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Chuck

Medway Longboat - 1742 -1/2" scale - by Chuck

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This is the start of my build for the Medway Longboat.  There are two really special contemporary models in the NMM.  This is a totally revamped and completely new longboat project with actually little in common with my earlier design for Model Shipways.  It is based on an entirely different original draft and more closely resembles the contemporary models.  In fact its almost identical as far as I can tell.  It will be a true POF model with floors and top timbers.  This model will be made from Alaskan Yellow Cedar with boxwood accents and molding.  This model will be made both partially planked and fully planked eventually just like the two contemporary models.  The fully planked version will show all rigging and also sails.  Hopefully.

 

A little about the contemporary models shown below.

 

Scale 1:48. A contemporary full hull model of a ship's longboat, said to be from the 'Medway' (1742) (SLR0328), built plank on frame in the Navy Board style. The model is partially planked and equipped with a large windlass amidships for use when handling the anchors. It is mounted on its original veneered baseboard. Another model, SLR0330, shows the ‘Medway’ longboat rigged and fully planked. The longboat was generally the largest boat carried on board ship and could either be pulled or sailed. It was used for carrying personnel and stores as well as mooring and anchors work. When carried on board, the longboat was stowed in the waist between the fore and main masts lashed on the spare topmasts and spars. It was hoisted in and out by means of the large block and tackles rigged to the lower fore and main yards.

 

riggedlongboatcontmodel2.jpg

riggedlongboatcontmodel.jpg

A contemporary full hull model of the 'Medway' (1742), shown below - 60-gun two-decker ship of the line
 

medwaycontmodel.jpg

 


 

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This new larger longboat model will be build just like the Queen Anne Barge.  All parts whenever possible will be laser cut including the planking which will be pre-spiled.  Below is the plan in progress as compared to the actual contemporary model.

 

MedwayLongboat.jpg

 

Below are the initial parts that make up the keel assembly.  There will be a more simplified version of the keel assembly and another that is lightly more chalenging.  As is done on the contemporary model, lap joints will be used to connect the stem and stern post to the keel.  The simplified version will just utilize a butt joint and laser cut scarph joint to attach the stem to the keel.  I have started building the simplified version first shown on top of the photo below.

 

IMG_3936.JPG

Before removing the laser cut parts from the sheet, they were sanded down with 220 grit sandpaper on both sides to remove the char.  Its easier to do while they are still contained in the sheet.

 

sandingparts.jpg

Then the three main (5/32" thick) parts that comprise the stem, the keel and stern post were assembled.  I used yellow glue to assemble them prior to sanding the char from the edges of each piece.  In fact I purposely didnt remove it from the joints...they are laser cut fairly precise and fit together very well.  Using tite-bond works great and the joint is very strong as long as you let it fully dry.  Once dry I sanded the char from all of the edges and prepared to add the other (3/32" thick) cedar parts that make up the keel assembly.

simplekeelparts.jpg

These were treated the same way.  I didnt remove any char from the edges util after they were glued into position.  They are very delicate and it is safer and easier to do after they are glued into position.  These thinner pieces were centered along the keel leaving 1/32" on each side to form a rabbet or "lip" for the external planking.

simplekeelparts1.jpg

Next up I added the transom...it has a laser etched groove down the inside to help position it properly.  It helps a lot but I was also very careful to also square up the transom properly in relation to the keel.

 

transom.jpg

Thats it for now....I have one last part to add to this stem assembly before I start assembling the frames.  I will post that very soon.

 

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You do keep busy and have me drooling about this project. But then again, I’m always drooling ( so no big whoop!). The one up side is I get to hide my own Easter eggs!!!

 

Seriously, I have been buying kits for a very, very long tme and have actually put some together. You have brought the possibilities of everyday modelers to more than several levels above what has generally been offered up until now. It is really very encouraging to see. I am going to follow the development of this very closely. It’s interesting watching how this evolves from thought to finished object. Keep us in the loop!

 

Kurt

 

 

 

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Not including bowsprit about 15" so it is NOT a small model.  Should look very good indeed fully rigged and about 23" or so.  I will know exactly once I develop the rigging plan.

 

I am very fond of 220 grit sandpaper to remove char.  I dont scrape.  It is really not that much of a chore if you are willing to discard your sandpaper the moment it gets clogged and "muddied" with char.  Otherwise you are just pushing the char dust into the wood grain of your pieces and it makes a mess.  I always do a preliminary sanding with the paper to remove most of it along an edge and then switch to a clean piece of sandpaper to finish it up.  Different woods react differently to laser cutting.  Cherry and Pear being among the worst.  They burn really bad and deep.  The yellow cedar on the other hand is really good.  There are natural oild that help prevent deep burning.  Only a light amber residue on most thinner pieces and the thicker ones are still not that bad to clean up.

 

Look at the notches in the last photo that the frames will sit in.  You can get a good idea.  I didnt remove any char from those at all and you can see the color is light and it is pretty clean from the start.

 

Chuck

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Posted (edited)

Wow Chuck, really beautiful!  Signed up and ready for more.  I love the smaller working boats and Sloop rigs.

 

By the way, I second the sentiments on Alaskan Yellow cedar.  I've been using it for the past 15 years or so before it was "fashionable" and common for ship building.  I always liked it, and it is a dream to work with.  Smells good too when you are planning it in the shop.....if you like that sort of thing. :)

Edited by Dowmer

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Posted (edited)

I have a flat piece of marble about 24 x 10 to which I have glued a sheet of 180 and 220 sandpaper. I take each piece prior to assemble and run it across the 220 in a circular motion on both sides. This removes the char and in the case of some kits removes that little bit of thickness required to assemble parts.

Edited by Jim Rogers

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That is exactly why I left the char in place on all of those scarf joints.  Since the parts were all designed to fit tightly its also good to not sand them at all so the fit remains tight.

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Posted (edited)

I guess you could always tint the wood glue black too. After wiping off the excess and it dries if leaves a soft fine edge.  Never tried it but read about it.  I guess I must have stayed in a Holiday Inn Express. :o

 

BTW Chuck, your opening intro says the Longboat is 1:48 scale but I thought you were building to 1/2" scale or 1:24?

Edited by Dowmer

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Hi.

This is another nice boat to add to your collection. And ours...

A question :- the drawings show it planked on the top half of the hull. Will you be completing the planking or leaving it as the drawings show.?

 

Regards Antony.

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I am going to build both as well.  I think that having an unrigged partially planked version like the NMM photo would make a nice presentation.  The partially planked version will remain unrigged so displaying them both together might be very interesting.  When my local club starts building it together as a group I will have build a second one anyway.....to show folks up close how I did this-or-that.   

 

Chuck

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I actually just caught a small error in my first go-around.  More like an omission.  If you examine the contemporary examples, you will notice that the unrigged model doesnt have holes on the top of the stem for rigging the stay.  But the rigged version does.  So rather than start over....I will use that first model I started as my unrigged version.   I will add the holes on both moving forward however...and I am glad I didnnt start building my other version yet.  But maybe tomorrow.

 

lonboatmedway.jpg

medwayrigged1.jpg

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I'm going to have to do this at some point; it's just too cool of a project to pass upon.  For me, I'd do it fully rigged, but all in pear with no paint.

 

Chuck, any possibility of a 1/64 kit version for those of us with 1/64 Syren's/Confederacy's/Lexington's/Triton's on the blocks? (omg, I know).....  I'd love to have all of my eventual "wood" ships in the same scale tho, even though this would be pretty small. That actually really appeals to me.

 

Alan

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No sorry Alan....too much redrafting to switch scales.  It would just be too small to do accurately also.  To keep it in scale the frames would need to be 1/32" thick if not thinner.  Thats why I wanted to do this larger version.  I had to compromise on that older 1:48 ME kit.  Using basswod as is done in that kit the frames needed to be made 1/16" thick which is huge so they wouldnt break immediately.   At full size that would be 4" thick.  Did you ever see a long boat with 4 x 4 lumber for frames?  

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So as Dowmer asked before, will this project be 1:48 (i.e. 1/4") or 1:24 (i.e. 1/2")?

I am not particularly too concerned, as I will probable do both options in the group build, but still - nice to know, neh?

Slainte gu mhath

L.H.

 

p.s. the 'neh' part is Japanese, the 'Slainte gu mhath' is Scottish Gaelic, and means 'Good health'

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So, at the risk of going down in flames, I am going to ask the question that everybody is thinking loud without daring ask: 

 

How will this new project impact the production of ropes and blocks, which have in turn impacted the Pegasus Cross Section project? Of course, the Pegasus is the project I am concerned about.....

 

Chuck, I really care about your health and success and I am concerned that you are spreading yourself too thin, sometimes. ;)

 

Yves

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On 6/21/2018 at 1:39 PM, Chuck said:

   At full size that would be 4" thick.  Did you ever see a long boat with 4 x 4 lumber for frames?  

If I built a full size boat, it would have 4x4 lumber for frames, as I "overbuild" everything I do in "real life". :D   But yes, I take your point. 

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Perhaps not 4in x 4in but Steele says that floor timbers for a 32ft longboat are sided 3in, moulded 5-1/4 in at the throat and 3in at the head.  Futtocks were sided 3in, moulded 3in at the heel x 2-3/4in at the head.  These were heavily built boats intended for hard use.

 

Roger

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This is 1/2" scale.  I am slowly catching up with my inventory.  In fact other than a few sizes of blocks everything is in good shape.  I have 175 products now or SKU numbers.   Three weeks ago I was either out of stock or nearly out of stock with 70 of them.  But over the last three weeks I have been working like a dog and its now down to just ten items.  Unfortunately these last ten will take a while.....they are mostly blocks which I purposely ignored working on so that I would be able do quickly attend to all of the other stuff.  Now that the other stuff is good to go I am busy knocking off the blocks now.

 

Aside from that....I am nearly finished working on the Stern Mini Kit for the admiralty workshop as well.  That should be done this week.  That will leave me with plenty of time to go back and forth between the Winnie and the longboat.  The Pegasus Xsection will sit idle until this is completed because I think its important to get another group project going here and also in my local club.  I anticipate this longboat will be a very quick project.  It is NOT a very complex model to design or build at all.  I have set a personal and probable deadline of September to get the longboat all finished up.   Then I will get back to Pegasus.

 

I have another update on this project coming today which will show you just how quickly this will come together.

 

Chuck

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Chuck, another good project to help me understand how to build boats.

I would love to be a part of this.

Thank You for all your great projects

Tim

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Continuing along....

 

For those familiar with this design concept from my Queen Anne Barge kit,  you will recognize the two-piece build board.  I have however, tried to make some improvements with each new project based on watching others build them.  In this case,  I have added some slots for bracing blocks.  Two for the transom and two for the bow/stem to stabilize them while planking.  These pieces can be seen below.  But do NOT glue them into the slots.  These will need to be removed at some point in the build.  It will be easier to remove the boat after planking without these in position.  They are a press fit.  If they are too snug....sand them a bit thinner because remember you will be removing them after a few planking strakes are completed.  So make sure they are loose enough for that.

 

buildboard.jpg

There are two types of frames on contemporary models like this and the barge.  One piece frames and two piece frames.  Th etwo piece frames have floors and top timbers.  We will be doing the one piece frames first and there are 5 of them.  Another tip I was given by an individual can be seen below.  You can see thin strips of packaging tape along the inner cut line.  I used heavy and sticky packaging tape.  You can fold over the end to make a tab and place the tape so it spans across the seam.  This will give it added (temporary) strength while fairing and planking.  The tape is put on both sides.  The tabs will make it easier to remove the tape before breaking the inside of each frame free when it comes time to do so.

 

onepieceframestape.jpg

Then once this is finished you must test the frames in their slots on the build board.  They will be very snug by design initially.  You dont want these loose and falling out of the build board.  But you dont want them too tight either.  You want to be able to easily remove them at any time.  The best way to achieve the best fit is to sand the two tabs that fit into each slot just a little at a time until they are the perfect thickness.  You will know when they are good because they will be firmly seated and yet be somewhat easy to remove.  Be careful not to break the small tabs that hold the frame centers in the frames.  No need to clean any laser char.

 

In addition, test the fit of the bottom of the frame so it fits the same in its notch on the keel.  Not too tight and not too loose. The three single piece frames at the stern are shown below being test fit. and the two at the bow should be as well.  Dont glue these into the build board.  That would be a huge mistake.

framebuildbtestfit.jpg

 

With this completed, lets test the keel assembly on the build board atop the frames.  Carefully place the keel assembly into the stern half of the build board first.  This is a bit tricky if you havent done it before but once you do it a couple of times you figure out the little nuances.  Slip the stern post between the two braces first as you carefully guide the keel onto each frame.  Dont push to hard in each notch of the keel.  You have have tested and filed those so they slide into each notch easily but dont fall out because they are too loose. NOTE the two small additional braces waiting to be installed next.

testkeelinbuildboard.jpg

The two transom blocks in the slots can be moved forward or aft so you can get a good fit against the transom.  Remember that they are not glued in.  The slots for them are longer than needed so they can be adjusted to best advantage.  But once in a good position, you can add the two smaller brace blocks.  These can and should be glued onto the build board. Use a little glue and push them into position against the transom.  But DONT glue them to the transom.  Just glue them to the build board.  These will stabilize the transom even more while planking.  Also use the laser etched lines on the build board to help make sure the transom is straight and not askew.  This method differs from the one I used on the barge kit but I think its an improvement.  Time will tell. :)

transombraceblocks.jpg

Then repeat the test fitting of the keel in the bow half of the build board.  Do it the same way except there are no additional stabilizing blocks. These two will do the job and keep the stem from wandering while you add the first few strakes up there.  

 

testkeelinbuildboard1.jpg

How it all looks at this stage.   You will be removing and testing the keel many times before its time to glue the keel in position for good.  Now to do the two piece frames.  I also want to point out to those interested....look at the laser char edges of the frames.  You will see how they are not dark and black.  Yellow Cedar is very forgiving thanks to the oil present.   It doesnt effect the gluing either and I am using Titebond II for all my joints.  The build board is just basswood and you can see how dark that gets when laser cutting.   I find it very enjoyable to work in Cedar and removing the char is much easier in my opinion....as Cherry and Basswood burn like crazy.

 

testkeelinbuildboard2.jpg

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I hope this level of detail in the log will be good enough for the group build....please dont hesitate to ask any questions.   Yes, I will also write something which will be available in PDF but it will pretty much just be this.....and whatever additions might come up during our conversations.

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