Thanking Some Supporters

Our vendors are our life blood–especially our “volunteer” commercial supporters–so we feel it’s important to bring them into the limelight another key member of the RELIANCE team.

R.E. Sturdy of Providence, RI does plating for us. Tom Perkins and his daughter Dorothy McCauley have been very helpful, delivering superb-quality products with extremely quick turn-around times. The pictures below show a recent batch that Dorothy brought over; thank you Tom, Dorothy and R.E. Sturdy!!

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The original RELIANCE had bronze, nickel steel, and some cast iron fittings. We plate our bronze castings in nickel to look like the Ni Steel original ones; steel is just too difficult for a volunteer force to work with in scale. We also use an automotive paint on our fittings that were cast iron. The contrast between our bronze, steel, and cast iron fittings gives RELIANCE another layer of beauty, as well as further insight into structural design.

Busy Opening Weekend

It’s been a very busy weekend…

Saturday was a whirlwind. Laura was splicing halyard pennants; these are wires spliced into a circle in an endless loop. She unravels a piece of wire 7x the length of the loop, then re-braids the wire as you would a grommet. Unfortunately, her day ended before I could take a picture.

Mike brought alot of hardware from Harrison Casting; you can see seven half-round angle irons on the gaff.

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We’ve started to file and shape these to take eye-spliced ends of the peak halyard span wires. Another picture shows the angle irons to hold eye-spliced loops of the forestay, upper main shrouds, preventers, and throat halyard. We’ve started to grind, file, and persuade these into shape. You can also see that work continues the spreader.

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Burr dropped off three new turnbuckles with incredible eyes. These and three other turnbuckles he delivered earlier have been shipped off to a local machining center to drill out slots typical of Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. turnbuckles. We can’t wait for this to be done so we can nickel plate them. They’re a critical path for rigging the bowsprit and mast!!!

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Bill also stopped by and brought another 12′ of sail track for the boom. This has been provided by our friends: the Wrights at AMA Engineering.

Our Roger Williams University intern Zach created our new “Wonderfully Modern Herreshoff Manufacturing Co.” exhibit from lecture material given earlier this year by the team.

And of course Zach and Sandy spent a lot of time sprucing up Building 28 for opening day on Sunday. RELIANCE is really looking great and we’re hoping our new exhibits will excite you as well.

Preparing for Opening Day, Part 2

Joe helped Tim put a final sanding on wooden Spars so Tim could varnish them in final display coats.
From left to right: topmast, spinnaker boom, bowsprit, #1 topsail club and yard, #2 topsail club and yard.

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The topmast is made of Sitka, but all the others are of Douglas fir; only the bowsprit is solid. The painted spars are the metal boom and mast.

Meanwhile, Sandy has been filing, polishing, and buffing the dozen thumb cleats to be fixed on the yards, clubs, and spinnaker boom. Also shown here are some steel shackles which are being polished before receiving nickel plating.

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Mike delivered the final batch of angle iron cheeks to our casting firm, but its small business owner is a brand new father and seems to have different priorities right now!! In the meantime, we’ll finish and fit the delivered cheeks. Metal work on the spreader continues, and Keith has been attaching lower shroud chainplates. He’ll then fit the spreader’s mast collar over this assembly so we can attach the spreader to the mast.

Lastly, Keith and Bill are also building a display stand for a small Herreshoff steam engine which will be part of a new museum display. We took a visit to the Museum archives to get its dimensions.

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Getting Ready for Opening Day

Burr just delivered the RELIANCE bell, complete with a clapper, with engraving done by a South Carolina engraver. You can see its size compared to a U.S. Quarter! We can’t wait to see the reaction of our riggers when we tell them one of them will need to braid the cotton lanyard…

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Joe brought back our wood hatches, companionway, and monitor with final finishing. They look great and bring the deck to life.

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We’ve also finally received the uniforms for our 52 crew members! They look exquisite; thank you very much, Denise.

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Laura rigged the topmast shrouds and backstay eyes, and even brought her sister and parents to see her handiwork. Great to see pride for all involved!

Bowsprit Cone and Spreader Updates

Mike has been making wax molds for the angle iron cheeks on the mast. Now, he’s also making a new and improved bowsprit cone.

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Meanwhile, Bill continues to work on the spreader. Keith used a mag drill to bore out the holes in the display base to which the keel blocks will be bolted.

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On a side note, Keith and Bill took some time off to respond to an SOS from volunteers making Herreshoff Museum’s new steam engine exhibit. It looks like we’ll be making some display stands. You all really need to see this exhibit!

Happy Easter from the RELIANCE Project!

Happy Easter to all those celebrating! We’ve got some updates that will hopefully make your holiday a bit brighter.

Steve spent a day making final arrangements on the boom; Herb is doing some micro-splicing on 1/16th-diameter wire for the boom footropes.

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Mike came to the shop with his wax mold-making kit, making wax molds of two of the mast angle iron checks (three more to go) and seven similar cheeks for the gaff.

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Spreader and Topmast Updates

Bill and Keith have been working on metal collars for the spreader.┬áThe inboard collar has been fastened to the mast and we’re fitting it to the wooden spreader as shown.

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We’ve also inserted our telescoping topmast to ensure that we understand how to fasten it in place. The topmast really changes our appreciation of the rig; we’re almost as long as Building 28 is wide, without even mounting the topsail yard! We may have to open a window…