Tag Archives: plating

Thank You, RE Sturdy

Over the past several years, you have seen on our blog site the wonderful nickel plated parts we’ve received from RE Sturdy Company. This week we received our last shipment of plated parts from RE Sturdy Company along with a note that this 158-year-old family-owned business was closing.

We are humbled and honored to think that as they were struggling with NAFTA and free trade competition, and burdensome, inequitable regulations, taxes, fees, permits, and licenses, they would support our project.  We thank the Perkins family for their generous support, and wish them well in their new endeavors.

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Solving Another Problem

RE Sturdy has once again done an awesome job of nickel plating our bronze pieces to look like real nickel steel. Here is the last batch of shackles as well as the rings to attach the staysail and jib topsail to their stays (Mike is currently fabricating the jib hanks).

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Bern installed the topmast heel rope sheave and topmast fid and slot. As you may remember, the topmast is sleeved into the mainmast.

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These efforts have revealed another Reliance conundrum. The hole in the upper and lower sleeves holding the topmast in place are 13.25″ in diameter, and the topmast is 13″ in diameter. The heal rope is .375″ diameter wire, so how could the topmast telescope into the mast? There isn’t enough clearance and there are no slots or holes noted in the drawings for the wire…

Bern has also been working on Columbia’s 1899 topmast and we’ve obtained detailed drawings of the cap and truck. Lo and behold, our Reliance topmast drawing refers to this drawing….so now we can complete this task as well.

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Finishing Off the Deck Edge

Denise delivered the third mate’s jersey, complete with all the details: hand embroidery of RELIANCE NYYC, ribbing at the collar, and ribbing at each sleeve end. Thank you very much!

1 third Mate

Meanwhile, Bill, Herb, and Sandy have dry fit one of the deck edge toe rails into place so we can perfect our plans to complete attachment.

2 deck edge dry fit

This toe rail assembly was actually an extension of the shell plating at roughly deck level to hold an angle iron piece with bull nose at the top. At the bow of the real RELIANCE, the nickel steel shell plate was 5/40″ thick, which lead to another of our “moments.” In our scale, that is 1/48″ thick!

3 detail of shell plate

Our RELIANCE model–with its deck the length of a J-24–had only 21 web-frames to which tobin bronze and nickel steel plates from about 1/48″ to about 5/128″ thick were attached. Imagine sailing your J-24 with that hull!

The toe rail really finishes off the deck, as you can see here:

4 deck view

(The bottom of the angle iron had been laid earlier as can be seen in the foreground)

Deck Edge Update, Shipments, and Spreader Progress

Work continues on the deck edge toe rails. One is complete and the second one is going into the jig for some final-finish work.

1 deck edges

We received a large shipment of nickel plating from R.E. Sturdy, our third such shipment from them. Again, we give them our most sincere thanks and praise for donating to our team’s success.

2 received new ni plating

Also received in that shipment were plated topmast shroud turnbuckles and mast hoops; thank you Tom and Dorothy!

3. And mast hoops and topmast shroud turnbuckles

Keith continues to make amazing progress on the spreader and now it is on to the truss!

4. Spreader progresses

Finally, we moved our benches to align the mast, topmast, and topsail yard so initial work on rigging can be done. This will also enable us to complete our topmast with sheaves and cone parts.

5. Alignment

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.

Ever Closer to the Finish Line

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.

1 Sail Hoops2 Sail Hoops

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.

4 Original  Bowsprit Retaining Bar3 Boom capstan

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!

6 Bowsprit Retaining Bar

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.

7 Zach prepares fittings for plating

Lastly, the boom and gaff have received final painting and are awaiting their fittings.

9 Final painting of metal spars