Tag Archives: blocks

Museum Opening Day

The build up and preparation for Herreshoff’s opening day has been a bumpy road, but when we finally made it, we couldn’t have asked for a more successful and rewarding weekend.

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Thanks to the crew who had been working diligently to make this day a reality! Available for some photos (from left to right) were: Don Berret, Sandy Lee, Tim Horton, Joe Uzzo, Herb Luther, Bern Altman, and Laura Thompson.20160501_114217

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A Long Line of Blocks

We have 146 blocks to make of all sizes- 14″ to 4″ original sizes, from single to quadruple blocks, beckets to fiddles, and those with shackles, open hooks, and Coleman hooks.
Here’s the latest handmade batch of 37 blocks being varnished. Only 16 more to start and then we’ll have a full set to rig!
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Touch Ups and Steam Progress

Joan Perkins of Padanaram Sign Shop & Boat Lettering has given our model life; having a name on the stern makes RELIANCE feel all the more real. It seems to be one more indication that we’re approaching the goal line. Joan came to us highly recommended by neighbor Dan Shea, and she’s everything he said and more. So many of our local business “volunteers” are the best in the game! Thank you, Joan!

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We’ve finished up a large majority of the blocks, so we’ve got Bern constructing stairs for our RELIANCE Display.

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Joe is touching up the deck; after all this time working, plenty of dust and assorted undesirables ended up topside.

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Meanwhile, Don has been working on the new steam exhibit as well as providing the RELIANCE project with an extra steady pair of hands, as required. The boiler, fire box, and ash pan will complement the stem engine he has restored.

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Winter Progress

Work has been progressing over this early winter on all the details of the rigging; the blocks, splicing, and making up the shackles are all getting done. We recently dry-fitted the main sheet system. You can see Herb in the background making a micro-splice. Poor guy!

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The Saturday crew has been working with extra gusto!
Laura completed all splices for the two topmast backstay runners and started the wire-manila peak halyard tail splice. Joe has been repainting the deck which, over the past two years in the shed, has become shop worn; Bern has been helping with making blocks.

Meanwhile, Burr delivered his latest masterpiece: the topmast cone assembly. You may remember that last fall, Bill fashioned the lignum vitae truck, and several years ago, Mike cast a topmast cone. Well, Burr took those pieces, machined the cone, then made the topsail halyard sheave and metal housing, and assembled everything together. We couldn’t even find the housing solder joint. So awesome!

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Did we mention that the average age of these guys exceeds 80?!

Back on Track

We’ve missed a couple of blog posts because we’ve been deep into detail work, which doesn’t seem to lend itself to blog creativity!

We’ve made a miniature exhibit of our winter lecture series presentation: “Wonderfully Modern Herreshoff Manufacturing Company”, which you can see in our shop if you come by for a visit.

Steve has been finishing the metal angle iron cheeks on the mast; these hold four upper main shrouds, forestay, two preventer stays (main running back stays), and the throat halyard strap.

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Meanwhile. Keith has been working on the spreader, and you can see the start of Bill’s jig to make the deck-edge toe rails in the background; Sandy has also been filing, grinding, and polishing more than 150 shackles. You see these in rough form (dark bronze), polished state (bright brass), and finished nickel-plated product in the bins. Hooks are next, and then the dreaded 140 ash blocks from scratch.

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Steve is also starting to work on the final tap and die work for all the turnbuckles.

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Laura has been making grommets which turn into balloon jib straps, jib tack straps, jib pennants, spinnaker straps, and a throat halyard strap.

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Lastly, Herb has become Bosun Splicer. Here’s his stock hanging on the rack awaiting finishing.

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Blocks and Sheaves

Joe has been scheming to mass produce our 140 blocks (complete with 240 sheaves) of various sizes. Below, we have a 12″ single block–2″ in our scale–and a sheave. The side view shows the concave hollow for the wire at the top and convex stripper shape at the bottom to stop the wire from going around the sheave twice. The hardest part of this process will probably be forming straps to fit thimbles, straps, and shackles.

6. 12 inch Preventer Stay blocks7. Side view