31 july 2021
The "Forecastle" is just about finished. I will only put the decorative strips on it once the "Quarter Deck" is finished. The planks on the front of the ship run through to this deck. Due to busy renovations in our house and the hot weather I have not really been able to continue building. The time that remained I have spent on checking the "Upper Deck". There are always some points that remain and I have now checked them.
The furnishing of the Upper Deck is now as good as finished. I only have to place the railings for the main staircase. These run from the 'Quarter Deck' down to the ground. So I am going to start with the preparations for the 'Quarter Deck'. This means replacing drawings, sorting out wood, working out parts like the rudder, the 'Belfry', 'Binacle', etc. In addition, there will be an additional 'Carronade Gun' on the deck.
As for myself, I have now had the simple decks and with the last 2 decks, the 'Quarter and the Poop deck', we are really going to finish Vic on the top side and I can also start focusing directly on the hull.
7 june 2021
I have had quite a bit of building to do and by now all the 'Guns' are in place on the "Upper Deck", the hatch controls are in place and all the deck beams of the "Quarter Deck" are in place. All the lanterns, 8 of them, are hanging from the deck beams and the electrical wires have been concealed.
The "Bitts" around the forward mast, like the ones around the main mast, I milled out of ebony. The disks are in place and can rotate. At the same time, I immediately inserted the disks into the frames of "The Forecastle". The wood on the outside of "The Forecastle" is painted blue where the trim is a yellow/gold color. As you know I don't use paint and I bring in the colors by using different types of wood. Now you can color oak blue by treating it with tannic acid, however this does not achieve the deep blue color needed.
During a construction meeting with the "Lady of the house", who by the way is very involved with the colors, we decided to make the "Forecastle" entirely out of ebony. The yellow/gold decorative strips are the most beautiful contrast to it.
7 may 2021
Over the past few weeks I have arrived at the deck beams in which the "Main Companionway" is to be fitted. Others also call this the main stairway that leads from the Quarter Deck to the Upper Deck. In contrast to the other stairs, this one has fixed handrails and quite a few details. I decided to build this one in Ebony. I have already built the handrails that will come on the Quarterdeck, but haven't attached them yet. I want to prevent them from breaking when I put the deck planks on the Quarterdeck.
Next are the deckbeams around the mainmast and the 'Jeer Bitts' and 'Top Sail sheet Bitts' that need to be attached to the deckbeams. Now you can look down around the main mast later and the deck construction remains visible. This is also the case with the "Boom Deck". Since this structure is black in real life, I decided to make this deck structure and deck beams out of Ebony. Gluing the Ebony is quite a challenge. Partly because the glue seams do tend to come loose when tension is applied. Eventually I found a good glue and put in extra pins to secure everything in place.
Ebony does need an extra treatment after milling and sanding to ensure it retains its black color. Once a section is finished, I immediately put it in the Tung oil. The wood will then continue to shine for a few days, but will naturally turn a dull dark black.
If you look closely, you can see the "Elm Pump" between the Bitts. This runs all the way through all the decks to the hull down in the hold. In the next few weeks, the final deck beams of the "Boom Deck" will be installed and I will be focusing on the chimney of "The Broddie Stove" and the "Bitts" that are at the foremast. In short, we still have some work to do
After the production of the Guns, I started again with the further fitting out of "The Upper Deck" and the placing of the deck beams of "The Quarter Deck". The deck construction consists of mostly lighter deck beams with a few connections between the deck beams here and there. This does make curving these deck beams a little more exciting.
I place the deck beams, once they are ready, in my bending mold for a few days and bend them almost 2 inches. After a few days, they have taken on the curve and I keep it in by tightening them under pressure. While securing the deck beams, I place a beam in the middle under the deck beam to keep it in the right shape.
In the meantime, I also installed the electrical cables for the lighting and pulled them through to "The Poop Deck".As a final component in the lighting plan, I want to be able to light the 3 lantern on the rear view mirror as well.
31 january 2021
Not all of the "Gunholes" of the "Upper Deck" are equipped with hatches. Of the 15, 8 remain open. I finished the inside of these hatches with Ebony and the other 7 are finished and fitted with hatches just like the 'Gunholes' of the other decks.
Now the lower of the 3 trim lines runs exactly across the row of gunholes and I immediately applied that as well. I deliberately made it a little more difficult for myself to choose to replicate the profile as much as possible. So I bought some extra cutters like Ball Nose- and Round-off cutters. You can get these in a lot of small sizes nowadays. This means that you have to treat each piece of trim 8 times with a different cutter on the milling machine. This took me almost two full days of work, but I am very pleased with the result.
In the meantime, the stairs to the "Middle Deck" have been installed and I have also finished the bench and the inside of the "Stern". So the next work on this deck involves fitting the "Guns" and fitting the deck structure of the "Quarter Deck".
So this means I have to start making the "Guns" first. Now the carriages for the 32 & 24 Pound Guns are the same, however for the 12 Pound Guns it is smaller. On the "Upper Deck" there are 30 pieces of 12 Pound Gun Long. On the "Quarter Deck there are 12 pieces 12 Pound Gun Short and on "The Fore Castle there are 2 pieces 12 Pound Gun Medium.The rolling horses for these 3 different type of Guns are all the same. So I decided to make all the necessary Guns at once, including the extra Guns that I put in a small display case. So the production involves 25 pieces of carriagges, 17 Guns Long, 8 Guns Short and 3 Guns medium.
I will make a separate blog for the production of these 12 Pound Guns and report back here once all Guns are ready.
15 january 2021
Before I could start furnishing the "Upper Deck" I first stocked up on new wood. The wood on the "Upper Deck" is all a bit less thick and also the deck construction of the "Quarter Deck" is a lot lighter and simpler. This does mean another method of getting the deck beams into a curve. I bought special wood glue for that and it holds up well to water and heat. So the deck beams I steam as soon as they are assembled to get the right curve.
After all the grating beams were in place it was time to plank the deck. We made a conscious decision not to plank the "Upper Deck" all the way to the middle. Too much view downwards would then disappear and since this deck will mainly only house "Guns", planking up to the grating beams is sufficient.
After laying the deck planks, the hull planking was applied. Then the black and white tiles in the "Admiral's Day Cabin" and "Dining Cabin" were applied. Normally these areas are cordoned off with removable walls and these were removed for combat so the "Guns" could be set up in combat position. I am building Vic in a combat position so therefore these walls are left out.
Today I turned Vic over and the "Gunholes" were sized. Not all of the "Gunholes" on the "Upper Deck" are fitted with hatches. These are only 7 and so the rest remain open. All in all, I was able to make a nice production in the last few weeks and am even slightly ahead of schedule.
In the coming weeks, the "Gunholes" will be finished and where necessary, hatches will be added. Then the stairs will be placed, etc. In the meantime I will also do the preparations for the 15 "12 pound Guns Long" that will be placed on this deck. So things are progressing nicely, but there is still a lot to do.