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Author Topic: Birlinn  (Read 1145 times)

birlinn

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Birlinn
« on: October 26, 2019, 04:47:50 PM »


About to start building a West Highland Galley, or Birlinn.
Scale 1:24, and no particular prototype- it will have 16 oars, and be influenced by Aileach  and one of Iain Oughtred's designs.
Moulds made, and keel, stem and stern ready- the latter two have rebates for the strake ends.

Strtakes will be 1mm limewood; looks a bit thin, but about scale thickness.
Moulds are every other frame.
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dreadnought72

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2019, 06:23:56 PM »

 :-)) :-)) :-)) :-)) :-))


Andy
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2019, 01:59:38 PM »


Strakes all fixed, although a bit uneven in places. Hope it will not be too noticeable when viewed from above.
Now to pluck up courage to get it off the moulds!
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dreadnought72

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2019, 11:12:24 PM »

THAT was quick!  :o


Andy
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2019, 04:23:03 PM »


Now off the moulds- the lower parts are glued in, at alternative frame positions. They will be hidden by the sole boards.
Plenty of frames, thwarts, knees, stringers etc. to follow!
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2019, 02:44:29 PM »


A bit more progress.
The tiller is based on one shown in the Holkham Bible- I think this is more likely than the arrangement they had on the Aileach.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 02:41:09 PM »

Interior shows a bit of progress- mast step and mast next.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2019, 05:38:39 PM »

We have a mast!
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gingyer

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2019, 05:41:15 PM »

Looks great, where did you get the drawings??


Did you carve the figure head yourself
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2019, 06:14:21 PM »


Did my own drawings, based loosely on some Iain Oughtred  kindly supplied. Scale 1:25.
Yes, I whittled the figurehead.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2019, 05:48:07 PM »


Woodwork now completed, apart from the oars.
Still debating how to paint it- white lime wood doesn't look right for a ship that would have been built in oak, with a pine tar finish.
Can't use stain, as there will be white patches wherever it has been glued. Anyone any suggestions, please?
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RST

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2019, 06:25:21 PM »

Very impressive. I did try and join the crew of Aileach years ago but it never came to pass.

Stupid question time. Why the key hole shaped holes for the oars?

Rich
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2019, 06:41:57 PM »

The oar blades are wider than the oar shafts and the oar ports- the slot allows oars to be unshipped inboard. The slots always face aft.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2019, 01:42:25 PM »


Painted the wee beastie figurehead- I will scrape the tiny speck of paint off his eye! I found some tiny glass beads for these. The gold outlines of scales were an experiment- I will repaint and do them more neatly.
Still experimenting with stains and paints for the hull; the problem is areas of glue look very different to finishes on the bare lime wood.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2019, 03:47:19 PM »


The dragon has changed to red, and painting now complete,
It's a shame to cover up all that lovely white lime wood, but it just doesn't look like oak with a pine tar finish.
The colours are cribbed from the replica of Skuldelev 2, the Sea Stallion from Glandalough.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2019, 04:26:49 PM »


We have a sail!
Running and standing rigging, plus reefing points next.
Oh, and 13 more oars.
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SailorGreg

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2019, 06:30:05 PM »

Super job. As you say, a shame to paint that lovely woodwork but needs must!  Did you draw your own plans or are they available somewhere?

Greg

birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 06:48:08 PM »

Drew my own plans, based loosely on Iain Oughtred's Gall Gael design. He kindly sent me drawings and pics of his model. Mine is to a different scale, with different frame spacing.
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dreadnought72

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2019, 08:07:35 PM »

Are reef points in period? I understand bonnets are 'the way to go' until late Tudor times?


Andy
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2019, 09:23:19 PM »


Reefing points are shown on the birlinn on the MacLeod tomb at Rodel, Harris, on the town seal for Rye, dating to c. 1400, and on the 13th century seal of Dublin.
 I am quite happy with them on my model!
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2019, 10:43:13 PM »


Re Bonnets- surely these added to a sail's area, rather than reducing it? they were a strip of sailcloth laced to the bottom of a sail, and first appeared in the Mediterranean area in the early 14th century.
Did you perchance mean brails? these certainly did reduce sail area , and go back to Classica times.
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johnv

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2019, 11:07:15 AM »

Hi it's John V just looking at your build . I think you are doing a lovely Job .you should pat yourself on your back .keep up the good work .nice one cheers John V
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dreadnought72

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2019, 11:53:03 AM »

Just to be clear: a bonnet - the strip of cloth under the mainsail - would be taken off and the yard lowered in high winds as a method of reefing.


Intrigued by the mention of 13th century reef points, tho'.


Andy, off to google an image.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2019, 08:23:15 PM »


Point taken, Dreadnaught- bonnet removal will subtract sail area!
I have seen no evidence for the use of bonnets on Birlinns and similar medieval single mast ships though.
The enclosed badly scanned pic is from the 13th century Bodleian Apocolypse, and shows reefing points. They are much clearer on the original.
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birlinn

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Re: Birlinn
« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2019, 08:24:35 PM »


Made a clang with a post, but on this site you can't delete!
Sorry.
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