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    Midlothian, VA
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    Scratch built plank on frame

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  1. Planked the quarterdeck bulwark with ebony and pear and installed the scuppers. No finish applied yet. Scuppers are 2 and 2.5 mm copper refrigerating tubing. I’m becoming a big fan of copper – so much less finicky to blacken than brass. I started working on the decorative moldings and fenders. Spent most of the weekend making a planksheer hance that fit right. Still having a lot of trouble scraping the molding neatly around curves, particularly the tight curve on the hance. Looking for suggestions.
  2. Michael - looks great! looks like the garboard strake is perfect, you have great symmetry, and the run of the planks will be spot on.
  3. Great to see you back Michael - Pinnace looks great! Looking forward to seeing the progress. Dave
  4. Not sure how I missed your log before. Absolutely spectacular! Congratulations on finishing such a beautiful model.
  5. Not sure why 3/32 would be preferred to 1/16. For checking fairness you generally want something thick enough that it will bend to a smooth curve, but not so thick that you need to do a lot of work (heat, soaking, etc) to have it bend without breaking. Rattlesnake is a great kit and beautiful ship - enjoy. Dave
  6. The upper deck is planked. Cutting the planks around the pumps was interesting. I wasn’t sure what supports the planks over the openings on either side of the mast step. I put some supports in even though I didn’t see them on any of the plans. The planks are holly. I will put some clear water-based polyurethane over them, which I used on the lower deck and didn’t change the whiteness of the wood significantly. The treenails were my first experiment with bamboo. Not sure what took me so long to try it. I have been using the same type wood as the plank to minimize the contrast between the plank and treenail so it wouldn’t look too busy. The bamboo is MUCH easier to draw through the drawplate. It seems to have a reasonable contrast with the background. I drew the bamboo down to the .018 hole (second smallest on the Byrnes drawplate) and used a .020 drill. The other experiment was marking the locations on the model, then taking the planks off and drilling, treenailing, and sanding the planks prior to installing them on the model. I was pretty happy with it – it was a lot easier than trying to navigate the drill near the bulwarks or bitt pins. I have a few more rows of planks on the bulwarks and outer hull. I need to see how bamboo treenails will look on these planks. It they look funny because they don’t match the pear, cherry, and boxwood treenails that I have already used, I will finish with the same. If it isn’t too noticeable, I will finish with bamboo. The next model will be treenailed with bamboo- just so much easier to work with.
  7. Gene - absolutely amazing work (as usual). congratulations on finishing! Dave
  8. Thanks for the likes and the kind comments. I’ve added the bitt pins. They look a little out of alignment in the pictures. I will check when I get home tonight – I think it is distortion from taking pictures with my cell phone. They looked square when I installed them. I got to use some really neat brass clamps that I got a few years ago at a club auction - they worked perfectly. It is nice to be back at work. I switched to copper nails so I can blacken in place (thanks Ed Tosti and his incredible Young America log), which now that I have gotten the hang of, works really well. The sheaves on the sides of the bitts were turned separately. The ones built into the bitts are simulated. Finish has been applied to the half of the deck that isn’t getting planked. I have holly planks ripped and ready for installation on the main deck next. I will probably not treenail as I didn’t on the lower deck. I had some difficulty with the jeer bitt pin locations. The mast step and well widths were made to the plans and agreed with the primary sources, but this ended up with the jeer bit pins sitting on top of the side walls of the well. Not sure if I have them in the right place and the original shipwrights built the well around the bottom of the bitt pin or didn’t continue the wall up this high, or if I did something wrong. In any event, I notched the sides of the bottoms of the bitt pins so I could move them a little laterally and make everything fit right. It was too late to modify the well without tearing out a huge amount of work. I’m also trying to work around the rebates I cut for the binding strakes. I thought it was a good idea to show them off on a cross section, but didn’t know enough about them when I cut them. They don’t quite run just outside the hatches. Both decisions reflect a new approach to the project – I saw my first date stamp for my log (which actually started even earlier, before MSW went down in 2013) and realized I am over five years into this. I've decided to live with small mistakes already made and not do unnecessary major redo’s moving forward. This was supposed to be a focused learning experience (which it absolutely has been) and not a 6 year odyssey. I would really like to mark the move to the new house by completing this project and being able to start a new project in the new workshop. I have learned a ton on this, and it is time for a new project, especially as I don’t think I will have the long pauses that punctuated this project on the next one. Dave
  9. Another six months slipped by. Someplace in there the upper deck got framed, and the main hatch and grating built. In the interim, my wife and I embraced out empty nester status and bought a new shipyard in the city. I’m giving up the yard and commute, and looking forward to an extra hour a day potentially spent in the workshop instead of the car. The house has a full basement, about a third of which will be the new shop. It is a little smaller than my current space, but it is mostly one big room, so hopefully the space will be more usable. It is a 1913 row house that hasn’t been renovated in decades. We aren’t doing the work ourselves, but just making all the decisions and picking out the materials for an almost down to the studs renovation/restoration has been pretty consuming. We are hoping to be moving in a few months. I’m having a little more time for the cross section, and hope to have the bitts installed and upper deck planked shortly. Dave
  10. Toni - Beautiful work! Sorry I missed your log until now- I'm just coming up for air after a busy month at work, and looking forward to getting back to my build. Somehow this cross section really works well with 'progress in fits and starts.' Mine started about the same time yours did. Looking forward to watching your progress- its great to have some company in the Echo Build Log section. Best, Dave
  11. I just finished the redo. With the elm pump angled, it fits just fine. I cut the openings in the deck planks before I glued them in. Cutting 3 rectangular holes (chain pump and two bitt pins) and an octagon in the same two planks over the space of about 1 1/2" was a little finicky, but I think I have it. will start work on the upper deck shortly. Just checked out your Sirius - not sure how I missed it before - spectacular, as is the cutter. thanks! Dave
  12. Hi Paul - very helpful. I had assumed that the elm pump was straight up and down when viewed from the side like the chain pumps, but I'm not sure why I made that assumption. The chain pumps are vertical, which would probably be important so that the axis for the cranks would be parallel to the deck. This wouldn't be critical for the elm tree pump, where the pump handle could just be angled. Still leaves me with two questions: If this is the case, it seems like the pump shaft would have been angled forward, with the opening between the front of the mast step and front wall of the well, as opposed to behind the step. This is a clearer path and would allow for some redundancy as it seems like it would decrease the likelihood of the chain and elm pumps both being blocked at the same time. The drawing that came with Ed Tosti's Naiad book shows the shaft angled this way, and will be the approach I probably take. When I look at the Swan class book, it says the chain pump opens between frames 3 fore and 3 aft, which is at the corner of the mast step. It still makes me wonder if the pump should end up just lateral to the corner of the step. I have about 5" scale clearance here, and about 3" more would have allowed the pump shaft to be vertical in the fore and aft direction. Your information very appreciated as it gives me a solution that doesn't involve huge amounts of rework and still looks accurate. I didn't have the NMM plans when I installed the well, and may have installed it slightly aft of where it should be. The difference is very small, but has led to being off on the relationships between upper and lower deck beams, which need to be really precise for the bitts to be vertical. Now that the elm pump location is solved, I think I can work with what I have and move forward again, as I can locate the upper deck beams in reasonable locations. The only thing I will need to redo is the upper deck main mast partners, as the upper deck beams will be a few scale inches further apart than originally planned. I built it in boxwood, and want most of the things that would have been painted in swiss pear, so I needed to do this anyways. Thanks! Dave
  13. I'm hoping to get a little guidance on the placement of the elmtree pumps in the fore/aft dimension. I'm about to start my third redo, and don't think I have a solution yet. I initially placed the opening as per the directions, which are 100% in agreement with the NMM plans. This puts the bottom end of the pump on top of the fore part of the mast step (the elm tree pumps are the octagons in the images below). The mast step and well dimensions are as per the plans, and there is not room between the side of the mast step and side of the well. I'm comfortable that the mast step is in the right place - the NMM plans show the elm tree pump just forward of the mast opening, right where the mast step would be expected to be. I moved the pump opening forward to just clear the step. It was great until I started to fit the main topsail bit pins (which attach to the aft side of the beam above the forward side of the well) and there isn't room between the beam and the pump for the bit pin. So - potential solutions: 1- narrow the mast step so that there is room laterally between the mast step and well wall for the opening of the pump in the location indicated on the plan 2- seat the topsail bit pin on top of the beam instead of behind it, like the jeer bits (not what is indicated in the plan) 3- put the pump where it is indicated on the plan even though it sits on top of the mast step given that you can't see into the well anyway None of these seem right - any suggestions? thanks! Dave
  14. Hi Cliff - There are around 7 plan sheets available for the Echo class, which can add up. Information from a number of them is already in the tutorial, and some are of part of the ship separate from the cross section (e.g. the stern decorations). The plan I have found by far the most helpful is the inboard profile, which detailed things I could not visualize or wanted more detail on, for example the spacing and position of lower and upper deck beams and how the bitt pins attached to the beams. Also, the NMM ordering system charges separate shipping for each plan. I emailed them, and they put all the plans in a single tube, which greatly reduced the shipping cost. I'm still waiting for 3 plans they left out of the shipment. I emailed and they said they would send. Dave
  15. Toni and Michael - many thanks! Great suggestion about practicing on the less visible side. I went ahead and ordered the National Maritime Museum plans for Echo. I'd like to build the whole ship next. They sent me about half of what I ordered, and I'm still waiting for 3 of the plans. I wish I had ordered them at the start of the cross section. The inboard profile is incredibly helpful in understanding the relations between the beams and bitts, and really adds to David and Greg's great instructions. I may have a little redoing now that I have a better sense of where everything is supposed to end up. Dave

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