Archive for August, 2020

Finished Paddle Wheels

Well it took awhile but I completed the paddle wheels and mounted them on the model.  Looks good even if I do say so myself.

Of course you will not be able to see much of the wheels once I build the covers over them, but I will know they are there.

Farm Fresh

A beautiful day here.

I arranged a small Miata run with a new member of our club through the country roads north of here to introduce him and his wife to the joy of their new MX5.   Stopped off first at the Merville Garlic festival.  Basically a farmers market featuring the best of the garlic growers in the valley plus lots of tents with fresh produce and a whole bunch of sauces and hippy products.

Then I led off further to a long winding country road that goes nowhere but is paved with lots of overhanging trees and small farms. Just a nice drive.

We passed a sign on one farm that advertised FARM FRESH BUTT NUGGETS!

We did not stop but pondered all the way home what this could be.  Had to look it up.  I guess we are naive, but it is a term for chicken eggs.  Go figure

Even at my age I learn something every… well let just us say… every week.

Paddle Wheels

This blog follows the previous.  These are the paddle wheels that will be mounted on the Sphinx.  I tried to make the wheel frames from wire but they just did not look great so I had someone make them up for me using a 3 D printer.  Mea Culpa as I seldom use purchased components for my model but this time I did.  The rough castings had to be sanded and matched but look a lot like the cast iron that they would have been in real life.  Attaching all the paddles is quite an exercise.  There are 15 paddles per wheel and each one requires tying off with 6 lines.  Once mounted each line has to be tied behind the spar using magnifying glasses and tweezers.  Just like open heart surgery.  Black lines on a black frame in the shadow!!   In the third picture you will see the device I built to hold the wheels during this process.

Once tied I will further trim the knots with a soldering iron to melt the line and simulate the back iron bracket that would have been used.  I can only do a few of these before I have to rest my eyes for awhile.  Still looking good and it keeps me out of trouble.  If you click on the picture it will zoom it. 

Progress on Sphinx

With all this time on my hands I am able to work on the latest model in the afternoon even in the summer.  Normally I put it away for the summer but times are as they are.

To those that did not read my earlier blog I am building a model of the French Corvette Sphinx from 1830.  This is a first for me as it is a steam side wheeler with full sails.  The hull is nearing completion and I have taken it from the building stand and mounted it on its permanent base.  In the past I would use turnings to mount to the base but choose this time to use the kind of display that simulates how the ship would look in a dry dock.  I kind of like it.

You will also note that the bottom of the hull is sheathed in copper plates.  I have had those thin pieces of copper in my inventory for 30 years and finally decided to use them.  Had to simulate the copper nails.  Over 300 little sheets.  Took some time.  And, of course I made a ship’s wheel that actually turns the rudder.  Not normal on a model.   Spaces on each side of the hull are where the paddle wheels will be mounted.  Click on picture to zoom.

BBQ Chicken

Everyone loves barbecue.  Great summer meals outside.

We have had thousands of BBQ meals .  Burgers, steaks, Lamb chops, wieners and shish kabobs.  But over the years I have been reluctant to BBQ Chicken aside from on skewers.

There is a reason for that.  A good steak only needs 8 minutes.  Hot dogs even less.  But BBQ chicken, even just thighs and drumsticks need an hour.  No idea why but that is what you need.

Bit of background.  60 years ago Blaine and I went with our parents to visit friends they had known from serving in WWII.  I cannot remember if this was in Tisdale or Swan River but it was in the boonies up north.  Remember Blaine and I were coming from the urban culture of Regina so really thought this was truly backwoods society.

The host had just acquired a new invention called a Hibachi.  On the night we visited he was preparing BBQ chicken over coals.  No matter how long he had the pieces on they turned into charcoal on the outside and raw chicken on the inside.  I mean really raw.

On the drive home, our father declared that BBQ was the worst thing ever and it took at least 15 years before he would try it in the backyard.  Blaine and I tried to convince him.

Chicken is difficult.  I have not made much an attempt over the years but tonight I did.  We had 4 skin on, bone in thighs and I made a south Carolina BBQ sauce (mostly mustard)

It did take an hour on the grill to get the thighs just right… but worth it.  And unlike those chicken pieces from 60 years ago, cooked through.