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Cutty Sark by Sailcat - FINISHED - Revell - PLASTIC - 1/96 Rescue kit bash morphed to Dame Tisane

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  • 5 months later...

Well, months go by and I suddenly realize I've been out of the loop and have not addressed my absence ...


Basically, I managed to re-injure myself near the end of August (at work) and the resulting rounds of exams and physio have revealed that I have some issues with the L4 and L5 vertebrae (the last two at the bottom of the stack) which prevent me from sitting for any length of time.  Not only does this mean 'goodbye couch' for the time being but it also demands that I rethink my workspace - call it a paradigm shift.


Well, between recovery, therapy and life I've been very distracted.  The 'almost complete' Dame Tisane sits on my mantle awaiting the workspace adjustment and the issue of the changing of the space has been consuming my thoughts and such.  Plus I also painted the den where I work which is a combination of 'test run' to see if I'm physically capable and also allows for a reset of the area for the rethink and so on, lol.  Pretty soon now (I hope) I will be 'back in the saddle' once again and posting but for now I'm still hammering out the details of what I want to do.


The Plan is to create a raised 'deck' where I can work in a standing position.  I wanted to utilize my existing desk instead of spending a whole bunch of coin on a singular useage specialty desk and try to develop it in such a way to allow flexibility in set up so that it can become a hobby/art/craft/etc. arrangement.  This has proven to be tricky as there isn't a lot out there for this sort of thing.  But I believe I have a solution which is simple, inexpensive and requires only moderate building to accomplish - basically build a raised deck like a short table.  As this develops I will be posting photos (in case anyone else out there with similar back issues needs some ideas of their own) and with any luck I will be able to complete the rigging on the Dame before the next Winter Olympics.


So, hope to return to the dry dock soon and spend some time catching up on all that I've missed.  Best wishes to everyone and Happy Building!

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good to see your up and about.......back issues can be a  real pain {a bit of a pun,  but they are not funny!}   I don't sit as much as I used to either.......kind of the same problem,  but I get restless.  my table is high......so I stand.  I wish you well,  and I hope to see you back at the table soon!

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I prefer to do bench work standing up using a bench I can walk around, a stout island on wheels with brakes is what I am thinking about. With a heavy mobile island and a regular work bench I could have the best of two worlds. I have two different work benches at different heights, so I usually stand up when working with leather.


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Welcome back Cats.


Just take care of that back, mate, it's the only one you've got.



What John said. I know first-hand how a very bad back feels - I've been having severe back pain for some time now, and it's really taken a toll on my modelling time and quality of work. What used to be a breeze a year or two ago is now a real effort. I know what's causing it, more will be revealed when I get the final results of some tests (not good I think).



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  • 1 month later...

And so it begins ... (Long Post Warning :) )


After many weeks of thought, research, mulling and otherwise I have finally begun the process of converting the workspace into a form which is suitable for my altered physical requirements. I thought about posting this in another thread but the Build Log is my chronicle of my grand nautically related adventure and this is just another part of that, after all ;)


So - lower back issues which prevent me from long periods of sitting or contorting myself whilst sitting required that I rethink where I do the work.  Research into this issue provided a deluge of info - it seems that there are a Lot of folks out there with issues as far as long term sitting goes. I won't go into the details but if anyone out there is looking into this and doesn't want to spend a few thousand dollars on a manufactured variable height desk or work bench I suggest Googling the term "IKEA Bashing" as a great place to start.  Very inspirational.


Before I chose how to do this I set out my parameters and thought them through repeatedly.  The primary requirement was Variable Height but I didn't dwell on issues of fine calibration or the like as these complicated things way too much.  Stability is also important but how much stability was something I had to redefine as I tend towards the extreme overcompensation school of thought.  Size was easy enough to determine, limited to the footprint of the desk which remains the base, so to speak.  And so, armed with a rough idea I went forth and procrastinated after buying the plank, eventually getting to today, well yesterday really but also today.



The wide shot of the Before look.  All previous modifications (shelves and stuff) were removed when I painted the room recently.




The Stuff.  ABS pipes, caps and connectors for the legs (1 1/2" dia.) and a pre cut, factory sanded Pine plank that just happened to be the dimensions that I wanted for the workspace (36" x 20"), a case of lucky serendipity or something.




Drill two holes through the caps in order to affix them to the bottom of the plank.




Affix the caps thusly.




All caps affixed to corners.




The default height I had chosen was roughly 18 inches.  Taking into account the thicknesses of the plank, cap and the connector which would act as the foot I cut the pipe into 16 inch lengths.  




The previously mentioned connectors.  Please note that one side has raised lettering on the rim so I was careful to make sure the flat side was down.




Putting it all together for view with the 18 inch metal ruler for reference, the workspace is 1/16" shy of 18" height, lol.  Because plastic pipes of this nature can tend to self-weld I rubbed a bit of powdered graphite around the ends of the pipe.  Next thing to do after I get things in the room set up is to get more 1 1/2" pipe and cut sets of legs at different lengths.  Currently I want sets at 12 inches, 8 inches and 4 inches, but I'll wait to see what kind of height range I wind up needing.  




Because the legs are wobbly from not being glued I thought to install anchor points (L brackets) on the base desk itself.  This turned out to increase the stability quite a bit, though it's still wobbly both from the dry fit situation and the free fourth leg.




The rounded desk corner required 2 brackets.




For now I'm using zip tie's to secure the feet.  Perhaps I'll change that up later.




And here ends the first part of the conversion.  I didn't get into the sealing of the plank but that was basically 2 coats of Varathane brand water based 'Diamond Finish' in semi-gloss.  I prefer water based anything if it performs well and this stuff has served me well in the past for interior application.  I may put a third coat on the plank given it's intended use, or I may not.




So in summary, this isn't a 'rock steady' workspace but rather a good, sturdy surface set at a level which won't compromise my injury.  It can support more weight than I am ever likely to set upon it and is large enough for the stuff I do, anything bigger would require me to go outdoors anyway, lol.  Keeping the base desk as clear as possible was also important, because when I go to change the height it would not do if the workspace was covered in all sorts of loose clutter so all that stuff needs a place to go.  Next up are the other modifications and resets for the zone based on the new stand up version of things.  


There's still a way to go before I can finalize the last little bits of the Dame but it feels good to be rolling on the track again, finally  :dancetl6:

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I have that problem as well Kats........I have a drafting table and a regular desk that I work on.  I tend to favor the drafting table,  because of it's height.......the desk,  for when the ship is masted.  I do have a minor problem with my back......but not as bad as yours.   I find it better to stand than to sit.  I look forward to the restart....bravo!

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I just realized that I neglected to thank everyone for their kind messages and good wishes - so an extra big Thank You to everyone for your support.


When last we left I had completed the raised work area - this opens the door to the next bit of fun which is the rest of the big re-think of the workspace.  The first bit of business was to move a shelf and re-purpose it.  This was done at the Admiral's insistence, she didn't want the shelf where it was anymore so this worked for both of us.




The shelves were open slat design so I laid some shelf liner to protect the wood and to close the gaps.




Next up came the installation of wall shelves but in a new position from their previous layout.




Then the installation of a small stuff shelf to the right of the work area, similar to the one I had before but a little prettier.  This is for stuff like glues, thinners and other regular use small items.




Then began the process of unpacking and arranging and re-arranging.  Plus assessing what I have, where it is and trying to recall th einventory and so forth.




And of course the lighting.  I'm using a couple of the old lamps plus an even older lamp which I had stored away for some future purpose.  The where of placement will likely evolve as well but the set up as it is seems to work pretty well.





And here we come to another stop.  Along with the re-think of the set up is also a re-think of how I store and array my working tools and supplies.  I realized that I was utilizing old patterns from my previous set up working off the couch in my living room.  Given that I am now in a truly different situation it's time for me to change things up, from where and how I store my brushes and paints all the way to the placement of the waste bin.  


One of the ways in which I took the new set up for a test drive was to disassemble, repair and reassemble a little 3 tier wooden jewelry box I had once used for paint storage and is now returned to that task.  As well I am in the process of fabricating a new brush holder and figuring out where I stored all the little bits and pieces of repurposed stuff, not just rigs and jigs but basics like my toothpick container and the 2 part epoxy, lol.


So things are going well.  Once I have a bit more of the basics nailed down I hope to move the Dame back to her berth and then begins the process of figuring out not only where I was in the rigging but What It All Means once more ... after this much time away from it all my brain can process looking at the Dame is, "Holy cow, lookit all them threads ...."

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Thanks again for the kind words and support, everyone. It certainly helps ease the struggle of trying to remember, recall and reinvigorate while trying to get the old brain to play along, lol.


Something that occurred to me during this return process is that though I've been away from the build for months at a time, in the olden days of wind sail that span would be considered a medium duration at best.  Sometimes ships and crews wouldn't return for years and along with the uncertainty of if they would return at all family and friends would simply hope for the best, and this was the normal shape of things.  These kinds of thoughts kept my chin up during the hiatus, not knowing if I'd ever be able to return to the shipyard  is a downer to say the least.  And with that preamble out of the way ...








What is mercifully not easy to see in these photos is the accumulated fine dust and thin cobwebs - you can see the little brush I was using for cleaning up process.  That plus a modified 'foot' pump were enough to deal with the evidence of time sitting.  And the next pic is after the meticulous go-over was completed.




When last I left off the Vangs, Boom Sheets and Signal ensign had been attached, awaiting finishing touches.  Months later the loose ends have been clipped and rope coils have been placed for the boom sheets.






The Main Topmast Staysail halliard had been tied off but the downhaul was hanging loose.  Finally got around to tying that off.




Here the ends of the signal ensign and the starboard vang have been clipped and rope coils placed ... hard to see but this is the best my camera can do.




One of the things I discovered immediately upon the return to the threadwork was that it was easier for me to accomplish the tying off to the on-deck portions.  With that, and bolstered by enthusiasm and frantic energy, I set up, ran through and tied off the halliards and downhauls for the main topgallant and royal staysails.  Here are the halliards tied off at the spider band and rope coils in place.  It might look inaccurate because it is, yet another instance of doing the best I can with a kit rebuild.




Finally the downhauls tied off and rope coils in place, again hard to make out clearly and I probably could have left some details, like the rope coils, out and it wouldn't have been noticeable ... but I felt compelled.  That let's me know that I'm finding the groove once more :)



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Thanks for the kind words and I'm still having a 'geek-gasm' over how quickly the old reflexes and data set have dropped back into their places.  


I believe I mentioned before that this new arrangement makes 'on deck' rigging a lot easier in terms of angles, approach and access ... enough so that I can now proclaim, "The Fore And Aft Running Rigging Is Complete!!" (cue marching band, cheerleaders and confetti, lol)


But as with many things in life the completion of one stage leads to yet another, with the accompanying questions and pleas for advice - but that comes after the pictures ;)


First of is the best shot I could get of the halliards and downhauls for the Fore Topmast Staysail and the Flying, Inner and Outer Jib sails.  The set isn't as 'perfect' as I would like but the geometry here has been determined by the size of the blocks I used, which were too large for scale.  I did manage to set them with almost no tension so the standing rigging still looks taut - that took some finicky finessing let me tell you, lol.




Here's where I admit that in my enthusiasm for progress I neglected to take as many photos as I usually do, but I did remember to take a few.  This one's of halliard tie off's with rope coils emplaced.  The rope coils I made for these were a bit smaller then the average as with the no-sails set up most of the halliard is run through almost to the bowsprit.




And finally the downhauls tied off and with thicker rope coils to reflect that there would be more line stowed here under these circumstances.  Somehow I don't think I put enough coiled line here to properly reflect the 'real' situation, but that can be corrected easily enough - these coils are easy to get at unlike many of the others behind the deadeyes and such.




With a great sigh of relief I can now let go of the anxiety of leaving the fore and aft rigging for so long.  This leaves one major final stage rigging adventure and that is the Braces and this is the final stage for me because I am not rigging for the stuns'ls.  But before that can happen there must first be an accounting of all the little details which I have left incomplete for various reasons.  One of these details is the placement of the bumkins which can now be fixed in place - I left them off until now on the advice of many who told me not to put them in place until I had to, sound advice which I'm glad I took.


As well are certain finishing touches which bring with them a foreshadowing of the completion.  Finally setting and tying off the boat davits will be accomplished soon and I'm planning to simply make more on my rope coils and attach them as seems appropriate - Question Number One; Is this correct or is there a different way that these lines are coiled?


The anchors which I scratchbuilt so long ago can now be linked to their chains and stowed, which leads to - Question Number Two; can anyone give me a link or photo which shows how this is done?  I know the basics but it's been so long since I thought about it that I do no want to depend on my flawed recall.


Life rings will be attached as well, I had considered omitting them but they add a nice touch to the look.  I never did attempt to print out the ships name small enough to label the life rings ... and I doubt I will at this point, lol.


Holy wow ... it feels weird to be talking about the completion after all this time ...

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YES!!  Progress!!




Question 1: If the boats were stowed under the davits, it was common to simply drop the coil of the fall into the boat.  If the boats were stowed elsewhere, then it was usual to turn the davits fore and aft and cross the falls, hooking the lower blocks onto the opposite davit.  In this case, the falls would be coiled up on the cleat where they were secured.


Question 2:  If the anchors were stowed for sea, the cables would be unshackled and brought inboard and the anchors stowed on the forecastle.  If ready for letting go, then they were either hung off the cathead with a slip or hung off 'stock and fluke' as in the drawing below.  I would think a ship such as the Cutty Sark would let go 'stock and fluke'.





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