We’ve had snowstorm after snowstorm up here in New England, which has cancelled a number of volunteer days; luckily, we did manage to sneak in a Saturday and Tuesday along with some home work. Burr delivered 27 sail hoops that will be nickel-plated along with a number of the fittings and castings we’ve recently received.
He also delivered the capstan winch located on the boom near the gooseneck. Interestingly, it is the same size as the deck capstans, but with a slightly different base to fit the circumference of the boom. We then tasked Burr to make a scale bowsprit retaining bar; it has to be made just like is was by the HM Co blacksmiths.
A few hours later, Burr returned with a model to check fit the piece. Now he’s off making the whole thing, which we’re excited to see!
Zach, our Roger Williams University intern, has helped out in preparing Mike’s bronze castings for plating. Zach’s also working on some exhibits for our opening day.
Lastly, the boom and gaff have received final painting and are awaiting their fittings.
We’ve had great crowds of visitors this Columbus Day weekend, despite the first cold and rainy spell of fall. Time to break out the winter gear for our shop!
Burr delivered the first of four finished deck capstans (photos 1 and 2); fine jewelry-like quality as always from him! One down and three to go! We are lucky to have him! He’s grumbling a little – the first one is always a fun challenge, but his creative, problem solving genius wanes a little with the subsequent carbon copies. No Burr Juniors to hand off to on this project! Wish we had an apprentice program to go along with this…
Did I really say “carbon copies” ??? Wonder what the age cut-off is to know what carbon copies are? Ah, mimeographs and the smell of mimeograph ink? Or white-out? Just another geezer criterion…
A visitor took these pictures of Reliance which I thought I’d pass along–thank you Mary F. (The real boom crotch looks much better than previous support). I’m in the background talking to a young Naval Academy Prep School student and his family. Had several NAPS families come through over the weekend. Great “kids!!” Also had several students and families with Webb Institute connections. Fun to talk boat anatomy with all.
Had a great session this week. Burr has been making four of the large capstans – three on deck and one for the boom. These are similar to the one on display in the museum store – which is of slightly later vintage, (photo 1). The winch barrels are jewel-like (photo 2) and we can’t wait to see the completed winches. Bill has been looking at the mast plans to see how the shroud eyes are kept in place. On wooden masts there would be cheeks – bulges in the mast on which the eye of the wire rope shroud (properly wormed, parceled and served) would rest. With a steel mast there’d be angle iron instead of cheeks. We’ve been wondering about the shape of these and along comes another RELIANCE serendipity moment as one of our guests, a retired Newport News employee, came to us wanting to understand how rivets in RAINBOW’S metal mast were bucked. We quickly showed him our RELIANCE mast construction and engaged him in a discussion of mast construction including our angle iron dilemma. He’s going to check RAINBOW drawings and Newport News archives… How cool is that! Our 1903 pre-commissioning crew arrived today and were waiting on deck for their allotment of RELIANCE uniforms. The deck of RELIANCE will soon be a busy place! (Photo 3) I mentioned in an earlier blog that we’d received 35 G.I. Joes from Hasbro and I want to heartedly thank them for their donation. As you can see and imagine when they are in proper uniform that they’ll be an awesome addition to the display. THANK YOU!! (photo 4)