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Mike Dowling

Tightening rigging lines.

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Real cotton / hemp ropes will always sag. It was not a problem on real ships as rigging was always worked on so slacks were never accumulated. I think only way to prevent rigging sag on scaled models is using synthetic fiber.  Sorry I do not know how to fix your issue but just re-tighten ropes again. ...and after a few decades re-tighten them again and so forth.

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I cheat a bit with rigging.  After lines are in place and properly tensioned, I coat them lightly with a 50-50 mix of white glue and water.  Outside of re-working the rigging, try what Gregory suggested.

 

One question....  Is the model in "controlled environment"?  Humidity usually causes this and we've seen issues with rigging loosening and then tightening as the humidity changes.  But that's for cotton.

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Museums used to require linen lines. Has that changed over the years?  Chuck is probably the biggest supplier of scale rope.  What are his thoughts? 

Maury

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Good thoughts so far, thank you all. It is not a problem I have immediately and have not had before but, on the model (Revenge) that I am building at the moment I am concerned that when fitting the sails they are going to put quite a weight on the standing rigging etc and make them sag.

I have been using cotton thread so far.

 

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Most parts of the standing rigging end up in tackles, deadeyes or something like that. You can tension them, and retension when the standing rigging sags. 

I secured my stays in a very late stadium of the rigging process., I am left with virtually no sagging.

 

Jan

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If your lines were rigged during summer and are now sagging during winter be careful with tightening them.  You might find that they shrink again in summer and could warp your masts. 

 

I paint oil portraits on canvas (both linen canvas and cotton canvas)  They sag during winter but will become drum tight during summer (this is in a heated and air conditioned home that is kept at the same temp year round).  Some canvas stretchers (the frame that the canvas is tacked to) have wooden wedges to adjust the tightness during painting to compensate and then is loosened once the painting is finished.  Once I re-stretched the canvas during winter because of the sagging.  When summer came the cavas became so tight that it bent and warped the frame so severely that it twisted the frame and cracked the oak 1"X 3" parts, that I had to remove the canvas and stretch it on a new stretcher(frame). 

 

I pre-stretch and wax my cotton standing rigging lines.  I don't know if it makes a huge difference, but I haven't noticed much sagging of the lines on the model and it is in the same house as those paintings.  

 

Best

Marc

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I've had several stays sag on a build finished 2 2/12 years ago. Only some of the ft and rear stays have sagged and none of the running rigging. Only thing I could figure is it did stretch after time as ft and rr stays on same mast are loose so not bending of the mast. These were installed probably 3-6 months  before the build was finished. This is on a Constructo Albatros and I don't remember if I had to color them or not - if so I would have used a Sharpie marker. Have about 10 lines to redo and since I used both CA and PVA to secure them getting them loose will be a PITA. I'll try the water application and hope it works.  2 previous and older builds are fine?

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On 6/9/2019 at 4:44 PM, mtaylor said:

I cheat a bit with rigging.  After lines are in place and properly tensioned, I coat them lightly with a 50-50 mix of white glue and water. 

I always have, too, and never have had any sagging problems. Instead of water-thinned glue, I use thinned clear shellac. It probably isn't much difference between shellac and thinned glue, but I find the shellac soaks into the fibers very well and is waterproof, which not only stiffens the line, but perhaps keeps it from absorbing moisture. It's also easy to "work" and undo, since it is soluble in alcohol, unlike glue which, when it sets up, is permanent, short of soaking it in isopropyl alcohol. I also find that I can work with the shellac as it sets up to "fix" rigging in place the way I want it. I can in that way get the catenary I want in my running rigging and make sure my coils hang from belaying pins as they do in real life, rather than having them coiled in gravity-defying circles like a cowboy's lariat! (A detail which is essential to a high-quality model.) 

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Hi, I do what EdT and many other modellers do for rigging - do NOT cut off the tail ends of any lines until ALL rigging is complete.  For example when tensioning the stays via the deadeye lanyards.  I do not  type off the lanyard tails in their final seizings; rather, I tie a few hitches around the shroud with the tail. and bundle/coil the rest and tape it out of the ay.  that way I can retension everything as I go or as required.  T When everything is done, I do a final tension of all lines - preferably in a neutral or 'median' humidity, do the final seizing or belaying, add the rope coils etc.

Have a look at EdT's last build (Young America) and you will see what I mean.  The rigging can get 'messy/busy' but it is worth it.  The reason I aim at  amdian humidity (mid spring / autumn if I can) is that (for natural fibre cordage) there should be sufficient elasticity to allow for shrink/expansion during drier or more humid conditions - but over a longer time some further adjustment may be required (as already pointed out - me - I just live with the sag in more humid weather.

 

Cheers

 

Pat

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28 minutes ago, Bob Cleek said:

I always have, too, and never have had any sagging problems. Instead of water-thinned glue, I use thinned clear shellac. It probably isn't much difference between shellac and thinned glue, but I find the shellac soaks into the fibers very well and is waterproof, which not only stiffens the line, but perhaps keeps it from absorbing moisture. It's also easy to "work" and undo, since it is soluble in alcohol, unlike glue which, when it sets up, is permanent, short of soaking it in isopropyl alcohol. I also find that I can work with the shellac as it sets up to "fix" rigging in place the way I want it. I can in that way get the catenary I want in my running rigging and make sure my coils hang from belaying pins as they do in real life, rather than having them coiled in gravity-defying circles like a cowboy's lariat! (A detail which is essential to a high-quality model.) 

 

I'll have to try the shellac.  I'm in the mood to try some different things.  

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1 hour ago, mtaylor said:

I'll have to try the shellac.  I'm in the mood to try some different things.  

Try it! You'll like it! Fifteen bucks a quart at Lowe's or most any paint store. Grab a gallon of plain alcohol while you're at it. It will last you a lifetime. If the shellac starts to thicken in the can, just add more alcohol, shake or stir well, and you're good to go. (If you add additional coats to dried shellac, they will get shiny. One coat is the best way to apply it if you don't want it to show at all. Two coats will yield a very good scale approximation of varnished wood.) A touch on small rigging knots will keep them in place and a bit of alcohol on a brush will soften dried shellac if you need to untie them. It's also a wonderful all-purpose wood sealer, especially before final fine grit finish sanding.

 

Blow on it a bit to evaporate the alcohol and it will dry very quickly. Far faster than glue. It can even be used as a glue if you let the alcohol evaporate from a cap full of it until it thickens, although I think PVA is probably a better option. It's been used in the boatyards for ages to glue plugs on top of countersunk screws. It's a lot better than epoxy because you can break the plug out if you have to without tearing up the hole. Epoxy takes the edges of the holes with it.

 

It's also non-toxic, if you worry about such things. They say it's so safe you can eat it, but since it's essentially beetle crap, I'll pass on tasting it! :D

 

https://www.lowes.com/pd/zinsser-bulls-eye-clear-shellac-actual-net-contents-32-fl-oz/3449840?cm_mmc=shp-_-c-_-prd-_-pnt-_-bing-_-pla-_-219-_-interiorstains-_-3449840-_-0&kpid&k_clickID=bi_272560535_1295224885195040_80951593127685_pla-4584551173775128_c_&msclkid=5bfdc711c9361d95e19c9a34bf6f6c2b

 

 

Zinsser Bulls Eye Clear Shellac (Actual Net Contents: 32-fl oz)

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