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michael mott

Bristol Pilot Cutter by michael mott - 1/8 scale (POF)

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I have been gluing the base retaining strip around the cockpit shell, once it is finished being glued I will add the screws to give it some shear strength.

I was originally thinking of bending the strip but did not want to lay up a number of layers and so opted to build up the corners with segments. The test experiments with bending through the sharp curve with Mahogany proved to be a failure. 1/32 yellow cedar bent beautifully but it is the wrong colour.


I cut some strips of Pacific Yew, I had some nice tight grained stuff, the profile is approx 2 inches high by 3/4 (1/4 x 3/32)




I put a small bevel on the top with the mini plane.




After the four flat pieces are glued I will add the corners.




I did do some work thinning down a piece of Green leather and after an hour where I did get about 4 square inches down to .022" but decided that the green was the wrong colour.


I am doing some tests with some very thin Brown and tan coloured leather. The plan being to make the tops and bottoms brown with tan sides. Testing the method of stitching.






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4 hours ago, druxey said:

Do you actually need to use leather to imitate leather?

Ah...... yes because I am not simulating it, these cushions will be soft just miniature versions of the same.


4 hours ago, paulsutcliffe said:

the scarfed joint on top of the cockpit shell look fantastic


Paul I used some apple wood and cut the wood out from around a knot when i did this because I did not like the first attempts




1 hour ago, xken said:

Michael, another source for thin leather is modelmotorcars.com

Ken, thanks for this I will check them out.


1 hour ago, TBlack said:

BTW, how do you thin down leather?

Hi Tom, My Brother who is in the film industry in special effects, taught automobile upholstery in England before he came to Canada told me that the process is call skieving (Spelling?) and that they have machines to do it. before he told me that yesterday I did it like this with a utility knife by laying it over the short bit of standard brass plumbing tube and slicing it down.





So I know it can be done for small amounts, but as I noted earlier the brown is a more compatible colour for me. That said, I would be OK with Burgundy. But I have brown and tan so depending on how it turns out, I'll see.


9 hours ago, wefalck said:

Did I get you onto something with the saddlery ... ?

Eberhard, I do enjoy these little side trips that this model takes me on.



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I hope @archjofo doesn't mind that I show here the tool he uses to split leather for some leathering work on his rig:



I also seem to have seen on ebay some tool for splitting leather from Chines sources - there appear all sorts of unusual or tools not seen for decades in Western Europe on Chinese ebay-shops.

I think there used to be a sort of scraper with a half-round blade to thin out leather - if they were still alive I would ask my grand-aunt or my great-grandfather, they had a glove-factory.

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Very nice joinery on those corners of the cap rail Michael,  very nice complimentary choice of woods.


Thanks for the learning experience on the leather folks; another tid-bit to store away.





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Thanks for all the information about the leather. Griphos, I shall check out Tandy because there is an outlet not far from me. Greg, I went to the Site you linked to and I was not able to find the size of the sheets that they are selling and at $50 per sheet I am thinking that there might be some better solutions.

Eberhard I did also note the device that Johann made good for narrow strips, I am not sure about wider sheets though. Pat, Thanks.


I am starting to glue the corners on the outside of the cockpit now, once they are all glued i will do the final finishing all round then ad some Teak oil to finish.









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I have a whole new appreciation for quilters.

First a new tool to punch holes in the leather, using some  scraps of ebony, brass and Drill rod.



The tip was polished and hardened and tempered to a straw colour, and the very tip left flat about .010"






Next the holes were punched along the edges.




Then hand stitched, with a dull needle.




I think this will work out OK




Off to pick up my new hearing aids and play with the grandkids this afternoon.



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A saddlers awl ... I would have gone for the diamond shaped awl blade it gives your stiching a better look, and is easier to pull double threads. That is, however, a personal preference. It is also advisable not to pierce all the holes in both pieces but in one as one sheet of leather  may strech more than the other which could give you ugly wobbles. However, having written that, if you have it from the same hide, you will probably not encouter the latter.


I like the colour combination

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1 hour ago, michael mott said:

Walter has been watching what was going on over on the Skipjack ways and asked if he could borrow a lamp.

I couldn't resist.

Today I glued the floor into the bottom of the cockpit.



Great job done! Lantern is a work of art!


But the sailor in the cockpit is nothing like you. :) 

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I've seen a lot of coal oil (kerosene, paraffin) running lamps in my days, but I've never seen one like that one. I've seen port and starboard lights in electric fixtures, mounted on the bow of small powerboats with a septim between the two to avoid confusion, but never an oil lamp like that. Perhaps it's a European model.  The angle of the lenses is interesting. It would seem they'd not be as easy to see from dead ahead (and wouldn't meet modern regulations.)  Can you tell us where you found the prototype and a bit about it. I'll bet there's an interesting story to it. 


Beautiful workmanship, by the way!

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