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Rat lines revisited, a different approach


Modeler12

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Ratlines have always been tricky to install on ship models. My hands are very clumsy and tying the rat lines to the shrouds was near impossible. So, I resorted to using a needle and thread approach. At least the outside shrouds were punched through and a tiny drop of AC glue held them in place.

 

Then I ran into a very tight spot when I had to add rat lines to the futtock shrouds. They slope backwards and the other parts up there got in the way. I decided to glue the rat lines and the best way to hold them in place was using some contact adhesive. Then after that was dried I added a drop of AC glue to permanently hold the ends in place. It worked although the result was not pretty.

 

I decided to try this a bit more on a larger scale. Below you can see the simple fixture I used to hold eight shrouds. Mind you, this was strictly an experiment. I was not particular about the size of line and the overall lengths but I did want to have some spaces in between, similar to a real set up.

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Then I took sections of rat line, masked the ends with a couple index cards and sprayed the adhesive on the exposed lines.

post-246-0-60140200-1421272941_thumb.jpg

 

The tacky adhesive was enough to hold the lines to the shrouds and the placement was relatively easy.

post-246-0-78947600-1421273002_thumb.jpg  post-246-0-40229100-1421273021_thumb.jpg  post-246-0-79933500-1421273038_thumb.jpg

After the glue had dried, I went back and added a tiny drop of CA glue to every joint. 

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I let it cure for several hours and then trimmed the excess lines. To make it look more uniform I also gave it a quick coat of spray paint, but that was not really necessary.

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I am sure some of you may not go along with this idea, but for small scale projects It could be a nice way to go. It sure beats pricking my fingers every half hour with a needle.

Edited by Modeler12
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Let me add one more application for those of you who are doing the USS Constitution.

The main stay and preventer stay are tied together with a 'snake', a thinner line that criss-crosses between the two.

post-246-0-65352500-1421280880.jpg

The technique described above would be a natural for that. I tried it the hard way with needle and thread but again settled on using adhesive. In fact, I used thin wire instead of thread, but with the method above, a thread would work.

On second thought, a thread would be too flexible and the wire keeps the two stays in place.
Notice the template underneath.

post-246-0-27006900-1421280836.jpg

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I did something similar to your approach but I added a small knot at each joint to simulate tying the traditional  clove hitch. It was hard, but not as hard, as  you said , as tying those actual clove hitches with my shaky fingers. I would have shaken all shrouds off the ship.

Indeed Rich, tying those clove hitches is not too difficult if you can get to them easily.

That said, I must admit that my approach to the rigging of my Connie is a bit unusual and the room I had to work with on those futtock shrouds was too tight to put in clove hitches.

 

Again, I present this optional approach for those who are working with small scales and small ships. I don't think I will use this on the last of the ratlines I still have to install on my model (the starboard fore).

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I like the idea, the only issue I see is possibly not getting the right angles on the shrouds and ratlines between the jig and the ship.

 

Hmm One other issue is how you install the lines, I was taught to run my shrouds by cutting one line for one pair for each side

run one pass on the port with a sizing then run a pair on the starboard and size the loop.

alternating them.

I do not see how I can do that with this method for the ratlines unless I use the mast in a jig and mask off the mast parts.

 

 

possibly a different jig setup .... will look into this tonight.

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I like the idea, the only issue I see is possibly not getting the right angles on the shrouds and ratlines between the jig and the ship.

 

Hmm One other issue is how you install the lines, I was taught to run my shrouds by cutting one line for one pair for each side

run one pass on the port with a sizing then run a pair on the starboard and size the loop.

alternating them.

I do not see how I can do that with this method for the ratlines unless I use the mast in a jig and mask off the mast parts.

 

 

possibly a different jig setup .... will look into this tonight.

I am sorry, but I don't understand something here.

Installing the shrouds around the mast is usually done in pairs going down on the same side (port or starboard). If there is an odd number of shrouds, one leg goes to port and one to starboard.

 

However, this has no bearing on installing the rat lines, no matter what technique you prefer to use. The shrouds go first and then the ratlines, not pre-assembled.

 

If you look at my experimental setup, you can see the nails on top. Those would be the mast and shrouds loop around that. The bottom obviously does not have the deadeyes, because in this try they would be redundant.

Edited by Modeler12
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I am sorry, but I don't understand something here.

Installing the shrouds around the mast is usually done in pairs going down on the same side (port or starboard). If there is an odd number of shrouds, one leg goes to port and one to starboard.

 

However, this has no bearing on installing the rat lines, no matter what technique you prefer to use. The shrouds go first and then the ratlines, not pre-assembled.

 

If you look at my experimental setup, you can see the nails on top. Those would be the mast and shrouds loop around that. The bottom obviously does not have the deadeyes, because in this try they would be redundant.

OK then i must have not quite understood the example / or read enough of the text.

will have to read when i am at home to make sure i get it right.

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Forgive me for not knowing how to present this question.  I am new to ship building and using this forum.  I just started building my Connie and already have a question. After gluing the keel parts I noticed the large center section has a slight bow in it (very slight 1/32" approx +/- at the center).  Is this going to be a problem when I start adding the ribs?

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Forgive me for not knowing how to present this question.  I am new to ship building and using this forum.  I just started building my Connie and already have a question. After gluing the keel parts I noticed the large center section has a slight bow in it (very slight 1/32" approx +/- at the center).  Is this going to be a problem when I start adding the ribs?

I think that could be a problem. I suggest you fit the bulkheads in place but don't glue them yet. As suggested earlier, be sure they fit snugly but not too tight.

Now take a flexible rod, plank or long ruler and hold that up against the side and top of those bulkheads. Perhaps by making some adjustments to one or two of those bulkheads upwards and/or sideways you can overcome the bow. The main thing is that the bulkheads provide a smooth surface for the planks later on. When all looks good mark the bulkheads you adjusted so you can come back to that position when you glue them in place.

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OK then i must have not quite understood the example / or read enough of the text.

will have to read when i am at home to make sure i get it right.

Let me add one more comment. The pictures I show above are just for a mock-up. I don't mean imply that you would build the shrouds and ratlines on the bench and then add them to your ship. No way. The shrouds have to go onto the ship right when you are ready. Then the ratlines go on last. 

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Let me add one more comment. The pictures I show above are just for a mock-up. I don't mean imply that you would build the shrouds and ratlines on the bench and then add them to your ship. No way. The shrouds have to go onto the ship right when you are ready. Then the ratlines go on last. 

my bad, debugging code running tests and peeking at posts... too many things at the same time.

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I also do this technique.  Not all modellers are good with rigging. 

 

It's a very good technique Brian and I think in many cases actually looks better. I use it a lot on small scale models.  Jay, you are correct, the shrouds must be in place and the ratlines glued to them.

 

If I might add one or two more suggestions. When you have finished glueing the ratlines, use a pair of ladies nail clippers to cut the lines close to the shroud edges. The ca glue hardens the rigging rope and makes it very easy to make a neat snip with the clippers. Another tip is to apply a small blob of white wood glue to each joint when everything is set. It simulates the knot perfectly (and it's much quicker than tying them!)  

Edited by overdale
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It's a very good technique Brian and I think in many cases actually looks better. I use it a lot on small scale models.  Jay, you are correct, the shrouds must be in place and the ratlines glued to them.

 

If I might add one or two more suggestions. When you have finished glueing the ratlines, use a pair of ladies nail clippers to cut the lines close to the shroud edges. The ca glue hardens the rigging rope and makes it very easy to make a neat snip with the clippers. Another tip is to apply a small blob of white wood glue to each joint when everything is set. It simulates the knot perfectly (and it's much quicker than tying them!)  

I love it!!

 

There is also a nice (but expensive) tool called 'end snippers'. I got it from my mother-in-law for Christmas last year and it works great.

It essentially cuts the end or excess off the rat lines by holding it in-line (so to speak).

My son-in-law, who is into electronics, likes it for snipping off the wire coming up through a circuit board.

 

You know, I have to many in-laws.

 

BTW I touched and then ruffled up and then tried to stretch my little mock-up and ii is tough. Much stronger than I thought.

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After the mock-up sat around for a couple days and the adhesive had really cured, I was curious what would happen if i punched or forced my finger into this rigging. 

I could distort the webbing and ratlines, but they would not come loose. At least with what I considered rough treatment.

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I will have to try this on a real model, like my USS Constitution  . . . .

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have a dumb question.i am coming to this point on my constitution build also and wonder should the ratlines be black or tan?ive read that they weren't actually tarred but are allways black in pictures.are they considered standing rigging or are just the shrouds tarred?im sure someone knows more about this than I do  thanks chuck

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I think this is one of those personal preference items.  It is my understanding the all line was tarred as part of the laying up process.  However, shrouds and stays and the like received an extra measure of tar in the serving process.  So, in appearance, the ratlines should be lighter in color than the shrouds, but to what degree I do not know.

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