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Deben 5-tonner by vaddoc - Scale 1:10 - a Whisstock yard design

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Traditional full sized practice would be to fasten the grab rails to the cabin top with screws in counterbored holes. Wood plugs of the same wood type would then be glued in the counterbored holes, trimmed and finished off.  In addition to improving appearance the plugs keep water from settling into the holes causing rot. Perhaps you could glue short pieces of treenails into the holes.



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A little more work done so time for a quick update


Druxey, even very low tack tape seems to lift the varnish so it seem the real issue is the bond of the varnish to the paint.

Roger, indeed this was the plan all along and I think it worked fine.

John, many thanks for the support and for finding the time to drop by, hope you are recovering and feeling better!


The tabernacle is ready, I cleaned the scale and the copper deposits and is ready to be primed, painted and installed. However, I feel that it is a bit out of scale, on the cabin roof it looks massive. I might need to re make it.






I installed the rubrails, they are under a bit of tension following the sheer so I used screws (to be replaced by wood nails) every 1 cm. About 150 in total. As I had carved hollow the back of the rubrails, they sat nicely over the edge of the canvas.








The cockpit is almost ready, I am not sure of the steps as they don't look very "nautical" but there is quite a climb to the cabin and this looked like a good solution. I am not very convinced though.




I also installed the tracks for the companionway hatch. With all hatches temporarily in place, the boat is looking almost elegant! I filled the counter holes on the hand rails with 1.8 mm tree nails, sanded and re applied Tung oil.








I think the boat will need some metal hand rails, I thought I could do without but again I think they would look good and actually would be necessary in a bot like this. Another challenge....



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Coming along nicely mate, but I'm not sure about your steps.  I'm no yachty, but the small yachts I've seen have had a seat across the forward end of the cockpit that also acted as a step into the cabin.



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Hi Vaddoc


yes she's looking lovely. I agree with John on a thwart being a good option; or if it's a step or two perhaps open like a small ladder? Saving space is always good, however you decide to proceed.

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I would say they were an insult to your prowess. When I look at the previous ones, they were still above average, but not in compliance with your build. Wonderful craftsmanship



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Many thanks to all for your comments and likes! 


My parents are visiting so I got a bit more time for the boat. I managed to do a little reading and finally I started work on the rigging!

I have just a vague idea how the rigging should be but I decided to go crazy and make it as complex as I can. I will try to incorporate anything that could reasonably be found on this boat and hope to end up with a web of ropes going to all directions. The problem is I have absolutely no knowledge on this subject. I will rely on Leather's "Gaff Rig" book, internet search and also on other logs from the forum.


Also, I have no information at all from the Whisstock plans on the rigging. To get the dimensions of the mast, boom, gaff and bowsprit I used the small drawings provided and measured the dimensions in relation to the beam, improvising a bit with Leather's help to get the probable dimensions. 


I applied grey automotive primer to the tabernacle and then started painting with Valejo silver paint. The result was terrible. This is a very difficult paint, no matter how much I steer it does not seem to want to mix. It runs and leaves streaks. I ll persevere for a few more coats but I suspect it will need some wet sanding.




I then started work on the bowsprit, boom and gaff. I used birch as I did not have appropriate beech dowels and really do not want to buy more timber. In the photo the bowsprit is tapered and sanded to 400 grit but the dowels for the boom and gaff are untouched. I also cut some beech strips for laminating the gaff jaws, the little proxon table saw is great and I also produced some nice 2 mm offcuts strips. The photo shows also the brass strips for the chainplates, pretty stout as they are 1 mm thick.




I made a drawing for the gaff jaws, I think I would like quite an acute angle.




I also made a jig to steam bend the laminates, this will later be used for the lamination it self.




The first batch of laminates went into boiling water for a few minutes. The Admiral was behind my back when I was taking this picture, loosing patience as she wanted the same pot to cook dinner for the little ones...




The laminates bent very nicely into shape. Tomorrow I will get the rest boiled and bent.




I also finished shaping the boom and gaff. I managed to get my cheap horrible plane in a somewhat functional state and got a taper towards both ends. it is difficult to see it in the photos but it is there. I did not use a jig but they came out reasonably straight and very smooth. 




I really need a couple of high end mini planes and a honing jig. Can't see this coming in the near future though...

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Dear all

It is rope making time!


I decided to take a break from boat building and make some rope. I put together my rope walk and got to work. There were two weak points in my set up , one the plastic cog I was using for a cone, the other the bearing thingy that allows the rope to rotate. I cut and laminated discs from cheap lite plywood and with lots of sanding and milling I produced a passable cone. I have not found a good solution for the bearing thingy.


The following photos show my set up, I can produce rope up to 2.5, maybe 3 meters long.






I will also reveal my secret settings: for 3 yarn rope, I use just the plumber's tool as weight. For 3 strand rope, I add the hammer!




I can produce pretty good rope, the problem is what thread to use. I ve searched the forum and the net and this seems to be a common query, not really answered well. I have tried all DMC varieties, Bockens linen and I ordered some more threads. I still have not found one that I really like. Cotton produces very nice rope but for the scale I work at, if produced by three strands it is very stiff. It can be more flexible if produced from multiple yarns. The biggest problem though is that it stretches, in my previous boat the shrouds were sagging a few days after all the lanyards were properly tightened.


These are a few test ropes I made: The upper left is cottolin, a blend of cotton and linen fibers. It feels great and soft but is fuzzy. It may be less stretchy though. The upper one is a coats dual duty XP thread, polyester core with a cotton wrap. Nothing too exciting. The one in the upper right is DMC cotton perle, I think the best of them all but it does stretch. The bottom right is DMC Cebelia, pretty good, same as DMC Cordonet (not shown). The bottom left is Gutermann polyester extra strong thread. As a thread is very supple and nice, the more it twists though the more plastic it feels.




Bellow are 2 mm ropes, 3 strand polyester and 3 yarn DMC Perle. The polyester rope is like cheap hardware store cord.




There are many high tech synthetic or part-synthetic threads that are only available for industrial use and I suspect that one of these is the ultimate thread for scale rope that will have the properties of proper rope. It is impossible to find out which one though and even if known, prohibitively expensive to obtain.


I got some DMC cotton and cotton/linen fibres (unspun) to try and I may experiment with dying rope as well.



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Mark, this is exactly what I am searching (guessing is a more appropriate word). I think 2 mm for shrouds, 14 mm and 10 mm for bowsprit, up to 12 mm for all other ropes. No idea if this is correct for this boat in 1:10 scale!

I ll put three pairs of shrouds and spreaders. A bit of an overkill but I just want lots of ropes!



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In a yacht the shrouds are not usually very heavy, 2mm (20mm scale) is a lot, but that might be what you are after visually. Your estimates on other sizes sound reasonable. The main sheet might be even more than 12mm, possibly 16mm. Good luck with it.

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You might find a cone with a shallower included angle more effective: less frictional resistance. Make the 'big' end about half the diameter of the one in the photo.

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Many thanks Mark, I cannot find any info on rope sizes so your advise/experience is valuable.


Druxey, spot on! I deepened the grooves and there was a massive difference. I still have problems with the bearing at the weight end of the ropewalk, it does not spin freely. I need to work on this.






I have been making ropes for a few days now testing threads and sizes and I will post the results in a separate thread. I wrapped it up for today though, as I made a Halloween pumpkin with my daughters!






I have ordered a few more threads and I will make a few more test ropes this week.

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My own ropewalk does not have a free-spinning tailstock. I never got one to work well ever. I crank the geared hook on the tailstock once the strands are wound. Works just as well.

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Following lots of testing I think I ll be alright for ropes. However life got so busy that I have not really been able to work on the boat almost at all. This is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Very minimal progress in 6 weeks!


The laminates for the gaff jaws came out fine.




My 4 year old saw a piece of the jig I used for the laminates and told me it looks like a boat. Her face lit up when she saw this!




The gaff jaws need a bit of wok but they are coming out better than I expected. Still need a lot of work and clearly are way oversized but I think they look promising.






Best wishes to all


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A good reference discussing the gaff rig from a working sailor's point of view is Tom Cunliff's "Hand, Reef, and Steer."  In this book the author explains how the different rigging elements actually work.  I personally found it to be more useful than Leather's book.

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11 hours ago, Roger Pellett said:

Tom Cunliff's "Hand, Reef, and Steer."  In this book the author explains how the different rigging elements actually work.  I personally found it to be more useful than Leather's book.

Interesting you should say that, I have been looking for more information, than is in John's book about specific aspects of rigging.


Vaddoc nice work on the jaws and a sweet gift for your daughter.



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Hi Vaddoc


Not only are you a marvellous modeller, but now I see that you’re a Rope Maker as well!  


Nice job job on the ropes.  I’m sure that you’ll find just the right info to suit your needs.


All the best!





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Thank you all! Your support is much appreciated.


In between, fevers, teething, Christmas preparations and tons of work, I have not visited the shipyard. The boat, tools, timbers, all are frozen and dark with spider webs building!


Still, I decided to make another tabernacle. It will be a different design, much smaller with fewer welds and I intend to paint it off white, the same colour as the deck.


I stole an hour to design it on Rhino. I made two versions as due to the curved cabin top, some extra width may be needed. I also thought of a kind of through axle, grooved at both ends, to be used instead of a bolt.








I may find some time in January to work on the boat and see how this design will materialise




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Finally, a proper update!

I was able to spent some time in the garage, I heated up the place and did a bit of work. 


First the pattern for the new tabernacle was transferred to 0.7 mm brass.




I drilled and cut the piece an then filed across the lines and bent the piece to shape. It came out fine but just a bit wide.








I think the scale is more appropriate compared to the previous tabernacle









I actually made a second one, about 1 mm more narrow. I did not file deep enough though so it did not bend as well. I decided to use the first one.






I am not sure how it would work in the real boat, however I am thinking that having the base of the mast supported by just a through bolt might not be a long lasting solution. A metal sheath would transfer forces to the base of the mast much better. So I made one, again from 0.7 mm brass. I silver soldered it but poorly, as the edged did not touch well.






I like this set up but the metal sleeve was not a very good fit. I cut the joint, sanded the edges and silver soldered it again. I had to lightly sand the base of the mast but overall a much better soldering job and a much better fit.



I made the axle, 3 mm brass rod secured to a drill and 2 groves filed down to 2 mm. I finished the edges on the disc sander. It fits like a glove!










Next, I drilled a 3 mm hole through the mast and the metal sleeve. A pilot hole was first drilled and then I used a massive 3 mm tungsten carbide drill. The little Proxxon drill did very well!






I test fitted the whole assembly with the tabernacle screwed on a piece of timber. Everything came together perfectly! And not only that, the tabernacle actually works and the mast very easily comes down! It is also very stable laterally despite the huge leverage from the tall mast.










I could not resist taking a short video!




Now I need to clean, acid etch, prime and paint everything and then put on the boat. I might also solder a bar on each side of the tabernacle to provide points to attach cleats.

It felt good working on the boat again!


Best wishes for a Happy New Year!






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Happy New Year, Vaddoc


That’s a very nice piece of engineering you’ve done. The video shows it off nicely. 


How come the ‘star of the show ‘ didn’t appear on the vid?  He wouldn’t be camera shy, would he???😏😏


Enjoy the New Year festivities. 






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Oh dear Patrick! Me and the camera are not best friends!


I do not yet have a clear understanding how the rigging will work but I think I will need some points at the tabernacle to attach sheaves. I used 0.7 brass sheet and silver soldered with solder paste. It worked well and came out fine!








I run out of Humbrol primer and I used an automotive one, which I do not like but did the job. The mast sheath will be next. I will paint everything with the same off white as the deck.





I experimented with a variety of lead free soft solder that has 3% silver. It produced very strong joints to the degree that silver solder might not be necessary for most parts. I used my mini torch but still the heat was too strong, I think it needs the heat iron.


Also I ordered some Borax which is supposed to tolerate high heat, I realised that my flux burns out before the silver solder melts. I use a large butane torch that heats things very quickly but is rough on the flux.

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Today's quick update is about silver soldering. I think I 've cracked it!


Due to rare circumstances I have time to work on the boat. It is time to make the brass hardware for the rigging but this was a major headache as my metal work is very basic. So far my joints have been very inconsistent, a product of luck rather than skill. Also, I knew my flux was wrong, as it could not cope with the high heat.


So I got some borax and some soldering paste and for 2 days now I 've been experimenting.


The paste is ok but can be unpredictable. Borax is just fantastic! Initially it was pure frustration, as it bubbles it pushes the pieces apart. I learned however to trust the flux, it really copes with very high heat, gives plenty of time to re-position the pieces and add the solder. Worked like magic.


The next photo shows a test piece that took an awful lot of tries to make. I tried so many times that the brass tube was almost completely sanded away.






This one however, I soldered each piece with the first attempt, in a very controlled and standardised way. The joints came out great. I didn't even had to bring out the big boy, the little proxon torch managed to heat everything up.






I am happy, I now am confident I can reliably silver solder stuff.



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On 1/7/2019 at 12:47 AM, michael mott said:

Vaddoc What is the green spool of material in the first picture?


It is a type of lead free soft solder with a bit of silver. It was recommended I think by Kurt so I got some to try. My limited experience is that it is easy to work and very strong. Still, I think I prefer silver solder.



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