The Scratch Built Collection




This site contains an introduction to a series of unique books that describe a creative process. They contain some amount of history and instructions on how to build a series of wooden ship models using basic tools and materials.

Each text is written by and for an adult who is interested in the techniques, technologies, ships and people who make up the fabric of men and boats.  More creative interpretations and further research are encouraged. That is, after all, the point.

Many of the tools used in these models are sharp and dangerous; some tasks are complex. Basic skills are required, so these models should not be undertaken by the novice builder, even with adult or expert supervision. 

Many of the tools are constructed. The methods and histories themselves are unique to each book, so the instructions are only intended to provide a reasonable appreciation for the art.

This may be a good time to point out that when you're done building a model from a kit, you're done- you have hopefully run out of pieces and parts.
A scratch model is a lot like other things in life- you're probably never really, completely, that's-it done. No matter how good a model looks on the day you finish it, you'll probably look at it again and notice a minor area that could have been done differently (better).

o you might be tempted to take it apart (usually gently) and redo some or all of  it. Or you might give it as a gift or burn it before starting over.

Each of these fates has befallen finished models in this series.

While we’re on the subject of curses, your tools and workspace will both be subjects of these if you get involved.

To minimize the curse part, I try to demonstrate domestic sympathy by maintaining a self-contained workspace. I’ll describe this practice as we go along.

The blessing part is that if you work with wood, you'll probably develop a few habits that lead to much more precise measurements, fitting and finishing. And you'll have some homemade tools that are very handy.

If you're wondering about the name gil-guy, it can be found in a few obscure dictionaries. Spelled also as timenoguy, gill-guy or gilguy, the term refers to any piece of ancient and/or obsolete nautical gear found on a ship that does not have an otherwise convenient name. Or a quick way to reference a something that you otherwise can't remember, pronounce or describe. For example, a politician.

Copyright 2010-2016  Dean A Beeman All Rights Reserved