Sunday, June 11, 2017

Welsford navigator 'Annie' build slideshow


To celebrate more than 1.5 million views of my boat building pics on Flickr- half of which are of the building of the Welsford Navigator 'Annie', I have put together a five minute slide show of the build process as it happened for me. 

In writing, emailing and talking to dozens of Navigator builders since posting these some years ago, I know that having pictures and resources available is a big factor in motivation for some who are facing these challenges for the first time, often with little experience in the shed, or 'on the tools' (as Australian tradesmen express it).

I hope this is of some use to builders- particularly of Welsford designed boats which all share some common build and design features. The Flickr pics are somewhat annotated and are more useful for careful dreaming, but maybe a slideshow might be of use in big picture dreaming when you should be doing something normal, but need a boat building fix.

Mine isn't the prettiest of Navigators, nor is it the best build. I'm certainly not the best sailor or the best film maker or the most adventurous owner. To be honest I love timber and lines and building challenges most of all and sailing is something I came to very late in life. The workshop in which most of the build happened is crude and agricultural (although some bits are nice when I took it to my place of work) but the boat functions well and the pics have been feasted upon because they are there to be seen.
There is also the book 'Something About Navigator' (available on Amazon) which people tell me has been useful. I think I earn about $3 per copy when one sells, so please don't think this is a commercial plug- I wouldn't have bothered for the money! The black and white edition has pretty ordinary illustration quality, but I had strong advice at the time that I needed to keep the cost of the book down to $20. The colour edition is better, but twice the price.



Navigator 'Annie' build slideshow from Robert Ditterich on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

escaping the noise





Below, a noiseless piece of winter sun on water to calm our nerves in an angry, tense world. Play on full screen and dismiss all worldly affairs from your mind, have two full minutes of almost empty landscape.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

OM steel string guitar build slideshow




My OM steel string guitar is having it's truss rod adjusted for the first time since I finished the instrument in 2011. I was finding the strings a bit high, and on applying the straight-edge test I found that since moving here the neck had crept a little towards a bow. This is a normal periodic adaption by the wood to changes in humidity. Adjustment done I re-tensioned the G and D strings and promptly broke the G- and of course in the pile of strings under the bench, the only steel string I don't have is a G. Never mind, the action is much better, and I'm just surprised that I let the neck get away with this, unnoticed.

There are some violins and a viola on the bench too. First time in a couple of years. A very persistent friend of a friend (over a period of a year) wore me down to an undertaking to restore three or four instruments for her. Weird feeling, because I do miss the contemplative work, but not the tasks of running a business. 
But the point of this post is to include a small slideshow of the build of this instrument. Of all the dozens of instruments that I made over twenty five years, this is the only one that I made for me.