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    Richmond, VA
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    Scratch built plank on frame

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  1. For scale sized planks, thickness sander alone should be fine. I have the Byrnes, and before that used a Preac (same idea, much smaller motor). I haven't had any times with pear, boxwood, holly, cherry, or ebony where the thickness sander didn't get me to a usable billet. I have a tool buying addiction and haven't come up with any reason to justify buying the miniature planer.
  2. I think your idea about doing it in one piece still make sense, but you need something different from a needle file to shape inside the hooked ends. Escapement files are smaller than needle files, and might fit. You could also try a jeweler's saw with a blade the same thickness as the notch. If you go down the multiple piece route, would not try to punch square holes. It would be easier to use wire of a diameter that could be filed down to the right shape and thickness. Would drill holes for the wire, and solder the wire in place then file the shape and bend it into place. Would probably need to silver solder to have a strong enough joint. Could also shape and bend the wire separately, then solder into place.
  3. Many thanks everyone for all of the likes and very kind words. John – base is Chakte Coc – cut from one of the boards I got at the club auction last year. Was really happy with how it looked sanded and finished. Druxey and Michael – I think the next build will be the NRG East Coast Oyster Sharpie. I bought the plans when they came out. It is a neat looking boat, and as a project, looks manageable in the time I have over the next year or two. I like the connection to Mystic Seaport – went there often when I lived in Boston. Long term, I want to build the rest of Echo (as in the whole ship), but that needs to wait until I have more than an hour or two each week to work on it. Slow progress on the cross section or Sharpie is still visible as progress. I worry I might get frustrated adding a part per week to a many thousand part project. I haven't seen any finished Sharpies other than the prototype, so it should feel like I am working on a subject that hasn't been built by a lot of other people. Greg – wood palette is pure Harold Hahn. Hard to improve on his choices. Boxwood and Pear are really good to work with, and the Holly and Ebony are great contrast. I’m thinking that the Sharpie will be just boxwood. I think for the simpler model, one uniform color with the rope and metal fittings as contrast will look better. I think I have just enough left over. Toni and Michael – looking forward to seeing your cross sections. Toni – wouldn’t call what you have done ‘procrastination’ – Atalanta is amazing, and the Swallow and half hull are great projects! Vince – just finished reading your “Purpose-built confederate blockade runner”- Congratulations on finishing it – huge project. Anyways, hoping to do some shopping over the weekend for some of the things I need to get started on the Sharpie, and will start a build log once there is something other than a roll of plans to show. As with Echo, expect slow progress, although I hope it goes more like the last 3 months than the preceding 3 years.
  4. Something very odd has happened. My box of parts to install is empty. I’ve come to the last page of the instructions. Apparently – I’m done. It’s a little bit hard to believe. I started the model Christmas 2012. The build log started so long ago that it was on the initial MSW and was lost in the crash. It was supposed to be an easy, short project to get me ready for building a full plank on frame model. I thought it was only going to take a year or so, and was so overconfident that I started it before finishing Hannah. I was going back through my log, and found Ryland’s post really amusing: He was correct, only 6 years off. The model will be at the show in 2 weeks. I was really happy with this as a project. Many thanks to David and Greg for developing the plans and doing the framing workshops. I learned an incredible number of things building the cross section, and am in a really different place as a modeler than before. It made a great project incorporating a lot of different techniques and was nice because the incremental progress was always visible even though I had so many other things going on that I couldn’t work on it very regularly.
  5. I have their tree nail maker and their lathe duplicator. The treenail maker, while fast, performs variably depending on what kind of wood you use. Some woods break really easily and have fragments that clog the tip. It did OK with boxwood and cherry, but badly with holly. It also doesn't go small enough to be accurate at 1/4" scale. I use it when I need to make .025" dowel, but have switched to bamboo and a Byrnes drawplate for treenails- the drawplate can go much smaller in diameter. I was initially really disappointed with the lathe duplicator. I could not get it to work for duplicating brass cannon barrels, and put it away for several years. I suspect it is something I was doing wrong, particularly grinding the cutting tip. I resurrected it a few weeks ago - it works great for wood. Was really happy with using it to make identical posts for my cross section. Now that I have had good results on wood, will try it on metal again.
  6. Using a blade that is too thin for the material could come into play, and might be more noticeable with harder wood. The blade being dull can also definitely cause it. I had the same problem on my Byrnes. When I was ripping planks, the width began to vary and thin along the length of the plank. I was worried that I had thrown something out of alignment on the saw. I'd been using the same .040" blade since I purchased the machine. I replaced the blade and problem went away. Someplace on the website (unfortunately not in the articles and download section - it is attached to a post in https://modelshipworld.com/topic/20499-new-to-table-saw/ but I kept getting error messages when I tried to attach it here) is a great document by Jeff Hayes who used to operate Hobby Mill with recommendations for blade size for different thickness materials. Definitely want to be using different thickness and toothed blades for different thickness woods. Might want to replace the blade and see if the problem goes away (or use a thicker blade). Can't hurt to have a spare. If the one you are using isn't dull now, it eventually will be.
  7. Breastwork installed. Quarterdeck installed on finished side. I made and installed the waterway, then glued the planks together. I made a cardstock pattern for where the notches for the stanchions needed to be. I double back taped the decking to a piece of sacrificial wood, then made the notches with the table saw. Gangway knees, gangway, newel post, and railing installed. I'm working on the ladder to the gangway now. Just the ladder, finish to the newel post and rail, stand, and touch up to complete.
  8. Similar evolution - folding table in corner of basement between dryer and cat litter box (lint and cat hair on everything - very bad for finishes) to single unfinished basement room, to 2 1/2 finished basement rooms (converted part of garage) to new house with single large basement room with as much floor space as prior 2 1/2 rooms, but much easier to use efficiently. Only took 25 years. My family has been very tolerant, but I think I've finally reached the limit.
  9. Michael - many thanks! I need one waist stanchion, so spent the morning doing some metal work. Very gratifying – got to use the taper attachment on my lathe for the first time. The post is turned from 1/8” brass. This was a major advance for me – no chatter, and got an acceptably smooth finish that took only a little sanding to get smooth. Usually turning metal on the lathe is an exercise in frustration. I cut the piece off about a scale 1” from the end of the taper to form the base. The bracket that holds the rail was made from 1/8” bar stock. I used a slitting blade to cut the slot, then raised the blade and parted the piece off. Even the soldering worked right the first time. I wanted to do more, but had so much go smoothly that I thought I should quit while I was ahead. Will hopefully go back to the workshop later and mill the quarterdeck waterway, install and blacken the bolts in the quarterdeck breastwork, and blacken the stanchion.
  10. Greg - agree those are amazing looking hooks. Would love to know how he is able to photo etch rounded edges. I’ve been working on the quarterdeck breastwork. I turned the spindles on my lathe with a vandalay duplicator. Was pretty pleased with how it worked. It has been sitting in a drawer since a frustrating attempt to use it to turn brass cannon barrels 7 or 8 years ago. Works much better on wood. I cut the upper tenons with my preac table saw, then reset it and did the half lap joints. The railings took a while. I cut them to shape and scraped the molding around the edge. I also used some escapement files on the molding around the end grain. I drilled 1/16” holes at the centers of the posts, then filed square openings. A square drill bit would be a really useful invention. I bent the upper rail to shape. The lower rail was much more delicate, and broke at one of the openings when I tried bending. The curve is gentle enough that it held shape with the glue joints. I cut a form the shape of the quarterdeck beam and used it to glue the upper rail to the posts in a curve. Once it was dry, I used spacers and glued the lower rail in place. I clamped it to the upper rail so it followed the same curve. I glued it to the quarterdeck beam that I made a few years ago, drilled for the bolts, and brushed on minwax wipe on poly. I’m considering redoing. I will be installing the gangway. When I looked at the breastwork as drawn, it was a little narrow and left a gap between the end of the rail and the edge of the gangway. I used the drawing in TFFM, which looked closer. The clearances at the sides look a little narrow. After I finished, I realized it was probably drawn on the NMM plans. Sure enough it was, about halfway in between the two drawings in length. I have the breastwork leaning in place in the picture. The bit pins supporting them are a few mm too short, and will need some extensions. I think I will install the gangway, and see how the spacing looks. I’m assuming the crew was pretty thin – if it looks like it was usable, I will install it as is. If not, will need to go back to filing square holes, which I’m not looking forward to.
  11. The gun is rigged and installed. Rigging is morope left over from a prior build. I bought a rope rocket from Chuck to make rope, and started putting it together on New Year’s Eve. Got to the part where you need the really small Allen wrench, and found mine got lost in the move. While I was digging around looking for it, I found he morope. I’d forgotten how nice it looks, and how hard it is to work with. Led to a few compromises. The breech rope is a little on the short side. It is 3 times the bore length like it is supposed to be, but that isn’t long enough to really reload the gun. I tried making it longer, but didn’t like the way it looked – the morope just hangs in a non realistic way. I also wanted to have the gun run out. Morope doesn’t coil well (won’t absorb dilute white glue), so I frapped the tackles. This was probably done for storage, not when they were run out, but I wasn’t sure what to do with the ends. Not sure there is a right answer – can’t imagine there were situations where the gun was run out, but the rope was left in a coil on the deck. I’m also not really happy with the hooks. Even silver soldered, they look like bent wire. The ringbolts should be recessed, but I didn’t think of it when I had better access to the bulwarks. I couldn’t figure out how to do it now that the pumps and bits are in place. Looking for suggestions for doing any of these things better next time (other than the obvious – use different rope material and recess the holes for the ringbolts at the same time I drill them). I’ve got the gangway and knees ready to install. The holes in the bulwark are for the locating pins for the knees. Completion in sight – very short list of incomplete tasks: need to slightly extend the bit pins the quarterdeck beam sits on (sometime a few years ago I made them about 1/16” short), make the quarterdeck and gangway railings, and ladder to the gangway.
  12. Thanks everyone for the likes and kind comments. Greg - definitely agree that for anything more complicated that a sixth rate (or maybe even just one side of a sixth rate) this would start getting very tedious. I've decided to add the gangway to the finished side. It turned out to be good practice with patterns to get all the angles and joints on the knees right, and will make this model a little bit different from the other finished echo cross sections. Will hold on installing until the gun rigging is complete and the gun installed - don't want to make access to installing all the rings and ringbolts difficult. Hoping to get the breeching and gun tackles rigged and installed today before going back to work tomorrow. Happy new year everyone! Dave
  13. I have been thinking about the next project, and avoiding ones with lots of guns because I am intimidated by the repetition. I think the only thing worse might be building just one. The workshop turned into an armory this month. These guns have lots of parts- I think I count 44 not including the rigging and gun barrel. After figuring out how to make each part, I realized making more than one of each wouldn't have been too bad. The barrel is not scratch - it is an Admiralty Models one that I bought when I purchased the plans from David and Greg. It is beautifully turned, and it didn't make sense for me to try to turn one when I already had such a good one. The wooden parts are all swiss pear, and most of the metal work is brass. I used a few pieces of copper when I wanted to blacken in place. All plans and dimensions were from TFFM. Andrey Kudin's Le Fleuron videos were also helpful (worth watching if you haven't seen them yet), particularly for rolling the axle caps and milling the ogee under the quoin- he has lots of neat techniques. Getting much happier with my metal blackening and silver soldering, and lathe turning the axles and wheels worked much better than previous efforts - way less in the scrap bin than usual. .
  14. Somehow it has been a year since the last update. We spent a year renovating a house and moved last February, and it took a little while to set up the workshop. I seem to be back in some sort of building rhythm since last month. Outside details are done including chain plates and all the moldings and rails. Chain plates were a big step forward for me in terms of metal work and silver soldering. They were an experiment in copper so I could shape them around the deadeyes and blacken them in place with liver of sulfur. Deadeyes are ebony. The pumps were a challenge. Someplace along the way (probably about 3 years) ago I miscalculated on the path of the pump shafts and they ended up a few millimeters further inboard of the bitt pins than they should have been. I also had some of the decorative shaping on the bitt pins at the same height that the rhodings needed to be attached. I ended up adding some shims between the rhodings and the bitt pins. Hopefully some 18th century shipwright had the same problem and solved it the same way. The pump shafts and rhodings are brass. My silver soldering continues to get better, and Greg’s post about metal blackening, particularly the sparex, was unbelievably helpful getting chemical blackening I was happy with. I have an old Vanda Lay duplicator for my lathe. It has sat in a drawer since a really frustrating attempt to duplicate brass cannon barrels on my last model, which was an epic fail. I tried it again on the quarterdeck balustrades, and found that it works really well on wood. Base, pedestals, and quarterdeck beam are also done. I’m a gun, quarterdeck breastwork, and ladder away from finishing.
  15. Hi Mark - I've been using a microtorch and it has been working OK. Few things that might make a difference. I put the hacksaw blade in a vise and break it into 2-3" sections. I find this size scraper much easier to handle when forming the shape. It also less metal for the heat to dissipate from compared to using a full length blade. I don't heat the entire blade. I just focus on the edge I will be filing. Much easier to get a small section red hot than the whole blade. Dave

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