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Slackening/tightnening Rigging


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 On my clipper Lightning I've progressed to the point on my standing rigging that I'm putting up topmasts and all had been well concerning tension under many weather conditions. My rigging is tensioned well. I keep my place mostly open windowed. I figured that if all was well with my workroom at 90 plus degrees and pretty high humidity all would be well. All was tight down to the 40's too heating by wood stove, the air very dry. I ran air conditioning for short spells too earlier this summer with only very minor slackening, which was a surprise, but it was not bad.

 

Today I ran the AC and the rigging went slacker than ----!  I'm FREAKED !!!!

 

My rigging is pre-stretched Londonderry Linen and Egypyian Cotton that has been shellaced.  I turned off the AC and opened my windows and all was well again after a short time, nice and tight.

 

HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm wondering If I'll need to start over !

 

Von Stetina

Edited by von stetina
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Any natural fibre will absorb and give off moisture. Shellac is not water-proof: remember the white ring if you accidentally put a water glass on a French polished table top? You'll either need to live with what happens or slow the moisture migration by using conservators' wax or some other means.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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I agree with Druxey.  Shellac is never water proof.....it can be very water resistant but only after many layers are applied.  I share your disappointment and hope someone can provide a workable solution.

Augie

 

Current Build: US Frigate Confederacy - MS 1:64

 

Previous Builds :

 

US Brig Syren (MS) - 2013 (see Completed Ship Gallery)

Greek Tug Ulises (OcCre) - 2009 (see Completed Ship Gallery)

Victory Cross Section (Corel) - 1988

Essex (MS) 1/8"- 1976

Cutty Sark (Revell 1:96) - 1956

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Druxey, Did you tell me that beeswax might deteriorate rigging? Wish I could use it, I have a bunch and conservators wax looks expensive and money is SO tight. But if beeswax will cause deterioration there's no choice.

 

Bruce

Edited by von stetina
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Yes, beeswax will eventually cause problems, as it is not pH neutral like conservators' wax. However, it's your call. I imagine you should be OK when you've applied the wax.

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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  • 2 weeks later...

What's wrong with slack standing rigging ? In real life it would not be as tight as a tight-rope - it is a bit of a misconception we are used to in modelling. Rigging always sags a bit under its own weight, because you would pull out all fastenings or push the mast throught the keel, if you would try to tighten it, as we do it as modellers by aesthetic habit.

 

The difficulty though is to get the slack into the right direction - downwards.

 

wefalck

wefalck

 

panta rhei - Everything is in flux

 

 

M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg
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The difficulty though is to get the slack into the right direction - downwards.

 

ROFL!!!

THAT is so true!!!

 

Daniel

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Hi Wefalk,

 

You haven't seen the thing!  About 1/4 slack. I've been on real square riggers and seen the slack, no comparison. I have to say though that the Victory's backstays were pretty slack. However the shrouds sagged bad too. Also if you look at photos of new clippers you will see that they are  pretty darn tight, and I'm building one.

 

I tied the Conservator's Wax. It seems the damage was done already....no help except on  previously untreated areas. Having to try to soak the wax into the rigging in place on the ship ruined the look of the scale rope. It also did other unsightly things.

 

SO!  I have stripped all the rigging off and prepared all the parts I removed for re-rigging. I found the rigging to be pretty easy work, including the ratlines. It will be worth starting over and using my new found experience to get it right. But it sure is a bummer!  Oh well, I had to re-do my coppering too. Afetr that, well,.......

 

On much reflection I've decided 2 factors doomed my rigging. First I used fabric dye. I figure as thread is fabric I should. But I think there may have been residual salt left in the rigging despite good rinsing. Salt absorbs moisture. It's been super rainy here. The other factor I think was a big contributor is following Underhills advice to used shellac. The rigging was fine before I shellaced it. Putting the wax over it just made a mess. I did a test first, but when I did the real thing it showed up more. The wax sat in the little valleys of the rope and looked white no matter what I did. It got onto the deadeyes causing the same problem. The two coating filled the nice valleys that made the rope look real too. Other Underhill advice has been not so hot either.

 

This time I won't use linen, but use all Egyptian Cotton as it made the nicest rope. Druxey advised trying this thread and as usual his advice was excelent.

 

One huge thing still stumps me. Why did it go slack whrn I ran the AC, and tighten with the windows open to the hot damp weather?

 

Bruce

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Why did it go slack whrn I ran the AC, and tighten with the windows open to the hot damp weather?

I am not a natural fibre specialist, but when a bundle of fibres takes up humidity, it swells. As the mass of the fibre substance doesn't change, this means that, when it becomes thicker, it must become shorter. This effect is further aggravated in a laid rope, as you have more fibre length between two points.

 

Try this out by making fast one of your ropes on one end and at the other end put a spring-balance (or just a spring) in between. Then you can measure the elongation and force excerted.

 

Not sure, whether this is useful suggestion, but when your ship used wire rigging, you may want to resort to wire for the model too when you live in an environment with significant changes in humidity.

 

wefalck 

wefalck

 

panta rhei - Everything is in flux

 

 

M-et-M-72.jpg  Banner-AKHS-72.jpg  Banner-AAMM-72.jpg  ImagoOrbis-72.jpg
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Hi Bruce, just a thought for you to mull over, but I'm having some success using acrylic matte medium on my rigging lines. It can be easily brushed on, soaks right in and doesn't cause the line to become slack, or brittle. I don't have to worry if some drips on the model... A quick wipe and what's left just blends in when dry.

 

A 500 mL bottle from Scenic Express will run you only about $6.00 or so...

 

Andy

Quando Omni Flunkus, Moritati


Current Build:

USF Confederacy

 

 

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Hi Andy, that's an interesting thought. I'll do a test. I've got a lot of that stuff around. The Conservator's wax looks very good though and I'll probably go with that. It did seem to work well. I'ts still got me bugged why my rigging went limp with the AC on though. What the heck?!

I'd of thought it would dry out and being cooler, contract.

 

Before I put anything on all was fine. Just a very slight difference with the AC on. None with weather changes. We don't like living in canned air. We run the AC only when it gets really bad. [When my longhair cat buddy starts sleeping belly up it's time!]

 

Bruce

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Hi Wefalk, Missed your reply somehow. That's interesting, when it swells it tightens. I never would have guessed. That makes sense now. I wish I had measured the rigging when the AC was on now. Never thought of swelling. I've cut it all off now and refurbished the lower standing rigging's approximately 200 parts. [sHEESH!]

 

Now I'm in a quandry over materials as I didn't like the bit of lumpyness I had left on my linen despite much work. The plain Egyptian Cotton thread made beautiful line, the DMC Cordennete had a square-ish look that I couldn't seem to tune out. A shame as there are so many sizes of this nice Egyptian Cotton type thread at decent prices. I need a lot of 11 1/2 inch rigging at 1/8 scale at about .038.  I guess it may be time to open a new topic!

 

Bruce

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Sorry to read about all your rigging troubles, Bruce. I guess that the shellac prevented the dilute wax from being absorbed properly by the line.  Too bad that you have to start over, but I'm sure the re-work will be better than the original!

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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I sell all kinds of waxes into the personal care market. Beeswax is an incredible mixture of fatty acids manufactured by our amazing little apian buddies. Beeswax is subject to degradation (UV, Oxidation etc). There are other natural waxes such as Carnauba that might be better suited to purpose. I will check into it

Jaxboat

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Hi Jaxboat, You might look at the Conservator's Wax, looks good.

 

Thanks Druxey, I can't stand moving forward if I'm dissatisfied with something. Even the stuff I'm satisfied with I want to do better on next time.

Thanks for your advice, by the way. I know I can trust it as I've seen your work. It speaks for itself. Excellent.

 

I corresponded a while back with Keith about rigging as I did with you. He was using DMC Cordennet. As it is made of Egyptian Cotton as you had suggested I've decided to use it this time. I did have a sample spool that I had a problem experimenting with it on my rope walk. It came out with a square-ish in profile. I think a modification on my rope walk to make mine more like Keith's and more experiments will solve it. But it was pretty weird and it kept happening.

 

Bruce

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