New Progress and New Gear

Bob Dollar of R&W Rope came to our shop to introduce us to the Liverpool Wire Splice. Books are helpful in the learning process, but something as complex as a Liverpool splice really needs a personal session to show the “art” in the task. Bob told “Bosun” Herb that he’ll need to practice, so as you can see him practicing this new craft below.

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Tools make all the difference, so Bob also brought us a splicing clamp which you can see here:

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Meanwhile, Bill has been working on our very complex spreader assembly. The inboard half of the Douglas Fir spreader is actually an I-beam and Bill is shown routing out the center section. He’s using our first non-laminated spreader as a router guide.

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PS: If anyone would be interested in learning how to splice, come visit us; you know where we are! If you wish to do some at-home research on it, Bob suggests going to thesquarerigger.com

More Christmas Spirit!

Never turn your back on our “morale officer”, Keith. He always has something up his sleeve; he probably lies awake at night thinking about puns, tricks, and displays. Last week, he took one of our GI Joes on liberty to Cape Cod, only to return with it donned in Santa garments. We’d like to thank Keith’s wife Mary Jo for making the Santa outfit.

Speaking of dressing: would anyone be willing to make an outfit for Mrs. Iselin? We have a description of her sailor’s dress.

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Meanwhile, we’ve reach another major milestone on the project. On Tuesday, we fitted the last of our deck fittings in place; our deck is essentially complete, we just some touch-up to go, which we’ll do as part of the final wrap-up. These topmast running backstay staples were some of the several items plated by R. E. Sturdy and Co. They’ve been glued, riveted, and bolted into place to ensure they can carry the load.

Now we’re working at fittings for the boom and mast, the first of which has been fitted to the boom and temporarily to our stump mast. We still have some work to do on the goose neck assembly.

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As many of you know, RELIANCE was launched 177 days from receipt of order and delivered to the Iselin syndicate 194 days after masting, rigging, and sail testing. So, we’re about 150 scale man-days complete!

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New “Bling” for the RELIANCE

Burr made and delivered teak pads and their accompanying capstans a few days ago. Zach the intern¬†admired them so much that we put him to manual labor; now, we’ve got the three capstans firmly in place!

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The fourth of the capstans, complete with a crank handle, will be mounted starboard side, on the forward end of the boom. Imagine that: a deck winch attached to a boom!

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Deck the Hulls!

After a much needed Thanksgiving break to regain energy, we’ve returned to the RELIANCE Project with some lively holiday spirit. We decked out the RELIANCE model by putting a pole star on the unfinished mast. It lights up the shop pretty nicely!

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New Contributions; an Early Christmas!

Bob Dollar of R&W Rope, New Bedford, Mass. has again contributed to the RELIANCE Project; this time, with various sizes of faux manila line (manila fibers do not scale down by 1/6th and thus would not look appropriate). Now all we have to figure out is how to translate 12, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 size line (as shown) into real world manila line dimensions. The size of manila line is measured in circumference, while wire rope and new synthetic fiber lines are measured in diameter.

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We also just received our first lot of nickel-plated chain plates, staples, and turnbuckles from Tom Perkins of R.E. Sturdy Company in Providence. A number of RELIANCE fittings were nickel steel, but we are limited to casting and shaping brass or bronze. Our “Guy Upstairs” Dave Stewart of Systematics Inc. has been our intermediary for this project, so we do not know who to thank… it was all very hush, hush, so we’ll just thank them both!

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Burr has also given the RELIANCE Project an early Christmas present! Burr brought over four capstans, three of which go on deck and the fourth onto the boom. Our next step will be to fabricate the teak pads and then fix it in place. The barrels turn, so we’re a little weary of showing these to Mike–our caster–who are is a miniaturist and clock maker. He’ll probably want to make the internal gears and ratchets!

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Meanwhile, rigging continues to go well. We’ve been worming, parceling, and serving the galvanized wire every day; hopefully that will be all finished soon.

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The Spreader

Bill is making a fixture to shape the spreaders. The spreaders are swept upward at 4.25 degrees on each side. However, we didn’t pick up on that when looking at the spreader diagram. There’s no statement anywhere of this fact, though the insert drawing of the spreader on the mast drawing does show the angle at the mast joint piece as well as on the truss drawing. Our approach will be to build the spreader up with laminates so it will hold the bend at the mast. Spreaders on each side are straight pieces. (You can see the shape of the spreader in an earlier blog.)

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Progress: Splicing, Traveler, and Rudder

Herb is continuing to develop wire splicing skills as well as passing his knowledge to the rest of the team. In the photo below, Steve is worming 1/4″ wire for the first of two bobstays. The original RELIANCE used 7 strand Roebling special plow steel wire.

In other news, Keith has finished fitting the traveler and is waiting for the paint to dry. In the meantime, he’s starting to shape the rudder, also seen below.

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