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Kids those days

2009-12-20 21:13:10.731816+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

New York Times: Help Wanted - Boatbuilder And I have cast a keel out of lead (thanks, Grandpa!).

Somewhere out there is a man who can help me build a model boat for my little nephew. This man is between 82 and 84 years old, which means he was a 10-, 11- or 12-year-old boy in 1937, when the book I took the plans from was published.

I take my hope from the future in the kid across the street, who has called me over at least once to check out the cockpit for the spaceship he's building, for which he's scrounged an old speedometer and several other gauges...

[ related topics: Invention and Design Boats Fabrication New York ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-21 23:24:12.355945+00 by: Larry Burton

That's part of the reason I was so excited back when Monster Garage became so popular. It was introducing the idea that fabricating car parts was not something that required a factory to do and it seemed like a lot of young people were excited about metalworking and machining. At least now when I mention an English wheel around my sons' friends at least some of them know what I'm talking about.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-21 22:52:05.346688+00 by: petronius

It's amazing how fast skills can disappear. A couple of years ago BBC moved some folks into a restored 1900 house to live in for a few months, using coal and no electric systems to live. They found a still crated coal stove with a back-boiler for the kithen, where the main cookstove would also heat water for the baths upstairs. The problem was that while the stove would cook food (slowly and smokily), it wouldn't get the water hot enough. The plumber finally moved the boiler far closer to the heat and got it working, at the same time violating about 12 safety regs. The point was that the knowlege of how this simple bit of ironmongery worked was as extinct as the process of mummification in the pyramids.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-21 16:59:13.516591+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Your dad just beat some angle iron into the right shape and melted the lead directly in that as the mold. And I think he didn't actually let me hold that over the torch 'cause he was concerned about lead fumes, so I watched that bit from a few feet away.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-12-20 23:01:19.037538+00 by: andylyke [edit history]

Get in touch with him. You can make a pattern of pine, construct a flask of plywood, ~1"+ larger than the greatest dimensions of the pattern, mix up some "green sand", using sand and available clay, pack that around the pattern. ( I'm assuming that the keel weight has a flat top, and the right draft to pull the pattern from the sand) Pull the pattern up & out, pour the lead in, following it if it shrinks too much upon cooling, and you'll have a keel. I'm sure that some of the old timey hardware stores in Petaluma would have ladles.