View Full Version : Bronze hardware; routing mast for wiring
07-23-2007, 02:04 PM
I am looking for a source for bronze hardware to retain the old character of our 25' Pemaquid model Friendship sloop. I know about Bristol Bronze in Rhode Island, but their catalog doesn't have the 2" I.D. bronze rings that I need for fastening my boathook to the shrouds. Are there any other places anyone would recommend?
Also next winter's project is to install a Lopolight tri-color and anchor light on the masthead. The mast is solid Sitka spruce and right now the concept is to rout a groove for 2 wires doen the length of the mast and then cover that groove with a small, flat batten. Any suggestions or better ideas? Thanks.
We took her out yesterday for our first sail since we bought her. It was a 10-12 knot wind with sunny skies and a few puffy clouds on Casco Bay. She sailed like a dream come true and we totally fell in love with her.
07-23-2007, 02:31 PM
Would you consider running the wiring up one of the shrouds instead?
Not as big as you want, but... bronze rings on eBay: http://tinyurl.com/34pxvr or http://tinyurl.com/2n5jer
07-23-2007, 02:51 PM
While the mast is routed you might consider a cable for a VHF antenna.
07-23-2007, 02:56 PM
Why bronze rings for the boathook? Rope grommets are silent.
07-23-2007, 03:11 PM
That sounds interesting, but I don't know what a rope grommet looks like or how it is made.
07-23-2007, 03:19 PM
Brion Toss' Complete Rigger's Apprentice is a nice book on all aspects of traditional rigging (it covers rope grommets).
07-23-2007, 03:21 PM
The easy version is to take a bit of light line and tie a reef knot to form a loop. Then lash this tightly to the shroud with some twine, just as you would the bronze ring.
A proper grommet of stranded rope is just as easily done once you know how. I'd think any good book of knotwork or splicework would show you how. The Rigger's Apprentice leaps to mind of course, but learning a grommet from that book is like cutting butter with a chainsaw.
07-23-2007, 03:25 PM
I'm happy for you... it sounds great!
I also look for bronze... no better suggestions than the rope ... we use a lot of rope on Rose, with simple bronze eyes to weave it around.
On the masthead, we avoided the whole wire issue, appearance and maintenance problems... I manufactured a solar-powered masthead light from a garden lamp... worked great for five years until we pulled the mast and it got broken. It took three hours to make a new one, but it never goes off... which isn't the worst thing to happen once the yard people realize it and stop trying to turn it off.
07-23-2007, 03:40 PM
That sounds interesting, but I don't know what a rope grommet looks like or how it is made.A rope grommet is essentiallyl a circular long splice -- take a piece of 3-strand rope about 4, maybe 5 times longer than the circumference of the grommet you want.
Unlay it into 3 strands. Take one of the strands and lay it back up on itself to form a ring of the desired diameter. when the layup is complete and the ends meet for the third time, you'll need to taper the ends into a rattail, tie them into a tidy little overhand knot and with the help of a fid, bury the ends in the lay (under/over/under/etc.), exactly like the finish to a long splice.
Brion Toss' Complete Rigger's Apprentice offers a much better description, with hints for wrangling with synthetics (soak the rope in hair styling gel and let it dry prior to unlaying it.) Once unlaid, synthetic ropes tend not to hold their lay, which rather complicates things trying to lay up the grommet.
For learning, you probably want to use sisal or manila rope. For something that's going to be seized to your shrouds, you might want to use dacron, or, for even longer life, make a wire rope grommet and either leather it or leather it or apply service to it (worming and parcelling dependent on type of wire rope and your sense of righteousness :D) The complete Rigger's Apprentice will show you the way to a wire rope grommet as well.
07-25-2007, 11:29 PM
Vic - Just met you in Rockland; nice to see you again now on the forum. Congrats on your maiden voyage. I didn't realize when we spoke last week that you had not yet sailed your sloop. I look forward to rafting our Pemaquids once I get mine back to where she once belonged...
About the rings... for an application like that, non-structural and above the waterline, if you do want metal instead of rope, I'd be inclined to think brass would do just fine. And you can get brass rings at most real hardware stores. Try also farm supply stores or tack - as in horse gear - shops. Take a magnet along to ensure you're not getting plated stuff...
I did the routed wireway thing in my mast, but it was done while the mast was still square, before rounding. I'm not sure what you're asking - is it 'how to' or something else....? Personally, I think it's worth doing.
As to suggestions, along with running an antenna lead per Jim L's post, I would also consider running extra wires for later repairs, replacements, or additions. Ensure the gauge you choose is adequate for the load and the length of the run to minimize voltage drop. And I would also think about using wire made and rated for aircraft applications for its greater durability and corrosion-resistance.
07-26-2007, 05:39 AM
Vic T, re the mast routing; I would be tempted to route a bit deeper and epoxy in a piece of spruce rather than using a cover strip. The advantages would be no loss of strength, and an undetectable repair. It should be easy enough - here’s a suggested set-up using a length of steel angle clamped to the mast and a router with a template guide.
Good luck with it.
07-26-2007, 04:15 PM
Some good ideas here. Being an architect and working daily with structural issues, I don't like routing the length of the mast as it would create a line of weakness in the mast which is subject to lots of compound stress loads and torque. I could consult my favorite structural engineer, and probably many others have done it...I just don't feel comfortable weakening the mast. That makes me think that I should look at running the wiring down a shround perhaps.
Good to hear from you again, Jim. Yeah, our maiden voyage on this 36 year-old FS left us spell-bound.
07-26-2007, 07:31 PM
I worked at a foundry for some years. We sold lots of bronze rings. We just made 'em, though. There's no trick to it. Silicon bronze welding rod of desired diameter. Bend it around a form (pipe ususally), and weld the ends together. Nothing to it. Any welder who does non ferrous jobs could probably accomodate you. Or you may weld yourself, in which case, problem solved. Hope it helps.
07-28-2007, 07:24 AM
I ran my VHF and anenometer wires inside the outer shealth of a 9/16" line and secured it to the mast with padeyes. Looks like a halyard and no question about a weak spot in your mast. I have a couple of photos
if you would like to see the setup.
07-28-2007, 07:40 AM
Some good ideas here. Being an architect and working daily with structural issues, I don't like routing the length of the mast as it would create a line of weakness in the mast
I'm not sure that I see how a properly glued-in spline would create a weak spot. If anything it would be stronger than the solid wood and less likely to check at that point.
Solid masts often have natural checks which don't seem to affect their strength at all.
Routing and burying the wires is the cleanest, neatest installation and it affords the most protection for the wires. The wires should be fairly deep and the hardware installation on the mast must be anticipated to avoid putting fasteners near the wires.
BTW, you'll need more than two conductors to do what you plan to do.
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