Canon Rigging Ideas - Armed Virginia Sloop: By Dan Parker
If you have as much learning this as I have, maybe some of my solutions will work for you too.
I tried out Clay Feldman’s approach presented in his Lexington forum The Lexington Practicum -- check it out; it’s truly fantastic and has a lot of added info. I thought his rope in his fake block and tackle looked too sloppy, so I made mine as neat as I could. I didn’t like my results, but didn’t go back to do it a bit differently. I may have liked it. Results below. I’m still planning on using his idea in the future, but I need to work on it a more.
Note: Click on any thumbnail to view image in full size (will open in a new window).
When I tried rigging the blocks instead of faking them, I liked the results better even though they are out of scale, so I plan to use the blocks with the kit, at least on this model. Learning what works for me took a few variations. First, annealed wire is very soft. That’s good and works great for close in bending, but if I crimp it too hard - I set it up for breakage.
That happened on my first single block with rope and wire attached. Evidently while fussing with the seizing, I kept bumping the wire on the end. It broke at the joint when I attempted to make the hook, because I had crimped it too hard and moved it back and forth too much.
Second, I had to figure out how I could do seizing, since I seem to be all thumbs sometimes. I tried the third hand tool, but I had to keep letting go and reaching around to re-grasp the seizing chord - too much work and I’m too klutzy to end up with consistent aligned coils.
I needed a tool to hold the rope straight and stiff, so I could wind the seizing. I bent the medium wire in the AVS kit (I think about 20 ga., parts list calls it 1/6" rod - it slides nicely through the block holes with the kit too) to make the two tools I used. The wire is smooth and slides through the finished knot and seizing easily for removal.
The handicap I found with this method, was that after removing the tool - the coil is quite loose. That is both good and bad. It’s good in that I could easily cinch up the noose around the piece it’s attached to; also the seizing stays in place nicely. I had to stop trying to slide the seizing to a different position on the rope itself once it was finished, because I damaged it and had to do it over. It’s bad in that if you aren’t careful, the rope end comes out of the seizing quite easily. It happened a few times to me.
The tool on the left is to seize the rope without anything attached, leaving a "noose" to slide your work through. I also used it for seizing breech lines with the eyebolts and ringbolts already attached.
The tool on the right is used with the block rope and wire already assembled. This worked pretty well, except I had to be careful not to break the fragile annealed wire, sticking straight out.
Leave the seizing ends untrimmed until your CA glue is set. Also leave the end of the rope untrimmed. That helps not to come loose from the seizing It’s easy to remove the tool. First, just push it off the block off the end. Second, grasp just above the seizing and slide the tool up, out of the SEIZING ROPE LOOP knot. The seizing will be okay, but handle with care, the seizing is loose -especially with this small size of rope. When I broke the annealed wire off, I had to do the whole thing over. So, I decided to make the noose with nothing attached, then complete the assembly.
I used the tool on the left to do it. It looks a little different in my picture, because this was my earlier tool edition. The handle was too short, and my hands would start to cramp from holding it. So, I made my tool (left above) and used it. It was better, and relieved some of the cramping. Some explanations of how to do this showed the seizing tightening-loop (hang-man noose style) opposite the rope loop. For me it was just too many things to keep track of and hold all at the same time. So, I found is easier to have both loops in the same end.
To get started I cut my rope as long as I needed it to be including the coil to be laid on the deck. My seizing cord was on a sewing machine bobbin and I didn’t cut it. It would be unwound from the bobbin as I seized. I looped both seizing and rope over the hook on my tool.
So, between my left hand thumb and forefinger I was holding both parts of the seizing cord and rope. They were both held in place by the tool and hook.
Continuing to hold rope and seizing cord with my left hand, I took the Seizing spool and brought it down under my left thumb and started winding it around the shaft of the tool starting near the pinch point and moving toward the tool hook -binding all four cords tightly against the tool shaft.
After I had about three windings around the tool and rope/cord, I lightened my thumb pressure and pulled the spool end to draw the seizing bottom loop tightly against the bottom of the other windings.
Since the tool surface is slippery, the whole group will try to twist around the tool when you do this. So, I had to practice to get the pressure right. When I was finally able to get a tight wind started, I kept winding until I had about nine tightly wound seizing windings.
Then I held the last one tightly against the tool shaft to keep it from unwinding - and cut the spool end of the seizing cord, leaving enough length to thread through the seizing loop on the tool hook. I slid the tool to the left enough to unhook the seizing cord loop from the tool hook.
Then I slid the tool back to the right making sure the rope loop was snugly held in the tool hook. Then, still holding pressure to keep the coil tight, I threaded the loose seizing end (cut from the spool) through the seizing loop.
Still holding pressure to keep the coil tight, I tugged on the opposite end of the seizing thread to tighten the loop and hold the seizing in place. Once that was tight, I could release all pressure and everything stayed nice and tight.
Now I still had two long ends of seizing dangling out, and a bit of extra length of rope below the area just seized. Didn’t trim them yet. It looks similar to the one above with the block attached, but this time it’s only a rope loop that’s been seized.
I removed the tool by unhooking the rope loop and sliding the tool all the out to the right. Once the tool was removed, I needed to be careful, because with the tool removed - the seizing and rope have a lot more play.
Now, I threaded the block strop (wire) through the rope loop (picture below with block slid in place).
Hold the seizing and rope just below the seizing group, and slowly I tightened the rope loop until it was snug against the wire. Then I touched the seizing with CA glue on both sides to hold both rope and seizing in place. Once the CA was set up, I trimmed the seizing ends and rope end - and attach the strop to the single block. Then I stropped the double block.
I cleaned out the block holes using the tip of a knife blade, then used an oversized drill bit to clean the hole edges. The tool I used to do the seizing is somewhat smaller in diameter than the block holes, but helped clean the holes nicely. Then I started threading, just keeping in mind where I want the final rope to come out on the deck for coiling. The left side is different than the right.
Once the assembly was threaded, I put a drop of CA glue into the holes to hold things in place and when the glue was set up. I made hooks and mounted the assembly to my canon carriage
My friend, Gerry Glickstein, says canon rigging is supposed to take a lot of time. I’ll vouch for that, and hope my pilgrimage helps someone else out there.