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My Serving Jig


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As I get closer to the 'sticks and string' phase of my Victory build I found commercial serving jig very difficult to come by here in the UK. I decided to build my own using 20mm ploypropylene sheet, plastic gears, 4mm silver steel shafts and some bearings. The frame is held together with machine screws instead of being glued.

 

The operation is via a hand crank at present but I may add motor drive in the future to allow two free hands whilst operating. I have carried out trials and it operates well.

 

 

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Tony

 

The purpose of serving a rope is to protect it in areas subject to wear, the most obvious example is where the shrouds pass round the head of the mast. Here is a link to Wikipedia which might help explain 'serving'. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worm,_parcel_and_serve

 

The ropewalk is a machine used to produce lengths of rope whilst the serving jig I built is used to serve the ropes.

 

I remember that Gil's build log showed very clearly the serving on his shrouds.

 

Sorry for the lack of information but I think the link will make things clear.

 

As an aside, my late father was a keen archer and would use a small device to serve his bow strings. With a bit of enginuity one of these may be adapted to suit the ship modeller.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Dave

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Sinan

 

I have attached some photo's which may help explain how the serving jig works, it really is very simple.

 

The thread to be served (white in photo) is attached between the two aligator clips, as tightly as possible. the first end of the serving thread (black in photo) is attached to the line to be served. I have used a needle as when the serving is complete I can pull the needle through with the thread to secure it.

 

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The shafts at both driving ends are hollow, this allows the thread to pass through and stops it form wrapping around itself.

 

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The crank handle is then turned in the required direction and the serving thread wraps around the line. One the desired length of serving is achieved the ends are glued and the line removed and is ready to be put in to position on the model.

 

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Hope this explanation helps.

 

Dave

 

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Great idea, Dave. I also found it interesting that you used some gears that appear to be from a KNEX set, right?

 

I used the same gears and other KNEX pieces that I 'borrowed' from one of my grandkids toy box. I used them to make my eight foot long ropewalk. After some experimenting it works great. To speed things up I use an electric hand drill clamped to the end shaft.

I might add that the other end can move inside the track but has weights hanging from a pulley to keep the main thread tight. I think I can easily do the serving using this set up. Thanks for your idea.

 

To see more of how my ropewalk works and some examples go to http://www.brentjes.com/ropewalk.html

 

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Jay

 

To be honest, I bought the gear wheels from a website which specialises in the supply of robot parts, so I am not sure of their source with regards to Knex.

 

I have checked out you website and there is some very good information on rope making, I may 'steal' some of you ideas when I build my own ropewalk.

 

Dave

Edited by Artificer
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Jay

 

To be honest, I bought the gear wheels from a website which specialises in the supply of robot parts, so I am not sure of their source with regards to Knex.

 

I have checked out you website and there is some very good information on rope making, I may 'steal' some of you ideas when I build my own ropewalk.

 

Dave

Dave feel free to use what ever you want from my site. If there are any questions let me know. The web site has my contact information on the main page. Earlier there was a lot of information about the threads to use in making rope and I used some of that. In addition there were a lot of suggestions about deying the rope. I touched on that a bit also.

 

Knex is similar to Logo blocks but it is more advanced and, in my opinion, a great way for youngsters to put mechanical structure together. It has lots of pieces that include gears and electric motors. The gears and shafts I used fit my needs just fine.

Edited by Modeler12
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  • 2 weeks later...

next time you see a printer in the trash can, pick it up! open it up and you will find a lot of gears and shafts that you can use to build a ropewalk or serving machine.

Oh NO-O-O!!! - you don't want to do that - I spent an evening taking apart a rather large HP printer that had been deep 6'd and ended up covered in primary colored powder that was all over everything. Lucky for me I had it out on the deck and not inside. The gears I retrieved were really not worth the effort - seldom in matching sets that provided the ratios I needed for my Electro-Serving Jig. I still have a large plastic bag of parts and small motors from that printer (all kind of useless at this point).

 

I won't try to re-create my past posts on this (Electro-Serving Jig - 2009) here, but it works and does a great job in a short time period. I have attached a few photos. I originally used a sewing machine motor for power, but it tended to overheat due to the low speed of the jig. I replaced it with 2 DC elec. motors (each of different rpm) settling on the higher rpm mtr. (the last one I bought). The traveling serving thread bobbin device works pretty well, you just need to keep an eye on it. The gears I used were 2 pair of RC car gears I bought at a hobby shop and a friend of mine (shipmodeler & machinist) machined aluminum hubs for these gears. Much better than the all plastic originals I started with.

 

The jig is approx. 22" long and running a complete length of line with serving takes less than 5 minutes. You then stop, put a tiny drop of cryo on the line to hold it, unlock the spools and advance the line, lock the spools and turn on the jig. As long as the bobbin has serving line, you're good to go! While it does need some tweaking, it works - you just need to keep an eye on things.

 

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Dave, Inspired by photos of your jig, here is my version of a serving jig, which I made up yesterday from old brass gears I found in the bits box. The frame is timber scraps on an old model baseboard. Bearings are brass tube ferrules drifted into interference fit holes.

I've chosen to follow your idea of making the driving shafts hollow. The small alligator clips were caniballised from a "helping hands".

 

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Thanks for the idea Dave.

 

Cheers

Jim

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Hi folks, this is my serving jig.  It is currently being modified with a different rope securing mechanism (soft wood collets will replace the dome nuts, and the feeder arm on the serving device will be extended slightly.  Makes life a 'tad' easier when serving longer lengths :)  The stainless steel rods (not the drive rod) are from an A3 printer.

 

And... no I am not the builder of this fine device, I am mechanically challenged :(, a friend built it for me.

cheers

Pat

 

The device is designed to take a full length of a shroud or preventer or stay (scale 1:48) and serve it as required in one pass.

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The motors are geared down 12V DC  with a maximum rotation of 120rpm.

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Controls the feed direction and speed of the serving stock assembly.  Allows me to serve with or against the lay.

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Controls the direction of turn and rotation speed of the scale rope to be served,  The turning rope pulls the serving thread from the spool and is kept perpendicular to the served rope by adjusting the feed motor speed (previous picture)

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I attach a 12V supply here.

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The purpose of the vertical bars is to provide friction to maintain steady tension on the serving stock thread.

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The rope to be served is fed through the dome nuts (next photo) through the shaft and figure 8 secured to the bars to maintain tension.  Alternatively, the grub screws on the top of this assembly can be screwed down to bite on the rope.

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These dome nuts are attached to the ends of each drive shaft to hold the rope to be servved central; the size of the hole is determined by the rope diameter.

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Edited by BANYAN
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Hank

 

Very nice jig I particularly like the travelling bobbin idea, I will see what I can do with regards to these on my jig.

 

Jim

 

I wish I had a 'bits box' like yours it would have saved a few bob. Your jig looks very good and should serve you well (no pun intended).

 

Pat

 

What can I say, that serving jig is the Rolls Royce of serving jigs, can I borrow your friend? As I stated at the beginning of this thread I am looking at powering my jig and hopefully put in speed control but I've some way to go to match your machine.

 

It has been very interesting to see other jigs and I'm definitely going to develop my basic set-up.

 

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

For those who may not wish to go to the trouble of making their own serving machines there is one available from Shipahoy Models based in Boston USA.

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I came across the link on the old MSW. Here are the contact details.

 

Robert Prezioso shipahoymodels@yahoo.com

 

B.E.

 

 

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back to the old printer thing.  just make sure you remove all ink and/or toner cartidges.   why not trying to open them up?  they are going to the trash can and you can find a lot of stuff, even the screws you can use,  motors, belts, shafts and such.    open 2 toner printers and you might have enough loot to make your ropewalk or serving machine.  remember to remove the toner cartridge first!

Edited by Juan Carlos
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  • 1 year later...

I am thinking of building a serving machine, but there's one thing I can't quite get my head around. I get the idea of the top line which rotates so that thread can be coiled around it whilst holding one end of the thread by hand and feeding it. However I don't understand the need for a geared rotating bottom shaft. What is the function of that? I've not seen it being used in any of the videos or pictures I have seen of serving machines so far.

 

Sorry if this is blindingly obvious to everyone else!

 

Tony

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Thanks for trying to help me, Andy, but I can see I am missing something vital. It could be I am using the wrong terms.

 

The way I am using 'line to be served' means for me the thicker rope around which is coiled the thinner rope. Isn't that thicker rope just strung along the top -- i.e. the two parts holding the thicker rope are at the top?

 

With that thicker rope strung across the top, I have seen that the thinner rope is held at one end of the thicker rope, the thicker rope rotated, and the thinner rope then fed along that thicker rope by hand, thus being wrapped around the thicker rope. Is that right?

 

So my question is how the bottom shaft plays a part in this.

 

Does that make sense as a question? Sorry if it doesn't but I'd be glad of further help!

 

Tony
 

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(Refer back to BE's Picture) If the two gears that hold the thicker rope (at the top) are mechanically isolated from each other, the turning action of one does not get translated through the thick line to the other. This will create a twist in the thick rope, and also if you put any tension in the serving thread (the thin stuff) you'll stop the thick line from turning altogether. To counteract this, the gears need to turn at the same rate. This is where the bottom gears and shaft come in to play. By mechanically connecting both ends of the thick rope, they now turn at the same rate, eliminating the twist and allowing for an improved, tighter, serving.

 

Andy

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All nice machines. Using printer parts sounds good to me. I have an old tractor type printer that I could get some good stuff out of,  just never thought about it. Have saved 2 old blue print machines for their drive motors and speed controls. Probably some good bearings, shafts, gears and pulleys in them.

jud

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