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Posts posted by tlevine

  1. Well, I am thrilled that you chose Swallow for your first post.  You picked up on my bad typing skills;  it should have been 0.021"  I use BBQ skewers and saw them into quarters on a Preac saw with a 0.016" slitting blade.  I then pull these through a Byrnes drawplate.  Since you are new to the hobby, the Preac is a small table saw which is no longer made.  I use it for fine work rather than a Byrnes saw.  Less likely to cut my fingers off!  This is a picture comparing the two saws that was taken from Mini Sourthern Millworks December 2014 blog.




  2. Please take a look at both Chuck's and David Antscherl's tutorials on planking.  Although they do not exactly fit your situation, you will learn why you are in trouble.  These are located in the Articles Database seen at the top of the page.  Even though you are not spiling the planks (custom shaping each plank to conform to the shape of the hull), you still need to divide the hull into "belts" containing 4-5 rows of planks.  It should be obvious that the planks at the bow are more narrow than the ones amidship and the ones at the stern are wider.  The change in width from fore to aft will be different in each of the planking belts.  The planks at the bow will need to be tapered and you may need to use a "drop plank".  At the stern you will need to add a "stealer".  


    Don't fall into the trap of "this is the first layer of planking and no one will see it".  This is your opportunity to see how the run of planking should go so that the second layer is perfect.

  3. JD, the only plans I have are the plans from the RMG.  These would not typically show a planking layout for either the hull or the deck.  In this era, planks were not joggled into the waterway, they way they are on later vessels.  The basic rule is not to allow any plank to narrow by more than 50%.  At the bow and stern, that is accomplished with dropped planks (there is one on either side on this deck) and nibbed plank ends (four fore and two aft).  I could have also laid the deck with an additional dropped plank and fewer nibbed planks.  My biggest problem was that the outermost plank is too wide on the starboard side amidships.  As that will be camouflaged by a cannon, I am not going to risk damaging the rest of the deck and waterway by removing it.  I hope that answers your question. 

  4. I have finished planking the inner bulwarks.  The lower two rows (spirketting) are 3" thick and the three upper rows (quickwork) are 2" thick.  Referring to TFFM, the Swan class spirketting was installed top and butt.  As Swallow was a purchased ship and not necessarily made to RN establishments, I chose simple butt planking instead.  The port openings still need a little work in these photos.  At this point I am torn between finishing the bulwarks with a clear matte finish or paint them.  The model from the RMG shows a clear finish except on the transom, which is red.  However, it also shows gold leaf on the outer edge of the channels!  If I decide to paint the bulwarks, I will not bother with treenails.


    I will be taking a week off for some real life issues; this will give me time to think about the options.  1027357715_InnerBulwark1a.thumb.jpg.dcb92ddfd6e8aab96560a31314ad5125.jpg




  5. Just a quick update.  The deck has been trunneled and sanded.  The trunnels were made from bamboo obtained from barbecue skewers.  They were drawn down to #75 drill bit (0.21") or 1" in full size.  Bamboo was selected because of its subtle effect with the holly decking.  I would have preferred a slightly smaller trunnel, #76 or #77, but my bamboo was too brittle to draw that thin.  And with COVID-19, I simply was not in the mood to shop for another package.  I would be hard pressed to call that an "essential" purchase.  Trunnels are secured to the beams and the ledges.  I went back to the plan and marked the beam locations on the deck.  Then I drew in the presumed locations of the ledges, typically two ledges between each beam.  The picture shows the deck with the trunnels drawn in and dimpled with a fine awl (aft), with the holes bored (between the ladder way and the main hatch), trunnels inserted but not sanded (starboard bow) and finally, sanded down (port side between the two hatches).  The effect is subtle but will be a little more prominent once a finish has been applied.  I still have not decided whether to simply apply a sanding sealer which will help maintain the white color or tung oil which will yellow the planking.  1469510370_Trunnelsstarteda.thumb.jpg.e681e7df9299335b2d4e002c5ef3c8c0.jpg

    I use a needle holder to grasp the trunnel as I insert it.  I do not use any glue.  There is a tight friction fit and the finish will secure them.  The inner bulwark planking is next.




  6. I just tried it and it works correctly.  Starting the process is NOT intuitive.  Go towards the bottom of the page to view the instructions.  Depending on how your Excel is configured, you may need to enable editing and formulas.  Check the top of your screen as you proceed to see if this is necessary.  Once you put in the scale, put in the pertinent dimensions  (upper deck beam length for example) and the rigging numbers are calculated for you.

  7. Thanks for questioning, Bruce.  For the deck planking guide I used TFFM Vol. II.  Although the Swan class is a larger ship, the era is the same.  My biggest concern was whether to use top-and-butt planking for the outer rows.  I chose not to.  There were also a few planks that looks fine until I saw the photos.  One of them is just below Bruce's aft arrow.  This has been corrected.  Now begins the process of marking out the deck for treenails, drilling the holes and inserting the treenails.  The holes will be #76, which corresponds to the third smallest hole on a Byrnes' drawplate.  I almost forgot...I have to make the treenail stock as well.  Hopefully, I can finish that within the week.

  8. The deck planking is complete.  All of the coamings had been temporarily installed.  Once the planking was done, they were removed to facilitate sanding.  These picture were taken before sanding.




    The sanding begins.  I start with 120 grit, followed by 220 and 400.  The deck is then scraped with a fresh razor blade.  There are still some irregularities in the deck but they will be taken care of with final sanding after the treenails are inserted.  The color differences in the decking indicate the high (bright white) and low (yellowish) spots.605213045_Deckcomplete4a.thumb.jpg.be7002a8588917eaaf5cb6dd26ee47ce.jpg

  9. The upper deck planking is 3" thick holly.  The average plank length is 20 feet.  The centerline plank is 12" wide and the average plank width in the center of the ship is 9".  In order to accommodate deck openings, different plank widths were used.  The planks taper fore and aft as the width of the ship narrows.  The narrowest plank width is 6" at the bow and 7.5" at the stern.  In this era, the deck planking was not nibbed into the waterway.  The caulking line is simulated with pencil lead. 


    Already one can see how little of the lower deck will be seen after the entire upper deck is planked.  






  10. The remaining waterway planks were made next.  The best way to do this is to cut the plank a little long on both ends and then scrape the profile into the plank.  The plank is then placed under the previously installed waterway plank and the hook scarf is traced onto the plank.  I cut the scarf undersized using a razor saw and chisels and fine-tuned it with sanding sticks.




    The capstan step has been inscribed to appear as though it is made of three planks.  Each of these "planks" has two treenails fore and aft.



  11. I made of template of the upper deck and drew in the deck openings, furniture, planking and waterway.  Although this took a few hours to complete, it will save a lot of time over the next few weeks.  On the starboard side one can see the four waterway planks.  The deck planks and the locations of the ports are seen on the starboard side.  I decided to taper the planks from the bow to the fore hatch and aft of the main mast.


    Templates were made for the four sections of the waterway.



    Using the same razor blade that has the upper hull molding pattern, I cut out a pattern for the waterway.  The waterway looks like a stair-step; the section that meets the deck planking is 3" thick and the section that meets the inner bulkheads is 4" thick.  The waterway is made from castello.


    The pictures show the foremost sections of the waterway laid onto the deck beams.  Only six more sections to go!


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