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I decided to upgrade the capstans for my build of the AL San Francisco Cross Section (there is a link to my build log in my signature line if you would like to pop in).


The capstans if built as per the instructions would be a severe disappointment in my opinion. I get it that to add this much detail would drive the cost up and this is one of the things that each modeler can decide to do or not do to make a model unique or add a little pop.


This is the instructions for the capstan which would basically leave it looking like this. I only used 6 whelps instead of the kit supplied 8 in order to give me more room to add the details.20181111_145830.thumb.jpg.e5628bc3a0d9ac739777c22841169bfb.jpg

Taking some inspiration from Wolfram zu Mondfeld's "Historic Ship Models" and the NRG Database articles on capstans I think we can do better.


I started by cutting some left over planking into little wedges. Using my triangle as a guide.


Then glued them in place between the upper part of the whelps.


Once they were dry I used my nippers to cut off the excess.


And sanded them smooth.


After sanding the upper chocks smooth, lather rinse repeat for the lower chocks.20181116_214421.thumb.jpg.245a48d44749b85b9b689b6d58e8706e.jpg

After sanding the lower chocks I had to trim the very top portion of the whelps down to allow me to seat the head properly. Speaking of the head that is next.


I found these little spools at hobby lobby they are just the right size. I have a mini lathe but it does not have a clamp type chuck so I do not have any way to drill a hole in the center of a work piece with any kind of accuracy so these are essentially dowels with pre-drilled holes. The holes were so close to what I needed I only had to ream them out by hand.


Attempt # 1


After getting one of the spools chucked up in my dremel lathe.


I used a square needle file to cut a groove in the center of the spool. Then I used my razor saw to cut the parts.20181117_092929.thumb.jpg.0f2b25e251ab3751530a6d3a455fe21c.jpg

I wound up with the two parts I needed and it did not take as long as I though it would either. Now to drill the bar holes.


Just as the drill broke through the last hole it literally crumbled in my hand. RATS!


Attempt # 2..............


The same as attempt # 1. Yes it even ended virtually the same way. DOUBLE RATS!!


Then the light bulb went on.


Attempt #3...............


I chucked the spool up and using my razor saw scored a slight kerf cut in the center of the spool. Then removed it from the lathe and drilled the holes while it was still its original thickness. Duh!


Then put it back in the lathe and filed the recess.


After separating the head from the spool I gave it a squirt of thin CA to harden it up a bit. Because I still had to concave the bottom to get it to seat on top of the whelps.


The finished head and base plate. you can just see that I gave the top of the head a domed shape using a sanding stick and 400 grit sand paper. Now on to the bars. The kit supplies brass wire but that will not do at all.


I have had a couple hundred of these tooth picks laying around for ever. I knew they would come in handy eventually.


Using a draw plate and a little sanding I got them to a usable diameter.


Then cut to length. I would say that the capstan is looking more like a light house at this point.


The Bars are installed a little final sanding and some clean up and we can install this one.


Not to shabby for my first attempt. A definite improvement and at 7/8" it is just under 4' at full scale.


This really was a challenge for my fat stiff fingers. I will need to wait a couple days before I make the upper one.

Edited by Osmosis
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A bit late for you to try this Art, but another way to skin a cat...….    Assemble, then finish with your lathe.  Pictures are easier to see what I mean.



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