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About genericDave

  • Birthday 12/18/1973

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    Austin, TX

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  1. Gregory, I wish I knew We've got a 5 month old baby that is eating up all of my free time. I've got the gun carriages made, and I know how I'm going to mill the window frames for the transom (just haven't actually sat down and done the work). I'm currently stalled on getting the bulwarks planked, and have been for months. I'm not using the kit's material, so I need to cut strips for the planking. Can't run the Byrnes saw when the kiddo is home, so I haven't been able to make the strips for planking. But after seeing Toni Levine's presentation at this year's NRG conference in New Bedford, I'm considering using her approach for the planks (which is also what she covers in the NRG's Half Hull Planking Project). This was one of many things I picked up at this year's conference. I've always cut strips, then bent and trimmed them to try and get something close to an accurate shape. The planking project's approach doesn't require cutting a bunch of strips, and instead creates accurate planks from sheet stock with a knife blade. That's quiet and can be done while the baby is sleeping
  2. I'm currently procrastinating on my Model Shipways Fair American build. After finishing my last build, I strongly considered the Syren but went with the Fair American just to be 'different'. I've built a few Model Shipways kits, and I hate to say it, but their Fair American kit isn't quite up to par with their other kits. I think it is just the age of the kit and the revisions that have been made over the years. The plans are mix-matched and less 'clean' than other kits, and the instructions are kind of limited. I've run into numerous issues with the castings and some issues with the plans just being 'off.' I had to mill my own parts for gun carriages (the kit parts weren't usable and didn't match the plans), had to rework the size of the gun ports (plans were a little off), and currently I'm scratch building all the window frames for the transom because the provided castings are horribly malformed. Overall, I think the Fair American is great if you want to "make it up as you go", scratch building some parts, etc. It is a great subject that gives you a lot of room to be creative (being a model-of-a-model, you can add your own interpretation), but the kit itself needs some work. If you're looking for a complete, ready-to-go kit with great plans and instructions, I'd recommend the Syren. Even though it is a more advanced build, I think it would be easier overall since you won't have to solve the problems with the Fair American kit and there are a LOT more resources here on MSW to refer to for the Syren.
  3. Just booked my trip for the conference! Excited about the line up and the chance to meet everyone in person!
  4. Thanks for all the quick responses! @jimbyr, I was seriously just going to email you and ask what to order, but I rarely post outside of my build logs so I was trying to get my post count up That was one of the blades I was focusing on, so it sounds like one I definitely need. @Jaager, I am considering just getting a small selection of blades while I'm at it, and doing some trial-and-error to learn the differences. I'm still working on sourcing the wood (thinking I'll get the boxwood from Chuck, because I want to support when I can, but if I want other woods like some Swiss pear, I need to find a source), and I might end up with some varying thicknesses if I go with a local source (turns out we have 2-3 specialty wood dealers in Austin, Texas...who knew). I've also got a bunch of samples of different woods that I ordered earlier this year (in anticipation of starting to work with higher quality materials), so I'll be well equipped to do some trial runs. @Moab, I keep hearing/seeing recommendations for the slitter blades, so I think I definitely need to add at least one to my little workshop-in-a-closet. I think Jim's helpfulness is obvious given that he was the first reply in this thread I can't imagine better customer service than I've seen from Byrnes. @mtaylor, That is an excellent pdf. It has a lot of the advice I've seen around the forums in one convenient place. Already added it to my library of saved docs I also got a copy pm'd to me from another member. I think I've read it 3-4 times now, and I learn something new every time. So, assuming I grab the 3" 90 tooth .03 kerf blade Jim recommends, are there a couple other blades I should grab at the same time to get me 'covered' with a good set of blades?
  5. I'm going to attempt to cut my own planks for my current build since my puppy ate the material that came with my kit. I've found a lot of great info by going through all the threads here and in the wood forum. I found this thread particularly helpful: byrnes table saw questions. I feel like the resources on this site (including the PDFs in the Articles Database) have given me a great start on all the various tips and tricks. Aside from finalizing my wood selection, I only have one thing left to figure out... I'm considering buying a new table saw blade, and wanted to ask for suggestions on which one to get. I have a Byrnes table saw with the stock 4in carbide blade. I've successfully made test planks using this down to 1/32" thick from boxwood and swiss pear, and the results are certainly good enough to use. But I've read that a slitting blade will improve the finish, and that a blade with less kerf will waste less wood. Since wood isn't cheap (and is getting harder to source with various vendors shutting down temporarily or permanently), making the most from each board is very appealing. However, I saw that if you go too thin on the blade, it might bend or warp when it heats up. But when I go look at the blades available on the Byrnes site, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I see blades with a .04 kerf, .03 kerf, and .02 kerf. I'm also seeing all kinds of different teeth numbers. I'm also not sure if using a 3" or 4" blade will matter with what I'm cutting. So my question is: If I'm going to be cutting planks from wood up to about 3/16" thick (probably things like boxwood or swiss pear, with maybe a little cherry or such), which blades from Byrnes would you suggest? (List of what they offer is here.) I know I can get blades from a variety of places, but I'd prefer to stick with ordering from Byrnes because I need to order a draw plate anyway, and I've been really happy with their product and want to continue to support them whenever I can. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
  6. Thanks Michael! I'm using an little cart designed for storing rolled architectural plans for the wood. I got some clear plastic tubes, and sorted all the wood based on the largest dimension into the tubes and label them. I did a similar thing for my assorted brass strips and tubes. The cart has wheels, so I can pull it around as needed. When I need wood or brass of a certain size, I can pull that tube and drop it on the bench. Helps to keep all the various things sorted, but accessible. Someday I plan to replace the cart with a custom-built wood 'thing' with slots for all the tubes. It's not elegant or pretty, but it makes it easy to keep a lot of wood sorted and close at hand.
  7. I wish I had room for a setup like Michael's! Maybe in our next house...but for now, I did just give my work area a bit of an upgrade... I think I've posted my work bench before...it is in the corner of my home office. Since it is right off the main hall and visible from the kitchen, I'm required to keep it presentable It's abnormally clean right now because I've been slowly working on rigging, which doesn't make much of a mess. Over the last year or so, my collection of power tools has been growing quickly. When it was just a Proxxon drill press, it was fine to keep it under the table and move it to the bench when needed. As my collection grew to include a Proxxon mill and scroll saw, I grew tired of constantly moving the machines around. So I cleared off a shelf in a walk-in closet, ran a plug strip in there, and used the tools in there. Over the last couple of weeks, I upgraded the mill to a Sherline, and I added a Byrnes table saw. Both of these are too big to fit on the narrow shelf in my closet, so I decided to go all the way and turn the closet into a mini-workshop. The closet is about 5' x 5', and has built in shelves on three walls. I cleared everything out of the closet that wasn't model-related. I put in two sets of tall wire drawers for storage. Then I made a simple L-shaped wood bench top to fit the space. It is deep enough to handle all the tools, and sits right on top of the drawer units and the existing shelf (no permenant modifications to the closet were made). I added a little bit of LED lighting, run to a switch right inside the door. Now that I had a home for the Sherline, I was finally able to mount the DRO readout and get the wiring cleaned up. I also have enough room to keep my Proxxon mill set up, which is about 3/4 done being converted to CNC. Dust hasn't been a huge problem when I've used the drill or mill in here (given the small nature of the parts), but it will be a problem with the table saw. I'm planning to pick up a shop vac and stash it in the corner. It's not much, but for me, this is a big upgrade!
  8. Kurt, The t-slots on the Sherline are closer together than on the Proxxon, so I can only get one bolt in to secure the Proxxon's rotary vise (and I think I'd need two to ensure its square). The Sherline only has two t-slots on the included table, so I could probably solve this with a tooling plate for the Sherline (which has 3 t-slots), but at this point I think I'd rather just invest in the Sherline rotary table and a tilting table since those are MUCH more versatile.
  9. While working on the rigging for my Bluenose build, I've started prepping the workbench for the next build...restocking supplies, etc. My MicroMark table saw died while making some jewelry displays for my wife, so she agreed to let me buy a Byrnes table saw to replace it. Night and day difference from the MircroMark saw. This thing feels solid and precise. I went with the extended fence and a micro meter. I also pulled the trigger on upgrading my mill. I've been using a Proxxon MF70 for the last year. I originally went with the Proxxon because I wasn't sure how much I'd use it, and I wanted to try doing a CNC conversion on it, so going with something less expensive made sense. I've ended up using the mill a TON, so I took the plunge and upgraded to a Sherline 5410 with DRO (Package A). The Sherline will be my general purpose manual mill, handling the bulk of the work, and the Proxxon will be converted to CNC for 'playing around'. (I got the controllers and motors working last year for the Proxxon CNC conversion, but held off on mounting the motors to the mill because once you do, you can't manually control it with the hand wheels). I wasn't going to get the Sherline for a few more months, but I was following Thistle17's thread about mills and couldn't help myself. If my wife asks why I had to buy another mill now, I'm blaming Thistle17. Still need to pick up a rotary table for the mill...I was waiting to see if the rotary vise from my Proxxon would fit on the Sherline (it doesn't). Both machines arrived within a day of each other, and I feel like my shop just took a major leap forward. Now I just have to learn how to use the Sherline properly, figure out all the bits and pieces, and rework my 'wood shop in a closet' to have room for the new tools.
  10. Very nice! I love seeing these plane builds on the forum. I built this kit back in 2014 (it was my entry into wooden kit modeling, which eventually led me to building ships). Your engine and propeller look great!
  11. Hey Joe! I ordered it from Amazon - here's a link, but it is probably available from a bunch of craft retailers. It is called a '1 Step Looper', and is made by Bead Smith (found under the 'tools' section on their website).
  12. Hey Jesse - I ordered the tweezers off Amazon. They are 'Pixnor' brand - about $12 USD for the whole set. I've been pretty happy with them over the last few days. For the cost, they are really solid (my biggest complaint with tweezers is when they 'flex'). I just received this special little tool that makes eye bolts. I saw it in a big-box craft store last week and it looked interesting, so I went home and looked it up, then ordered it off Amazon for $20. You stick a piece of wire in, and in one motion it cuts, bends, and shapes an eye bolt. The 1.5mm version creates eye bolts that look almost identical to the ones provided with my Model Shipways Bluenose kit. Making an eye bolt with this takes under 5 seconds, and they are very, very consistent. The tool is made by 'Bead Smith'. This is their smallest version at 1.5mm. They also have 2.25mm and 3.0mm versions. The longer eye bolt is the one created with the tool, the shorter one is from my kit.
  13. I've received a few things this week...all centered around starting the last phase of my Bluenose build (masting and rigging). Now that the ship is about to get a lot taller, I needed a place to put it when I want it off the workbench. So I went ahead and ordered the bookcase that I've been eyeing for a while. This short bookcase will be the final home for the Bluenose once it is finished. Matched to the rest of my home office furniture (I've had the tall one for a few years). (Still need to install the lighting...that's on order.) Also received a new set of tweezers, which probably wouldn't be exciting for anyone other than us Nothing fancy, but I noticed while rigging my bowsprit that all my existing tweezers are getting pretty worn. This new set should hold me over for a build or two. And last, I received the set of tiny brass bolts I ordered from Model Motorcars. These fit perfectly into a hole drilled with a #69 drill bit, and I'll be using them to secure shackles while rigging my Bluenose.
  14. I haven't used a sanding sealer, but I pretty much always use a lacquer based primer on everything I'm going paint, but I think it depends on the effect you're looking for. I use acrylic paints (water based), and find that without a primer, the paint tends to raise the wood grain a bit. So, things that are painted without primer look very 'wood-y' and show their grain. When use primer (and sand after the primer dries), I get a much smoother finish (often showing no wood grain). I like that really smooth look so I always use primer. The primer I use is Tamiya Liquid Surface Primer (grey), and it goes on very thin. So thin that it won't fill any holes, and any defects in the wood still show up. Since it is lacquer based it is a bit of a pain to clean up (can't be cleaned with water), but the results I get are worth it. I used it on the hull of my Phantom and Bluenose builds, but I think it really comes down to personal preference.
  15. I do all the painting I can with an airbrush (I'm horrible at hand painting), and I've run into the same problem. I use the tape method you described many times. Another technique I use quite a bit is to drill a small hole in the bottom of the piece and glue in some thin brass rod. I leave the rod long, and use that to hold the piece during painting. Once painting is done, I trim the rod down. Often I leave a little bit of the rod and use it as a 'post' to help secure the piece more firmly on the ship. I also have a few small pieces (4x6 inches) of that generic white acoustic ceiling tile you find in a lot of offices - it makes a great board to stick pieces into during painting. (The brass rod I glue onto the piece kinda acts like a push-pin.). I bought one ceiling tile at a hardware store several years ago for under $5 and have just been cutting small pieces off as needed. I normally flip the ceiling tile over and use the unfinished 'back', and lay some wax paper over it.

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