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About dcicero

  • Birthday 10/21/1964

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    Aurora, IL

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  1. On western rivers, they would suck water right out of the river. There was a strainer that would keep fish out of the intakes, but not much more. Worst job on a steamboat was cleaning out the boilers when they "mudded up." Exhaust steam would be ported up the stack which provided if not a vacuum, something lower than atmospheric pressure. Very inefficient, but very low cost too and simple, two things that were very important back then! Dan
  2. Thanks, Toni, That explains a lot. I installed another strake yesterday, but it was looking a little weird too. I suspect it has more to do with the shape of the strake below it than anything else, so I removed it, along with the plank just above the broad strake that you pointed out. Only a little bit of splitting on those planks when I removed them, so I can probably use them for templates for new ones. And here's what it looks like now. How do you usually deal with the tops of the planks when you find a defect? Do you carve them in place? Or do you remove them and and just make another? Making each of these planks is a time-consuming process (at least the way I'm doing it) and it seems that, no matter how carefully it's done, defects appear when the plank is actually glued in place. Is there any way to adjust them in place? I know I can't add any wood to a plank that's been carved too aggressively, but it seems like I can remove wood from one that needs trimming. Dan
  3. I just finished a model rigged with a sail. I used Steve Wheeler's technique from an article he published in Ships in Scale in 2004. He built spectacular 1:12 boats and used 700 count cotton fabric to make the sails. There's plenty to learn in his article, but the biggest keys for me were 1) use an embroidery stabilizer to stiffen the cloth and prevent deformation and 2) use an automotive lacquer to further stiffen it after it's been sewn. I set my sewing machine for the finest stitch it could make, used a fine thread and the smallest needle I had. I'm happy with the results. Dan
  4. Progress... I made a decision not to just re-do what I did before, but to try to understand what went wrong the last time and how to get it right this time. I re-read Toni's instructions. I re-read Planking the Built-Up Ship Model and David Antscherl's A Primer on Planking. I also read through a number of build logs here on MSW. I watched a few of Chuck Passaro's videos. And I incorporated some techniques I've learned through the Nautical Research and Model Ship Society of Chicago. Here's the step-by-step process I went through with the first plank above the broad strake using a mash-up of all those techniques (all of which produce perfect results, by the way). First, I measured with dividers the distance between the middle of the batten and the top of the prior plank. (That's from Planking the Built-Up Ship Model.) Then I constructed a table of equal distances. (I learned this from Bob Filipowski from the NRMSS.) I have to fit four planks in the distance measured, so I just found the line at which the distance equals four spaces on the table. Then I drew a horizontal line for frame 2. (For some reason this photo and the next are upside down, even though I edited them before uploading them here.) Each of those divisions equals the proper width of the plank at that frame. By labeling all those lines, I can go back to this table at any time and determine what the plank width ought to be. Then I used an awl to make a small mark on the frame showing where the plank edge should be. My goal is to have the top of the plank cut that tiny circle in half when it's in place. (That small mark at the top of the broad strake was misplaced. I needed to adjust the width of that plank when I installed it.) All ready to make the plank. I found the blue painter's tape Toni recommended to be difficult to use because it twisted a little every time I tried to use it. I used Antscherl's process, using a piece of cardstock. Just cut a piece slightly wider and longer than the plank you intend to make, position it close to the top of the lower plank with just enough gap to fit your compass point into. Mark each of the frames on the cardstock and run a compass point along the top of the lower plank, marking a parallel line. Now I have the bottom edge of the plank defined. Remove the cardstock from the model and, at each frame, take the measurement from the table of equal distances for those frames and make a mark on the cardstock. Using a French curve or ships curves, connect the dots. In Planking the Built-Up Ship Model, the point is made that you don't necessarily want to "connect the dots." Just describe a smooth curve. (There's a great diagram in that book showing what your plank should not looks like.) Use the French curve to clean up the line drawn by the compass too. And now you have a template. With which you can cut out the plank. I did find it difficult, at times, to clamp the planks in place. And now, with the bigger battens in place, I've found it impossible to fit clamps in there. I watched a few of Chuck Passaro's videos about planking HMS Winchelsea. He uses heat to bend the planks. David Antscherl makes the point that wood can be bent in two planes, but not three. In my experience, it can be bent easily longitudinally (back an forth), easily torsionally (twisting) and with some difficulty laterally (side to side). That's not to say edge bending doesn't work. It does. I built my Longboat using nothing but edge bending and Chuck uses edge bending in his videos, but the fact that these planks have been spiled eliminates the need for edge bending. It doesn't eliminate the need for the plank to bend in the other two planes. The fact that clamping these planks is problematic -- for me, at least -- meant that I needed to bend the planks and get them to stay where I wanted them without pressure. I heated up my plank bender ... which is nothing more than a soldering iron. I wetted the plank before bending it. That's optional, but it made this process go quickly and smoothly. From there it was just a little sand-fit, sand-fit, sand-fit until the plank sat nicely where it belonged without the need to clamp it. Here's the result. No gaps, no bulges, no cracks, no deformation. With one exception, it cuts my little marks in twain. No connecting the dots, just a smooth curve. So that's it. I only have to do that about another hundred times -- accounting for the ones I'll mess up -- and this thing will be done! Dan
  5. I suspect institutions -- libraries, universities, etc. -- pay for access for their members, so if you can demonstrate that you're associated with one, you can get in. I suspect, if you contacted the publisher, they would either sell you the article you're interested in or direct you to an institution that would loan it to you. Particularly on technical subjects, I expect to pay for good information. We subscribe to a data service at work that costs a fortune. Every year I have to answer questions about how much value we get from it and every year we renew that subscription. The people who run that service earn every penny of it. Dan
  6. To avoid the “smiley face,” I dropped the forward ends of both battens a little bit. I thought, sighting along the hull, that the previous way looked better, but I think the battens now better describe the run of planking. Dan
  7. Thanks, Toni. I detached the lower batten and repositioned it. I didn't move it much. Moving it much lower really changed the sweep of the batten a lot. Last night, I got my replacement broad strake in. It looks much better. And I laid out the stealer.
  8. Not liking the way the forward part of the broad strake looked in those photos, I decided to remove it and do it again. Doing it again, now, will save me a lot of headaches later because that defect will bother me throughout this whole process.
  9. I've gotten a couple of messages saying my photos aren't visible. Can't explain that. I posted the URL to my OneDrive folder, but no matter. Here they are. Dan
  10. For everyone in the US, Happy Memorial Day! Just a quick progress update today. I've installed the planking battens. I used the technique explained in Planking the Built-Up Ship Model. That book recommends using 1/16" wooden battens rather than the string battens Toni recommended. Since I'd tried the strings before and had a tough time getting them to stay where I put them, I decided to pull some 1/16" strip wood out of my wood pile and see how they would work. I like the results. I tacked them to the frames with the smallest brads I had, which kept them in place. I wetted them slightly to get them to bend around the bow and just moved them around until I got a "pleasing run of planking." I'm happy with the results, but let me know if I shouldn't be! I struggled with the broad strake. Once I had it installed, I had to do some trimming on the upper edge to get a clean line, fore and aft. And you can seem in the bow, that I had a little splitting happen. It's a lot more noticeable in this photo than it is on the model itself and will be easily fixed up. I'm working hard to minimize the amount of "fixing up" I have to do. I haven't done any sanding at all on what I have in place so far. That'll wait until everything's installed. Dan
  11. It's been almost nine months since I posted anything to this build log. Frankly, I was so frustrated with this project that I put it aside. I've since finished another model and decided to take another look at the half hull project. It hasn't gotten better with age. Just look at this thing... This was my second attempt! And it wasn't like it was just the wale that needed work. The object here is to create a "pleasing run of planking." I hadn't created that. I'd created a chaotic mess. Kinks that I doubted I could work out around the bow. Uneven plank widths in the stern. Wavy lines. I was really discouraged and just didn't want to put more work into something that was clearly not going turn into something of which I might be proud. So I trashed it. Well, not completely. I just removed all the planking. I'd used white glue, so a little water softened up the joints. Then I removed any excess glue with a damp cloth. Then I started fairing the hull again, being even more meticulous about the bow and stern. I found that I'd sanded a little too much off the aft frames. The instructions say not to do this and I tried to follow them, but I couldn't figure it out. Turns out, the stern is a lot more boxy than I thought it was. Coming to that conclusion showed me where my errors were and I corrected them. The forward-most frame was a little too short, so I extended it. I removed the spacers so I could properly mark the wales without going through all kinds of gyrations with my square. I copied a technique shown in one of the other build logs where the measurements are punched into the frames. One of the problems I had was with smudged pencil marks, particularly in the bow. This technique solves the problem. I added a little more filler in the stern to give a better gluing surface for the stealer. I'd run out of planking material building what I'd already built, so I went off to Hobby Lobby to get more 1/32" planking material. I also re-read Planking the Built-Up Ship Model. I think, for this re-build, I'm going to use some of the techniques described in that book, particularly with regard to laying out the planking. I have a pair of proportional dividers, not the expensive ones used by draftsmen of old, but inexpensive ones uses by artists, with set proportions. I think that's going to make laying out the runs of planks easier and more accurate. So I'm back in the saddle again, as the old cowboy song says. The frame is fair. The wale is installed. Off once again to the garboard strake. Dan
  12. How do you remove underbleed like that? I've messed this up so many times, I find ways to avoid situation where it might happen. Dan
  13. Thanks, everyone! Nic, I will definitely be taking you up on your offer. I just have to figure out what kit I want to build. That's a tough choice. Like Kurt said, the model did win a Gold Award in the Wisconsin Maritime Museum Annual Model Ships and Boats Contest, which was really a thrill. I thoroughly enjoyed building this model and did it to 1) relieve my COVID fatigue and 2) learn how to make proper sails. Mission Accomplished, I think, on those two points. I appreciate the comments about the sawhorses. Necessity is the mother of invention and I thought a good long time about how to best display the model. Glad you liked the result. Dan
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