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Young America by EdT - FINISHED - extreme clipper 1853

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Gaetan, I am not adding the binding agent to the dye, but applying it after the dye dries.  On the deadeyes I am applying 3 coats of diluted tung oil after the dye dries.



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1 coat for the dye, 3 coats for  tung oil: 4 coats.... this is a lot of coats


Ed if you do it separately, I guess that chemical reactions of tung oil seals better the dye so to speak.


Many coats means build up the thickness of tung oil. 

I try to put when possible 1 coat of tung oil because when I take a photo  the lens sees the thickness as some kind of a mirror and reflects the light and it makes a spot  on the photo. The first times I used tung oil  I was applying  regularly 2 coats and sometimes 3. With cherry I get better results with 1 coat. it seems to results  in a greater homogenity to the eye and to the lens.


I ask myself this question: Is it possible to do it in 1 coat only ( walnut or other natural dye + tung oil). I see no advantage to use turpentine. It  only means apply  50% less  in the mix and the only reason we see is to increase penetration. If the oil penetrates .001" deeper will that help a boat modeler;  I do not think, but I think it could help a fisherman who uses tung oil as a water sealant for his wood  boat.

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Dang...I just buy the size of deadeyes I need now....after I labored and made them for my scratch built Cutty Sark 40 years ago, much like Ed is here.  Way too labor intensive for me.  But I can surely appreciate the hard work and attention to detail that Ed is putting into this build.


However...from another point of view...making the entirety of the model from stock material is in of itself a real accomplishment.



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Thanks for your comment, rob, and for the likes.




The dye completely penetrates and there is no build up.  I dilute the Tung Oil (` 50% mineral spirits or turpentine) to increase penetration and use only pure unmodifiedTung oil.  (Some Tung Oil finishes have additives to shorten drying time or are partly polymerized to insrease build up and gloss.) The first two, sometimes three, coats are completely absorbed into the wood.  The deadeyes are end grain.  I only want to use enough to put a slight sheen on the wood and do not want any build up.  The excess oil is wiped off after each application.  So any oil build up is undetectable.


Oil and finish should only be mixed if they have a common solvent.  The dye crystals I am using are soluble in water, but I do not know if they are soluble in oil - probably not.  They may be soluble in alcohol or turpentine.  I don't know.  Actually, it is better if they are not soluble in the finish, because then the finish will not leach out the color.  The water-soluble walnut dye, once it has dried, is not affected by the oil.


If you stain a piece of wood with a stain that is soluble in oil, mineral spirits or turpentine,  apply the oil stain (for example Minwax) and let it dry. Then apply oil and wipe it off with a clean rag as directed.  You will notice that the rag will be darkened with stain, meaning some of the stain has been removed.  Dyes - water or alcohol soluble - will not be affected when oil  or for example Wipe-On Poly is applied.


I believe the water soluble walnut stain could be mixed with a diluted acrylic medium (water based emulsion), but this would limit its penetration in wood.  I might try that on a rigging stain to see how it works.  It may eliminate a step.  I have not tried this.


We can never learn enough about finishes.



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Thank you Ed ,


You push my comprehension 1 step further. I see how you mix 2 products  which cannot be  mix together in applying them separately. I knew very well that the rag darkened with the stain but I did not Knew why. I realize that I did basics experimentation with total ignorance of what is happening. The only result I was looking for is  will it dry in a non sticky finish?


For the french construction in 1730 about 50 years before copper plating a thick tar was used. In my effort to try to replicate this process I mixed :


-turpentine or tung oil I am not exactly sure which one is the solvent ( I mean I am not sure if tung oil can be use as a solvent) with as much asphalt it can bring it in a liquid form to darken the mixture


-tung oil to darken the color


-bee wax brought to a liquid form  with turpentine to give it a texture that I like on large wood surface


I see that asphalt and bee wax have somethinfg in common; both are in a solid form and we need to bring the 2 in a liquid form so that we can apply it on wood. Also it is easier to bring the dry ingredients wet and then mix all together at the end


As you can see I had no idea what I was doing but I can retry some of these mix and now understand a little better what is happening


Wood penetration, to be honest does not mean much to me, I mean that I am more interested in the color result. It is clear that paint does not penetrate it is just on surface. May be I should try;


-tung oil 2 coats

–tung oil + turpentine 1 coat + tung oil 2 coats  and observe color difference

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 157 –Deadeye Chain Backing Plates


Each of the larger channel chains is bolted to the hull through a backing plate (or preventer plate) for additional support.  These larger chains anchor the chain deadeyes for the lower shrouds and topmast backstays.  Chains supporting lighter rigging have a single bolt and no backing.  These plates are about 3’ long and about 1” thick with bolt holes at each end.  They are bent in an offset to fit over the chains.  The chain fabrication will be covered later.


The first step in making the numerous required plates was to solder brass tubes to the edges of a brass plate.  This fabricated piece is shown in the first picture after pickling and buffing to remove oxide.




I used wire silver solder and black paste flux for this.  The tubes were held for soldering with pins.  I used a small oxy-propane torch on the first side, then running out of O2 used a larger propane torch on the other side.  I normally use a small propane torch but in this case the large joints benefited from the extra heat.


The individual backing plates were then sliced off this strip in the circular saw using a screw slotting blade.  They were sliced off slightly over thickness.  In the next step the plates were filed smooth on one side, then flipped and filed to final thickness on the other.  The next picture shows this being done with the aid of a holding fixture.




The fixture has two milled slots, one slightly deeper for the first filing, the second milled to the final thickness for final sizing.  Both sides were polished with abrasive sticks.  The next picture shows plates before and after filing.




Each plate was then bent as shown in the next picture to form the offset.




Finally, the plates were pickled in acetic acid (white vinegar), given a degreasing bath (TIVA®) and submerged in a very dilute solution of Birchwood Casey® blacking.  They are shown after drying below.




Around 50 of these are required, but quite a few extras were made to account for expected attrition at each step and shape issues.. 


Chain fabrication and the 16” deadeye itting will be covered in the next part.




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Thank you all - for comments and likes.  This method of making the plates - they seem to have a variety of names: chain preventer plates, chainplate cleats, backing plates, etc. - has advantages and disadvantages.  First, a very good silver-soldered joint between the tubes and the plate is most essential to keep the tube ends from breaking off when bent.  Sawing the plates puts a lot of stress on those joints as well.  There is still quite a bit of filing involved but at least that is all on a flat surface and does not require the rounding of the ends.  Also, tube sizes are limited so having the right size is a prerequisite.  I am now making the chainplates - or if you prefer, chains.  These are being made from strips of copper cut from a sheet - then drilled, the ends filed round and then filed to width.  Take your pick on the method - each has pluses and minuses.  will have some pics of the chainplates soon.



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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 158 –Deadeye Chain Plates


The deadeye chains (aka chain plates) on ships of this period were iron bar forged at each end with holes to take bolts.  I made these about 1” thick and 2 ½” in width, certainly stronger than the 11” shrouds.  These could have been made by the method used in the last post for the backing plates, namely by soldering tube at the end of a plate then slicing them off.  This would involve a lot of metal sawing and a lot of material wastage on these long pieces.  Also since the lower ends of these are bolted under the backing plates the rounding of the bolt eye need not be absolutely perfect.  The first picture shows the progression followed in forming these after the copper strips were cut to approximate width.




I used a paper cutter to cut the strips then straightened out the curls by stretching the strips in a vise as was done many months ago with the iron hull strapping.  Pulling these also hardens them, though that hardness is soon lost when they are annealed under the soldering torch.  The strip at the top has been drilled for the lower bolt.  In the center piece the lower eye has been roughly shaped.  At the bottom is the finished piece with its width reduced to the 2 ½” (.035” actual).


Before these parts could be sized and assembled with the deadeyes, the length of each chain had to be determined.  The next picture shows the positions of the chains on both starboard main channels being set out with the aid of a string taped at the height of the top on a dummy main mast.




Notches for the chain plates were then filed out and each plate fitted as shown in the next picture.




On this channel I set the backing links first, then pinned the chain plate at the bottom, bent the angle at the lower channel as shown. The top edge of the top channel was then marked on the plate, the plate removed and then trimmed to size.  The top of each of these was then crimped with pliers to make flat fore and aft surfaces to seat the iron deadeye straps.  In the next picture one of these straps has been formed around a 16” shroud deadeye.




The copper wire was wrapped around then crimped at the bottom.  The ends were then filed off square and then flattened with pliers.  On the ship these were bolted through the tops of the chain plates just above the channel.  I entertained the idea of bolting these until confronted with the small size – too small to drill – at least for me.  The next picture shows a strap and chain plate assembly after forming the chain at its position on the fore channel and before silver soldering the pieces together.




The next picture shows the pieces being soldered using a small propane torch.




Copper phosphorus solder was used because it blackens well with the liver of sulfur that I use to blacken the copper.  After soldering, these were dropped into a Sparex® solution.  After rinsing the deadeyes were fitted into the ring as shown in the next picture.




This entire assembly was then dipped in liver of sulfur solution to blacken the copper. 


The next picture shows the fore channel with the lower shroud deadeyes installed. 




These are bolted (nailed) into the 6” thick wale planking with the top bolts in the uppermost wale strake.  All the chains are shown being restrained from unruly behavior by bits of masking tape.  The smaller chain plate forward of the last shroud chain will anchor the eyebolt for the standing end of the upper topsail halyard.  This lighter duty chain has no backing plate and was made from 20-gauge copper wire flattened a bit.  I may replace this with a rectangular bar – like the others but smaller.


 The channel capping rails will be added after the remaining chains for other rigging are fitted.  When that is done all the chain plates will be straightened. At present the soft annealed copper on these is a bit deformed from handling. The deadeyes will be aligned neatly at the top later when the ship is rigged.  The last picture shows the main channel after fitting of the six lower shroud chains.





Edited by EdT

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Great Scott!  Ed... fine work for sure.  I made a chain plate model a long time ago..and pretty much mimiced your own technique and procedure.  How did you tackle the issue of the deadeyes lazily rolling around within their respected wire strap..once they were soldered to the chain?


Personally..I didn't solder them myself..becaue I found that the loose dedeye rolled while I was rigging the lanyards..causing miss alignments...I had to glue them fixed.


Great job

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Thanks again for the comments and likes.


Rob, the fit of the straps lets the deadeyes turn but not freely.  They are fairly tight - just large enough to snap the deadeye in.  It akes a few to get the forming of the strap to the right size.



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Your attempts aren't laughable ... the merely won't mesure up to Ed's final result ... which isn;t surprising ... I would say about my chainplates in general that I got stuck in the attempt ... didn't get passed it so to say



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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 159 –Deadeye Chains continued


Work on the chains and deadeyes has been slow going, but I have a few progress pics to post.  After making the large 16” deadeyes for the lower shrouds and fitting some of them to the channels, I turned to the smallest size – the 6” deadeyes for the skysail mast backstays.  I then started working back upward in size.  The fist picture shows some of the smaller deadeyes, placed in position on a drawing of the starboard fore channel.




When this was taken, I had not yet made the 9” deadeyes for the fore and main topgallant backstays, but the other sizes are shown.  The drawing is incomplete – note the missing chain plate cleats at the foot of the chains.  The numbers on the drawing are line numbers from the rigging list.


I used a slightly modified process in making the small diameter deadeyes.  The next picture shows the rounding of a 9” deadeye in the lathe using a barrette file.  I used a shaped cutter for the 16" and 13" sizes.




After this step the deadeye was parted off as with the larger sizes.  The next picture shows the set up for drilling all the deadeyes.




After dropping a few of these down into the chuck while trying to align them in the jaws, I resorted to the blue masking tape in the picture to place the deadeye and hold it while tightening the jaws.  This worked perfectly and is a good solution for those of us with shaky hands.  The next picture shows drilling.




The holes are approximately 10% larger than the specified lanyard diameter.  The next picture shows the fore starboard channel with all the chains and deadeyes fitted and the capping rails pinned in place.




The last picture shows the slots for the chains on the port fore channels being filed out.




Before this step, the positions of the slots for each line on each channel was marked using a string from the appropriate height on the dummy foremast that can be seen in this picture.  A common slot size was used even though some of the chains are smaller.  This was done to allow the eyes on the lower ends to pass through the slot if a replacement is necessary later.  Since the soldered joints take rigging stresses, this is a distinct possibility given the large number of soldered joints.  Best to be prepared.



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