Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Beginning rope-work

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I needed to take a little break from work on the hull and began fiddling with some of the other small parts. This past week, I decided to get moving on making the rig. I originally thought I would use yacht braid for the working lines and stainless wire for the standing lines. But the more I think about it, the more it seems like a traditional gaff rig should would probably look strange with anything other than traditional 3-strand.

Scrounging around online, I came up with a few bargain suppliers of rope and got myself three kinds: 1/4" amsteel for standing lines, and 1/4" and 3/8" vintage 3-strand for running lines. For the uninitiated, amsteel is a trade brand for high-modulus polyethylene rope (HMPE). The claim is that this rope is, diameter-for-diameter, stronger than steel, weighs less, is UV-stable, floats, and has very low stretch. Sounds perfect for standing rigging. The New England vintage 3-strand looks and feels like first-class manila rope, but has superior strength, lower stretch, and high durability when exposed to the elements. It has the added advantage of looking right on a traditionally rigged vessel.

Spools of line in hand, I return to the internet to find articles and you-tube videos about splicing different kinds of lines. Also, two books from Amazon are useful for the novice: Brion Toss' Rigger's Apprentice, and Barbara Merry's The Splicing Handbook.

Here are the fruits of my early labors:

Not the best picture in the world, but here's my bobstay. Two closed turnbuckles joined by a length of double eye-spliced amsteel with stainless thimbles. I think I might go back and re-do this with only one turnbuckle, although 2 gives me more adjustability...

Detail of the turnbuckle attachment to the bowsprit.
Here's the main-mast with side stays and the furled jib/forestay assembly. Side stays are am steel with a closed turnbuckle attached to the chainplates on the deck. At the hounds, I used a pair of stainless tangs. Again, thimbled eye-splices on both ends of the rope. You're probably wondering, what's going on with that deck coaming?? That's where I abandoned my hull work a couple of weeks ago. I'll get back to it soon...
Here's detail of the turnbuckle for the side stay.

Here's detail of the eye splice. I used waxed polyester twine to whip/serve the standing line. Probably overkill (like most of my work!) but it looks nice.
Here's my first attempt at an eye-splice (with thimble) on the vintage 3-strand. Everyone says 3-strand is the easiest rope to splice. I have found it to be the most difficult so far. The amsteel in the photos above is hollow 12-strand, and is by far much simpler to splice. For the rope geeks among you, I know -- I should have 4 turns of tucks at least. Here I only have 3. Cut me a break, it's my practice piece. :)
Last but not least, I knocked out a few more wooden cleats. These are smaller (4"), and I will use them on the boom as terminals for reefing and mainsail clew, as well as on the mizzen for the halyard, spotter, and sheet.

These have only been roughed out. Quarter shown for scale. I made these out of a piece of Lignum Vitae that I found. They'll be perfect for tying off 1/4" lines. By the way, I LOVE the smell of LV. It reminds me of lemon wood for some reason.

1 comment:

  1. Great wok John just read it all from start to finish, can't wait to see puffin on the water now. Bring on Spring.