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Hi all. This is my first post but I've read lots. I'm working on my second boat and I'm almost to the rigging phase. My first boat was the Mississippi queen so I didn't need much help with rigging. I'm currently working on the AL San Francisco II. Basically what suggestion would you guys have as far as usefull tools. I have a solid background with wood and haven't struggled much with the woodworking part but I'll be honest the the rigging is intimidating. Also any suggestions on tapering techniques for the mast would be greatly appreciate.



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Long tweezers are very handy for maneuvering lines around where fingers will not reach, and to belay lines to pins. Dental tools with hooks, picks, probes on the end are great for such as well. I am lucky to have a dentist in my local model club who donates his used tools. You can make some similar items by removing half the eye of a sewing needle, leaving a Y fork type tool. Just epoxy the other (sharp) end into a dowel to serve as a handle. You will also need sewing needle threaders to thread lines through blocks. The thin aluminum ones can even be wrapped around a dowel and glued to extend your reach.

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When I tapered the masts on my first model, I first drew a circle at the top of the dowel to show me the center and limits as I whittled down the dowel to look like a tapered mast. I used sandpaper in that case, however I have purchased a small wood plane for my future mast tapering.

Good luck,


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I clamp my electric drill motor in my  vise, chuck up the mast stock in the drill and use very course sandpaper at first and progressively finer until I get the finish I want. I use a caliper to check the diameter. and a batten to check the taper.

Its fast, efficient and "works for me"


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For tapering spars without power tools here is a link to how I did it for my current build.  Check out this post and the one following it for two different types of taper.  I am just getting to the rigging phase myself, so I don't have anything to offer on that front.





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Hello Johnny,

                            First, let me thank you for this topic as I'm starting the ridding of my SF II. I also feel intimidated by the ridding as the picture in the manual are fuzzy and not very useful, It's good to know that I'm not alone in this situation :).I try to check some other logs to get more informations.


For the tools, I use the long tweezers like Joe have mentioned previously.


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Don't forget a couple of smallish hemostats. They're nice to clip on to a line and leave hanging to apply uniform tension while seizing lines. Also a few"roach clips" alligator clips, I think you can still get em from Radio Shack while they're still around. BILL

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tools I use for rigging.
Clamps are used for preliminary tensioning of threads prior the final arrangement of rigging
as also for marking individual threads for proper belaying it.
Mini drill is suitable for cleaning holes in blocks if was blocked by glue or lacquer.
Extra thin copper wire is the best solution for pass threads through blocks.





My models:

From kits

Vasa, HMS Victory, Le Solei Royale, Friesland

From scratch

HMS Warrior 1860, Esplanade, Grosse Yacht

Norman’s ship, HMS Speedy, La Royale

Peter von Danzig

Polacca XVII cent.

Current project:

SS Savannah 1818

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  • 2 weeks later...

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