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Bottled Ship Builder


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exwafoo last won the day on November 18 2019

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  1. Hi Dan, A mile high? The highest we have in the UK is Ben Nevis at just over 4000 ft. Climbed it once in the days of my youth. Right! Bottle cleaning. I made a tool, one end of which is shown at the top of the photo below. Its a bamboo skewer about 15 inches long, with 2 pieces of brass tube bent and pushed on the ends ( the end not shown has a sharper angle). The inside diameter of the tube is just large enough to take the end of a cotton swab, I crushed the tube a bit to give grip. The different angles allow access to all of the inside of the bottle. Dip the swab in acetone, insert in bottle and scrub the offending water stain, glue (including super glue), sea, paint etc. Replace the swab when dirty. I've found this works well. I've stopped buying acetone from a pharmacy because its a lot cheaper to get it from a cleaning equipment supplier. Note the wooden swab stick. Besides being bad for the environment, the plastic ones will soften in the acetone. Best Alan If you
  2. Hi All, A bit more on super glue. I’ve had problems using superglue in the past, I’ve not had fogging tho’. I know a couple of SIBers that use the air pump method and am bearing that in mind just in case. The Colvic Watson 28ft motor sailor SIB that I did had stainless steel stays and I used a silver thread to simulate them. The Superglue let go a couple of days after cutting off the excess line after launch. I suspect whatever the silver dye was, it reacted badly. I managed to bodge a repair, but it set me on the hunt for a ‘good’ glue. I came across the British Museum YouTube site showing conservation of various objects, and took note of what materials they were using. They use an Acrylic Adhesive called Paraloid B72. There is quite a bit of info on the web on its use. Its main benefit is that it is reversible with the correct solvent, that's why conservators like it. It seems to be used to stick just about anything to anything. You can get it in tubes, but reading up on how to use it, the best way is to obtain the granules and mix it. Sounds awful, but actually its not. I got 50 gms for about a £5 off of the interweb, I’ve since discovered it can be cheaper from conservation materials suppliers. Its like a handful of plastic beads. Its mixed with acetone (the pure stuff from the pharmacy, not nail varnish remover that has added lotions and so on), I use this for cleaning out any residual marks in bottles so had some around. Its mixed in a weight/volume ratio, eg 1gm in 10ml acetone gives a 10% mix and is recommended as a varnish. 5gms in 10 ml gives a 50% mix and is used as a glue. I’ve mixed up a 10% batch in a small glass jar (the kind that has the marmalade in it in hotels at breakfast) so it soaks into the thread nicely, and am using it on some rigging at present. I use a needle stuck into a small stick with the eye ground to a ‘U’ shape as an applicator. So, what's it like to use? It’s nice and fluid at this mix. I can dip an inch or so of thread in it for ease of threading through holes, and it will dry in a couple of minutes and completely harden after leaving it for a bit longer. I suppose I get about 30 to 40 seconds working time before it goes tacky enough to start ‘stringing’. It dries clear, and seems to hold well. If it starts getting a bit thick due to evaporation of the acetone, then add a drop more. This may be the glue to use in any restoration of an old SIB. A big bonus is that it doesn't stick to me! I’ve also used a 50% mix for sticking some thread to wood and wood to wood, seems to work fine, just not as instant as CA glue. best Alan
  3. I broke a mast putting a SIB ketch in the bottle before Christmas. It was a very tight fit, (bad planning) and I got away with it off the SIB as a trial, but once rigged, it broke. Back out, repaired, mast shortened a bit, and I'm getting ready for the next try. There will be a build log shortly. Its all learning. Basically I just found another way not to do it. best Alan
  4. Nice work Joe, and just to fling a spanner in the works over paint colour, the purists talk about 'Scale Colour', where the colour is faded by an amount proportional to scale (used to work with a couple of model aircraft builders). I had a lot of fun baiting them over this. Cheers Alan
  5. Dan, I agree with you on the speed of the drill. I use a Proxxon with variable speed, but even on low its still fast. I use it to rough sand, then use the jig in my post above to finish off. I've found that using a draw plate can also put kinks into a dowel if there is a hard spot that pushes the dowel to one side. Alan
  6. Hi Bruce. Yes, they are a bit flimsy. I've copied others that are similar by using a piece of stiff white card behind the drawing, and the drawing held by paperclips. I held the book and drawing against a wall while my wife took a photo using a tripod. This works well. If there are no scales on the drawing. then photocopy a ruler and clip that on to the drawing for scale. This allows you to shrink/grow the image as required, so the different ones can be the same size. If you shrink them down, then some of the lines will become very close. A tip from my technical authoring days is to get some sharp coloured pencils and lightly colour in, for eg, the masts and sails. This makes them stand out from any rigging. best Alan
  7. The Publisher is still trading in nautical books and model plans. https://www.skipper.co.uk/ I've found that in a number of cases the nice new reprint from them is actually cheaper than an old copy from such as Amazon. My copy is a 1944 reprint and it has a wealth of info on clipperships. This book has pullout plans for the Cutty Sark (simple waterline model) and larger detailed plans for the 4 mast Loch Torrens, plus dozens of other photos and drawings of masts and deck detail. Its worth getting hold of. Happy New Year Alan
  8. Came across this Good for a chuckle Star Trek link All the best for the New Year Alan
  9. The dropped bottle at the beginning sure made me cringe.
  10. Postage kills trade between UK and USA. Perhaps Brexit will sort it. Alan
  11. I believe that is the older version of the Thorne book I have. It is basic, but still worth a read. Leon Labistour's book is very good to start with. Its in A4 format and it shows basic tools and materials, methods, and has a number of plans from a two mast collier brig to the 4 mast clipper shown on the cover. As I said its still out there second hand at a reasonable price (Amazon UK, starting at £ 5.50 to expensive, US prices range from double that to ludicrous). Leon also produced a video to go with it. Unfortunately he died before completion, but it was finished by his wife. It is available as a DVD, lasts about 1 and a 1/4 hrs. I can probably help you get a copy of the DVD if you want. It is worth watching, and its not outrageously priced. Best Alan
  12. Some suggestions. The first two are excellent beginners books. Leon's has a number of plans. Both available second hand. The third covers just about everything and is best obtained from the publisher www.skipper.co.uk at £35, as some of the web sites prices such as Amazon are fairly outrageous. Cheers Alan
  13. No worries. The Health and Safety Police can ruin anyone's plans.
  14. Hi Mick, If you are using a drill, chuck the yard just before the middle and sand, then reverse and repeat. I don't taper mine at small scale because I don't think its noticeable and the yard is then fragile. I've also found that using a drill to spin the yard can take too much off too quickly and it breaks, so I made a jig for hand sanding to finish to size. Its reasonably quick to use. See attachment. I use 'Masting and Rigging' by Robbert Kipping, my copy was printed in 1928 by 'The Technical Press, London' to give me an idea of sizes if the plan is a bit vague. This has tables that give dimensions for masts and yards for all types of ship, types of rig, eg schooner or square, tonnage, wood or steel, etc. It also gives sizes and types of rope and blocks. I've just checked online and its still being printed at a reasonable cost, and second hand copies (like mine) are still available. I've dug out an example: A ship of 500 tons, length 130 ft, breadth 30 ft. The given dimensions for the main yard are 57 ft long, not counting the arms,13.5 inches thick at the middle reducing to 9.5 inches at the 3rd quarter, ie 3/4 of the way between the middle and end. If you are doing them to a scale, eg; 1/250, then that comes down, for round figures, to slightly under 1/16 inch reducing to just over 1/32 inch at the 3rd quarter. Given this sort of scale thickness, I don't take them down to this because they would be very fragile, just to what looks reasonable without breaking, and very gently round over the ends. Once sails are on, unless really thick, then they will look fine, especially in the bottle. A tip is to drill any holes before sanding/or tapering because its a lot easier on thicker stock with less chance of splitting. If very thin after sanding, then you can strengthen them with CA glue or thinned acrylic varnish. When all is finished and rigged, the lack of a taper is not noticeable, and there is a lot less chance of a break when putting into the bottle. I only used it myself once, and used thin brass tube and rod for masts and yards on the Colvic Watson SIB to obtain scale size. I know this method is used on other ship models. Hope this helps you a bit Best Alan PS Just discovered it free as a download from Google Books Mast and Spar mast and spar jig.pdf
  15. Nice work. I haven't seen a 1 bob piece for a while either. Alan
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