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Making rope coils

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Had a quick look at some images and videos of Pioneer in action - the ropes are not "flat flemished" they seem to be in this wonderful Ballantine coil I understand is used a lot on schooners across the pond.  A  Flemished line is liable to kink

 

The only reason I am aware of to Flemish a rope down ( apart from looking pretty for the admiral) is to dry it in good conditions usually in port and it is then coiled correctly when dry.

 

i quote the US Historical Naval Ships Association -

 

Running rigging, when not in actual use, should be kept neatly coiled down near the pin to which it belays, taking care always to capsize the coil that the running part may be on top, so that it may run clear. In port, during good weather, the rigging may be coiled down in flemish coils, that is, perfectly flat, as soon as the decks are dry enough in the morning, and left so until the decks are cleared up at seven bells in the afternoon, when the ends should be run out, the rope coiled down snugly and triced up in readiness for washing decks in the morning.

 

As for " can be walked on" - no seaman walks on a line !

I can still hear the old salt who taught me threaten to quite amazing anatomical things to me if I stood on a line again !

Seriously - walking on lines damages them dreadfully.

 

Somewhere I have a copy of an old Gunnery manual which describes in detail gun handling - i see if i can find it and give a reference.

 

But line layouts on models is always going to have to be a compromise. For guns if they are run out ready to fire then the tackles etc would not be coiled at all they would be laid out ready to run.  If the guns are run in and secured then frequently the tackles would be removed and stowed - as someone said people lived around them. I am rereading Cooks Journals and I was struck by how often he stowed  guns in the hold and only mounted them when he thought an ocassion required it.

 

 

Update - Found the manual  - The Exercise of Great Guns .

free ebook here

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=JMknAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA376&lpg=PA376&dq=The+Exercise+of+the+Great+Guns&source=bl&ots=7wRVdbhmU-&sig=_I-zMxET3ENG0JjAiksXxsp0Qzk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=iuzPU4e6LfTb7AbNuYHoDg&ved=0CFEQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=The%20Exercise%20of%20the%20Great%20Guns&f=false

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Really sorry that I have upset you Frankie - there was of course absolutely no suggestion  that you were not telling the truth.

Your first post did not indicate that you were crew and I thought that you may have been a visitor who was simply mistaken.

 

However I found some additional pictures and videos which indeed show the flemished coils. 

 

post-905-0-81447800-1406234368_thumb.jpg

 

My views on the use of such coils remains the same.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mkmossop,

 

I did the Flemish coils for my gun rigging on my Badger using the technique of coiling the line around a pin on top of painters tape, but thought they looked a little too neat.  For the remaining coils, I decided to have coils that looked more like yours.  What I did was again use painters tape, this time wrapping the line around a pin, putting diluted PVA on the line, and in one motion, pull the pin and put another piece of painters tape on top -- essentially, as you pull the pin the line loosens and gets messy, but by putting the second piece of painters tape on top, you help freeze the coil in position.  I then wait a while for the glue to dry, remove the tape and you have your coil.  Now, the coils come out randomly that way, and some you'll end up throwing out, but to me I preferred the result to the Flemish coils.

 

Thanks for the reply. What about just making coils by wrapping them around my finger or something and then dipping the whole thing in water/glue? Seems like that would work.

 

Also is there any general guide on the diameter of these? Not sure how big I'm supposed to make them.

 

Also should every rope that's tied off have a coil, or can you just tie and cut some? This picture is of the same model as mine, and here the guy who made this has just tied the rope off. If I were gonna make coils would I just hang them over the edge of the bucket (or whatever it's called)? Or is that not done?

 

post-1335-0-52234200-1406547096_thumb.jpg

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If you wrap it around your finger, the coils will start out way too big.  That's why I used a pin when making my coils.

 

In terms of the tie offs, I think you have to remember that for running rigging, the line was a working line so I imagine that you would want extra line so that you could properly secure it, have extra lengths for when you need to release the line, etc.  That being said, I think I tied off some of my rigging to the strops at the mast tops.

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Mkmossop,

 

As Mike implied most, if not all, lines will have a working length, which means the end will be coiled to a belaying pin (normally clockwise). The coils will also roughly be about the same size (although each may not have the same amount of line) and hang just clear of the deck, to prevent them picking up any wet or damp from it.

 

The way I make mine is to cut off a length of thread appropriate for that particular line you have in mind. You can more-or-less gauge this by thinking of the job it does on the ship, and the distance it may have to 'run', eg. for the braces, how far are the yards are likely to swing, fore and aft? This may not seem important, but will most likely be spotted by anyone who knows. (Btw, in the same way, if you were to have the yards on your model braced round, the side which has the yardarms furthest aft, would have more line on that side than the other. Similarly with halliards. If the yards, or staysails, are hoisted then there would be more rope to the coils, than if they were lowered.)

 

A useful way to make coils, I have found, is to use a pair of closed tapered pliers (you can keep them closed with an elastic band around the handles). Then, having gauged how large you wish to make the coil (the taper of the pliers helps here), take the amount of line you need and run it through your thumb and forefinger, which are lightly smeared with glue (I use wood glue). Beginning with one end, at an appropriate point on the pliers, slowly wrap the line around the plier nose (in a clockwise direction) so that the turns are close to one another, for the length of the line. Some care is needed to ensure the turns are even, but it doesn't matter that they overlap here and there, as it will look more realistic. The end should come down the right side of the coil, and I normally cut it off about half way down. 

 

You should now have a coil glued to itself, but not of course the pliers! Before it is quite dry slip the coil off the nose, and press into more of an oval shape. Then when dry you will have a nice looking coil ready to glue to the rail at the pin. Any dry glue that adheres itself to the pliers can be quickly removed with a fine sandpaper.

 

I hope this helps. :)

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Cool thanks so much for the detailed replies both of you :).

 

Tar... any chance you could post a picture of one of your coils?

 

If you wrap it around your finger, the coils will start out way too big.  That's why I used a pin when making my coils.

 

I'm confused... you said before that you were going for coils that looked like the ones I posted, but those are the same diameter from start to finish. So how would it be too big at the start?

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Mk,

 

Have a look at my Sherbourne log, the link to it is in my signature. Specifically the best views of coils are on page 3, post No. 40; page 5, post 68; page 8, post 113; page 9, post 132; and page 10, post 143.

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Maybe I'm using my sausage fingers for reference.  I couldn't wrap a line around my pinky and have it to scale  :rolleyes:

 

Ah yes that reminds me... how do we know how big to make the coils? I was just gonna make them a size I thought looked good. How should I determine they're diameter?

 

Mk,

 

Have a look at my Sherbourne log, the link to it is in my signature. Specifically the best views of coils are on page 3, post No. 40; page 5, post 68; page 8, post 113; page 9, post 132; and page 10, post 143.

 

Thanks!

 

Also, is it normal to hang rope coils over the railing without a belaying pin (my ship doesn't have any)? There's one narrow deck and the front of my ship which will have several rope coils in it and I'm not sure there's enough room on the deck. The pic below is from the box cover with the coils hanging over the railing, however belaying pins are used. I was thinking of doing the same without the pins.

 

Also, in the picture I posted above (post #35) I'll need to put the coils somewhere, and I don't see where to put them other than hanging over the edge of the bucket (or whatever it's called lol).

post-1335-0-04421700-1406720185.jpg

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Bump...

 

Ok so I'm really just curious now about whether hanging rope coils over the railing without a belaying pin is normal. There are a couple places I was thinking of doing it, one of them being in this bucket thing because I don't know where else I would put them.

post-1335-0-40339700-1407328898_thumb.jpg

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Ah yes that reminds me... how do we know how big to make the coils? I was just gonna make them a size I thought looked good. How should I determine they're diameter?

 

Also, is it normal to hang rope coils over the railing without a belaying pin (my ship doesn't have any)? There's one narrow deck and the front of my ship which will have several rope coils in it and I'm not sure there's enough room on the deck. The pic below is from the box cover with the coils hanging over the railing, however belaying pins are used. I was thinking of doing the same without the pins.

 

Also, in the picture I posted above (post #35) I'll need to put the coils somewhere, and I don't see where to put them other than hanging over the edge of the bucket (or whatever it's called lol).

 Mk, (Mike?)

 

1. Coils are normally of a size that they hang from the level of the rail, to just a few inches short of the deck. This is largely so that they won't pick up any water from the deck (which will cause rot).

 

2. In short, no, they would either get washed, or knocked, over the side in no time - and probably end up in a tangle. Belaying pins are of some antiquity, and I certainly think a vessel of your vintage (1400's?) would have had them, so the kit is probably accurate there. I am surprised though that they show the coils outside the bulwarks, when they should be inside. There looks to be enough room to me, to fit them.

 

3. The other pic you posted shows the 'top', as it is called, at the doubling of the lower mast and top mast. Again any coils hung over the side without an anchorage point, would soon disappear below! So the few lies belayed there would either have a pin or perhaps they may be made fast to a cleat.

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Thanks for the detailed reply :).

 

I've made a few coils so far which I think look really nice... I used the pliers method as you descried above... worked great. Glad you posted it cause otherwise I would have used something the same diameter all around and I don't think it would have looked as good.

 

I suppose for the "top" I won't make coils... I'm just concerned it won't look as good if the rope is just cut.

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What about hanging the coils from these pieces circles in red? I assume that's not really done either?

 

On the box cover again they're hanging over the edge, but I assume there are belaying pins there.

post-1335-0-67659900-1407539243_thumb.jpg

post-1335-0-52855100-1407539249.jpg

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Mk,

 

Yes, I think you could do that. Hang them from the 'horns', as it were, and it will look ok.

 

I would imagine the kit instructions tell you to hang them on the outside for effect. I doubt they would have done this in reality though, since it may have been necessary to get to them in a hurry – and there is always the added possibility they could come adrift.

 

One other general point. I noticed that your blocks look a little too square. Not really a criticism, but they should be rounded off rather more. Something to bear in mind for your next model, when you might even consider buying some better ones?

 

Btw, glad my method of making coils worked for you.

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Hi Tar,

 

The instructions don't say what to do... they're not great. Actually the model on the box cover and the model used in the instruction booklet are different in a lot of ways, and the instruction booklet isn't very specific about what to do.

 

I'll try hanging the coils from the horns and see how it looks :D.

 

The block may be too square... I have no idea how they're supposed to look. I'm not going for super historical accuracy... I just want it to look good. In my next model I'll probably try to be more accurate.

 

Thanks again!

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