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The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

So with the new forums management, and the new mods encouraging the posting of projects, I thought I would take the time to consolidate a project that is already done but took over a year to complete into it's own thread. I checked with the mods and they said to so here we go!

While this project is now complete, and pretty much everything I will be placing here is already in the scale modeling thread, it's spread out over a years worth of posting in that megathread, so pretty difficult to follow for obvious reasons. Because of the size of the project and number of posts involved, this will take a fairly long time to get re-posted into this thread. I will try to add more details where appropriate.

Quick pre-build background, I hadn't made any models, plastic, wood or otherwise since my mid-20's (I'm 55 now) and I decided to get back into model making for some reason, but when I went to the hobby store and started looking around I realized that I needed to pretty much start over as I had no tools, paint, supplies, or anything else, so there was nothing forcing me to go with plastic, and I'd always been interested in wooden ships, so I decided what the hell and bought a wooden ship kit. I dove headfirst into that project, and at the time had basically nothing else going on in my life other than work, and I finished it pretty much out of the box (I replaced some rigging line because the stuff in the kit was garbage) in about 5 weeks or so. I then took it to a fairly large local model show/competition and won 'best out of box' award, which wasn't much, but it got me energized to do something better.

This was my first ship, the Carmen which is a kit from Constructo.



This started me down a rabbit hole indeed.

So here is what a wooden model ship kit looks like when you get it (or at least this one). It's basically a box full of wood parts, some laser cut, others just pieces of wood, a bunch of fittings, some sheets of plans, and an instruction book (which may or may not have instructions that correctly tell you what to do, and in what order).




So there's what we start with, and of course the idea is to transform this into something resembling an Armed Virginia Sloop (a privateer) from about 1768.

Note that this is a 'mythical' ship representative of a type of ship that was common in the era, it is not a model of a specific ship, and there are some glaring issues with scale that will be touched upon as the project goes on.

Hopefully enough people are interested in this to make it worth the effort it will take to copy all of this over from the original build log, and at least a few people enjoy the experience. I'm sure it will take a fair amount of time for me to get this all back up in this single dedicated project thread.

The Locator fucked around with this message at 01:07 on Oct 21, 2020

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Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




This is very neat! I love wooden ships and look forward to following this.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

The beginning...

The false keel (the bit that all the bulkheads attach to) appears to be very good. There is an almost imperceptible lift when it's laid on a flat surface, as can be seen here where the bow has a tiny gap under it. All of the bulkheads and the false keel are cut from basswood, not plywood as some people have reported in their MS (Model Shipways) kits.



When it is flipped to the other side there is no gap anywhere, it lays perfectly. When I sight down it I can't detect any deflection at all.



First problem. Bulkhead F is not cut correctly.



I don't understand how this could happen, as I would hope that the laser cutting is a computer controlled process, and it shouldn't be able to cut incorrectly. I would think that every single kit would come out like this if it's a flaw in the computer control plan. When I lay this bulkhead on the plans, it's clear that the 'high' side is correct, so I will likely have to add some material to the 'low' side to correct this, but I'm not sure how I'll approach this as the height difference isn't very large. I may try to use some of the veneer from the Carmen kit here, or else I'll cut the thinnest piece of basswood I can, and just sand it down.

All of the bulkheads and the false keel.



So far none of the bulkheads fit into the false keel after cleaning up the burns. Either the keel or the bulkhead, or both need to have the slot opened up more in order for them to fit. I have no idea if this is typical for these kits. I continue on and continue cleaning up the laser char from all around the edges of the bulkheads. I've also contacted Model Expo (manufacturer of this kit) to request replacement parts for the incorrectly cut bulkhead.



After cleaning up all of the bulkheads I began test fitting, and adjusting each bulkhead. Every single one needed to be opened up slightly either on the bulkhead slot, the keel slot, or both. A few sat slightly high at the top of the keel and needed the slot sanded a bit deeper, and one of them required about a 1/32 shim. Overall I think they came out pretty well, but I'm concerned about two bulkheads (and probably the one ahead of these two as well) as they do not extend down far enough.



I will need to decide how to fix this. Is it easier to sand the slot down until the bottom is good, and shim the top for the deck, or am I better off adding material to the bottom of these bulkheads and then fairing them down? I'm thinking that adding to the bottom will be more difficult, but is probably the right approach so that I don't mess up the bulkhead extension positions (although looking at the photo's, those appear to have 'high' extensions as well).

Other than those 'short' bulkheads the rest seem to be pretty good. The Carmen was a lot easier when I had no idea I was supposed to do any of this stuff.



A good number of the bulkheads do not extend down to the bearding line. I don't know if I need to add material to all the bulkheads that don't extend to the bearding line, or just to the ones that break the 'flow' along the bulkheads.

The 'bearding line' is the line where the planks should intersect with the keel. There should be a smooth flow along that line.

The Locator fucked around with this message at 00:53 on Oct 21, 2020

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

So this is really much easier than I expected it to be. I measured along the longest bulkhead from keel to deck level with a tick strip, and set my chopper to that length and cut up one of the 3/64 basswood deck planks. This made 9 pieces of the exact same width as the bulkheads. I threw these into water to soak for a while, and then got after it.

I started with bulkhead F, which was the one that had the bad laser cut, with one side lower than it should be. It's also the '3rd' bulkhead in the previous photos that didn't reach the bearding line, so I shimmed the top and sanded it down, and then shimmed both sides of the bottom.



The wet basswood is really amazingly easy to bend. All of the terrible time I had with the planks on the Carmen made me think this was going to be a giant frustrating mess, and instead, they just bend right around the bulkhead, no problem at all. I went ahead and bottom shimmed G, and double bottom shimmed H.



Couldn't ask for anything better than the result.



Based on how easy this was, I'm going to use more of the deck planking (since I'm not going to plank the deck with it) and shim out every bulkhead that isn't touching the bearding line, even if it's very close. That way I should have a much easier time fairing, as I'll not run into a low spot that makes me have to shim a bulkhead that is already glued to the keel.

At this point in the build, I had already looked at a bunch of the kit parts and decided that I wasn't going to use them. This is one reason I was able to happily chop up basswood deck planking, because I was going to plank the deck with Holly. I also threw all the kit rigging including all the blocks and line into the garbage and ordered aftermarket line and blocks.

This is the order from Syren Ship Model Company of all the replacement rigging.



This will become a theme on this model, as more and more of the kit gets put to the side and replaced with higher quality materials. In the end I probably spent at least 2x the kit price on replacement parts/materials and the tools/supplies cost absolutely dwarfed the cost of the kit.

Slugworth
Feb 18, 2001

If two grown men can't make a pervert happy for a few minutes in order to watch a film about zombies, then maybe we should all just move to Iran!


I loved following this the first time, can't wait to see it again. One of my favorite SA projects, right up there with SlungBlade's tractor and MooCow's dairy fleet.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

So the next step in building this boat is cutting what is called the rabbet into the false keel. Yes, it's spelled rabbet. The rabbet is where the planks will eventually fit into the false keel, so the process I followed was to cut the false keel from the bearding line mentioned previously to the edge of the false keel using a combination of X-acto hobby knife and a chisel. Once I had the cut part close to the right depth, I then attached the walnut keel to the false keel. This is fairly simple to do at this stage because the width of the false keel and the walnut keel are the same.

After the keel is attached, I then used a mocked up piece of planking to determine the final depth of the rabbet and continued to remove wood until I had it where I thought it should be. More material can always be removed later if needed.

I also managed to break a bulkhead (bulkhead "L") at the keel notch. I glued it and clamped it in place. Since it broke right at the edge of the keel, and not all the way through, I think it should be fine, as it will not only be glued to the bulkhead where it broke, but the length of the notch where it fits over the keel as well. Again, once it's reinforced it should be solid.

The bulkhead shimming, cutting the rabbet, gluing the keel, and now mounting the first 7 bulkheads has been a pretty significant time investment (no actual values, I don't keep a log), but I'm able to drop 4-6 hours an evening, and as much time as I want on the weekends, so I can move forward more easily than someone with a family and other responsibilities in their life who must spread that same amount of hobby time over 4 or 5 times as many days as I do.

And now for some photos to catch up with the text.

Work on pre-cutting the rabbet prior to installing the walnut keel.


Installed the keel, stem (front part of the keel), and sternpost (back part). The stem had to be done twice since it shifted when I left it to dry overnight. The sternpost required that the slot in the keel be re-made, as it was out of position. I've read that this seems to be a common issue with the kit. Took some sanding to get the sternpost to fit decently.



Finishing the rabbet.


As construction will require a way to hold the keel while I'm adding stuff to it, I cut up a piece of MDF shelf, and using a couple other pieces of wood I made a building board to hold the keel while I'm working on it.



Finished attaching all of the shims to the bottom of the bulkheads. After some thought I decided not to extend the shims all the way up the extensions, as I think that will make fairing more difficult, as I won't have a baseline of the extensions to work from.



And then, I began fitting bulkheads. Started at the rear, let each bulkhead dry for 30 minutes or so (using Titebond wood glue - it sets up pretty solid in 30 minutes).



While I was waiting on the bulkheads to dry, I chopped up a piece of maple strip and made a test decking bit to see how maple might look like if I can't get Holly in a timely manner. I need to work on my planking techniques before I get to the real thing. Not sure what to use for the nail holes (i.e. what to fill them with) at this point.



Sorry for the fuzzy photo's there. Later on I get a better camera!

I'll be trying to make some time to add at least 2-3 updates or more to this each day, so that hopefully I can finish this thread in a month or so, as it's probably a lot more interesting that way than what it was like to follow in real time over a bit more than 13 months!

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

I finished gluing in all the bulkheads, and I have started placing reinforcing blocks between the bulkheads. I'm using 5/16" square basswood for the blocks. I was going to use balsa, but it's just as expensive as basswood, so I just got basswood figuring it will always be useful to have extra basswood bits around.

After the previous update, I decided to do "one more bulkhead" before bed. Yea, I'm dumb that way. I managed to get distracted after gluing it in place and setting the blocks against it, and left it so long that the excess glue got onto the blocks and glued the bulkhead to both blocks. I broke both sides of the bulkhead trying to get them apart. Because the center slot was solid, and the breaks were both clean, I drilled a hole through the center of the now solid slot, drilled a hole into both sides and pinned the broken pieces all back together with a single long pin made from a toothpick. After the glue dried, I think it's the strongest bulkhead I have now.



Next up I added the reinforcement blocks, although I chose to completely fill the final two gaps at the bow rather than use the blocks, in order to help me see the 'flow' of the hull up there when I get to fairing. None of this is part of the instructions or plans.

While doing the reinforcement blocks, I used the opportunity to correct any minor out of square issues with the bulkheads. I did this by measuring at multiple points along the top of each bulkhead, always taking my measurements off of bulkhead 'O' which I took great care to square up with all the stern bulkheads and the keel.



After measuring to determine if I needed any adjustments to the bulkheads, I would cut individual blocks and then fine tune them until they caused the measurements from bulkhead 'O' to be right where I wanted them, and equal on both sides. I was having some issues where the addition of the glue prior to final fitting would actually change my measurements slightly, so I devised a technique to apply the glue after fitting the blocks in place, so that I did not need to compensate for the glue thickness on the ends of the blocks.

After my final measurements and test fitting was complete, I cut a 'cross' into both ends of the block with a razor saw.



I would then slightly widen the leg of the cross that would be 'outboard', and then place the block without glue, and hold it in place (if needed) with needle nose pliers, while I used a syringe to inject the glue into the cross via the slightly wider leg.



As can be seen here, the glue would flow through the cross, and would almost always bubble out of each of the other three points almost equally.



This method seemed to work quite well, and I had no measurement changes between the final test fit, and the glued in blocks after starting this system. After the glue had set for a couple minutes I would then use the syringe to lay a 'bead' of glue around all four edges of the block where it laid against the bulkheads. Testing several blocks that were completely dried shows that they have plenty of strength with this system.

After inserting the last two spaces with filler blocks, this is where I'm currently at.



Every bulkhead is even with bulkhead 'O' along at least 3 points on each side, to less than 0.5mm now with all reinforcements in place.

Next I'll begin to work on the sub-decks braces and sub-decks for fitment, and the bow fillers I think.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Now that the bulkheads are all done and the base structure is solid so that I hopefully don't break too many things with my ham hands, it's time to start working on fairing for placing the sub-decks.

Fairing is simply the process of sanding the edges of bulkheads in order to make whatever gets attached to them (sub-deck or planking) have a full contact surface on each bulkhead. Basically if you run a plank along the edges of the bulkhead, the plank should have full contact with every bulkhead it touches, with no high or low bulkheads and no angled contact along a bulkhead. Hopefully that's clear, if not just ask and I'll be happy to explain and maybe try to draw terrible pictures in MS Paint.

Fairing was started with the poop deck, which is the easiest part of the boat to fair, as it's fairly small and only a sanding block is needed.



The notches were not correct in the sub-deck, so I had to adjust them. The deck was too short as well, but looking ahead to the deck finishing, you end up cutting the leading edge of the sub deck off later to place a trim piece there, so I just shifted the sub-deck rearward and adjusted the notches accordingly, rather than having to trim it off later.

Used more pieces of the basswood deck planking material that I won't use for the build to 'clamp' the sub deck rather than using nails or pins.



I then installed the support beams for the quarter deck and the rear of the main deck. Used a little collar pin that I think I got from Micro-Mark to hold the forward quarter deck beam in place while the glue dried. Got them sometime after I could have used them on the Carmen because they looked like they might be pretty useful, and this is the first time I've used one.



After this, the fun part began. Fairing the main deck. This was quite a challenge, as the bulkhead extensions really get in the way of doing much work with a reasonable sized sanding block, and I was quite worried I'd break one off. I ended up putting a fine grinding stone on the Dremel tool, and held it vertically using the 'flat' face of the stone (cylindrical shaped stone) to grind away on each bulkwark top, and measuring with a plank that extended most of the length of the deck.

The bulkhead F that I had shimmed up, I ended up completely sanding down the shim back to the bulkhead material, and then ended up shimming the other side of that bulkhead. The best laid plans and all. At the end I had added full shims to the top of 4 bulkheads, and half-shims to another couple before I was happy with how the plank laid from the center line out to each set of extensions.



After a lot of notch trimming, and breaking off a few pieces of the edge of the very fragile sub deck, I got it glued on, and clamped with the same 'plank & rubber band' system I used on the other sub-decks.



The odd streak near the center line of the main deck is just a dark spot in the wood. When I first saw that on the pictures, I do admit to having a bit of a panic moment, wondering how I had a big split in the deck without noticing it.



Next up I begin fairing work on the hull, and working on the stern / transom area.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Fairing the hull to prepare for the first planking.

I began by doing a 'rough' fairing to see where I needed to add any shims.



Because of adding all of the shims to the bottom of the bulkheads prior to mounting them, I found that no shimming was needed except for about half a dozen extensions that were not going to touch the planking without causing a 'dip', or needing to remove far too much material from their neighbors.

Once again I dipped into the 3/64ths basswood deck planking, and cut pieces for the extensions. I used a second piece of basswood in the clamping so that the alligator clamps I used wouldn't leave divots in the shims where I didn't think I needed to sand very much material away. Here you can see my clamping system so that I could use regular wood glue to hold the extension shims in place.



I made some blocks to reinforce the mast mortise, and placed them. I made them overly long as I didn't want to apply a lot of glue right around the mortise. This is also why I added a 'shim' to the edge of them, to get more glue surface away from the mortise opening.



I cut out bow fillers to a rough size with a hand scroll saw (I see a nice power band saw in my future I think, every time I use the scroll saw I see how useful of a tool it would be where I could guide a piece with both hands or a fence) and then did all the shaping with my Dremel and a drum-sanding attachment. Once I had them nearly right I glued them in place before the final fairing, as I wanted them fixed in place to do the final shaping against the bulkhead, keel, and deck.



I did another run with a rough (120 grit) sanding block and reduced all of the bulkheads until I was seeing 'kit bulkhead' material on all the higher bulkheads, so that my mass shimming didn't cause the hull to be too 'fat'.



I also realized that I had never beveled the stem, so I finished that, and trimmed the excess wood from the keel that extended aft beyond the sternpost. At some point I need to make a tiny filler for the hole where the sternpost and keel connect that was left because of the keel being the wrong length.

And a couple test plank runs. Very happy with how nicely they lay all the way from the keel up to the top of the bulkheads.



Still need to do a final pass with a 250 grit sanding block, but I am going to build out the stern and get it faired up with the hull before I do that. Looks like the stern should occupy quite a few hours to get it right.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Some quick notes on the 2 ships.

The Carmen is a 1:80th scale model, so while the actual ship would be larger the model is quite a bit smaller. The Carmen is made by a company in Italy named Constructo and I believe I purchased the kit from a local hobby store for about $125. The instructions were short and awful (simple pictures with badly translated single paragraph instructions for large bits of construction), but I somehow managed to just brute force my way through it and come out with a decent looking model ship.

The Armed Virginia Sloop kit is a 1:48th scale, or 1/4" = 1'. The hull itself is approximately 14.5" long from stem to stern while the overall length of the completed model from the tip of the bowsprit to the end of the main gaff boom is just over 31".

The Armed Virginia Sloop kit is produced by Model Shipways, which is a division of Model Expo, which is where you can purchase the kit for a list price of $239.99. It's pretty regularly on sale for around $170 though, and I got mine on sale although I don't remember the exact price.

I have easily 2x or more that cost into replacement materials, and all the tools and stuff I bought in the process of this build dwarfs all of that, but none of that is necessary, a good modeler that enjoys working with hand tools could quite handily get the same or better quality result using just basic hand tools and keep the investment fairly minimal.

------------

If anyone has any questions or would like more clarification or pictures on any particular thing, please just let me know here. I've got a bit over 800 photo's in the build log folder (most of them will be posted), but the original images folder is roughly twice that size, and much higher resolution, so I can often find pictures and crop/zoom to pull out details that aren't obvious from the build log photo's if needed.

Thanks for following along, and I'm more than happy to answer any questions about anything related to not only this silly build, but really anything related to the hobby in general if I can.

Anarcho-Commissar
May 22, 2002

"The means of production being the collective work of humanity, the product should be the collective property of the race. Individual appropriation is neither just nor serviceable. All belongs to all."
- Pyotr Kropotkin




I'm hoping this motivates me to start the kit I bought a couple years ago and never touched.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Anarcho-Commissar posted:

I'm hoping this motivates me to start the kit I bought a couple years ago and never touched.

Hope so! What kit did you buy?

Onward with the build, I placed the inner two stern frames based on how instructions and a practicum I have indicates it should be done, but after I spent most of the day doing other stuff, I sat down and started trying to get the outer frames to line up in a way that they looked right, and no matter what I did, if I had one edge aligned properly and the window tight, the other edge was all kinds of out of whack.

So I went back and stared at the plans for a while, and it dawned on me while I was looking at them that the practicum is wrong in this area. It has the #1 frames only beveled to match the sub-deck, and then glued to the keel, but the plans show something completely different. The plans show that frame #1 needs to be angled in such a way that the top and bottom of the window frames are level, meaning that the top of frame #1 needs to be narrower than the bottom, and the wing transom ends up completely flat, not angled as shown in the practicum. But then the 'expanded transom' detail does show a slight curve, so in reality, perhaps it's a little bit of both.

So tonight ended up being a 'go backwards' night, as I soaked the #2 frames to remove them so that I could get to the #1 frames and then re-align the #2's. Unfortunately I managed to rip off part of the sub-deck with one of the #2 frames, and all the water has made it all wavy because it's so thin. Hopefully I'll be able to fix that after it's dried by gluing it down to blocks or the top window frame supports.

I left the #1 frames in place, as in looking at things, I only need to angle the outer edge where the window frame will sit, and I think I can do that with it in place, rather than trying to remove it from it's very well glued spot against the keel.

From last night, placing the frames:



The various plan views showing what I mean above.



And the destruction showing the damage to the sub-deck. Going to let this mess all dry overnight before I touch it and try to make it right.



Unrelated to actual build progress, I found a guy on E-bay selling different types of wood cut to size for model ship building - planking strips, so I ordered a few different ones. I spent a bit of time putting together sample planking to see if I wanted to replace the kit Walnut with some other wood for the hull (I am not going to paint it if I can get the planking good enough).

Sample planks comparing wood from the kit vs. some I got from Ebay. Planks were cut to length, not beveled, then rough sanded, lightly sanded with 240 grit, wiped with a damp cloth, and then when dry given a single rubbed in coat of wipe-on satin poly.

As is labeled in the photo, Cherry, Sapele, Black Walnut, and the kit supplied .020 thickness Walnut. Taken with a flash.



Edit: I have no idea why those two plan photo's are showing up rotated 90 degrees. They are not rotated when viewed on my PC, but after uploading to my webhost when I link to them they are rotated. Tried uploading again and they still show rotated to me, but maybe just image caching. Yup, just image caching. No idea why they were rotated on my server, but the re-upload appears to have fixed them. If anyone sees incorrect rotation on images in the thread let me know and I'll do the same thing to fix those.

The Locator fucked around with this message at 22:24 on Oct 21, 2020

Vim Fuego
Jun 1, 2000

I just had an epiphany: the internet is useless!






Ultra Carp

This is an excellent read!

Bioshuffle
Feb 10, 2011

No good deed goes unpunished



I'm absolutely loving the amount of problem solving you are doing as you take us through your build. This is exciting stuff! Thanks for sharing. How large do these models get? Is there a market for larger scale models that are big enough to take out to a lake? That would be a cool hobby.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Bioshuffle posted:

I'm absolutely loving the amount of problem solving you are doing as you take us through your build. This is exciting stuff! Thanks for sharing. How large do these models get? Is there a market for larger scale models that are big enough to take out to a lake? That would be a cool hobby.

One of the common themes of building wooden ship models is that the plans and instructions are often terrible and the modeler is left to figure out a lot of things on their own. Often the modeler doesn't even realize there is a problem until something doesn't fit because of an error made 5 steps earlier which would require massive amounts of deconstruction and rebuilding to fix. This is probably the main reason why so many wood kits get thrown in the bin instead of being finished.

There are a growing group of newer companies that are producing model ships that are very much moving away from this and producing both excellent quality models along with excellent documentation and much better parts designed so people will actually finish them. My model is kind of in the middle somewhere, as it has decent quality and documentation but not great, and the materials are definitely 'mass production' quality, which is why I'll end up replacing a lot of them during this build.

As far as size, most people that build these tend to go for smaller scales, because of the simple fact that large models require lots of space to store after they are completed (and lots of space to work on while under construction) and most people have space limitations. As the size of the ship goes up, the scale tends to go down, with most really large wooden sailing ships (like the Victory, Constitution, etc.) in the 1/76, 1/87, 1/96 or even smaller scales. The models are still quite large as they were large ships.

My type of ship, the Bermuda Sloop is very similar to the British Cutters of the era, and the vast majority of those models are at 1/64 scale instead of the 1/48 of this one. The larger scale was one of the reasons I chose this kit.

On the lake stuff, that is an entire separate sort of hobbyists and they definitely do exist, but almost all of those builds are completely from scratch. There is a lot more crossover with R/C groups than modeling groups as those guys tend to focus more on the functionality than the looks and small details compared to the 'display only' models.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Stern work continues. I put a bit of wood in to patch the poop deck where I tore it up, it's not pretty, but since it will be completely covered up by planking, no biggy.



I angled the two #1 frames next to the keel with a #11 X-acto without removing them from the ship. The picture makes it look like they are curved for some reason, but they really aren't. Went ahead and attached the other frames using the windows for each slot as a guide as I went.



I then used a small square to establish a flat line against bulkhead R so that I knew what I needed to adjust on the bottom of each frame. Both #1 frames were shimmed, the #3 frame with the arrow was trimmed a bit, and the 2 frame on that side was used as my 'reference' point for the line because the #3 frame on the other side matched it for height, so the #2 frame on the other side was trimmed slightly.



After that was done, I added the counter and stern filler (roughly shaped first). Added the port and starboard fillers as well.



Took some pictures of how these filler blocks were created, but never included them in the original build log, but going to include them this time.

Filler blocks are very indicative of how different building a wooden 'model kit' is from a plastic model. With a plastic model there is a lot of skill involved in getting them to look good, but it's mostly in the finish details and painting. For a wooden model, it's more about "Here is a chunk of wood, use whatever tools you have to hack it into a piece that fits in this spot".

From the last picture above, you can see the port (left) filler block in place, but first I have to actually make that filler block. It's not a premade part. Here is a picture without the filler block showing where it goes. I have to fill in that area under the false deck to the back of the transom to give a place for the planking to go later. The wood laying next to the ship is the supplied chunk of wood to make the filler blocks from.



I start by holding the wood up to the ship in the position it will eventually go, and trace an outline onto the wood.



Now that I have it traced, I do a rough oversized cutout of the wood in the basic shape of the filler, and then I repeatedly put it into position and reshape using a combination of X-acto blade and sandpaper until the still slightly oversized block fits where I want it to go. It will be sanded down to allow for a proper flow of the planks after it is glued into place.



Once the roughing in of the fillers was complete, I moved on to placing the window frames, starting with the bottom frame. As I got to the center I determined that to keep the frame at the same height as the outer two frames 'corner', I needed to shim both of the #1 frames. I used 3/64 basswood, bent it using water and heat, then trimmed it, glued in place, and then final trimmed it up after the glue was set.



After all four frames were in, I test fit the windows and made some adjustments to get them aligned right (or so I thought) before moving to the upper frames. I then sanded down all the fillers and counter to finish out the stern.



Once that was complete, I put all the windows back in for a test fit, and the macro camera shot tells the tale..



...somehow they are no longer aligned the way they were in the previous picture. Both of the outer windows appear to be higher than they should be, although the angle looks good I think. I decided to take pictures from some different angles after this to see if the camera angle was causing the difference between the two tests.



I don't like it. At this point I think I'm going to lower the outer two windows slightly. I think I can do this by simply shaving a tiny bit off of the bottom frames, and then adding thin shims to the top. The starboard upper frame needs a shim anyway, or simply replaced, as it somehow didn't come out right.

I decided to move the middle windows up a bit, but the port outer window was still out of alignment and I couldn't really figure out how it wasn't like the other side, until I really started looking at all angles, and realized that I had managed to sand back the port side of the transom farther than the starboard. So, I shimmed out the entire outer left transom quarter around the window frame, then took another run at it.

After much shimming, tearing out, trimming, re-shimming, etc. I decided that this was 'good enough' and it would stay like this.



I wasn't sure I could get it any better without screwing up something else, so I decided to finish it off in this position by adding a bit of shim above the inner-port window, and some very slight trimming around the outer port window to hold it in the current position, as it's a bit loose now.

---------------------------------

Note - sorry about the 'tense' switching in much of my text. I'm editing from the original build log which had a fair amount of interaction with other modelers and discussion of how to 'fix' things, so sometimes I'm fixing parts of the text that make no sense in the context here but not bothering to adjust the current tense to past tense in most of the text.

--------------------------------

Side note - the stern galleries is an area of wooden ship building that is often the 'throw it in the trash' point for many first time (or even second or third time) wooden ship builders. Almost all of the older model kits provide poor guidance on this part of the construction, and there are no templates or pre-made parts to get it right. Almost every one of this specific model that I've seen built has a slightly different looking stern gallery. It's just an area that you sort of have to build until it looks right to you and move on, and it's one area that some of the newer model kit companies have spent a lot of time and effort into making designs that can use laser-cut parts to assist in getting this area right.

The Locator fucked around with this message at 05:24 on Oct 22, 2020

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Progress continues as I move on from the stern, and begin work on the timberheads and knightsheads. I cut out the rabbets for them to glue into, and shaped the knightsheads, but the timberheads require a wider piece of wood than the kit provides because of the odd parallelogram shape, so I doubled up the wood and glued them together. After getting them shaped to fit, but not 'thinned' down, I decided that there was no way that these would not get broken off by my ham fists, so I drilled them for pins before placing them into their final resting places (hopefully).



At this point all of the bulkwark extensions need to be faired on the inside, but given how thin they need to be made, they are sure to be quite fragile and break, so a 1/4" wide plank is placed to bridge the sub-deck line. Before placing that plank, the timberheads and knightsheads are faired into the outside hull shap. Then another 1/8" plank is placed above the 1/4" plank, and now even if the fairing process of the extensions is done terribly (which I did manage on a couple of them), they won't go anywhere or break off, as they are secured by the outer planking. Also, before the planking can begin, the stem needs to have the rabbet extended through it, as the outer planks set into it above where the false keel is.



After the bulkhead extensions were faired on the inside (no pictures, as they don't really seem like something that would show up well in photos, or be very interesting, so I didn't take any), then comes the waterways. These pieces are laser cut walnut, and mine were quite badly laser burned and double cut for about half the length, so they are probably slightly narrow, and were a massive pain to clean up. The outside edge needs to be beveled to fit up against the bulwark extensions snugly, and I did this with a hard sanding block without too much difficulty. The inside top needs to be beveled as well, 1/16" in from the top edge, down to where the deck planking will meet it on the inside edge (3/64" planking). I used a compass to mark the 1/16" line along the top, and then used a piece of 3/64 basswood planking with a fine .05 mechanical pencil to mark the inside edge.

I beveled the inside edge using a scalpel type X-acto blade. After about 30 minutes I decided I really don't like the waterways. After a bit over an hour I finished the port side, and now my hand hurts (from holding the blade - I somehow managed not to slice part of my anatomy off doing this).



So I seem to be making a habit of doing stuff wrong and then having to fix it. This one was annoying, but not damaging at least - after my update I was staring at the plans again, specifically the planking cross section, and it dawned on me that the 1/16" measurement for the bevel on the top of the waterway is measured from the outside edge, leaving the bevel running from the spirketing plank to the deck plank with no 'flat' visible on the waterway at all. I had measured from the inside edge, meaning that I was leaving a flat area between the spirketing plank, and the beginning of the bevel.



So, another hour or so later, I've completely re-beveled that port waterway to a new mark, 1/16" from the bulwark edge.

Spirketing plank - I should probably explain that. On the deck, the spirketing plank is the outside plank which is fit up against the waterways. All the other deck planks run fore-and-aft and meet up with the spirketing plank which is curved around the edge of the deck.

Next up I shaped the second waterway, and then placed both waterways on the sub deck. In the process of trying to hold one of them tight while the glue took a set (really have no idea how I would get a clamp on these, so I used CVA with CA at the points that didn't want to stay down on the deck) I managed to break my first bulkhead extension. It didn't break all the way off, and broke right at the top edge of the waterway, so I was able to just inject some CVA between the extension and the outer planking and hold it there for a couple minutes to repair it.



I then placed the first of the transom planks using an oversized plank so that it could be trimmed down after.



And then I completed the transom planking down to the bottom of the wale.



While trimming the transom planks, I managed to break another bulkhead extension. This one is on the quarterdeck, so no real way to repair it right now. I'm just going to try to be very careful and not finish breaking it (like the other, it's cracked, not broken completely off) before I get the upper planking in so I can glue it to the outer planking.

I trimmed the basswood planks I had previously placed a little bit short of the transom planking, as the plans show that I need to add a short 'false plank' section out of walnut at the stern end of those planks as the basswood will show from the stern. I am not going to try to place those walnut pieces right now, but will wait until I can see what is actually exposed and how best to do it.

The stern continues to be an interesting experience. I continued by planking the transom with basswood, marking each plank where the window openings are so that I could open them up when all the planks were in place. I did not trace the windows based on the marks, but rather opened a narrow opening in the center of each, and then slowly opened them out until I was happy with the window fitment and alignment in each opening.



I read somewhere about stuff that could be used to make window glass, and less than a week later I was in a hobby shop and saw a bottle, so I bought it. I finally got to use it!



Note from future-me - this stuff was a mistake. It never really completely hardens up, and therefore remains slightly 'sticky'. The model as it currently sits in my front room looks great, and then you look in the stern windows with a light, and the windows are basically a multi-year collection of solid dust. Oops.

Works fantastic. As I started to try to get the windows placed, I quickly realized that it was going to be a pain in the rear to get the windows in without accidentally pushing them too far in, as the nice window glass that was now in place prevented me from holding onto the inside frames with tweezers. I cut off small bits of planking basswood and glued them into the top and bottom of the openings as window stops. Looking back I wish I'd brought them out slightly as I think the windows might look better if they protruded from the transom slightly. Oh well, next time!



I first tried to place the walnut planks in a single piece, and then cutting in the window openings, but after breaking the narrow parts repeatedly, I gave up and glued the windows in, and then placed short planking sections between them. I am not really happy with some of the gaps I've left though. Since I used CA to place these (in retrospect, I should not have done that) because of trying to maintain the slight arch, re-doing them would be quite difficult, so I left it and will think about how to address the gaps with some kind of filler later on.



Next I added walnut filler pieces on the stern end of the currently placed hull planks, and put the transom side fashion pieces on.



I then started working on the counter fashion pieces (the curved bit in the picture below). My first attempt didn't make me terribly happy, it just didn't look right to me. It doesn't look all that bad in the picture now that I'm looking at it, but I tossed it. The mark on the planking is where the top of the wale should be later.



My fashion pieces seemed too short compared to the plans and photo's I've looked at, and I think I figured out what is different about my stern (or at least part of it). Somehow when I did the walnut planking on the counter, instead of grabbing another piece of .030 walnut, I picked up a full thickness walnut plank (about .048) which made the entire counter thicker than it should be, pushing the trailing edge of the fashion piece back a bit. I figured I'd just go with it this way, since it really shouldn't affect anything except make my stern shaped slightly different.



For my first 'intentional' change to a model, I've decided to 'box' the transom by adding another 'fashion piece' (for lack of knowing what it should actually be called) at the top of the counter (the counter is the curved part of the transom under the windows). I had to soak this piece of walnut for about an hour, and then I sort of steamed it by placing it in the microwave for a minute wrapped in a wet washcloth. It was still pretty hard to get to take the bend, but it didn't splinter at all, so I'll take it.



As part of my change to 'box' the transom, I intend to extend the black from the black strake to all the fashion pieces and the taff rail (the taff rail is the railing on top of the transom, above the windows - not on the model yet). I decided to paint these pieces now, prior to adding all the other planking that will butt into them, and I started with primer. I then started with the black. I think I need to do some research on prepping wood for paint, because I'm really not happy with how the paint looks, it's very rough compared to most of the painted builds I've seen. The first coat of black didn't cover well at all.



I ended up with 4 coats of black. Painting has never been a strength for me in modeling, and it showed as I managed to get paint where it shouldn't go in several places. After the black had dried, I tried to clean up the areas where I got black on the planking, but I think I screwed up and exposed more primer and fashion piece wood than I cleaned up on the planks.



I will revisit the stern later and clean up the fashion piece painting, as well as hopefully figure out a way to do something about the gaps around the windows. I think I'll probably sand the fashion pieces all down smooth and try again.

For now though, I'm moving on, as I'm kind of tired of messing with the stern.

Edit: Fixed some image links.

The Locator fucked around with this message at 05:22 on Oct 22, 2020

Anarcho-Commissar
May 22, 2002

"The means of production being the collective work of humanity, the product should be the collective property of the race. Individual appropriation is neither just nor serviceable. All belongs to all."
- Pyotr Kropotkin




The Locator posted:

Hope so! What kit did you buy?

The 18th Century Longboat also from Model Shipways.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Anarcho-Commissar posted:

The 18th Century Longboat also from Model Shipways.

Very nice. I bought that kit, but I've never built it. It's designed by Chuck Passaro and he writes very good instructions so it should be a good build. There are a bunch of build logs of that kit on modelshipworld.com also if you want to see build logs of that specific kit.

Lemony
Jul 27, 2010

Now With Fresh Citrus Scent!


This is very interesting. I must say that I'm struck by how amateurish the kit production seems to be. It really shows how these companies have been coasting in a niche field. There aren't many places where that level of poor technical documentation and shoddy production tolerances would be acceptable. Especially when you need to drop that much cash on it. Glad to hear there are new companIes breaking that mold though.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Lemony posted:

This is very interesting. I must say that I'm struck by how amateurish the kit production seems to be. It really shows how these companies have been coasting in a niche field. There aren't many places where that level of poor technical documentation and shoddy production tolerances would be acceptable. Especially when you need to drop that much cash on it. Glad to hear there are new companIes breaking that mold though.

There's a reason so many wooden ship kits get trashed! The generation before this one was dominated by kits from European companies that pretty much threw a bunch of wood in a box, along with some plans (note that 'plans' are like architectural plans, not instructions), and had instructions like "Attach bulkheads to false keel and then plank". Literally no help at all to new builders, and before there was this 'internet' thing, the only way to learn was via expensive books, or hope there was someone or a club in your area that was willing to teach you. Or of course, be one of those incredibly persistent people who was okay with learning through trial and error.

The Armed Virgina Sloop was a huge step up from the Carmen as far as both plans and documentation. I got the Carmen built as much through sheer dumb luck as anything else I think, as I did a lot of things wrong without knowing they were wrong, and somehow it didn't come out banana shaped like it probably should have! The very few parts that were pre-cut in the Carmen kit were 'stamp cut', not laser cut, and the wood quality for those pieces was not good. It was a challenge getting them out of the sheet intact. The bulkhead spacing was much wider, making the job of getting a good hull shape much more tricky.

This is the entire contents of the Carmen kit, and a picture showing how far apart the bulkheads are. Combined with being a very soft wood, which you were supposed to 'nail' the planks into with those brass nails, it's amazing I got a boat out of it at all. The soft bulkheads would just split like crazy if you tried to nail those brass nails into them.



In addition the false keel was badly warped, I had to steam it and place it under a stack of heavy books for several days before I could even consider using it. Even after that it was warped, but I was able to correct it by using the planking itself to straighten it out. I don't seem to have taken any pictures of the entire 2 small plan sheets or the small instruction booklet.

In contrast the Armed Virginia Sloop has 7 huge full-scale plan sheets which have all kinds of construction notes on them, as well as about a 50 page 8-1/2" x 11" instruction booklet with even more drawings and pictures.

The more modern companies have taken it a step farther by making sure that the plans and construction steps make sense to people who are unfamiliar with the hobby, and the actual model design has leaped forward a huge amount with laser cut parts that actually lock together to form the framework of the ship, almost completely eliminating the need for all those reinforcement blocks that I did.

The downside to the innovation and great documentation (as well as providing quality materials) is of course that the R&D and production costs go up, meaning that the kits themselves have increased dramatically in price... but then if you are going to spend over a year building a single model, a price tag of $250 or even $500 isn't a huge deal IMO compared to buying a $150 kit and then spending another $500+ on replacement materials!

One of the newest companies is just a single guy who is producing some fantastic kits - Vanguard Models. He uses high quality materials and his designs are top notch. He also has someone else build the prototypes to make sure that they actually work like he thinks they will for someone else making them, and that guy writes all the instructions for putting them together.

Pricing shows of course, his cheapest kit designed for someone to jump in and learn the hobby is 142 of those British Pound things, and his currently most expensive model is 465 pounds, but includes a lot of optional upgraded woods and materials. They make into a great looking model though.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

I moved on from the stern. I'll revisit it later once I decide what I really want to do as far as trim, paint, name, etc.

No warship is complete, not even a small sloop, without gunports! So today I did upper bulkhead outer planking, first layer. I quite enjoyed this part of the project, and other than the fact that it's apparently completely impossible to eliminate all the fuzz from basswood, I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

I took a ton of pictures, but when I started to edit them to post I realized that they are all really pretty much repeats of each other just on the next section, so I cut it down to just a few.

First section, and then with three sections completed:



The stern required a bit different approach, as I there is no way to get clamps on the planks, so I used some pins.



One of the things I may possibly have spent a fair chunk of that money on, a little bit at a time, is clamps. For the first month I was doing this new hobby, I would grab every clamp that looked like it might possibly be useful, and that I didn't already have. Some people would say I now have far too many clamps, but I say, there is no such thing as too many clamps!



Cut to the chase, mostly because I might have stopped taking progress pictures for a while...



Hrmm.. looking at that last picture, I didn't get the earlier planks on quite even at the bottom. I'll have to measure and fix that before I begin lower planking.

I started doing the lower planking, and have now been introduced to the weirdness that is spiling.

I started out by evening up the existing planks at the bow. I did this by measuring all over the place to determine that the top of the 1/8" plank just above the 1/4" plank was correct along the entire top (at least as far as I could tell), and then using a compass to mark the long lower side based on the measurements from the other side, as measured from the top of that 1/8" plank. If that makes any sense at all. After marking it, I just carefully trimmed it with a razor knife.



Seems to have worked out well enough. Next I added two spiled planks below this, and that was.. interesting. One side spiled completely different than the other side between those first two planks, and I think I'll have some odd cleanup to do at the stern, but the 'finished' bottom line of the two sides is oddly even, even though the spiling was completely different. Strangeness is afoot!

Spiling is the trimming of planks in various ways to make them fit in areas where a full plank simply won't fit. This can be done in a number of ways, but I am doing the simplest here, by merely trimming the planks to narrow from some point on the length to the end where it ends up being narrower than the full width. In this case they need to be narrower at the stem (bow).



I also stripped off all the black paint from the stern fashion pieces, sanded everything again, and applied a coat of primer.



as I get farther into the planking, it's becoming obvious that I needed to spend more time on the hull fairing, or rather, I need a better understanding of the plank flow when I'm placing test planks for the fairing, or something.

I'm getting quite a dip in the planks on both sides just aft of the bow, and the planks at the stern are nowhere near symmetrical side to side - I'll need a stealer on one side to even them out at some point.

Here you can see the dips on both sides where the fairing was done incorrectly. Luckily this is a double planked project so I'll be able to fill these, but it's a bit of a disappointment to me, as I was hoping that this first planking would have been good enough to be a final planking, as a personal goal.



The planking if you only look at the stem area is still pretty nice though!



I'm still doing a fair amount of edge-bending to get the planks to come in at the stem, even spiling them to 1/2 a plank width on every plank so far, although it is getting less pronounced on this 3rd one. The stern would require severe edge bending to get them to stay at full width, so they are getting spiled which is why I'll need a stealer at some point on at least one side, possibly both, on this upper section.

Edge bending means to bend the plank across the long dimension rather than side to side, i.e. the way it doesn't want to bend. In the case of the hull, bending it up or down instead of simply bending it in or out to fit the curve.

The Locator fucked around with this message at 20:49 on Oct 22, 2020

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




This is really neat and makes me want to build an actual boat (but probably start with a model?). I guess in a real ship the bulkheads would probably just be frames?

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






I bet you've been linked it before, but just in case, have you binged the 80+ videos on youtube of the tally ho project? That's a wooden-shipwright guy who is "restoring" in a ship of theseus type way a 1910 wooden gaff cutter, e.g. replacing basically every single part of the boat in-situ. He goes into a lot of the technical details and one thing he spent two or three videos showing is how you go about using plans and the ship itself and a full-scale drawing to do "lofting" and make all the ribs of the ship the right shapes so the planking can go on right. It's an insanely laborious process but it might be useful to you for figuring out future planking geometries:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKJagvumvCI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfuPTLSBQfY

Kaiser Schnitzel
Mar 28, 2006

Schnitzel mit uns




Leperflesh posted:

I bet you've been linked it before, but just in case, have you binged the 80+ videos on youtube of the tally ho project? That's a wooden-shipwright guy who is "restoring" in a ship of theseus type way a 1910 wooden gaff cutter, e.g. replacing basically every single part of the boat in-situ. He goes into a lot of the technical details and one thing he spent two or three videos showing is how you go about using plans and the ship itself and a full-scale drawing to do "lofting" and make all the ribs of the ship the right shapes so the planking can go on right. It's an insanely laborious process but it might be useful to you for figuring out future planking geometries:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKJagvumvCI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfuPTLSBQfY

Yes this project is also part of why I want to build a boat.

But like, a rowboat, not a giant boat.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Kaiser Schnitzel posted:

This is really neat and makes me want to build an actual boat (but probably start with a model?). I guess in a real ship the bulkheads would probably just be frames?

You are correct. The 'plank on bulkhead' construction is for models only. There are a couple other non-authentic ways to do models, a solid hull where you just carve it out of a solid block of wood, and a layering method where you build up the hull with layers of wood cut roughly to shape and then sand to final shape before planking (or painting).

A real ship or boat, is plank on frame. In the model ship world this is normally the realm of scratch builders who do all the work of lofting the frames and creating the plans to cut out all the pieces just like Leo did on Tally Ho, but in small scale.

However, there are now a few different companies that are making actual plank on frame kits for model ships. One of these is Syren Model Ship Company who makes a few different 'smallish' types of boats that are plank on frame. Another is actually a Chinese kit manufacturer who isn't actually the typical 'pirate' kit company and makes their own models that are full plank on frame. They only have a couple out so far, but they are big, and expensive!

Plank on frame construction takes much longer, as each individual frame is made out of multiple parts, each of which is unique to that location in that specific frame due to how hulls are shaped. These must be individually constructed and placed into some sort of jig to hold everything in place during the construction.

Here are some pictures of that kind of construction - this is not my work, it was given to me by an old gentleman who was getting out of the hobby due to health reasons and this came along with a bunch of tools, books and wood that he gave me.



After all the work framing and planking is completed (or at least completed to a certain point), then the entire hull gets removed from the construction jig. How that's done depends on how that type of jig works. In the case of the ship in the pictures above, the frames are all far too long and simply get cut off and then cut down to the correct size after it's all out of the jig.

Some day I would love to build a full scratch built plank on frame ship, but I don't think I'll be tackling that in the near future while I am still working full time. Definitely is a dream of mine though.

Leperflesh posted:

I bet you've been linked it before, but just in case, have you binged the 80+ videos on youtube of the tally ho project? That's a wooden-shipwright guy who is "restoring" in a ship of theseus type way a 1910 wooden gaff cutter, e.g. replacing basically every single part of the boat in-situ.

I love the Tally Ho project and I've been subscribed since I discovered the project at about episode 2 or 3. His workmanship is amazing.

Lemony
Jul 27, 2010

Now With Fresh Citrus Scent!


I almost feel like those old kits would have made more sense to not even include wood or fittings. Just sell a set of tech documents and instructions, plus a list of materials and tools. Almost seems more insulting to give you a bunch of uncut crap wood like you describe.

That scratch built ribbed model looks really cool.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Lemony posted:

I almost feel like those old kits would have made more sense to not even include wood or fittings. Just sell a set of tech documents and instructions, plus a list of materials and tools. Almost seems more insulting to give you a bunch of uncut crap wood like you describe.

That scratch built ribbed model looks really cool.

The kits have definitely evolved over time. I'm lucky enough to have started late enough in that evolution to not get stuck with something that frustrated me to the point of quitting.

There are some incredibly talented people making wooden ship models, and many of them do stunning plank on frame stuff. Some of their work makes me feel like just giving up sometimes, but I know they didn't get to that quality on their first or second model (possibly with rare exceptions). Just like anything, you learn and improve as you go on I think. I know the end results on the AVS were far beyond what I achieved with the Carmen, but I'm still proud of the Carmen as my first wooden ship.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Today I made some progress with the planking, and I also have been repainting the stern fashion pieces. I sanded them down since I was unhappy with how rough the black paint looked, and then I re-primed with thinned primer, sanded with 320 grit, primed again, sanded with 320 grit, then added a coat of thinned black and sanded once more. After that I added about 6 or 7 coats of very thin (think - more of a wash than paint) black. I did this over the last few days of course, and I actually did the first two primer coats before leaving on my trip. Much happier with the smoothness of the black painted area now, although I still need to fill the gaps around the windows at some point.



The planking is progressing reasonably well, even if I'm not 100% happy with everything about it, it is after all going to be covered up later. I really need to get better at trimming the pieces to size, as whichever end I finish with isn't getting trimmed to the right size very well.



I've got the garboard plank on the other side, but none of the other lower planking there. Last day of my short little vacation is tomorrow, so maybe I'll finish up the first planking layer.

The garboard plank is the very first plank above the keel. It's the one that fits into the rabbet all along the keel.

Quick 'side-trip' as it were. I showed earlier where I purchased a bunch of new rigging line and blocks to replace the kit stuff. Even though it will be a while before I use any of that stuff, I got some of the cool little rigging blocks out of their package to compare them to the kit blocks. The difference is... significant.



No regrets, although it will be a while before I actually need to use any of these.

Slow progress continues on the first planking. I managed to completely mess up my planking plan where the bottom and top planking come together, and didn't figure it out until too late to be able to close it up without using any drop planks or stealers, and ended up having to use both. Not a terrible tragedy, but was completely due to my own lack of proper planning. Another lesson learned.

I used a single drop plank at the bow because the planks just weren't working out there and the edge bends were getting too severe as they transitioned to the bow. I did this when the first plank kinked while trying to edge bend it. Rather than just toss the entire plank, I cut it off and added the drop plank to allow me to use a single spiled plank forward from that point for two planks headed aft.

Note - Drop planks are planks where a plank will be too narrow, so it just ends (is dropped) and the plank next to it widens to continue. Stealers are a method of adding a single plank at the end of two narrow planks.



It turned out ok in the end, but was a little bit bummed that I had to use it. After that, I ended up using both drop planks and a stealer towards the stern because of how narrow my gap got before it widened out in the stern area.



The starboard side first layer is now complete as can be seen above, and while I'm happy with the flow and believe that this will make a great foundation for the second layer, as a 'practice' run it was a bit of a failure, but taught me some lessons about basswood planking. I was being very careful to try to make no gaps, but as can be seen there are numerous noticeable gaps. I believe that I was placing the planks while they were still too wet, and the gaps were formed (mostly) by shrinkage after the planks dried out. There are also a couple planks that have some ugly gaps where I over-trimmed while spiling.

If this was the final layer of planking, I would need to fill & sand, meaning I would have to paint the hull. Luckily it's not the final layer, so I can just clean up the edges around the rabbet so that the 2nd layer will tuck into the rabbet properly, and call it good. After I finish the other side of course.

The port side is down to the final 3 (or 4) planks remaining (pictured in my last update), we'll see if I can figure out a way to do it without as much patchwork in the form of drop planks and stealers. I think the port side has a better chance of working out, as it's a much more consistent spaced gap left to fill.

I couldn't wait until the next day, so I moved on to the port side. I did a much better job of keeping the planks aligned on this side, and used no stealers or drop planks at all! I probably should have used a single stealer at the stern, but even there, the only reason I needed one is the gap left because I accidentally trimmed the 2nd to last plank off too narrow - I got too aggressive shaving it and broke the full width off at the stern, and didn't feel like starting over on that plank. I thought I might be able to completely close the gap by using a section of 1/4" plank at the stern to finish, but it came up just short so there is a small triangular gap there, but I don't think it's enough to affect the second planking.

Here is the hull with only a single plank gap left, and the 1/4" plank section placed at the stern. The gap that's left is exactly the same width for the entire length (pats self on back). Well, the digital calipers could find variations, but a marked strip was on the same pencil mark for the entire length, so close enough to exact for me!



And a bunch of different shots showing the completed first planking, ready to move on to.. whatever is next!



Actually, what's next is the wales, and inner bulwark planking, black strake, etc., before moving on to the second planking.

I'll decide after the second planking whether it gets painted or not, but my plan is to leave it natural below the black strake if I can do a good enough job at the planking.

SA Log note: In real time, what has currently been posted is about the first month of building, when I was doing very little else outside of work, probably putting at least 20-30 hours per week if not more into this project.

cakesmith handyman
Jul 22, 2007

Pip-Pip old chap! Last one in is a rotten egg what what.



Thank you for sharing this, building a real boat looks like it'd be slightly less painful.

As well as Leo and the tally ho consider following the Acorn to Arabella lads, who are building a very similar boat to tally ho from the ground up having never built a boat before. Spoiler: they're loving incredible at it and the nicest people ever. They're the reason I understand the boat words you're using

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

cakesmith handyman posted:

Thank you for sharing this, building a real boat looks like it'd be slightly less painful.

As well as Leo and the tally ho consider following the Acorn to Arabella lads, who are building a very similar boat to tally ho from the ground up having never built a boat before. Spoiler: they're loving incredible at it and the nicest people ever. They're the reason I understand the boat words you're using

Working in miniature has both benefits and problems for sure. I certainly don't need a giant piece of property and a full house-sized workshop to support building a little boat on my bench! Also don't need helpers to put giant heavy pieces of boat in place. It would be pretty cool to build my own small boat that I could actually take out on the water someday, but like many things that would be 'cool', simply not going to happen in my current house and while I'm working full time.

Acorn to Arabella is a good watch. The only reason I haven't really been following that build is just lack of time, I'm already watching far too many things on a regular basis. Someday I intend to go back to the beginning of that series and watch the entire thing, as the episodes I have watched were really good.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Today I filled and sanded. And sanded, and filled. And sanded.

I am reasonably happy with the finish of the first layer, no big dips or swells, and only a few places where the filler is left to fill minor low spots. So I went to place the first wale.

The kit provides some walnut strips for the wale, but the walnut provided in this size (1/16 x 3/16) is the most terrible wood. All the other walnut in the kit is fine, but the 6 pieces of 1/16 x 3/16 is a completely different color (very light) from the other walnut, and it's terribly brittle and splinters badly. I soaked a piece, and even with lots of water and heat, the edges would splinter terribly, and even after sanding it, I couldn't get the edges to clean up at all.

So, I dipped into the Reno wood, and since the color of the wale doesn't matter (since it's going to be black), I found some really nice 1/16 x 3/16 boxwood strips, and cut one of them to size. The boxwood is actually harder to do the actual bend as it's a harder wood, but using water and heat, it does it just fine, but most importantly, it does it without any splintering at all, and maintains a beautiful surface. So I sanded the piece of boxwood and shaped it. I then decided to try yet another experiment that I saw somewhere on the forums in the last couple of months, and made it black before placing it, by the simple expedient of using a black sharpie permanent marker. It looks as good as the painted fashion pieces, was silly fast, and the black ink actually penetrates the wood. After I get the black strake on later, I'll seal it with some clear matte acrylic.

So not much progress for pictures, as other than filling and sanding, all I did today was place the wale on the starboard side.



Next day - Have had no time to work on the ship since I put on the starboard wale, but I did get a package left at my door today.



So Pretty.

SA Note - this was an order of milled boxwood and holly strips. I planned to use this wood for planking the deck (wasn't sure which wood at this point) and/or for future projects and other pieces of the ship. The quality level vs. the kit basswood, which is a very soft wood in comparison, is night and day. The holly is the whiter wood.

2 days later - A little bit of progress. Moving quite slowly at the moment between work and some car trouble I just haven't spent much time working on the ship.

I got the second wale on, and only after editing the pictures to post here did I see the gap I left at the stem. Close up photo's are the harshest critic. I used a batch resizer for this group of photo's, so hopefully they come out at least reasonably close to the previous photo's for quality.



Next is the spirketing plank, which includes the scuppers that were discussed here over the last week. I've decided to just build them in per the plans and not worry about the water sloshing around on the deck for the non-existent tiny sailor-men. Given the type of ship, chances are fairly high that if it was taking enough water over the bulwarks to need the scuppers, it would be heeled over pretty good and the water would drain over the waterway anyhow.

I started by fitting the wood to the top of the waterway, and getting it cut to size and sanded properly (rounded the inside edge, and put a slight bevel on the bulwark side for fitment, as well as getting the angle against the stem right). I clamped it down with a whole bunch of clamps after soaking it, and then continued to use an eye-dropper to add water in the areas that had the most severe bend, and then left it overnight. The next day while it was still in place, made marks in the center of each section where a scupper needed to go, and then removed the plank from the model and used a compass to mark the height of the scuppers, and marked 1/16" on either side of my center marks to define the basic location of each scupper. I was pretty worried about trying to trim these little guys out with a razor knife, as they are really tiny and I am not that great with depth control when using a knife - I tend to overdo it.

Luckily, as I was playing with different tools I discovered that I had a small square file that was exactly 1/8" wide to the outside of the cutting edges. Bam, solution! I cut the basic rectangle to depth with the square file while the plank was clamped in a vise, and then used the smallest round file I have to shape the scuppers.

SA Note: I lied earlier about what the spirketing plank is. The spirketing plank goes on top of the waterways, not next to it on the deck. It's been so long that I forgot myself!



Pretty happy with how they came out. Next of course, I had to get the thing back in place and glued. I used regular PVA from a syringe to get the glue along the back and edges of the plank without getting any into the areas of the scuppers, and then clamped the crud out of it again and left it to dry.



After it dried, I removed the clamps, and it's pretty decent. I would have liked to have it fit perfectly against the waterway, but there is a small gap there. It snugs up against the bulwark extensions nicely though.



I am now doing the same thing for the other side. I've got the plank cut to size, and it's currently soaked and clamped in place. I'll keep it wet for a bit longer until I head to bed.



While I was waiting for things to dry (either water or glue) I also embarked on a bit of a planking experiment to try out two things:

1 - caulking with the method outlined in a thread by Nigel (found here: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php...by-nigel-brook/) using tissue paper.

2 - Tree nails.

I made a huge mess with the tissue paper and glue, but the results were surprisingly good given my first try, and how much of a mess I made. Note that as can be seen in the photo, I didn't measure anything for this experiment, so the butt's don't really line up very well.



Tree nails on the other hand, were a bit of a failure. I drilled 0.024" holes, which are about 1.15" in scale, and then tried to draw bamboo to the correct size, and failed badly at the hole 3 sizes above what I needed to get them down to. I don't know if the draw plate is bad, or if that's just the smallest I can get with the materials I have. The draw plate is from the Reno trip and I have no idea of it's source - the size that failed is the size he was using for his final size on the Hannah model, so maybe it's just worn out? I may get another plate (Byrns?) or try it with another material later.

Since the actual tree nails failed, I fell back to the method that Alistair (I think) said he used, and tried my wood filler putty. It worked, but I'm not happy with how well it fades into the holly deck.



I think I'll use larger holes than these, even though they are already slightly over scale, and then try to get real tree nails to work down to the size I need, or use a darker filler of some kind, or possibly go with the mono-filament line that's been mentioned by other builders here. Either way, I do plan to tree nail the deck, and while I don't want them to be obnoxious, I do want them to be visible when looking at the deck from a couple feet.

Until next time, cheers!

The Locator fucked around with this message at 06:49 on Oct 24, 2020

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Next day: So last night I clamped the piece for the port spirketing plank in place and kept it soaked for a couple hours, and then this morning before leaving for work I wet it again. This evening I worked late, but wanted to finish this plank, so I marked the scupper locations and unclamped it, and it held shape beautifully, so I went ahead and clamped it in the vice and cut all the scuppers in and shaped them. I then added the beveling and rounded the upper inside edge and sanded everything and it looked really good. I test fit and it dropped into place perfectly, so much so that only one spot even needed a clamp to hold it against the waterway. Woo!

So I pulled it out, and being the nit-picky person I am got out the 320 grit sandpaper for one final sanding to get the finish perfect before gluing in place. Just as I was about done, the sandpaper 'caught' on one of the scuppers, and....



Welp..

Oh well, I'll cut a new piece tomorrow and start over on this one.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

This update will start with several short updates to the build log that did not include pictures when I did this.

---------------

I glued and clamped the spirketing plank back together. I won't know until after work this evening if it's useable. One of the breaks was quite clean and I think will be fine, but the other did something really strange, not even sure how to describe it, but the pieces didn't fit together at all, so I'm not sure how it will come out.

---------------

I got home and unclamped it, and as I feared the 'odd' break didn't glue very well. I went ahead and sanded it down smooth at both breaks, but the odd break ended up with a slight kink, and as soon as I tried to test fit the plank it snapped at that break again, so I'll have to fashion a new piece. This isn't a huge deal, except that the kit doesn't actually supply the walnut I'm using for this purpose, the plans show a different size of walnut, so I'm afraid that I'm going to now be short three pieces of this walnut I'm using for something else. It might actually be the poop deck planking walnut, in which case it's probably not a huge deal, as I'm seriously considering planking that deck (more of a roof really) with cherry.

Oh well, I'll deal with that hurdle when I come to it.

---------

So I figured out why the spirketing plank break looked weird/wrong where my glue repair failed. When I was measuring a new one, by laying the old broken parts on it, I came up way short, so I started looking around, and realized that the first plank didn't break into 3 parts, it broke into 4 parts and the last piece was shot across the room. In any case, I cut out a new piece and it's soaking now. I probably should have cut the scuppers before the wetting bending, but I sort of forgot, so I'll do it tomorrow night.

---------

If I had found all four pieces of the plank when I first tried to glue it then it might have come out ok, but after I had already glued the wrong pieces together and broke them again, I didn't try to fit in that 'lost' piece when I found it since I'd sanded the bad glue section to make it smooth and in the process had made it quite a bit thinner than it started out. Another round of gluing and sanding would have just been too much I think, so I tossed it at that point and made a new piece. I fitted it last night actually, and it came out very good, possibly even better than the first one, and I managed to do it without breaking it, so that's a plus!

---------

I finished the replacement spirketing plank, and it came out pretty good, and I think I got the scupper shaping even better on this one, so all's well that ends well.



I got sidetracked (shocking, I know) and played with the holly planking sample again. I drilled out one of the lines of tree nail locations to .031" and made some bamboo tree nails and placed them.

I'm glad I tried this, but they stand out way too much, so I won't be using them on this deck. For a darker deck, like boxwood, these might work ok, but I'm not sure I like the dark 'spots' they seem to have, so I'll try using some regular wood of some kind next.



Next up was gun port sills. When I got to the point of doing this, I realized that at some point in the build I've managed to screw up, probably way back at the deck fairing, as the spirketing plank is not at an even height along all the gunports. In one case it's very far off and I'm not really sure what I'm going to do about it. The starboard side wasn't nearly as bad as the port, so I started on the sills there. I decided that I could use the sills themselves to 'fix' the problem with the spirketing plank not matching up to the gunports correctly, by installing the sills to the outside of the outer planking instead of just installing them between the outer planks and the spirketing plank like you are supposed to.

I began by taking a 1/8" x 3/32" piece of basswood and cutting it to the proper width for each gunport, and then using small files, shaping the piece into an "L" shape to fit into the gap between the two layers of planking while also extending outside of the outer layer of planking.



Once placed, the sill is both too high, extending above the spirketing plank, and too wide, extending outside of the outer plank layer.



I then filed/sanded the outside down to match the outside planking layer, so that it's the right width, but still too high.



Then, I filed the sill down to match the top of the spirketing plank, leaving it fit to the port, and making the top of the spirketing plank even with the outside planking.



Did this for all 4 ports on the starboard side.



As none of the ports on the starboard side are terribly out of alignment with the top of the spirketing plank, this worked out quite well, but the port side is worse, so I'm going to have to think about what is going to happen on that side to even things out. One port in particular is low (or the plank is high) by 1/2 the height of the spirketing plank (so about 1/16"). I may be able to lower the spirketing plank a little bit by sanding it down to take up part of this discrepancy, and sort of blend it in well enough that it won't be noticed later.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

One week later....

it's been a full week since I've updated this.

The reason for no updates this last week is really that I'm in a phase of the building where very little visibly changes from day to day as I was working on completing all of the gun port sills which took me several days, and then another couple days to fit the inner bulwark planking and prepare it for painting. This morning I put the first coat of primer on, and it's now drying so with nothing I can really do on the ship, time for an update here!

Note that I noticed a picture of a ready to install gun port sill that was not included in the original build log, so here is what they look like prior to being placed and then sanded down to proper fitment.



Let me start out this update with a bit of commentary on two of the most useful tools for this segment of the build, and really I see them being some of the more heavily used items in my inventory going forward.

1) The common disposable syringe with a 23 gauge industrial (not sharpened) tip. I got these from Amazon because I'm an Amazon junkie.

100 Syringes and 50 tips are about $20 bucks to my door, which makes them pretty darned cheap individually, and I find that I can use a single syringe and tip for weeks before needing to replace the tip or syringe. I cover the tip with masking tape in between uses, and when it gets clogged up, a #78 micro-drill is a perfect fit to clean it out and keep on trucking. SA Note, I verified that these links actually still work!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The syringe allows for very precise placement of very small amounts of glue in places that would be very difficult to get into with the regular glue dispenser (especially with CVA), and it is not messy and wasteful like using a toothpick, and I don't have to deal with the CVA bottle tip cleaning constantly.



2) The UMM Micro saw pack - http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/prod...&products_id=37
and the UMM micro mitre box - http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/prod...roducts_id=3340



This has rapidly become my go-to tool for cutting of pieces to length. It's fantastic for trimming overhanging pieces very closely and very precisely, and with the mitre-box it's much more accurate than the X-acto aluminum mitre-box and razor saw and has a much finer cut with less splintering. I found this on a post on here, but I can't seem to find it now. Whoever recommended this a couple months ago, thank you, it's an awesome tool.

On to the actual update. My deck on the port side has some issues that I did not realize until last week when installing the spirketing planks and seeing how badly out of whack the gun ports were with the top of the plank. The photo doesn't really show it very well, but the deck has a significant dip, and then a corresponding rise at the forward two gun port locations.



I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I could fix this, and I sanded down the spirketing plank at the forward gun port in order to make the sill be at approximately the correct height on the outer hull. Other than that I finally went with the "Congress" solution, and stuck my head in the sand, pretended it didn't exist and went on. I don't think it's fixable at this point, as the core issue has to be in the bulkhead tops under the false deck, so I'm just going to work around it as I go and see what happens. Chalk this up to lessons learned and try to figure out how to better detect this at the fairing step on future builds.

Adding the inner bulwark planking was fairly straight forward, just cutting pieces to length, edge beveling to get a nice close fit to the previous plank, and gluing them in place.



At the bow, even though everything will get wiped out by the hole for the bow-sprit in the future, I decided to try a technique I've seen in a couple other builds, and rather than bevel the ends to try to get a perfect alignment with the other side, I 'criss-crossed' them. I put the first plank on the starboard side all the way to the bass-wood on the other side, then butted the port side plank up against that one, and then put the next port side plank all the way to the bass-wood and on top of the first plank from the starboard side, repeat to the top. I really like the results, and will probably use this technique in the future for places where planks join at an angle like this.



The poop deck area required quite a bit of work and trimming before I had both sides pretty equal and the inner planking fitting correctly, but in the end I think it came out well.



After sanding (going to need to make myself some oddly shaped sanding tools/sticks in the future for working on the 'inside' of things like this), I thinned Model Shipways primer - 1 part water to 4 parts primer, and applied the first coat of primer.



And that's where I'm at now. I did however, between various things do a bit more experimentation with my Holly decking. I increased my drill size to .031" from the original .024", so the holes are now oversized for scale, but I'm going for 'appearance' vs. accuracy here. I made some tree nails out of round toothpicks, as I wasn't happy with the bamboo. I think I'm even less happy with the toothpicks, they get very dark when sanded down flush with the deck. I also tried wood filler in the larger holes. Still wasn't all that happy, but when I applied the wipe-on poly, something magical happened, and the wood filler got just slightly darker!



Above shots are with 3 coats of Min-Wax wipe on Poly with a steel wool wiping between coats. For the final deck I believe I will split the difference in hole sizes and go with a .028" hole and use the wood filler. I will test this on my test deck first, but based on the appearance of the wood filler in the .024 & .031 holes I am fairly certain this will get to the appearance that I'm looking for.

Whew.. if I was talking I'm sure I'd be all out of breath now! Until next time, take care all, and happy ship building.

babyeatingpsychopath
Oct 28, 2000
Forum Veteran

The Locator posted:

Let me start out this update with a bit of commentary on two of the most useful tools for this segment of the build, and really I see them being some of the more heavily used items in my inventory going forward.

1) The common disposable syringe with a 23 gauge industrial (not sharpened) tip. I got these from Amazon because I'm an Amazon junkie.

100 Syringes and 50 tips are about $20 bucks to my door, which makes them pretty darned cheap individually, and I find that I can use a single syringe and tip for weeks before needing to replace the tip or syringe. I cover the tip with masking tape in between uses, and when it gets clogged up, a #78 micro-drill is a perfect fit to clean it out and keep on trucking. SA Note, I verified that these links actually still work!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...1?ie=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The syringe allows for very precise placement of very small amounts of glue in places that would be very difficult to get into with the regular glue dispenser (especially with CVA), and it is not messy and wasteful like using a toothpick, and I don't have to deal with the CVA bottle tip cleaning constantly.

2) The UMM Micro saw pack - http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/prod...&products_id=37
and the UMM micro mitre box - http://umm-usa.com/onlinestore/prod...roducts_id=3340

Whew.. if I was talking I'm sure I'd be all out of breath now! Until next time, take care all, and happy ship building.

This is great; thank you for the links!

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

babyeatingpsychopath posted:

This is great; thank you for the links!

Always glad when someone finds something I share helpful! I still love those products.

-------------

Sanded the first layer of primer and cleaned it off, and have applied the 2nd layer of primer. It's this part of the builds that makes me wish I had my dedicated work room completed so I had the room to be one of those crazy people with multiple builds going so that I could continue to work on modeling during the 'waiting' steps when I'm still in the mood for it. I could work on furniture or gun carriages, but I still run into the 'room' problem as when I finished the other bits I currently have no place to safely store them. Oh well, many people in the world have a lot worse troubles than this.

Guess this is a good time to go continue work on that other room!

------------

So I thought I had the inner bulwarks well prepared for paint after two coats of primer, but I was wrong. After three coats of red it still had clearly defined light and dark planks and just didn't look nice and even to me (I failed to take any photo's of this), so to finish the day off, I stripped all the paint and tomorrow I'll sand and prep again. I knew there was a good reason to take a day off of work tomorrow!

This time I will use a small bit of filler in some gaps that were annoying me when it was painted, and do a more thorough job of painting. I also think that I need to simply buff the final coat of primer with some steel wool, instead of sanding it, as I believe the uneven finish of the primer will show through far too many layers of the red paint due to the extreme contrast between the white primer and the dark walnut that I tried to paint over the first go-round.

This painting stuff is also reminding me that I need to add an airbrush to my list of things for the future workshop, I'm not a great brush painter.

------------

So I got some 1000 grit sandpaper today (finest I've found so far) and used that instead of the steel wool after 4 coats, and it was 'peeling' the paint off instead of coming off in dust like it was with the steel wool. It's been over 24 hours since the last coat, so maybe I got them on too soon between coats when using the steel wool. I'll let it set for another 24 before trying the next coat and see if it does the same thing. Appearance wise it's back to about '2nd coat' now after that sanding. I may just be sanding too hard or aggressively.

At the same place I got the sandpaper, I found some new wood filler, and thought I would try it out for the nails - it's a 'maple' filler, so pretty light. I drilled out another set of .031 holes, and then drilled half of the original .024 holes to .028, and then drilled out a set of .028 as well.

New test (Only a single coat of wipe on poly, and not buffed).



Left to right:
Green is .031" holes with the new maple filler.
Old filler in .031" holes.
Toothpicks .031" holes.
Top half is old filler in .024" holes - Black (bottom half) is old filler in .028" holes.
Bamboo in .031" holes.
Red is .028" holes with the new maple filler.

Difference between the old filler and new filler is very subtle.

I'm progressing with a single coat of red paint on the bulwarks each day, but I'm an impatient sort (I'm sure nobody has noticed that by now) so I've decided to start working on the outer planking while still working on the bulwark paint.

I started with the black strake, which the kit provides walnut strips to make. Luckily, the walnut in this size is actually pretty nice and easily worked and not all splintery, so I inked it after carefully cutting the piece to length and shaping both ends, and placed this key component on each side. Prior to actually gluing, I clamped some scrap of the same walnut stock in place along the gun ports and used that to do some final sanding of the lower port sills so that they would match the top of the black strake.



The photo showing the wale and black strake at the stem came out blurry, so I'll probably take another one later (I never did this), but I'm really happy with how evenly they came out, and how sharp the match with the stem is. The photo of the other side at the stern where it mates with the fashion piece came out blurry too.

I sealed the black strake and wale with a coat of wipe on poly after they were in place, and hopefully this will protect it a bit from my antics as I work on the planking above and below them.

I also got a delivery in the mail today - a drawplate from Jim Byrnes. So of course I had to play with it, and made a few tree nails out of maple, and holly. The green box is maple at .031", and the blue is holly at .031". I am having a very difficult time getting tree nails smaller than the .029 drawplate hole, so if I chose to use real tree nails they would pretty much have to be .031 holes. I really like the holly appearance, as the edges are quite sharp, and the color is the most subdued of all the real wood nails I've made, but they appear too large and out of scale to me. In addition, the holly was very difficult to draw, I kept breaking the wood, so it would be a huge pain to make enough holly tree nails to do the entire deck.



In the end I'm probably going to go with the newer wood filler in .028, and try to do a neater job than the test planking when I'm doing the hole drilling and then shaving of the deck after the filler has dried in order to get a crisper edge on them.

After 7 coats I'm still having problems with sanding between the coats. I'm applying very thin coats, letting them dry for a day, and then sanding lightly with 1000 grit sandpaper. Even doing my best to keep the sanding very light (in bright light I'm just knocking the 'shine' off), I keep ending up wrecking the edges like this:



That is after sanding the 7th coat.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong? Is there some special way to sand between each coat of paint, or am I just a goofy ham-fisted oaf that can't sand lightly enough? (Post build note - it's that second thing, and can't keep from rolling the sand paper over the edges instead of keeping it straight across the entire surface)
Here is the bulwarks after applying coat 8 tonight (got home late so no time for any other work on the ship tonight).



----------------

I'm getting pretty good at making mistakes! I realized this morning that I forgot to cut the scuppers into the black strake. I've done a bit of work trying to cut the scuppers in after the fact, but I think I may end up just ripping the black strake out and re-doing it correctly as shorter planks with the scuppers cut into them in advance.

Oh well, it's a two steps backwards day I suppose. I did get a couple more coats of red on the inner bulwarks and have now put on the first coat of clear. I had already begun the outer bulwark planking when I figured out that I'd forgotten the scuppers in the black strakes, so that will complicate the removal and replacement of those pieces.

After the filling and sanding, I added paint, and I think I will be able to salvage this without removing the strakes. I am not completely happy with the outside scuppers, as they aren't terribly consistent, but oh well. I'll try to get a photo or two up tonight.

If I was thinking ahead, I probably wouldn't have put the black strakes on without cutting the scuppers! I really should do more thinking and planning ahead, and I really should have built at least one gun carriage to test the height of the gun ports, but I didn't, so I'm just crossing my fingers there.

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Photo update. Went out this weekend and got some 'real' paint brushes instead of the cheapo's I've been using.



Did one last holly planking test. This test was for two things - when I bought the brushes I also got some artists pencils, so I wanted to test the caulking with the pencils instead of the tissue. The top two caulk lines have 4B pencil on both sides of the joint (i.e. I penciled both planks on the facing side). The bottom four have pencil only on the upper plank. Before doing any sanding, the top two were more pronounced, but after sanding down the filler for the nails, I can't tell the difference. The pencil caulking is not as sharp or dark as the tissue paper (old sample to the left).

The three rows of tree nails are using the 'new' filler, and .031, .028, and .024 holes side by side, all applied at the same time, so they have the same finishing treatment (scraped and sanded, 2 layers of Poly applied and buffed).

I'm likely to go with the 4B caulking (single side) and .028 filler tree nails on the final deck.



My camera refused to get a good focus on the black strake showing my post-installation scuppers, but hopefully you can get an idea. The first picture is the 'bad' side, where they are larger and more uneven. The second is of the 'better' side. If I could do it over again, I'd place some sort of filler block between the outer planking and the spirketing plank, and then be very careful not to drill all the way through, as it's quite clear that my inner and outer scuppers don't line up in several places when you line up and look through them.



And a few photo's of the current status of the inner bulwarks. I somehow have a few tiny spots that the red paint appears to have a 'hole'. No idea how that happened, but I may go back and try to touch that up when I do the final painting of the gunport sills, which I'll need to do after I get the outer planking on because of final trimming/sanding of that layer of walnut.

The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

An emergency thing at work tonight, since I'm sitting on the bridge call doing nothing, figured I'd add another chapter to this log.

Made a little bit of progress since my last update, and learned another lesson about using clamps on painted surfaces (the lesson is - "don't do that you idiot"). I ended up having to do quite a bit of cleanup work on the inner bulkheads after leaving some divots and black marks on my nicely finished red bulkheads, so now I'm doing this when I need to clamp the outer planks:



I've got the three .030 planks on the outer bulwarks now from the aft gun port to the stem. I need to trim them off at the gun ports now, and then paint the gun ports again.



I also got a serving machine from Alexey and played with it a little bit this afternoon. gf-dance.gif It will allow me to properly serve the rigging whenever I get to it - pretty slick machine, and the ability to fully serve the shrouds where needed in just a couple minutes will be amazing and awesome. I need to find some slightly thicker thread though, the regular sewing thread I have is so fine that the 'serving' is sort of lost unless you are looking at it with a magnifying glass.

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I have accomplished a bit though since the last update, including some new 'firsts' for me today, so I figured I'd give an update since I'm inordinately proud of myself for the latest bit.

To start off with, over the last several days I finished up the aft outer bulkhead planking, and then put on the sheer strake. For the sheer strake I used 4" sections (16' scale planks). This is the first 'scale' planking on the model, although I meant to do that for the black strake and simply got ahead of myself and forgot.



I also got the hole for the bowsprit drilled, but it is left undersized for now. I'll open it up the rest of the way later when I've got the bowsprit shaped for best fitment.



The next 'first time' thing I did, was I ground a simple trim form into a razor blade, and cut a 'line' into the outside edge of the cap rail pieces for 'fashion'. I am reasonably pleased with out it came out for my first try at this sort of thing.



Unfortunately, when I went to actually fit the cap rails onto the bulkheads I ran into the problem that lead to my other 'first'. The curve of the cap rails as they approach the bow was completely different than the actual curve of the bulkheads. If I'd used the kit cap rails, the very tip would have actually ended up just behind the bulkheads where they meet above the stem, instead of extending beyond it slightly. If I moved them far enough forward to meet where they should, the curve completely didn't work for the rest, and they also came up very short at the aft end.

So, I scrounged around in the box of wood that I got from Reno, and low and behold, there was a small sheet of 1/16" wood. I'm not honestly sure if it's walnut or not, but it's wood, and close enough! So I used the curve of the bulkheads, along with the width/shape from the kit cap rails, and made forward cap rail pieces from this new sheet of wood. The sheet of wood I have wasn't large enough to make the entire rails over, so I just made the forward sections.



To join them with the kit rails, I made my first ever scarf joints, and cut back the original cap rails to match up with the new pieces. I used my little shaped razor blade and cut my line into these new parts, and placed them. This part is where I was really happy that I didn't try to use the kit pieces. These came out great.



I clamped the kit cap rail into place on the starboard side, and then measured and cut a 1/16 x 1/16 piece and cut the 'line' into it and placed it at the stern, and then I glued the kit piece into place. I haven't completed these steps on the port side yet.



My 'trim' line isn't aligned perfectly where the scarf joint is, but I think I can make it look somewhat better with a bit of work using the sharp edge of a riffler file.

Cessna
Feb 20, 2013

KHABAHBLOOOM

This is so cool. I've always wanted to build a wooden ship model, but know I'd get all tangled up with the string and knots and such.

Cessna fucked around with this message at 19:25 on Oct 27, 2020

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The Locator
Sep 12, 2004

Out here, everything hurts.




Hair Elf

Cessna posted:

This is so cool. I've always wanted to build a wooden ship model, but know I't get all tangled up with the string and knots and such.

You can always build it 'admiralty' style, where the masts and bowsprit are just stumps, and the rigging and sails don't exist!

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