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Everything posted by tlevine

  1. The inner upper deck bulwarks were faired to a thickness of 7" using a combination of a Dremel disc sander on a right angle head and hand sanding. The stern fashion pieces were built next. Quite simply, I used several laminations of basswood sheet to fill in the space between the last bulkhead and the counter timbers. These was sanded to the correct configuration. Using basswood made the sanding process much easier than if I had used hardwood or ply. Openings for the gun ports and the oar ports were framed with castello. The forward-most gun and oar ports are located in line with two bulkheads. This required some creative construction. My approach to the problem was to make a continuous filler piece between the first four bulkheads that could be slid in and out to facilitate shaping the inner surface. This was done using several scraps of basswood. It worked out well but it sure looks ugly! This will also give me a solid surface to glue the upper hull planking as it curves toward the stem rabbet. The next oar port also is located through a bulkhead. I glued strips of basswood on either side of the bulkhead and framed the port between them. The rest of the ports were located between bulkheads and did not cause any other problems. In order to maximize my use of the scrap box, the frames were cut from various thicknesses of castello. Once planked over, this variation will not matter.
  2. Lovely work. Count me in on the procrastinator's group. My Echo is still waiting for me to finish her.
  3. Thanks for the hint, Druxey. I realized the problem about 3/4 of the way after I had already redone it once. I promise it will not happen again! Also, thank you to everyone for their likes.
  4. The ship's stove was modeled after the one illustrated in TFFM Vol. 2. Because this area will barely be visible, there is no detail work on the stove. It was made up from basswood sheet and painted with dilute artist acrylics. The metal base is painted paper.
  5. Until this point, I had not decided how much of the lower deck would be visible. My final decision is to have the fore hatch permanently fixed in place and the main hatch cover removed and placed to the side of the hatch. The stairway aft of the main mast will also provide visibility to the lower deck. For this reason, I am building the bulkhead just aft of the capstan spindle. This is the entry to the captain's cabin. The exact configuration is an educated conjecture. A template for the bulkhead was made from paper and the wood strips were glued onto the template. The raised areas are built up with two layers of strips. The windows are painted paper. After I installed the bulkhead, I realized that I did not leave enough room above the doors for them to open without hitting the upper deck beams. So I had to remove the completed bulkhead and remove 4" from the bottom to accommodate that. After reinstalling it, s finishing strip was glued above the assembly. The first two pictures are "before" and the last two are "after" replacing the assembly.
  6. The lower deck planking is 2" x 10" with an average length of 15 feet. I used a four-step butt shift. As this deck will barely be seen, I did not treenail the deck. At this point I had an oh-s*** moment. I inadvertently placed the main hatch too far aft, a distance of one bulkhead. So all of the involved planking and the main hatch were removed. Surprisingly, I did not damage the hatch in the process. The hatch was then installed in its correct location. The hole is the location of the main mast. The holes for the mast and the pumps have been enlarged to their final size and the pad for the base of the capstan is installed in front of the bulkhead leading to the captain's quarters.
  7. I realize it has been a long time since my last post but I will try to be better going forward. The lower deck has a fore and main hatch, a pad for the stove and a pad for the base of the capstan. I do not see any evidence of mast partners on the plans. There are also openings in front of the main mast for the pumps. The hatches are constructed next. Because this is a POB model, the frame construction is simplified from the prototype. A more complete description of hatch construction is located here: The gratings were made first and the frames made to fit the gratings. On a ship of this size, the ledges (the notched part of the grating) were 3.5" x 1" and the battens (the strips that fit into the notches) were 2.5" x 3/4". In order to maintain an even spacing between the notches, I CA'd a strip of wood the same width as the batten onto my Preac. Then, using a blade the same width as the batten (0.05") it was a simple matter to cut the strips of notched wood. I generally use two hands when cutting the notch but needed one hand to take the photo. The pictures show both hatches in position on the paper template. I simulated the treenails in the hatch grating by making a depression with the point of a compass and putting the tip of a sharp pencil in the depression. The pad for the stove was installed next, just in front of the fore hatch. This will be covered with an "iron" plate later.
  8. We all have those moments. We simply try to hide them!
  9. It has been a while since I posted an update but not for inactivity in the workshop. Once the hull was faired, I installed the upper deck clamps. These were made from beech because of its flexibility. This was also a good time to make the upper deck beams. They have a 6" roundup. Only the beams under the deck openings will be visible so these were made from costello; the rest were make from ply. Two of the beams were temporarily installed to prevent rotation of the hull. As mentioned previously, I plan on having the gratings for the hatches removable. The lower deck waterway was installed next. Although the ability so see details on the lower deck diminishes the further you get from the midline, I decided to install waterways and ceiling timbers. All of these were made in costello. However, because the inner hull will barely be seen, these planks were edge-bent rather than spiled. The apparent irregularity in the waterway of the first photo is an optical illusion, as it is not seen in the second photo. I was preparing to install the transom and the counter timbers when nothing started to make sense. I double checked all of my measurements, both against the CAD drawing and the original plans and discovered that although I had done a beautiful job of fairing the outside of the hull, the tumblehome was too great by approximately 4". This left me two options: keep going and simply build a slightly inaccurate hull or laminate extra wood onto the bulkheads and start the fairing process again. The first option was unacceptable to me and so I spent another week undoing my error. The transom/counter timber assembly is next. The transom took only three attempts to get right. My initial attempt was the alarm bell informing me that the fairing was incorrect. My second attempt utilized a transom configuration from my CAD drawing; this was too small. Finally, I took an over-sized piece of basswood, installed it and shaped it based on the curvature of the hull. What I discovered was that the shape of the aft surface of the transom was almost identical to the shape from the CAD drawing. Two brass pins secure it to the backbone. I installed the six counter timbers into slots in the aft bulkheads. Thread is tied between the ribbands to maintain the correct curvature. This will facilitate fabrication of the filler pieces. There is still some fairing to do on both sides but I will hold off on that until the lower deck is completed.
  10. Those perspective drawings would have been nice to have while I was building Atalanta. Beautiful work.
  11. And here I am, looking at going to a warmer climate after retirement. Although this winter in Chicago has been unbelievably warm. Martin, I agree that you are stuck with casing the rigged models. However, If you are going to move them yourself, the enclosure can be made of pegboard or even cardboard. Many years ago I moved cross-country with three fully-rigged models in cases made of cardboard boxes. Aligned along the back seat of our Datsun they gave each other support and prevented tipping.
  12. The figure head looks great. As far as moving the model, I took Atalanta from Chicago to Las Vegas and back for the 2018 Conference without any mishaps. Here is my suggestion... Make a building board which is a few inches wider and longer than the model. Take a look at mine for an example. Drill holes on either side and run wire through the holes and over the top rail (after protecting with with a towel). Tighten the wire and you're done.
  13. This is a link to purchasing the framing plan for a Swan class ship from the Royal Museum Greenwich. This illustrates Druxey's comment that the frames are not all the same width. http://images.rmg.co.uk/?service=asset&action=show_zoom_window_popup&language=en&asset=27396&location=grid&asset_list=11336,11337,11338,16317,34837,34834,34835,27396,34838,34836,24580,20676,21494&basket_item_id=undefined
  14. Looks sweet, Dan. You will eventually use that same sanding disc on the tops of the bulkheads.
  15. It has been a while since I updated the log but installing bulkheads and fairing a hull just is not very exciting. The fist step in permanently installing the bulkeads is making a building board. This will secure the keel so that the bulkheads (hopefully) will be installed plumb and square. I was able to reuse my building board from Atalanta and simply glued Swallow's waterline plan to the board. I secured two strips of wood on either side of the midline with oversize holes to that they could be snugged against the keel. The bulkheads were cut from 1/4" basswood plywood. I plan on constructing the lower deck amidships so the center of bulkheads F through 14 only extend to the level of the lower deck. The other bulkheads extend to the upper deck. The bulkheads were installed using the same technique seen in the half hull project, clamping them to machinist squares. I also keep a small level on the bulkhead while the glue sets. This becomes most important with the bulkheads that only extend to the lower deck; there is only a narrow slot so it is easy to get them out of plumb. Once all the bulkheads were in place, spacers were installed to stiffen the hull in preparation for fairing. I use a combination of techniques to fair the hull, including sanding discs on the Dremel, sanding blocks and files. One thing which is very helpful for the concave surfaces in the stern is rolling sandpaper around one of the rubber sleeves from my spindle sander. Before I owned the spindle sander I would use a shot glass. The key in fairing a hull is taking a lot of breaks. It is too easy (for me at least) to remove too much wood otherwise. On this hull you can see a few places that happened. Those spots were built back up with strips of walnut from the scrap bin. One techniqe I use to check for a fair run is to take strips of masking tape and run them along the hull. Another useful technique is to run a marker along the bulkhead. As the hull approaches fair, the marker is gradually sanded away. At this point I am reasonably satisfied with the shape of the hull. Several of the spacers become loose during the fairing process. Rather than replacing them, I ran a ribband along the hull, gluing it in place and then securing it more with zip ties. The red marks represent the wale and the bottom of the rail. The plans show the gunports extending to the rail but the model shows an additional row of planking above the ports. I have not decided which direction to go at this point. Neither the plans nor the model are "as built" and it was common to add the extra row of planking to help protect the crew.
  16. Doug, any problems will be taken care of with the fairing. Did you apply glue to the part of the frame that touches the plan? That, along with gluing the mating surfaces of the wood, should hold it until you install the filler piece.
  17. This is a kit for beginners and intermediate builders. I designed this kit so almost anyone with a little patience and a few common hand tools could complete it. The only power tools I used was a Dremel but it was not necessary. Yes, it is also a scale planking kit. The ship itself is fictitious but the kit is designed as 1:48 scale. This scale is larger than the "typical" kit scale of 1:96 or 1:72. The larger scale makes it easier to install planks that are the correct width and thickness.
  18. Thanks for all the likes. Mike, I plan on making the cradle. Gregory, the nuns never taught me that relationship...and they were Franciscans.
  19. Jan, thanks for the reference. You are right, the head looks much more like the model, although the model had a figurehead instead of a fiddle head. Zephyr shares the same capstan location as seen on the plans for Swallow (neither of which agree with the model) and there are no gun ports on the transom. I struggled with the whole issue of accuracy for several months before deciding to forge ahead with the project. I guess at this point you could say that I am modeling the plan with the addition of a ladderway (and possibly a companion) and only twelve swivel guns but using the model as inspiration.
  20. Jaager, I hope I do not need too much luck but I am happy to accept good fortune. Seriously, I have not looked at Le Cerf. At one point I toyed with the idea of opening up the midships on one side and installing "real" frames rather than bulkheads, showing the frame notches. I am still thinking about it but do not have to make a final decision for a while since I plan on completing the lower deck before starting planking.
  21. I agree, Greg. That cradle adds a lot to the model. I am using 1/4" basswood plywood for the backbone and bulkheads. The thickness will result in a stronger structure and will give a better gluing surface for the planking. The backbone is made from three pieces and the joints are supported with a strip of scrap. You can see the section between stations F and 16 that will have the lower deck completed. To make cutting the rabbet easier, the upper part was sanded into the backbone before the keel/stem assembly was added. At station O, the angle of the rabbet gradually increases from 45 degrees to 90 degrees and the width therefore becomes more narrow. Just below station FP, where the angle is 90 degrees, the entire width of the rabbet is on the stem. The keel, stem and sternpost are made from costello boxwood. The false keel is pear. The width of the keel is 10.5" based on the RMG plan. This is narrower than the 12.5" dictated in the Establishments but this difference most likely is because Swallow was designed as a merchant cutter, not a military sloop. I do not have any pictures showing the construction sequence, but it is straight forward. The keel was made from three pieces, scarfed together and secured with six bolts. Black paper was inserted into the joints to simulate felt. A 45 degree bevel was cut into the keel from station 14 going forward for the rabbet. Aft of station 14, the deadwood starts and the angle changes. The plan does not show structural details for the stem and I was unable to determine the structure from the model. Based on other ships of this size and era I came up what I feel is a reasonable guess. The width of the stem is 12" at the head, diminishing to 8" at the keel. These joints also have black paper to represent felt. Brass wire was inserted through the inner part of the stem to secure the pieces together. The pictures show the stem before the rabbet was cut. The bottom of the keel is curved fore and aft. In order to keep the hull stable on the building board, I added scrap basswood to the bottom of the false keel. The photo shows a test fit between the backbone and the keel/stem assembly. Although this picture is taken out of sequence, it shows how the keel and stem were bolted together.
  22. Agree with you 100% Dan. I plan on adding fillers in the bow and stern areas to facilitate planking.
  23. Thank you druxey. I only have Winfield. If you notice anything else, let me know.

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