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.


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.


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.


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…


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


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


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.


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.


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.




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.



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…

Having Some Fun!

Keith has been worried that our main mast will fit; we’ve found out that we actually have a few inches to spare. It’s still not much…


Here we show Herb enjoying his craft, perhaps too much. A happy splicer is a happy rigger!


We have 48′ of brass deck railing to shape. Bill believes he can accomplish this using the table saw and has been busy trying out a number of creative jigs and fixtures.


Lastly, we have Keith making sure that the mast collar will fit over the mast truss chainplate.


Boom Fittings

We spent this last Saturday working on the dry fittings for the boom. After some diligent work that left our eyes sore, we managed to get some accurate measurements and center all the pieces fairly well.




In other news, here’s a nice image of how the spreader is looking right now on the mast.