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    San Antonio, TX

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  1. Hello Greg. Thanks for checking in. I've been working on the wales and have them finished. As I mentioned previously, I wanted to use ebony but it was just too difficult to bend the bow planks without breaking them so I used African Pear instead and then stained them with ebony Varathane. I've started the planking below the wales but realized I need to figure out the transom before I add additional rows. I left the wales and the first row of planking long then trimmed down to the level of the cabin. Below that the lower transom planking needs to but against the
  2. Sinan, Mark, and Greg, thanks for the kind words. Sinan, the only plans I'm using is the Hunt & Lavery drawings from their book The Frigate Surprise. Not very detailed but it's a start. I then look at pictures of other Surprise models and some pictures I took of the refurbished ship used in the movie Master and Commander. Funny story, I talked my wife into a Memorial day trip to San Diego so we could go to the beach and so I could revisit the Surprise and take some more photos. Unfortunately, the Surprise was not where I expected. It was in the yard somewhere for refurbishing. Dang it!
  3. I've been working on the stem, stern, and keel. It was time to get serious so I bought a Sherline 8 axis milling machine. What a difference it makes in fashioning pieces from Rosewood which is like working with steel. I still need to fill, final sand, and stain but I've decided to make the wales from ebony and complete the planking below the wales in rosewood so I'll do the finish work later.
  4. I've been working on the pumps. I decided to make only two pumps since they won't be very visible through the opening in the quarterdeck and I wasn't able to find anything conclusive that told me Surprise would have had more than two. I started with a solid block of basswood and then added planking. For the pump cover I started with a 1/2" dowel, cut it in two and planked it. I used a couple of different woods to provide some contrast. Next I need to work on the pump handles.
  5. Hi David, She's looking really great! I definitely appreciate your log since I'm following a similar path and trying to follow the L&H drawings and find examples to follow. I am curious where you came up with your pump design. There's nothing in L&H to follow and some of the others I've seen are nothing like the ones you built. Thanks, Brian
  6. Hi David, I have also followed your log and really like how your build looks. I agree with you there seems to be numerous interpretations of the stern. I really appreciate the pictures you posted. It gives me some different perspectives. I have been using the Lavery drawings as you mentioned but they really don't have enough detail on the cutouts as you mentioned. Not sure yet what I'll do there. Toni, thanks for the advise. I've completed the upper gun deck planking using the sharpie but I'll switch to the alkyl marker going forward. Here are some shots of the upper deck planking. I
  7. Toni, Thanks for the heads up! I made a test section of planking with the edge's marked with Sharpie and applied some Minwax to it. I don't see any bleeding but I'll keep an eye on it to see if it bleeds over time. Do you have a suggestion for a different method? When I get to the upper deck I'll be more careful. Brian
  8. Installing the decking planks. I didn't really like the way the screw clamps strip in the plywood bulkheads so I built some different clamps. The one that works the best is the spring loaded clamp shown below. It's easy to use with one hand and has adjustable tension. I use a black sharpie pen to lightly rub along the planking edge to simulate the caulking between planks.
  9. I could use some advice on building the pumps. The drawing only shows the stand pipes and not the pump cases so I don't have much to go on. Is there a typical design for this type vessel? Thanks, Brian
  10. I used the boxwood to create the waterways with a couple of joints where they will be visible through the quarter deck. All clamps on deck!
  11. I've completed the ladders to the lower deck and installed them. I used the Byrnes table saw to cut the grooves for the steps. The blade on the saw cuts a kerf about 0.8mm so I used the thickness sander to get the right thickness for the steps to match the grooves. I also installed the hatch covers and applied natural Minwax to all. I'll install railings and ring bolts after I finish the deck planking.
  12. The wood I am using for this build is Central American Rosewood, African Pearwood, and Guatambu (boxwood substitute) I ordered from Woodworkers Source which was one of the resources in the forum for materials. The wood they sent is very nice with straight grain. I would recommend them to others. I've started cutting planking for the upper deck (middle deck really, the quarter deck is above the upper deck). I'm using the Pearwood for the planking and the Byrnes table saw and thickness sander is ideal! Wish I had bought them years ago. I applied natural Minwax to each of the woods
  13. I added the upper deck frames by marking the deck according to the profile plans and then gluing curved plywood deck beams to the bulkheads. I started aft and worked forward adjusting a bit as I went using thick planking to make sure each beam was aligned. Next I built out the transom framing. The outer frames I shaped to match the framing forward of them so I can plank back to them. The cabin is curved and you can see the framing curved per the plans. The frames align with the lights. I left them long when I built them because I still wasn't sure how th
  14. Hi folks, I've decided to start a build log so I can share with folks that ask about my latest ship model. This will be HMS Surprise 100% scratch (if I can) built. It will be stained with no or very little painting. I've already made a couple of errors so I just assume that Dr. Materin has been doing some refitting after buying her out of the service. The build is single plank on bulkhead. We'll see how that goes. This is my third build after Armed Virginia Sloop and Niagara so I expect some challenges. Just bought a Byrnes table saw and thicknesser and plan to purchase a lathe
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