Tag Archives: turnbuckles

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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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.

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

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.

New Contributions; an Early Christmas!

Bob Dollar of R&W Rope, New Bedford, Mass. has again contributed to the RELIANCE Project; this time, with various sizes of faux manila line (manila fibers do not scale down by 1/6th and thus would not look appropriate). Now all we have to figure out is how to translate 12, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 size line (as shown) into real world manila line dimensions. The size of manila line is measured in circumference, while wire rope and new synthetic fiber lines are measured in diameter.

1 Manila Line

We also just received our first lot of nickel-plated chain plates, staples, and turnbuckles from Tom Perkins of R.E. Sturdy Company in Providence. A number of RELIANCE fittings were nickel steel, but we are limited to casting and shaping brass or bronze. Our “Guy Upstairs” Dave Stewart of Systematics Inc. has been our intermediary for this project, so we do not know who to thank… it was all very hush, hush, so we’ll just thank them both!

2 plating

Burr has also given the RELIANCE Project an early Christmas present! Burr brought over four capstans, three of which go on deck and the fourth onto the boom. Our next step will be to fabricate the teak pads and then fix it in place. The barrels turn, so we’re a little weary of showing these to Mike–our caster–who are is a miniaturist and clock maker. He’ll probably want to make the internal gears and ratchets!

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Meanwhile, rigging continues to go well. We’ve been worming, parceling, and serving the galvanized wire every day; hopefully that will be all finished soon.

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