View Full Version : Looking for a decent traditional Bronze "Spiderband"

05-17-2015, 07:58 PM
Hi all. My Masts are varnished and I am close to putting them back into my boat. There are a couple of fittings that I would like to replace and am looking for some advice. In particular, I am looking for what some call a "Spiderband". The one I have is "butt ugly" and I would like something that is a nice traditional looking bronze one, that is more in keeping with this type of boat (1949 Bermudan Rigged 40 ft Ketch). I might need more than the 4 pins, as I secure "extras" to the ring that the pins are welded to (see the pics)
Any comments or ideas would be much appreciated...
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k43/TerryOz_2006/20150518_094321_resized_zpskf934sz1.jpg (http://s85.photobucket.com/user/TerryOz_2006/media/20150518_094321_resized_zpskf934sz1.jpg.html)
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k43/TerryOz_2006/20150518_094311_resized%202_zpsew3z5j6h.jpg (http://s85.photobucket.com/user/TerryOz_2006/media/20150518_094311_resized%202_zpsew3z5j6h.jpg.html)
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k43/TerryOz_2006/Setanta%20sm_zps41go0uuy.jpg (http://s85.photobucket.com/user/TerryOz_2006/media/Setanta%20sm_zps41go0uuy.jpg.html)

shade of knucklehead
05-17-2015, 09:29 PM
I've made them out of stainless steel with cleats attached all the way around. Bronze will be hard to find to fit your mast probably, but could be fabricated. It would be a bit pricey though as you would probably have to have it cast.

05-18-2015, 12:08 AM
One of your own countrymen offers this:



05-18-2015, 10:56 AM
I am sure you can get Port Townsend Foundry to cast you one. Plan on it being pretty expensive, bt then, it is a larger piece. Bristol Bronze might also be able to do one for you.


05-18-2015, 11:46 AM
Classic Marine in Woodbridge, Suffolk, England can make it for you in stainless or phosphor bronze – might be pricey of course, but they do a great job. http://www.classicmarine.co.uk

05-18-2015, 03:30 PM
If you take the time to build your own pattern, it might be less expensive --and you'll get something that looks like what you want. It takes some care, but it isn't rocket science. Disclaimer: I occasionally freelance as a patternmaker for Port Townsend Foundry, which started because I built my own pattern and brought it to them to cast.

You probably don't want to use Bristol Bronze. My opinion is suspect, since I still occasionally work for the competition, but have a look around the forum for other opinions about them.

I've had good experiences with Classic Marine, but that was just purchasing sidelights from their retail catalogue. I don't know anything about their castings.

I'd be really surprised if there isn't a foundry to work with closer to you, though. Maybe Mike (WoodenBoatFittings) will chime in?


05-18-2015, 05:29 PM
There are plenty of foundries in Australia. Locate a foundry, talk to them about how the pattern needs to be constructed and the best type of bronze to use, and make your own pattern. There's a very good foundry in Hobart but there's sure to be a good one in Adelaide and there are plenty of others. It's not all that expensive having fittings cast.


Wooden Boat Fittings
05-19-2015, 03:28 AM
As Alex and Rick have said, have your own spiderband cast. Apart from anything else, a stock pattern probably won't suit you entirely, whereas you can have exactly what you want with your own design. I imagine there's a foundry somewhere in Adelaide that can do it for you. If not, our lot in Melbourne will be able to. (Do it through us and it'll be a little cheaper.) You'll probably have to expect to pay several hundred dollars for it though; but you can save a bit if you make your own pattern yourself. Otherwise, just provide them with a good drawing to work from.


05-19-2015, 06:41 AM
Thanks you guys, I really appreciate your input here. I assume by "Pattern" as opposed to drawing, you are suggesting that I make a mold of some sort. Any tips on how you might go about this?

05-19-2015, 07:18 AM
Your problem, seems to me, is the custom oval shape of your mast. Your band needs to fit the mast shape accurately. Wrapping plastic wrap around your mast, you could laminate up the band on which you can glue whatever projections you need for bolting (after sawing the band in two), pin sockets, and gooseneck. There are patterning details needed to allow the pattern to be pulled from the mold box. Some machining will likely be needed to finish the casting, holes drilled for pins, gooseneck and bolts.
If you could mold your pattern in wax you might find a foundry to make an investment casting, better finish and less finish work.

05-19-2015, 08:28 AM
I don't need a gooseneck as this fitting is it's own thing. Yes, the shape of the mast being oval, doesn't make it any easier. I remember a thread from here where someone who built a very nice boat from scratch was making his various mast and deck fittings using Perspex as a mold.

05-19-2015, 10:01 AM
How about this one? It is only a trio, but I guess that counts as a band (although they do appear to be posing without their instruments...)....And it is traditional bronze!!

What? Spiderband?? Not a BAND? Oh....Never Miiiind....

05-19-2015, 10:30 AM
On a more serious note..

Normally the casting process involves making a wood or plastic sample of what you want to cast...called a "pattern". This is then used to create a mold using oil sand that the molten bronze is then poured into. You need the pattern to be as close to the end product in finish as possible to minimize post casting work.


05-19-2015, 11:10 AM
Is the ugly of your existing spider band in the basic shape or in the surface condition? If it is the latter, maybe you should think about refinishing it. It might look just as bad in another 66 years, but the cost would be a lot less than a custom bronze casting.

05-19-2015, 04:40 PM
'd suggest contacting the foundry and getting their advice on constructing the pattern.


05-19-2015, 04:42 PM

Every foundry does things a little different, and they'll be able to advise you better than anyone else.


05-19-2015, 05:41 PM
I'd give Pete Langley at Port Townsend Foundry a call, and you might consider giving him your spiderband and collaborating over what you like and do not like about it. You'll pay for the work, but you'll have the best available.

Jay Greer
05-19-2015, 06:52 PM
I'd give Pete Langley at Port Townsend Foundry a call, and you might consider giving him your spiderband and collaborating over what you like and do not like about it. You'll pay for the work, but you'll have the best available.
Pete does have my old patterns of several sizes of what you are looking for.

donald branscom
05-20-2015, 10:52 AM
First I would get that piece completely grit blasted and sand some of those incompetent weld joints.
Maybe it was rewelded?
It looks like galvanized steel.

THEN ....you can decide to keep it or make a new one.
It looks a little too large for your boat.

Hard to tell from the photos.

Wooden Boat Fittings
05-20-2015, 07:45 PM
And despite what US posters have said above, don't go to the US for a new one. I'm sure they have excellent foundries there but so do we here, and with the present exchange rate what it is, plus freight, you'll wind up paying nearly twice as much for it.


05-22-2015, 12:45 AM
Terry, at first glance , if I had to produce something similar, if a bit more graceful, I'd look to welding and fabrication, rather than casting, Given the geography you need to cover...cheers, BT