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Schooner Germania (Nova) by KeithAug - Scale 1:36 - 1908 / 2011

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Right, that's it - the shipyard is closed for Christmas, the wood burner is roaring, the house is trimmed and the gin is flowing freely. Merry Christmas to you all.


I have  successfully completed my day and half of valve and vent work.

I started by milling the profile tool, the silver steel bar was squared off and then a 3mm (.120) diameter cutter was wound .015" into the square end to create the required radius of the spherical part of the valve.


A 3/16" rod was then mounted in a hex collet block and placed in the lathe and the various diameters of the valve body were turned. 


Following this the profile tool was placed in the toolholder and plunged in to form the ball and the necks on either side of the ball.


The hex block was then removed from the lathe and mounted in the mill. A small cutter was then used to plane off part of the sphere to form a flat.


Then it was back to the lathe to turn a mounting spigot.


The right angled part of the valve was then turned as a separate part and this was then soldered to the flat previously machined on the sphere. The match in the next photo gives a good impression of size and fortunately it is more in focus than the previous set. (maybe Santa will bring me a new camera).


I needed 4 in total and over the course of a few hours I had them.


Then it was on to the single in line ball valve - made from a 3/32" rod. This was first mounted in a hex collet block and milled to a hexagonal profile. The hex section was then cross drilled to take the handle and the collet block was mounted in the lathe to turn the waist and the mounting spigot. The handle was made from a flattened piece of fine brass wire with the end left round to fit the cross hole.


Finally the vent pipe was made from wire with a small flange soldered to the base and painted white.

About 30 years ago I bought an etched brass sheet of various types and shapes of hand wheels. I selected the most appropriate ones, painted them red and CA glued them to the valve stems.

All 6 parts are shown in the next photo.




The final step was to mount them adjacent to the bulwarks.






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You and me both mate; I don't think the workshop is a safe place for the next couple of days ;)  I have completed the 'honey please do' list so should be back into the model  making seriously again in the NY.


Best wishes for a great 2020





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Keith, Roger, Bedford, thank you for the positive feedback.


Pat - I look forward to your return to the workshop and your next post.


I did make a bit of progress towards installing the bulwark cap rail, namely forming the cutout at the prow for the bowsprit. This is quite a complex cut away formed by the intersection of the bowsprit and the outward sloping bulwarks. It was also a good opportunity to make a (hopefully to be avoided) mess of this part of the hull - . The expected shape is quite well defined on the plans:-


I decided the best way to approach forming the cut out was to create a circular sanding rod the diameter of the cut out and use this to sand away the bulwarks until I had reached the required depth - about 1/4". I wanted to make sure the sanding operation was well controlled with the sanding motion being axial along the centre line of the boat. To achieve this I created the block in the following photo:-


The block had one face machined away to leave an up-stand that fitted tightly into the hole for the forward deck house. A hole of the diameter of the bowsprit was machined axially along the block at the height of the bowsprit above the deck. 


A a steel tube of slightly less diameter than the bowsprit was then selected and 120 grit oxide paper was glued to it to bring it up to the bowsprit diameter. With the wooden block held in position by elastic bands, sanding of the cutout commenced. The fore and aft sanding motion being constrained by the guide formed by the wooden block.


With this setup I carefully sanded, checking frequently with a steel bar of the same diameter as the bowsprit.


After about half an hour of careful work I had produced the required shape.




I am now in a position to commence the cap rail.



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Great technique for attaining the bowsprit shap in the bulwarks Keith; another idea to tuck away.


Look forward to seeing your cap rails in situ.  I put in a couple of hours today working on my skylights; posts to follow soon.





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The shipyard has reopened after the Christmas and New Year break. Happy New Year to you all.


Bedford, John, Michael, Gary, Caf - thank you for taking the time to comment and thanks to everyone else who has visited and liked my work.

On 12/29/2019 at 12:56 AM, BANYAN said:

Look forward to seeing your cap rails in situ.

Pat - I have made a start on the cap rails. I decided to try and construct the rails on top of the bulwarks. The bulwark thickness is a little less than 0.1". Sizing the rail from photographs gave me a scale rail of the dimensions in the next sketch.


Because of the considerable fore to aft curvature of the bulwarks I decided that I needed to laminate the rail in 3 pieces. Piece 1 of .125" x .075" cross section will be the first to go on. I cut this piece on the circular saw but unfortunately didn't have a long enough plank to get the full length of the rail, so it will have to go on as 2 pieces.

I sanded off the edge of the bulwark to give a good surface for glueing.

I pondered the problem of needing 4 hands to put port and starboard rails on at the same time. Having discounted the opportunity to get my wife into the workshop I built a wife replacement device as follows:-


Basically it is a slotted piece of wood with adjustable circular clamping pegs which can move in the slots. The wing nuts are from an old lawnmower. The clamp will allow me to hold the 1st cap plank agains the bulwark as I work from stem to stern.


To ensure the glue doesn't  damage the hull paintwork I taped the hull with masking tape.


With the pre-work completed I made a start on attaching the middle section of the cap rail. I started by attaching about 1.5" of the cap rail plank at the bow. CA glue was used to form the bond.


I left the glue for 15 minutes to ensure the bond strength was good.

While glueing the bow section the remainder of the rail planks splayed out in a wide V and had to be supported as can be seen in the next photo (item 2 = rail plank, item 1 = support)


It was then time to start using my "wife replacer" gradually tacking on the next piece of rail with CA as I worked away from the bow. Weights were used to press the rail down on to the top of the bulwark.



I have currently got about half way, slow work when taking into account that only about 2" of rail is glued at one time and that with gluing and drying times each step takes about 25 minutes.


I should get the first capping planks completed on each side by late tomorrow.




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Looks like you are well and truly on top of this Keith (pun intended :)).  I very much like the idea of the slot with sliding cams to help retain the rail in place and at the correct displacement against the bulwark.  In hindsight I also wish I had thought of painting and masking the hull before adding the cap rail, as painting that proved a source of  some exasperation :( 





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18 hours ago, BANYAN said:

In hindsight I also wish I had thought of painting and masking the hull

Pat - I usually think things through well ahead of doing them. The problem is that I often forget what I have thought of and create work as a result. I used to have a good memory but senility may be setting in.


I ploughed on with the capping rail and finally arrived at the stern. About 8 inches of extension plank had to be added.



I had worried about the difficulties somewhat before starting the cap rail but it proved to be fairly straightforward. I am reminded of Winston Churchills quote "I remember the story of an old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened".


The rail is now ready to receive the inner and outer "D" shaped side pieces.




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Geez that looks good Keith, really neat.


Ah, I'm not the only one then ;) (forgetting things that is!)




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I am doing a bit of looking ahead.

For a while I have been trying to get a bit more information on the chain brakes / guides that sit immediately aft of the hawse pipes.


I have a few pictures but they don't make the design of the devices very clear.fullsizeoutput_b4d.thumb.jpeg.6bcb3a11bdd7e0353c8473daae220458.jpegEach seems to consist of a pair of smaller hemispheical plates immediately behind which sits a larger pair. The latter pair seem to have a handle pointing rearwards at about 40 degrees. The anchor chain runs between the plates. My guess is that the smaller pair have a chain pulley between them.



I have done an internet search but not found anything that looks like this, but I'm sure some of you may have some ideas??????

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Hi Keith, could these be a more modern version of the 'compressor/chain stop' used in ships from the mid-19th century.  They used a cam arrangement to lift or raise the cable; when raised the bottom created a smaooth surface allowing the cable to run, when lowered it formed a depression into which a link would fall then be 'stopped'.  As a final 'safety, a guillotine could be lowered/screwed down to lock the chain in place.  The mechanism was controlled by a tackle fitted to the lever in the early days.


Attached is a versions from the 1850's manufactured by Browne and Harfield (patented by them).  The general shape of your sort of alludes to something similar.  Have you search chain controller or chain compressor in the yacht chandlers web sites?  Probably have but just in case.








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Very neat work on that capping rail, Keith.


If you Google 'Anchor Chain Stopper' you'll see triangular  gadgets called a 'levered pawl'.  Yours could very well be an up-market version of that arrangement.



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John / Pat - thank you for the advice, I followed up on your suggestions. Fortunately the stopper is really quite small at the scale size so any inaccuracies in interpretation wont be too noticeable. 

11 hours ago, druxey said:

Clever as your wife replacement is

Druxey - good point - I have renamed it "Wife Keeper", the alternative of having her attend the cold workshop may have had the opposite effect.

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Thankyou all who have visited my build.


I got on with finishing the cap rails. The next step was to make and attach the inner and outer "D" section planks items 2 & 3 in the photo.



I started by cutting a thin plank 3/4" wide by .075" thick. As before the length was about 8 inches short of the hull length necessitating attachment of an extension piece. The "D" profiles were shaped on the edge of the 3/4" plank using a scraper ground from a box cutter blade and then the edge was cut off .0625" wide. I repeated this 5 times to get enough length for the 4 rail edges plus the extension pieces. The edges were then attached to the previously installed central part of the rail using PVA wood glue, carefully applied with a fine brush. I did this in steps of about 8 inches. Once glued the "D" strips were held in place with various clothes pegs / bulldog clips.




The next photo show the junction of the extension piece.DSC09792.thumb.JPG.e58187f5281a412569db7f7be23fce0a.JPG

All 4 edges were done following this process.



A light sanding then blended out the edges between the 3 planks.


I stopped the laminated approach to forming the rail about 2" from the stern. Here the curvature and the changing width of the rail necessitated a different approach.


To finish the stern rail I started by making a paper template which was in turn was used to make a 3/16" plywood template.


To this plywood template I attached .075" thick mahogany with a glue stick.


The mahogany was then shaped and removed from the template in preparation for installation on the bulwark.


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Thank you John.


Not a lot of progress but I have glued on the stern rail and given all the rail 4 coats of poly. Painting does slow things down.


I was thinking that the next task would be making the shock absorbers for the main sheet and the fore sheet - 3 in total. At scale size they are about 0.8 inches long - so a lot of detail in a small space.



I made a start by making, painting and installing the 2 deck plinths (the stern shock absorber sits directly on the rail without a plinth.



The stern rail was then attached with PVA glue and sanded to blend.


It was then on with the poly - the 4th coat is currently drying.



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Thank you Michael and Pat.


I made a start on the shock absorbers - starting with a sketch.


Each shock absorber is made from 22 components as follows;-

Rubber donuts - 6

Brass donut spacers - 5

shaft - 1

Fixing brackets - 2

Shackles -2 

Shackle boss - 2

Shackle pegs - 4

Quite a lot to pack into a small space.


I bought some black plastic rod from eBay which machined very well. From this I made the rubber donuts. These were turned as a tube on the lathe and then parted off to length (.060") using the circular saw. They tended to turn out a couple of thou over and were taken back to size using 600 grit wet and dry paper.


The brass spacers were similarly turned but in this case they were parted off on the lathe. As the spacers were only .010" thick the parting tool had to be very sharp to avoid distortion. The shafts were turned from 3/32" rod. The shackle bosses were made from 3/16 rod. The shackle peg holes were cross drilled on the mill before the bosses were made on the lathe.


It took a few hours to make up 3. The spare donuts were intentional - but in the end not required.


To get the shackle pegs a consistent length I turned them and formed a shoulder on the lathe. I then glued the pegs in place and cut off the peg at the shoulder using a jewellers saw.


And that is as far as I have got at present.




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