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  1. Step 17: Cut, fit, and glue twelve 1/16” x 1/2” floorboards, six on each side of the keel. Mark the edges of the boards with a Number 2 (HB) pencil to simulate caulking (some recommend only doing this on one edge for each pair; I did both edges). The ends of the floorboards were cut square but they came out bowed after I sanded them to fit. Word gets back that a Northwest Short Line True Sander would do a better at keeping the edge square when adjusting the length than the hand-held sander I used: To make sure they're the same length, I cut the first of the floorboards to the desired length and then used Nirvana's jig idea for use with the chop saw: a) Place this first board (the template) on top of a 1/16" x 1/2" wood strip, making sure the ends on the right are aligned: b) push both boards towards the chop saw blade until the left end of the template touches the saw blade then tighten the saw's clamp to keep the wood strip in place: c) Remove the template: d) Align an authentic, genuine, certified fnkershner bulkhead brace ( - see prior post) with the right end of the wood strip: e) With the brace taped in place, push the wood strip against it and cut: Check to make sure it's the right length then cut the rest of the twelve pieces. Step 18: Glue part 29 (PA-8) to the aft side of bulkhead 12 and part 29A (PA-8) to the fore side of bulkhead 11 on both the starboard and port sides: Jonathan
  2. Step 11: Number the bulkheads (parts 1-16) with a soft pencil while they are still in their boards. Some modelers recommend numbering all of the parts, not just the bulkheads. Step 12: Remove the two bulkhead 8s from PA-4. Carve and sand the bevels into the bulkheads using the engraved bevel lines as a guide (see Detail 2-4). Step 13: Clamp the bottom of the hull to a piece of glass to ensure it stays flat while you assemble the bulkheads (I didn't do this and now the bottom is slightly warped. Nothing serious but fooey.). Step 14: Glue the bulkheads to the keel. Make sure they are square to the keel (use fnkershner bulkhead braces, angle plates, Lego blocks, index card corners, etc). Make sure the two-piece bulkheads fit properly to the edge of the bottom by shaving the center joint of the bulkhead if needed. While the glue is drying prepare another bulkhead pair. Work out from the first bulkhead pair on alternating sides fore and aft (8, 7, 9, 6, 10, 5, 11, etc). Step 15: Glue a pair of part 27s (PA-8) to either side of the keel in the forward cockpit (see Detail 2-5). Step 16: Glue four 3/16” square members. The picture below shows all six parts from these two steps being clamped in place. The stem is off to the upper left.
  3. Note: The instructions that come with the kit say to now glue parts 20, 21, and 22 to the keel. I think this should be done later. Delaying allows the use a straight edge when trying to keep the keel straight as it is glued to the bottom in Step 9 below. Step 7: Match bottom parts 23S (PA-2) and 23P (PA-1) and apply a strip of Scotch tape to the joint. Turn over and apply a few spots of glue to the joint. Step 8: Glue part 24 (PA-1). Clip all three parts to a piece of glass to make sure the assembly is flat while the glue dries. Note: the next step also deviates from the manual. My keel was slightly bent. By gluing it to the bottom at the ends there was no place for the wood to go when I tried to center the middle of the keel on the bottom: the glued ends forced it into an S-shape because the wood wouldn't compress. A better way would be to glue the stem then the center and the stern last. Step 9: Carefully align and center the keel. Glue it to the bottom at the stem using CA glue. Next, align the keel using a straight edge and use CA glue to fasten it at the center. Finally, glue the stern while you continue to keep the keel straight using a straight edge. Step 10: Glue parts 20, 21, and 22 (PA-5) to the keel and to the bottom while making sure they are perpendicular to the keel. (The picture below was taken when following the kit instructions, not the revised steps above. I've included it as an example of how these parts can be kept perpendicular to the keel while the glue dries.) Jonathan
  4. I heeded Antony's advice and found that one of the corners was down by 0.014". I managed to reduce that so now there is no place (longitudinally, laterally, or diagonally) between the Veritas 24" steel straightedge and the face surface that'll accept a 0.003" feeler guage. There is a 5" long by 2" wide section at one end that's still off by 0.002": I think I'll declare victory and move on. Jonathan
  5. Totally agree! I was thinking of buying another kit and doing just that. Kinda expensive though...
  6. This looks like a great kit for a first build, so instead of just a narrative, I'm going to try and create a sort of revised instruction manual (instead of kit bashing, manual bashing?) for other beginners to perhaps follow if they wish. Hopefully I'll get done with the build (gulp!) and the blog will be a worthwhile effort. To that end, I plopped the contents of the instruction manual PDF file (available from ModelExpo Online) into Pages and sifted out the historical notes and extra explanatory material to get just the basic build steps. I'll use that to start my amended, abbreviated, annotated, and mostly-photo-documented version of the manual. The steps are numbered to make it easier for y'all to make comments if you want (as in "Yo! Woolly!! You blew Step 22. You should have said the shearstrake ...", or "Steps 61-71 should be done before Step 47."). I can then edit the steps based on your improvement suggestions and use the Reason for Edit feature to help keep track of step versions. There seem to be around 200 individual tasks, so this could take a while... Building the Gunboat Philadelphia by Bob Crane (as told to wool132) Building the Hull Step 1: (This is from the Syren user manual; seems like a good idea for the Philadelphia too): "Before removing any of the parts from the basswood sheets for the bulkheads and keel parts, sand both sides of each sheet smooth with some 320 grit sandpaper to remove the laser char." Note to self: be careful not to erase the laser marks that are on many of the parts (e.g., bulkheads). Step 2: Glue together the keel, stem, and stern post using parts 17, 18, and 19 (these are all found on sheet PA-5) using a pane of glass as a flat reference surface (see Detail 2-1 for Steps 2-6). Step 3: Glue a pair of part 26 to the Stern Post and two part 18Bs to the Stem (they are on sheet PA-8). Step 4: Carve and sand them to shape according to Detail 2-1. Step 5: Carve and sand the bevels on parts 18A and 25 (PA-7). Step 6: Glue to the keel assembly (there is a small gap between parts 18A and 18B at the stem and parts 25 and 26 at the stern). Jonathan
  7. I rummaged around the shop in the garage and found a scrap piece of hard maple to use as a building stand: After a bit of work with some hand planes it started to take shape: The rough edge on the right was cut off with a rip saw and everything planed square. A smoothing plane set for a fine cut provided the final finish: The end product is shown below. I'll screw in a couple of poplar wood strips to hold the keel then finish it with Watco Danish Oil. Jonathan
  8. I've begun this build as a companion to the Syren build log I started earlier. I had planned to co-construct the Pinnace or the English Longboat but apparently these models are rather challenging (in the words of mikiek (December 8): "You know, I remember thinking about this kit right before I bought it. Looking at it online, I figured it would be a cinch to knockout. A small footprint. No rigging. A cheap price. How hard could it be? "WRONG!") So I put those two boats aside and looked for something larger for my inexperienced fingers and found the Gunboat Philadelphia. I knew I was on the right track when the kit arrived: the Pinnace box easily fits inside this one. Time now to review this forum's currently available build logs for this kit: Elijah (in progress), Brucealanevans (finished) , MarkCC (on sabbatical), Chuck Seiler (as of 2015), and Steve. Y (finished). Jonathan
  9. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! The kit arrived safe and sound a couple of weeks ago with no sign of the notorious pink punk plywood: The keel is slightly warped but should be manageable: Most of the month has been spent setting up an infrastructure. There's now a six foot long portable table in our attic set aside for modeling: There's a general work area on the right side and the left has a makeshift dust hood. The dust is filtered out by a whole-room air cleaner that used to be on the floor. To help guide the dusty air into the cleaner are some shelves made of cardboard along the back and plastic sheeting on the top and right hand side. The cardboard frame that supports the plastic is taped to the shelves so it can swing out of the way of the right side work area if needed. I've also started to invest in some of the recommended tools of the trade. On the left you can see a genuine, certified, bona-fide Nirvanna chop saw (Nirvanna, July 19) from Amazon. There's also a pen sander (Charley54, Jan 19), with power supply, a Mouse Detail sander, a vise (Blue Ensign, 18-May), and a cutting mat. The lighting consists of Hue dimmable bulbs that can be controlled from my intra-planetary communication device. There are two lamps for detail work and a set of four lights attached to the sloped ceiling for general lighting: These four bulbs produce between 0 and 3,000 lumens depending on what's needed (3,000 lumens is a lot of photons: the picture of the workbench above was taken without a flash). Jonathan
  10. wool132

    New Member

    It really is Jonathan. Honest! Jonathan (It would have been funny if I had signed this Fred!)
  11. wool132

    New Member

    Thanks for all the Hello's from around the world! I'm looking forward to a lot of fun and satisfaction but also understand that there will be some catastrophes (e.g., David Rice, 02-Aug) along the way. I've been browsing the forums while awaiting my order's arrival so although I have yet to create any sawdust, I've learned an awful lot from all the posts. Jonathan P.S. Rumor has it that my order has left Model Shipways and is currently in Opa Locka, FL. Won't be long now!
  12. Despite your efforts to convince us otherwise, I think your model looks great! Jonathan
  13. Thanks for the posts, guys! Meanwhile, while I wait for the order to arrive, I'm daydreamin' ... _SalD_: Augie: Rafine: RVChima: Jonathan
  14. After considerable contemplation, I've decided on the US Brig Syren as my first build. I was thinking of getting my feet wet with the smaller English Longboat and English Pinnace kits. Then I found the Tigersteve and Blue Ensign build logs showing their fine work, especially the planking. Yikes! I got to thinking about that skill: I need something I can practice on so that it won't matter when I screw things up. Ah ha! The copper sheathed Syren! I can mangle the planks to my hearts content, slap on a coat of wood filler, sand it down, and no one will know the difference. Once I get good at it, I can order some hard maple (like Tigersteve did for the English Pinnace: see 30-Apr for the order list, 29-Sep for the results) and tackle the Longboat and Pinnace, where the planking is much more visible. "Wait!", you say. Statistics show that 90% of first time builders who tackle a Big Boat give up early and the other 50% don't finish either. "Au contraire", I respond, I'll go ahead and purchase all three kits. Some time after Chapter 5 - Hull Planking, when I hit the doldrums and get dejected with the thought of never ever getting done (copper plate number one thousand thirty two, one thousand thirty three, ...), I can amuse myself by puttering around on these two more manageable craft. Plus word gets back that the Syren's User Manual is terrific (with color pictures no less!). Now, having said all that, where did I put that order form ... Jonathan

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