It's off to school we go
we learn some junk and
then we flunk
Oh boy, it seems that I've been all over the place, doing a little of this, a little of that. The biggest accomplishment has been getting the jeer block strop lashings completed on the foremast. It took about 2 weeks to get it done, only because every time I turned a corner on the futtock, I usually waited for the glue to cure at least overnight. It would have been very helpful if Heller had put little or hooks or something on the futtock, to hold the lashing in place (it would have been helpful if Heller had done a better job on the instructions, but I digress). One reason I'm doing the work I'm doing right now, is because a lot of this stuff is best done "off-model", and a also because the fore and main stays wrap around the mast top, on top of all this other stuff that's happening. Here's a picture of all the things happening there:
As you can see, the jeer strops are sort of "underneath" the stays, as well as some other rigging. In the above picture, I outline the strop lashings in red and green (red to port, green to starboard. Get it? Of course you do). The jeer block strops are outlined in yellow, and the stay is outlined in pink. One interesting thing, and I mentioned this when I was assembling the mizzen mast, are what to do with the rings that are on the back side of the top. In the picture, you'll noticed that they're not really rigged to anything; in Heller's instructions, it shows a double set of blocks are attached to each ring. I only one set of the double set of blocks being used in the instructions, and it's a bit dodgy as to what all the connect to...it just reinforces my decision not to use the rings for anything (well, at least, at this time).
So here's some close-ups of the jeer block strop lashings - when I first started this process, I tied the holding knot on the high side of the...the thing on the side of the futtock:
Doing this, I had to make each loop around the futtock lower than the one before. Here's another picture, with just the starboard lashings started:
Now, on the port side, I started the lashing's knot at the bottom, and worked my way up. This seemed to work a little bit better...until got the 7th turn done, and found myself with not enough thread to finish the knot. Fortunately, I had left a lot of excess from the initial knot, and as I made each turn, I pulled that excess up through the turns. Therefore, I had enough thread to wrap around the thingy on the side of the futtock, and get it all cemented in place:
This next picture shows the black thread that will become the strop - even though there is some slack underneath the lashings, I figured it would be easier to have the thread in place before I started the lashings. And because the thread is black, I put some paper underneath it, just to give it some contrast.
I've noticed in the various drawings I've looked at, that there are 7 turns of the lashings for each strop. So I tried to replicate that here. Unfortunately, as you can see, some of the turns of the thread overlapped, or a gap was in between turns:
So here's a couple of views with the lashing completed, the mast top just put in place, and a jeer block that is somewhat attached.
Here again is a similar view, it's just taken from a slightly lower angle. And again, I haven't cut the whole thing loose from the shroud-making frame, so that's the black finger-like projections that are in the center right of the picture.
Now, for the jeer block, especially that one that is taped in place in the pix, I wanted to use the strop, and run it completely around the block, then lash the bitter end to the standing end. However, it looks like, on this particular strop, I'm a bit short in length (I'm guessing as to its length; the other side is longer). So I was huffin' & puffin' on the treadmill, and I came up with the answer: use a separate thread to tie around the block, put a loop at one end of the block (that will become the upper end, in this case), and then slide the strop through the loop, and lash the strop back unto itself. Sheer brilliance! I can't wait to make that happen.
In other news, I had previously assembled the blocks to the lower mizzen yard. In determining which direction the blocks should face, I found that two of them face forward (towards the mainmast)...I don't have my notes with me, so I can't tell you what threads they are. However, at the end of the thread in the instructions, there's a little box, that indicates I should go to instruction (I think it's 29 and 24) to find more details about the placement of the thread. Well, 29 is instructions on rigging the sails & such, and didn't show me anything. I went to instruction 24, and after about 10 minutes (seriously!) I found that the start point for those particular threads are on the mainmast - which then go back to the mizzen yard block, back to blocks on the mainmast, and then down to their belaying point. While checking on those details, I saw also that Heller indicates a couple of other sets of blocks get tied to the mainmast, for other rigging. Buuuuuuuuut, in the instructions for rigging the sails on the mainmast, the drawing shows the other sets of blocks get attached to the shrouds. I checked my 2 reference books, and neither one really indicates if those blocks are attached to the mast, or to the shrouds. Decisions, decisions!!
So, I hope to post some more tidbits soon (but I doubt it - I'll be working on those strop lashings on the main mast, so it'll be a while before I post again, I guess). One thing I have done recently, though, is to cut out a small portion of the main yard, so that it fits against the mainmast with more surface area.
So, peace, love, and understanding, and thanks for reading!!