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Hello all,

 

Surfing this wonderfull website for over 2 years and looking at all the wonderfull models that are made by true artists I have a question about blocks.

 

Currentlly I am building a cross section of the USS Constitution from Mamoli and the blocks that comes with the kit are terrible. I'm thinking to make them myself and if i'm correct there are some tutorials about making them from Chuck or EdT, however I can't find them. Does anyone know where these tutorials are placed? I've spent a complete evening surching but iI think I'm doing something wrong.

 

With regards, 

Joop Ham

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Here is a link to a site I have subscribed to as I am new to ship modeling. The subscription is a one time only fee which is not exorbitant. There are video tutorials on just about everything. That is not to say that everything is done the best way or the only way, but if you are new to scratch building you can at least find an acceptable way on this site and there are some pretty clever techniques shown here. http://www.shipmodeling.ca/subs/ Once on the home page you can just scroll down and there is a table of contents on the left side and small video icons for tutorials besides the subject which you can click on. :)

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My guess is that if Edt has a lesson on them they would be in one of his build logs, either the Naiad or the Young America in the scratch build sections.

 

I do remember seeing Chuck's method, but I don't remember where on the site it is, but I do know that he uses a Sherline milling machine to do it, so if you don't have a mill, his system might be difficult for you to replicate.

 

Personally, even though I have a mill, I just buy them from Chuck.  :)

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Hi Joop Ham,

 

I made my own blocks following Chuck's method, with some minor mods of my own. You can see my methodology in my HMS Victory build log, starting from post #374 on pg 19. Here is a link to that page.

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/163-hms-victory-by-gjdale-finished-mamoli-scale-190/page-19

 

I must say, the method works really well and I now make all my own blocks this way.

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Hello all,

 

thanks for the quick reply. Mike, I will look for that link and see if it is what I'm looking for.

Gunther and Grant, think that is the method I'm looking for

 

Will make some pictures while making them, although it might be in a couple of months.

 

Joop Ham

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  • 3 years later...
On 11/5/2016 at 4:25 AM, gjdale said:

made my own blocks following Chuck's method,

I looked over your build log, thanks for detailing you method (based on Chucks).  I can't find Chucks tutorial though...    any help would be appreciated.

 

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19 hours ago, Justin P. said:

I looked over your build log, thanks for detailing you method (based on Chucks).  I can't find Chucks tutorial though...    any help would be appreciated.

 

I covered the same ground some time back in an attempt to "reverse engineer" "Chucky blocks" and had some questions. I ended up PMing Chuck to ask where his tutorial was. He explained that it had been lost in the "Great Crash" along with a lot of other forum data. He apologized graciously when declining to divulge his "trade secrets" and I assured him I completely understood his position. Chucky blocks are, of course, his "rice bowl." I did eventually devise a method producing similar results to his, but I can't imagine my process could ever serve for large scale production manufacturing of the little buggers. It's a labor of love and no way to make a living the way I devised to do it.

 

While I don't know Chuck's secret, I can share that there are a couple of very clever block mass-production methods set out in great detail in Antonio Mendez's William Frederick's (1874) Scale Journey: A Scratchbuilder's Evolutionary Development, a book well worth buying for the very reasonable bargain prices it's selling for these days.  https://www.amazon.com/William-Fredericks-Scale-Journey-Scratchbuilders/dp/0975577204  Like Chuck's method, or what I was able to see of it in the available posts, Mendez's approach requires construction of boxes and jigs for each size and type of block. Mendez's method, at least for a bit larger blocks (1/2" scale,) provides a method for shaping near-true elliptically-shaped blocks as well as blocks with curved cheek faces if you are interested in those. All of Mendez's blocks contain working sheaves, too, although his process is easily adapted to just drilling holes for faux sheaves. (A lot of Mendez's book is about techniques for building working sailing models.)

 

Mendez uses a blank-holding box magazine on a disk sander to shape the radii on his blocks. Chuck uses a round-over bit in a mill. (Or a drill press with an X-Y table or the shop made equivalent.) That's the basic difference in their two methods. No matter how you cut it, making blocks is a tedious process. Chuck's real secret is how he manages to do it on a production basis and make enough to sell that it's worth his time to make them. You won't ever appreciate Chuck's skill until you try it yourself!

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Bob Cleek said:

I covered the same ground some time back in an attempt to "reverse engineer" "Chucky blocks" and had some questions. I ended up PMing Chuck to ask where his tutorial was.

I'm actually surprised he ever had it spelled out somewhere to begin with, honestly. I was thinking of asking him about the tutorial myself as well, but he seems so busy I just didn't want to constantly be asking him questions so I appreciate your response.   As well, I can completely understand his reticence in divulging his secrets!  I actually just contacted him recently about the availability of blocks through his store.  

 

My time at the bench is so rare that I would always opt to buy something like blocks rather then spend a day making them; that just isn't where I get my pleasure from.   Unfortunately, if you follow his company thread it seems the blocks, in particular, go rather quickly.   I think that's great for him, but a bummer for us who aren't lucky enough to snap some up when we need them (or clever enough to stock up when we don't need them - something he himself doesn't like us to do).  When I wrote him yesterday he said he was two weeks out from restocking his supply in the size I needed which translates to probably more like five weeks before I can get my hands on them.  Which again is not a big deal, Im happy to wait and is not a complaint about his business.   Given the wait I just thought "what the hell" maybe I'll give making them a try, and if doesn't work out Ill just buy them when stocks are replenished.   

 

Ultimately, I don't need many for my current build so even if I choose to make them -  literally by hand - it won't be time wasted.  If anything it'll be a lesson learned and a new appreciation for the product he provides!   BTW, I do have a copy of Fredericks book around so Ill take a look!  

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12 hours ago, Justin P. said:

I looked over your build log, thanks for detailing you method (based on Chucks).  I can't find Chucks tutorial though...    any help would be appreciated.

 

Justin,

 

Chuck made his original post before he started his retail business if I recall correctly. Once he began commercial production, he quite reasonably removed his original post and personally asked me not to divulge any of his “trade secrets” that he had shared with me. So, I’m sorry but I must honour that commitment to Chuck.

 

Having said that, I can tell you that there is a fair bit of trial and error in getting things set-up, and even then it is a tedious business. Not to mention that you need a Mill, miniature table saw (eg Byrnes saw) and a Drill press PLUS a separate size of roundover bit for each size of block. That is a not insignificant investment. For most people, I’d advise “just buy them from Chuck”. It’s probably more economical, and you know you are buying a quality product.

 

Unless of course, you are masochist like me that is!!!

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19 hours ago, Justin P. said:

I looked over your build log, thanks for detailing you method (based on Chucks).  I can't find Chucks tutorial though...    any help would be appreciated.

 

Here is a basic illustration from Mondfeld.

 

image.png.b2a2bdb8ee21dd77222f5bcc8776b9a6.png

I recall seeing this method in more than one model ship building book, so you may already have this..

Another option is to laminate some thin strips together, where the strip in the middle is more narrow than the outer strips, creating the

sheeve portion without sawing or milling.

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Okay, I'm sure this won't violate any of Chuck's trade secrets: The big question is "Does anybody know where to get the best price on tiny point cutting roundover bits? 

 

Amana makes them in radii of 1/8", 3/32", 1/16", and 1/32", which will give you blocks with rounded ends of twice that, or 1/4", 3/16", 1/8", and 1/16", although I doubt anybody would have the nerve to try to make 1/16" blocks! (At 1:48, a 1/4" block would have a sheave diameter of a foot.)

 

https://www.amanatool.com/products/router-bits/grooving-router-bits/point-cutting-roundover-router-bits.html

 

File-1475240967.jpg

The problem is that these suckers average around fifty bucks a piece, so to get a range of the larger three sizes (forget about 1/16",) is going to cost about $150. It would take a lot of block-making to justify that cost. Does anybody know of a "hack" for getting the same result without paying fifty bucks for a two inch by one quarter bit? Can small bits be made in the shop? Could the shape be made by a scraper? Any thoughts are welcome!

 

 

 

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My 2 c Justin

Making blocks is very time consuming. It can be done with a good result but needs to be approached as a separate stand alone project. A lot of time needs to be invested initially to standardise a method of making the blocks using whatever tools one has. Then the stropping will take a while, they are fiddly little buggers. 

 

Getting Chuck's blocks is a good option but you ll certainly be able to make acceptable blocks yourself. It will take lots of headscratching and time though. I think I made about 70 for my current boat and that was a gigantic work but I am in no hurry-I kind of overengineered it though. This can be a tedious task and if you d rather build your boat, get Chuck's blocks.

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Using a rock tumbler type,  home made machine for the mass rounding of edges is here.

I bought an economy actual rock tumbler from HF on sale and the 20% coupon, in case I every get that far.  I will have to experiment to see if a flapper can be added.

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11 hours ago, gjdale said:

So, I’m sorry but I must honour that commitment to Chuck.

Absolutely.   As I said in post #8, I was only attempting to take advantage of a tutorial if it was still around.   I appreciate it though, very much. When I first read that there was a tutorial I was a bit surprised!  I have no real interest in making these in any kind of bulk, more that Syren was out of stock in what I needed and thought I might try a go at it.  I only need a handful. 

 

4 hours ago, Gregory said:

Here is a basic illustration from Mondfeld.

Interesting!   This is more or less how I had imagined it myself, but without a mill I was anticipating separating out the blocks and then having to cut grooves one by one...   

 

1 hour ago, Bob Cleek said:

Okay, I'm sure this won't violate any of Chuck's trade secrets: The big question is "Does anybody know where to get the best price on tiny point cutting roundover bits? 

Aside from the grain direction being all wrong in that diagram I assumed this was how it was done.   At first I was certain the process was over engineered but I guess if you need to turn out thousands of these there really is not other way around it but using complicated jigs, mills and bits.   Seems a whole different world then hardworking a few dozen over the course of a day.  

 

32 minutes ago, vaddoc said:

I think I made about 70

Nope, not for me.   If I had that kind of requirement I definitely would wait as long as needed to buy them from Syren!   I admire your fortitude. 

 

20 minutes ago, Jaager said:

Using a rock tumbler type,  home made machine for the mass rounding of edges is here.

I have one of the flapper block tumblers that MS sells, and modified it according to Chucks instructions for use with his deadeyes and it works really well. I had actually tried to use it with the MS kit provided blocks and they just shredded or broke apart.   It is apparently designed to take those blocky blocks down a notch but it just made mulch with mine...

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1 hour ago, Justin P. said:

This is more or less how I had imagined it myself, but without a mill I was anticipating separating out the blocks and then having to cut grooves one by one...  

Did I see you have you have the Byrnes saw in your shop?  How small a kerf do you have?   With an .02 kerf, you can make all the grooves on a long strip before you separate the blocks

and fine finish them.

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14 minutes ago, Gregory said:

Did I see you have you have the Byrnes saw in your shop?  How small a kerf do you have?   With an .02 kerf, you can make all the grooves on a long strip before you separate the blocks

and fine finish them.

I do have a Byrnes, but hadnt thought to use it like that.  Great idea. 

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1 hour ago, Gregory said:

 With an .02 kerf, you can make all the grooves on a long strip before you separate the blocks

and fine finish them.

And where appropriate, a round profile scraper might could convert a square bottom to a rounded groove, if careful.  Maybe a reverse profile scraper also round over a top edge.

 

I wonder what effect a carbide sharpening stone would have on the outer edges of a 3" slitting blade?  Ruin it or or the wood or cut a groove?

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Many of the scratch builders make their own.  Look for the ANCRE builds as the ones building them seem to do a lot of making of blocks, etc.  Off the top of my head, I'm not sure who's log to look at.

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