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What is correct tension on rigging lines

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Does anyone have any tips on how to ensure that the appropriate tension is set on rigging lines?  I'm doing some rigging for the first time using Jotika hemp thread and it seems a balance needs to be reached between making the line look realistic (especially around blocks), but balanced with it not being too tight that could cause problems down the road.  I was thinking of wetting the line and then using some diluted PVA in areas where there are sharp direction changes.


Any other thoughts, suggestions would be appreciated.


"Which it will be ready when it is ready!"
In the shipyard:

HMS Jason (c.1794: Artois Class 38 gun frigate)

Queen Anne Royal Barge (c.1700)


HMS Snake (c.1797: Cruizer Class, ship rigged sloop)

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Hi Jason, when using natural line such as supplied by Jotika, I always  pre-stretch and wax the line. This is particularly important with the stays and Shrouds.


Far less tension is required on a stretched line and the risk of pulling  masts out of alignment is much reduced


On my models I also like a bit of slack on some of the lines such as the Braces and Bowlines, and stretching allows this to be formed in a natural sort of way.


Lines for the Main and Forestays I tend to hang with weights for some time before use, but for shroud lines I use a home made  rack as per below.






This is sufficient to take a set of Shrouds.


 To achieve an induced sag or change of direction I recall from German site that diluted wallpaper paste achieved very good results particularly where used to stiffen the multi block crowsfeet prevalent on 17th century ships.





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The best advice I can offer is dont tie off any lines permanently until the completion of all the rigging, tensions will constantly change during the rigging process, as you add more lines those previously tied off will change, remember the masts are not that strong 10 mm down to 2 mm the deflection can be pretty high. I have tried wetting and pre-tensioning the Jotika lines but in all honesty I dont think it made a blind bit of difference in any of my 3 models - the threads are polyester and as such dont seem to be prone to stretch like cotton or other natural fibres. I really tried hard to stretch the heavy black lines used in the shrouds - 0.75mm/1 mm from memory with no positive results.




Current build Trumpeter Arizona 1:200 with White Ensign PE and a Nautilus Wooden Deck.

Built Caldercraft Convulsion, HM Brig Badger and HMS Snake.

Awaiting - Zvelda HMS Dreadnought planning to get the Pontos Deck and PE Upgrades, Panart 1:23 Gun deck model and couple of the cannon kits Manatu - French siege mortar, and American coastal cannon.

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I agree with Norman about not being hasty in tying off the lines as you go along. I just finished doing the stays and top shrouds on my Conny and found that I had to redo a couple of those lines because as I went higher up those lines tended to distort what I had done before. It was not serious, but enough to see the difference. And believe me, your eyes are better than any gismo to determine tension.


One problem, of course, is that the untied lines end up get in the way of what you want to do next. I did as much as I could, made a judgement call and tied off those lines I thought would be unaffected by what came next. Here is part of the result.

post-246-0-56455800-1365118305.jpg  post-246-0-97184600-1365118369.jpg


I like to add one more comment about the effect on the masts alignment. When I started to do the rigging of the three masts seen above, I noticed that the main had a slight tilt to port (compared with the other two). As I went along with the topmast, topgallant and royal shrouds I kept that in mind but did not do anything really 'tight' about it. Sure enough, it did not take much because they now line up very nicely. However, to reiterate, the fore and aft alignment can be changed drastically with tension in the stays.

Edited by Modeler12



Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10120-cross-section-forward-area-of-the-uss-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/103-uss-constitution-by-modeler12/


'A picture is worth a  . . . . .'      More is better . . . .

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