Making realistic working rigging blocks

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I hate ship kit supplied blocks. I'm buildung the Constellation ATM as Artisian Latina POB kit in preparation for a larger POF scratch build of the same ship with many details. I need blocks so I thought I'd try making one. Here is the process I used.

First I needed a sheave I dug through some sheaves I cut on the lathe some time ago and selected one. I also chose to make the cheeks crown and tail of the block from a piece of left over hull planking the pin is just a straight piece if brass wire I stretched to straighten it. The sheave started as a brass rod that I cut a groove in and then parted off the thickness I wanted. You can easily do this on a drill press with a round file to make the groove and then part it off with a hacksaw blade. The sheaves can also be made from wood or plastic.

I cut the cheeks to equal lengths a bit longer then I actually needed so I'd have a place to clamp the assembly up without damaging the actual block section.
20201120_101030.jpg
Next I layed the crown and tail pieces together and clamped them together. I used a file close to the diameter of the sheave to cut in notches for the sheave to set in so when I drill the hole for the pin it will be centered. Checked the fit and it was acceptable.20201120_102245.jpg20201120_102250.jpg20201120_102354.jpg
Next I glued the tail to one of the cheeks and set it aside to dry while clamped in place. I then placed the sheave where I wanted it and glued on the crown with just a tiny space to allow the sheave to rotate.20201120_103549.jpg20201120_103810.jpg20201120_111306.jpg
when it was dry I used a small round file to open up the swallow a bit while replacing the sheave every now and then to check how much wood was being removed. Once done I sanded down the crown and tail to nearly level with the sheave. as you can see in the first picture below they sat a bit higher then the sheave and i didn't want all that excess space.
20201120_111412.jpg20201120_112728.jpg
Once I was satisfied I had it roughed in I put the sheave in place centered the best I could by eye and used the pin hole in the sheave as a guide to drill out the cheek.
20201120_113404.jpg
Satisfied, I installed the other cheek clqmoed it down and let it dry.
20201120_113543.jpg
Using the hole and sheave inside as a guide I drilled the other cheek. Sharpened the end of the pin and pushed it into place its a slight press fit so no glue required.
20201120_113621.jpg20201120_113752.jpg20201120_113846.jpg
Now that I have an assembly I nipped the pin off and filed it flush. I also sanded smooth and even all sides of the assembly.
20201120_115658.jpg
Now I had to free the sheave I pushed the pin out with a needle and used the round file and #11 exacto to open the swallow and throat until the sheave just pushed out. Now with full access to the throat I refined its shape 20201120_121854.jpg20201120_121905.jpgI sawed off the excess and shapped the block by first thinning and shaping the cheeks and then the face working back and forth to maintain symmetry as best I could, lastly I reinstalled the sheave and pin and cut in the score so it could be strapped or stropped, pictures are of it with strap.
20201120_134311.jpg20201120_134336.jpg20201120_135416.jpg20201120_135434.jpg20201120_143214.jpg20201120_142738.jpg
So does it roll? Absolutly, even with slight tension it rolls smooth as butter. Should be easy to up or down size this method very easily. Hope the helps some folks to take the plunge into better blocks.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
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I hate ship kit supplied blocks. I'm buildung the Constellation ATM as Artisian Latina POB kit in preparation for a larger POF scratch build of the same ship with many details. I need blocks so I thought I'd try making one. Here is the process I used.

First I needed a sheave I dug through some sheaves I cut on the lathe some time ago and selected one. I also chose to make the cheeks crown and tail of the block from a piece of left over hull planking the pin is just a straight piece if brass wire I stretched to straighten it. The sheave started as a brass rod that I cut a groove in and then parted off the thickness I wanted. You can easily do this on a drill press with a round file to make the groove and then part it off with a hacksaw blade. The sheaves can also be made from wood or plastic.

I cut the cheeks to equal lengths a bit longer then I actually needed so I'd have a place to clamp the assembly up without damaging the actual block section.
View attachment 194158
Next I layed the crown and tail pieces together and clamped them together. I used a file close to the diameter of the sheave to cut in notches for the sheave to set in so when I drill the hole for the pin it will be centered. Checked the fit and it was acceptable.View attachment 194162View attachment 194163View attachment 194164
Next I glued the tail to one of the cheeks and set it aside to dry while clamped in place. I then placed the sheave where I wanted it and glued on the crown with just a tiny space to allow the sheave to rotate.View attachment 194165View attachment 194166View attachment 194167
when it was dry I used a small round file to open up the swallow a bit while replacing the sheave every now and then to check how much wood was being removed. Once done I sanded down the crown and tail to nearly level with the sheave. as you can see in the first picture below they sat a bit higher then the sheave and i didn't want all that excess space.
View attachment 194169View attachment 194170
Once I was satisfied I had it roughed in I put the sheave in place centered the best I could by eye and used the pin hole in the sheave as a guide to drill out the cheek.
View attachment 194171
Satisfied, I installed the other cheek clqmoed it down and let it dry.
View attachment 194172
Using the hole and sheave inside as a guide I drilled the other cheek. Sharpened the end of the pin and pushed it into place its a slight press fit so no glue required.
View attachment 194173View attachment 194174View attachment 194175
Now that I have an assembly I nipped the pin off and filed it flush. I also sanded smooth and even all sides of the assembly.
View attachment 194176
Now I had to free the sheave I pushed the pin out with a needle and used the round file and #11 exacto to open the swallow and throat until the sheave just pushed out. Now with full access to the throat I refined its shape View attachment 194177View attachment 194178I sawed off the excess and shapped the block by first thinning and shaping the cheeks and then the face working back and forth to maintain symmetry as best I could, lastly I reinstalled the sheave and pin and cut in the score so it could be strapped or stropped, pictures are of it with strap.
View attachment 194183View attachment 194184View attachment 194185View attachment 194186View attachment 194187View attachment 194190
So does it roll? Absolutly, even with slight tension it rolls smooth as butter. Should be easy to up or down size this method very easily. Hope the helps some folks to take the plunge into better blocks.
Very nice. Only 233 more to go.... ;)
 
Joined
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Very nice. Only 233 more to go.... ;)
I know right not looking forward to it, but I have an idea how to make an assembly line so other then shaping they should go pretty quick. shaping was the hardest part. have to figure out all the sizes needed for singles doubles and maybe triples have to see when I get to the rigging what I need. crazy thing is I'll have to remake them all over again for the POF build. now that I know I can make them I will make blocks for all new builds I do.
 
Joined
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Messages
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Points
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I know right not looking forward to it, but I have an idea how to make an assembly line so other then shaping they should go pretty quick. shaping was the hardest part. have to figure out all the sizes needed for singles doubles and maybe triples have to see when I get to the rigging what I need. crazy thing is I'll have to remake them all over again for the POF build. now that I know I can make them I will make blocks for all new builds I do.
They do look fantastic though! And how cool is that the sheave even spins! It should be pretty straight forward to shape one long piece of wood and then slice it to yield the various parts.
Also, for rounding out the corners, (I haven't ever used this or made one) but there is a sort of container with sandpaper inside that you put on a drill and spin to round out the corners. Model Shipways has one called the Block Buster. I've been wanting to make one from scratch---someday. Would certainly beat sanding down those corners one by one.

 
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Yeah the plan is to use a whole strip and add the parts for multiple assemblies then cut them off 1 by 1 i have the block buster its good for the cheap blocks but I wouldn't use it on one's like I made. I honestly don't care if they work or not in this build but I do want them working on the POF build
 
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They do look fantastic though! And how cool is that the sheave even spins! It should be pretty straight forward to shape one long piece of wood and then slice it to yield the various parts.
Also, for rounding out the corners, (I haven't ever used this or made one) but there is a sort of container with sandpaper inside that you put on a drill and spin to round out the corners. Model Shipways has one called the Block Buster. I've been wanting to make one from scratch---someday. Would certainly beat sanding down those corners one by one.

I bought one of those and was not satisfied with either the product or the results but I did not have the drum well filled. . . just a couple of dozen which did not round off as expected. Rich (PT-2)
 
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