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About mbp521

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    Far North Texas

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  1. Gary, Thank you for the kind comments, glad to have you following along. USS Cairo has long been a fascination of mine and I always wanted to build her. It’s just taken a long time to gain the skills to take on a scratch build like this. Thanks to this forum and all of the helpful members on it, I finally decided to jump on in. I figured that what’s the worse that could happen, someone points out something I did wrong and I have to redo it? Oh well, just hones my skills. I appreciate the useful info on modeling supplies, I’ll definitely add New England Brownstone to my favorites folder. I’m always on the lookout for good sites to shop from. I have the feeling that if all goes well with this build, it may not be the last one. -Brian
  2. Eric, I'm with Steven on this one. I'd say that given the long slender design of this hull, a frame is the way to go. Why risk it when a little extra work will pay off in the end. -Brian
  3. Eric, Thinking about it, the printed paper method might just be the right idea. Most of it will be hidden under the boilers anyway. With the exception of the ash pit, I may just do that then shape and paint the ones that will be seen. No sense in going through a big expense for something that won’t really be seen. -Brian
  4. Thank you Roger. During my research on these boats I’ve read that they were notoriously hard to control. One reason being the small rudder size and the other being the placement of the paddle wheel in relation to the rudders. These factored in with swift river currents probably made it a task that only seasoned pilots could manage. By the way, I’m curious as to the name of the book you are referring to. I’m always up for reading up more on Vicksburg and the campaigns of these boats. -Brian
  5. Thanks Keith. A little bit of extra work but it sure helps keep everything in line. If I ever do another scratch build, this will be the first thing I build. -Brian
  6. Hello again Everyone, So I managed to get the build jig set up this past week, and in hindsight I realized that I should have done this from the beginning. It sure makes lining everything up so much easier. I didn't take any pictures of its construction, I guess I was just excited to get to building it and completely forgot about taking them. Anyway, basic construction was two sheets of 1/4" MDF with 1"x4"s cut to length and sandwiched between them the height of the hull. I then tuned the hull over, traced out it's profile and cut that out. I then lined up the Bob Hill plans (yes, I used these, but first I made sure that the framing stations lined up with the HSR ones and they did perfectly) with the hull opening, taped it in place then marked all of the frames. This is where I started taking the pictures. Oh, and I went into town and had the scaled plans printed so that I didn't run the risk of the ones I printed and taped together throwing my frame lines out of whack. Next I installed the pedestal mounts in the hull so that I could secure it to the jig. I for the mounts I used these 1/4" threaded inserts that you drill the pilot hole and insert with an Allen wrench. These things were pretty cool. I like them better than using T-nuts because if they strip out, you can replace them without tearing apart the model. Drilling the pilot hole. Installing the insert. Testing the fit with the temp screws that I am going to use to hold the boat in place while it is in the jig. And the whole setup in place. The red lines are every fifth frame, as called out on the plans. I then went in and marked all the rest of the frame lines in black so I have a perfect reference for all of the frames. Also, as you can see by my simulated nail lines, The stations gradually migrated out of line with the frame stations. This was where I was having trouble keeping things lined up and prompted me to build the jig. Lesson learned. Luckily most of these won't be seen since they will be hidden by cannons or the Officers Quarters. Now that this part is done, it's time to move on to finishing the gun deck framing and planking. First frame in place. And now they can be lined up where they are supposed to be. First frame going in. A few more frames in place. All frames in place. The wider frames have knee braces mounted to their undersides. These will be installed once the boat is removed from the building jig. Aft planking going in. And finally, the engine holds cut out, the deck all sanded and four coats of wipe-on poly applied. Things ought to start moving along a little better now that I have the build jig as a guide to work off of. I am going to start work this week on the boilers and getting the brickwork laid down in the boiler hold. Haven't quite figured out how I am going to do the bricks yet. I've seen several methods in different builds from powdered mixes to cutting small pieces of wood and painting them up. Not real sure yet, but I am open to any suggestions to other methods used that might be easier. Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for looking. -Brian
  7. One can only wonder how odiferous that could get within the closed confines of Iron Clads. I guess eventually you would get used to it. -Brian
  8. Kurt, Thank you for the information. Out of curiosity, I went to the Howard Museum website looking for the books you referenced. Is there a specific link to them or do you have to email them for information? -Brian
  9. Hello all, I’d like to pose a question to some of the experts out there about boiler construction. Since there isn’t a whole lot of documentation on the construction of the City Class Iron Clads, a lot has been open to interpretation and research on the remains of the USS Cairo. Since these boats incorporated a lot of techniques from standard Steamboats I was wondering about how the hulls or decks were protected from the heat of the boilers and fire boxes. Going by the build of my Chaperon, the boiler was constructed with legs that supported the boiler tubes and there was an ash pit at the front of the fire boxes that I can only assume was brick lined to protect the wooden deck from hot embers that would escape while shoveling coal in. However, there were really no details on what was beneath the boiler tubes. In one build that I ran across there are pictures of what looks like a shallow pit with a some sort of substrate filled in to keep the heat from the wood planks below it. Was this a standard practice, or were other methods used like brick lining or something else? One other thought was that the entire boiler assembly was wrapped in asbestos blankets, but again I am not sure of the methods used during this time period and my guess is that whatever materials were readily available at the time were used. And given the fact that the recovered boilers from Cairo didn’t show any evidence of blanketing, this may not have been the case. I’ve studied the pictures of the USS St. Louis build going on, but it’s hard to make a determination as to what they have come up with, since most of the pictures of the boilers show it off the boat or already installed. Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated. -Brian
  10. Patrick, Coming along nicely. You are definitely right, this hull is so much easier to build and plank than the full rigged ships. -Brian
  11. Tim, Thanks for the update. Things are coming along. This is an absolutely beautiful build. I recently started work on my scratch built USS Cairo and have been using this build as a guide. Y’alls research on this really helps answer many of the questions and roadblocks that I have been running into trying to get it right. -Brian
  12. Eric, I agree with your assumption, the slots do not seem to be cut square. Of course with all of the kits I have built all of the parts we cut just perfectly so that everything lines up just right. (Cough, cough). Seriously though, you are right on track with adjusting the slots to enable the centerline of the deck to line up with the keel. None of this will be seen when the planking is in place. -Brian
  13. Dafi, Its simply amazing at the amount of detail you put in such a tiny space. Beautiful work. -Brian

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