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Young America by EdT - FINISHED - extreme clipper 1853

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Thank you all for these comments - and Kevin, my hat is off to you for perseverance if you REREAD all 230+ parts.  I think my eyes would glaze over early in such an effort.  But thank you for your interest.

 

GM02, your comments are more than generous.  When I started this project, I knew I was biting off a lot, but big, complex projects attract me.  It has been four years so far in construction and several months before that in getting a critical mass of early drawings together.  Since I have built relatively few ship models - three including this one - this is still an exploratory effort for me.  There are often fits and starts, but when something works, I am pleased to share it.

 

I very much appreciate your comments on the iron fid.  When I first realized the size of it from the Crothers drawings, and the weight implications, I was taken aback and skeptical.  Further research (Fincham, Mast-Making, 1843) confirmed the sizing - 1/3 the mast diameter in depth for an iron fid, 1/2 for wood and 2/3 width to depth ratio.  It is one big chunk of iron.  As far as rigging and handling this, I do not believe riggers of the time would be too challenged.  Even with the absence of end holes in these lower fids - the upper mast fids have holes in the ends for standing lift shackles - I believe the fid could be lifted with a sling secured at the ends and then pushed or hauled through the hole before lowering the mast on to the trestle trees.  This would be like a toothpick compared to the 82', 22" diameter fore yard loaded with all its ironwork - to say nothing of the larger main yard.  We often tend to underestimate the capabilities of this earlier time.

 

Thanks again for the comments.

 

Ed
 

 

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Hi Ed,  You are right about the capabilities of those people in those times.The entire construction of one of these ships,especially the short time frame from start to finish seems incredible.Anybody who could step a 100 ft. mast 3 feet in diameter isn't going to be put off by a mere 360 lb. fid.I would just love to watch them in action.

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This model of a mast rig stepping a mast helps the mind grapple with the sheer will perpetuated by these men who did great construction feats with what they had, and they did wonders.... IMHV

 

Though not an exact replica of what happened this demonstrates the idea

 

Rob

masting machine.jpg

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 233 – Fore Topmast Shrouds

 

In the first picture the three deadeyes for the starboard side have been mounted on a piece of thin clear plastic film and this has been secured to the lower deadeyes at the rim of the top.  The somewhat flexible film was used to match the curve of the rim, but this was not really necessary.  The fixture is mainly used to align the top deadeyes but is also helps in the "turning in."

 

59b6ae45d3486_YA23301.jpg.02d3ff9b2a53406dce40d7e3ea141b0e.jpg

 

The three deadeyes have been secured with seizings but the excess thread ends and the excess shroud ends still have to be trimmed off.  The next picture shows the three starboard shrouds secured with their 3" lanyards.

 

59b6ae46618ee_YA23302.jpg.1c79c43b9edfd9c90bdd79824d4812ba.jpg

 

The lanyards still have to be tensioned and the excess ends wound around the shrouds, but this will wait until the forward topmast stays and the backstays are installed so that all can be tensioned together.  The next picture shows one of the deadeyes on the port side being turned in with the first seizing being tied.

 

59b6ae46e49cf_YA23303.jpg.1dbb499e0cee9ebd794bca795bfabe84.jpg

 

In the picture a clamp secures the shroud in the groove of the deadeye and another holds the short leg horizontal and tight.  A curved needle is being used to help make the throat seizing that was used just above each deadeye.  In this type of seizing the thread is wrapped over the crossing of the shroud, so the needle is passing through the opening above the deadeye under the front horizontal leg and behind the vertical leg.  This is then repeated and the last pass secured with a clove type finish.  The short end of the shroud is then brought up to vertical and secured to the shroud with two more round seizings on the parallel legs.  The next picture shows all six shrouds secured to the top.

 

59b6ae475a299_YA23304.jpg.5c106b80121b4fb235d2ff147beafe67.jpg

 

Finally, a picture of the model with the topmast shrouds and backstays secured.

 

59b6ae47ce97e_YA23305.jpg.0420c6262565bb0eba9ac483429cf1f3.jpg 

 

The fish tackle pendant is still temporarily tied off at its lower end.  The backstays will be described in the next part.

 

 

Ed

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 234 – Fore Topmast Backstays

 

The four topmast backstays are the same size rope as the lower shrouds, 10½", so the deadeyes and lanyards are also the same sizes.  In the first picture, the forward backstay on the port side has its deadeye clamped for turning in.

 

59ba6ba222e2a_YA23401.jpg.1c82bf56f9a034174b3edaa3049e950b.jpg

The lanyards are longer for the backstays than for the shrouds, based on photos of the ship, probably to allow more length for tension adjustment of these longer lines.  The next picture shows this deadeye turned in with a throat seizing as described earlier.

 

59ba6ba2a91f8_YA23402.jpg.ee380c85cea9d04b01fdaac786e1364b.jpg

The short leg has been turned up and clamped so the two additional round seizings may be added.  In the next picture the aft backstay deadeye height is being set to match the forward stay.

 

59ba6ba331f10_YA23403.jpg.4df8514eb7e547ebf203701a4cb02434.jpg

In the next picture the lanyards have been threaded and given an initial tension.  Final tensioning of all the topmast shrouds and backstays will await the installation of the forward topmast stays.

 

59ba6ba3baa35_YA23404.jpg.d1628c931a0a5d6f1af3281f93c8f907.jpg

The last picture shows the model after rigging the topmast backstays.

 

59ba6ba42ebc0_YA23405.jpg.474d7575faa18eae6e21ae996a965919.jpg

The excess stay length on the starboard are not yet trimmed off.  In the next part the topmast forward stays will be described.

 

Ed

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Hello Micheal,

 

I am sure practices for setting up rigging varied in the laissez-faire America of the 19th century, so I would be hesitant to debate this.  However, all the references I have show the tails at about this length with a total of three seizings - two above the throat seizing.  At each stage in the design, questions like this have arisen and have had to be dealt with based on the variety of sources available - and the sometimes diverse answers.

 

Ed

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 235 – Fore Topmast Stays

 

There are three forward stays from the topmast head to the bowsprit – the topmast stay proper, the inner jib stay, and the outer jib stay.  The first is the primary structural stay, consisting of a doubled 9" rope looped over the over the shrouds and backstays at the topmast head, then down and under opposite sides of the bowsprit with the ends brought up and seized to the opposite leg.  The two lines are brought together to form a collar below the crosstrees and also at the bottom above the seizings.  The collar is served and leathered and the lower ends are served on both legs up to the seizings.  The first picture shows this stay placed over the masthead after the tissue leathering was glued to it.

 

59be68279d30f_YA23501.jpg.15385e8b680cb31442b1781a06256066.jpg

 

The collar is clamped where it will be seized together and the glue on the leathering was left to dry in this shape.  I used straight PVA white glue for this so when dry the collar will still be flexible.  In the next picture, the two legs of the stay have been passed under the bowsprit, in position for seizing.

 

59be682841bf0_YA23502.jpg.7be1c9b73a3d40c16d180e3e84bbe507.jpg

 

The next picture shows a closer view of the lower area.

 

59be6828c9cf5_YA23503.jpg.d44bfd680e856f2328bbb1291136324d.jpg

The two legs do not cross under the bowsprit, so one short leg is seized above the stay and the other below. In the next picture, three seizings have been put on each side and the two legs have been seized together at the top of the served areas.

 

59be68294e327_YA23504.jpg.3f91c7e1eebb3a04c35fd6bb968a67f4.jpg

 

Excess seizing thread and stay rope have yet to be trimmed off.  Brushing the seizings and the stay where the ends will be clipped with darkened wood glue will seal the serving and the seizing knots so the excess can be trimmed off.

 

 In the next picture the inner and outer jib stays have been served, leathered and put over the masthead and are clamped where the collars will be seized.

 

59be6829ccf56_YA23505.jpg.54473b054c3e824a39da0eec212ebd91.jpg

 

The leather is simulated on the glued-on tissue strips using acrylic artist's color.  The lower ends of these two stays are shown in the next picture. 

 

59be682a57040_YA23506.jpg.e6aa97e83c5b8ee604feffccdc095413.jpg

 

These each pass through sheaves in the bowsprit, under upper cleats on the martingale and are shackled to eyebolts on the hull – the inner jib stay on the starboard side and the outer on the port side.  After seizing the upper collars, they were pulled taut through the hull shackles and seized.  These stays are served from above the sheaves to their ends at the side.  The inner jib stay attachment is shown in the next picture.

 

 59be682ad89a6_YA23507.jpg.afc843723e4cfa58c64f6def138be310.jpg

 The stay is seized to a shackle fabricated with its eyebolt before insertion into the hull. 

 

These last two pictures and the next were taken after installing the fish tackle and some of the jib/staysail running rigging, so some of this appears in the pictures.  Each of these three stays carries a head sail.  This work will be described in later posts.  The last picture shows the ship with all the forward topmast stays rigged.

 

 59be682b5f673_YA23508.jpg.dc27489d9df594356b7e0a3196749c8e.jpg

 

 

Ed

 

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 236 – Fish Tackle

 

The fish tackle is a triple purchase tackle suspended by a hook from the pendant described in an earlier post.  A second, large hook is fastened to the lower block of the tackle.   The purpose of this gear is to lift the anchors to stow them on the forecastle or to move them to the catheads.  The required weight of anchor for a ship of Young America's tonnage would be about 5000 pounds, so even with the mechanical advantage of 6 of the triple tackle, several hundred pounds of force had to be applied to the lift – unless another tackle was added to the fall.  The first picture shows the large bottom hook and the 12" double lower block of the tackle.

 

59c2585b779c5_YA23601.jpg.8da0af11a29c88cbbc4d200c06d084e0.jpg

 

I still have quite a few blocks left over from the 1:96 Victory model, so with some re-scaling I have not yet had to make any.  There will be plenty of that later.  The next picture shows the  lower block strapped to the hook and being secured to the tackle rope with two seizings.

 

59c2585c1ceed_YA23602.jpg.fa838194b2fe28be4fa658087f0a087a.jpg

 

The tackle fall is a 3½" rope spun to the ~1" (.016") diameter from 2 strands of No. 60 Crocheting cotton and dyed with non-fading natural walnut extract stain.  The small seizings are simply an overhand knot – pulled tight, wet with glue, and the ends sliced off later.  The next picture shows the other hook being strapped to the upper 12" triple block.

 

59c2585c9861f_YA23603.jpg.c064c34948701a1236da109bef1ec49d.jpg

 

The block is held in a surgical clamp in a bench vise for this.  For this small strapping a single overhand knot simulates the eye seizing at the hook and another overhand knot serves for the splice of the strap under the block as shown in the next picture.

 

59c2585d346a1_YA23604.jpg.af425147b78c57a8e542fe5c7cc6e742.jpg

 

Dilute, darkened glue is applied to the splice to fix it. The excess thread is then sliced off.   In the next picture the tackle has been rigged.

 

59c2585dcfaf6_YA23605.jpg.aaaac125aa174fa705cb4be7c01e1595.jpg

 

The upper block is hooked to the pendant and the lower end is hooked over a leg the forestay.  The fall is belayed and draped for convenience over the forecastle rail – one possible configuration.  The next picture shows a closer view.

 

59c2585e66c01_YA23606.jpg.f8431f755e39265338e56f346d7d71b7.jpg

 

The coil of rope was made separately from a length of line that would be sufficient in using the tackle.  Every foot of lift would require hauling six feet of rope. The line was coiled around a dowel, wetted with diluted glue, shaped and allowed to partially dry before mounting.

 

 

Ed

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Young America - extreme clipper 1853
Part 237 – Fore Spencer Gaff

 

The term "spencer" describes gaffs rigged on masts with square sails – except for the spanker gaff at the mizzen.  They were used to support fore and aft sails that were occasionally used, or sometimes to suspend pennants to keep them out of the other rigging.  The fore spencer gaff is shown in the first picture.

 

59c9521c6075e_YA23701.jpg.babaad911dd400c329ff0824f45354aa.jpg

 

The gaff is a small, very simple spar attached to the mast with a gooseneck/eye fitting.  Stops for the standing lift are roughly centered on the spar as shown in the picture.  The upper end of the lift has an eye splice shackled to the eyebolt in the top.  A stop cut into the end of the spar will take a doubled "vang" pendant pair with a single block spliced into each end.  The long pendants may be seen in the next picture.

 

59c9521ced9df_YA23702.jpg.a7270d7dcf457a590555e8670358fe8b.jpg

 

Each vang pendant is attached to a simple whip, with the standing end seized to an eyebolt on the main rail.  The fall is belayed nearby on the main pin rail.  In the picture the falls are temporarily clamped to center the gaff.  The next picture shows them belayed to the main pin rails port and starboard.

 

59c9521d82b7b_YA23703.jpg.5b65913a29fd9b1de35c9a94fd0668ca.jpg

 

The limited required movement of the gaff requires a relatively short fall, so the coil of rope shown in the next picture is fairly small.

 

59c9521e108f7_YA23704.jpg.ce2ed75409bf272dd8441a309d6fecc0.jpg

 

The masking tape shown over the open beams, does not do a lot for the photographs, but my sanity demands it.  I finally acquiesced to this after yet another part dropped into the hold and could not be retrieved.  While it is relatively easy to blow out small bits of thread, the main mast fid did not respond to this.

 

Finally, a test for clearance around the outboard boats is shown in the next picture. 

 

59c9521e9ac1e_YA23705.jpg.338928f5fb40e8cda3e1b7d2ec2692c6.jpg

 

I need to think about this and decide if a lead block would be appropriate for this relatively small line, perhaps on one of the backstays.  I love rework.

 

Ed

 

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Frustrating indeed Ed, some surprises for the future when someone xrays or takes a peek inside :)

 

She is really looking good with more of her finery added.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Druxey, I often resorted to the method you describe in the earlier days of the model - I guess up until the poop monkey rail was installed.  Very effective if you pay attention to your grip and nearby obstacles.  Not so good with masts and rigging.  I believe I will be able to get everything out before completion, but having to stop and go fishing when in the middle of something gets very irritating.  I have a thin brass rod with a wrapping of sticky carpet tape on the end that works very well if you can see the part.

 

Ed

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It occurs to me know to wonder where the name "spencer" comes from. Likely the name of an individual. Names of individuals have only very occasionally worked their way into the lexicon. Charlie Noble, Mathew Walker, Plimsoll Mark, I can't think of any more but feel they are out there....

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Very nice coil Ed,  don't think you could get much more line on that pin.  Did you make those pins or find them somewhere?  The pins supplied with my 1:78 Cutty are totally wrong scale.  And you've probably covered this before but how do you treat your rope for coiling?

 

- Tim

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JCFrankie, can't comment on the origin of spencer.

 

Tim, the belaying pins are homemade - as is everything except the larger chain and some nails.  They are brass lathe turnings using a special filing jig.  There are about 300 on the model.  They were described briefly in an earlier post (Part 131), but are fully described, including making the filing jig, in Young America, Volume II.  You are right; the downhaul coils are quite a lot of rope.  For each line, I am measuring the amount of rope for each coil based on where the other end of each line is fixed.  The coils are formed "offsite" on a dummy pin rail after wrapping the rope on a plastic rod and wetting it with diluted wood glue.  I will describe in a later post and in Volume III.  The formed coil is then glued over the pin after the line is belayed.

 

Ed

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