add the frames, floorboards and thwarts, plus a triangular seat in the stern for the steersman, and those sort of cathead thingies in the bow, as shown on the boat in the Anthony Roll picture of the Great Harry (see above).  Next time I do this kind of thing I may soak the plug in olive oil or something for a few hours, then wipe dry.


I've done some investigation and transom-sterned ship's boats are about as common as double-ended ones in this period. The Embarkation at Dover shows double-ended boats with no steering oars, and steering can be done directly by the oarsmen, but for something of any size they really need to have a steersman. The majority of representations of double-ended ship's boats from this period show steering oars.




Ordinances of Chivalry English, Late 15th century Morgan Library & Museum   



              Bibliotheque National de France - MS Latin 6142


And a little more progress on the new crewman or whatever







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Who have you brought to life?


i love the boat - well fabricated that man!


A thought has just occurred to me.  

You could cover the plug with strips of baking paper running gunwale to gunwale and secured underneath with tape.  Sort of clinker-the-other-way. Then with any luck glue would not find it’s way onto the plug ( and you could marinade it in oil as you suggest)

Further thinking- ordinary packing tape is used in the thermal moulding of Depron ( skinned foam polystyrene) to form boat hulls, aircraft fuselages.  But it is non stretch, so how about covering the plug with electrical insulting tape, which is pvc and flexible enough to conform to the plug.  White glue will not stick to it so the shell should release fairly readily.


Rather than perform thought experiments, perhaps I should make something.  

The illustration of the boat in the background of your boat is inspiring.....


First, carve myself a match


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9 hours ago, liteflight said:

electrical insulting tape


What a wonderful concept! I can think of a myriad of uses for insulting tape . . .:D


All your ideas are inspiring, but i think mainly the problem would be the tight tolerances at such a small size - just not enough room to add another layer of something. I still think just soaking in oil might be the way to go at this size. I had great success with Gladwrap when I did the dromon, but that was of course much bigger.



Edited by Louie da fly
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Adding frames to the longboat.








And further work on the new figure to keep King Henry company - I think I've done a better job on him than I did on the king - except as I was trying to shape his Venetian hose (bloomers) I managed to break both his legs (they're VERY thin) and had to glue them back together.







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