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The easy way to make stairs:


1- ex for 7 steps we need to divide in 8 spaces

2-  cut 1 kerf for each steps

3- measure the angle of the stair by measuring the height and the width that the stair will occupy

4- cut the sides, 1 for each side

5- the thickness of the steps must be few thousands less the width of the saw blade, for easy assembly












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To make things simple, let' s divide the photo lens in 2 groups:  prime lens with a fixed focal length and telephoto zoom lens with variable focal length.

Here is the challenge: 3 telephotos lens and 1 photo by each lens:

Associate the good photo with the good lens.


As a comparison, a photo taken by a spotting scope is included, but he is in another team and I wanted to include it to see how close it can comes to the bell.


Usually, telephoto lens are use to photographs far objects.  In this challenge, the question is:

Does the 600mm lens will take a photo closer than the 400mm? The first answer which comes to mind is yes.


Before answering, we need to add another specification of the lens: the minimum distance the lens can take a photo.

For the 100-400mm the distance is 98cm and for the 200-600 the minimum distance is 2,4 meters.


The 100-400mm lens can take a photo 2,5 times closer than the 200-600. Usually this specification is not important when you take a photo at long distance. But using these lens for "macro", it is another story. For this reason,  the first photo is not the one of the 100-400 lens, the second photo is the one for the 100-400mm.


Did you guess it right?


Edited by Gaetan Bordeleau
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The second photo, is not from the Sony 200-600, but from the Canon 100-400.

Probably, for a telephoto lens,  an object relatively far, would be sharper with the Sony 200-600.


Telephoto lens often have a minimum focusing distance of 2 or 3 meters. In this particular case, the Canon 100-400 has a minimum focusing distance of less than 1 meter.

I guess that, for this reason, the photo has been taken, more than 50% closer in distance,  at a distance of 1 meter instead of 2,4 meters.

It is probably why the photo with the Canon lens is sharper.


My goal, when I did this test, was to have a photo as sharp as possible. Did I cheat, by not taking the photos at the same distance? 


What you have to remember, is that a telephoto lens is often useful to take photos in a "macro photography mode". I will give an example: I like to take photos of flowers.

-If I want to do a photo in a macro mode, I will need to be very close to the flower, often less than 1 foot.

-If I use a telephoto lens, it is possible to do a similar photo by being at 1 meter by example and not worrying about other flowers near by.

-It is also possible to do macro photography with a spotting scope, a lens able to see at kilometers away. I can be at 3 meters, and photograph the flower pistils.

 I also can take a detail of the bell while being at 3 meters as in the previous photo. The idea is that it is sometimes easier to position yourself far from the object with less binding objects.

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There is a second oven on the ship. The pastry oven is intended for high ranks officer tables only. Before cooking the pastries, embers are placed on the floor tiles of the oven until the pastry oven is hot enough. The opening of the oven is on the port side. All that concerns the service of the meals for the officers takes place on port side under the forecastle. For this reason, a wall of planks separates the kitchen in 2.


The small oven weighs around 3500kg. The weight of the bread oven is 8000 kg. Around 150 kg of bread can be cook at the same time. The floor can be made of tiles or "oven earth"; clay soil mixture, limestone earth and sand.










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  • 2 weeks later...

The work continues on the second fore deck. We have 3 ovens on this 74 guns: 1 for the bread on the first deck, and 2 on the second deck: 1 for the pastries and the last one for the kitchen.


To be homogeneous in their manufacture, the 3 were made with orange bricks. Emphasis was places on the different layers of the kitchen oven: plank, salt or layers of bricks, brick and sheet metal. Is it the salt or the brick which dissipates heat best, I do not know. As for the salt, we know that the salt can resist to the heat, by example in a recipe of salt crusted fish, but how the salt would resist to heat  in a long period of time is another question. We can guess it can resist, because if not, they would not have used it.





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On 1/3/2021 at 2:34 AM, Gaetan Bordeleau said:

As for the salt, we know that the salt can resist to the heat, by example in a recipe of salt crusted fish, but how the salt would resist to heat  in a long period of time is another question.

Very nice details Geatan. (a happy, and healthy New Year too) I know to prepare a sheet metal frying pan for first use I used to heat it up with a layer of salt in the bottom. I reused the salt for that purpose only - a chef taught me. I know sheet metal won't dissipate heat quickly, athough aluminum will - which they didn't have at that period of time - and stone keeps(/stores) the warmth for to long as well. The salt probably is a required buffer to protect the wood from the stone's heat.

I wonder how much space is between the stones and the wooden crate(?) of the oven.


Why did you use the boats instead of the ship to prepare the lighting (#824)?

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Posted (edited)

A very Happy New Year to you too, Carl, and every body. In fact, it was "fer blanc" which translate as tin. Effectively, aluminum conducts the heat, as well the electricity. I would be inclined to think that they covered with tin to protect the brick. I guess that you are right about the insulating properties of salt between the fire and the deck. If you look in (#825), first photo, under the oven, there is a drawing on top right, salt is colored in yellow. The oven is about 4 feet high, so the salt layer is about 1 foot thick. 


Nothing is glued yet in that part of the deck, so I might add another layer under the oven, just above the deck. To prevent the embers from burning the floor, a layer of lead was added. Also, as protection, on the top of the oven, under the forecastle, a large sheet of red copper with 2 holes for the smoke evacuation was added. I guess, it would a fair statement to say that the fire was surrounded by metal !


The oven is fixed to the decks from above and below with 8 iron pegs attached by ropes. This way of fixing the oven, makes it independent of the ship, because if it was united to the boat, it would dislocate brickwork.


And for the last question, about the boat, the answer is easier than you could think:  I just wanted to check color rendering, the white balance ,we could say, just before a shooting, for my wife. I could have photographed any object, but I choose one that I knew well.




Edited by Gaetan Bordeleau
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Lovely ovens, Gaetan. How did you make the orange colored bricks?


Interesting that the French had more cooking facilities than the English for the same size ship. The distinguished French culinary tradition started a long time ago!



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Bricks are made from wood and colored with a mix of water based colors from Samana paint. This paint does an excellent job on wood. However, for the bricks, water is added to obtain a more "transparent color". If I do not do this, all the lines which define the brick contour will disappear and we will not see the individual bricks.


On the 2 last photos, we see the planking of the second deck. To make the treenails, there are 2 methods, the long and difficult one:  with a draw plate and a pair of pliers made to pull. Or there is the EASY way to make treenails: toothpicks. Up to few years ago, toothpick were made from wood like birch. Today, toothpicks come from China and are made from Bamboo. Each end of the toothpick is turned taper. This means that a broad range of diameters are covered with a single toothpick. The largest are for the knees each side as in the front. These treenails are for the "look", they are not very deep. When I really want the treenail to act as a real nail, I drill the hole much deeper up to come in the wall.


Cherry is a pale wood, treenails are also made from a pale wood. It is important that the treenails do not contrast too much with the wood, in this case cherry. At the opposite, if we use a dark wood for a pale structure, the contrast will be too great. The same think will happen If I would use brass nails. Visually, there should not be too much contrast, or the effect will lose his elegance. The thing is like this: If we look at the model, the hull by example, and we will only see an extreme abundance of head nails, we will not see what is behind, this is not the desired effect. I hope my explanation is clear enough.










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What goes well for yesterday photos set up, strangely it is easier to take deep inside photo without flash, only with LED lights.

Today's photos, again the key factor is  the LIGHTING more than the camera. For interior photos of today, a smaller camera was used.


Which of these camera will gives the better result:  a phone, or one action camera? Action camera is the good answer. I have been experimenting for years "small cameras". The first one was a Microsoft 1080p, up to the last one in 2020, a 4K Yi camera. Today the small camera used was a Go Pro. As with every camera, there is a learning curve, and I am still learning this one, but the results look like promising.











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Gaetan, this is a work of spectacular complexity and execution.  Your chaloupes are so elegantly constructed; they are ship models unto themselves.


The ship stoves are of particular interest to me.  Thank you for taking so many good photos of them.  Would the basic structure of these stoves have been more or less the same in the 17th Century?


For his St. Philippe, Lemineur shows two smaller stoves between the middle deck guns, at the bow.


For my Soleil Royal, it only makes sense for there to be a larger stove, perhaps with two separate cooking bays, in the center of the main deck, beneath the forecastle deck.


What you have constructed would work quite nicely, it seems to me.  I just wonder whether it is reasonably appropriate for my time period.


Also, presumably, the top of the stove would be some sort of iron hood funneling hot exhaust up the chimney?


If you have some recommendations, here, I would really appreciate it.




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Hi Marc,


The best pictures I have:


1 and 2 Frégate Néréide 1720

3,4 unknown



Here is my guess. Before and after 1700 the shell would be wood and the inside bricks, metals parts came later, I would say after 1750.

The stove was not that big. It was not made to feed everybody, only the officers.

The location looks like to always be beneath the forecastle.

In 1780 the 74 guns had a copper sheet above the stove with 2 chimneys but not in 1680.


I would be caucious with Lemineur. I used his drawings for the frames of the 74 and he changed many parts shapes for obscures reasons. Trying to answer questions  before 1700 is often a guess, and the beauty of it, is that everybody can imagine what he wants, no one will come to  contredict him.






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I hesitate on referencing this site but you might also have a look here: http://www.arsenal-modelist.com/index.php?page=accessories   See the links for "stoves", "kitchens", and "ovens".    I'm not sure how much help these will be nor of the accuracy for a specific time period.  So caution applies but it does give a general idea of them and a quick "how-to".


The key word for the above is "general idea" as I sometimes use his site as a starting place for research.

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