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Bottled Ship Builder

Deadeye Method

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Hi All


I was browsing the Nautical Research Guild Forums (I know some of you post there as well) and went to their Home Page, and from there to 'The Nautical Research Journal' tab. At the bottom of the page you can download a free copy of a previous issue. So I did. A very professional magazine, however the bonus was under 'Shop Notes'. A method of making small deadeyes that I have not seen before. I've posted the link above, I won't copy the article to respect copyright. Worth having a look at though, assuming its still the same download if you have a go.

Thanks to the NRG

All the best


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I am finishing up a static display model of Goja at 1:192 scale, and noticed this post. Dug around a bit and found some photos to show some of the ways I make blocks and deadeyes. First image below shows the materials I generally use. I start by saturating a piece of construction paper of the color I want, well the color after saturation is the desired color. Takes a bit of practice to saturate the paper just right, too little and it will fall apart later, too much and it goes all white and useless. I use punches made from brass tubing, or in this case the sharpened needle of a vet hypo. Shown together in the photo with the wire or drill bits used to force the punched circles out of the end of the punch.

Second image show the jigs used to drill holes in the exact center of each punched circle. They are made from thin styrene plastic with a hole drilled to match the diameter of each block/deadye circle. This is in turn glued to a small piece of aluminum, in my case parts of the little pour spout taken from a cylindrical salt container, i.e. the cardboard ones I get my kitchen salt in at the grocery store. The aluminum has a small hole drilled, then the styrene is glued on top so that the hole in the aluminum is centered in the one drilled in the styrene. I simply place a punched circle in the hole in the styrene, flip the jig over so the aluminum is on top, press down hard with a tweezers around the small  hole to hold the punched circle tightly in place, then drill a hole through the circle. Occasionally the circle do slip around and the drill doesn't actually drill a hole, but it leaves a very clear mark where one can finish outside the jig.

Third image shows some completed blocks made from the work so far. Single, double, or triple blocks can be made quite easily. I simply tie a loop in the middle of a piece of thread for a purchase on the block, then feed the opposite ends of the thread through holes in the larger, then smaller, then larger punched circles, threads fed through from opposite sides. I then take the thread ends and pull until the purchase loop is centered properly, then apply a tiny amount of cyano glue to each thread to hold them to the outer sides of the block, being very carful not to get any glue in the hole. I then re-thread in the same manner, but from the end of the block opposite the purchase loop, then repeat the threading back towards the loop, and finally tie a knot around the bottom of the purchase block, glue and cut off the excess. They are definitely not perfect blocks, but they can be made easily in numbers, and come close enough in many cases.

The fourth photo shows some of my finished deadeyes. They were made in a similar fashion to the blocks, with the exception of using a brass plate with the proper hole spacing for the smaller holes. I use brass here because it will last longer, i.e. the aluminum block jigs would wear the center hole after enough uses. After drilling the holes in the deadeyes, I lightly sand the edges to round them out in profile.

The last photo shows some of the fully rigged deadeyes on my Goja model.

Hope all that is of some help to someone!

Anchor's A Weigh!

John Fox III


deaqdeye block 1.jpg

deaqdeye block 2.jpg

deaqdeye block 3.jpg

deaqdeye block 4.jpg

deaqdeye block 5.jpg

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