cdogg

Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack by Cdogg - FINISHED - Midwest Products

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Here is my first build log of my second overall attempt at ship building

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This was the first tricky part as the instructions have you bend the plank over the side of the deck and the battan.  It was very thin balsa wood so I did it in two sections, top first, then I pinned the bottom to the battan once the top part was set.  After that there is some trimming and the some sanding to the fit the bottom part, the next phase.

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Here is where I have a serious issue.  The second lower section is about 150% bigger than needed and needs to be attached very specifically, I am stuck on this part.  Note the pictures, the instructions have you fit it on against the keel, ending at the transom and the forward bulkhead.  Also, it seems to twist from one end to the other and needs to be trimmed down, but where I am puzzled.

 

 This is where any advice would be awesome!

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hexnut likes this

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Also I will note that have ignored the transom for right now, I will deal with that later as I think I can do a few mods to it.

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It's been a while since I built this kit, but I do remember having difficulty with that lower plank.  As I recall, the amount of bending at the front was particular severe.  I believe i got around the problem by making an approximately one inch long cut in the plank parallel to the keel and about half-way up the the front edge.  Once the plank was glued and dried, I filled and sanded the resulting small gap in the plank.

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Thanks Chris!  I will try that.

 

I don't want to break the balsa plank but regardless I need to trim it down but I can't figure out how to measure it previous to the modification.  This definitely seems like the hardest part of the kit.  I am pondering making each side into 4 planks instead but I worry about the angling up front.

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Casey,

Here's another way:

Grab some cardstock and trace out what you have for the large piece of wood.. then carefully fit it to the hull, trimming as necessary.  When the fit if perfect, copy that template to the wood.  Try the template on the other side and see what needs fitting.  When done, carefully cut out the wood and leave some meat on it.  Then carefully, sand and fit.

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Great idea Mark, I will try that out.  Thanks!

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I'm building a Smack right now. Here's how I did it:

 

Soak the balsa in a 50/50 mix  of amonia and water (15 min).

The side of the balsa that goes against the keel does not need trimming.

Use the 1/16th strip that you glued along the keel in a previous step as your foundation.

Fit the balsa against this strip snugged up to the keel (it should be quite pliable after being soaked).

Play around with it until you find the correct placement then glue it to the keel strip (rabbet), the bulwarks and the batten strip -in that order.

Carefully place some rubber bands around the model to keep the curve while it dries.

Now you can trim the other 3 sides.

Pete

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Pete, that sounds like good technique I will try as well.  My question about that is how soaked does the balsa get?  Does it turn into a wet paper or more like a card stock?  I haven't tried amonia yet, only rubbing alcohol with basswood.

 

Cap'n - Awesome, I really needed to see a good picture of how the bottom should look.

 

I have been out of town this week for various stuff, cannot wait to get back to the build on Saturday!

 

Thanks again to all for your advice!

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After 15 min or so in the ammonia solution the balsa just gets "bendy" not limp. What I mean is when you form it to the curve of the bulkhead it does not have the tendency to split along the grain that unsoaked balsa does.

Pete

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Cool, I am planning to get this done tomorrow, I will post how it goes, thanks

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Well, got the hull squared away. Now to add the balsa blocks up front and soon I will moving it the deck

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Thanks again to all who offered advice for the hull. I made card stock patterns, fitted them, then soaked them in alcohol for 15 minutes and they slid right in!

mtaylor likes this

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Ugh, 12 days since my last update.  I am painting in the first layer of paint tonight and have almost finished the hull.  Will add pictures.

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For the last week my boat has sat dormant due to my work schedule.  I managed to almost get the hull done and now it awaits paint.  I must admit I am terrified of ruining this boat with the wrong color scheme but alas it is my first attempt at painting a wood ship.  Below I have applied sealer to it, which did a great job of blending in the wood filler and smoothing out the hull for paint.

 

 

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shawn32671 and trippwj like this

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Here is my latest needed fix.  Somehow I measured everything great but the crack is there.  Should I fill it with wood glue and paint over?  I was also think about placing a 1/8 x 1/16 basswood strip over it and staining that section.  The hatch door will be there so the basswood strip may need to be creative.

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Casey,

 

Your smack is looking really good!

 

From experience, one good thing about paint, is if you don’t like the color, you can always repaint!  Lots of info about painting has been posted on MSW.  My two cents:  Invest in a good set of paint brushes and Tamiya tape.  Paint is cheap, so experiment painting on some scrap wood first, especially masking!

 

As for the gap between the cabin wall and deck.  Did you ‘dry fit’ the deck before installing?  The deck should have butted tight against the cabin bulkhead and cockpit bulkhead.  As for the fix, you’re on the right track.  The simplest fix is to use a filler piece of wood to fill the gap.  Keep the filler as small as possible, same color and spaced evenly on both sides of the hatch door. 

 

Keep up the good work and enjoy!

 

Dee Dee

Twister likes this

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thanks Dee Dee.  I did dry fit it.  I think what happened was I got so obsessed with getting the bowsprit and hull lined up a may have moved it so this happened, didn't notice until I was too late.

 

I will go with the wood bits, post some pics later today

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Here is the painted version with the first side lining.  I used stain on the 3/32 piece, the 1/32 was too thin.

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Well, almost done with the hull.  Decided to mix it up a bit, changed the side paneling to 3/32 basswood and stained it American Oak.  Jury is still out on the transom, somehow I always end up modding that.  Paint job wasn't great but it was my first attempt.

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The open holes for windows just seemed wrong, so I cut out some plastic pieces from a opened glue package and made some windows.

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Front end needs some magic yet.  Also, I my last post I showed a decent sized gap on the location where the hatches go.  One piece of mahogany seemed to fix that.

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Between the two boards I have a glaring issue that I am open to suggestion on how to fix.  I might use mahogany dust to fill it in, if any one has any cool ideas please let me know.

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Casey -

 

Nice choice on the colors.  They look good together.  You are also doing a very nice job fixing those little gotcha's as they arise. 

 

Not sure if you can close that gap in the rail by gluing and clamping or if there is some other answer.  Hopefully someone with more experience than me will chime in!

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Thanks Wayne, was very hesitant about the paint but it worked out ok. I started detailing yesterday, best part of the ship building process!

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looks good cdogg, Great idea for the windows, I was actually looking for  brass porthole's but all I could find are round one's and I like the oval opening's so I will probably use your Idea. I will be starting my Lobster smack soon. Great job

 

Best Regards,

Pete

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Thanks Pete. I just got a new workspace built today, getting back to boat this weekend. I am going to rig it in the next few days. Still undecided on the front end. It's a fun build once you get past that weird balsa hull section. I have tons of advice based off mistakes made, haha.

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Right on cdogg, I was looking at the instructions and the parts, I was curious do you have photos of the weird balsa section ? is it the bow pieces? it looks strange how that goes together

 

Best Regards,

Pete

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