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    Suburban Chicago
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    Fly tying and Trout fishing in my Nirvana, New Zealand.

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  1. Just a brief bit of personal history. My wife passed away suddenly in 2015, after I adjusted to the sudden shock I decided in 2016 I wanted to go to New Zealand fly fishing. My wife, daughter and I had travelled there in 2003 and my daughter and I spent 1/2 day fly fishing and it was a very fond memory. I made the trip in 2016 and only managed to fish with a guide for a few hours before pain and exhaustion forced me to quit. I returned home and after several weeks of testing was diagnosed with cancer. I had 6 months of chemo, lost considerable weight and was in a wheelchair for a while. I was essentially homebound for 7 months for fear of infection and lost the feeling in my hands and feet as the result of chemo as I had been warned in advance. I often dreamed of returning to NZ to do more fishing so I started tying flies and model boat building to relieve boredom and as therapy as I thought it might help my neuropathy. I finished chemo, gradually got a bit stronger and returned to NZ to fly fish. I have since made 5 trips to NZ to fish and have found my Nirvana. I love wading in the river and looking at the magnificent scenery and wildlife, if I catch a fish it is a bonus! I started serious fly fishing at 68, will never be very good but do enjoy thrashing the water scaring the fish and have caught a few fish with my horrible looking flies as I tied them using large hemostats, tweezers etc. due to the loss of feeling in my hands. As a local explained to me, the trout live in the lake for 3 years eating smelt and when they move upriver to spawn they have no idea what to eat so are rather indiscriminate in what they will strike. I got a good laugh out of that and he was no doubt correct.
  2. A bit more progress with the planking. I reached the point where the frames have a pronounced radius so I used a technique I learned on my other build to put a curve in the planking to better match the frames. I soaked the plank, put it into a piece of cove moulding and clamped a dowel over it until it dried, worked quite well. It makes a nicely curved plank across its width and creates a good contact area for installing on the frame.
  3. Beautiful work on the gun and particularly the engine! The engine deserves a build log, I would be interested to see how it was created.
  4. Made a bit of progress, I warned it would be slow, like me! Added the coal bunkers and did decide to leave one open with simulated coal inside. I will finish the cut and open it at a later stage. Faired the frames and started the planking. I wet the planks and bend them to shape using a plank bender I bought many years ago but only used occasionally as this is but my second build. I jury rigged it to hold steady and bend the planks over the barrel of the tool rather than using the apparatus at the end, seems faster and easier. I will have to make a proper stand at some point but it works for now. I am reasonably satisfied with the planking, wood filler will be my friend I think. I sanded the inside of the planks to provide a smoother surface for finishing. I was concerned with the small surface area of the planks at the stern so glue them initially with Titebond and follow up with a bead of medium CA on the inside, probably not necessary but makes me feel better. Again, as a beginner, I would appreciate any suggestions or criticism!
  5. Did a bit more work today, attached the center frames using the deck and coal bunkers as an alignment tool per the instructions. Ater they were dry I installed the main and cockpit deck. I used a food storage bag filled with sand to weight down the main deck and a couple of bottles for the cockpit deck. The frames appear well aligned and I am reasonably happy with the decks although I notice a bit of a gap at the fore and aft ends of the main deck. Live and learn. at least the aft end will be covered by machinery, should have sanded the center portion a bit. I have prefinished the coal bunkers and am still debating whether to leave a couple of lids open and fill them with coal. I also included a bonus picture of sunset from my hobby room. Cheers, John.
  6. The crash was extremely sad and tragic, I flew on that plane last summer. IMG_1677.MOV
  7. Made a bit more progress. Painted frames prior to installation and installed them in the rear portion of the boat. As mentioned in other logs and also in the kit instructions the center frames are very delicate and I did manage to break a couple. I glued them back together and used a nub from the matrix lightly glued to span the broken area. I applied glue to the char area of the nub and attached them to the char area of the frame. I experimented first and the extra piece will easily pop off once the frames are in place and well supported by the surrounding structure but provide extra strength during assembly. I started finishing decks, seats etc.. For the floor and rear floor I took measurements from the plans and scored the wood to resemble pank seams. I used a sanding sealer to try and keep stain even and less blotchy, I will finish them with a mixture of Testors Dull and Gloss coat for a bit of sheen. I am using Minwax Gel Stain and find it much easier to control than their normal liquid stains. I just rub it in with a cloth until I achieve the desired result. The first couple of parts I finished were not great but I am improving.
  8. I would suggest just keep soldiering on. Experience is a tough task master, but it seems we learn more from our errors than successes. I am new at the hobby and working on my second build, learned a lot on my first and it is really helping on my second. I am still making plenty of errors and hopefully my third build will be even better. I suspect that every build teaches all of something useful even to the masters of the craft on this forum, seems the test is given first and the lesson follows! Keep us updated with more posts and pictures.
  9. Made a bit more progress, shaped the blocks at the stem according to the plans. I started using a bobby knife to carve them but quickly switched to my Veritas miniature block plane to hog out the wood and then used sandpaper on a block to finish it. The plane is a great little tool and highly recommended and easy to control. I thought it preferable to shave away excess wood rather than reduce it to sawdust by sanding alone. I copied the templates onto heavy stock rather than cut out the originals included with the kit so as not to sacrifice the original if a mistake was made. I did check my copier to insure it copied at 100% rather than enlarging or reducing the image, it was spot on. Used a Dremel with a sanding drum to rough cutwater out and finished with hand sanding. Starting mounting bulkheads using a square and clamps to keep them square. Used PVA glue and added a bead of CA when dry, probably not necessary but a bit of insurance.
  10. That last photo brought back memories. I was a Firefighter/Paramedic for 35 years and often had to lift patients on stretchers high like that to clear railings. It was stressful for me, can't imagine how the patient felt! The second to last photo also brought back memories, we were taking a patient out and my partner and I got wedged between the walls as in the photo. We couldn't move our arms or back out, thankfully there were others there to grab the stretcher!
  11. I next moved on to making the bevel on the forward bulkheads, I found the engraved line in the part worked well as a guide. I first tried cutting the bevel with a hobby knife but found that a bit inaccurate, I then tried hand sanding but that was slow going. I then remembered I had a Work Sharp tool for sharpening knives that had an attachment for grinding lawn mower blades ets.. It is essentially a small belt sander with a small platen area so I tried it to sand the bevels. It worked great! I sanded not quite to the reference mark on front and outlined the back edge of the bulkhead with a marker so I wouldn't oversand it. I thought once they are mounted to the keel I can do hand sanding to finish fairing them. The tool is a Work Sharp Ken Onion model, I'm not sure all the models accept the tool grinder. The tool works great for sharpening knives and I think I will try sharpening some hobby knife blades rather than just tossing them, I'll let you know how that works out.
  12. Moving along the next step was to apply the two parts to the bow. As I prepared the parts to do this I noticed that was a very small gap at their seam, I considered sanding them for a tighter fit but was sure I would either break them or change their dimensions making matters worse. I happened to flip them over and discover the seam much tighter. It appears the laser cut is not exactly 90 degrees to the face of the wood sheet. Not sure if it was a setup issue or more probable that a tiny bit more material is burned away at the initial point of contact of the laser. Not a big issue at all but interesting. The parts went on well with a great fit. My next step was to apply the strips over the propeller shaft tunnel and cut away the bridges in the keel, very straightforward. The two bitts with the red arrows pointing to them gave me a bit of pause as in my mind at least the plans didn't give an exact location for parts 23 and 24. I looked at the log for this kit by GuntherMT and his excellent photos sorted me out. https://modelshipworld.com/topic/13246-usn-picket-boat-1-by-gunthermt-model-shipways-scale-124/
  13. I am undertaking building the Model Shipways Picket Boat as my second foray into model ship building. I previously built their New Bedford Whaleboat with a modicum of success so thought I would give this a go.https://modelshipworld.com/topic/20442-a-novice-at-age-70/ As seems to be the tradition on this forum please feel free to pull up a chair and laugh along with my neophyte mistakes. One word of warning, make it a comfortable chair, a recliner would probably be best as suspect I will be plodding along at a snail's pace! Another warning, my photography and graphic skills are on a par with my modeling skills, hopefully I may see some incremental improvement in both as this project progresses. Cast off, we are underway. First the obligatory picture of the box. I didn't take pictures of the contents as there are several other logs showing these. First impressions of the kit: The laser cut parts seem very crisp and well done, my other build was an old kit with die cut parts and this is a vast improvement! The photo etched parts all look very well done and the cast parts look very usable. The various wood strips seem to be of good quality also. The instruction sheet was a surprise as my last kit had a rather nice book with essential step by step instructions but this kits instructions seemed to have been pared to just the essentials. I did separate the instructions, place them in sheet protectors and then into a binder. I am sure I will refer to them often and thought they needed some protection. The plans are very nicely printed but perhaps not as detailed as the whaleboat plans. I constructed a building base out of some old shelving and Aluminum angle. One side I permanently fixed to the base and the other I slotted to allow for adjusting the width, I also drilled and tapped one side so that when I slide the movable portion into position I can tighten it down to the base and use the other screws to snug it reasonably tight. I then attached the wood strips to the bottom of the keel using spots of wood glue about every inch per the instructions to avoid excess moisture warping the keel. Rather than weighting it down to dry I put it in the build board, tightened it down and allowed it to dry and then did the other side, worked very well. Being a belt and suspender guy I followed up with an application of thin CA adhesive along the bottom seams.
  14. Hello Paul, I don't recall a specific cap strip. I built it per the plans and sheet 2 shows cross sections of the hull. I built mine in accordance to those views.

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