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I'm building a MS Smoothbore cannon model, and I have a question about the "rigging" used to raise the gun port cover/lid.

 

The kit supplies chain for the external and through the bulworks portion of the rigging. This goes to the first block, and then line is used for the rest of the assembly.

 

I looked at several AOT ship books and they show Lanyards (I assume rope) used for this. I'd think chains would wear away the paint and chew into the wood.

 

So, finally, were chains ever used, or were rope leads more common?

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I took a look at that model, came to the conclusion that  I would leave those covers in a box of parts. They would quickly be destroyed by muzzle blast as they are shown. If they were pulled clear up against the bulwarks and secured or removed from the port they might survive, but no rigging would be needed, because they can be easily reached and handled. I question that they would be used as shown, higher and more substantial bulwarks might have covers with the needed rigging, but not that model. If you choose to use them, just use a short line up over the rail and tie them off so they lie up against the bulwarks when open, throw the block and tackle into a parts box along with the chains. If you choose to rig those port covers as shown, few if any, will question it.

jud

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The lid is already attached. Most observers would expect one to be there anyway, even if I know that it should not be there. I'll use rope instead of the chain. Forty years ago my hands shuck a lot less than they do now, and thread is easier than working with really small chain, besides I have another model whick that chain would be perfect for.

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Ron,

 

I am in agreement with Jud, Gun ports on the QD, forecastle or even in the waist, had no lids.  The bulkhead and cap rail indicates that this is probably one of those areas.  Lids in these areas would serve no purpose, so the money would not be spent to put them (or anything else that is not needed) on most ships.     

 

Allan

Edited by allanyed
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I don't know if the book is correct, but the AOTS "USS Essex by Portia Takakjian, shows gun port with lids with rigging that would hold them at a similar angle to that used in the MS cannon diorama. These ports are below the weather deck, but with not much more height between the top of the port lid and the point that the lanyard enters the hull.

 

As I already have the lid mounted, I'll just go with that setup, but use thread instead of the chain. It may not be 100% historically accurate, but it looks OK.

 

Unlike the MS kit, though, I made hooks for the ends of the gun tackle to carriage rigging. The MS kit has the blocks served directly to the carriage eyebolts, but all the diagrams I found show the hooks. They also show the blocks as iron stroped, but the diagrams all show rope stroped, so I'll use thread for this too. Luckily there were just enough spare eyebolts and cut offs from the tails to make the hooks. Bough three different  jeweler's beading and ring makers pliers for this and future jobs.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another question. How were the free ends of the lines for the gun tackle secured. All the diagrams and plans I've been able to find, just show them going off the picture. The model shows them loose with the end Flemished, but that would leave the gun rolling around freely, and I'm sure the Flemished coils would be a tripping hazard.

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When the gun was in battery for firing the free end of the tackle was flaked out alongside and parallel with the gun so it could run during recoil. When the guns were stored in battery or with the port lids closed the tackles were tightened and the rope was up off the deck and as some show it wrapped around the tackle,  I don't believe a seaman would do such a thing, suspect it was flaked out alongside the gun then lifted up from the deck and tied to the tightened tackle with small stuff. I would expect all lines and gun tackle to be up off the deck and secured to the gun in a manner it could be released quickly, seamen carried knives so I would expect marlin or other small stuff was used for that. Pure speculation and my experience talking, no historical reference other than the flaking out on deck when in use which references can be found.

jud  :pirate41: 

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Sweet job on your project Ron!

 

One note, and I hope you don't mind, next time the breeching rope needs to be long enough for the gun to be able to be brought completely inboard of the bulkhead and the train tackle ring far enough inboard to accommodate this.

 

Allan

post-42-0-59593900-1478527338_thumb.jpg

Edited by allanyed
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I know, but there was not enough deck space (length from hull to back of deck piece), for the gun to run all the way back. Maybe if I had not added the hooks, there might have been, but not with them on the tackle. The shorter breaching rope was a compromise, to make it look like the gun would not run over the tackle at the rear of the carriage.

 

I preferred this compromise to not having the more noticeable tackle hooks present.

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  • 1 year later...

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