Another prominent feature in photos of Pilot Cutters is the windlass. There are several different designs, but the one I decided to model is the barrel windlass.
The first, and perhaps most difficult part was to make the ratchet wheel. The largest diameter brass I had available was 12mm so a short piece was drilled with a 4mm and then cut from the bar. I didn't have any means to accurately scribe the ratchet teeth positions on the circumference of the blank, so I had to set to and make an indexing attachment for the lathe. This turned the job into a bigger task, but the indexer will come in useful for future jobs.
I had previously made a winding handle for the lathe spindle which I use for threading workpieces using a tailstock mounted die holder. A plastic gear wheel salvaged from an old printer was bored out and glued to the winding handle shaft. This gear has 48 teeth so provides a range of indexing options 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 16, 24. A spring loaded detent, attached to the headstock holds the spindle in the required positions.
The ratchet blank was inked with a black marker pen, mounted on lathe spindle and scribed around the circumference with 12 equally spaced lines. Twelve radial cuts were then made 1mm deep with a piercing saw and the surplus material filed away to produce the ratchet wheel.
Using a similar approach, a wooden barrel was marked radially with 8 equi-spaced lines (I knew the indexing attachment would come in useful 😀)Flats were planed on the barrel using the lines as a guide. Timber battens were then added to produce a completed barrel similar to the ones seen on full sized Cutters.
A couple of temporary support posts were made so that the completed Windlass could be tried in position on the deck. It is important that the height of the windlass is low enough that the bowsprit can be retracted over it. Fortunately it does, however...... as Martin (☹️) said a few weeks ago "If it looks right, it probably is". Looking at the completed windlass, it just doesn't look right. The barrels and ratchet wheel are just too small a diameter. Two reasons I got it wrong, 1) I only had 12mm diameter brass and 2) I had to be sure it would fit below the bowsprit.
Oh well, back to the drawing board..