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David Lester

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About David Lester

  • Birthday 10/01/1952

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Cobourg, Ontario
  • Interests
    reading, woodworking, architecture

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  1. Good Morning, A little more progress on my POB. I took this picture at the Tall Ships Challenge this summer and have been working to try to replicate the colours on the deck. The deck on this ship is quite dark (and actually a bit rough looking.) I wanted to get a dark colour for my deck, but hopefully not quite as rough. I used a .5 mm veneer strip (I believe it's cherry) and then painted it with watered down acrylic paint, a mixture of brown and orange. It was so thin that it worked more like a stain than a paint. I then finished it with amber shellac. The result is pretty much the effect I was after. After a bit of experimentation, I found red and yellow colours that match the actual ship pretty well. (That's yellow masking tape on the outboard edge of the plankshear, not a really poor paint line.) Installing the stanchions looked like a daunting task to me. The instructions show installing them all first and then planking them afterward. I knew I would have trouble getting them all at the right angle. I have Bob Hunt's practicum for this kit, and while I haven't been following it, I did use the method that Bob suggested for this job. He suggested building each section of bulwarks between the gunports off the model, (spacing the stanchions correctly of course,) and then installing each as a sub assembly. This method is proving to work very well. In the photo below, the sections are just sitting in place for the picture, not glued in yet. I'm also painting each section before installing it. I can't imagine painting those stanchions successfully after they're installed. That's all for now. It looks like a really windy and rainy day shaping up, so a good one to spend in my workship. David
  2. When I was selling real estate, a seller client received an offer conditional on a home inspection. The seller told me he was going to go over the house prior to the inspection and fix every little thing so that there would be absolutely no issues for the inspector to identify. When the inspection was finished the buyer's agent called me and said "the inspection went well, but we have one question - we noticed a to-do list on the fridge door and we're wondering what 'paint over water stains in basement' means?"
  3. Good Morning, Brief update - One problem I often encounter is this: early on in the build, before planking the hull, I glue pieces of scrap the mast mortises and then cut a rectangular tenon on the ends of the masts and fit them snugly in the mortises. So far so good. However, much later, when I square up the top ends of the masts, I often have trouble getting the square exactly in the right plane. If I leave it like that, the mast top isn't properly aligned and it can't be left that way. In order to fix it, I end up trimming the lower tenon, so I can rotate the mast, but it results in a very loose and poor fit and I wonder why the heck I spent so much time getting the tenon to fit well in the first place. This time, I'm trying something different. I padded the mast mortises with scraps of wood, so that they are actually square rather than rectangular. Then I carved round tenons on the masts. They fit very snugly and at the right angles. Now my hope is that later I can simply rotate the masts to line up properly without losing the nice snug fit. Planking - I have to admit it - I am probably the world's worst hull planker. It's never my favourite part of the build and I never approach it with a good attitude. The POB is a single planked hull and I was not happy with the job I was doing. On top of that, the plans indicate planks 1/8" wide but the provided strips are 3/16" wide which doesn't look quite right to me. I was fretting about it all, but I think I have a solution. I had bought some cherry from Cornwall Model Boats that is .5mm x 3mm to upgrade the decking and I bought a ton of it. (Might as well get my money's worth out of the shipping fee, right?) 3mm is approximately 1/8" so I am going to double plank the hull with this material. It's so thin that it's really just a veneer, but I think it's going to address my problem. Once I made this decision, I was able to finish the first layer without more fretting, as I knew I would just sand the heck out of it and use a lot of wood filler. I've now got a good smooth solid base, (although ugly as sin,) and I'm ready for the veneer layer. Thanks again for your comments and likes. David
  4. Hi Jack, Your perseverance is better than mine. I've pretty much abandoned my build of this kit. I've identified so many problems with its design that it's defeating me. I'm not the best hull planker in the world to start with, and I'm finding this clinker style very difficult. It's almost impossible to tell how much taper to give each plank at the bow and stern and it's not clear from the instructions how high up the planking is supposed to go. Also the planking seems far too heavy for the light framework of the model and I found it almost impossible to bend. Then there is supposed to be a thin walnut plank on top of the planking, but it appears as though the bulkheads have run out by that time and it's just edge glued to the plank below which seems almost impossible to me. I hate to give up on this kit as it's a handsome little model, but I'm not sure I have the patience for it. Your clinker planking is much better than my attempts were, so it seems you're off to a decent start. I'll be watching with interest to see how you overcome the other various problems. With hope maybe I can gain some encouragement from your results. All the best. David
  5. Good Morning, I have been progressing slowly on my POB; too many leaves to rake and too much painting at my daughter's house to do! I've attached the plankshear and wales. This plankshear is a tricky piece to position correctly. As is so often the case, the location of the gunports is key. I think I have it more or less in the right spot. I hate to add paint this early on in the process, but I couldn't think of another way to get a good crisp delineation between the yellow and the black where the plankshear and the wales meet the hull. I have now completely covered this area with masking tape to protect it while I proceed to other areas. The plankshear is yellow outboard and dark red inboard. I've scored it with a razor blade to help with the delineation when I add the red paint and the inboard side. The plankshear doesn't actually fit the hull very well. No matter what I did it came up about a half inch too short. This has to be a design flaw, because even allowing for minor differences in the way the hull is shaped or faired from one builder to another, a half inch is a lot. By getting the holes for the stanchions where it appears they ought to be according to the plan, the shortfall was at the bow. I ended up cutting off the mating ends of the plankshear and making a new piece to fill in the space at the bow. It looks a little rough at this stage, but there is much to add at this location which will virtually bury it. Parts of the framework appear discoloured because I wasn't happy with its location on my first attempt and decided to remove it and relocate it. Dissolving the glue spread the black paint around a little bit. So, that's all for the time being. I'm now about to start planking the counter and lower transom. David
  6. Best street name yet (Florence, Italy)
  7. I haven't thrown it across the room, although many years ago I did throw a garden bench I was building across the room. The top and bottom rails for the back had dados in them and there was a series of slats that had to line up perfectly in order to get the top rail on. It did not go well. However I managed to salvage it and we used it for many years. I've decided to plank the hull conventionally and see how that looks. David
  8. Jim, Maybe I'll just plank it normally and leave it at that. Thanks for the suggestion. It isn't too late; I haven't thrown it across the room yet. David
  9. Well, I'm just about ready to throw this thing across the room. I have made four attempts to plank it, never getting more than three planks on and then dissolving the glue and starting over. I was hoping it would be a little in-between project bringing me nothing but joy😀, but it is the most aggravating difficult thing I've tried to do out of all the models I've built. There are many problems to solve: the bow and stern are identical, so if I try to use one plank for the whole length, it has to be cut and fitted perfectly at each end, rather than fitting it only at the bow and just cutting it off at the stern - the planks overlap, so it's very difficult to figure out how much to taper each one at the ends - I don't know what the planking wood is, but it's very hard, very thick and is too heavy and inflexible to work with against the weak and flimsy framework. If this hull was about 24" long with sold bulkheads it might be ok but as it is it's like framing a wall with 2x2's and trying to nail 2x4's on as the siding - and last, but far from least I simply cannot get this clinker planking to blend from the overlap into a flush fit at the bow and stern without looking like hell. As you have probably inferred by now, I am not having fun with this one, so it's going to have an indefinite time-out and I'm going to focus on my Pride of Baltimore. At least I didn't spend much money on it. David
  10. You're coming along pretty well. I had quite a bit of trouble with the plankshear on my CWM too, not so much it breaking, but rather I couldn't seem to maintain a consistent projection from the hull for the length of the ship. If you're unhappy with the look of your plankshear, I would echo Landlubber Mike's suggestion to sand it smooth with the hull and then apply a new piece over top. That's what I did as well. It gave a very crisp look and it's a very easy fix. David
  11. I thought it would be fun to build a simple model for a change (and avoid all that rigging.) This boat is very attractive and I think it will make a handsome little model. I located it at Cornwall Model boats and it was quite inexpensive. It would seem on the surface that such a kit should be considerably easier to build than a large intricate one, but already I'm not so sure. I know I would be up the creek already if this was my first "starter" kit. The instructions are weak and the illustrations are pretty poor too. There are a couple of ridiculous "stiffeners" as they call them to be installed at the bow and stern, but I soon discovered they are all but useless, so I cut them out and added filler blocks. I'm a little concerned about the planking. It's clinker, which I've never done before and the material provided is 1.5 mm thick which seems like it will be very heavy to bend over the short length of the model. I'm considering substituting 1mm planks, but I'm not sure if the scale would be noticeably off. I will do some experimentation. My fears may be premature, but I suspect I'm in for a bit more of a challenge that I anticipated when I bought this one. David
  12. As there is no rest for the wicked, I am now launched into my next project - the Pobpob! - (plank on bulkhead Pride of Baltimore.) Actually two projects, as I'm doing something I've never done before and am building two kits at the same time, the other being the Artesania Latina Titanic lifeboat. On the POB, I have the bearding line cut and the bulkheads in place. These are the best fitting bulkheads I've run across yet; they lined up perfectly with the top of the keel and the bearding line/rabbet at the bottom. Not sure how they will all line up when I start fairing, but at a glance they look like they will be pretty good. This doesn't look like it will be too hard a planking job either. David
  13. Good Morning All, Well, I have officially finished my Charles W. Morgan. (I would like to say that it's "done and dusted", but I know from experience that the dusting part has only just started.) Since my last post, the remaining undone bits were the rope coils for the belaying pins, the anchors, the cutting stage and the boats. I didn't post any updates as I was working through these, as they were very simple and straightforward. They didn't pose any problems, and there were no great insights that would benefit anyone from my sharing. Here are a couple of pictures showing the finished model - I think I've mentioned it before but it bears repeating how much I enjoyed this model. I think this has to be one of Model Shipways best kits. The plans are excellent with every detail very clearly covered, and the kit is well designed. While it's challenging, at no point do you find yourself fighting with the kit to get a decent result, which is not always the case. If you're looking for a break from naval vessels, this is a great option. I'm looking for a smaller project next time around and have purchased the Pride of Baltimore II which I'll be starting soon. Those clippers were very beautiful ships and I won't have to build an additional to the house to accommodate the model. Many thanks for your comments and "likes." David

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