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Bottled Ship Builder


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DaveG75 last won the day on August 7 2017

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About DaveG75

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    Able Seaman

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  1. DSiemens, you've made my day! In truth, I should have crunched the rocky sea a few more hours... my excuse is that I was impatient to see if my method of injecting epoxy would work (via leftover disposable syringe and tiny diameter tubing from a defunct inkjet printer refill kit).
  2. The day I joined here (last Friday, Aug. 4), I spotted and bought a ship in a bottle at a local thrift store. Its ocean had dried out to the point where it was crumbling and turning to Pacific blue dust. Cost: $1.30. A closer look: The chunk of bamboo skewer apparently had been buried in the sea originally. What is left of the sealing-wax seal on the bottle reads "Colby Colleg[e]" so I set out to find if there was some kind of Colby connection to the scene. The larger ship is labeled "Hero," and sure enough, I found that in 1818, the founder of the college (and its first half dozen students or so) had traveled via the square topsail sloop "Hero" from Marblehead Massachusetts up the Maine coast and upriver on the Kennebec as far as navigable. Today, you can drive that in 3 hours. In 1818, apparently facing headwinds, it took well more than a day. Sure enough, the bottle reproduces in miniature and 3D what's on one of the college library's weathervane: Anyway, I devised a tool to lift the boats (call it a dry dock, maybe?) and another tool to crunch down the crumbling sea into small enough bits to make a reasonably flat platform. I then injected clear epoxy into the crumbled sea and let it cure. The result is not perfectly flat... my new sea has a gentle roll to it... but the two craft are once again safely on a semi-watery ocean: You can see the outline of a now-missing label on the wood base. The bottle is from Tanduay distillers, no doubt revealing the country of origin: the Philippines, the home of Tanduay rum. It's not a terrible SIB. The sloop's mast is hinged at the bottom with thread and the rigging is pretty good, though it is missing the peak halyard. The peak halyard is missing on the tender or whatever the smaller ship is meant to be. (On the weather vane, it could represent another sloop sailing in the distance...)
  3. Thanks, CharlieB and exwafoo. It's tempting. Found myself looking up miniature electric drills on eBay... Meanwhile, I'm doing a very crude stabilization of a ship(s) in a bottle that must have been offered for sale by Colby College, in Maine USA. I found it on the day I joined here -- it cost me $1.30 at a local thrift shop -- so that's probably a sign that I'm doomed to press on in the ship-in-bottle world... It contains a sloop(? not a familiar sail plan, anyway), with "Hero" labeled on her bow, and a smaller sailing smack or tender on a Pacific-blue sea. "Hero" brought the first president of Colby College from Boston up the Kennebec river (as far as navigable), along with 6 students, in 1818 or so. In the Tanduay flask bottle (giving a clue to the country of origin), Hero and her smack are on a sea that has become incredibly unconsolidated. If it began life as a linseed-based putty, it had WAY too little linseed. After I break down the bigger chunks, I'll be re-settling the two craft on a bed of clear epoxy + original sea powder/chunks.
  4. Joining (probably) only as a spectator. Ships in bottles are for me props in still life paintings, but the more sorry eBay and thrift store examples that I scavenge, the more interesting to me is the process of making a ship in a bottle. To feed my curiosity a bit, I've bought the English translation of Joop van Schouten's Sailing in Glass; plus, Donald Hubbard's Ships in Bottles: a Step by Step Guide... is on its way to me. van Schouten's book appears to me to be charming, but more or less along the lines of class notes, where every sentence appears to offer me the high points from of 15 minutes of lecture... and I haven't taken the course. It's clearly full of wisdom, but I don't have the key yet to unlock it. Dave from near Boston, Mass.
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