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About jlefever

  • Birthday October 1

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  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests
    Many - Life in all its complexity and beauty.

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  1. Bill, The decking looks really neat and crisp. I can see why there would be a question about it's finish and like you referred to Chapelle when deciding how to finish mine. In the end I couldn't bear to cover the all the planking with paint so decided on what I suspect is a pretty non historic approach. I painted the outboard deck edges following the profile shown on the plans and applying a light stain / clear finish to the balance. Keep up the good work. Jim
  2. Thanks for the note and thumbs up. The plow blade was formed from a fairly light gage aluminum sheet. It looked tricky but went relatively easily. I did a handful of wood "craftsman" kits back in the day and enjoyed building them. I think my relative success with these kits ultimately gave me the courage to tackle wood ship kits. At least when I opened my first wood ship "kit" and found a box of un-formed sticks, I didn't immediately panic.
  3. Wow, that's a memory, the snow plow that is. Built that kit about twenty years ago. Still have it, a bit dusty and missing the brake wheel but I feel like it came out OK. Those old wood kits could be a lot of fun in the days before laser cutting simplified things. Jim
  4. Looking really sharp. Nice paint work and the blocks and baggywrinkle work very well. You're on your way to a real beauty. Jim
  5. Really nice model. Looks like a great kit but also a lot of nice craftsmanship. Jim
  6. A Rudder for the Doves The first challenge in hanging a rudder, making a set of tiny gudgeons and pintles. Even at quarter inch scale, they wouldn’t be big but could I make them work? In previous models I had simulated these bits of hardware with nonfunctional paper or brass straps. For the Dove the goal was a closer representation of the real thing. Here’s where I ended up. Figure 15‑1 - Gudgeons and pintles These tiny hardware bits are smaller than they appear in this image. The graph paper on which they sit is divided into 1/10th inch squares and the straps fit snuggly on 1/8” thick stern post material. I made them by soldering fine brass tubing onto brass strips which were then drilled and bent into shape. The pintles were of similar construction with a bit of brass wire added to make the pin. The strips are 1/16” wide and .017” thick. The pintles swing freely in their gudgeons. The Tiller In order to achieve the tiller’s characteristic curve wood blanks were steamed and pressed into shape as they cooled and dried. Figure 15‑2 - Forming the Tiller From time to time, I’m actually smart enough to guard against adversity by making an extra and sure enough this time one of the blanks cracked as it was receiving the final shaping. The rudder parts laid out When I laser to cut the keel, stem and stern posts I also cut a rudder blank for each Dove. Here the gudgeons and pintles are dry fitted to the rudder blank and the newly formed tiller is set approximately in place. The tiller still needs a bit of carving and to be cut and glued into the rudder stock. The various hardware bits also remain to be trimmed and glued in place. They look quite a bit smaller in this image than they did in the initial image for this section. Figure 15‑3 - Dry Fitting the Rudder Parts Like the stern post, the rudder has an impressive rake. Thinking about the angle of the rudder it was hard for me to visualize the way the tiller would swing. Here the rudder is dressed up, fitted to the stern post is glued in place on the framed Dove. Figure 15‑4 – The Rudder in place. Figure 15-5 - Rudder in place seen from above. In addition to mounting the rudder, a curved beam has been attached to the stern rails to support the main boom horse. The rudder is movable and the curve and location of the beam and horse allows the tiller to swing from rail to rail. There is also a smaller horse for the fore mast in front of the main. They are made of nickel wire. The rudders were a fun project. Jim
  7. With the major task of planking behind me the next few posts will jump around a bit as I figure out how to add additional detail to my projects prior to rigging. Today it's belaying pins. I think perhaps due to her size the Dove's pins are smaller than typical but as is often the case I started with Chapelle and his book on fishing boats. There I found a detail of a typical belaying pin on which I based my work. So far I haven't bought any premade parts. My pins would not be the first. I had two problems, first with the rails only a foot above the deck - pins of the length shown in Chapelle would have fouled the deck. A standard handle with shorter shaft would have to do. Second, without the tools to turn metal or tiny wood parts I needed an approach within my skill set. I settled for composite pins. I started with 1/16" square basswood sticks into which I drilled and epoxied brass rod. Then, chucked the brass into my Dremel and turned it against a profile filed into the edge of a razor blade. The wood is shaved away until the neck just touches the metal. The finished shaft and neck of the handle are pretty close to a scale 1" dia. A little work on the wire end with a file and a bit of paint and I had what I hoped was a presentable shape. Below are the pins set into the Dove's rail. Fortunately this small vessel didn't call for too many pins. The pins end about three inches short of the deck. Next up will be a way to steer the Dove. Thanks for looking, Jim
  8. Solid Hull bow Progress. At this point the planking was beginning to approach the meet up line as I worked both upward and downward. Figure 14‑8 - Solid Hull Bow Planking Nears Completion You may notice that the planking of the floor up to the turn of the bilge is wider than the planks applied above. This is based on the planking sizes indicated in Chapelle’s scantling section. Similar progress on the starboard side of the framed hull. I’m enjoying the sweep of the planking as it’s developed along the side of these little ships. I’ve probably made a fair number of mistakes but I like this image. One thing I’m feeling pretty good about is the fairing of the framing. So far, the planking has gone on reasonably smoothly and I haven’t found spots where the frames needed to be shimmed or trimmed as I progressed. Figure 14‑9 - Starboard Side Planking - Framed Dove Standing tall in the stocks, the solid hull Dove nears completion. Figure 14‑10 - Only a Few Planks to Go Finished up. Figure 14‑11 Solid Hull - Planked In the previous view, the solid hull model is planked and looks to my eye, quite ship shaped. At this point the cutwater has been fixed to the stem further enhancing the ready for the water effect. The following image shows the Framed Dove. You can’t quite see it but she’s completely planked on the starboard side. What you see on the port side is pretty much what she will get there. Figure 14‑12 - Framed Dove - With All the Planking She'll Get There are lots of fiddly things to do yet but I have to say planking these two models was very rewarding. It felt good going on and I think looks pretty good finished. I tell myself that this is due to the planning in the early stages of the project but luck and the use of thin (near scale thickness) materials were also important factors. The next sections will cover additional details added to the Doves prior to starting rigging.
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