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Miniature Brass Ship's Porthole

Feb. 28, 2021

Up for sale is on eBay this week is one Miniature Brass Ship’s Porthole in 1/12th scale by Wm. R. Robertson. The inspiration for this was when I did the data base earlier this year listing nearly every miniature I have ever made there was a record of making a brass porthole in 1979. It was commissioned as a gift from a miniature club to its retiring president. I remember it being a really neat thing but had no photos so I’m not sure what it really looked like. It has been on my mind lately and I decided I needed to do a “Play Project”, that is where you just make something for the fun of it. I started off making two, one for me and one to put on ebay. Since there were a lot of complex machining set-ups I started making three of each part and since I didn’t mess any I ended up with an extra. I’m going to put it aside for later so this is 1 of 3 made but the only one for SALE.

Now about the Porthole, it is 1 3/8” diameter, that is measured at the outside of the rim. There are 21 pieces in it machined from brass except for the tempered glass window and the Delrin gasket. It hinges open and can be battened down with ring bolts and toggle bolts just like a real one. There are even stops on the bolts to keep the ring nuts from unscrewing and getting lost. The mounting lugs and hinge were soldered on to the mounting fling with gold solder. Delrin was used for the gasket instead of rubber because it will not deteriorate with time. The glass is .040” (1.0mm) thick. The back was finished the way Holtzapffel, a company in London famous for its fine tools, finished their brass. It is done with a “Tam O’ Shanter” stone. If you want to see how this was made there are a lot of progress posts on my social media, see my the bottom of this page for links to my Instagram and Facebook.

I feel this is one of the most fun pieces I have made in a while, it just feels so good to play with in your hands. To loosen the ring nuts and flip them down clearing the lugs, then opening the porthole to let in that imaginary sea air.

This would be perfect in any kind of nautical or marine setting, an antique shop, or just as a tiny piece of mechanical art.


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