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usedtosail

Santa Lucia Sicilian Cargo Boat by usedtosail - Panart - 1/30 scale

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After finishing the USS Constitution, I wanted to build something just a little simpler that would not take me another 5 years to build. I had a few kits on the shelf to choose from and I was leaning toward a Cris Craft runabout as something really different. But then my son, who has recently bought his first house, asked me to build something for his mantel, and when I showed him the kits I had he liked the Santa Lucia.

 

I got interested in this kit in the first place for a couple of reasons. First, I am half Sicilian and my grandmother on that side loved the song "Santa Lucia". Second, after seeing the build logs of this kit on this site (AnthonyUK and FernandoE), I really liked the look of the boat.  I found a kit on the web at a reasonable price and bought it a few years ago.

 

Here are some shots opening the box. I don't know how old this kit is but the wood still looks pretty good. There are a lot of brass fittings and the laser cut keel and frames looks pretty good too.DSC_0036.JPG.7d231b6522577eadd92f279d17b8311c.JPGDSC_0037.JPG.1e3226339fd84ee7842090271f5ca899.JPG

The blocks are huge and very ugly, so I am going to try to make new ones or if that fails I will buy some new ones from Chuck. I know very little about this boat so I am just going to follow the limited directions in the kit and see how it goes. There are 3 sheets of plans which are all in Italian. At least the other instructions are in a bunch of languages, including English.

 

Next up is getting the keel and frames cut out and cleaned up.

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I separated the keel, frames, and frame stiffener pieces from the laser cut sheets and dry fitted them. I am using the build board I made for the Constitution build, which holds the keel nicely.

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There are a few frames that are loose in the keel slots even with the stiffener in place, so I will tighten them up with some scrap wood in the slots. I marked the locations of the bottoms of the frames to define the line of the rabbet that I am going to carve into the keel.

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I then took the frames off the keel and used a ruler and French curve to draw the rabbet lines on both sides.

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Before I start carving up the keel, I practiced on some scrap from the laser cut sheet. I am using a small flat chisel to make the groove initially, then a riffler file to clean up the slot. On the areas where the line curves up at the bow and stern, I will use a large flat file to taper the wood into the rabbets. This is a double ended boat, so both the bow and stern are going to be planked like the stern normally is on a larger ship.

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I finished carving the rabbet into both sides of the keel and put it back into the build board. I added some 1/64" wood strips to the loose slots and used clothes pins as wedges while the glue is drying. If you look carefully you can see the rabbet.

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Thanks K. I think it will be a fun build.

 

I glued the frames into the keel after filing the shims that I added to some of the slots. I glued the middle three first, then the aft three, then the bow three. With each group, I placed the keel stiffener in position to hold the frames square to the keel.

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Once all the frames were in glued in place, I glued the keel stiffener down to the frames and the keel. I used some metal blocks as weights to hold it down. Everything fit very nicely and the keel is nice and straight. I also glued the two end frames to the keel that are above the keel stiffener.

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When all that dried, I glued a few deck spacers to the tops of the frames, using binder clip plank clamps to hold them tight to the tops of the frames. I am not sure just having glue here is going to be a strong enough joint, but I will see how these three come out. I may put some wire pins to help hold these together if they seem not secure enough.

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Hi Tom.

Have fun with this one.

I have completed this model and it's a nice looking model when finished.

Nice start to date. Gonna follow along with your build as I found it a interesting one.

 

Regards Antony.

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Thanks Anthony. Your build log is one that got me interested in this kit. The links to info on these boats has been very useful too.

 

The deck spacers seem to be well secured with just glue, so I glued the rest of them on.

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The two pieces on the ends are two of the four end pieces that help form the rabbet at the stem and stern. These have to be shaped with pretty severe bevels, so I started on the two front pieces before I glued them in place.

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I will finish the bevels as part of the fairing of the frames. Now to do the back two.

Edited by usedtosail

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Hi Tom

I'm following along as well. My kit was over 30 years old when I got it from my brother late last year. I'll be interested if there have been any changes to their kit over the years as, in particular, I found the instructions hard to follow (I am a relative newbie though so it could just be me!).

 

Cheers.............Fernando :cheers:

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Thanks guys. Fernando the instructions are still very hard to follow. They include planking instructions which I found hilarious.

 

Since the last update I have glued the end pieces in place after shaping them, then faired the frames.

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I used battens to set up three planking bands per side. I think I'll be OK with the middle and bottom bands but the top band will need some spilled (spelling?) planks to fit up to the tops of the bulwarks supports. I soaked some planks for the bottom and middle bands and clamped them to the frames to dry.

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In between the start of the planking I have started cleaning up the blocks supplied in the kit. They are all rather large (7 and 10mm) so they are easy to work with. I started by drilling second holes for each supplied hole so I could simulate the sieves. I used the mill with a starter bit to index from the old holes to the locations of the new holes, started the new holes, then finished them with a regular drill bit. This gave me very good results in the opposite sides of the blocks.

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I then used a pointed chisel to carve the simulated sieve between the two holes on each side. I sanded the blocks so they would be more of an oval shape. Once they are all shaped I will put them into the block tumbler to soften the edges a bit more. This first block I shaped too much but you can see the sequence I followed.

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Here are better shaped blocks.

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I still have a bunch to do but it helps fill the time while waiting for things to dry.

 

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Planking continues with a few planks per day. I trim them to width given the distances between the two first planks, then soak them for a few hours and clamp them to the hull to dry overnight. I then glue them in place again planking them to the frames and to to planks already in place. Here are the two planks that define the three bands after gluing them on.

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Here the garboard strakes and the first of the top band planks are clamped on to dry after soaking. 

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And here the second middle band planks on each side are being glued in place.

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While waiting for planks to dry, I measure and trim the next planks to be added. While this is a slow process, I am really trying to keep the amount of sanding after planking to a minimum so I am taking my time. So far so good.

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Hi Tom, slow and steady is the way to go on this model. This was my fourth build and the hardest as far as planking was concerned....don't know why but I really had to work hard to make it work. 

 

Cheers...........Fernando :cheers:

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Thanks Fernando, Popeye, and EJ.

 

Fernando, I am a bit concerned about the planks that make up the outside of the bulwarks. Did you glue these to the parts of the frames that are to be cut away? I am leaning in that direction and then will clean then up inside when I remove those sections. I guess the second planking will help hold these together but just edge gluing them seems too flimsy to me.

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Hi Tom

I was also concerned about the planks and did glue them (not a lot of glue but just enough to hold them in place). Once the second planking is in place there is more than enough strength to keep it all together.

 

Cheers.........Fernando  :cheers:

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Hi Tom.

Nice steady build. 

I replaced the blocks that came with the kit. Some I made and the rest were Syren's blocks.

Planking is a pain on this hull but it's a nice shape when finished.

All the best.

 

Regards Antony.

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Thanks Anthony. I am just glad this model will have a second planking. This one is just the base.

 

Here is a nice planking process picture. I have a plank in the middle band clamped after soaking to get it to shape, another in the bottom band drying after being glued to the keel and frames, and in the background there are two wood strips that have the frame positions marked on them ready to be trimmed for the top band.

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The supplied wood strips for the first planking are 1.5mm thick and 6 mm wide, and I have found that they only require soaking for a couple of hours and can be manipulated very well after that. I have not had to resort to any kind of heating for these strips. Those clothes pins between the frames reduce most of the clinkering since they clamp the wet plank to the previous one.

For the top planks I have flipped the frame over so I can work from the top. You can start to see the shape of the hull coming out.

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Just more of the same for a while...

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