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Young America by EdT - FINISHED - extreme clipper 1853

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Thank you all for the comments.  It is good to be back at work - even considering the broken chainplates.

 

Dirk, what's not to like about clippers - sleek, majestic, graceful ...

 

Carl, I tensioned the deadeyes by gently pulling one one leg at a tine - up in the inside and down on the outer legs.  The horizontal alignment of the deadeyes is set by the length of the shrouds when the deadeyes are turned in on the fixture.  Of course the tension needs to be relatively equal to keep the alignment.  I did the first tensioning before lashing on the sheer poles and the final tensioning after - alignment can be refined by tension.  There are two other issues.  One is twist.  This is eliminated by the sheer pole lashings.  The other is tilting of the deadeye in or out - off the vertical - this can be fixed by pulling on all three out lanyard legs at once.  this will cause the deadeye to incline in or out.  All these adjustments are very slight.

 

There is one other issue that I believe relates to the stiffness of the linen lanyards.  They do not stretch - at all.  So, it is very hard to get them taut enough to be perfectly straight.  Cotton would stretch a bit and look straighter.  I decided on linen for strength and sag resistance.  It can take a lot of tension - enough to require strong chainplate joints.  I may be overly concerned about cotton stretching, but the difference in stretch is pronounced.

 

Druxey, I have had to replace a few chainplates (maybe 5 of 60).  The silver-soldered joints below the deadeye are very small.  I believe the problem is overheated joints, causing brittleness, causing breakage from excessive working.  The small percentage of breaks seem to occur where deadeyes have been worked back and forth after installation - straightening, adjusting deaedeyes, etc.  Otherwise the joints are quite strong.  Fixing them is a pain, but I made the channel slots large enough to pass the lower eyes, so that helps.

 

Ed

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Yes, I pre-stretch everything - on the rope walk after spinning - almost to the breaking point - then hold 5 seconds.  Again after dyeing.  Well, I don't stretch that black cotton I am using for serving and small seizings, but virtually everything else.

 

Ed

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I do not understand the pre streching part, gents. I would expect the "line" to return to its previous state (more or less) so you would still have some or most of the strech when attaching/tightning
 ... or do you stiffen the line when streched with some solution like diluted white glue?

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Good point, Carl.  Others may wish to comment.  I believe stretching has some benefit, primarily on made rope, where stretching causes fibers in the multiple twisted strands

 to "bite" into their neighbors.  This seems to "harden" the rope and neutralize residual stresses.  A made rope that will tend to curl up after spinning will lie flat after stretching.  I believe you are right that merely stretching rope or thread fibers, if within their elastic limit, will not have much effect and they will tend to return to their normal state.  Stretching beyond that point will permanently effect the properties and that may be why a benefit is seen in pre-stretching.  This is my amateur, armchair analysis.

 

Rope material properties for model rigging is an interesting topic and is fraught with opinions (like mine) relating to strength, sagging, stretching, etc.  I probably have an overly paranoid view regarding the properties of cotton and therefore prefer linen where tension is expected and needed - like standing rigging.  Linen fibers are harder and stronger.   Against this admitted prejudice is the experience many highly respected and more expert builders who routinely use cotton.  Today, the debate is largely academic, since suitable, high quality linen is virtually unavailable.  I still have enough old stock to handle the standing rigging on YA, so that is what I am using.  The rest will be long staple crocheting cotton.

 

I do not use any stiffening agents on lines before rigging.  This opens the topic of moisture protection which I will try not to enter at this stage.  Waxing of line is widespread and I may apply a wax solution later.  I am still thinking about this.  Wax collects dust and wax crystal (eg beeswax) can look like dust.  I plan some experiments with micro-crystalline wax solutions later.

 

Ed

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 212 – Mizzen Stay

 

Before moving to the mizzen stay I had to replace the aft chain plate on the port side and make and dye some more 3½" lanyard rope.  This went rather quickly and the mizzen shrouds were completed as shown in the first picture.

 

594fe1121c308_YA21201.jpg.08dbdbd9d228f06ae2742a4440f15dae.jpg

 

The next picture shows the completed mizzen stay.

 

594fe112b2f43_YA21202.jpg.4d208126b327ef1422d492a94f7b5172.jpg

 

The stay is looped over the shrouds at the mizzen top, fed through the lubber's holes on each side and secured with three round seizings.  At the lower end it passes through a bullseye shackled to an eyebolt on the main mast and ends in a thimble secured by another three round seizings.  This is lashed to an eyebolt in the deck.

 

Again, because of the soldered shackle, the eyebolt/bullseye assembly had to be prefabricated.  It was slipped over the stay as shown in the next picture, allowing the lower seizings to be done off the model and avoiding having to pass the leathering through the bullseye.

 

594fe113497f9_YA21203.jpg.c050704c05e24f2ff8fef047e0d547ac.jpg

 

The stay is roughly the same size as the shrouds, is served and leathered at the top, and served at the bottom.  The lower seizings have been put on and a temporary thread is attached to secure the bottom while the masthead collar is secured.   The next picture shows that collar.

 

594fe11484f07_YA21206.jpg.ed776005d3466824e35e9fc01941d2ce.jpg

 

 The next picture shows the lower end of the installed stay with the permanent lashing to the deck eyebolt.

 

594fe113f2d81_YA21204.jpg.9eacace18f453515991ef62d9e73ee39.jpg

 

The last step in completing the lower standing rigging was to put leathering on the mainstay legs astride the foremast.  I had forgotten to do this earlier.  The next picture shows this painted wrapping.

 

594fe1151bf4d_YA21207.jpg.ae7a3c924e91d09e3be4b86ed41b75f5.jpg

 

The last picture shows the model at the current state, with all the lower shrouds and stays installed.

 

594fe115a0adf_YA21208.jpg.f123f766981304a7624f00f90ec52187.jpg

 

The next step will be to tackle the bowsprit, but I may begin some ratline work to help me spread out that tedious task.  This will also allow me to make and fit the shroud fairleads.

 

 

Ed

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The issue of inadequate available belaying pins for all the running lines for sail control is a real issue and I found evidence of how it might have been tackled in part.  Brace lines were set up to belay the numerous clew and bunt lines required for sail control.

 

Not sure if you stated that you will add sails or simply yards to your YA...but for informational purposes I wanted to pass this image along.

 

Rob

f84d29d9fe3b50e4bd995fad874f5260.jpg

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Rob,

That is a great image. It shows a solution to a problem as you mention but I'm not sure it's the problem you think it is. The reason those lines are made fast to something other than the pins is quite simply that the pins are under water. They are quite inaccessible. Doubling up on the pins was quite common but the image you show isn't an alternative solution to the lack of pins but a solution to the lee rail being awash much of the time in heavy weather. At the very bottom of the image, you can just make out the hand of a sailor holding on to the lifeline that those lines are made fast to.

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From what I gather if the pin rails were going to be inaccessible due to material or availability, a new rail was fashioned in the shrouds.  This was very typical of wood haulers that loaded heavily on deck , obscuring the gunwale mounted pin rails.  I was not aware a listing ships submerged rail could be the cause....I've never seen evidence of that before.

In the image I posted it does appear a life line was utilized, though that is only speculation.   My point was, that alternate belaying points were used, if not enough pins were available.

 

Thanks for your input..it encourages discourse, and further investigation.

 

Rob

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Thank you, Johann and Pat for your generous comments - and to all those who marked the "like" box.

 

Thank you for the interesting picture, Rob.  Actually, there should bemuch unused length on the main deck pin rails for many more lines than would be required even with double topsails.  In laying out the belaying points for YA, space for pins is adequate and then some, except at the stern where the absence of structural rail is a limitation. The fact that the lines coiled on the lifeline are reeved through shroud fairleads tells me that they would have assigned permanent pins on the rail.  Given the weather, these are certainly not studdingsail lines that would likely not have a permanent home on the rail.  So, I tend to lean toward Sailor123...'s view.  But who knows.  In any event, the lifeline would not be a very firm anchor for hauled-up clue and buntlines.  I'm guessing.  Also, some aspects of the rigging in the picture suggest a later period.

 

Ed

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Thank you, Julie.  I assume the comment was directed to me and the Frank was a typo - although Frank does very beautiful work.  I take so many pictures that I sometimes feel that it is a video.

 

Ed

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1 hour ago, EdT said:

Thank you, Johann and Pat for your generous comments - and to all those who marked the "like" box.

 

Thank you for the interesting picture, Rob.  Actually, there should bemuch unused length on the main deck pin rails for many more lines than would be required even with double topsails.  In laying out the belaying points for YA, space for pins is adequate and then some, except at the stern where the absence of structural rail is a limitation. The fact that the lines coiled on the lifeline are reeved through shroud fairleads tells me that they would have assigned permanent pins on the rail.  Given the weather, these are certainly not studdingsail lines that would likely not have a permanent home on the rail.  So, I tend to lean toward Sailor123...'s view.  But who knows.  In any event, the lifeline would not be a very firm anchor for hauled-up clue and buntlines.  I'm guessing.  Also, some aspects of the rigging in the picture suggest a later period.

 

Ed

As you pointed out, it is clear the lines are assigned fairleads..which would suggest they are also assigned permanent pins on the rail.  I gathered the lines were not for stunsails.......as you did.

I recall..you or someone mentioning they might have an issue with belaying all the lines coming down through the tops and those controlling the sails.

Any way...I hope it ........I was going to say *helps*..but your mastery of the subject needs little help from me.

 

Beautiful ship and progress.

 

Rob

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Hi Rob, Sailor 123 and Ed.  I had a similar discussion recently for in my HMCSS Victoria log, and for which the Contract for her building specified shroud fairleads.  My resulting research and consultation also led me to believe that several lines would be led through a triple hole shroud fairlead and down to a common belaying pin in the rail.  These were for 'groups' of lines that would be worked together for a given sail.  This accords with Ed's thinking  and reinforces the solution I had adopted also.  

cheers

 

Pat

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Thanks Pat for the clarity.  Recognizing now (Like a light bulb turning on:default_wallbash:), that sail control ropes where of a much smaller diameter...doubling or tripling them in groups on one belay pin was a common practice.  Unfortunately My assumption from the image I provided was that additional lines had to be temporarily belayed (As in this case) on a suspected life line for a reason. And a breaching wave, in my view was not adequate reason to move belaying points.  It's a ship at sea in regularly heavy seas(It was common to get wetted)....why not do the same for all belays if one was so fearfully inclined to do so for these particular lines?  I see, also that further forward the same can be seen for the mainmast fairleads.  From this, without actually knowing what was the mind set of the crew for doing so...I would have to also conclude that, for convenience sake alone, control lines were temporarily moved.  As stated by others.

 

Like yourself, I want to replicate actual sail control lines(Bunt, clew) running through their fairleads and down to their appropriate pins..this image provided a real world example of the practice....however, convoluted I may have represented it.:default_wallbash:

 

Rob

 

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 213 – Ratlines

 

I decided to do at least the lower ratlines next, mainly so the height of the shroud fairleads can be set and those installed early on.  If I need relief from this repetitive work I can (and probably will) begin other things – like the bowsprit.

 

At 1½", the ratlines are among the smallest lines on the ship.  In diameter they measure about 1/2", converting to about .07" at 1:72 scale.  I am using No. 80 crocheting cotton for these, dyed black with dilute India ink.  The ends of the ratlines have spliced eyes that are lashed to the outer shrouds. Attachment to the inner shrouds is by means of clove hitches in the ratline itself.  The first picture shows eye splices being put into the ends of ratlines.

 

5953f62ec4d2f_YA21301.jpg.f377020f532d47102cfff2b461a78348.jpg

 

One end of the line is first passed through the line with a needle to form a loop, like the one on the left.  This is then pulled tight around a pin, looped over and glued with darkened PVA glue.  The two-faced carpet tape on the vise jaw holds the two legs until the glue has dried.  The splice on the right has been glued.  When dry, the short leg will be cut off flush leaving a simulated eye splice.  Two of these are shown in the next picture.

 

5953f62f60866_YA21302.jpg.5328699296e1cc831c27444e0c8e67f4.jpg

 

The next picture shows the first few foremast ratlines secured.

 

5953f6300bb8b_YA21303.jpg.c69e05738616c002d1927c5f1866a106.jpg

 

After lashing the eye to the aft shroud, clove hitches are used on the next three.  The forward end is then lashed and the eye formed in place as was done above.  In the picture the glue has dried and the excess rope is being sliced off.  Uniform tensioning of these ratlines may take some practice – as can be seen at the left.  The next picture is an ultra-close-up showing the forward lashed eyes and the intermediate clove hitches.

 

5953f6309d279_YA21304.jpg.0f69ac5acae0b0e7606de502f7f54452.jpg

 

This picture also shows the lashings on the one of the staves across the shrouds after every five or so shrouds.  This was made by stiffening a larger thread size with glue.  The next picture shows the installation up to the first stave.

 

5953f63151c48_YA21305.jpg.6a6329e85b728e1f0dc4d1da66416544.jpg

 

The staves extended forward to the first shroud.  Their purpose was to maintain shroud spacing.  The picture was taken before the ends of the various lashings were trimmed off.  In the last picture these ends have been trimmed.

 

5953f631e8e73_YA21306.jpg.4449cbb09601c76ba0b9f4fcc36699a8.jpg

 

The fairleads will be lashed on the inside of the shrouds, just above the lower stave.

 

Ed

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Ed for clarification purposes, I had the understanding that staves were either wood or metal. Would you happen to know if metal was preferred over wood? 

 

Thank you.

 

Scott 

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Scott, I believe you are correct that either iron or wood may have been used.  I assumed 1" diameter served iron for the sheer poles and staves of about one inch that could be either.  My use of stiffened rope is not definitive either way and could be interpreted as either.  Appearance would be similar, I assume.  1" or slightly larger diameter wood is not too practical at this scale.  I would tend to favor wood as the more common material in the early years, but do not have a reference.

 

Ed

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Oh, my. I've not seen ratlines made in the prototypical way at this scale before. Both eye-spliced and with lashed ends. How do you figure out the correct eye-spliced length for each ratline before installing it? Wow! I'm in awe, Ed.

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Well. thank you Druxey - for making my day.  When faced with a puzzle like finding the correct length of a ratline with intermediate knots and eyes at both ends, the answer is: don't try.  I made the first splice at the workbench as shown, then lashed it to the shroud, tied the clove hitches on the internal shrouds, lashed the loose end at the opposite outer shroud without an eye, then stitched and formed the second eye in place.  The third picture shows the last step in forming that in situ eye.  The process was much easier than I thought it would be.  However, getting uniform shape between shrouds takes some practice and I am not there yet.

 

I don't like that fuzz on the cotton thread.  Any suggestions?  Longridge passed his rope quickly thru an alcohol flame and I did that for many lines on my Victory - but there was occasional attrition on the small sizes.

 

Ed

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Ed if you haven't already considered it, I have had some success passing/running my line over a very warm/hot incandescent light bulb (bought a cheap lamp stand and tried several types of globes/wattage - settled on 40W) - doesn't completely remove the attrition ratio but minimised it considerably :)

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Hi All,

Sorry Ed, but its too exciting to keep to myself.  Vol II is finally available at SeaWatch Books.

 

Guess what just arrived at my door.  Yes!, its true there is a Young America Vol II.  It has all the appearance of a Master Class in model manufacture.  If you never build Young America, the detailed descriptions of how Ed made all those marvelous deck fittings is well worth the price.  The techniques are extremely well documented in numerous photos and clearly written text.  I can't wait to dig into all the details.

Ed, I can't thank you enough for all the hard work that obviously went into the publication.  This is just the encouragement I need to get back to work in the shop.

 

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Hi Ed,

I'm a new member and was advised to find your Young America build, which I did. It's a magnificent piece of work, and truly does justice to its subject and her designer.


You may have the information already, but Carl Cutler in his Five Hundred Sailing Records of American-Built Ships reports that Young America made a passage of 96 days from Liverpool to San Francisco, 10.12.1872 to 01.20.1873. He notes that "But for unusual calms in South Pacific and 100 miles from port, her passage would have set a remarkable record."


Remarkable in any case for a ship that by then had seen almost 20 years of hard sailing.

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Thank you, Mowse.  I have read Cutler's Greyhounds of the Sea - a standard reference for clipper ships that includes the sailing records that you describe.  There was tremendous attention paid to these sailing times and records.  They were the subject of wagers, newspaper headlines, and did much to promote the fast passages that these ships were capable of.  Young America was fast and reliable.  Her performance is often eclipsed by the some of the very fastest record runs by other ships - but her near record performance for over thirty years and her 50 passages of the horn are a  remarkable record.

 

Ed

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 214 – Hearts and Fairleads 1

 

Happy July 4th everyone – in America its Independence Day – my British friends used to say Thanksgiving Day.

 

The first picture shows some work on the bowsprit that was made earlier. I didn't get far with the bands before realizing that the shackled hearts would have to be soldered and attached to the bands before fitting then to the spar.

 

595badaedd2b5_YA21401.jpg.4b278651932876994e979c78667148d0.jpg

 

So the shackled hearts had to be made first, beginning with the 12" hearts shown in the next picture.  Actually this sequence fit well with the next step on the shrouds, since the shroud fairleads are made with the same setups as the hearts.

 

595badaf6b0da_YA21402.jpg.c2a8ecd45ca9f5ff9f77ffe83716c1ee.jpg

 

Heart-shaped hearts had given way to round ones by the 1850's, at least in America.  These were turned like deadeyes on the lathe then cut off by hand as shown below.  (This is actually a 10" fairlead being cut.)

 

595badafeaed5_YA21403.jpg.be31f92897b8e5b06da9def8b0f61195.jpg

 

The D-shaped openings in the hearts were cut with a small milling cutter using the mill's rotary table – first boring down through the disk at the correct offset, then rotating the table 180 degrees.  The small cusp left in the center was then cut out with a small chisel.

 

The next picture shows one of the 10" fairleads being drilled with ~2" (.026") holes, using the rotary table and the method used earlier on the deadeyes.

 

595badb078614_YA21404.jpg.986e81cc73df88745561bf3437e16f35.jpg

 

 

After drilling, each of the hearts requires a semi-circular notch to be cut so it will fit around the shroud.  The next picture shows a notch being filed out.

 

595badb103e46_YA21405.jpg.ff98bc4216b78cc11103e1c39ff55053.jpg

 

The next picture shows two of the 40+ fairleads (I made 50) getting ready to be lashed to their shrouds.

 

595badb1741bb_YA21406.jpg.8e7279147def8ebfa06cd200ebb34880.jpg

 

A lashing thread has been glued to the backside of the one on the left.  This pre-step makes lashing the piece to the inside of the shroud much easier.  In fact a touch of glue on the outer overhand knot makes tying the second one on the inside much more manageable as well.  This last part of the lashing is being tied in the next picture.

 

595badb1f1c7f_YA21407.jpg.04b6ddb5850f7a450b6f817c4c5a5061.jpg

 

The last picture shows three of the six fairleads fitted to the fore starboard gang of shrouds.

 

595badb285d93_YA21408.jpg.0651f0caf77eab0ecbfc6781a5e21153.jpg

 

The excess lashing thread has been sliced off after the glue has dried.

 

More on the hearts in the next post.

 

Ed

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