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Sewing Ratlines


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Hi All,

I am in the final stages of finishing my Sergal/Mantua Cutty Sark.

I have the "Main" on Fore, Main and Mizzen Ratlines to tie. I had a go at this yesterday but after several attempts at tying these, I decided to "Walk Away" and have a think.

The problem is that I have left these to almost last and have all oter Standing Running Rigging in place, so, rightly or wrongly, this is what I have done.

I use a paper template/guide clipped to the shrouds and have use a needle and thread for Top-Mast and Topgallant Ratlines, no problem. The trouble with the "Main" Ratlines is that I cannot get the needle and thread to do my bidding.... Tension on The Shrouds is one issue as I cannot get a straight needle around!! I tried a curved Bodkin but while this went round each Shroud o.k. it was almost impossible to tie knots.

 

So, is there anyone there that has experience "Sewing" Ratlines through Shrouds?

Instruction/photos would be very much appreciated.

 

Cheers....HOF.

 

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HOF,

 

You might want to try to go through the shrouds rather than going around and trying to tie a knot.  

 

Let me explain. In one of the many model ship building books I have read I do remember one of the authors making two points about ratlines.  First is that you should use the smallest diameter thread you can find for them and second was that no matter what size thread you use, or what type of knots you tie, your knots will be way too large for scale.  To address the knot issue he suggests you use a needle and sew the the ratline through the center of the shroud, gluing them in place.  In other words, do not make any knots.

 

I did try this once a long time ago and it looked good.  However, it was not easy to get the needle into the center of the shroud. Maybe magnifiers, or better eyes would have helped. I think it is easier to tie knots, but if that is proving to be impossible, you might try to sew through the shrouds.

 

Another alternative is to run the ratlines over or under the the shrouds and gluing them in place rather than tying them.  Most craft stores have glues made specifically for gluing fabric that should work well.

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One of the things that will help you isthe surface tension of your line.  Even if it is the smallets diameter you can find it may still have a memory.  Let the line soak in some washing detergent ot softener.  Once you rinse it and let dry this might help out tremendously.

David B

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Hi HOF

Is the problem that you need to reach in behind the shrouds when threading and knotting?

If so then try using two tweezers with angled ends. you can normally reach through one gap and pick up the thread pushed through the adjacent gap.

That way you do not need to reach behind the shrouds at all.

A clove hitch tied off in front completes things.

Hopefully working from the front provides much more room even when fully rigged.

 

Nick

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I don't actually see the problem. The prototype 'ratline-hitch' is easy and fast to do with two pairs of tweezers. At the first and last shroud you use two half hitches instead so that the ratlines turns back on itself. In the protoype, the ratline would have an eye spliced into each end and the eye would have been sewn to the shrouds.

 

Do not secure the knots until you have done all the ratlines, as there is almost certainly some adjustment to be done. Once tightened and secured with a drop of lacquer, you can clip-off the ends with a pair of micro-surgical scissors without fear to do damage to other parts of the rigging.

 

wefalck

Edited by wefalck
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In principle yes. In my home country it is sold as Zapon Varnish and was used in the old days as fast-drying varnish for metals, such as brass or silver. They are nitrocellulose-based and quite similar in composition to the traditional nail varnishes (I believe that today also acrylate solutions are used in that trade). If the rigging is black, I also use black satin enamel paint. Using varnish has the advantage that you can use the respective solvent to loosen and re-adjust knots, if needed.

 

wefalck

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

I'm definitely a newbie and have been scouring every possible source of information on ship modeling. I'm about halfway through my fist build, BJ Smuggler and have been especially focused on building the masts, gaffs, booms etc., and rigging. I too was concerned about rat lines when I found and excellent YouTube video of doing them. The technique he uses for tying the ratlines using clove hitches was so fast and easy I wouldn't consider doing them any other way. Just Google " model ship ratlines you tube" and you"ll see the link..

 

Best,

Steve

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  • 2 months later...

I have take a look at it and it looks good.

The only thing is that when you do the knot for the first time, you have to look carefully how the rope is going.

When you have the drawing in front of you, you can take a look all the time.

If you have done 50 of them , then I hope that you know the knot.

If not, you have all the time you tube on the screen and I think after seeing it 20 times, you get bored.

Ive done now about 80000 of those knots and still......sometime I need the drawing ! :D  :D  :D

You don't have to use the drawing but for those who want them, it's just there.

Make a print from it and put it above the workshop wall or something like that  :D

 

Sjors

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Hi Sjors,

 

I think it's a great I idea to post diagrams in a place where they can bee seen for continued reference.  But I also like to see how they knots actually come together.

 

Here is a great link that someone recently posted on knots.  I even enjoyed watching the animations for knots we don't use in ship building.

 

http://www.animatedknots.com/knotlist.php?LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com

 

Best,

Steve

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Steve, I also enjoy making knots and hitches, one of the earliest I learned from a BM on the Ammen was the Mast Head Knot, stuck with me, probably because of the beginning overlapping 3 loops and then the use of both hands and your teeth. Think I have used it only once since learning it.

jud

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