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About davec

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    Richmond, VA
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    Scratch built plank on frame

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  1. I spent the last two weeks having adventures in bending wood. I’ll briefly summarize here. When I downloaded pictures, I realized I had only taken a few. The model has 5 different trim strips that go around tight curves at the stern and cockpit combing. I’ve bent wood for hull planking before, but never around curves this tight. Up until now I’ve used soaking and a bending iron, which worked adequately, but I was afraid might not work well for the tight bends. I’d heard good things about using a heat gun, so gave it a try. Other than at the stern, the bending was only in one dimension, so spiling wasn’t necessary. I did the cockpit combing first, trying to air bend with the heat gun held in a vice. Didn’t work. I cut a form to the shape of the cockpit opening from ¼” plywood, and once I’d figured out clamping and the right heat setting, it worked great. The 1/32x1/4” cockpit combing bent right around the form. I could actually feel the wood give as the heat did its job. It took a little experimenting to find the highest heat that didn’t discolor the wood. The false wale at the stern had the added challenge of being thicker 1/16x9/32”, and wrapping around a beveled surface, so it needed to be spiled. The pattern wasn’t hard, and I was able to reuse it for the 1/8x1/16” rub rail that went over it. I made a beveled bending jig that matched the shape and angle of the stern. Biggest challenge was clamping the piece while gluing in place. Would have been much easier to install the two stern trim strips prior to planking the deck, when clamping would have been very easy. I think I used every clamp I have ever accumulated when gluing the trim strips in place. The 1/16” square pear trim strip around the cockpit combing turned out to be the biggest challenge. Dry heat worked OK for the fore piece. I had saved the aft piece for last thinking it would be the easiest, but the two bends were the most acute, and the pear kept breaking. That was when I finally tried soaking the wood prior to using the heat gun. I really wish I had tried this at the beginning- it was like magic. Not only did the wood bend without breaking, but once dry it had much less memory and did not try to spring back to its original position. I put the first coat of wipe on poly on the deck, which highlighted glue spots I had missed sanding away. Getting the curved pieces all clamped into place was challenging, and frequently I got glue spots. It is easy to sand it away, but because it dries clear, some of it wasn’t visible until I tried to put finish over it. This is somewhat of a milestone with an essentially completed hull and bowsprit. Mast, boom, gaff, rudder, stand, and rigging to go. I need to sort out a stand next. There weren’t real options for hiding mounting bolts in the flat hull. I don’t anticipate needing to transport the ship once finished, so I will probably build some sort of cradle and not fasten the boat in place.
  2. Hi Michael - I almost bought one of those. How does it work with really fine dust? Most of my hard to control dust is from thickness sanding, where the dust is really fine and ends up clogging the filter on the shop vac I use with the sander. I was worried that if I got the Festool vacuum I would end up having to add the $300 festool dust separator. I ended up getting a cyclone dust devil, which takes care of dust extraction, but is really inconvenient because I have to move the shop vac and cyclone from machine to machine. Are you having to clean the Festool filter frequently? If it worked for all my sanding, I might still get one. Even if it works for everything else but the thickness sander, might still make sense. Right now if I'm milling wood strips I end up setting the cyclone and shop vac up on the planer, then band saw, then thickness sander, then Byrnes saw. Would be way easier with a single extractor than the cyclone/vacuum combo. If need be, I guess I could leave the cyclone attached to the thickness sander and use the festool for everything else. My wife got a bunch of HEPA air filters for the house when I developed a chronic cough. I have one in the shop. It does help for the airborne stuff, but wouldn't be near adequate on its own. Way easier to have direct dust extraction to the sawdust generating machines than trying to get everything with a vacuum cleaner after. It has seemed to cut the airborne dust when it is time to do finish work. I wear a mask while sanding/painting, but nice to know the dust is taken care of when a mask isn't otherwise necessary. Dave
  3. Sorry about your accident. I used to use my 10" table saw to slice billets, but got scared away prior to having an accident. I got a 10" bandsaw with a resaw blade. Still pretty frightening, but relatively speaking, feels way safer than the table saw. Between that big exposed table saw blade raised way up, potential kickback, and trying to rip two foot lengths of fairly narrow boxwood and pear which involved push sticks close to the blade, just felt dangerous. Much easier to rip short pieces with the bandsaw, and the kerf is narrower, so less waste. Only time I cut myself bad enough for stitches was on the Byrnes saw with the tilting table. Another tool to be wary of. Your build is going great! tremendous work Dave
  4. Michael - looking forward to seeing Cheerful develop, but I'm a little disappointed. Was hoping there might be another Echo cross section in the works. I've added the deck beams and ripped and sanded the scale 4" (1/16"x1/4" actual) deck planks. I got a 6" wahuda jointer, and this was the first trial. Took a few nights to get it dialed in, but it made cutting the planks a lot easier. In the past I haven't had an easy way to get a completely flat side on the billet prior to thickness sanding. With the jointer I was able to have two completely flat, perpendicular sides to my billet, and it took under a minute. I only had to thickness sand one side to get the billet to 1/4". Made ripping the planks much easier, and had straighter planks with less blade marks to sand.
  5. Moab and Michael - thanks!! Michael - did you decide what you are starting now that the Queen Anne Barge is complete? I installed all the pieces I have been making over the last month or so. The centerboard and housing, stem, thwarts, and removable flooring are now in place. I’m still not doing as well with metal blackening as I’d like, but I’ll be displaying the centerboard retracted, so none of the problem areas are visible. I’ve also made the deck beams, and hope to post pictures of the beams and bowsprit bitts installed shortly.
  6. I put a coat of wipe-on poly on the inner surfaces that won’t be glue joints. I also sanded out the curved stern. I left way too much excess on the bottom planking overhang. It took a while to sand flush. I didn’t include pictures, but I’ve also put finish on the removable flooring, thwarts, and centerboard housing. Project for the weekend is the metal work for the centerboard. Once that is done, I can install all the innards and start working on the deck. The two wooden strips along the centerboard housing are the shoes. They are on the plans and mentioned as one of the components of the centerboard housing, but I missed them until now. Clamping would have been a little easier if I had installed them before the side planking.
  7. I just noticed how long it had been since I had updated the log. The basement work got finished in a few weeks- my wife would be an excellent contractor and got the floor people in the day the asbestos people finished. I got side tracked by finishing a Wingnut Wings Ninak that had been on the bench for months, then built the new Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mark I to try to fix some of my airbrush skill deficiencies. I kept picking away at the Sharpie a few minutes at a time a few times a week, which eventually turned into some progress. I finished the centerboard and centerboard housing and thwarts. I installed the deck clamps and framing. I decided to use swiss pear to have a little contrast to the boxwood. Most of the framing and clamps will be invisible when the deck is installed. I also completed the curved stern. For anyone trying to build from the instructions, there are a couple areas to be careful of. Dimensions of the wood in the text is different than the plans. If you are building using stock wood, use the dimensions in the text. If you are milling your own, use the dimensions in the plans, which are more to scale. The instructions say to fit the upper frame after the stern planks have been glued in place. They have two planking options, one of which uses a bent strip to guide the outer surface, the other which installed the planks without a form. Building this way worked for the authors, but looked harder than it needed to be. I installed the upper framing and planked over it. It made planking really easy, and made sure that the stern followed the same shape as the plans.
  8. Gilmer wood sells ebony as small pieces of lumber and instrument sizes (https://www.gilmerwood.com/search/results?utf8=✓&q=ebony). I've never seen anyone sell as milled strip wood. It is very expensive, but model ships don't require very much. Dyed holly and boxwood look tremendous, but not exactly the same as ebony. I've used it on wales, deadeyes, spars, deck furniture, and trim. The dust is a pain, but can be managed with a mask and good vacuum. It is harder to work with than other woods, but mostly just needs power tools and really sharp hand tools. The biggest challenge is bending - usually requires laminating thin strips, multiple repetitions of heat, and lots of broken pieces and swearing. In small amounts, I think the appearance is worth the extra work. I can't imagine what it would be like to try planking a whole model.
  9. You seem to have some extra pieces or a different model than I have. Mine is definitely a Preac.
  10. Hi Jim - The house is a 1914 row house. We bought it 2 years ago and did a down to the studs remodel including replacing all the knob and tube wiring. The basement floor was one of the things we put off when we decided we'd gone far enough down the slippery slope, and it was time to stop. The asbestos got missed (or maybe ignored) by multiple inspectors and contractors. Both are things we genuinely regret not taking care of when the house was empty and crawling with contractors.
  11. John - thanks! My build is on hold for about a month. We found some asbestos in the basement that needed removal. Needed to clear everything out of the whole basement (first floor of the house is a nightmare with everything moved upstairs). In the interest of never having to do this again, we are having the 60 year old peeling floor tile removed from the rest of the basement and the floor painted. Asbestos is done, and the tiles are up and concrete getting patched. Hoping the paint goes down this week so we can move all the stuff downstairs and set the workshop back up soon. Will be a month from starting to take things down to being moved back in. Has made me appreciate how important getting into the workshop a few minutes each day is for my mental health, especially during COVID. On the bright side, I've never been more academically productive, and have quite a few of my work projects finishing and getting submitted for publication.
  12. Looks like we were posting at the same time Congratulations on your son completing his Eagle project - that is a huge accomplishment! My son was an Eagle Scout, too. Dave
  13. I can't speak to Triton, but Echo was a great project. The framing seemed to cover all the different frame types that I will need to make for the full ship model I hope to build someday. My build took eons because I did two house moves and have a job a lot like yours, not because there was anything overly difficult about the model. David and Greg were incredibly helpful, and there seems to be a lot more reference material (TFFSM in particular) for Echo than Triton. Echo is just different enough from Swan class that it felt like there was adequate reference material, but not quite straight out of the book building. The monograph is really helpful. Unless you really like building cross sections, not sure there would be a lot of incremental learning in building both Triton and Echo. Dave
  14. Small update. I've built the rudder log and lower stern framing, mast step, and removable floor boards. Nothing has finish on it yet. Not sure where they grey tinge in the wood in the pictures is coming from.
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