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Those Eureka moments!

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Bob Abell22/11/2011 09:19:46
8342 forum posts
2558 photos
Hi chaps!
Reading the previous post, Neil mentions, having the occasional "Eureka moment!
It seems a good idea for a special thread?........Eureka moments are moments of pleasure and ought to be shared!
My first EM was discovering the idea of covering the hull of my JDAW with card strips with rivets punched through!
Not only did it save hours of filling and rubbing down, but has a realistic appearance
From then on.......Everything suitable had card and if you haven`t noticed!
What`s your Eureka Moment?

It was a real treat painting the hull too!

Edited By Bob Abell on 22/11/2011 09:33:45

Eric Moffat09/12/2011 13:31:16
54 forum posts
11 photos
G'day Bob, your rivetted hull looks very realistic.
I vaguely recall reading an article in mb years ago where someone had used an implement looked like a pizza cutter, but instead of a cutting wheel it had a type of gear wheel. I twas used to mark card to look like rivets. I think the tools original purpose was to mark out stitching in dressmaking or embroidery or suchlike.
I thought at the time it seemed like a good alternative purpose to put, what no doubt was a valuable tool,normally used by our equally valuable ladies.
ashley needham10/12/2011 09:14:47
5924 forum posts
195 photos
Bob. Thinking about it, my eureka moments have been mostly having the idea for the next boat! That is, the ODD boats. The other ones have just been things I fancy making.
Minor moments include finding waisted airgin pellets made jolly good windlasses for the Titanic, the spring loaded mast for the Herald, Meccano bits for the drive on the Toyboata, the stip sticky-backed LED lights for the carrier.
Bob Abell10/12/2011 10:07:48
8342 forum posts
2558 photos
Hello Ashley
I can see the Waisted slugs doing quite a good job as windlasses, having the nice knurly section.
One of my early boats was the giant Colin Archer model by Billings and was a real pain to assemble at the pondside!
So I sawed the mast in half and fitted a sliding sleeve.
I could then transport it, fully rigged!
The Becker rudder was an Eureka moment and a pleasant novelty when first fitted, as I thought out my own mechanism
Feathering paddlewheels are nice to see, rotating and going through their weird motions, but are very labour intensive to construct!
ashley needham10/12/2011 14:42:55
5924 forum posts
195 photos
Bob, Ah, paddle wheels..From my book on Paddle-warships, it shows something called a "cycloid wheel" that..
Basically it says "each float is cut into several strips (horizontally) and set stepwise, in advance of each other along a cycloid currve".. so instead of a single paddle blade, you have in effect each blade cut up, and so you dont get one big splash but a few small ones.... just as fiddly to make of course. Not as good as afeathering wheel, but better than a common wheel and less prone to damage.
Bob Abell13/01/2012 10:22:17
8342 forum posts
2558 photos
I needed to make a ships wheel for my Great Eastern, and decided to make a decent job of it, for once........Rather than guess it and hope for the best!
The tricky part was..........How to drill the spoke holes in the wheel rim, accurately?
Without a dividing head, this is quite a problem.
The lathe spindle was a good starting point, on removing the gearchange cover, I was pleased to see a 40 tooth sprocket on the spindle
I made a metal lever, pivotting on a nearby stud and filed a single gear tooth on it. which engaged with the spindle sprocket...........Nice eh?
I next made a drill guide that fitted the toolpost and was positioned in front of a length of tube material, gripped in the chuck.
With the gear and spindle clamped up, it was a simple matter to drill the tube by hand, using the toolpost guide to line up the 1.5mm drill.
The process was repeated, eight times, drilling a hole every five gear tooth spacing.
The process was a complete success and the precisely drilled ring was a thing of great beauty and a joy forever!

The dividing mechanism..............Just so fiendishly clever?

It was an absolute treat to see the holes so neatly drilled.
Can`t wait to use this feature again, soon!
Well, I hope you chaps appreciated this little Eureka moment?........I certainly did!
John.Redearth09/06/2012 23:40:26
73 forum posts


My little moment was discovering the value of aluminium flashing. It is now my 'go to' material for lots of things. In particular I used flashing for hull plates as the card is used in the top Photo on this page. the difference is that aluminium cannot be water damaged. A friend said I should avoid it because it would be difficult to glue on and keep there.. that heat and cold would cause the plates to come off. A tub of 5 minute apoxy and fifteen years later and it is OK. And a few rams into various banks.

I have a little video I made about this



Paul T10/06/2012 08:01:08
6807 forum posts
1130 photos
2 articles


Your lathe jig is a superb piece of lateral thinking and just goes to show what a lifetime of engineering experience can produce. How many 'young bucks' would even know how a lathe works never mind have the skill to manipulate such a complex tool and operate it outside the normal parameters.

May I suggest that make another wheel and video the process for youtube so that other model builders can benefit from your Eureka moment.


Bob Abell10/06/2012 08:32:38
8342 forum posts
2558 photos

Thank you, Paul

I'm really glad you took the patience to study the process and realise what was going on!

You have the makings on an engineer!

Previous to the method described, I usually marked the spacings out, as best I could, but was never a pleasing sight!

Don't feel like doing another at the moment though


LARRY WHETTON10/06/2012 11:51:49
819 forum posts
600 photos

hI bob, Eureka moment are a when you tried to solve a problem then give up,

then when i go back to what i left mostley to the cost of things being a scratch builer and a fairly good

joiner i seek an cheaper item like my use of IKEA blinds mostly found in skips and boot sales

also trying to improve my engineering skills to make a pair of paddle wheels wich i have put on hold

so i looking for help on the feed back on the web site cheers Larry...

Edited By LARRY WHETTON boatman76 on 10/06/2012 11:53:47

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