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DonInAZ

Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiff by DonInAZ - Midwest Products - Scale 1:20, My first wooden ship build - Small

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So here we go... My first build log!

 

First off I have to say after reading through some of the other build logs on this site, my hat's off to many of you self described "newbies" out there who are ambitious (and skilled) enough to tackle a large multi-masted plank on bulkhead/frame model for your first wooden ship build. As I stated in my intro thread, I even found beginners kits such as the Model Shipways "Phantom" to be pretty challenging and so I have decided to take a very gradual approach to learing this art.

 

For one thing, I don't have a lot of time to devote to my hobbies at this stage in my life (job, kids, etc...), and I need something I can finish in a reasonable amount of time. Secondly, I want something that I, with my very entry level skillset, can do a reasonably presentable job on. Lastly I want a project that will teach me basic skills I can use on my next (slightly more advanced) model.

 

With all that in mind, I have decided to start my wooden ship modeling education with several of the Midwest Products line of smaller boat kits. In my introduction, I stated that I would begin with the "Chesapeake Bay Flattie" but after further review, I think I will actuall start with the "Chesapeake Bay Crabbing Skiff"

 

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The reason for the change is that I believe this to be the simpler of the two kits. Both are skill level 1, but the crabbing skiff has much simpler rigging.

 

So, the first step for me is to set up a work area. I've already been aquiring a few basic tools and I will make those the subject of my next post. Until then... smooth sailing!!!

Edited by DonInAZ

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I was able to set up a small work area and assemble the recommended tools.  Now it's time for unboxing...

 

post-18877-0-00603000-1428250502_thumb.jpg

 

All parts are present and are in good condition.   The components seem to be of good quality although I'm not really experienced enough to know good from bad.  The only exception being (as someone else stated in another build log) is that the deck fittings are plastic, which is unfortunate but easily remedied.  In fact as I type this, replacement cleats are already on order from Model Shipways.   My LHS has a small selection of fittings and I can pick up a package of wood blocks there once I determine the correct size. 

 

I may also upgrade the rigging line but haven't decided for certain yet.  The line that comes with the kit is white, which I'm not certain is right or will need to be colored.  I went ahead and ordered some beige line (also from Model Shipways) just in case along with some beeswax which I know I will need.

 

The only only other thing to mention here is that I ordered a copy of Howard Chapelle's book "American Small Sailing Craft" as an additional reference.  I'm still waiting to receive that...

 

Time to get busy building!  Next update will show actual progress.

Edited by DonInAZ

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Step 1 was to remove the bottom plank from the die-cut sheet.  I had a small issue here right off the bat when the sheet the plank is cut from, and that will later become the framing jig, split in two.  I used a little CA glue to repair it and it will be tacked to the building board anyway, so I'm hoping that won't be an issue later.

 

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After sanding and marking the bottom plank,  it was on to building up the keel batten.  No issues here.  I've opted to use wood glue wherever possible and this step was no exception. 

 

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Next was gluing the keel batten to the bottom plank and trimming the ends.

 

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I had a very slight positioning error as you can see in the above picture,  but since this will be concealed under the deck, I'm not too concerned.   I will however endeavor to be more careful in future steps.

 

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This brings us up through step 11 and we are ready to start framing the hull. 

 

So far, I'm really enjoying this kit and other than that slight alignment error on the keel batten, it's going fairly smoothly.   Of course I'm only just getting started and I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to foobar something before this model makes it to the display shelf, but hey, that's all part of the fun!

Edited by DonInAZ

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Good to see this started up Don!  If you are the Don that I think you are, hopefully I'll get to say hello in person in a couple of weeks as well.

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Good to see this started up Don!  If you are the Don that I think you are, hopefully I'll get to say hello in person in a couple of weeks as well.

 

Yep! That's me.  Looking forward to meeting everyone. 

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Hi Don

 

Looking forward to meeting you on 4/18.  If possible, bring the kit along - I'd like to see it.  The workboats from the Chesapeake Bay are unique and very interesting.  I have several books about them and you are welcome to borrow them if interested.

 

Frank

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post-18877-0-42223200-1428591747_thumb.jpg

 

Okay, I got the framing jig built and the bottom plank secured fore and aft.

 

post-18877-0-92145200-1428591762_thumb.jpg

 

As others have mentioned, there is a slight curvature to the bottom plank that makes this step more challenging. I did have to resort to CA glue here as there just wasn't enough surface area for the wood glue to get a good hold. I tried it on the stem post and forward frame member but as soon as I pushed the stern end down to make contact with the stern post, it popped loose.

 

CA fillets on the hidden side of the frame members did the trick and shouldn't be visible on the completed model.

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Starting to attach the sides:

 

post-18877-0-75338000-1429026911_thumb.jpg

 

Alas, I chose to use CA glue here again. I don't possess enough clamps of the correct size and type to make using wood glue for this step practical. Since I plan to paint the hull anyway, I'm not going to stress over CA glue marks.

 

 

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If I was planning on staining the hull, I would be purchasing more clamps and using the wood glue as this would be unacceptable. I probably could have (and should have) used a fine tip applicator, but this kind of "soaking" in of the thin CA is almost impossible to avoid and since I knew I would be painting the hull, I took the easy way out.

Edited by DonInAZ

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post-18877-0-99298400-1429036945_thumb.jpg

 

Both sides attached (not pretty though) and off the jig.

 

 

post-18877-0-51304500-1429037082_thumb.jpg

 

After some clean up, it's not horrible but I did use quite a lot of CA to get everything anchored down. Probably too much in hind sight but I did try to keep it to areas that won't be visible on the completed model.

 

 

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For example, as I mentioned in a previous post, I added thick CA fillets on the inside of the fore and aft bulkheads for strength. These will be covered by the deck pieces.

Edited by DonInAZ

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Hi Don:

 

Looks like it's strong enough for you to bring it on Saturday.  Seems like one of the topics we should discuss is clamping.  Rich also wants to talk about tools, so it should be an interesting session for you.

 

Frank

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Crossing my fingers that work won't prevent me from coming Saturday, look forward to meeting you, and I'll bring some stuff to show you how I use wood glue with very minimal clamping (and some of the different clamps that I use too).

 

Edit - Oh, and your boat is looking just fine too!

Edited by GuntherMT

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Okay, so I have my first question:

 

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In the above illustration from the instructions, it looks as if the scoring on the side pieces that marks the location of the bulwark stanchions, is in alignment with the scoring on the bottom plank.

 

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same here in this image...

 

 

However, the illustrations are not consistent on this:

 

 

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This illustration shows them staggered. This is more representative of how my model turned out, so I hope this is really how it's supposed to be.

 

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Another illustration that shows them staggered...

 

 

Perhaps it's a moot point since I can't really do anything to change it, but I was curious which alignment was correct.

Edited by DonInAZ

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Okay, so my skiff has been on hold since last April while I got moved and dealt with some family stuff. I've finally convinced my wife to let me set up a building area in a corner of the living room so construction should resume sometime in the next week. My computer went south however so I'm going to have to figure out how to take, crop, resize and upload progress pictures with my tablet. Anyway, I've missed being at the workbench and am looking forward to getting glue on my fingers again.

Edited by DonInAZ

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Another question:

Okay not so much a question as much as a deviation. I'm thinking of putting the chine battens in ahead of where the instructions call for. It just seems like it would be easier to do before gluing in the centerboard trunk.

Edited by DonInAZ

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Hi Don:

 

I don't know that kit, but generally speaking there are probably steps you can do out of sequence.  I think the best approach would be to read through the instructions completely and see if you can determine any reason why you must stay with their sequence.

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Attaching the chining boards. I opted to do this out of sequence with the instructions.

The clamps are simple wood clothespins that are flipped around to be more effective.

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Edited by DonInAZ

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Assembling and installing the centerboard case. Nothing really of note as far as the assembly except that the instructions call for CA glue and I opted for wood glue.

The clamps are soft grip clothes pins I found online. They work really well for this kind of clamping. Plenty of holding power but wont leave any marks.

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Edited by DonInAZ

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Centerboard case installed.

 

In order to ensure proper positioning of the centerboard case, it was necessary to dry fit the forward thwarts as well as the king plank since these pieces all have to align perfectly with each other.

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Another slight deviation on the forward thwarts. I decided to fabricate a little "shelf" piece in the notch where the king plank sits.

 

This will provide a glueing surface and make the king plank installation easier.

post-18877-0-05687900-1454221522_thumb.jpg

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Got the mast step glued in. Now I'm working on the side frames. I've kind of gone rouge as far as the order of the construction steps. I just feel certain things are easier for my fat fingers to reach before other pieces are glued in place.

 

In the attached picture showing the mast step installed, you can also see the heavy CA glue fillets I chose to add for strength. They will be concealed by the forward deck piece soon but they look hideous at this stage.

post-18877-0-08284300-1454391623_thumb.jpg

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Next up...

Before I can put the rear thwarts in place, I want to fill in the reference line that was scribed onto the inside of the hull. The thwart piece covers some of it but leaves about half of it visible and it needs to be cleaned up with a dab of wood putty.

post-18877-0-08515300-1454564574_thumb.jpg

Edited by DonInAZ

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