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Dale - I took some photos a couple of months back comparing the ropes and blocks from Syren (Chuck) with the kit supplied items.


First, the rope - I used Syren rope on my Carmen, and will use it on the AVS as well.  From left to right in this photo:

AVS (Model Shipways) rigging line - Carmen (Constructo) rigging line - Two different sizes of rigging line from Syren.



Second, the blocks.  I used the kit blocks on the Carmen, but for the AVS I purchased Syren blocks in pearwood to use.

On the left in the photo are the kit blocks from the AVS.  On the right are pearwood blocks from Syren.



The rope from Syren is amazing.  It's tight, doesn't fuzz, and when you cut it the ends don't fray or come untwisted. 

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Serving the shrouds is a time consuming process. I have made so many mistakes so far, from cutting the foremast shrouds short, to not getting the serving centered on the shroud, to not making the serving s consistent lengths. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. And this presupposes that the shrouds are not too thick. I may end up doing it all again.


Here is a trick I came up with when figuring out how to mark the start/stop points for the servings. I tied a small piece of contrasting thread to the spots. It worked rather well. You can see it in the pictures below.



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Thanks, Patrick. I've decided to keep them. I hope it's the right decision. I figured all the measurements out finally & got pretty good at building them. I even got halfway good at using the serving machine. If anybody is interested, I will post a revised drawing of the shroud serving measurements.

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Here are some (crappy) pictures of the finished shrouds. I think I'm putting too much work into things. I spent a lot of time doing things to these shrouds that are not even visible. I will have to think about that as I go along. How much detail is enough?




Your shrouds are beautiful. I get what you mean by "how much detail is enough?" It is easy to succumb to fatigue and frustration at this point in a build, when you feel the hard work on a specific point does not show as well as you think it should have. I can assure you that your shrouds look amazingly well done, and in my humble opinion will be one of the things that contributes to the "WOW" factor of your finished model.


I look forward to more of your updates.


- Tim

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Thanks Tim. I appreciate all of that & of course you are right. So I'll just keep trudging along.


Speaking of trudging along, here are the topmast shrouds, one each of the forward pair & the after pair. I've decided not to serve the bottoms, mainly because Lever doesn't show it done that way & I can't find a clear picture of these shrouds that tell me one way or another. I should have cut my teeth on this set. They are easier & fewer. I'm getting a better hang of using the serving machine now & I am very glad to have it. It is making life much easier.


I've spent the last week or so attaching blocks to the mast tops & crosstrees. What an ordeal that is. I wish there was a checklist that said put this size block at this location. It is a real chore figuring out where they all go. And I forgot to take pictures. Tomorrow.



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Thanks Michael. I'm afraid to go on because I don't know if I can live up to all of the praise being heaped upon.


I lived near the Queen Mary most of my life & I never got to one of those shows. Now that I'm in Texas, I wish I had. I agree with you about the looks of Niagara. I had been waiting for just the right boat to build & when I saw her I knew right away. That was 16 years ago, & I'm still building her.

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Setting the shrouds will probably be the most difficult thing I have done on this build. The shrouds that are served are VERY difficult to seize. The line does not slide along the length. Instead it falls & catches between each wrap of the serving. If you pull the seizing too tight, it goes in between the serving wraps. If you don't pull it tight enough, it cannot be placed easily. It moves & twists when you try to wrap it.  Here is my first seized deadeye. This took close to an hour, & it's just a topmast shroud. The main shrouds will be even worse.


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Man, what a bad couple of days. I spent several hours yesterday installing the shroud lanyards on the deadeyes. I didn't even finish. They are not even close to being even, & half of them are twisted. These are the things I need to learn how to do. Also, the shrouds are so stiff that when I pull the lanyards tight, I still have crooked shrouds & they don't lay naturally at the tops. The ones I served all the way are the worst. It may look accurate, but I'm not sure the tradeoff is even.


Today I got to looking at them & realized the lanyards were way too fuzzy (no I don't have any beeswax). So I decided to redo them with new thread (the stuff I used was probably 40 years old). I swear I couldn't get the runs right to save my soul. I must have re-rigged that thing 5 or 6 times. After finishing the first one, I realized that I had rigged all of them with the upper deadeyes upside down. Again, I couldn't get a single shroud rigged right the first time. I can't tell you how many times I had to undo them. I finally finished the main mast. Here is a picture of it. I have not tightened the lanyards yet.


The nightmare continues tomorrow. Aaarrrggg!


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Dale:  I'm no expert, in fact far from it, but I think this is a problem most guys face with shrouds, and some of them solved the twisting problem by "hardening" the shrouds first, which is just hanging them with weights on the bottom over night to stretch the line. Also, some are mixing a 50-50 mix of PVA and water and painting the lanyards with it after the length and shape is set how you like. Like I said, I'm no expert but maybe those ideas will work for you.


Cheers and have a Happy New Year  :cheers:

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Thanks guys for the tips & encouragement. HOWEVER...


I just can't stand looking at them anymore. They will be worse when tightened, SO...


I'm going to cut them out & rebuild all new shrouds. I might be able to salvage a couple, but I've got a good idea where I'm heading this time. I know the turf & I think I can avoid the obstacles. They may not be perfect, but they'll be a damned sight better than these. All I can say is I'm glad I started on these which are relatively easy to make. I sure don't want to re-do the main shrouds.


Here I go, doing things twice again. Boy, that gets old.


Here are some pictures of the main mast & the fore mast. See what I mean?


Oh, and I'm gettin' me some beeswax.



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Last night I spent some time tweaking my serving machine. The first thing I did was take all the gears of & file the burrs off of the faces. That made a lot of difference. While checking it I found what seemed to be a high or tight spot between one pair of gears. I hand cranked the machine & held a jewelers file to the outside edges of the teeth. It was as though the hole was drilled not quite exactly in the center so when the gear spun, it tightened at the high spot. This made all the difference in the world. Now it spins at a constant speed & doesn't slow down on every revolution. I haven't put a line on it yet, but I'm expecting good things. I also notice that the machine spins much better & with higher torque in one direction (of course, it is the direction I don't use). So I may rethink how I use this. It will just take a little getting used to going the opposite direction. Also, I find that the minimum speed that I can use this reliably without stalling it is about 3 on the dial.


Carry on.

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