Bluenose Canadian Schooner

Battons and Boom Sheet Buffers

December 3, 2016

Day 247.

Now its time to start building all the little miscellaneous bits and pieces that are scattered all over the deck.  I’m starting with the quarter deck.

The first piece I tackled was the battons.  This is basically a wooden grate next to the wheel box.  The Model Shipways Bluenose kit instructions offer no information on how to build them, and the plans only provide a simple top-down drawing and a note about the thickness.  I checked the practicum that I have, and it looks like it leaves the battons out entirely.

So, I have no idea how to build this.

The ‘slats’ in the battons are very thin.  The plans call for these to be 1/64″ square, but I’m sure I can work at that size so I’m going to shoot for 1/32″ thick.  I have some 1/32″ square strips, but they are so thin that I can’t build anything meaningful out of them.

I decided to use some wider strips that are 1/32″ thick.  I’m going to build a thick stack of these, then sand it down to size.  I’ll use the 1/32″ thick pieces as the slats, and also as spacers between the slats.  This should keep the slats evenly spaced.


Pieces of 1/32″ x 1/8″ strip are cut to make the battons.

To get the overall size I need, I’m going to end up with seven ‘slats’.  I cut these pieces a little longer than needed, and also cut a bunch of shorter spacers.

I started by laying down one of the slats and gluing a spacer on each end.  I did this on a pin board, and used some t-pins to hold everything straight.  I continued gluing the pieces as I stacked them, alternating between spacers and slats.


The battons are built up by alternating long pieces with spacers.

It is ugly, but that’s OK.  I let the whole thing dry for a bit.

I use a small razor saw to cut off the ends of the spacers that were sticking out, and used a sanding block to even up the ends a little bit.

Now it is starting to look like it should.


The battons are trimmed down once the glue dries.

It is still to thick, however, since I used 1/8″ wide strips to build it.  I spent a few minutes with a sanding block and got the entire piece thinned down to a suitable thickness.  I also sanded the ends a bit.


Some sanding reduces the overall thickness to about 1/32″.

After some final sanding with 400 grit and 800 grit paper, the batons were stained and installed on the deck.


The completed battons are stained and installed next to the wheel box.

They are a little large, but I don’t think anyone would notice in person.  The overall piece is the right size, and it looks like a grate when you look at it.


The battons are thicker than the plans call for, but I think they look fine.

Next I moved on to the main and fore boom sheet buffers.  These are some assemblies that will be used later when the rigging is done.  These two assemblies are very similar, so we’re doing both at once.

Both pieces use a cast metal piece provided in the kit.


Cast metal pieces are provided for the boom sheet buffers.

These are simplified versions of the assemblies on the actual ship.

Like other cast metal pieces, these will be cleaned up using a file, then polished and washed before being painted.

Both the fore and main boom sheet buffers require a little bit of wood work.  The fore boom sheet buffer gets mounted to the deck, and a wooden structure is installed above it.  The kit provides some very, very tiny laser cut pieces for this.  These pieces were cut out, cleaned up, and assembled.


The structure for the fore boom sheet buffer is assembled from laser cut wood pieces.

The main boom sheet buffer gets installed at the very end of the boat, underneath the hole in the main rail.  That spot in the main rail is supported by some legs that were installed earlier.  For this one, we’ll be attaching the metal piece to a wooden shelf that we’ll slide into place.

The wooden parts for both were built, sanded, and primed.  They will both be airbrushed white.


The main boom sheet buffer will be installed on a shelf.  That shelf is made from a strip of wood and painted along with the assembly for the fore boom sheet buffer.

While we wait for paint to dry, the metal piece for the fore boom sheet buffer is installed in the deck.  It has been painted black, with brass paint for the ring at the top.  That ring would be a separate piece on the actual ship so I wanted it to stand out from the rest of the assembly.  I chose brass paint because I’m leaving a lot of the metal on the ship as brass (eyebolts, rings, belaying pins), so using brass here will fit with my overall scheme even if it isn’t historically accurate.

The piece is installed by drilling two holes into the deck, and dropping the piece in place.


The metal piece is installed in the deck for the fore boom sheet buffer.

The piece for the main boom sheet buffer at the back is similarly installed, but instead of drilling into the deck it goes into the shelf we made.


The metal piece for the main boom sheet buffer is mounted to the shelf.

The completed wooden assembly is installed over the fore boom sheet buffer.


The wooden assembly is installed over the fore boom sheet buffer.

The main boom sheet buffer is slipped into place at the rear of the ship.


The shelf with the main boom sheet buffer is slipped into place under main rail.


Things are coming together.