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Is there a trick to making deadeyes?


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I have been experimenting  with different ways to make deadeyes.  Here I am using a 1/4" hardwood dowel in the lathe with a file to make the groove and a cutoff tool to seperate each deadeye.  I have a bunch of deadeyes to make and was wondering if there is a better way to expidite the process.

 

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The drilling of the three holes is a challenge all its own, but I have successfully made a little jig that holds the deadeye while I do the drilling.  Again, it is laborious, but I don't know a better way.

 

Thanks in advance.

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Looks very time and labor consuming.
What I do is pay myself my hourly rate and determine how much I really want to do this. Break out the calculator determine I am nuts. If it is still something I just want to do I just do it.

If not I buy the excellent ones Chuck offers at Syren. Just sayin’ 

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For the holes consider a metal template.  I cannot recall the builder/member that posted this concept (back in MSW ver 1.0 I think) , but it comprised a metal tube soldered to a plate with the ID of the tube being the same as the OD of the turned deadeye (or you could bore out a solid rod/square stock) to the right diameter on the lathe.  This acts as the holder for the deadeye and  the tube should be just deep enough to hold the deadeye, a base wood piece so you don't damage the drill bits, and for the next part (the template) to fit in also.  The template is made the same diameter as the deadeye. 

 

Carefully place and drill the 3 holes in the template, accuracy is key here but a lot of time is saved in taking the time to do this only once.  Put the template over a deadeye blank in the tube and then drill the holes in each deadeye using the template as the guide.  This allows you to consistently place the holes in each deadeye - the most difficult being to get the template right.   The last bit then is to use a pointed fine needle file, or a cord type grit/sanding line, to put a slight groove into each hole in the direction of the pull of the rope.

 

I hope that helps?

 

cheers

 

Pat

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I see one problem with using a standard dowel as starting stock:  the grain.  The face of the deadeye will be end grain.  The orientation needs to be 90 degrees to that of a dowel.  The length of stock to be turned would be 6-12 inches long. It would depend on the width of the starting lumber board.  The starting lathe stock would then be square in cross section. 

 

I wonder if a tube with an inside diameter that is that of the deadeye could be turned into a hole saw and deadeyes cut from a sheet of wood that is the thickness.  The tool used would then be a drill press.  A jig could be made to position  the 3 holes for the rope and these holes drilled in the sheet along with an orienting site for the hole saw,  so that the holes would be already placed before hole saw was used to remove the plug that is the deadeye.  Another jig could use the 3 holes to center the deadeye and the lathe used to shape the groove for the shroud. 

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Jaager has a good point and it jogged my mind.   Somewhere here, I remember seeing a build that used a drill to cut out the deadeyes. 

 

Ah.. found a couple:   https://modelshipworld.com/topic/1005-la-belle-1624-by-cabrapente/?do=findComment&comment=18693  and here: https://modelshipworld.com/topic/410-hms-sphynx-by-alex-m-scale-148-english-20-gun-frigate-as-build-1775/?do=findComment&comment=10133   There's more, I used keywords "deadeye making" not as a phrase.  But the others I looked at pretty much do the same.

 

 

There's others that use the same technique of basically making a cutting tool that cuts out a length from a block of wood then they put it on lathe and shape and then cut free.  

 

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Here is my trick for making deadeyes with the grain oriented correctly.

 

Use a plug cutter.  These are used in boarbuilding to cut plugs to fill counterbored screw holes.  Most of these produce short plugs- 1/2in long or so, but some will produce much longer plugs-1-1/2in and they are not too expensive, maybe $15.

 

Unfortunately, the smallest long one that I was able to find cuts a 3/8in dia plug but at least I now had a round piece with the grain oriented correctly (crosswise) that I could easily chuck up in my lathe and turn to the correct diameter.  You will need a drill press to turn the plug cutter.

 

 

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Although it would be somewhat tedious, smaller diameter shop-made "plug cutters" might be fashioned by taking a length of brass tubing with a suitable inside diameter and filing pointed "teeth" on the end. The "toothed" tubing is then chucked in a drill press to bore into the workpiece. Admittedly, I've never done this in modelling sizes, but I've seen it done to make a long bit for boring straight propeller shafts through long shaft logs in full-sized boatbuilding. The shape of the teeth didn't seem to be particularly important as long as they were pointed, and, of course, the bit had to be withdrawn frequently to vacuum out the sawdust. I had my doubts, but was surprised to see how well it worked when I first saw it done.

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Why not use wood sheet? Make circles, roughly cut them out and then shape round with the disc sander. Or make paper templates with circles and the positions for drilling, drill the eyes, then again cut out and shape with the disc sander. The grooves around can easily be made with the thin 0.5 mm proxon grinding wheel attached to a dremel. Finish with sand paper.

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Here is an update on my progress.  I think I have the technique down, but as many of you have stated it is really labor instensive and my yeild has been less than 50%.  I don't know about the grain issue, the ones I am making from the hardwood dowel are so small (1/4") I can only see the grain from the side.  I like the plug idea, but the lathe does allow you to quickly (relatively) machine the grove, then mark the cutoff point, make a whole row of them all the same size, take them to the band saw and cut them apart.  Then pop them into a simple drilling jig which is a block of delrin with a 1/4" hole in one side and the three little holes (#57) in the other. Flip it over, drill the three holes and pop it out. If you do a little finishing work while still in the lathe you don't need to do any at the end.

 

But I need so many of them..... I think I am going to just buy a bag and be done with it.  I am going to move on to something I can be much more productive at, pulling trunnels 🙂

deadeyes.thumb.jpg.e61f6a9311e3b31d6429a70bdebdb8ab.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

I recently saw a video on Youtube on this issue, made by a Russian. I do not understand the language, but, as always, an image values more than 1,000 words. The proposed method is very ingenious. I present below the link - if considered inappropriate, violating the forum's rules, I ask an administrator to delete it. If not, please enjoy and use the method.

 

 

 

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I just love the continual flow of ideas that reflect the fact that thinking through a problem makes up most of the fun of model building. This one is a real treat. I liked the ProKCon joke.

 

Tony

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  • 2 weeks later...

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