Jump to content

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

Recommended Posts

On 5/28/2019 at 2:52 AM, KeithAug said:

Vaddock - Thank you. Their uniformity made me think you might have done something more complex. As ever on this site just a case of care attention and craftsmanship.

...ain’t that the truth!  Keith’s right.  Nice job as always,





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all for your likes and comments


I ve been too busy lately but I did manage to do some work on the boat. This time it was all about blocks!


I will need many blocks, single and double, of various sizes. I have to find a way of mass producing them. Ordinarily, this would not be a big problem, but I want the blocks to be fully functional with brass sheaves. I spent quite a long time on the computer making CAD templates and came up with a very complex way.  The next pics are from the first attempts.








I realised that I could simplify things and that alignment could be maintained without any drilling. It still takes a long time to cut the little pieces, glue together, sand to shape, dill for the sheave and rings and finish with Tung oil. Still, it is now feasible and almost mass produced.







These blocks need quite a lot of work but were done within 1 hour or so. I have templates for smaller and larger ones. One main issue is attaching rings to them but I think CA glue should be enough for a reasonably strong bond.


I am also attaching the templates, maybe they ll be useful to some. 



block 7 x 5 with 3 mm sheave.pdf block 10 x 6 for 5 or 6 mm sheave.pdf blocks 12 x 8 for 8 mm sheave.pdf

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Vaddoc.  Those blocks turned out extremely nice - and so has everything else for that matter.  Your detailed log is informative and fun to follow.  Keep up the great work - she's turning out beautifully.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all!


I continued to experiment with the blocks. Indeed, there is so little area for the CA glue to hold on to that I am concerned I ll have a lot of failures or that the sheaves will be glued by overspill. Also, I d like to avoid all this drilling and gluing.


I ve spent many days considering this problem and tried a few things that did not work. In the end, I tried serving some copper wire and using this instead of rope. I think this is actually the solution. Twisting the served wire and then coating with CA is very secure and looks ok.

In the next photos, the larger double block does not have Tung oil on (I forgot) but has a thimble that actually sat very nicely. For the smaller one, I should have made the twisted part shorter I think. They do run very smoothly. The thimble is slightly modified wire guardians, these come in two sizes (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/100-WIRE-GUARDIAN-5-COLOURS-CRIMPS-PROTECTORS-4-TIGER-TAIL-WIRE-JEWELLERY-UK/311961028467?hash=item48a2538773:m:mTVglS4r9SHT-NAqDLrcrAg&frcectupt=true)





I used copper wire simply because that is what I had. I think being softer it might work better than brass though. I have made a few pieces using two diameter wires and I will strop the blocks as I go as some may need to have eyes in both ends. It is very quick and easy, much easier than using rope.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Time I think for another post


Life has been very busy and certainly not boring, in between massive storms ("supercell" storm), earthquakes, minor home flooding etc. I have been working on the boat but had no time to post and also managed to loose some photos. I have a new phone though so photo quality should now be better.


I invested a lot of time and effort and perfected my block making method. I made lots of components and I will be making blocks of various sizes and configurations on demand.




Then, I decided to clean my garage.



And as soon as I finished, I decided to completely reconfigure it and clear all unneeded stuff. I ll post a photo later but it now looks much better. It did take 3 days though. I also decided to add (when I can afford it) more lights, about 10000 lumens on top of the existing ones, this should make things easier.


Then, in a clean tidy garage, I started working on the gaff. It actually took a lot of work but I think came out fine. Still needs a few more components but the gaff jaws are ready. Both the saddle and the brass fitting pivot freely.








Progress is very slow but the finish line is getting closer, can't really be more than a year or two away...

In the mean time, could I get the prize for breaking the most drills in a single day?



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, druxey said:

Ouch! Are they  - I mean were they - carbide? Those are very brittle.

Yes! Closing the case, they slipped out a bit and got caught. All broke in a fraction of a second! 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that all you broke? Try drilling 200+ portholes with 0.5 carbide drills. Good effort though.


Love the way those jaws turned out with the leather.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, a bit of progress today despite a temperature of 38C. No need to convert to F, it is a lot!


Firstly, I ordered replacement drills (plus a few extra). You can never have enough drills.


Then, I worked on the boom and gooseneck. I could really use some micro tools for carving as it was tricky to sit the arms to the boom. The outcome was not as nice as I hoped but I can live with it. It moves extremely smoothly but still needs a bit more work.








Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another quick update! As family is away enjoying the summer, I found the opportunity to do a bit more work before I join them in a week's time.


I attached the fittings for the bob and whisker stays using brass pins and CA glue. The thread is there just to show the lines, it will of course be replaced by ropes, blocks and shackles.





Then the  chainplates went on. 




I would like to somehow have a couple of brass belaying pins attached to the back of the gooseneck. I am not sure how this would work but in the meantime I silver soldered two simple belaying pins


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Vaddoc


nice work all around, especially the leatherwork details.


When you say 'near the gooseneck', I'm assuming that you mean on the boom near the gooseneck. In which case, be aware that you wouldn't usually put belaying pins - or another sort of cleat - on something that moves unless the rope that's going to be tied off there is moving with it. So a sail halyard that goes to the top of the mast can go to a pin or cleat on the mast. You can use a cleat near the gooseneck on the boom, but only for a line that does something on the boom (sail outhaul for example).


all the best

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear! It has been a full 2 month since the last post. Life suddenly got into overdrive mode and it feels that 7 days in a week and 24 hours in a day are just not enough. Still, I have kept working on the boat. Today, I actually worked for a good few hours.


Mark, apologies for the delay in replying. The plan is to have the gooseneck secured to the mast with two heavy duty brass bands and the belaying pins secured to these bands. 


I decided to concentrate on getting the standing rigging finished. I will need to take everything down at some point but I feel I cannot concentrate enough with both the standing and running rigging just in plans. I used thick thread to see how the stays and shrouds would look, it was nice to see the boat taking shape.


I decided to use 0.67 mm wire, served with black thread. It probably is a bit too strong but the thickness looked more appropriate than the thinner wires. There will be two stay sails, three pairs of shrouds and two back stays so very long lengths to be served. My home made serving machine performed fantastically well and I got all done very quickly. I had to redo a few as I got the lengths wrong and I suspect I will need to redo the backstays as well.


Next problem to tackle was how to attach the served wire rope to the mast fittings. I used brass electrical components for thimbles and this worked well. Using thread to tie the ends of the rope though took a long time and I did not like the result


I used tube cribs and this was much quicker and consistent. I used black gesso to cover the bright silver tubes, it dries matt and although goes on initially thick, it leaves a thin film. I do not have a photo with the end result but it looks ok. The white serving is just a test piece I used.


Next I worked on the mast fittings. They were a bit loose and with the thick wire ropes pulling down, they would not stay in place. I drilled holes and installed 4 brass nails in each one. This was actually not an easy task, overall today I mast have broken a dozen drills or so. I did not have to use any glue. All the mast bands are now very securely in place and feel rock solid.



Next I started work on the Highfield levers. The ones that looked more appropriate were actually the simplest ones I could find on the internet. Once again the wooden boat forum saved the day!

Picture from http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?93716-Highfield-Giles-Levers


I think it came out ok, it actually took a long time but it will provide a lot of slack for the boom to clear the backstays.





The end result, a fully functional Highfield lever. Now I need to make another one, preferably identical!


Best wishes to everyone


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I managed to find some time to work this Sunday, mainly because it has been raining for days and the admiral is busy looking for furniture. Still, to be allowed into the garage, I had to draw and render our living room and all the proposed furniture on CAD! 


Today it was all about ropes. I know, this subject is beaten to death but I will need a lot and I needed to standardise sizes and colours.


First, I made the second Highfield lever which came out pretty much identical to the first one. I have though some concerns whether they will fall apart. The reason is that although this is a static model, the mast will all stuff on will be quite heavy and the backstays will be doing some actual work. The 0.6 mm wire rope is very strong and needs some tension to be taught. We shall see!


I took out my rope walk and decided that it needed improvements. I was never happy with the way the cone moved and also the pulley design for the counterweight. After a bit of head scratching and a thorough search through the garage, I found solutions that seem to work pretty well. I also improved the cone, the grooves had to be sanded much deeper. Now I can make 2.8 m of rope on each use of the 3.3 m rope walk and things seem to move relatively effortlessly.




I ve taken a video, it really takes probably less than 10 min to set up the ropewalk and produce the rope.




I used the thread Chuck suggested, the Gutermann Mara and I liked it. However, I experimented with many others and I will use either DMC Perle (expensive) or DMC Petra (less so). The rope is beautiful, both threads are left twist and I am happy with ecru colour. Regarding the twist, this little list may be of help to others:


DMC Cebelia is right twist

DMC Perle left

DMC Petra left

Guttermann Mara right

DMC Cordonnet Right

Cotolin (Venne) is left


The next photo shows some of the ropes I made. Apart from the cheap polyester and the expensive polyester/cotton mix, they are all very good and do not untwist. The Gutermann Mara looks indeed nice.



Time to put the little ones to bed




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Loving your work. You have inspired me to start the Deben 4 ton... We shall see how that goes..

It is always comforting to read logs where life, love and all the other bits and pieces put a bit of a halt to work in the shipyard.

Brings a touch of sanity to what can be, at times, a rather all consuming activity.

Looking fwd to further progress..

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Vaddoc just a bit of catching up, you are making great progress. I was just thinking about your comments on the shrouds and the sorting out of the ends I spent some time with this exact issue as well and i found that I got great results by beginning with some shrink tubing like this






Regards Michael



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/29/2019 at 10:07 PM, druxey said:

I find that a shallower cone angle improves the lay-up of the line. Looking good, though!

Indeed Druxey, this modifications improved the lay up dramatically.


On 9/30/2019 at 8:37 AM, G.L. said:

Thank you for the video, Vaddoc. I am looking to improve my rope producing as well and certainly found some good ideas in you demo.

Glad you found it helpful G.L., the current problem I have is the swivel at the weight end. It is a fishing swivel and although in the hand it rotates very freely, it does not during rope making and this puts strain on the threads. I have not found yet a solution for this.


On 10/1/2019 at 8:47 AM, danielww said:


Loving your work. You have inspired me to start the Deben 4 ton... We shall see how that goes..

It is always comforting to read logs where life, love and all the other bits and pieces put a bit of a halt to work in the shipyard.

Brings a touch of sanity to what can be, at times, a rather all consuming activity.

Looking fwd to further progress..

Many thanks Daniel! The Debens are small boats but actually pretty complex, you ll have a lot of fun


On 10/1/2019 at 8:32 PM, michael mott said:

Hi Vaddoc just a bit of catching up, you are making great progress. I was just thinking about your comments on the shrouds and the sorting out of the ends I spent some time with this exact issue as well and i found that I got great results by beginning with some shrink tubing like this


Thanks Michael, now I really liked your solution, very elegant. I bought some tube but also some fishing double barrel copper crimps to experiment. I am not sure if your crimps are just copper tube but they look great.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

My DMC threads arrived and today I ve been making ropes. The rope walk takes up the entire garage and is a bit of a job to set it up so I would like to make all the ropes I will need or that is likely to need. So I ll just produce huge quantities of various sizes and then take the rope walk down so I can work on the boat.


The DMC threads are wonderful and the rope equally great. I actually like the ecru colour.






Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

One last update, probably the last one for some time


By attaching a second swivel to the existing one, it now rotates much more freely. The piece of wood is there to stop the line at the other end of the swivel twisting as well.


These are the sizes of rope I produce with the various combinations of threads.


I think I ve made close to 100 m of rope this weekend. 


I think that the majority of rope will be 1.1 mm (11 mm in real boat), a few bits maybe 1.3 -1.4 mm and the rest 1 mm or less. It is much faster to make 2x3 rope than 1x3 as tying the threads to the rope walk is much quicker. So I think I ll use Perle 12 and various Cordonnet sizes in 2x3 and also Petra at 1x3 which makes great rope but needs a lot of tying.


DMC threads are very expensive but also very nice.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Vaddoc your rope looks great. Regarding the copper crimps, yes they were just a bit of tube crimped with some pincer type pliers that had beed dulled so as not to cut but just crimp.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think an update is in order


I have been busy as a bee with all sorts of things and spending the limited free (-ish) time making rope. I made a variety of sizes because my rope walk takes up the whole garage so I wanted to take it down and not put it up until my next model.


Overall I made 250 m of rope! My rope walk works fantastically well and I actually had a go at making a cored rope. It did not work but the experience was very valuable. I might actually in the future make a whole new motor-cog unit with 4 positions, to make 4 strand and also cored rope.


This are my results in regards to thread and rope sizes


Left Twist: Petra, Perle

Right Twist: Cebelia, Babylo, Cordonnet, Mara


one ball Cordonnet 40 makes about 22 m of rope



Petra 3, 1x3---1.46 mm

Petra 5, 1x3---1.18 mm

Petra 8, 1x3---0.88 mm

Petra 8, 2x3---1.25 mm

Cebelia 10, 1x3---1.06 mm

Cebelia 10, (1x3)x3---2 mm

Babylo 40, 2x3---0.9 mm

Perle 5, 3x3---2.1 mm

Perle 5, 2x3---1.72 mm

Perle 8, 1x3---0.81 mm

Perle 8, 2x3---1.25 mm

Perle 12, 1x3---0.63 mm

Perle 12, 2x3---0.94 mm

Cordonnet 20, 1x3---0.61 mm

Cordonnet 20, 2x3---1.12 mm

Cordonnet 40, 2x3---1.04 mm

Cordonnet 60, 2x3---0.87 mm

Cordonnet 60, 3x3---1.08 mm

Cordonnet 80, 2x3---0.82 mm

Cordonnet 100, 2x3---0.7 mm

Cotton/linen yarn, 2x3---2.3 mm (too fuzzy)

100% cotton yarn, 2x3---2.3 mm (Too fuzzy)



Mara 30, 1x3---0.81 mm

Mara 30, 2x3---1.06 mm

Mara 30, 3x3---1.43 mm

Mara 70, 2x3---0.77 mm

Mara 70, 3x3---0.94 mm

Mara 120, 2x3---0.56 mm



Linen 40/2, 1x3---0.66 (Irregular, bad rope)

Dual Duty XP, 4x3---1.6 mm (bad rope)

Dual Duty plus, (1x3)x3, 1.6 mm (bad rope)

Cottolin 22/2, 3x3---1.9 mm (quite fuzzy)


DMC thread are very expensive but really wonderful. Gutermann Mara threads are very impressive, if I ever build a period ship I will only use these.


I ll go back to the actual building now.


On a different note, I have been very superficially thinking about the next model. A (very) large scale RC cold moulded sailboat is somehow coming up constantly. But I also want to make a simple clinker rowing boat, again at a very large scale, I feel the need to get immersed in the lapstrake planking. I certainly do not have the time, equipment and piece of mind to tackle the two masted schooner I ve always wanted to build. We will see.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick post


I took down the rope walk and is shackle time! I think I ll need very many so I d like to make 100 and choose the best. Now that I have standardised my method, it takes a few minutes to make each shackle. I made a few today, no failures. They still need to be polished.


I am struggling a bit with the pin for the shackles. The hole is 1.1 mm and the diameter of the pin ideally should be 1 mm. I could use 1 mm brass wire and CA glue but this is slow and messy. I have ordered some small brass crimp beads with an 1.2 mm hole. I could not find smaller ones. I do not like this idea either though.




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2019 at 11:33 PM, vaddoc said:

could I get the prize for breaking the most drills in a single day?

Vaddoc - Sorry but no. And Snap - I had 10 x 0.6mm drills in their box - I snapped the lid shut just as the retraining strip came loose allowing all the drill tips to be nipped in the lid jaws. All the drills broke. So I claim a record of 10 broken with a fraction of a second.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

10 at a time, Keith? That takes a special talent. I bow to your superior breakage rate.


Vaddoc: could miniature bolts such as from Scale Hardware do the trick for you?

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Truly gifted, Keith, complete mastery of the art


Couldn't you pinch the hole, and hence clamp the pin?

Share this post

Link to post
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.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to “Advance Ship Modeling Through Research”. We provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model ships.

The Nautical Research Guild has published our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, since 1955. The pages of the Journal are full of articles by accomplished ship modelers who show you how they create those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you the correct details to build. The Journal is available in both print and digital editions. Go to the NRG web site (www.thenrg.org) to download a complimentary digital copy of the Journal. The NRG also publishes plan sets, books and compilations of back issues of the Journal and the former Ships in Scale and Model Ship Builder magazines.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
  • Create New...