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popeye the sailor

MS Progress by popeye the sailor - Billing Boats - 1:50 scale

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back in the day when I built my first wooden ship,  the Nordkap,  I happened onto pictures of this model.   noticing how closely she resembled the Nordkap,  the idea was burned into my mind to build her one day.   I have some pictures of the finished model.......I've adapted through time,  the knack of building, using pictures to guide me.   even in regards to the Nordkap,  I have never seen any actual pictures of these ships.........I've been told that the Nordkap was a real vessel........the origin of the name means North Cape.  finding information to confirm that this was an early Billing's offering was hard to come by.......even my friend Tom was unsure about it.  so,  all the while I was building the Nordkap,  I would take stabs at finding information about the model.  the folly of a lost opportunity was later realized,  when I was experimenting with parts panels from other model kits.........that the hull parts could be replicated from them,  creating other hulls to outfit differently,  creating other vessels.   it was lost anyway.........there were no parts panels to save,  since all the bulkhead parts were pre-cut out,  so it seemed.  all of the bulkhead parts had these characteristic holes in them,  as if they were stapled to a board or pad and cut out.   I should mention that this was an old kit,  produced well before laser cutting came into the picture.   a few of these older kit have been built on MSW......some before the great crash,  gone and never to be seen again.

     this past Christmas was very good to me.....the admiral got me another Nordkap kit.   this one was much older....by how much I can't really say.  the significant sign that the kit was older,  was in regards to the wood used to print the parts....not being laser cut either.   again I found it odd that the bulkhead parts were all pre cut out.......right along with the same characteristic staple holes,  strangely it seemed,  in the same places in the wood.  Neither kit came with the fitting hardware,  as this was sold separately....the norm of the early Billing Boats kit.   I have a thread in the nautical forum that will explain the two kit further:

it seems like such strange luck that Billing Boats added the Nordkap fittings kit to their product listings.  in the beginning,  this was my biggest problem.......I didn't have the fittings for it.   by the time I had the hull planked,  they were comm'in out of my ears!....Harold found his kit,  and I had gotten one {or a reasonable facsimile} from Tom!   took a while to use them up.........they were quite handy ;)   I enjoy old kits........plastic,  wood.... no matter.  dunno.....I think it's kinda nostalgic to assemble something...........kinda like finding the old bones,  and then put the dinosaur together.  I also like to find out the history of things....although for this model,  it seemed like pull'in teeth.  well low 'n behold........some searching yesterday pulled up some interesting stuff.  I can confirm that "yes Virginia,  Billing's did make the kit.........not one,  but two!   it all started with these sites....

 

https://www.modelboats.co.uk/forums/postings.asp?th=94284&p=1

http://www.modellbau-web.de/galerie/progress/progress.html

 

    I have some of these pictures.........originally,  I thought I had gotten them from the Hull Motor Boat Group website.   Billing's carried a junior version of the vessel in !:60 scale:

s-l400.jpg.4937e69ad26efb8bb7e60a078ba1eff8.jpg it comes in a blue box as well

and a 1:50 scale kit,  Nr101

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I did see another vessel that looks similar....a big difference was that the cabin structure was all the way back to the stern.   an even better turn of events,  was that I was able to find the main sheet diagrams {front and back}.  a lot of this info was dated 1978........the model or kit was sold and long gone.  I will venture to say that these kits were likely sold in 1950 / 1960.....of course,  this is my best guess.   

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as with the Nordkap,  I hope to be able to come up with a worthy model.   I was so green back then.......but there were plenty of folks here that helped me along the way.   I hope you enjoy this log as much as I will creating it  :) 

 

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thanks John........there's more I need to add.   I'm so glad you popped in..........I hope your going to follow along.   you were so helpful with the nordkap and all.   I forgot to add this,  but there won't be a remake of the Nordkap.   I was going to replicate the parts,  but I thought of all the extra work and changed my mind.   I figure that I'd wait till later and order one of the newer kits.........see what it's like to work with laser cut parts  ;) 

 

the admiral said I could  ;)    oh.........I hope you're doing well....as I recall,  you were getting a tune up :unsure:

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it all starts with assembling the keel.......the bow stem and the stern stem are pre cut out.   the keel spine is made up of two strips of pine,  cut to accommodate the stems.   

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at the base of each stem,  there are the steps that the pine strips need to fit into.   there is some sanding requires to get them to fit snugly.   plastic wrap was laid out for the assembly to lay on as it was cemented together.

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to what small gaps remain,  they were filled with glue.   this sat for the day.

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Wow, that's a well-aged kit! Forgive me for asking but would it possibly have more collector value untouched in the box like some styrene kits? Don't know if there's even a market for old wood ship kits or not... 

 

Anyway, takin' a seat for the show... :)

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back in the day,  there were no build slips for these models........the stops were supplied to make your own.  I decided not to use them and use the build slip that Billing Boats later developed.  at this point of the build,  it fits fine.....but add the rabbits,  and there would have to be modifications made on the slip.

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it can't be put in at the stern end due to the rudder shoe.  at this point,  it was time to start cutting out the parts.....the rabbits were first.   the bow rabbits weren't too bad....I only had to repair one of them,  but for the stern,  they were a total loss.   I made a pair from basswood stock,  1/16 inches thick.....they were fitted and then fine tuned later,  when they were cemented to the stern stem.

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as mentioned,  the bow rabbits fared much better.

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there was a small cap rabbit that fit at the top of the stem....they were replaced by 4 mm strip stock.    this is not a good start........I want to use as many kit parts as possible.........for the Nordkap,  I used about 90% of the original wood........one of my goals in building an old kit like this.  it's not petrified wood,  it's just dry beyond comprehension. :D   being mahogany {they call it Mahonie in the instructions},  it is very brittle.   while these parts were drying,  I went on my cutting spree.  first were all of the deck beams...

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some of the mahogany parts...

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these parts won't be needed...

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haven't tried to cut any of the 1/16 plywood parts.......some of these parts won't be used either

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when dry,  the keel was put back on the slip........that's when I found out the slots weren't wide enough.   rather than try and adjust anything,  I just kept making sure that it sat correctly in the slip.

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the bow bulkheads were cemented in place first.  these didn't require spacers.....

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once I arrived at the flat of the keel,  the real fun started ;) 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

welcome to the log Channell and Elijah....I hope I don't disappoint :) 

 

in this day and age Channell,  I would imagine there is a collector's market.  although,  plastic rules the roost because it holds up better to time...decals don't though  ;)    decals didn't for this one either....but that's OK,  I can try to make some.   wood does have a shelf life...it depends greatly how the kit is stored.  one of the deck halves has ripples,  so I would imagine that it was likely stored in a cellar.  the first kit came from an attic.....Harold assured me of it...all the sheets were reasonably flat.  I have a couple of plastic kits that I should put away,  but that would ruin the purpose of the kit.  the one thing that would add value to a wooden kit is rarity......if I had an actual kit of the Progress,  then I would be inclined to look at it's condition.   naaaaaa,  what fun would there be in that  ;) 

 

thanks Elijah.......it will look better once I knock the ugly duckling out of it  ;)    that's the funny part of modeling.....most plastic models look OK while your building it,  they just look incomplete,  while a wooden kit looks disheveled until you put a finish on it....paint or clear sealer  :D  :D    I hope you enjoy the log......who knows,  it may entice you to bring out one of the old kits ;) 

 

welcome to the log Jack :) 

Edited by popeye the sailor

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usually,  I'm pretty good with reading Billing's instructions....but I almost made a mistake here.   with the first kit,  I didn't assemble the hull frame.  this is how I got it back in 2010

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I brought home a skeleton!  pretty comical was the look on the admiral's face.   the diagram is a bit blurry.....

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the increments along the top is 53 mm from bulkhead center to center.   that is what I cut the spacers to.  this is also what the build slip would look like,  using the supplied chocks.   looking at the base of the slip,  is another bar with a different set of increments.......5 @ 48 mm,  2 @ 50 mm,  and 1 @ 48 mm.   these are the actual increments that I needed to use.   bulkhead #12 was cemented in place,  along with a spacer.   when #11 was cemented in place,  I became suspicious.   lining the rest of the spacers in their places,  I found that I could not fit them all.  good thing I realized this quickly!  

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#11 was removed,  along with the spacer that wasn't dry yet,  and cut down to 48 mm.   to remedy the spacer that was already in place and dry,  I merely measured and cut it to 48 mm,  removing the excess piece and cleaning up the mess.   #11 was cemented back in place,  along with the spacer that I had trimmed.   after that,  four of the others were trimmed to 48 mm,  and the last two were trimmed to 50 mm.  problem solved.

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my mistake.......I proudly own it  :)    the spacers were arranged to mimic the order that they were to be used,  so I wouldn't forget that either.  this was allowed to dry and others were added in this sporadic time frame......this took a couple of days.

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this is where I was on the 21st of September

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Posted (edited)

hello OC........this is the type of build slip that Billing Boats sells.  it's really not designed for the older kits,  but I used it anyway.   you may have noticed the one that I assembled the keel on.......that one is home made.   I used to make my own slips before I got the one I have now........one board that I have has three different slips on it.  it does make life easier :) 

 

welcome aboard 

 

welcome to the log CDW   plenty of room ;) 

Edited by popeye the sailor

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by the 24th of September,  almost all of the spacers were in place........the second of the two 50 mm spacers was being put into place.

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#6 was being cemented in place.........#5 was next.....a slow process.

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it wasn't to bad keeping the frame on an even keel.......I was using another part of the build slip to keep it perpendicular.   there!  I said it......Perpendicular..........upright!........not vertically challenged!  :D    

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the rest will be added to the stern stem now.   #4 will sit in the notch at the beginning of the stem.  I cut another spacer to aide in holding it in place and give the bulkhead a better root.

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by the end of the day,  the rest were in place.   they required no special supports to be added.   looking down the barrel,  all of the bulkheads appear to be fairly straight.

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37 minutes ago, popeye the sailor said:

hello OC........this is the type of build slip that Billing Boats sells.  it's really not designed for the older kits,  but I used it anyway.   you may have noticed the one that I assembled the keel on.......that one is home made.   I used to make my own slips before I got the one I have now........one board that I have has three different slips on it.  it does make life easier :) 

 

welcome aboard 

 

welcome to the log CDW   plenty of room ;) 

Thank you denis.

 

OC.

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the next step here,  is to fit and install all of the deck beams.   following the numbers,  they were all cemented into place.

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two additional part were added to the stern,  once the beams were dry.   sanding was required to fit them into place.  the rest of the sanding can be done when it's time to level the frame for the false deck platforms.

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stringers were added to the frame.  at this time,  the bulkheads were checked and adjusted to the upper increments.........53 mm from center to center.

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a single stringer for the bow,  and two running down the sides in the slots provided.

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when dry,  the ends were trimmed........I could leave 'em......but I like a neat job  ;)    I did some sanding to level the deck frame surface....I still have a bit more to go.  besides,  I need to go on an errand before that happens  ;)    not much more to go anyway,  before I'm caught up to where I am with the project at this point.  see you in the morning  :) 

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there is a bit more to the last I didn't add last night........I must have been in a hurry.   I didn't add this picture.

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here I did some sanding.......more is still needed.  the kit came with mahogany planking,  which I won't use.......I ordered some Obechi instead.  most of the sheets that the part are printed on is mahogany.  the deck platform is sheet mahogany,  printed with the details for the planking and fixtures.  this might be the reason for the problem I've been having.

    when I built the Nordkap,  I intended to plank the deck.  along with this,  I would have to create parts to overlay the margins along the bulwarks.  the deck platforms were of basswood......light colored wood where the printing showed up good enough to be seen using printer paper.  I traced the margins and cut them from 1/16 basswood strip.   logical,  since I planked the deck using 1.5 x 5 mm strip.  I never gave a though to thickness,  or an alternative to use thin strip instead.   here is a picture of the margins I made.

134058334_deckplatform.JPG.4c31e8efdfacd236f15c9db3cbc37962.JPG    968714626_deckborders-leftandright.JPG.156d995a97e2beabacf46b200ab3061d.JPG

not to confuse folks,  I will toss in a picture here and there of the Nordkap build to show the differences.  I keep thinking to myself that I really should redo the original log,  but I've likely forgotten so much and it would be quite an undertaking to do.......it was a huge log :)    I did a separate build log of her on Blogger....if your interested,  do a search for 'seymoregutz' and you should find it easily enough.

 

getting back to the problem at hand........there could be other reasons why I was having a hard time in trying to trace the margins.   perhaps I was using a paper that wasn't as dense,  as what we have now.  I dunno..........I did have an idea........tracing paper.   I went to the local Wal Greens,  but they didn't have any.    I went to the local Wal Mart.......they had paper products strewn over four departments....and they didn't have any.   we asked some kid to help us,  and the 'lil bugger disappeared on us!   we ended up at the local Staples and bought the last pack of tracing paper they had.  

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as for the bow and the stern.......there won't be much to see of the bow,  as it's a boxed in cabin of sorts.   it's mainly for storage and the mechanism for the anchors.  the stern will be planked over,  since the aft cabin is eliminated and will be open.   there will be some major modification for the main cabin structure..........the upper decking will be gone as well.

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still more parts to be cut out too.....

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:D    I started to assemble the hull towards the end of September.  it was actually a very nice treat to find out what the box looked like......I never knew,  since I didn't have nay luck the first time I searched.   I knew Billing's made a kit of this vessel.......I was even more surprised that there were two kits,  instead of one.    the kit I'm using,  is another old........older kit of the Nordkap.   makes one wonder how many of these kits are still in existence,  for billing to sell the fitting kit for it.    rest assured that there is plenty of building fun to go ;) 

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Hello Popeye

Golly, it sure looks like you are having a great trip back and down memory lane with your new Nortkap fishing boat. It sure looks like a treat as in just a few days it seems you are ready to start planking the hull, and when I look back it is almost 6 months now since I started my POF build the Oliver Cromwell and I do not have a single framing rib installed as yet. Seams that I need a kit like yours just for a change. My Admiral and I have been fighting this very bad cold or the flu for almost a week now and we are just starting to feel like we may live after all. It sure would be nice to be able to work again in the Old Ship Yard, sure am lacking the get up an go these last few days. Looking forward to see just what surprises you have in store for your Old Ship Mates in your Nordkap build,                                                                            ENJOY.                                                                                                           Regards   Lawrence                                     

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hello Lawrence :)    the Progress is based on the Nordkap hull........once the hull is planked and some of the work is done on deck,  then I can start modifying the cabin structure to create the Progress.   I even had a thought to do something different with the bow.....do a forecastle deck.  the only thing about this,  is I would need to build up the bulwarks for it,  and then it would change her looks.   you'll see a few pictures of the first Nordkap,  but only for showing what I will be doing at that particular point.   I still haven't traced the margins yet.....that will be done in the next session.  I have high hopes of getting the deck platforms put in as well.   sorry to hear you folks are under the weather......if the weather's been yucky 'round here,  it must be worse where you folks live  :(    glad to have you look'in in!

 

hi Zappto.......welcome to the log.  it's still a bit slow starting off,  but it should get interesting pretty quick.........I had a really good time building the Nordkap.   this one should be even better,  now that I found the plans for her,  when I found all this other info.   I hope you enjoy the project :) 

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the tracing paper did the trick....the only down fall was that I had already cut the deck parts out.   hard to trace the outer edge.  presently,  I'm fitting the deck platforms.......I will have an update soon.   there will be quite a contrast between the woods used on this older kit.......it was a lot easier when I built the Nordkap.   here are a couple of pictures of when the platforms were installed during that project.

642257076_deckjoicescementedin.JPG.48165a9e069efe8515615e62653385f0.JPG   210636707_deckplatform2.JPG.5be9572970e94ec26c122abd9f2d0656.JPG

2038952148_platform-cementedinplace.JPG.855df1add1d09e2734511b22e74964ee.JPG   1653548853_deckplatformlayout.JPG.a88015745a0217c8fb76c2ef760d99e3.JPG

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I can tell you that Harold did a great job with aligning the bulkheads......I could cut the slots for the bulwark posts exactly where they were printed on the platforms.   I was off a bit here and there......can't totally blame it on the age or condition of the wood.   there is a silver lining though,  since I will be making the margins and planking the deck...none of the tell tale gaps will be seen ;)   I should have some update pictures soon.

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yesterday,  I had just enough time to trace out the margins.   one thing I'm going to do differently on this build,  is that I won't cut out for the holds and structure...it's not really that much of a biggie.   if I were to do an R/C version,  it would be a must.   

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now I'll need to check my inventory and see what I have for flat stock.......I'm hoping that I have some 1/32nd.   I remember how I planked the Nordkap. 

     I know now that I took the long way to do it......and I used 1.5 mm planking to boot.   fitting in the starboard half of the platform, I did experience some shrinkage,  but not as much as I expected.   the wood is brittle........breaking a few of the smaller corners off as the platform was being fitted.  I glued them back on.

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as mentioned,  I was a little off with the bulkhead spacing,  but I can clean it up when the planking takes place.

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I did have to alter the two transom posts,  removing some of the curvature at the base,  so I wouldn't have to cut the slots too deep into the deck platform.

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the starboard side is finally in place.   I'll wait till the port side is fitted,  before I make adjustments to them both  more on this step later.

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thanks CDW.....  I hope I'm not confusing folks with pictures of the Nordkap.   since I opted not to build it again,  I thought it would be neat to post  relevant photos during the building of the hull.  I chatted with the admiral to later purchase a newer kit of the Nordkap.......it would be interesting to see what a laser cut kit would be like.   I even have yet another ship in mind for the project........longer than the Nordkap ;)    the ship in mind had all the stern features of the Nordkap,  but is longer and sports a fore castle deck.   glad your enjoying the build so far,,,,more on the platform fitting will be ready soon.

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satisfied all that I was going to be.......the starboard half was cemented into place.

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this half is warped......one of the few parts that are......the rest of the part on this sheet are small,  so it doesn't affect them as much.   this was left to dry for the time being.....I turned my attention to another project to bide my time.   when I felt that it was dry enough,  the port side was fitted and cemented into place.   I could have made more of an effort to get the printed panels more in sync with each other,  but for what little there is,  I can easily make the adjustments for it.

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this side was allowed to dry also.   it was left till this morning for all the pins and clampings to be removed.   I realized some time later,  that I hadn't gone over it again with sanding the deck platform surface.  I was relieved in seeing how level the deck surface turned out.

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I drilled the preliminary hole for the mast.......a starting hole that I can make to size without splintering,  but being on the split as it is,  some splintering did occur.   I didn't use too much pressure,  so it didn't occur as serious,  as it could have been.   going through my junk wood bag,  I found a suitable piece of wood to reinforce the hole I already made.

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checking the platforms,  I see there was good contact down the length of the frame.   I'm thinking that I should reinforce the deck tabs along the bulwarks,  to thwart the threat of breaking them off.   doing the margins will help those tabs....but they are the most important of them all.   the stern will also be of importance,  since the stern structure will be removed and modified.   something to think about ;) 

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amendment to that final picture.............I went in to check and see how the piece I put over the mast hole was drying.   I was angered that the piece decided to curl up on one side and pull away from the surface.   thinking to myself that using 1/8th basswood,  probably wasn't the best choice......as well as the direction that the wood grain was going in,  made the curling possible,  I went into the bag of spare parts to find a replacement.   I found a pair of 1/4 thick plywood.........likely came from the Boulogne Etaples model {I remember where all these parts came from}.......pieces large enough for the job.  after removing the ill fated piece,  I took one of them and cemented it in it's place..........clamping it down with two of the biggest clamps I have!

     at first I thought that wood this thick was overkill.........but then I got to thinking about it.   once this is drilled to size,  it can be capped off at the bottom,  creating a suitable mast root.   when I built the Nordkap,   all I did was cement a rectangular piece of wood spanning across the deck beams below the hole.

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the last picture is where I built it..........in the dinning room of our Spruce St apartment.  I still recall how bewildered the admiral was when she saw it for the first time.   I was building the Revell Cutty Sark in the computer room.   "now,  where are you going to put that?",  she asked,  knowing that I probably had no idea of where to store it for the time being.  "Well.........we can put it right here.",  I said,  as I took the boarded carcass from the table,  to the bureau you see before you.  there was rebuttal,  but I assured her that it would only be there till I found a place to put it.   it never left that bureau..........I worked on the Cutty,  till I couldn't stand it any more...........a new toy.....something I had never attempted before,  was just too much to take.  of course,  it didn't help that I was also thumbing through the instructions,  building the frenzy even more.  the bureau wasn't anything special.......it housed pots and pans,  silverware and a junk drawer.  Gibbs was still a baby.....I recall taking small bells,  sealing them inside coffee cans and whatever they would fit into,  for his amusement....it didn't take much.   another thing keen to notice,  about this,  my very first attempt in wood, is that I took care not to have a space along the bulwarks.........I wasn't worried about the bow past the cabin line,  but it had to be snug along the bulwarks.......I knew that much.   likely from building the plastic ships,  where the parts fitted so tight together.   the worse thing I experienced,  was the white glue and the drying time.......I didn't like it slowing me down.   but look at me........all I wanted to convey here,  was the change in plugging up the mast hole........I didn't expect to get carried away :D    the first time for anything is probably the most memorable........I'm sure other folks have fond memories of the first time they glued two sticks together  ;)    the next update will be making the margins,  and faring the hull.  until then  :) 

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I got to fiddling with the Progress this morning.......I want to get the frame fared and ready for planking,  before I do anything else.   first off........the margins.......as mentioned,  they are cut out.   they came out well,  but I still need to clean them up a bit,  giving them smooth lines.   I was going to widen them at the mid ship and get away from trimming the deck planking as much,  but I think it will give the deck some character  ;)    

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funny thing when I went to drill the hole for the mast.  the plywood piece I used is made up of four plys.   as I was drilling the hole,  the glue holding the plys together broke away and half of the thickness fell off!   darn!   so I glued it back on and reclamped it.  after it had set for a while,  I went to redrill it with the clamps still in place.   the center broke away from the outer ply and fell out!.   fine then.........Ill take the other piece that matches it,  and glue it on top as a stop.........stubborn piece of wood!

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I still need to go to a larger diameter hole,  so before I glue on the other piece,  I'll fit it to the dowel.   faring the frame,  I went to the garage and got my board.....just a narrow board with a pair of 2x4 blocks screwed on.   it supports the frame better.    I had to clean off the dead spiders and cobwebs  since it's been a while since I used it last.

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oops........almost time to go.........I have to see the dentist today.   I hate teeth problems!  :angry:

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