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Member postings for Gareth Jones

Here is a list of all the postings Gareth Jones has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Spider J
04/07/2018 16:07:33

Excellent ideas Mattias, I have embodied the first suggestion and I might do the second as well but I think it looks fine as it is now.

I have drilled a 1.0 mm hole in the side frames, adjacent to each roller. To locate the hole accurately I pushed the 1/16 inch brass roller pivot rod through the side frame and fitted the roller to the outside of the frame. I then pushed a piece of 1.0 mm piano wire through the small eye in the end of the roller and used that to mark the side frame. For the roller in which I had fitted a bigger eye, I have reverted to my original small one.  I only have one eye in each roller as there is no need for very precise adjustment of the rigging lines.

The locking pin is a short piece of 1.0 mm piano wire bent to an L shape. The top one is visible, but not very obtrusive, the bottom one is hidden behind the side frame.

spider 204.jpg

spider 205.jpg

I could tap the side frames for a 12 BA bolt but I think the piano wire solution is stronger and simpler, and I don't have a 12 BA tap at present. The locking pins are a good fit and with the tension in the rigging lines, I don't think they will fall out.

I also made another small mod and drilled a 1.3 mm hole near the end of each roller. The free end of the line is pushed into this hole, after application of a small amount of superglue to stiffen it. A short piece of double sided tape on the roller (just visible on the lower roller) helps secure the end of the line.

spider 206.jpg

The next step is to do the same mods on the other side and then complete the rigging lines for the gaff boom and foresail halyard. I can then start to make a pattern for the sails.



Edited By Gareth Jones on 04/07/2018 16:09:28

03/07/2018 15:31:15

In answer to your assorted questions, I have access to three Humber sloops, moored in the marina in Hull, Spider T, whose original build drawings have been used for Spider J (but is now considerably altered from its original build standard), Amy Howson, and Phyllis. Amy Howson and Spider T are both the same size, Phyllis is slightly bigger. I have used a combination of all three in making the fittings and building the model. All three sloops also have their own websites.

We probably will be going to Haydock Park but only as visitors, not exhibitors. If we go it will be on the Saturday as Sunday is a Vintage Model Yacht Group sailing day at Cleethorpes. We will be exhibiting at Blackpool, but probably only vintage model yachts. I don't think we will have room in the car for Spider J.

The stayfall blocks were built from scratch and do work as the original. I have not yet decided on a locking mechanism, which is typically by a shackle through the chain at a suitable location. Mine is just locked with a small brass pin through the chain at present.

I have started doing an experimental bit of rigging of the lines for the topping lift and gaff throat which go to the winch on the starboard coaming. The problem which I anticipated, and have not yet resolved is securing the lines on the rollers but preferably making them adjustable. I cannot easily lock the rollers and prevent them rotating as the pawl and ratchet mechanism cannot be relied upon and in any case the ratchet wheels are not securely fixed to the rollers.

The picture below shows two methods tried so far.

spider 203.jpg

In the top one, I have locked the roller with a pin (actually a small drill), through an eye in the end of the roller. This looks clumsy, even if I use a smaller pin, but it is easy to wind the cord on the roller by spinning the roller with my fingers. The few coils of line at the left hand end are just held on the drum with double sided tape. The end of the cord should go through an eye in the roller but the ones I made are too small and need to be replaced by bigger ones (but not as big as the one at the RH end of the roller.

In the bottom one the line is looped over itself where it comes on to the drum and then wrapped around the roller by hand. This works quite well and is quite unobtrusive but its a pain to wind the line round the roller and difficult to adjust afterwards.

At the moment I am inclined to use the second method but with a discretely positioned bowsie in each line to provide adjustment - unless I or someone else can come up with a better idea. Maybe I need to have a look at some Thames barge models and see how they do it.


01/07/2018 21:33:54


Thats a good idea and I will give it some consideration. I think the problem might be that my 'crewman' is a solid resin figure and might be a bit heavy to swing from side to side with the tiller.

I have made a bit more progress with the model over the last week or so. I have made the collar that fits round the mast under the main boom. Just got the bolts to crop to length and then paint it black.

spider 198.jpg

I have also made the throat fitting for the main boom as shown below and also the fitting for the other end that provides the attachment for the topping lift and sheet.

spider 199.jpg

I have made a start on seizing all the standing rigging end fittings where there would normally be splices in the wire but in the model's case there are crimps. I have also added all the fixed pulleys for the running rigging on the mast.

spider 200.jpg

I have made the forestay which has to be attached via a pair of pulleys to the bottom part of the stayfall block and tackle. At the moment the bottom pulley and tensioning ropes are replaced with a rubber band.

spider 201.jpg

After messing around a little in rigging and de-rigging I decided to sacrifice scale accuracy and I have replaced the shackle that attached the stayfall block to the stem extension with a simple steel hook. This makes de-rigging much easier and there is no risk of losing the shackle or its pin in the process.

spider 202.jpg

During our recent trip to the Isle of Man I discovered that the easiest way to transport the model is to allow the mast to fold backwards by about 40 degrees which gives enough headroom to get it in the back of the car. Previously I had folded the mast fully backwards but that results in the shrouds getting tangled and the chain on the stayfall block also getting in a twist.

The current work is continuing to seize the ends of the shrouds and making the gaff boom and its fittings. I have now roughly drawn out a sail plan so I will be passing the sail making task to my wife in the near future.



Edited By Gareth Jones on 01/07/2018 21:36:42

Thread: Binding Orange to Spektrum
19/06/2018 14:51:45

Hi Martin,

I would agree it looks like you have a duff transmitter.  If you would like to do a complete back to back test you could send me your Orange receiver along with my Spektrum unit,  and I will test that with my transmitters and return it to you afterwards.  It's your choice.

I must say I was a bit concerned when you said you got a yellow light on the transmitter array of 4 lights (should be 1 red and 3 greens). I have never seen a yellow light on any of our DX5Es or in the manual and I can't recall ever reading about one on any of the forum threads I have looked at. Either its a really odd fault in your transmitter or there is more going on in these things than Spektrum tell the users.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 19/06/2018 14:53:59

Thread: Spider J
18/06/2018 08:58:56

The apple twig tiller has turned out really well. I started with a twig about 15 mm in diameter and roughly the right shape for the tiller, i.e. a very elongated 'z' shape. I shaved the bark off and then planed it roughly square section so it would lie flat. At this stage is was overall much longer than the required length. I steamed it in a kettle and then fixed it in a roughly made jig overnight to get it closer to the required shape.

spider 195.jpg

Then by a slow process of sawing, planing, whittling and sanding I gradually reduced it to the right length and the correct cross section - 8 mm square at the rudder end and 4 mm diameter at the forward end just before the final tapered 'knob'

spider 196.jpg

spider 197.jpg

The slight drawback to having the tiller is that the sweep of the arm makes it impractical to fix my little 1:16 crewman to stand in an appropriate position. I guess he will have to be moved to a more suitable location when the boat is sailed.


Thread: Binding Orange to Spektrum
16/06/2018 21:39:38


OK let me know what you want to do. System compatibility is a bit of a minefield. We have a DX6i and DX6e, both of which operate on the DSMX system. However the older DX6i will work with older DSM 2 receivers, the newer DX6e won't, it will only work with DSMX (but the manual does admit that if you know where to look)



Thread: Spider J
16/06/2018 21:04:16

Hi Bob,

You are welcome to pick my nits anytime you like. In response to your suggestion, I don't have a metal working lathe, so I am not able to turn a hub on the face of the ratchet wheels. Its well beyond the capability of our simple wood turning late or my 'lathe substitute' pillar drill. A metal working lathe is on our shopping list, along with a planer/thicknesser. Unfortunately a new sewing machine for Elizabeth is currently at the top of the list.



Thread: Binding Orange to Spektrum
16/06/2018 20:56:21


Here are a couple of pointers that might help. Firstly I am a bit concerned by your comment in your last but one post that the transmitter lights do not flash and the instructions do not mention them flashing. I have just been out in my workshop and bound a DX5E transmitter to a Spektrum AR500 receiver, both DSM2 standard. The transmitter lights do flash and the instructions do mention them flashing. The sequence of events is as follows:-

Push the bind plug into the bind socket of the receiver and power the receiver from a suitable 4.8 or 6 volt battery. The orange LED in the receiver starts flashing rapidly.

Hold the trainer switch on the transmitter up and switch on the transmitter. All 4 LEDs 1 red, 3 green flash on the transmitter. The flash rate of the LED in the receiver slows down. At this point release the trainer switch and the 4 flashing lights on the transmitter become one solid green one showing its battery capacity.

After a few seconds the orange LED in the receiver stops flashing and goes out and then a few seconds later, it comes back on as a solid orange light and the two devices are bound.

Remove the bind plug from the receiver and then unplug its power supply. Switch off the transmitter. Both devices are now successfully bound.

The second pointer refers to the last line of your last post. A new receiver from Onk Onk will not necessarily tell you whether your transmitter is working as a brand new thing should. It will only do that if you have ordered a Spektrum receiver to the same protocol standard as your transmitter.

If you can confirm whether your transmitter is DSM2 or DSMX, I am prepared to lend you, by post, a compatible Spektrum receiver that I know will bind to my transmitter. You just have to pm me your address and then return the receiver to me afterwards.

I must point out I have no experience of Orange receivers and have never used anything other than Spektrum receivers with our Spektrum transmitters (DX5E, DX6i and DX6E)



Thread: Spider J
15/06/2018 20:56:51

Maybe the CADMA show inspired me to restart work on Spider J or maybe I was shamed into it by all the people who came up to me and asked where it was and why wasn't it finished. Either way it has been dusted off again and after a fairly intensive spell this week I have just about finished the 2 side winches.

In my last post I said I was going to get on and make the next two ratchet wheels but unfortunately I got distracted by something else at the time and ended up having to go back and look at this thread and find out how I had made the first two. The mounting bolts need to be cropped to length but I am going to leave that until I remove the winches for painting.

spider 189.jpg

There are one or two bits to just tidy up but overall, apart from one aspect I am quite pleased with the result.

spider 190.jpg

The brake on the lower drum has come out quite well, and it works just like the real thing.

spider 191.jpg

Both upper and lower pawls were made by filing brass strip by hand which was a bit fiddly but they look OK

spider 192.jpg

The one aspect about the winches that niggles me a bit is that the nuts used, which are a mixture of 12 BA and 14 BA look OK on the winch in isolation but are actually about twice scale size. It would probably be impractical to use anything smaller since it would just not be strong enough to take the sailing loads. However when you look at the photo etched 'nuts' that I used to simulate the attachments for the bollards, they look very small in comparison to those used on the winch. I might go up a size on the bollards as a trial.

I have also fitted the hatch bars and wedges on the rear section of the main hatch. The bars and wedges are glued to the hatch cover with medium superglue and lift off with the hatch. The wedges are quite convincing, even though they are not actually wedged into the cleats on the coaming.

spider 193.jpg

I have also done a trial fit of the anchors, which look about the right size. After considering making a pair of anchors, I took the easy option and bought them.

spider 194.jpg

The next job on the go is the tiller. After several attempts at bending pieces of softwood (which failed because they cracked, even after steaming) or cutting a piece from strip (which looks wrong because of the way the grain runs), I am now attempting to use a 'crook' cut from a small apple tree in our front garden. Photos will follow if it is a success.


Thread: Moonbeam Maiden Sail
15/06/2018 09:47:04

Hi Mattias,

I am pleased to see that you finally finished your Moonbeam and had a successful maiden voyage. I have looked at quite a few Moonbeams over the years since my wife built one, and I am pleased to say that I think yours is the best and most meticulously constructed example I have ever seen. However I do prefer the colour scheme of Elizabeth's Moonbeam Princess (blue and white).

This leads on to the big question, what are you going to build next?



Thread: Sail servo
15/06/2018 09:22:16

HI David,

I think the best fit would be a Hitec HS765HB sail arm servo. It is almost the same size or perhaps very slightly shorter in length and has the near enough the same torque as the HS715BB and the same arm length. The principal difference is the travel is greater at 140 degrees rather than 90. Your options to reduce the travel would be to adjust it within your transmitter, if it has that capability, or use a device such as a Servomorph, available from Component Shop. The Servomorph allows you to adjust the range and speed of a servo. You would need to find space inside the hull, but they are not very big.


Thread: Futaba 6ex
08/06/2018 18:37:01

Hi Jo,

I had a look through the manual for my Futaba 6EX and there is a helicopter mix that involves aileron and throttle, channels 1 and 3. Its described on page 28 in the manual if that helps. However I would have thought doing a factory reset would have cleared it.


Thread: Why is the water blue
08/06/2018 18:06:44


It's almost certainly a blue dye added to the water to reduce the penetration of sunlight into the pond and inhibit the growth of weed. Its is quite commonly used now that the use of herbicides to kill the weeds is banned.

If you want the full technical details there is an article here:- **LINK**


Thread: Futaba 6ex
07/06/2018 21:14:38

Hi Jo,

It sounds as though the previous owner set up the transmitter with a mix of the two channels for some reason. For an aircraft the channels you are using would probably be throttle and aileron which seems a strange mix but maybe its a helicopter thing, about which I know nothing.

I suggest you check whether the transmitter is currently configured for a helicopter. If it is, you might be better switching it to a conventional aircraft configuration which is usually simpler and easier to understand. If the two channels are still interconnected, try and see if there is a mix setup in the transmitter, in which case 'unset' it.

Best of luck,


Thread: Mountfleet Models Clyde Puffer Sealight
11/04/2018 19:55:07


I suggest it would be worth spending some time having a look at Banjoman's build of a Mountfleet Puffer kit. There is a link to the thread here:- **LINK**


Thread: Scratch build yacht plan
01/04/2018 16:09:39

Hi Edward,

To some degree it depends on what sort of yacht you want to build, do you want a class racing yacht or a more semi scale model of a real yacht? I have been impressed with the sailing abilities of a Vic Smeed Starlet which would fall in the second category. The plans are available from Sarik (MM1048) and there is quite a lot of background information available, including that originally published in Model Boats magazine back in Dec 1966 onwards. It's a relatively simple ply hard chine hull about 34 inches long and would be a logical follow on from a Swordsman or Huntsman. Wood packs and sails are also readily available - have a look at the Belair website **LINK**


Thread: Spider J
11/03/2018 18:49:16

I have made a bit of progress on the dreaded ratchet wheels and reached the point where I have a workable, if not 100% accurate representation.

I marked out the next attempt by holding the pulley blank in a three jawed chuck and marked it into 6 equally sized sectors using the jaws of the chuck as a guide. I then fixed a screw through the central hole and small hexagon nut with the middle of the flats in line with where I wanted to make the radial saw cuts. I then sawed down to each flat which gave me reasonably identically sized sectors and reasonably similar depths of saw cut. Here's the second attempt after filing the teeth to shape with the first prototype on the left..

spider 185.jpg

It then dawned on me that I could skip the first step of using a chuck and just use the nut as a guide to the position and depth of the saw cuts. I decided to attempt the next two pulleys simultaneously as shown in the photos below.

spider 186.jpg

Here's the part after completing the sawing stage and prior to filing the teeth to the right, or near enough right shape.

spider 187.jpg

After filing this gave me two reasonably symmetrical ratchet wheels, albeit with only 6 teeth when there should really be about a dozen. I had to file the two wheels individually as it was too difficult to get them evenly shaped together.

spider 188.jpg

While I am in the groove so to speak, I am going to make another two for the winch on the other side then start making the pawls to match. I also have to work out how I am going to lock the two drums on each winch as it is not going to be practical to use the pawls and ratchets to do it because I cant easily fix both the ratchet and the drum on each shaft. After that its the brake mechanism that goes around the large diameter of the lower drum.


Thread: Land Yacht
09/03/2018 08:39:36

I am quite tempted Paul. I will let you know if I make a start.


Thread: Spider J
06/03/2018 20:21:30


I get most of my miniature fasteners from two sources,

Eileens Emporium who stock a good range of fasteners and a very wide range of brass sections. Their website is here **LINK**

BA bolts has an even wider range of fasteners, see their website here **LINK**

There is no particular reason for using BA fasteners rather than metric, I have just accumulated a few 10, 12 and 14 BA screws, nuts and washers and keep using them as appropriate. Maybe one day I will standardise and go metric.

On a slightly different topic, one material we use frequently for our vintage yacht restoration projects is T section brass, ideally about 8 mm x 8 mm and 1 mm thick. It's needed for jib racks, shroud plates and deck eyes. This is really difficult to come by in the UK, there are plenty of examples much smaller and much bigger in section but nothing the right size. I was forced down the route of cutting down H section for Serica and China Boy but that is a bit of a waste. Old brass curtain track is useful as a starting point but also almost impossible to find now. As a result I tried a source in Germany last week. **LINK** They do 1 metre lengths of 8 x 8 x 1mm and lots of other sizes. The postage is a bit expensive but I ordered it on Tuesday afternoon and received it on Friday morning, despite it being the worst weather in Europe for years - excellent service.

On Spider J I have started trying to make the first prototype 6 mm diam ratchet. The basis is an 8 mm brass pulley, filed down to 6 mm in my pillar drill. I then tried to cut 8 equally spaced radial slots with a small hacksaw and then started filing the shape of the teeth. The method has some promise, but the difficult part is getting the radial saw cuts equally spaced and equally deep.

spider 184.jpg

A bit more practice needed I think, or some sort of miniature jig. The hole in the middle is 1/16 inch diameter.


04/03/2018 16:41:35

The first of the coaming mounted halyard winches has progressed quite well, if rather slowly. I usually make a prototype example first and then the final versions but in this case the prototype looks good enough to be the final version of the port winch. It is made from brass square section uprights (2.5 mm), rod and tube, fastened together and to the coaming with a mixture of 12 BA and 14 BA nuts and screws.

spider 182.jpg

The top roller operates the foresail halyard and the lower one, which has a low and high gear arrangement operates the gaff peak halyard. The internal gear on the larger diameter section has been made from a length of toothed belt recycled from an old printer. The small pinion is taken from a small electric motor reduction gearbox. The screws all need cropping to length, although I am pondering whether for realistic accuracy, it is worth replacing them with hexagon headed bolts, rather than continuing to use cheese headed screws that I happen to have in stock.

spider 183.jpg

The next parts to make are the brake, which clamps around the large diameter piece of tube and the pawl and ratchet mechanism that goes on the end of each roller. Making a 6 mm diameter ratchet from a small brass disc could be a challenge. I don't have a lathe so my usual starting point for something like the ratchet will be a small brass pulley, filed down to the right diameter in my pillar drill..

When this side is complete I have to make another identical, but handed winch for the other side. That one operates the gaff throat halyard and the topping lift (which holds up the aft end of the mainsail boom).


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