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About JSGerson

  • Birthday 11/04/1946

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    Aiken, South Carolina

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  1. Within an hour of my last posting things changed. It had been almost a year since my left eye cataract surgery. I had seen the eye doctor for a scheduled appointment the previous week for the right and told him that I was feeling occasional pain. He said it was time we did the right since the right cataract had gotten bigger and was swelling the lens. The following week I got the required EKG and Covid-19 test. BTY, the Covid-19 test is the longest 15 seconds you will ever endure – painful. OK that brings it up to my last post. I get a pain like someone pokes me in the eye which lasts from Saturday evening to Monday morning and my right vision is completely fogged over. My left vision still hasn’t fully recovered. I still can’t read with it The original planned 20-minute surgery took an hour and a half which the doctor described as the most difficult surgery he had performed in his 35-year career. So right now, my right eye is still fogged up with four stitches and my left eye has no close-up vision. Corrective lens are about two months away, awaiting stitches removal and healing. Model building will have to wait some more. Typing this message was a pain even with the zoom in and spell check capabilities of a word processor. I keep hitting the wrong keys.
  2. I don’t feel too bad as Mr. Hunt stated in his practicum that he had to use a bunch of wood filler as well. Once I finish the basic structure of the quarter galleries, I will fill in any remaining gaps with wood filler.
  3. The patches were made by taking a piece of scrap basswood and cutting it into the basic triangle shapes to match the areas of repair. The through repeated trial and error, I carved the necessary contours on the bottom of the patch so they would snug. The patches were then glued into position and then filed to their final shape.
  4. Luckily, this area of the model probably will not be seen very well by the casual observer. Following my sketch line, I continued to trim the transom and filed down the corner of the wale. Instead of ripping out chunks of the wale to make the repair (and probably my hair as well), I opted for a wooden filler patch. The whole thing will eventually be painted black and will be on the underside of the model in the shadows so hopefully it won’t attract any attention.
  5. The wales were tapered with a sanding stick and lots of elbow grease, so it took a while. Now came the part I was not too sure of. As I mentioned earlier. I did not trim the lower transom because I was quite unsure where or what the cut was supposed to line up with. Well I found out. It was only after I trimmed the excess transom planking that I realized that the wale was supposed to bend around the stern and mate up with the transom. Mine didn’t. Had I trimmed the transom first, as instructed by the practicum, I might have realized what should have been done.
  6. Here is plan US Navy Dwg. No.30651 from which the BJ model instructions based its drawing. The Navy plans reflect the photo. Therefore, I suspect that BJ had to compromise on scale a bit in order to allow the model builder to create the parrels. If they were made to scale, one might get away with a series of fine knots equally spaced which is still not easy to do. Jon
  7. Tape was fragile because there isn’t much surface area on the bulkheads for it to stick to, so I marked the bulkhead where the bottom the lowest plank edge had to follow as indicated by the tape. The pictures above were taken before I painted the bulkhead edges so I could see the tick marks and had to lay out the tape a second time after I paint them. I measured the distance from the bottom of the lowest plank from the gun port band of planking to the tape at each bulkhead from bulkhead N aft and divide by seven, the number of planks that had to fit in that space. That became the individual plank width corresponding to that bulkhead. This took some time Finally, I got all the wale planks installed. But I still have one more thing to do before the wale construction is completed. I must taper the wale to the stem rabbet as well as to the hull planking below the wale as indicated in the instruction booklet.
  8. In order to determine the various plank widths, I initially tried laying a planking strip down on the bulkheads and letting it naturally curve up into the transom. To do this I tried using some plank clamps I bought from Model Expo many years ago when I was building the Rattlesnake to hold the plank in position. They were useless then and they were useless now. They are just too clumsy. So, I went to tape.
  9. I've seen demonstrations both live and on YouTube and they make seem so easy. That comes with practice, lots of practice and this is only my second planked model! I opted for a third method, a variation of the tick strip. Instead of marking ticks on the bulkhead edges, I marked the planks with the bulkhead position lines and the corresponding width at those locations. Then I sanded down the widths and verified the width dimensions with a digital micrometer at each bulkhead location. Finally, the whole plank was smoothed to make a nice clean transitioned as the plank narrowed.
  10. In lieu of this failure, I tried to use the tick strip method but that too had problems. The variations of the plank widths is 3/32" wide to 3/64" at the narrowest width. The pencil tick marks themselves are relatively thick in comparison to variation in plank widths and I better be damn accurate in the tick spacing on the bulkhead edges. I even tried painting the edges white so I could see the tick marks better.
  11. The Wale The wale is the next band in the hull planking process. The wale is made of seven 3/23” wide x 1/8” thick planks. According to the practicum, these planks have no variation in width from the bow up until bulkhead N where they begin to narrow. I had anticipated the plank width variations and had ordered from ebay proportional dividers for this purpose at a price below what Micro-Mark was selling theirs. What I didn't realize was that the supplier was in India. After waiting almost 4-5 months for delivery, I chalked it up as a bad buy and ordered the one from Micro-Mark, which arrived promptly. It looked and operated the way I expected, and I put it back in the box almost two years ago until I was ready to plank. Nine months after my original ebay order, the India dividers arrived! I suspect it got tied up in Customs. I had tried to contact the Seller but all they would state was that it shipped. Now I had two of these dividers. The Indian one was a little bit larger and not as finely finished. When I went to use Micro-Marks', I could not get it to divide as marked on the scales. When I set it to divide by four for example and placed one pointer on the 1' mark and the other on the 5" of a ruler (4" of measure), I'd flip it over and measured with the other end. It should have shown 1" of measure on the ruler. It actually read about 1/32" to 1/16" short. Part of the problem may lie in the fact that I could not lock the legs so they wouldn’t move as I handle the instrument. Where the legs cross there is a tightening screw, but that is for locking fulcrum point not the legs. It was even worst for the Indian made dividers which has cruder increments and the pointers are thicker are blunter. So, either both these proportional dividers are poorly made/designed or I'm doing it wrong. Either way, I'm out a chunk of change as they are useless to me.
  12. The Lower Transom Counter To finish the planking the lower transom counter, the practicum states: If one takes that statement at its face value, you will run into a problem. The plans show an elevation view. The lower counter is angled away from the viewer and thus is foreshortened. I had to stretch the image vertically so that its height matched the true length of the counter as seen from the side. I ran into this identical problem with the transom when I built the Rattlesnake. I’ve traced out the trim line onto the lower planks but am reluctant to do the trim until I have completed the wale, which it butts up against. Note, there are still two windows which need to be constructed below the gun deck gun port.
  13. About a month and a half since my last post; I hope everyone is healthy. As many of you know, molasses on a cold day or ketchup pouring from a bottle are faster than I work on my model. One my excuses is illustrated below.
  14. Just discovered your build log and that you were inspired somewhat by my build. Just remember, this is only my second square rigged ship build and am prone to make mistakes that I only discover a long time down the road. You are at the point where I believe I made one of those errors. I think my stern filler block (the one where the rudder stem goes through) was too thick. I failed to check the dimensions of the raw block of wood thickness dimensions which I believe lead to my problems with the stern. At the pace you are going, I'll be following you for inspiration. Jon

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