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NRG Capstan Project by Usedtosail - FINISHED - 1:16


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I added the rabbets and gave the whole coaming a good sanding. I then tapered the sides from 2" up using a sanding block. I rounded the corners from 1" up by making a stop cut with a razor saw at the 1" mark, then using a flat file to file off the edges at each corner. I then rounded each corner with a sanding block. I then gave the whole coaming a sanding with fine sandpaper, and here is how it looks on the beams.

 

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Next up is the grating. I am going to try making it out of boxwood to get some contrast.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Toni and for the likes.

 

First step in making the grating was to cut the boxwood strips for the grating ledges using the table saw. I then glued them edge to edge and sanded the top and bottom flat using the thickness sander. I cut the ends to fit into the coaming and now came the tricky part - cutting the slots for the battens. I purposely left the grating ledges high so that if I messed up I might be able to sand it down and try again.

 

The instructions provide a couple of different methods for the cutting the slots, both manually and with a table saw. I really wanted to use the table saw method but my slots are pretty wide so I would have to use multiple cuts for each slot, which required making a jig. I thought about doing it that way but then I also thought to use the mill to make the slots. I didn't have a bit the exact size so I chucked up a 1/8" (0.125) end mill bit and practiced on some scrap basswood. I sat down and calculated the Y movement for each cut I made a list of the movements. My mill has DRO so I could just crank to the next number and make the cut.

 

I used a couple of parallels under the blank in the machine vise and made sure it was level and orientated correctly then started to cut.

 

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I made the cuts a little deeper than the batten height so I could sand them down when the grating is assembled. Here is how it came out after a small bit of cleaning with a flat file and sandpaper.

 

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I then soaked the whole blank in isopropyl alcohol and separated the batten ledges. I cut blanks for the battens on the table saw after switching to a slitting blade. I also used the micrometer on the saw to measure distance from the fence to the blade. Again I made the battens a little higher to fit into the deeper slots.

 

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Next up I start assembling the grating.

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So this morning I cut and fit the battens to the slots in the ledges. I again used the micrometer on the table saw to adjust the fence to get a tight fit in the slots. The spacing of the ledges is not set yet but I wanted to make sure I could fit all the battens first.

 

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Next I can start assembling and gluing the grate.

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I created a spacer to space the ledges and glued the rest of the ledges to the battens.

 

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I trimmed the ends of the battens and sanded the battens down to the level of the ledges. I also sanded the sides of the grating to fit the coaming.

 

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I then sanded down the bottoms of the ledges using the thickness sander and a sanding block to get the top of the grating level with the coaming. Here is everything so far dry fit together.

 

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I will next add the fasteners to the battens using the needle method in the instructions.

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One more picture of the grating after I used an awl to make holes to simulate the fasteners. I did not fill the holes with a pencil as I wanted a more subtle look.

 

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Next is on to the capstan barrel. I have a blank of boxwood that I will cut down to use for it. I am not sure at this time if I will go with pear or boxwood for the welps but I have both that I can use. Any opinions?

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Thank you Toni. I had cut stock in pear for the whelps at the beginning of the project so I will go with that.

 

I spent yesterday and today making the capstan barrel and retaining cap, using the lathe and mill method described in the instructions. I measured the various sections onto the boxwood blank and chucked it into the lathe with a live center on the end. I then rounded the whole length to 13" actual and cut the gasket and bottom sections an inch and 2" thinner. 

 

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It was then time to move the chuck and the live center to the mill to mill the flat sections. Here is where it got interesting. I have the mill attachment for the Sherline lathe which has a pretty small cross slide. For this application I needed to mount the rotary table on the 90 degree stand on the cross slide with enough room on the other side to clamp the vise with the live center in it. I do have a second cross slide insert and a longer plate that I was able to use to get enough length on the cross slide but I had to mount the plate over the X crank which made turning the crank a bit difficult. There was just enough room so that I could mill the 3" of the 10 sided section without having to remount anything but it took a while to get there.

 

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The real problem I had was getting the blank to be parallel to the cross slide which I thought I had done but it was a little off. I was able to clean things up with some files after milling with the the blank still in the rotary table. I milled the top square without any problems. I cut the barrel and retaining pin off the blank and test fit the barrel into the base. I ended up putting the barrel back into the lathe to reduce the bottom slightly so the the barrel could fit and turn in the base. My bottom was a little too short so I made a new retaining pin with a lip that fits into the hole. A piece of 1/8" dowel fits between the barrel and the pin to hold them in place on the base.

 

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Next up is making the whelps.

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Thanks Toni. While starting to make the whelps I realized I made the flat section of the barrel too long. So I chucked it back into the lathe and turned a new gasket and bottom section. This time I had enough length to make the bottom section the same length as the depth of the hole in the base. I cut the barrel to the correct length and redrilled the hole in the bottom for the retaining pin. I also put the pin base back in the lathe and cut off the inset portion I had added to it as it was no longer needed. It all fit together nicely and now the whelps will fit correctly to the flats. This scratch build stuff is challenging!

Edited by usedtosail
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I cut blanks for the whelps with a few extras from one of the pear sheets I cut at the beginning of this project, then glued them together with a few spots of wood glue on each one. After the blank dried I put it in the mill vise and set up the mill to cut the three faces.

 

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As per the instructions, I milled the top face first, then the small face in the middle. For the third face the blank was too big to fit in the vise, so I clamped it to the cross slide table instead and then milled most of the face.

 

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Here is how the blank looked when I removed it from the mill.

 

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And here is how it turned out after cleaning up the faces with some files.

 

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I soaked the blank in isopropyl alcohol and separated the individual whelps. I still have a bunch of work for the various tapers on the whelps which will be next.

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I drilled the bolt holes in the whelps then sanded the two tapers on each one. For the long taper (top to bottom) I used a disk sander and for the short taper (front to back) I used an angled sanding block. I then marked the grooves for the chocks and cut them with a triangular file, with one face of the file vertical. I first scored the location of the vertical face with an X-Acto knife to guide the file at the start. I cleaned up the inside with a small flat file. I rounded all the exposed edges and cleaned up the faces with sandpaper.

 

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Next up are the chocks.

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I cut out some rough blanks for the chocks and used a disk sander to angle the sides of one of each size. The upper chocks fit pretty well into the grooves I cut in the whelps but the lower chocks are a lot thicker and the grooves were too small. I used the same file I used to cut them initially to expand them for the bigger chocks and they fit well now. I then glued the whelps to the barrel making sure they were straight. I will give them a good 24 hours to dry before I start fitting the whelps.

 

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After the whelps had dried on the barrel I fit the five upper chocks. The angles of the sides had to be adjusted a bit on the blanks which I did with the disk sander as I sanded in the bevel on the edges. Once I had a chock with a good fit I marked the location on the top where the edges intersected the whelps and drew an arc between the points. I trimmed off the excess close to the arc and glued that whelp in. Here is how it look with all five chocks glued in but not shaped yet.

 

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I then used a Dremel with a sanding drum to lightly shape the outside edges of the upper chocks, then s sanding block to get the edges flush with the whelps and curved to look like they are all part of a circle.

 

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I then shaped the lower chocks using the same procedure but with the thicker blanks. These have a shallower angle on the edges. I also marked an arc on these when I had a good fit but this time it was a concave arc. I cut a small piece of boxwood to the correct arc and used it to mark the tops of the lower chocks. When I had five chocks with a good fit I glued them in place. Here is how it looks now while I wait for the glue to dry to do the final shaping.

 

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I also started making the drum head pieces while waiting for the chocks to dry in the whelps. I glued up two square-ish pieces of 4" pear sheet with a square chunk of boxwood to hold them in the lathe. I let that dry overnight while clamped in a vise, then used the band saw to cut the corners off and square up the inner face of the holding block. I chucked the blank in a 4 jaw independent chuck and centered it using a live center. I then used a flat chisel on a steady rest to turn the blank to a circle, which only took about a quarter hour.

 

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I then used the lathe cutting tool and DRO to get the blank to the final diameter.

 

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I found it convenient to temporarily glue the drum pieces together, turn to the final diameter, unglue them then mill the slots for the capstan bars half way on each piece using the mill rotary table. They were then reglued forming the fully thicknessed capstan bar mortises. I thought this would be easier than drilling evenly spaced holes and turning them into squares. But I'm sure you'll figure create the same effect.

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Thanks for the tip Greg. My stack is actually two pieces glued together so I will be separating them and milling the slots in each half. They are not two semi circles though as per the instructions so I will be leaving the upper and lower halves as full circles at this point.

 

I set up the mill with the rotary table and put the drum head blank in the vise. This was a little tricky as I had to make sure the rotary table was centered, then the vise on the rotary table, then the blank. Once I was happy with the centering process, I milled the three slots for one of the drum heads. I can use this for either the upper or lower drum head since I milled out the dimple from the live center.

 

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I have the blank soaking in isopropyl alcohol now to separate the upper and lower drum heads and the square block holder.

 

Edited by usedtosail
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Here are the completed whelps and chocks after sanding the lower chocks to be flush with the whelps and the bolt holes in the chocks have been drilled.

 

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I am pretty happy with the outcome but it could be a lot better, especially the positioning of the chocks. If I were to build this again I would find a way to mill all the grooves for the chocks at the same time so they would be more evenly lined up. Making a jig that would hold each whelp separately for milling would have worked better too I think. Oh well, this is a learning experience isn't it.

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I have spent this week working on the drum heads for the capstan. I milled the slots in the upper drum head to match those in the lower head. I held the drum heads together and marked the locations of the lower slots on the upper and used the marks to align the mill bit as I cut the slots. I cut each slot only close to the center not all the way through as I did the lower. This helped with any misalignment that may have been present to all the slots had a better chance of lining up at the edges. I also milled away the center part of the upper drum head to fit over the end of the square part of the barrel. This is necessary because the top of the barrel is 6" high actual and each half of the drum head is 4" high, so an extra 2" in the upper head is needed so the drum head sits flush to the tops of the whelps. This isn't shown in the plans. After this photo was taken I milled the square hole in the lower drum head to fit on the square part of the barrel.

 

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I then worked on the rings for the drum heads. I used Toni's alternate method and made the rings from 0.016" brass sheet, using the rotary table in the mill to drill the holes and cut the rings out of square pieces of the brass sheet. I screwed two squarish pieces of the brass sheet to a piece of wood and used the 4 jaw independent chuck to hold it to the rotary table. I drilled the 12 holes first with a starter bit then a regular drill bit.

 

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After I cut out the rings I cleaned them up with files and sand paper and glued them to the drum heads with medium CA. Here they are before I glued them down. I will add brass bolts in the holes and make the cap for the upper head next.

 

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I drilled through the holes in the brass rings into the drum head halves and glued in brass nails for the bolts. I filed the tops of the nails flat. As did Toni, I am going to leave the rings and bolt heads bright instead of blackening them. As for blackening, I cut all the bolts I will need for the beams, whelps and chocks and flattened one end of each by placing the rod in a metal vise and hammering it with a small ball pean hammer. I also made the eyebolts for the top of the drum head and cut lengths of chain for the capstan bar retaining pins. I cut the smallest chain I have which is 27 links per inch, which is a little over scale but really the smallest I can work with. Here are all the parts to be blackened, including the brakes that I made earlier.

 

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I glued the two drum head halves together last night. I used small pieces of 3/32" square basswood in the slots when I put the halves together to line up the slots but took them out before the glue set up so I wouldn't accidentally glue one into the hole. This morning I turned the cap from a round piece of boxwood I had left over from making the barrel. I first turned it round then faced the outer side on the lathe. I used a parting tool to cut about half way through the blank, then set up the mill with the rotary table and the chuck the blank was in to drill the six holes in the cap. I removed the blank from the mill and finished parting off the cap with a razor saw. I then sanded both sides of the cap to clean up the faces and thin it down. I did not get it down to half an inch actual size but it is pretty thin. I glued the cap to the top of the drum head. Here it is with the six blanks for the capstan bars.

 

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And here it is dry fit on the barrel.

 

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Once I blacken those parts and give everything some wipe on ploy I will add the eyebolts and chains to the drum head.

 

 

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Thank you GL and the likes. We are getting to the home stretch now.

 

So I blackened all the brass parts and gave the wood pieces a coat of wipe on poly. I then added the little chain sections to the eyebolts and glued one eyebolt into the cap in the six positions for the capstan bars. I then started making the capstan bars. The instructions say to use a chisel to cut out the sections to fit in the square holes but I used a different method. I set up the table saw with the blade barely above the surface of the sliding table and a depth stop at the length of the section to be cut.

 

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I then used the blade like a dado blade and made a series of cuts on each of the four sides of the blank. BTW does anyone know of a small dado blade that would work with the Byrnes saw? Has anyone tried using multiple blades at the same time to get wider cuts?

 

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I then used a flat file to file down the excess, starting with the very end until the end fit into the hole.

 

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I then removed the excess from the rest until the whole length had a nice tight fit in the hole.

 

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I did this for all six holes so each bar is specific to a single hole.

 

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I now have to taper these bars and I am in the process of making a jig to help with that. More to come on that later.

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I'm not sure about dado blades as such.  The only thing I've seen are washers that are "cocked" in the both sides aren't parallel. One side is milled at an angle.  These were/are for the MicroMark saw but I don't know if Jim has anything similar for his saw.

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I have good success using the widest blade (0.0625") I have for my Byrnes saw. The key is to leave the top overlong so both ends are always parallel and resting on the table surface. Otherwise, as Kurt said, you can introduce wobble. You can create rather long slots by nibbling away at the piece then running it through in one pass lengthwise to unify any missed sections.

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Here is the jig I made to help taper the capstan bars. The two side pieces are glued to the base board at an angle with just enough room between them for the untapered bar to fit. The board at the top just keeps the bar from moving in the slot. I start by tapering two sides with a small plane, then put a brass shim at the stop to hold the bar a little higher when I plane the other two untapped sides. Then I put another shim over the first and sand all four sides with coarse sand paper, then finish with medium and fine paper.

 

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And here are all six bars tapered and ready to finish.

 

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  • ccoyle changed the title to NRG Capstan Project by Usedtosail - FINISHED - 1:16

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