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Thread: Set of Copenhagen curves (ship's curves) on eBay now

  1. #36
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Set of Copenhagen curves (ship's curves) on eBay now

    Bob, thank you very much for your thoughtful message. I apologize for the infraction; I'm going to post in the classifieds section momentarily so I can contribute monetarily as well.

    I come from a model shipbuilders perspective and relatively new one at that. So it isn't so much that I overlooked writing about the curves' usage as that I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough yet to write on the subject. : )

    May I reprint (with attribution, of course) your post on this thread on my blog? Content about nautical drafting curves seems to be spread in dribs and drabs, here and there. And I'm trying, in some small part, to create a reference for others to use in the future.

    Either way, I very much appreciate you taking your time to write in such detail, it's a super fascinating subject to me and it's super helpful to learn from others who are more experienced than I!

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Set of Copenhagen curves (ship's curves) on eBay now

    Quote Originally Posted by andrew@mirsky.net View Post
    Bob, thank you very much for your thoughtful message. I apologize for the infraction; I'm going to post in the classifieds section momentarily so I can contribute monetarily as well.

    I come from a model shipbuilders perspective and relatively new one at that. So it isn't so much that I overlooked writing about the curves' usage as that I don't consider myself knowledgeable enough yet to write on the subject. : )

    May I reprint (with attribution, of course) your post on this thread on my blog? Content about nautical drafting curves seems to be spread in dribs and drabs, here and there. And I'm trying, in some small part, to create a reference for others to use in the future.

    Either way, I very much appreciate you taking your time to write in such detail, it's a super fascinating subject to me and it's super helpful to learn from others who are more experienced than I!
    Sure, Andrew, be my guest and reprint my posts. You are correct that there isn't a lot of information on the internet about pre-CAD drafting techniques. Unfortunately, I don't think that high schools teach "mechanical drawing" classes much anymore. This seems evident from the many posts on this forum by folks trying to build boats who are stumped by the basic concepts of "lofting," which is nothing more than drawing the lines of a boat full-size to create patterns for various parts in the construction process. The same seems true for modelers, as well. I have been working on both full-size wooden boats and models for fifty years or so. I've come to the belief that one really has a very difficult time of building a good model of a boat or ship unless they have a fair command of how both the drafting and building of real ships and boats are done and a sound grounding in basic seamanship, let alone knowledge of long extinct nautical technology. For the serious ship modeler, the research involved in scratch-building a good model of a particular vessel is half the fun of it. I recently saw posted a very well done Seventeenth Century ship of the line from one of the European model kit companies, encrusted with masterful carving, built well by a modeler who obviously spent years building it. The rigging was intricate, of course, and also well done, but all of the many deadeye lanyards were of white thread, as was much of the running rigging. That totally spoiled the effect to a knowledgeable eye. If only the modeler had understood the concept of tarred rigging!

    In modeling forums, there seems to be an endless search for "model plans" by modelers who limit themselves to the relative handful of "modelers' plans" offered by hobby outfits, let alone the dependence upon model kits which are nearly always deficient in many respects. The fact is that a modeler who has access to a set of lines, or knowledge of a particular vessel type, and a few photographs of their subject vessel, ought to be able to turn out a rather historically accurate model of just about any vessel. When details are unavailable, a knowledge of ships and seamanship often will suffice to accurately "fill in the blanks." Once one gets to that level of experience, spending hundreds of bucks for a kit to build yet another Constitution or Victory (or, God forbid, another Santa Maria about whose appearance historians know nothing,) seems just plain crazy.

    Acquiring the skills and knowledge sets a modeler free from all that craziness and being able to create a set of plans from study lines in many of the older books available is an essential skill, as it seems you've discovered. I'd suggest you find a used copy of one of the basic high school textbooks on "mechanical drawing," which will have much information about manual drafting practice and instruments. Alan Vaites' book, Lofting, sold by the WoodenBoat Store (WB's on-line catalog) is a valuable resource for naval architectural drafting, full-size or to scale. More good information can be found, as you've discovered, in Chappelle's book on design, and in the two volumes of The Ship Model Builder' Assistant published by the Nautical Research Guild. The old catalogs from Keuffel and Esser and Dietzgen, the major merchants of traditional drafting instruments before CAD put them out of business, are available on line and full of information about the instruments which were once in common use. As you already know, one has to closely monitor eBay to find them these days and often pay a premium for the top of the line instruments such as K&E's "Paragon" instruments, but, then, a high-quality tool is always the cheapest in the long run and high-quality tools that are no longer manufactured generally increase in value over time. (Which is a good rationalization for collecting old drafting instruments, as your collection evidences!) Find an old-time draftsman and pick their brains as much as you can. This is the way the old ways and the old wisdom is preserved.

    Welcome to the WoodenBoat forum! Keep us posted on your modeling as well! There are some real honest to god retired professional draftsmen in this forum and even a professional naval architect or two. I'm sure they will be happy to answer any questions you have as well.
    Last edited by Bob Cleek; 08-04-2017 at 01:57 PM.

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