Tag Archives: splicing

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?!

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The Crew At Work

Keith works on the rudder between all the other tasks we give him. He likes engineering problems and more often than not come up with simple, innovative solutions. He has a Notre Dame engineering degree and Michigan advanced degree, so he’s a conflicted soul. Here it looks like he is invoking a higher spirit into a solution.

1 Keith's rudder

Steve is our amateur Astronomer, so we give him work on our mast so he can get closer to the stars.

2 Steve works on mast

Tim is a psychologist so we gave him 450 screws to set the boom sail track in place; it’s finicky work that requires precision. We try to play with his mind every once in awhile because we’re worried that in the background he’s writing a “tell all” book about the RELIANCE inmates. In this picture, he has about 150 screws in place – only 300 more, Tim! In the background, Herb is proving his wire to manila splicing technique.

3 Tim works on the boom

Meanwhile, Laura works on bowsprit rigging. The bobstays are tensioned by tightening the bowsprit retaining bar; there are no turnbuckles on the bobstays.

4 Laura splicing bowsprit rigging

5 Laura's Bobstays

Ken from Hall Spars dropped by on his evening constitutional and we talked about how boats today tension their shrouds with hydraulic mast rams since the turnbuckles are too short to perform this function. He also noted that on large racers rigging eyes are replacing tangs.

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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Busy Opening Weekend

It’s been a very busy weekend…

Saturday was a whirlwind. Laura was splicing halyard pennants; these are wires spliced into a circle in an endless loop. She unravels a piece of wire 7x the length of the loop, then re-braids the wire as you would a grommet. Unfortunately, her day ended before I could take a picture.

Mike brought alot of hardware from Harrison Casting; you can see seven half-round angle irons on the gaff.

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We’ve started to file and shape these to take eye-spliced ends of the peak halyard span wires. Another picture shows the angle irons to hold eye-spliced loops of the forestay, upper main shrouds, preventers, and throat halyard. We’ve started to grind, file, and persuade these into shape. You can also see that work continues the spreader.

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Burr dropped off three new turnbuckles with incredible eyes. These and three other turnbuckles he delivered earlier have been shipped off to a local machining center to drill out slots typical of Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. turnbuckles. We can’t wait for this to be done so we can nickel plate them. They’re a critical path for rigging the bowsprit and mast!!!

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Bill also stopped by and brought another 12′ of sail track for the boom. This has been provided by our friends: the Wrights at AMA Engineering.

Our Roger Williams University intern Zach created our new “Wonderfully Modern Herreshoff Manufacturing Co.” exhibit from lecture material given earlier this year by the team.

And of course Zach and Sandy spent a lot of time sprucing up Building 28 for opening day on Sunday. RELIANCE is really looking great and we’re hoping our new exhibits will excite you as well.

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.

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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.

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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…

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

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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.

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

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Another Weekend in the Books

Keith put final touches on our spreaders; it really changes the whole boat! We can but imagine how large these were in real life.

bowsprit

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Tim and Keith worked on tapping holes for eyes to go on the mast and we’ve screwed them in place temporarily to get everything aligned.

mast eyes

Soon we’ll remove them and send them to a nickel plating company along with some other fittings. Tim also finished up some leftover woodworking tasks while I was grinding and polishing new boom fittings that Mike delivered from our casting company.

Meanwhile, Laura, our rigger, has been doing a great job wire splicing as per usual, and even showed us how to make some tacks from wire grommets!