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[Tutorial] Functional Capstan


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12 replies to this topic  – Started by Sebeus I , Sep 13 2013 07:44 PM

#1 Sebeus I

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 07:44 PM

Capstans

Welcome at my first tutorial here at Classic Pirates,
in this tutorial I will try to convince you that there is no argument not to have a functional capstan on your ships. (On condition you have a ship big enough to support one ofcourse and I heard some people are allergic to Technic so I guess that's a valid argument as well).
This working capstan design applies perfectly for a frigate in CGH style.
I will use a prefab hull for this tutorial but I want you to keep in mind that it can easely be applied to costum hulls as well. This guide will be quite basic because there just are so many different ships, every ship needs its own approach on how to integrate a working capstan.

I will start with a simplified construction of a capstan used to haul a singe anchor, then I will extend to more complex and versatile mechanics to eventually allow you to operate two independent anchors.
So without further ado, let's get this party started.

Operating 1 anchor:

You'll need a capstan, it doesn't have to be this one but make sure it connects to a cross axle.
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But if your really want this one...
Spoiler


Another capstan: By Phred

An anchor with a winch (also cross axle based). You can use the capstan for other things besides the anchors as well but I'll get to that later.
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Some usefull technic parts;
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This is a useful construction;
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But if you don't have the black part you can use this alternate construction;
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Now...
The implementation of a working capstan takes place at the very beginning of the ship-building process. It's important to place the capstan at the best location of the ship.
When starting a new ship I usually start by marking the locations of the masts (I covered them with green round plates to make them more visible).
Yellow marks the possible locations of the capstan, keep in mind that the capstan has a volume too so you'll have to reserve some space near the masts.

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To decide where you will ultimately place your capstan you should consider what else you want in your ship, a staircase and grates perhaps. AT this point you have to know (more or less) how the deck will look.


Personally I find it most practical to place the capstan just behind the second mast (on a three mast ship that is), that way I have plenty of room for grates between first and second mast.

Posted Image


What I'm going to do now is probably not historically accurate. I will not connect the anchor winch directly to the capstan. I do this for practical reasons, you don't want anchor cables running through the ship, trust me.
What I'll do is much more reliable, the anchor winch should be placed as close to the bow as possible (as close to the place where the anchor will hang from the ship), this way there's less chance of complications with rope/cable getting stuck within the ship.
Instead of a direct cable connection I will make use of a flexible axle.

First attach the capstan to the construction mentioned earlier (this is temporarely, you can detach it later to work on the deck and so on).

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Then you place this construction in the ship on the place you wanted the capstan (the main reason to attach the capstan already is to make sure it doesn't interfere with the masts).

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As you can see the capstan is connected to an axle running through the ship. Technic bricks are useful to run through the masts and other obstructions.
You may wonder what's the universal joint is for, I noticed some of my ships tend to bend a little when building larger, the joint assures a smooth axle turning.
Now the anchor can be hauled up using the capstan.


Operating 2 anchors independently:

Now in order to provide multiple independent functions to one driving axle, operating two independent anchors with one capstan for example, you'll need a mechanism to shift gears.
LEGO Technic provides us with a very easy-to-use system consisting out of these key-parts:
Clutch gears: Gear 16 Tooth with Clutch (you need atleast 2).
Driving Ring: Driving Ring (you need 1 for each pair of clutch gears).

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There's also a technic switch available which makes it easier to make the driving ring hatch into the clutch gears:
Changeover Catch
But I've seen multiple alternatives for that part at the Technic forum, still, I like to use this part over alternatives.

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In this picture you see the left gear clutched to the axle on top, neutral in the middle (no gears clutch) and right gear clutched at the bottom.

connecting the clutch gears with other gears allows you to operate multiple axles, I will now integrate this system in the hull;

Posted Image

Note that I just picked a random position of the 'gearbox', you can easely place it practically anywhere, in front of/ after the capstan, in the bow (like I did for my Frigate.
Again it's important to think about how your ship will look and what features it will have when choosing a location for the gearbox

Posted Image
(The switch was taken out for a better view)
The red axle connectors are used to block the gears in one direction, this allows you to pull an anchor while preventing it to fall back down.
This isn't always needed though, usually, because the official anchors are so light, the friction alone is enough to keep them up.

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I used yellow axle connectors to show how to operate the switch, as you can see the lower one allows a rotative motion to switch gears, this means you can attach this end to another flexible axle and thus move the location of the switch away from the gearbox.

To illustrate how it works I made this short video:



UPDATE: 21 December 2013

The previous construction was built very symmetrically so it would be easier to see how it works.
However, when applied to a real MOC ship you don't need to see how it works, the more compact you can build the mechanism, the more space you gain for interior and/or other functions on your ship.
I have therefor applied this capstan mechanism to a current WIP of mine to show a more practical example.

Posted Image

This is a three-mast ship, the capstan is located after the foremast (very common location for the capstan on a historical ship).
The capstan itself will be mounted on the brown vertical axle.
The red axle connectors with gray axle towballs are used to block the anchors in place (so they don't fall down after you hauled them).

Posted Image

As you can see the gearbox for switching anchors does not lay in line with the ship's length this time.
The switch itself is concealed under the yellow technic plate and will be operated by turning the light grey axle.
I intend to attach a barrel to the switch axle to hide it on deck in an elegant manner.

Posted Image

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On this picture you can see the anchor blocking mechanisms, these are connected via several gears to the previously mentioned axle towballs, which will be accessible on deck.


Sigh, I really don't get it, when I watch the movie on my camera it's great but when I upload it to my computer it becomes dark Posted Image .

So, this was it, for now.
It's my first tutorial so ofcourse it's not perfect, any suggestions to make it better are welcome as well as questions (which may inspire me to expand this tutorial or explain part in a different way).

Combine this tutorial with Build a frigate with Captain Green Hair!

An interesting link for more about capstans;
Capstan by Foremast Jack

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
I will expand this tutorial later with a sollution for modular ships (yes, a modular ship is not a valid argument not to have a functional capstan so if DPW is reading this... :devil: ).

Edited by Sebeus I, 28 December 2013 - 03:40 PM.

Posted Image

#2 kbcakir

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 01:35 AM

Very useful tutorial. As a pirate mocer wannabe, I found this tutorial awesome

#3 pogie

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 03:55 AM

Great tutorial. I remember from the O'brian novels they used the capstan for all sorts of different things. Not least of which was when it was used to tie up the midshipman for a paddling. Such a sordid fate for a young gentleman.

#4 Capt. Stabbin

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 03:23 AM

Great tutorial!  I can't wait to incorporate one in my next ship MOC.

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#5 Sebeus I

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 05:57 PM

View PostCapt. Stabbin, on 16 September 2013 - 03:23 AM, said:

Great tutorial!  I can't wait to incorporate one in my next ship MOC.

Go to Classic-Pirates.com
Thanks :classic: .

I'm going to expand the tutorial with some examples of how to integrate the capstan in the deck itself.
Posted Image

#6 Frank Brick Wright

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 08:59 PM

Oh wow, this is certainly a nice tutorial! Your mechanisms are very clever and efficient, ingenious! :thumbup:

View PostSebeus I, on 13 September 2013 - 07:44 PM, said:

Welcome at my first tutorial here at Classic Pirates,
in this tutorial I will try to convince you that there is no argument not to have a functional capstan on your ships. (On condition you have a ship big enough to support one ofcourse and I heard some people are allergic to Technic so I guess that's a valid argument as well).

However, you must agree that your capstan mechanism for two anchors takes pretty space nonetheless :wink: Although in a prefab ship I'm sure that bottom of the hull is generally of no use at all.

I think you could include a few capstan designs from other people in a final note or so, just to give an idea to readers of the different sizes, shapes and etc they can incorporate in their ships :classic: I'm really looking forward to a continuation of this!

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No keel has ever ploughed that path before

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#7 Elephant Knight

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 03:01 AM

Hmmm, very interesting. I might have to give this a try.

#8 Sebeus I

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 12:56 PM

Updated the first post with a practical application,
haul up two anchors independently using one capstan.

The previous construction was built very symmetrically so it would be easier to see how it works.
However, when applied to a real MOC ship you don't need to see how it works, the more compact you can build the mechanism, the more space you gain for interior and/or other functions on your ship.
I have therefor applied this capstan mechanism to a current WIP of mine to show a more practical example.

Posted Image

This is a three-mast ship, the capstan is located after the foremast (very common location for the capstan on a historical ship).
The capstan itself will be mounted on the brown vertical axle.
The red axle connectors with gray axle towballs are used to block the anchors in place (so they don't fall down after you hauled them).

Posted Image

As you can see the gearbox for switching anchors does not lay in line with the ship's length this time.
The switch itself is concealed under the yellow technic plate and will be operated by turning the light grey axle.
I intend to attach a barrel to the switch axle to hide it on deck in an elegant manner.

Posted Image

Posted Image

On this picture you can see the anchor blocking mechanisms, these are connected via several gears to the previously mentioned axle towballs, which will be accessible on deck.
I will soon cover this whole mechanism with a deck.

Edited by Sebeus I, 21 December 2013 - 01:02 PM.

Posted Image

#9 kabel

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 05:32 PM

A truely amazing technique for a ship, i usually put in way to much stuff into the hull to be applying this though
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#10 Sebeus I

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 04:05 PM

View Postkabel, on 21 December 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

A truely amazing technique for a ship, i usually put in way to much stuff into the hull to be applying this though
What kind of stuff are we talking about then? Posted Image
Posted Image

#11 kabel

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:49 AM

all kinds of auxilliary structures to get the hull and everything as stable as possible so the ships don't break apart during the ride on Belgian motorways Posted Image
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#12 Sebeus I

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 12:40 PM

View Postkabel, on 23 December 2013 - 10:49 AM, said:

all kinds of auxilliary structures to get the hull and everything as stable as possible so the ships don't break apart during the ride on Belgian motorways Posted Image
Okay, that is a valid argument Posted Image .
Still, technic bricks are very useful for creating strong structures... And they allow axles to be running through Posted Image .
Posted Image

#13 Sebeus I

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:30 PM

Updated with video:



It's not a very good video, I'm experiencing some light problems with my camera.
First I haul up the port anchor, then the starboard anchor, then I place the barrel switch in neutral so the capstan is disconnected from the anchors.

Edited by Sebeus I, 26 December 2013 - 04:33 PM.

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