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Author Topic: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby  (Read 2779 times)

dcmccubbin

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Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« on: April 01, 2013, 11:35:24 PM »

 I've had this model of a Nobby that was built by my Great-grandfather around 1880 for a number of years and decided it was time to get about some restoration. While I can claim to have worked for the Newport News Shipyard, I have no exposure to sail boats.  And while I have worked with communications systems for quite a while, I have no experience with BLOGS. So, what could go wrong? http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/Smileys/Tug/smiley1.gif height=18
The path toward this reconstruction has had a number of fortuitous turns and the efforts of others to generously share their knowledge.
Things began in earnest when I came across a posting in the McCubbin Family web site which posted a picture of a silver model of a Solway trawl boat that was presented to a Member of Parliament for his support of the local fishing industry.
 http://www.dumgal.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3663
 The caption notes that the silver model was built from reference to a model built by James McCubbin, who it turns out is my Great-grandfather. 
Still searching for information, I came across Rob’s post in this web site about the amazing model Nobby he is building.  A page of Rob’s notes for his sail plan was on top of a book by L.J. Lloyd. His notes covered everything but the page title “Sail Plan for a 31 foot Annan Trawl Boat (a Solway Nobby) c. 1897. 
 http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=30888.350
 Rob was kind enough to provide enough information that I was able to get a copy of the page from the book’s publisher.  It turned out that Lloyd’s source for the sail plan was the same silver boat in the Dumfries Museum.  So, I have the sail plan for the model! 
Another great source is Nick Miller’s “The Lancashire Nobby”.  The Frontispiece is a picture of the silver model at the Dumfries Museum.  The chapter on Annan includes mention of the McCubbin family.  Contact with Mr. Miller was made possible through Rob’s BLOG and a posting (and gracious follow-up)by gondolier88 – again via the Model Boat Mayhem website. 
Nick Miller has been a huge help in getting the reconstruction launched (notice the nautical term – one of the few I know) and in the right direction.  Thanks to his assistance, the mast is installed and secure.  When I got the boat, it came with a number of parts. I remember my father say that he didn’t think the parts were all from this model.  And that proved true.  But I can now determine which parts can be restructured to fit the model.
This is probably too much for a first post. I’ll add a couple of pictures and some more background on the boat.  And, obviously, more questions and some details on how the reconstruction is going.  This fine boat has made it through some 130 years and I would hate to mess it up now. 
So, comments and suggestions are warmly welcomed.
 
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tigertiger

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 02:25:12 AM »

A nice looking model.
And good luck with the resoration.
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PICKETBOAT

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 09:41:45 AM »

dcmccubbin

This is very interesting and I'm glad I stumbled upon your post.   


This is a fine (and historically important) model as you are probably aware. I would proceed slowly and carefully. As a ship model builder and professional  antique restorer/conservator, based in Dumfries, may I suggest you consider taking the following points on board (that's another nautical term). 

Photograph each stage of the restoration.

Keep a file of your research, listing sources.

Make notes of the work, paying particular attention to discoveries made of the models internal construction techniques. Cross reference the notes to the photographs.

Ensure new/replacement components are of the correct material, and their fitting is noted and photographed for future researchers. Source the correct timber. Don't be tempted to use cheap stuff from the hardware store or strange non Scottish species.   

Retain and preserve as much of the original model as possible, including paint and varnish finishes. The model should be carefully cleaned, but not over restored. You will have to accept that it will look 130 years old.

Over restored, or badly restored models lose nearly all historic and financial value.

Never forget that you do not OWN the model, you are merely looking after in for the next generation.

Consult a professional model ship restorer (at a maritime museum) if in doubt.

Invest in a good glass case and monitor humidity levels in the case. Keep it out of direct sunlight.


I am not sure if you are aware of the small museum at Annan. I have not visited it for a very long time but I believe they have some models and information on the local shipbuilding and fishing industries.

Further reading:-  "Sailing Drifters" Edgar J March ISBN: 0 7153 4679 2

I personally would like to see pictures of the restoration project, and it would be good reference for others undertaking or thinking of undertaking such a project.

The silver Annan Nobby model at Dumfries museum is quite special. The museum should be made aware of your model and it's history. I have done work for them and I am sure Katherine Spiller (curator) would be very interested.


Good luck
PICKETBOAT 
Dumfries Scotland








rmaddock

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 11:45:28 AM »

Hello again!

Wow!  I hope the previous post didn't terrify you into locking all your tools away.

She's a lovely looking boat with a fantastic history and I'm glad what information I could offer has sent you down the right roads to her restoration.

Please keep posting lots of pictures.  I've been unfaithful to my Nobby with a full scale canoe for some time now but am feeling tempted back again by your post  O0

Cheers.

Robert.
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dcmccubbin

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2013, 12:59:38 PM »

Thanks for the pointers!
I guess that rules out using the wood piece of a coat hanger for the boom.  O0

I'll check out the book you mentioned. John Leather's "The Grafting Handbook" 2nd edition has been a big help.

I have several pieces of booms and masts from the same time period that will help in reconstruction. Nick Miller provided a number of details so I can get a fix on dimensions.  He has been very helpful in keeping me pointed in the right direction.  Which, so far, has entailed getting the mast installed. I'll post the details and pictures. Nick provided a video of an actual mast install. I told him what was slowing me down was finding a small silver coin to put in the keelson.  And, it all got going in earnest when I came across Roberts posting, which I continue to read and re-read.

I check dimensions against an image of the silver model Joanne Turner, Museums Officer - Collections (East) at the Dumfroes Museum and Camera Obscura pointed out to me.

Thanks again for the comments.
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tigertiger

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2013, 03:23:51 PM »

Small silver coins, should be available from coin dealers on-line.
Mid 1930s silver 3d about 3-4 quid.
Of the era of the boat, silver 3d bit about 15-20 quid.


You may find some in a local coin dealers, in poor condition, for a lot less. Sometimes less than a quid.
values here [size=78%]http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/values/three.html[/size]
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dlancast

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2013, 03:53:58 PM »

Well sir, that is a fine looking project.  The model is in amazing condition after 130 yrs.  Attention to detail and scale is well defined.  I envy you on this project.  Take it slow and enjoy the journey.  Do you think that our models will fair as well after 130 years?
Fairwinds to you and the best from across the pond.
Dennis
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Netleyned

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2013, 04:39:31 PM »

Not across the pond if you are referring to the Atlantic.
He's in Virginia USA Dennis.

Ned
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dlancast

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2013, 05:30:40 PM »

Oops, sorry about that :embarrassed:   Its a big world and I get confused sometimes.  Correct that to say "upper left corner of the US".


tks Ned.


Dennis
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dcmccubbin

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2013, 03:51:56 PM »

Some of the posts got me thinking about the boat's history and thought a few words crediting the man who built the model would be appropriate with a bit of the boat's history..
James McCubbin, my Great Grandfather got his start in life in Annan, 22 Feb 1854. That would make him in his late 20's when he made this model. The  model was entered into the International Fisheries Exhibition of 1883, where it earned a Bronze Medal. The catalogue provides an interesting snapshot of the fishing industry at the time. Here's  link to the catalogue via the efforts of Google Books.
http://books.google.com/books?id=51wZAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
While I have the bronze medal, the illustration of it from the catalogue is a much clearer view. The attached photo is of James McCubbin from a family picture taken after the family moved to North Bay, Ontario. As told to me, North Bay was an attractive choice to continue their trades -  boat building on Lake Nipissing and working for the rail with the Canadian Pacific.
Back to the boat on the next posts.
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dcmccubbin

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2013, 06:07:01 PM »

Well, thanks to Nick Miller's guidance and the video he sent I finally could establish the mast I have wasn't for this boat, but close.
I cut a tenon in the base of the mast to fit the existing mortice in the keelson. I sanded down the mast to fit snugly in the mast gate. The mast is 31" from the keelson to the top, and 27 " from the mast gate to the top. (scale is 1 inch to 1 foot) These measurements also matched nicely with the plans for the Nobby Nora in Nick Millers book "The Lancashire Nobby". So far, so good. (picture)

I am sketching out the details for the the chain plates. From the marks on the hull, the chain plates measure about 0.16 inches wide - or about 2 inches full size. And about 1" - or about 1' in length. (picture)

I was hoping the boom I have was going to work OK, but it is clear from comparing it to the plans for the Nora and the pictures of the silver model that the boom is too big to be for this boat. In comparison with the Nora, the boom would be about 3 3/4 inched in diameter and 20' 6' in length. The boom I have is 0.52" in diameter - about 6.25 inches full scale. (picture)
But, I do have a 46 inch long mast pole that from which a can fashion the boom and other parts such as dead eyes. I want to get all the parts needed identified before cutting any on the wood parts I have. Not sure what to do for material for the boom jaws.  May be that I can make them out of one of the parts on hand as well.
Well, time for a walk.
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gondolier88

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Re: Restoring 1880s Model of Annan Nobby
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2013, 02:50:48 PM »

I'm glad things are going well for you- this will be such a lovely model when completed. Boom jaws/gaff jaws are pretty much always oak around here (when I say around here I mean Morecambe Bay, so I can't see why Annan would be different). A walk through Oak woodland will usually throw up fallen branches that will make very nice scale grown oak timbers- although gaff and boom jaws don't require large curves in the grain.


I would think it would be unusual to see deadeyes in oak- ash or elm usually. In scale, and working at your size, European Beech carves well and will stain to match elm or ash easily.


Greg
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