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Everything posted by mikiek

  1. Matt - I agree with Steve. If at all possible, pull the stern post and make the right sized one.
  2. Glad you straightened me out. I didn't realize that was a drilled out rod. Probably even better. It would have been difficult to find various sizes of tubing.
  3. I took the one shroud that I made and put it on the main port side and it looks like they will be fine Touching slightly but not enough to put a bend in the shroud. However Darrell said the clearance was worse on the fore. I need to make another webbing thing for the forward port.
  4. I have debated starting a build log for some time. Mainly because I fear I won’t keep it up. Also, there seems to be a rash of Niagara builders out there right now – many with great detailed logs. I’ve been at it for about 6 weeks so I’m also wondering why start a log now? Add to all that, I’m terrible with pics in posts. Goodness knows I could use the help. I haven’t assembled a model in 45 years. I’ve never tried a wooden one or one this detailed. I also have no real woodworking experience. It was just a wild hair that got me started. I saw a few models on display and decided I wanted to try. So why Niagara and not something a little more simple? After browsing model kits for several weeks I realized that all the ones that caught my attention were the 2 masted Brig/Schooner kits. They had enough complexity but still had a simple, clean look about them. They just seemed to grab me. Research seemed to indicate that Model Shipways instructions/plans were better than most so that seemed like a plus. In hindsight I am debating that fact now. Sooo, I began this ordeal on 10/05/15. I’ve assembled the hull & bulkhead frames – got them reinforced, squared & faired. Sadly, I did not take any pics during that process. I added the filler blocks and really struggled with the stern ones for a couple of weeks. The plans were absolutely no help. I came across a website that actually had a practicum for Niagara (for $$$). This builder took a different approach that seemed to make sense (1 piece per side rather than inner and corner fillers), but I felt like I was still missing something. Getting tired of fretting over it, I went that route. But it turns out I missed some of his details - there was a bit of a language barrier. Then, I went back to the 2 piece approach. I actually had a nicely shaped inner block(s) but couldn’t figure out the corner block. What I was gleaning from the plans just made no sense. Of course that was probably my ineptitude. Then I found this site and was excited to see several Niagara build logs, however the first few I came across on this site seemed to gloss over the topic. Then I came across lb0190’s (Larry) log - http://www.modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/313-niagara-by-lb0190-model-shipways-wood-pob-164th-lb0190/ - and that got the wheels turning (posts 7-12). Finally – the corner block shape should take on the profile of the outer horn timber. That was the missing link for me – easy enough to carve out, but weeks wasted getting to that point. Like Larry admits, I busted up the horn timbers more times than I will admit (bulwark timberheads as well). Also, I did not realize the notches in the horn timbers for the Arch Board were at different offsets so I ended up with the outer horns on the inside. I further mangled those up by chipping them out, so I ended up cutting an entire new set. My new scroll saw proved invaluable (and fun) there. I have a question about those notches which I’ll ask at the end of my speech. About the same time, I began my indecision with placement of the stern Quarter Stanchions. I came across lots of pics but most all had the stanchions partially covered with other parts, so there was no clear view. The plans could/should have given some measurement of the spacing from the outer horn timber – no help again. I have seen some pics where the bottom edge ran parallel to the stern and others where the edge was parallel to the side of the ship. I finally came across a statement saying that the external bulwark planking was supposed to lay on the outside edge of the stanchion and terminate at the stern edge. So clamping some planks to the outer side of the timberheads and seeing where they ended up (at the stern) gave me the clue I needed to place the stanchions. That was another week long inquisition. Still not sure if I got that right, but it seems to make sense. So that’s about where I am right now. The transom is framed but not yet planked. It was truly a relief to have that part of the assembly behind me! I apologize for the length of this post. I will attempt to be less verbose as things progress. I do have a few general observations: 1. I finally found a use for a Dremel tool. I have owned one for 15 years but never used it for anything other than grinding/sharpening my lawn mower blade. In a lot of cases I now find myself using the Dremel to cut (grind) pieces and also to do a lot of the rough filing. I do have to wonder if this is sacrilege to the long time modeler/woodworker. 2. I had hoped this was going to be a relaxing thing to do. To the contrary, I have found myself really stressing over many aspects of the build so far. There was a real sense of relief when I finished the transom framing last week! 3. I have a much steadier hand than I thought I would working with small detailed parts. Questions: 1. The notches for the Arch Board on the underside of the horn timbers are in different places. The inner 4 all line up the same but the 2 outer horns have the notch slightly closer to the stern. What is the point with this? Is the Arch Board supposed to arc (arch) a little to fit in all the notches? I can say a straight piece will not fit in all the notches. I did go ahead and spile a slight arch into the arch board so it fits the notches. But it also causes some grief – see question 2. 2. Still at the stern, the exterior transom planks look like they are stacked up on top of the Arch Board. Most pics also show them and the arch board slightly arcedupwards. My arch board did not do this. I ended up cutting a "filler" plank very thin, arching the top and glueing that to the top of the arch board. When I go to add the rest of the transom planks, they will follow the arc - at least that's the plan. 3. In placing the Planksheer pieces, I have noticed the notches that fit around the timberheads are way off in some places. A few by as much as ¼” - 3/8” off. I realize this can be adjusted, but is this much deviation normal? I cam across a few statements saying not to make adjustments to the planksheer. Instead do it all to the timberheads - even if that means they come out very thin. 4. I need to get the chocks for the mast feet glued to the keel before I forget. The plans show an octagonal foot although most pics I see the foot is rectangular. Any thoughts there? How in the world do you cut a cylindrical shape (the mast) into an octagonal one? 5. During the gun port framing process (my next step) several of you have stated do not add the upper & lower strip to the framing as suggested by the plans. Instead run a 3/32 square strip along the top of the timberheads. I'm headed down that path but I'm wondering where the square starts and terminates. At the stern does it go all the way to the transom - I saw 1 log where it stopped at bulkhead Q. At the bow, does it start at bulkhead A or all the way at the timberhead we added into the bow filler block? This site has really been a blessing so far. I wonder how many total years of modeling knowledge we have at our fingertips. I look forward to hearing from you and even getting to a point where I can contribute. Sail on….
  5. Fantastic Don - What a good process. Looks like you can get very consistent output like that. That's always my downfall. Nice looking hooks but no two are the same size. What was the size of the tubing you used? Looks like the tube ID needs to be about the same as the OD of the bit?
  6. Good idea Joel. I imagine I will need to do something. That might also cut down on the number of hammocks I have to make Paul - I appreciate that. The guns were quite an adventure.
  7. My first attempt at the hammock stowage. The stanchions were glued to the hand rail yesterday. Today it was time to add the webbing and top rail. Here's that - I explained it in a previous post. So when I made the stanchions (another previous post) I put a slight "lip" at the top of the uprights. You can see it in the first pic. Under that lip is where the top rail is glued, making sure that the side of the rail that has the webbing glued to it faces the inside of the stanchion. Then I glued the other rail. Push the webbing down in between the uprights, add hammocks and there it is. I'll stretch a line across the uprights below the top rail - like I did in the prototype (still another previous post). You better duck now - looks like that carronade has a bead on you
  8. Don - if you have time some pix would be great. I'm about to start rigging Arrow and there are calls for hooks and of course none supplied.
  9. Good luck with the burns. They give me a devil of a time.
  10. The problem is if you use glue on your hull, when you go to stain/varnish it the glue doesn't take like the raw wood right next to it and you end up with spots. This might give you some ideas.
  11. I forgot to mention I did order some 1:24 model car tires to tie on around the sides. Should be a nice feature.
  12. I posted a question on the Questions forum and everyone seemed OK with me doing a log for an RC tugboat. So here goes. The kit is made by Tippiecanoe Boats out of Washington state. The owner, Will Lesh, designed all the models for sale there. They focus primarily on RC sailboats. Will is a good guy and almost always available by phone for questions. You can't beat that. I have already built one of their RC sailboat kits. I had the itch for one and it seems like you can either buy one RTR (ready to run) or build one. Given what we do here, building one seemed the natural choice. I did not do a log for the sailboat but here are a few quick pix. Yes it's really that big - 37" in length and a little over 5' tall. Does the decking look vaguely familiar? Both the sailboat and tug kits are made from top quality materials. Deck & hull parts are marine grade ply with a mahogany veneer. Marine epoxy is used to fasten all parts. Instructions are extremely detailed. It comes with everything needed to complete the model except paint & varnish. That includes the electronics, epoxy and additives. The tug is not a rendition of an actual boat, rather just a generic model. The looks are pretty basic. So why in the world would I want to build this kit after building highly detailed models? Mostly because I need it. I live on a big lake. Several places where I sail the RC are open water. If something were to go wrong with the sailboat, it would be a long swim to get it back. The water is pretty cold right now - even in Texas. The tug has a rescue arm - a big hook that can snag a disabled boat and haul it back to shore. Also, people race the sailboats. That's usually several floating markers out on the water that the boats sail around. The tug can be used to drop the markers. Lastly, I'm sure it will be fun just motoring around Normally I wouldn't post pix of the kit - we've all seen them right? I'm guessing not too many have seen this one so here are a few. Very detailed instructions including 3 pages on how to use the epoxy. More on that in a sec. Some of the plywood parts The electronics. This kit even included a battery pack & charger in addition to the servos. The epoxy kit. This stuff is way different than the 15 minute stuff we use. Mixing the resin & hardener produces something about the viscosity of molasses - it's self leveling. In fact it is used to "clear coat" the wood in some areas. If you want it thicker (and you will for some applications) you add a thickening powder to the mixture. Needless to say I learned a heck of a lot about the correct way to use epoxy while building the sailboat. The motor RC controller. So there it is. I plan to begin the hull this evening. If I'm lucky this will take about 6 weeks to build. The epoxy slows down the process somewhat. It's not CA - it takes overnight to dry so there is some wait time involved. Thanks for reading!
  13. Right Steve - she's been collecting too much dust and dead bugs in the garage
  14. It does Don. However having no experience with sails myself, I have no idea whether they are any good or not. Will have to research sail making when I get to that point.
  15. Couldn't wait any longer on this one. It is an odd creature to say the least. I learned about this type of boat while researching Niagara and the goings on at the Great Lakes during the War of 1812. They have an interesting history. The kit is pretty minimal. A lot of wood without much metalwork. From a quick glance things don't look too bad. The main instructions with all the illustrations is in Italian of course. There is an English version but it refers to the figures in the Italian instructions so you really need to have both opened. The plans show decent details about the build but NO MEASUREMENTS. Very odd. The first task at hand is to drill the mast holes in a piece they call the centerboard. They supply a little jig so that you can drill the holes at the proper angles. That's assuming you can drill a hole straight down. Good thing my drill has a bubble level in it. So I got thru that. Now for the frames. Here's a weird one - frames go on the keel right? NOT! The flat side of the frames are glued to the centerboard. You have to center them and make sure they are perpendicular. I marked up the centerboard and that turned out not to be a big deal. So the first 11 frames are on. Next are two end frames glued to the end of the centerboard. The instructions say that the flat side of the frame is supposed to be above the centerboard surface. How much? That's when I noticed there were no measurements.Turned out to be 5/32" Added the undersurface for the lower deck Began planking the lower deck. Odd as it is, I still think this is a cool looking build. As you can see things are moving along well. Just what I needed - a build that won't take years to finish. 03/11/17 - I have decided to add a few notes here regarding things that I have turned up during the build. Hopefully this may make it easier for a future builder. A couple of things today: 1. As you are building out the lower deck - planks, foot rests, benches,etc. - color and finish them at that time. It will get progressively more difficult to access them later. Same thing for the upper deck. 2. The instructions say to plank first then install the stem and stern post. In hindsight I will disagree with this. I would follow a more normal pattern of installing those pieces and the additional step of cutting a rabbet. I've found that the ends of the planks just kinda lay on top of the pieces. They don't integrate like they would with a rabbet cut all around the hull. 3. If you decide to do #2 be sure to make and install the gudgeons and pintles for the stern post and rudder before the stern post is installed. Don't let the gudgeons extend too far back on the stern post else they will keep the stern post from sliding all the way into place.
  16. Looks really sharp Don. How does the kit rope compare to Syren? How do you use the hook tool?
  17. Thank you Don. I agree. When those masts and sails go up it will add a lot more. Besides, I'll have to learn how to make sails.
  18. May have to postpone the christening today. I slapped another coat of varnish on the deck this morning. Not sure it will be dry in time. Per - traveling with the fleet is getting difficult. 1 - T37 sailboat, 2 - Dragon Force sailboats, 1 tug with barge and soon 1 trimaran (with 7' mast). Plus sails, tools, chairs, etc. If the trailer wasn't filled up with astronomy gear it would be perfect.
  19. Hi Don - glad you came by. The big concern is how badly all this will interfere with the shrouds as the hammock installation passes under them Whether they do or whether they don't, this is the path I'm going down. Now back out to the garage to tie up more hammocks.
  20. I've done some serious multi tasking in the last 24 hours. Arrow, the tugboat and Niagara. When things are clicking, it's really fun. I put together the carronade carriage today. It's not glued in yet but I might before I shut down tonite. The kit provides 2 round wooden platforms for the guns. They're not bad but they are a little small in the hole in the deck where they will sit. The earlier pix show this and also the pieces underneath the deck. It didn't look real good so I painted the area underneath the platforms black to make the pieces not so obvious. The carronade was a little funky. The parts came in a plastic bag with no instructions. You have to glue the trunnion loop and what I believe is the breech rope loop to the barrel. It will be a pretty wimpy breech rope as that loop can't be any bigger than 1/64". I really prefer a chunky piece of Syren rope for the breech. The long gun is next and then masts & yardarms.
  21. Thank you Scott. It's about to really start taking shape.
  22. Well I am committed now. Hammock stanchions are glued on the port hand rail. I placed them with a dot of CA just to get them on but then went back and epoxied them. I'm suspecting they will get a fair amount of abuse and I don't want to have to try and reglue them later. After the epoxy dries I will add one of those webbing with sticks contraptions I showed a few posts back.
  23. Got a lot done in the last 24 hours. Deck is planked, stained and first coat of varnish. I used 1/4" x 3/32" boxwood sticks, miscalculated and ran out before I was finished. That was disheartening as it was early this morning, I was on a roll and had planned to finish planking. Fortunately I had a 3/32" sheet and was able to rip enough from that to get the rest. Staining (Minwax Provincial) really showed up all the spots where I didn't sand the glue off well enough. I was going to sand the stain off and try again but then I thought for a tugboat, all the spots kinda add to the ambiance. So I left them. I used a satin finish on the deck rather than the glossy that is on the sides and bottom. Got to thinking, all the wood is covered now so I could put it in the water tomorrow. We'll see. Pix are a little dark this time, not sure why.
  24. Don't feel too bad Matt - 0.5 is very thin and difficult to work with. At that thickness most wood can easily crack or fray. You could try filling your gaps but there can be some evils involved with that, particularly if you are leaving the hull natural. Some real fine sand paper or 600 sanding sponge could smooth some of that out without sanding thru the veneer.
  25. Don, E.J., thanks for the feedback. I have a lot of boxwood strips so I imagine I'll go with those - maybe darkened a little bit. I have some walnut and maple sheets on order - I could make planks from those. But I'm not sure when they will arrive and I would like to get this build finished this weekend. I definitely want the tires, however that must be a hot item in the model car world. Lot's of sites have them and lot's of sites are out of stock. Had not thought about the tires being useful, but you are right E.J. And I do plan on this tug being a rescue boat for my RC sailboats.