15 Months….or 15 Years

15 months ago I started a project, creating a display board of my collection of Naval items. It has been a bit of a long haul- not overly difficult, just for some reason I stopped early on, and didn’t find the motivation to knock the project off.

You could say the project started 15 years ago when it was first conceived, but it was only recently I knew what I wanted to do.

One final big push- the brass was all polished and sealed, the board sanded and finished, hole drilled for the gauge and I had the method for attaching all the items finally worked out.

Brass screws (keeping as traditional as possible) mounted the majority of the items. The crests were glued, as were the name plate (with white ensign) and the plate from the ANZAC. This wasn’t screwed on because by the time the ANZACs arrived there was so much less care for attention to detail and quick and easy was the order of the day.

Mounting the cartridges, wheel spanner and torch needed some problem solving, until I cottoned on to the idea of using copper wire. Couldn’t thing of a supplier, so came up with an alternative right in the shed already- heavy electrical wire. Stripping the insulation left a number of strands, just a heavy enough gauge to work. I started off with the idea of drilling two holes next to each other, so the wire could be twisted off at the back, but with the holes close together, huon pine couldn’t withstand the force so the wire cut through between the holes.


I then came up with a much simpler solution- a single hole, with the two end fed through, then wrapped around a screw at the back. With care, this screw is then tightened to lock the wire in place. Care is needed as tightening the screw pulls on the wire, and the copper gets close to breaking point. When successful, it is a good way to really secure the item in question.

I used the same method to secure the rank boards as well, in a way very similar to how rank boards are fixed to a shirt in the first place.

So the completed board, looking rather similar to the planned layout and in context, among some of the qualifications earned at the time. Now I just have to polish up the 4.5″ and 5″ shells.


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