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Bottled Ship Builder

Hello from North Yorkshire! :)


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Hello, happy to be here! 

I'm so happy I stumbled on this forum! So much amazing talent and information on here!! 

I'm on my 3rd ship and working from a book (Leon Labistours making ships in bottles) that was my grandads who has since sadly passed many years ago. He made one for all his children and I was always amazed by the one he made my mum from being a young child (and my aunties and uncles). I finally took the plunge and now I have seriously been bitten by the bug!! 

I love spending time carving the hull and the painting it etc, I love the time it takes to to do all the rigging and adding the sails! What I struggle with is drilling the holes in  masts etc. I do it by hand with a pin vise. Does anyone have any jig ideas for drilling masts or just fast and accurate ways of doing it? Apologies if I have asked those questions in the wrong section! 

Many thanks in advance! 




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No worries on the questions. We're a small group so we can afford to be a bit loose on whats where. I'd rather we be helpful then send people on wild goose chases around a forum they just joined. 

With that in mind I like to taper masts by puting them in a regular drill and spinning it into sand paper. Some people use a dremel but I've found that to be dangerous a regular drill does the job.

As far as putting holes in the last the best jig I saw was by Exwafoo.  You can find it here, near the bottom of the page.



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Hi Rob,

Leon Labistour's book is an excellent book for people getting started. It was the first SIB book that I bought and introduced me to the European Association of Ships In Bottles ( EASIB) and ( Facebook page). Consider joining - the more the merrier.  Leon lived in Robin Hood's Bay on the North Yorkshire coast, and we have a number of members in Yorkshire,  (may be close enough to go and have a chat with) as well as the rest of the World. The Association produces 4 quality magazines a year (currently being digitised so back copies will be available) and a biannual convention held at a venue with a maritime connection. Sadly cancelled this year because of lockdown. 

All the best in a new hobby


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Hey Alan! 

I'm not too far from Robin hoods bay and its one of my favourite spots in the area! Saw in the book that it had ties to there, I'm assuming thats why my Grandad had it as it was bought fairly locally I imagine. I bought a few other books but they are very vague in comparison for a starter. 

Thankyou for the heads up about EASIB I will definitely be looking into joining up!  

Also, great idea from you for the jig to drill holes in the masts that Dsiemens kindly dug out and posted earlier for me! 





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Just looked at it Alan,

that was really helpful and definitely pushed me to make something along those lines if not that jig itself! Ive been trying to get mine as neat and straight as poss and most are acceptable but then there's always that one or two that tempt me to scrap and start again... All practice though! 

Cheers Alan! 

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