Shipbuilder - Help!

Doctor Robert
28th October 2008, 12:34
Dear Bob, I’ve always found rigging hard to master and I’d value your help on rigging at 32:1”. I’ve followed your very interesting discussions with Stein on methods, but may I pick your brain for yet more detail - on sizes? I went to - enamelled copper wire, but which gauge stock is best to buy for running rigging?
Presumably you go for ‘Standard’ and what - 0.3mm gauge? Then you say ‘tinned copper wire’ for shrouds but this only seems available in 26swg Is this the stuff?

I would think for masts, that brass tube for lower masts would be about 20swg? (at 32:1") But which gauges of copper rod for topmasts and then silver steel for t’gant masts. But have you any tips on where to buy them?? I’ve tried all the jewellers’ suppliers cats without success.

On contact adhesive, presumably you’ve found Bondloc is superior to ordinary
Evo-stik - I guess it’s thinner?


28th October 2008, 13:47
Hi Alan,
I just looked at the Wires website & it is rather hard to follow now, but everything is still there if you look long enough.

I use 38 swg tinned copper for the ratlines. It has to be tinned in order to solder it. They do have tinne 38swg on the site, but for some peculiar reason, they have stopped using SWG, but now use either mm or inches. 38 swg is 0.152 mm. The do have a conversion table at the bottom lef of their index though.

For running rigging I always used black enamelled 0.1mm. Eventually, I found it & here is link

For standing rigging, various guages of enamelled, 32, 34, 35 swg etc.

Bondloc is ideal. Evostik is useless for rigging as it is too stringy.

The brass rod & tube I get from a model shop. Copper rod I make myself. Put one end of piece of copper wire in a vice & take hold of other end with large pliuers & give a firm "heave" on it. It stertches slightly & the "wavy" wire turns intp perfectly straight "copper rod." For thinner spars, I use 1/16th inch silver steel. I don't know wher you would get this, I was given about 3,000 13" lengths some years ago on a car boot sale, because he couldn't sell it. I will never run out!

Rigging minuatures in wire is extremely easy because there are no knots. Stretch a length of fine wire slightly to make it go straight. Cut off to required length (get required length from model using dividers. Pick up in centre with fine tweezers. Dipe each end in glue, place on model!

Soldering ratlines on shrouds requires more practice, but is not difficult if you are used to soldering with a small 25 Watt iron.

Doctor Robert
28th October 2008, 16:05
Good on ya Bob!
(Maybe I can gradually drag the whole definitive Wilson Book out of you via ‘SN Ship Models’ and print up my own private copy :) !!)
No, the Wires site is no problem, it’s just knowing which to put my money on,
but all is well now thanks to you - your hints and tips are pure gold-dust.
(No bloody excuse now Alan!)
For my part, the best I can offer is the day I got the local optician shop to make up a pair of extra strong close-up specs. What a revelation - forget about head-bands and giant mag glasses. (but lethal if I suddenly trot off to the loo).
Many many thanks Bob,