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The Dinghy by MaryO - FINISHED - Midwest - Small - 1" = 1' (1/12)

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Hello all,


I have always been intrigued by wood model ships. During the past winter, I decided to attempt my first build and began doing some research as to what kit would be best for a novice builder....particularly one with zero knowledge, experience or skills.

MSW has been an amazing resource and greatly contributed to pointing me in the direction of the Midwest apprentice line. Thank you!

My first build was the Midwest skiff. The experience was so gratifying and I was overall very pleased with the completed project.

This is quite an addictive hobby and I had to start another.

Midwest, The Dinghy, arrived the other day and I decided to make the leap and post the build....so here goes.post-18889-0-54270100-1428157103_thumb.jpg


400 grit sand and scribed plank lines to bottom plank.post-18889-0-56866000-1428157317_thumb.jpg


My first build was a slow one and I expect this one will be as well. Slow seems to be a pace that suits me. I will be tackling the frames next and will continue to post progress or any problems that arise.


Any advice and/or comments are always welcomed.

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Hi John,


Happy to have you along for the ride! I have had a great experience so far with Midwest. The instructions have been quite detailed and easy for me to understand. I was also happy with the wood supplied, as well the supplied finishing details I.e. oarlocks.

I also found the pricing very resonable.

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Removed the six frame pieces from the die-sheet and placed them on the plan.




I spent quite a bit of time today cutting, sanding and placing the frames back onto the plan to check my progress. I was glad I had remembered numbering the frames from my skiff build, the dinghy instructions did not mention it. Came in quite handy when I had taken a break and a furry freeloader in my residence mistook the frames for a new cat toy.


Believe I have gotten the frames as near to identical for each set and moved along to attach frame floors.



Am using wood glue, so will place a little weight on the frame floors and put them aside until tomorrow.


Scribed the frame and cleat lines onto the bottom plank and also marked locations for the knee and stem.post-18889-0-20204600-1428193308_thumb.jpg


Attached the three bottom cleats. Also will place a little weight on top and set aside until tomorrow.


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QA and Russ, thank you for taking a look and I so appreciate the likes from others.


Had a bit of quiet time this morning and sanded the frame floor flush with the frames.post-18889-0-90260700-1428237704_thumb.jpg


Next step is setting up the frames. Frame 1 and 3 require a slight angle, so when bottom plank is bent they become upright. I understand the concept, just very unsure how much of an angle is 'slight.'

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WELCOME ABOARD,  MaryO.  Glad that you've decided to share your voyage with us.  You've chosen a good subject to model at this point in your 'career'.  I'll be looking forward to the lapstrake construction.


By all means, take your time.  Wooden shipbuilding is not a race.  Work at your own pace ......  and ENJOY!

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Hello MaryO,


Actually bought this kit on sale a while back and have it on the shelf to do one of these days, so it's good to see one being built so I can follow along and see what is in store for me!  Looks to be a nice little kit, and quite a bit different construction technique to anything I've done so far.

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Yo MaryO!

You are coming up on a tricky bit where you glue the stem post on. There's not a real good way to clamp it while the glue dries. To keep it from leaning side to side, tilting forward or rotating off center while the glue sets, you will want to brace/squeeze it between two perpendicular items. You could make something out of Legos or even use two heavy but compact boxes like cake mix boxes and a piece of tape to keep it from tilting forward. Hope that helps!

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I started the dinghy as a side build a while back and took a few pics in case I ever decided to start a log. To get a really nice fit of the planks to the frames and the boat bottom, a flexed emory board works really well. It curves the same as the planks will. The board I used is two-sided and the fine grit side left nice surfaces. Sorry for the rotated pic- it must be an iPhone thing.



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Thank you Buck, will give it a try.


Attached the strip on the transom, stern post I believe. I am trying to learn the appropriate terminology.post-18889-0-39128500-1428532376_thumb.jpg


The next steps have small blocks glued to a build board, the hull then pinned to blocks to create a slight curve. Looks like the planks are applied while still attached to build board. I really like to pick the model up and look at it from different angles while I fit various parts. I plan on spending a little time sorting out something else...probably attaching to a block of wood.

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I wanted to be able to pick up the boat while working on it too! Also, I thought it was wrong to put holes in the bottom of the boat to pin it down. I mounted the spacer blocks to a small board and clamped the boat bottom to it to flex it. A scrap piece of wood protects the boat bottom from the clamp.



The boat board was propped up on two short blocks to clear the clamp. After one plank was on a 2nd clamp was placed on the planked side and the 1st clamp was removed so that side could be PLANKED.



Please let me know if I'm posting too much on your build - I don't want to be a hijacker!


Edit to change "clamped" to "planked".

Edited by Salty Sea Dog
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Gluing supplied blocks onto strong back, no problem, everything lined up nicely. A clamp, sould have run out and purchased a proper clamp. I went with the pushpins as I had them on hand. The small block I pinned into split in half. Had another smal block of equal size, which also split. Finally got hull pinned to a block and did end up with one more pinhole than I wanted.


I will be using a toothpick to plug those holes and they should fill in nicely.


I then placed the gar board to check for fit. I had a LOT of sanding ahead of me. The transom hung over the bottom ny a hair, the first frame was short of the edge and frames 2 and 3 hung over.


I took my time sanding, fitting, more sanding, fitting and glued the plank on. Another lesson learned, pre plan the clamping! Slowly but surely, progress continues.post-18889-0-78792900-1428694486_thumb.jpgpost-18889-0-13863100-1428694524_thumb.jpg

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The fit looks good. The heights at both ends are a tad more important than elsewhere, but it is good that it all fits well. The great thing about wood is that you can trim, sand, and fit as needed. In fact, it is part of the process to be expected. Nice work.



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