Our Customer's Challenge
A customer living along Lake Huron is a nautical collector. He brought us a wooden scale model stern hull section of a Great Lakes freighter that was over six feet tall for restoration. Before there were computers to handle design calculations in creating a product, all design work was done with slide rulers and scale models to test the item. In this case, the entire ship hull would have been hydro dynamically tested in a huge water basin to check its design qualities. While there were design reference markings on the customer’s hull, unfortunately there was no indication of the ship builder or freighter’s name. The customer wanted it made into a usable shelf unit for his home to display other nautical items.
We had to repair some damaged areas on the hull and reglue the rudder support arm, which was broken off. We fabricated and installed the shelves and shelf supports based on the customers directions. A rough base was already on the hull, but needed to be made secure and cleaned, as well as the hull interior. The interior and exterior were then finished with a varnish to match how the hull model was originally finished.
While we see many different and unusual items at Hensler, this hull model was in a class by itself. It is truly a very unique item that all Michiganders can identify with. This is a very beautiful and well-crafted piece of work – and art – from a time, profession and industrial process that no longer exists. The customer’s passion to collect and preserve an item like this hull model allowed him to proudly display it in his home and use it to display other nautical items in his collection.