Tag Archives: spreader

Prepping for Paint and Sails

The crew has been working diligently so that the RELIANCE model can be finished for the museum’s opening this coming spring.

We have put hanks onto the rigging for both the jib top sail and the stay sail; these pieces will be used to sew the sails directly into the rigging.

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Meanwhile, Laura is working hard to finalize the overall rigging within the mast system.

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While this has been going on, the struggle to perfectly fair the hull and keel has continued. Sandy spent a good portion of time on this duty, while Zach sanded the rudder down so that it would form well into place. He managed to take a short enough break to get a quick photoshoot!

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Topmast, Spreader, and Rudder Updates

We’ve now got the topmast lodged onto the rest of the mast’s body, with Herb working on some rigging details. While slaving away in his lonely corner of Building 28, Herb noticed an error on the spreader’s rigging: one of the wires was too short. Fortunately, he was swift to correct the wiring, and has since progressed on the spreader/mast system.

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Keith is beginning the process of attaching the rudder to the model. He’s screwed a long metal piece–a set of gudgeons–to the back of the keel; the rudder will be pinned to this piece by a series of pintles.

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An interesting fact we discovered is that the RELIANCE’s rudder was actually held up by a bearing attached to the lower part of the ship’s hull. Still figuring out how we’re going to work that into the design.

Meanwhile, Steve is working on setting up turnbuckles to be plugged and added to the overall structure.

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Truss and Rigging Progress

Keith has been completing the truss and it is now mounted onto the mast.

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Laura has now started to fabricate and attach the truss and spreader guys.

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Meanwhile, Laura and Herb have been studying photos of the Reliance bowsprit and are now completing all the little bowsprit details.

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They have also completed the upper ends of the standing rigging and, as shown, have them tarred, varnished, and ready to go. We’re just a week or two away until the mast can be hoisted upright in our mast jig and the standing rigging can be completed at deck level.

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We thought we could find tasks for Steve that would not involve power tools, but Sandy caught the ever creative Steve with a Dremel tool in his back pocket… we’re just trying to excite his inner crafts person, but the power tool guy always comes to the surface…

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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

Boom and Spreader Progress

Sven has been working on the boom…

3 Sven working on boom

…and Keith has been seizing the spreader chain plates with wire, just as it was shown in our drawings.

4 Keith seizes Spreader with wire

It still seems incredible that there was only one set of spreaders on this ~190′ tall rig; 34 feet tip to tip of 3-inch thick Douglas fir. Here’s some spreader progress:

5. Wire Seizing close up

6 Spreader in progress

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.