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Bottled Ship Builder

Bruce Foxworthy

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Bruce Foxworthy last won the day on April 17

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About Bruce Foxworthy

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    Boatswain

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  1. Sometime in mid April, I began to build my first SIB in nearly 40 years. Although I had several older books on the subject to reference, I was curious to see what U-tube had on it about the subject and that's when I discovered this forum. Glad I did as there is wealth of information and apparently a lot of great guys contributing to this wonderful spot on the net. I love seeing the other builds and soaking up the combined techniques you guys have so willingly shared. Some of which I've employed in my recent build. What a place to grow with in this art form. Good on you. I'm a mostly retired research and development process guy at a German Based machine tool manufacturer specializing in extreme precision geometry of all sorts. I've spent a couple of decades looking through a microscope there so wearing magnifying glasses is second nature to me in many respects. I also have been restoring antique clocks for a long time. A fascinating hobby I just adore. I'm seventy years old now and have an adoring wife who somehow has managed to put up with my creative juices all these years. That's a big plus for me. We have three great kids the last one is midway through collage on his way to becoming a Dr. of Chiropractic. We live on a small Lake about forty miles north of Detroit Michigan. When I was a younger man I did a lot of sailing all around the Great Lakes and have owned several boats in those years. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you and hopefully I'll be able to contribute to the forum here and there along the way. So that's my bit. Happy to be a member of Bottled Ship builders. Steady as she goes and regards from Bruce Foxworthy
  2. Daniel, and with them closed you can turn the part or tool around in your fingers. I couldn't do that sort of thing before I modified them to stay closed.
  3. Putting together my first SIB in nearly 40 years, all of a sudden I needed a pair of long tweezers that I didn't have. I looked them up in Micro Marts online catalog and saw that they were $13 plus shipping, plus time. Well that wouldn't due. So undaunted, I thought to myself a trip to Home Depot, and I'll be back in business in no time. These tweezers are 12 inches long, 3/8 inches wide, and 1/16 thick and tapered to a 1/8 inch square tip. They are easy to make, cheap and work great. Because aluminum is soft I can bend an angle or radius at the tip in the future if need be. I picked up a 3 foot long piece of aluminum angle iron and cut 24 inches off of the 1/2 inch side on my band saw, (a hack saw will work too). I cut that length in half, clamped the two pieces together with the sawed sides up in my vice and started filing till I got them roughly 3/8 wide the full 12 inches. Then I started filing a tapered angle, (starting 5 inches back from the end), one side at a time to bring the pieces to a 1/8 inch wide square pointed end. I buffed out the scratches from the filing with Scotch Brite pad. Next I cut a piece of 3/16 x 3/8 wood stock I just happen to have for making deck furniture 2 1/2 inches long and five minute epoxied that between the two pieces at the ends. I scribed X's on the surface of the aluminum where it was to be glued so that it would take a better bond. At this point I tried using them just like this but found that it was to difficult, for me anyway, to keep constant pressure on them while I was busy navigating inside the bottle, dropping stuff all the time and such. So I devised a way to keep them constantly closed with an adjustable sliding opener. I put a screw and nut on between the halves of the blades. I cut the screw off just long enough so it could easily slide back and forth. Then I peened the end of it over to insure that the nut wouldn't come off. Because my nut was so much larger than the head of the screw I wound up filing the points of the nut down till the nut wasn't sticking out so much. I put a piece of electrical tape over the surface of the tweezers blade so the file wouldn't scratch it's face in the process. Finally I slid the screw all the way next to the wood and using a pair of needle nose pliers firmly gripped the blade next to the screw and parallel to it. Then pushing down on the butt end of the tweezers with one hand and twisting the pliers over to the right and down with the other hand I introduced an angle bend on each side of the blades. This keeps the blades permanently closed with some considerable pressure at the tip. To open the tip, just slide the screw towards the tip. To close down on your part just back the screw away from the tip. Easy. So there you go. I hope this helps someone else out. I'm sure this concept will work fine for any length of tweezers you may need to make for your bottles. I've only been a member of this forum for about six week now and I'm still reading all over it. I know you guys have put a lot of your knowledge and experience forward which has helped me tremendously with my current build. I'm doing things I never had a clue about before thanks to your generous input. I'm happy to contribute to the forum and will continue to do so in the future. Regards and sail on. Bruce Foxworthy
  4. I'd like to read this journal but I don't see a link to it. How do I find it?? Thank Bruce
  5. Onni: Thanks for the info on the Styrene. I will hunt some up for sure. So are you Finnish? My wife is half Finnish. We belong to a private club here called Finn Camp. We spend a lot of time there as events are always going on. There is a sauna house and a lake to swim in. I go sauna most every Wed. and Sat. I've come to really look forward to sauna days. Sisu! Bruce
  6. Onni: Sweet !! Well that's pretty easy. Thanks so much. I also asked you earlier this morning about the Styrene your using. Where to get it, what thickness, how it acts with glues and paints?? Don't know if you saw that yet or not. I posed the questions on your build of the Terror,I believe. Thanks Bruce Foxworthy
  7. Guys: I've been hesitant to make dolphin strikers because I'm not sure what kind of material to use or how you would mount it without breaking the bowsprit. I love the look of dolphin strikers and sure would like to incorporate them in my builds. What is your favorite method of tackling this element ?? Thanks Bruce Foxworthy
  8. Onni: I'm also curious about how styrene reacts to different glues and paints?? Thanks again Bruce Foxworthy
  9. Onni: Very interested in trying some Styrene but have no clue as to where to buy it?? Does it come in different thicknesses and what thickness do you use?? Thanks Bruce
  10. Exwafoo and Jeff B: Thanks so much for your share on this topic. The neatest thing about this forum is that there is an abundant amount of knowledge flowing here. So often times with this art I've found myself out on a limb. So many experiments gone awry. It's been some 30 plus years since I've done this and I can't believe how many methods I never knew about before I'm finding here. Back in the eighties pretty much all I had to work with was knowledge from books published long ago. I've been reading all over this forum for the past two weeks and I still have a lot to discover. Grateful for all your combined insights. Bruce
  11. D. Siemens: Wow just went to that site Wardroom you posted a link to. Fabulous art work. And I agree that it's not so much the actual or historical detail that matters as it is the aesthetic of the end product. And thanks for your input on this topic. Every little bit helps Addkitta, I think your ship is SWEET. Can't wait to see it in the bottle.
  12. Addkitta: Thanks for sharing your method with me. I'm hoping that because it's a holiday weekend that that is why there hasn't been more response,yet anyway. I'm guessing that you hang your ratlines after the ship has been erected, cause I'm thinking that your process would end up being pretty stiff when it's done. I mean that it wouldn't lend itself to folding down easily without coming undone when it comes time to slip the ship through the neck of the bottle. Or am I missing something?
  13. Hi guys: Just starting up again after a 30 plus year absence. I can't tell you how much I love this site and all the things I'm learning from it. I just read a thread about dead eyes and thought for sure there are some neat ways you guys make your ratlines. In the past they have always plagued me. I've tried using metal and plastic window screening material but they don't look that great. So how about spreading your experience with me on your techniques. Thanks Bruce Foxworthy
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