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September 2021 Volume 11 number 9


News, Tips and Happenings
Hard to believe that is is September already. This summer up here saw the hottest June ever recorded in Bangor, and one of the wettest Julys as well. In a little over 2 weeks we will have our first rigging class since May of 2019.
Model Ship World is an on-line forum of over 39,000 ship modelers. Topics range from kits to scratch builds, in-process continuing stories, tips, manufacturer information, technical topics. Too many to list here. Go take a look!

Nautical terms and origins
Battens - 1) Flat bars secured along hatch coamings to hold tarpaulins in place. 2) Shaped boards or strips of plastic used to improve the set of fore-and-aft sails. The word comes to us from Old French, baston, strip or stick of wood. (I must add that in my mind, it is also the wooden slats used on shrouds instead of ratlines)

Engine - Is an older word than we normally think of it. Before the coming of stream and other power, it meant any mechanical device, usually complicated, to achieve a physical function. The word comes from the Latin ingenium, meaning natural capacity.

Raddle - Small stuff or yarn woven or sewed into gaskets, gripes, or mats, either for added strength or as protection from chafe. Its origin is obscure, possibly Anglo-French.

Slack - Loose, relaxed or free. This term comes via Middle English from Anglo-Saxon and Old English, slack and sleak respectively, both meaning loose.

Information is from the book "Origins of Sea Terms" by John G. Rogers
copyright 1985 Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc. and available from BlueJacket. 
Model of the Month - 2 Tugboats
 These models are by Mike W. of MA. He says:

"Hello Nic,

Here are a couple photos. They are scratch built, scale 1/8”=1’, each 8” long. Hope you like them.  I scaled down plans from Gene Johnson's book "Ship Model Building" which I think is still the best reference book for scratch building.
Stay warm,
Real Boat Names
Let's see YOUR workbench
This is from MIke G. of VA who says:

Here’s the models I finished this last year.
Yankee hero, monitor, and the Virginia.
Also a pic of my work bench with a partially completed Revenue Cutter."
What's on the workbench?
Nic's bench -In addition to working on the lobster boat, I am re-rigging a model of the Puritan.
Al's bench - Al's doing an upgrade of an older design Coastal Schooner, HO scale and waterline. What you see here is a single resin casting.
Something Fun

A man with a nagging secret couldn't keep it any longer. In the confessional, he admitted that for years he had been stealing building supplies from the lumberyard where he worked.

"What did you take?" the priest asked. "Enough to build my own house and enough for my son's house. And houses for our two daughters and our cottage at the lake."

"This is very serious," the priest said. "I shall have to think of a far-reaching penance. Have you ever done a retreat?"

"No father, I haven't," the man replied. "But if you can get the plans, I can get the lumber."
Tip of the Month - 20 Shipbuilding Tips
This comes from Joe K of MI who was kind enough to email me.

1- Use adhesives very sparingly.
2- Be gentle using sandpaper and check work often
3- Blade use:
Cut away from fingers
Use the least amount of force to cut/carve
Always think ahead with blade use
Never let blood drip on your work
(my addition - change blades when they start to feel the least bit dull)
4- Use eye protection if at all in doubt of injury
5- Have good ventilation especially for cyanoacrylate (Krazy) glue, paint, and methelene chloride
6- If you drop a very small part on the floor, choose to search or build another
7- Slow down body, hand, and finger motion at all times; raise hands from work vertically
8- Work slowly, time must slow down
9- Measure, measure, measure, only then cut
10- Practice using materials and instruments on scrap, then apply that skill unique to the work
11- Each sub-assembly is a project in itself
12- Maintain a peaceful mindset during construction
13- Do not over scale pieces. If in doubt, make a smaller part. Too big is too clunky looking
14- Select, set up, and put back instruments for each task
15- Drill bits are fragile. Use gently and perpendicular to the line of entry
16- Cast metal fittings are okay, sometimes the best choice. Want crisper pieces? Scratch build your own
17- Take many breaks-back and eyestrain are lurking in your body and especially fingers
18- A baseboard and acrylic cabinet are essential. Dust corupteth and destroyeth fine work
19- Think this way. If the finished work draws viewers into the detail, then again, then again, you done good!
20- If you swear, think of it as a kind of shoot yourself in the foot prayer, gather patience, and then go back to the work. (my addition - or it's time to take a break, see #17)
Blatant Publicity
A Final Thought...
This past month I was blessed with visits from several friends. We all have different kinds of friends, and these visits made me aware of the differences. Most notably, I have had two "instant" friends in my life. You know, that person whom you meet and immediately form a bond with?

35 years ago was the first time it happened to me. I was in the LA basin, and had a dinner meeting with Brian F., a prospective sales rep. We discovered so many similarities between us. Of course we signed an agreement, and ended up working across 3 different companies together. Some made business sense, and the last was just because of friendship.

The other instant friend is Bill T., who attended the rigging class in 2018. Our personalities just "clicked."

So a few weeks ago, Brian had to go to NH for his Aunt's funeral, and of course had to do the 4-hr drive to visit me. He brought his brother, his cousin, and the 3 wives. I decided to host a Sunday brunch here at Bluejacket, and also invited Bill T. who I knew would get along well. Seems both Brian and Bill are Corvette owners and indeed had a good time.

Although not "instant," but soon, is my friend Ken C. We met each other through work in 1979. Actually, we've been through 4 companies together in one way or another. Oh, did I mention I introduced him to his current wife? Ken does all BlueJacket's graphics, advertising, and helps me with word composition as well.

My last friend story was a total shock to me. A couple of weeks age, a guy walked through the shop door, looked at me and said "are you Nic Damuck, THE Nic Damuck?" I answered "yes" somewhat hesitantly. He said "I'm Roger L." You could have dropped me on the floor. I haven't seen Roger for 50 years, back when we were Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity brothers and Engineering Physics majors. Seems Roger has taken up modeling, and gets my newsletter. He and his wife were spending a month or so cruising up the Maine coast, and made it a point to stop by to say "hi." Notably, Roger was a crew member of the Intrepid for the 1970 America's Cup race.

Not to slight my many other friends, but I thought these stories to be noteworthy.

Cherish all your friends.
Nic Damuck
BlueJacket Shipcrafters, Inc.