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Chain plates


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It took me ages to develop the way of doing the chain plates as I did not find any documentation on the internet by the time that I was trying to find out how to do it. Tried lot of work arounds as I did not know how to mass produce in a satisfactory way and tried to avoid soldering which I never really did before. On the other hand I did not want any photo eched parts because they always look "flat" to me.
But in the end I realised, the only way that worked for me was to produce it the same way the originals work - just a lil´bit smaller :-)
First some 0,5 mm brass wire around the deadeyes ...
... putting it in a template with tree steel pins ...
... cut into lenght and the top part is ready for soldering.
The ring underneath is done out of a couple of rounds around two steel pins ...
... cut in one go - the gap underneath helps to access the lower rounds ...
... first a little bit soggy ...
... and straightend up - The real straightening up will be done just after soldering.


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Here comes the lower part for the fore- and main-channels ...




... bent around two steel pins and  squeezed in the middle.




For the bolts I use sewing pins. I grind the diameter on a file by putting the pins into my Dremel and afterwards still reduced the hight. The needed lengh will be around 4 mm. On the left the original needle.




And now the soldering - what a hell to learn :-)


First the lower ring, then sliding it into the loop of the deadeye, putting it into the third hand for soldering ...




... and ready. Looks sooooo easy ;-) The black is not burnt but just some paint :-)




Here the ensemble is already in place, the part that is ment to go into the hole of the hull is lenghend in its place and bent ...




... putten into the hole and the needle forced in with it. Take a thread and check direction and angle. Secure it with a drop of superglue. 






A package of tree with different lengths.


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That is when I realized that the used Krick-deadeyes were drilled too unevenly for my taste ... As I did not want to discard my painfully soldered parts and get better deadeyes, I startet closing the holes with toothpicks and filed them even. 




Just then I realized that because of the size and curved surface the planned drilling templates did not work :-(

At least I know by now why they those bastards are drilled the way that they are ...


OK, good old solid handwork, putting each part into the vise and mark the central line for the two middle holes ...




... and with patience, a template and a good eye drill the preliminary holes with 0,5 mm, set the third hole with a fresh eye ...




... and finish the drilling with 0,8 mm.




I usually drill small holes by hand with the drill fixed on a round material as it gives far more control as any machine! .


Now came the tricky part of straightening everything up, worked best upon a cutterblade, even the smallest loops :-)






And finally I had a complete set of deadeyes and preventer plates for the main-mast channel on my adhesive tape. :-)







... and finally came the montage :-)


First à la nature ...




... then with a little bit of colour ...








... and it looks like it was all simple! ;-)




Liebe Grüße, Daniel

Edited by dafi
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  • 9 months later...

Thank you sailor and bjoern.


As this was conceived still in my pre-internet days, it took me much longer to figure out the doing and the how to than the actual doing ...


There were plenty of trials made to "cheat" but none of the results were convincing, until I found out, the best is the closest to the original. Actually it is a real scale copy now ...


Once one knows how to solder in this sclae (I had too find this one out myself too) it goes rather fast, as the bending jigs really help the mass production.


And the result speaks for it self, this was the only way at that time I made them.


As I still have further plans and need more of them, I already produced a nice cheat for the 1:100 scale, just look here:

 ... more ...






It also works with with wooden deadeyes :-)


Cheers, Daniel

Edited by dafi
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I used your method to make a few deadeye chain plates and it worked very nicely.

I took it a step further and made a fixture out of aluminum stock with steel pins to locate the deadeye and the bending of the wire around that. To hold the deadeye in place, I partly drilled a 1/4 inch hole in the aluminum right next to the two pins. That gave me a stable platform and parts that were all very closely matched.


I used silver brazing to make the joint and a pair of self clamping tweezers to hold the wire around the deadeye. At first I found some burn marks on the wooden deadeye, but then I covered the wood with a small piece of aluminum foil to prevent the flame from hitting the wood and also to have some more of a 'heat sink' (besides the tweezers). That helped. For my next build I will continue using this method.


Thank you very much Daniel for this presentation and publishing your neat idea.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ken, to explain this here would take some time. If you have never soldered before, I would suggest you read up a bit, then invest a couple bucks to buy an inexpensive (small) soldering iron, some solder and flux. Give it several tries (with expected failures) using some scrap brass or copper wire until you get the hang of it. Don't try to solder large copper pipe, for example, unless that is what you want to shoot for. Our modeling will require small stuff, patience and lots of practice.


Here are a couple references, but again, don't try to read all of this, just get the basics and try it.




BTW the video above goes into a lot of detail. Don't bother with the 'desolder' tape at first and don't be intimidated by the 'big' soldering iron. I have and still use a very small electric iron with a homemade rheostat to control the temperature a bit better.


What I was referring to in the thread is 'silver soldering' as apposed to the more common 'tin soldering'. The difference means higher temperatures for the silver (hence my use of a small torch). However, try the common approach first.

Edited by Modeler12
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  • 3 months later...

Got a question about chain plates on my Scottish Maid build. The picture below is what the instruction page from my kit shows to do them. Doesn't look good to me. I am already planning to use wire instead of thread for the strops but weren't those 2 pieces linked together back then? Also the chain plate in the pic is not flat against the side- it's leaning up against the the rubbing strake. Is this right? Doesn't look right to me. I will shape them a little better & have a brass nail on the top & bottom like it should be.


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  • 8 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I'm building the Artemesia Scottish Maid but am trying to improve the accuracy of certain parts of the construction. Looking at the above posts it seems as though on some occasions the chain plate is a bar whilst on others it is a chain. Any guidelines as to which would be appropriate to the Scottish Maid would be greatly appreciated!

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  • 6 years later...

Daniel I am doing some research to see if I can lean to make my own chain plates for my Heller Soleil Royal.  I was fortunate to have your brass etched chains for my HMS Victory so when I found your chain plate topic here on MSW I knew it would be just what I was looking for. It will be quite a while before I will be needing to rig deadeyes so I should have plenty of time to practice. I am curious how you determine the length of each chain link?  I think the loop around the deadeye is standard for all the deadeyes? But then what do you do to determine the link size from the deadeye to the hull?

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