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Fastening Blocks to Eyebolts


mikiek
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Hey everyone - I'm on my first build (Model Shipways Niagara) and actually haven't got to general rigging yet. Well sort of, I am actually rigging the tackles for guns right now.

 

The plans called for quite a few eyebolts to be installed along the waterway which I have done. But now that I am installing the guns and tackle some of those eyebolts may get pretty hard to access.  So if possible I want to do something with them before the gun goes in.

 

In most cases the rigging plans call for a block coming off the eyebolt. What it doesn't say (or I'm too slow to get it) is how the block is fastened. It shows a circle for the block with a note on size, an eyebolt and a solid line in between them. So would that be a block stropped to an eyebolt? A hook stropped to a block that hooks to an eyebolt? Something else?

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It depends on the block.  Terribly helpful, I know.  :)

 

If it's standing rigging, I doubt it would have a hook, and likely the block would be stropped to the eye-bolt.

 

If it's something where it might have slack in the line, and then the hook could come loose causing chaos/bad things, again I would think that it wouldn't have a hook.

 

For all the eye-bolts on my deck that had rigging attached, I stropped the block to the eye-bolt before placing it on the deck.  In some cases I realized too late that a block was attached to an eye-bolt, and I used pliers and removed the eye-bolt, stropped the block to it, and then put it back.

 

Pay attention to what else is in the area, and make sure to do this prior to having stuff in the way (example - blocks near the mast base, make sure to put these in with the attached blocks before placing the riding bitt in front of/around the mast).

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Mike

The first three drawings below are redrawn from Congreve's Treatise on the Mounting of Sea Service Ordnance, 1811 and is found on page 382 in Caruana's The History of British Sea Ordinance Volume II.  The top is a gun run in.  The middle is a gun run out and secured, and the third is a gun run in, secured and housed.  The breeching is not detailed in these but two versions are shown on the last two pics which can also be found in The History of British Sa Ordinance

 

Allan

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Mike,

 

I was having some problems akin to you, and had to get really inventive in accessing some hardware that had been placed and was almost inaccessible further on in thee build.

 

I don't know how many sheets of plans you have but Grant Dale advised me always read ahead, always specifically with foreign makers.

It was valuable advice. I found some that some hardware, blocks and rigging  that was omitted earlier in the plans showed up later  :(and was almost impossible to add, and you could also wait to place items that would be impossible to access if you placed according to the plans. Study all pages front to back and always read ahead for possible problems unforeseen in the first pages of plans.

 

Hope I didn't get to wordy. Best of luck 

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I'm guessing that I need blocks stropped to eyebolts. The question now is can I get the existing ones out. I will definitely stop the gun rigging until I come up with a solution. The eyebolts are still accessible at the moment. Thinking ahead did help here. Several of the eyebolts are directly beneath the eyebolt/ring of the gun tackle. It would have been impossible to get to them later.

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Mike, the drawings that Allen show should help.

Let me add that the block hooked to the eye bolt in the waterway or bullwark is a double whereas the one hooked to the carriage is a single block. The addition of the breech line in the drawings may make it a bit more difficult to see.

Also having the eye bolts low (such as the waterway) is more common than high up.

There are a couple ways to attach the hook to the block. The standard way takes up a lot of room and I resorted to attaching the hook directly to the block by drilling a tiny hole in the block and making the hook have a straight 'shaft'.

To prevent the epoxy from plugging up the line hole, I inserted a pin coated with some wax.

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Jay - I have the eyebolts for the gun tackle handled already. All blocks for that tackle have hooks stropped. The eyebolts have split rings attached and the hooks go to them.

 

What I was asking about is some additional eyebolts in the waterway that appear to be used for general rigging - not sure if it's standing or running. The plans are not definitive on how the blocks are fastened to them. I want to go ahead and do that now while I can still get to them. Accessibility will be very limited after the guns go in.

 

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It looks as if you're going to have to go back to the plans and go block by block and eyebolt by eyebolt.  Some seem to have hooks, some seem to be seized.  A block with a becket could have a line hooked into the becket or a line seized to the becket.  Maybe make a list, combining it with the belaying plan?

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I agree with jb. 

On my Conny I ran into a lot of extra eye bolts that I did not install until needed during the rigging of the masts, etc.

You might also consider installing the pin rails now for the same reason. In addition there are several cleats, but it looks like you already did those.

Once you have the locations of the canons done, you don't have to permanently put them in place until much later.

 

One suggestion I have for the pin rails is to add a couple nails or pins to the back side where they butt up to the bullwark. You then drill holes to match. This gives a much stronger joint which is important during the rigging. I happen to break a couple loose because I did not do that. The channel and fife rails are areas where that helps.

 

Your work looks great, Mike.

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Joel - I can account for the waterway eyebolts on the plans - found them all. I'm having difficulty figuring out what the plans are telling me. Several don't specify the block size and most don't specify the line size.

 

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Jay - I've seen that tip before regarding reinforcing the pinrails and channels. Thanks for the reminder. I do feel like I need to get the guns in before the real rigging starts. But those eyebolts need to be addressed now as well.

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Mike,

 

The ones you have circled look like the rope is seized directly to the eyebolt with the appropriate length to the block in the 2nd one, and the first one is just a line that goes through the block from the rigging and is then belayed somewhere else, likely a cleat on the bulkhead.  I had a number of lines like this on the deck of the AVS where the line is simply attached to an eye-bolt and then run to a block.

 

The other ones that you don't have circled appear to be blocks that are stropped to the eye-bolts. 

 

I can take some pictures of the ones on my deck if you think it would help you any, as it appears that I don't have any photo's from my log that actually focus on those particular items.

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The first one is the sheet for a staysail, and is duplicated P&S.  I suspect it is seized to the eyebolt, based on Lees, quoting Lever.

The second is the royal backstay.  This I think also is seized to the eyebolt, based on references I have seen showing it as coming to deadeyes on the channels.

Darcy Lever, which you have, and David Lees, 'Masting and Rigging', are good sources, one period, one modern.

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Good point on the books. I just haven't got into the rigging mindset yet, so I don't have my identification process down yet. I just got Lees' book recently but haven't gone thru it yet.

 

I kinda figured either stropped or seized to the eyebolt, but neither pic shows the block size or rope size.

 

On that same topic, is there any rule as to when to strop vs seize? I would guess pic 1 would be seized to the eyebolt. Pic 2 (the circled rig) is seized, but just to the left there is another that is stropped?

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#1 line size shown on one of the other staysail sheets, presuming they are all the same.

#2 main royal backstay size shown on foremast royal backstay.

Lees may help with stropping v seizing, the vang (the line in question) showing a very close proximity to the eyebolt.  If stropped, the strop may end in two eyes that are then lashed together.

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Thanks Joel. I gotta learn how to read the rigging plans. I imagine if every single line, block, hook, etc  had notation the page would be pretty busy. So looking for something similar makes sense.

 

I'll crack open the Lees book tonite.

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In general, you would never run the strop of a block directly through an eyebolt.  For two reasons: first the blocks were normally stropped off the ship in a rigging loft, and second, if you had to shift that block from it's location for repair, maintenance or otherwise, it would necessitate cutting the strop.  Then in order to re-employ the block it would need to be re-stropped.  The strop of a block should be seized to an eyebolt.

 

The bitter end of a pendant or other line may have been passed through the eyebolt and seized to itself.  This affords you with the same facility for shifting the line if necessary without damaging the line.  All you would have to do is cut the seizing.

 

Regards,

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Henry, what you are saying makes sense. I am having difficulty envisioning one thing you said - probably the most important - "The strop of a block should be seized to an eyebolt."  Would you mind explaining or posting a pic?

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Mike,

 

Thanks again for blazing a trail on an important issue that I too was pondering.  It is scary that we are facing the same questions on our builds at about the same time.

 

I literally just ordered a set of 3mm hooks thinking that all of the blocks that are shown on the eyebolts needed to be attached with hooks. The diagrams you posted were the exact ones I was questioning.

 

If I may, I think that Henry is suggesting that we weave a strand of seizing rope inside the stropping line and tie if off on the bolt. I am envisioning something similar to what I did with our single blocks for the gun tackles. Also, I do not have access to the plans, but if I recall, there may be a diagram of how to seize a block to an eyebolt on one of the rigging sheets.

 

Thanks all.  I will be taking in all of this in.

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Darrell - I'm thinking (and was about to do) what we both are thinking.  The end result being (pardon the laymans terms) a block with a small loop at one end, an eyebolt reaved on the loop and then some seizing in between the eyebolt and the block. As suggested in photo 5 here.

 

However that kinda goes against what Henry was saying - if one had to repair the block they would still have to cut the seizing AND the loop (strop) to remove the block. Of course since this is just a model it doesn't matter, but I would like to get it right.

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On second thought - if the seizing between the eyebolt and block is what is keeping the rope clinched to the block, then I understand.

 

Although the plans don't show it, in Lever's book the vang pendants and fall are hooked to an eyebolt (the one closest to the stern).

 

And frankly, I'm grateful that we are both thinking about the same issues. We are both asking questions that the other should be aware of. This arrangement has been tremendously beneficial for me and I hope for you.

Edited by mikiek
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That looks good to me. Was the eyebolt attached to the hull when you seized it, or did you do it off the ship and insert the eyebolt after?  I have not attached any of the eyebolts to the hull yet. 

 

Our collaboration has been tremendously helpful.  I sometimes think I should convert my ship to the USS Lawrence so that if and when we both finish them, we can create the Lake Erie Fleet.

 

As an aside, I ordered a set of 7mm wooden cleats from Syren to replace the Brittania ones from the kit.  I did not like the way my brown paint looked. I was waiting until they arrived before I tackled the installation of eyebolts and cleats.  After reading these posts, I am now glad I did not attach the eyebolts.

 

One other thought.  We are both getting close to pure rigging.  I feel as if we could both accomplish this task ​if the plans were clearer. Having said that, I actually think the overall plans have been pretty good.  The rigging plans however do necessitate a general knowledge of sails and rigging that I as a true landsman, simply do not possess. You mention Lee's Book.  Worth getting?

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For that particular block I pulled out the bolt, seized it and put it back. The next 2 bolts (forward of that one) I left them and just did a couple of winds and a spot of glue.

 

Lawrence would be good. Or I'll rename to Detroit and we can have an arms race. Don't want to go there.

 

I did just get the Lees book. Opened it last nite for the first time. I'm sure the information is great but I really struggled with the language. Not sure if it's The Queen's English or what but I found it difficult to follow and stay with.

 

I've found Darcy Lever's book Young Sea Officers Sheet Anchor to be the most helpful so far. The English there is a little difficult as well but the text describes an adjoining illustration so it ends up making better sense. And those illustrations are really good. I have several others but haven't dug into them as the need wasn't there.

 

My general intention was to build up the masts based on descriptions of fitting out a new ship. Lever gives some of that. 

 

What I find confusing in the plans is it shows both standing and running on the same page. Since I am not going to do sails I don't know how much of the running I can skip.

 

I do have several other unbuilt kits and a few of those have plans that separate running and standing. I was planning on referencing those too

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Lees does the running and standing individually.

Try sewing thread for seizing.  You might wind up with Lydia Pinkhams Button and Carpet Thread.  Lots of colors available, though a road trip may be in order to find a shop that caries such things anymore.

Lever shows the way the spars go together.  Lees shows how to make the spars.  If you make your spars properly, you can assemble them onto the hull correctly, part 'A' into slot 'B', as it were.  Easier perhaps to assemble some of the rigging onto the masts if you follow Lever's steps, be careful, though, as Lever covers both merchant and military.

Plans: you may have to go back and forth from sheet to sheet to get all the info for a particular thing.  Also keep an eye out for details or 'call outs', those little sketches surrounding the main drawings.

I found both Lever and Lees understandable, though as with any technical language there is a learning curve just to open a page.  There will be a quiz Friday.

Edited by jbshan
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I do have sewing thread available but that's going to put me back on my color rant again. Seizing is tarred, yes?  So brown to dark brown?

I think it would match the strop, Mike.  Roughly.  Don't go all retentive on us.

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I use thread for seizing.  Specifically a #50 thread I find to work very well, and I use a color appropriate for whatever rope I'm seizing based on the best guess I can make from reading all sorts of logs and books about it.

 

As far as the blocks go, no idea if it's technically correct, but I did it like this if it helps you at all:

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The strop around the block is simply seized to the eye-bolt as a single piece.  Probably not correct,  but unless you are doing super macro shots like this, you can't tell by looking at the model that the strop is the same piece of rope as the one around the eye-bolt.

Edited by GuntherMT
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Just as a clarification, the strop of the block and the eye bolt are separate from each other and are lashed together with a seizing.  The net effect would be the eyebolt and the strop being end to end connected by the seizing.  

 

Sorry I do not have a picture at the moment.  But I will try to find one.

 

 

As an aside, pay attention to the nomenclature used to describe fastenings.  They are very specific in their meanings.

 

Splicing, seizing, stopping, nippering, lashing, stropping, bending, hitching and knotting are all very different things.

 

I don't mean to get preachy.  Just wanted to stress the importance of learning some of the terms.  It will really help with understanding how these ships go together.

 

Regards,

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Brian - it all helps! Thanks. The third one in particular. I have one like that. Is the long rope a continuation of one side of the strop or a separate piece? Looks like you stropped the block, seized that, cut the rope on one side and ran the other side down to the eyebolt?

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As an aside, pay attention to the nomenclature used to describe fastenings.  They are very specific in their meanings.

 

Splicing, seizing, stopping, nippering, lashing, stropping, bending, hitching and knotting are all very different things.

 

I don't mean to get preachy.  Just wanted to stress the importance of learning some of the terms.  It will really help with understanding how these ships go together.

 

Regards,

 

You are right on Henry. I get the feeling I am using the term stropped rather loosely. I would appreciate if you or someone could find a pic of what you are describing (eyebolt & block). I still don't have an image in my mind. Or maybe I do and just don't know it :D

 

Keep it coming.

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