Wednesday, September 4, 2013

USS Constitution - Admidship Rails

Amidship Rails Preparation

The admidship rails come in four pieces, two for each side of the deck (starboard and port), to be glued together into a single rail.

The molding quality of these pieces were very bad,

so I had to spend a lot of time cleaning them:

After painting the rails

... I had to glue them on the sides of the deck. The instructions from the vendor tell to glue the pairs together before assembling them on the deck, but I found it difficult, because of their shape. The two photos below shows the shape in section of each rail in the pair

Instead, I decided to glue them together directly in the holes on the deck. Now... that was challenging, because I had to find a way to make them stay in the proper position until the glue dries. So I had to improvise. For this, I put a screw held by a weight at each hole where the rail pillars will stick, to temporarily fix the pieces in the proper position. The advantage of the screws was they are made of metal, so the glue will not adhere to them easily.

Having the tools in place, I glued the rails and waited for the glue to dry

So the final result looked like this:

Rigging amidship rails

Rigging the admiship rails was a delicate operation. I had to knot the thread on the first rail pillar, then loop it around each of the remaining pillars, adding a final knot on the other side of the rail.

I started with the inside rail first, to have more space for handling the tweezers. Basically I made the knot, then the loops, and set the weight at the other end of the thread, without making the final knot. This allowed me to keep the tension in the thread while I was arranging and leveling the loops.

Initial loops (no tension):

Tensioning the thread:

Leveling the loops and knots horizontally:

With thread tensioned, loops and knots leveled, I added a drop of glue to each loop or knot, to secure them

Without ending the first rigging line, I started to rig the second rail, on the exterior side, applying the same procedure (loops, tension, level, glue):

After the glue dried, I set the final knots for both threads, glued them, waiting to dry, and then trimming the excess. The final result:

Second set of threads for the same pair of rails were solved in the same way, with more trouble on handling the tweezers, due to the first rig already in place:

... and the intermediate result:

The amidship rails rigging on the other side were done in the same way. Next post will continue with the rest of the rails and the pictures with finalized rails.

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