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Doug McKenzie

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  1. It turns out that what I thought was enuff fairing of the frames wasn't. So after cleaning that up I went to plank layout. I tried three different tapes to connect the dots and just couldn't make it work - I felt like my fingers were too big and kept getting in the way. So I decided to use wood battens. I had some 1/32" x 1/16" pieces and drilled holes for pins and then I was able to connect the dots and extend to the stem and stern post/transom. I only used these battens on every other plank. My endpoints were pretty different from Chuck's but, of course, it made sense to use his marks since I'll be using his planks!
  2. Russ, I think there must be at least three phases of Leon's history the first would be as a Brigantine in presumably pretty good financial straits then as a Brigantine in not such good financial straits and then as a schooner in presumably pretty poor financial straits. The picture comes from the middle phase, of course. I have three questions about these phases: When was she cut down to a schooner? And was she a fore-after or did she have any square sails? Also when did she acquire her windmill pump, was it during the second phase or after she became a schooner? Im learning to just toss these questions out because sometimes there are interesting and useful responses! I would love to model the windmill pump if she had it as a brigantine because it is such an unusual piece of equipment!8 Doug
  3. Oops - sorry I didn't answer all of your questions. I'm planning to make a fully sparred model (without sails) but my main interest is in the interior of the hull so who knows if I'll ever get to the rigging.
  4. Matthias, I am not able to see a photo or a drawing when I go to Digital Museum website. All I see is the list of data items for Leon. Can you tell me what I'm doing wrong? I'm guessing that the photo is the one in Underhill's frontispiece because that is the only photo that I have ever seen of Leon - I would love to see another! I am definitely interested in the drawing since it may well be a new one to me. Also I hope your going to create a scratch-build blog for your project and I will follow your progress also. Thanks, Doug
  5. The beveling of the frames is complete and was almost painless due to Ryland Craze's suggestion (in our email thread) to use nail files. I ended up with a set of emery boards that went from 80 to 3000. Similar to Ryland I used 180 almost exclusively. At first, I used a longitudinal motion using the bendability of the emery boards to advantage but I found that cumbersome so I made a change. I cut the emery board in half yielding 3 1/4" long pieces. Then I laid the short piece down (longitudinally) on the frame I was beveling and on an adjacent frame. I applied pressure to the frame I was beveling so the adjacent frame was only a guide. I rubbed along the frame's edge rather than moving longitudinally. I tried to leave a strip of the laser cut brown of about 25% of the thickness of the frame to avoid beveling too much. I think I may be trusting the accuracy of the kit by not beveling completely but it was a judgement call since the technology of the kit seems to be fantastic. I put extra effort into making sure each frame was centered when I glued them to the keel to further reduce this potential problem. Only after planking will I really know if this was OK.
  6. The planking is now done (except for one transom plank) and the first pass at fairing is complete. I am reminded of my grandfather who watched ships being built in Maitland, Nova Scotia (also serving in the saw pits). He told me once that his favorite activity was watching the adzmen swarm over the hull after the planking was done. I personally don't find the fairing of the planking to be particularly interesting (the inside planking specifically) and even wondered if I could pay someone to do it! In any event, the lowest transom plank still awaits. The ends of the hull planking need to be cleaned up at the correct angle so that the last transom plank seals the ends of the hull planks. Underhill recommends using 1/4" wide plank (the rest of the transom planks ares 1/8" wide) so that the lowest transom plank will extend past the outer surface of the hull planks. Then, that lowest transom plank can be brought down flush with the outer surface of the hull planks. On the research side, Jeppe continues to locate useful documents. A newspaper article written about the last days of Leon reveals that "She was taking on too much water even though she had a windmill pump." We have to decide whether to model it or not. This depends on whether we are modelling a relatively new Leon or one with lots of years behind her and so more likely to have significant leaking. The original Sheer Plan (discussed in the previous posting) also has a curious rectangle in the bow just above the waterline. Jeppe realized that this is a lumber hatch which gives us certainty that she carried lumber - only a possibility before that. This also helps us define the position of the sole of the fo'c'sle since we know that the lumber passed through the fo'c'sle on it's way to the hold !
  7. Surprises never cease. Jeppe in Norway has just found a newspaper article about Leon's last days when she took on too much water and sank with her load of coal in 1915. The article says that "she took on too much water even though she had a windmill pump" Apparently these windmill pumps were added to these ships as they aged and started leaking more. Another surprise (having nothing to do with windmill pumps) is that she had at least one lumber hatch in her bows for taking on very long timbers that would fit in the deck hatches easily. This shows up on the original sheer plan that Jeppe has located. This in turn establishes that she carried lumber which we suspected but didn't know for sure.
  8. With the fo'c'sle on the horizon, it's time to revise Underhill's Deck Plan using our new information. The immediate object is to locate the fore-aft position of the after bulkhead for the fo'c'sle and to do this with confidence I want to make sure that the whole Deck Plan makes sense. I tried a couple of technique and they all bogged down and then I hit on this one. The first (top) drawing is the original Sheer Plan. It is pretty faint but on it Jeppe identified the 3 hatches, the two houses, both masts and the location of most of the deck beams. This drawing has been blown up to match the actual model. The second drawing is Underhill's Deck Plan . It is already at the model's scale. The third drawing is a copy of the second drawing with all the information of the deck layout cut out and replaced with plain white paper. The 'innards' of this drawing, having been cut out, was available to provide standalone pieces for deck items that can be positioned on the third drawing as indicated by the first drawing. Shown are the three hatches. Note the after hatch is smaller than Underhill's while the midship hatch is larger. The forward hatch is about the same size. All three hatchs had to be shifted forward about 3/4" (3'). The deck beams need to be added along with the partners. When all these items are sized and shifted I'll have a pretty good idea of where the companionway to the fo'c'sle is located hence where the after bulkhead of the fo'c'sle should be. I'm impressed by how closely Underhill's Deck Plan matches the original. I remember reading some time ago that in the same way running rigging was largely standardized so that different ships were very similar, that the deck plans evolved towards a kind of standard variations that did not affect the functionality. Underhill's closeness seems to support that observation.
  9. Chuck S, Anyway, I wasn't trying. I am at a fascinating point with brigantine Leon because of the documents that have been found from her time of build, 1880. I figured I'd better set aside structured time for the longboat or she'd be forgotten. Good fortune to all, Doug
  10. This first post I'll mention some of the skills that I am hoping to hone: 1-- Fairing the frames - I would like to have more of a process to follow whereas I currently just sort of gently attack the frames - this is particularly true for the inside faces of the frames. 2-- Planking - Making a nice fit between the edges of adjacent planks. 3-- Painting - I have only once painted a model ship (Emma C Berry for sailing). The finish that I obtained was crude to say the least. 4-- Others - I'm sure there are skills that I don't even anticipate needing now. The photo shows current status - frames are being faired BTW this kit is great! Pieces are well designed and manufactured at least up to where I am now. The inclusion of the building board is much appreciated. Doug
  11. Druxey - exactly, which is presumably why the arrangement was required by the DNV when there were no lodging knees at beam-end. Doug
  12. Two strakes to go both inside and outside and the (rough) planking will be done - lots of fairing in my future. The iron breast hooks are in and the foremast step is nearly done but not actually installed yet. The next significant project (beyond fairing) is going to be the fo'c'sle which kind of hangs below the deck. I'll outfit it to some extent ( 2 bunks with lockers below, 2 folding pipe berths, a mess table and a stove) and somehow make it all visible. Underhill has no vent for a stove but Leon being built in Norway just had to of had some heat for the crew. The reason I'm not going to tackle the deck beams, diagonal hanging knees and rider knees yet is because I want as much access to the bow as possible. I'll have to put in a few deck beams up forward but that won't be the focus of the effort. Jeppe Jul Nielsen is going to be posting all of the information that we have found about Leon on his website. When he decides what the URL will be I'll post it
  13. Pat,and Jersey City Frank Pat, I got the book but Plates 6 and 7 are not in it rather only the descriptions of those two plates is included. If you can help me on this I should would appreciate it! PS I enjoy the 2 part book - Part 1 Naval architecture and Part 2 Building a ship. The good news is that I have a diagram (attached) from Norway (courtesy of Jeppe Jul Nielsen) of the diagonal hanging knees that are mentioned in both the DNV survey for Leon and the 1882 DNV Rules and Regulations. They are pretty much exactly as my drawing shows so that was encouraging. And yes Jersey City Frank, I'm thinking this is pretty strong. The interesting thing is that it is referenced in the 1882 DNV Rules and Regulations as a required arrangement for single deck vessels without lodging knees on the beams. Thanks,guys, Doug
  14. I have some excellent info from two sources on how the brigantine Leon's deck beams were fastened to the hull. She was built in Norway in 1880 and classed by DNV. One source is an 1880 DNV survey and the other is the 1882 DNV Rules and Regulations for classification. I have come up with a diagram of a possibility that seems to fit with both sources but it is sufficiently unusual (to me) that I want to share it with others to see if it seems plausible. But first the info: 1880 Survey: - This survey was translated from Norwegian to English by Jeppe Jul Nielsen in September 2018 "Deck beams are fastened with 2 diagonal hanging knees" "Hanging knees ... 45 on each side; arms 2 1/2' to 3 1/2'. Legs 4 1/2' to 5' made of spruce". [Since there are 25 deck beams, this squares with 2 hanging knees at each beam-end] "Knee riders; 11 on each side from clamp to floor" [This implies a knee rider at every other beam, more or less] 1882 Rules and Regulations "All deck beams to be securely fastened to the sides of the vessel by knees, either hanging or lodging..." [Use of 'hanging or lodging' was unexpected since both seem to be common in America.] "When the knees are fastened to the sides of the beams, [emphasis is in the original] If they are lodging knees [criteria is then given for when you need 1 knee per beam-end versus 2] If they are hanging knees, two knees at each beam-end." "If the beams in single-decked vessels [Leon is single-decked] are fastened with lodging-knees, or with a shelf, the following additional knees shall be placed under those beams. In vessels of 250 tons [Leon was 302 tons] and upwards, a knee-rider at every beam-end for every other beam. The riders must be of sufficient length to admit of their being bolted into the floors with one bolt or two. If the hanging knees are of wood, {Leon's were spruce] instead of knee-riders without a knee are to be used, the upper end of which shall reach up to the upper strake of the clamps." I should also mention that Underhill shows no lodging knees for the deck beams except at carlings, the partners and some bitts - none attaching the beams to the hull. I'll certainly appreciate any comment that you folks may have. Doug
  15. Doug McKenzie

    Mast Steps

    Well Bob, clearly two built-up steps are in order. Particularly convincing is the yacht's built up step - if any designer/builder creates that step for a yacht there is little chance that a large fore-aft mast would get less. I think that built-up steps scaled to the mast's diameter seems like a reasonable way to go. Thanks for fascinating insight. Doug

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