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About JSGerson

  • Birthday 11/04/1946

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    Aiken, South Carolina

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  1. Robert (Bob) Hunt runs the lauckstreetshipyard.com website. He has has written many practicums which help the novice builder immensely. However, they are not cheap when they are not on sale. My first one was for the Rattlesnake which I used religiously. I could not have built that model without it. I am using my second one for my Conny more as a guide in specific areas. I gain a lot of knowledge from the build logs of dozens of members of this website, picking and choosing methods suitable to my skills. Still, as an overall step by step guide, I rely on Bob's practicum. I hope this helps Jon I noticed Gregory's response which was posted just before mine. Yes, Bob can be cranky, but I don't know anything about sealing other people's intellectual property, so that will have to be a choice you make on your own.
  2. There is still some final sanding and staining to be done. I might leave the ships wood its natural color, so it stands out. I also plan on not covering the original wood in the keel with copper plate for the same reason.
  3. Using 3/64” dia. music wire for its strength and stiffness, two 1¼”pieces were cut using a scissor type wire cutter and inserted into pedestal. As indicated in the dry fit images below, to my surprise, it worked.
  4. Looking at the plans, the builder will notice that the keel angles up towards the bow. The difference in height between the forward pedestal and the aft is 7/32” at the pedestal positions. This means the forward pedestal slot must be raised up. I chose to use another piece of my very limited supply of USS Constitution wood. I bought my wood around 2015-16 when it was still available to the public. I thought there would be a new supply after the ship’s last renovation in 2017, but I have not seen any for sale to the general public since. I cut a piece of the precious wood about 1” dia. and ¼” thick. I drilled a pilot hole first, then used the 3/8” bit. I hand sanded the resulting wooden “washer” so that it had a round over top edge and the proper thickness.
  5. A jig was made from a scrap piece of wood by drilling a hole so that the pedestal would fit into it, top side down. A piece of tape was wrap around the pedestal to make is snug in the hole as it had no vertical surfaces. Then it was run through the table saw a couple of times to cut a slot. The results were a little rough, but nothing that couldn’t be refined. The only thing left to do was to drill a 3/64” hole down through each of the pedestal slots for the pin.
  6. The pedestals required a bit more work. The top of the finials had to be cut off to allow for the keel slot to be cut.
  7. OK, now I need a board so I ask a friend of mine who use to do a lot of wood working, if he knew where I could buy some hard wood. No such luck, Home Depot and Lowes just don’t sell the fancy woods, at least where I live, but he said he would check his scrap pile. What found was a 30 year old, 11 foot long piece of White Walnut almost an inch thick and a foot wide. Yes, that would work! Because he was a wood worker, he had all the big toys. In no time flat we cut a piece of the board to 19” x 7.5” and drilled two 3/8” holes 13.75” apart to match the boat openings. The edges were routed, and sides sanded.
  8. Display Mount And now for something completely different: The display mount. If any of you can remember when I was building the keel, I made mounting provisions in the keel. Specifically, I incorporated two pieces of original wood from the actual ship into the keel. Within those pieces I inserted a brass tube to accept a pin from the pedestals that were to be mounted on the base board. Originally, I thought the pedestals were going to be screwed into place. I tried buying brass pedestals from Model Expo or any other model supplier, but none had a brass pedestal with ¼” slot for the keel. I don’t have a metal lathe nor the skills to use one, so that left wood as my most practical choice. As it would happen, I ran across wooden finials at Hobby Lobby which more of a crafts store than a hobby store. But it’s all I have within 35 miles of me. The advantage of these finials is they have a tenon which means I don’t need any screws, just glue.
  9. I haven’t started the quarter galleries yet, but you have given me some trepidations. Not only is it good to watch a professional model builder do their stuff, but I learn where the pit falls are by watching the less skilled builders (no slight intended) because they fall into the traps the experience builder doesn’t. In this case as you indicated, the quarter galleries have no straight lines or consistent angles. Even the laser cut pieces don’t seem to be perfect. My go-to expert for the USS Constitution build is Ken Forman (xKen), a professional model builder of wood and brass. I watched his build with awe and yet he too struggled with the quarter galleries. He built a beautiful pair of quarter galleries (post #69) only to realize later, he built them too high on the hull (post #199) which had to be ripped out and rebuilt. My congrats that you stuck it out and didn’t quit.
  10. See if these links to the USS Constitution Museum helps: https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/2015/08/25/modern-armament/ https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/2015/11/12/constitutions-guns-a-snapshot/ https://ussconstitutionmuseum.org/2016/03/17/1906-guns/
  11. I just discovered your build today and am glad to have you back and your build log to read. I think the last time I communicated with you, was over some errors in Mr. Hunt's practicum for the Rattlesnake. I think I drove you a bit crazy. You were so gracious, I felt guilty asking for the missing wood. I still have a lot of the wood I purchased and it is a pleasure to work with. I still can't cut a long piece of wood with your precision, and I use the Byrne's saw! Jon
  12. KirbysLunchBox, I can't wait for the paint job too, but that's still in the future...how far, I'm not quite sure. I.ve got to install the castings along the hull, as well as build the quarter galleries among other stuff I haven't thought about yet. There is an old truism: No matter what you have to do, you have to do something else first.
  13. The hull gun port “bolt heads are all installed. I had to make 350 pseudo bolts heads including ones I lost or were mis-formed. I didn’t take an overall picture because they would be difficult to see. The previously post close up give you an idea of what they look like.
  14. Thank you both Kirby and Tom, but you have to be juuuust a little bit nuts for this kind of detail.
  15. The pseudo bolts were applied using the same Min-Wax Polycrylic sealer used to seal the hull. A very thin layer of the sealer was applied to the appropriate hull area with a small brush. Using an X-acto knife with a fine drop of sealer on its tip, the knife, by just touching a brass “bolt head”, picks it up and transfers it to the hull. The pseudo bolts were pushed into position while the sealer was wet. The picture below shows the port side hull, gun deck level with the pseudo bolts installed. The spar deck and the complete Starboard side have yet to be done. By the time the hull is painted black, these “bolt heads” will practically disappear. So why bother? It may not be apparent to the casual observer why one model looks better than another, but I believe subconsciously the fine detail are perceived even if not overtly observed. So, the closer you look, the more you should see.
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