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America Schooner POF by Walter Biles - RADIO - (POF) SCALE 1:48 - from Blue Jacket plan

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Thanks Ron,

That gives me quite a bit to work on.  It looks like you have done a pretty thorough job of it.  Now I can study and cogitate for awhile, and see if I can follow everything okay.  I have printed this log page 2 to here, and added the blown up pictures right behind each page with the text for clearer sight.  I will see what I can come up with.  Thank you so much.  

Edited by Walter Biles
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Ron,

Thanks for all your help on the how-to-do of making the transition from 2D to 3D.  Do you think it was a good idea to include the inside and outside of the frames as well as the waterline and centerline.  I made each frame inside and outside then colored the whole frame with it's individual reference lines.  Once I got all the frames done, I separated them by their color and then re-assigned all the layers into a different set of numbers, then I re-assigned them in sequence back down to the places where I wanted them to be in the Layer #s and named them all.  Once I got all the different frames where I could turn off all other frames, I used xyz placement box to get them at the right position along the frame, then I went back to front view much expanded and positioned them over the 0 Layer so the individual frame and grid changed color when it lined up correctly on the vertical and horizontal Waterline.  Once I got it where I could see XY in line then I went to make sure it looked right in the other 3D views.  Then I turned that frame layer off and went on to the next Finally learning to use SAVE TO instead of just saving.  Now I have all of them showing about in the right place when they are all turned on.  Next I need to make all the other waterlines appear on the 0 layer, so I can start on putting in all the individual frames between that first set of Stations.  I am going to have to have those waterlines to determine the size and shape of my individual frames showing fore and aft lines for each.  


If you have any pointers on how to get those waterlines to attach to the outside of each of the stations, That is where I think I would be going next.  Does this sound about right?  I probably need to learn something more about how to place points on each of the Stations at each waterline, so I can create the waterlines so they will show at each elevation from above, and from the side.  It still seems a bit daunting to me. 


A lot of my time has been going to working on the church sign lettering.  I had to get a plan for a router copier machine or jig, so I could put the old lettering over onto the new boards.  It is over 90F+ in my shop in the daytime, so I have mostly been doing the noisy work in the cool of the morning, and working on the sanding and other quieter stuff most of the night. Plus I now have the engine out of my old pickup waiting on the engine stand all covered up.  I think I'll let that happen in the later fall, when I can stand it out there.  It sure is nice to have a working shop again.  I have re-conditioned tools as I needed them, replacing all the frayed cords, broken ground plugs, and cleaning the insides of each electric tool, and re-lubing it to keep it from wearing itself out.  I have re-ground my chizels and block planes to sharp and usable condition again, and I have room to move around in there which I never thought I'd see again.  

Edited by Walter Biles
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Part 1


When doing the Waterlines, use a different layer for them, like you did for the individual frames. Not everything has to be on layer 0. I use many layers in my drawings, sometimes for subassemblies, like a frame, or even individual parts (tiller, mast, centerboard and housing, etc.). On my Terrapin Smack I have two layers for the centerboard, one in the up position, one in the down. At the present time I have somewhere around 40 layers. I sometimes have several layers for a “thing” as I progress in drawing it, just in case I make a mistake, I can go back to the previous layer, much as using the Save As command.


Sometimes I do this if I am not sure of the part/section I’m drawing. I may not completely understand a part of the drawing, or it might not be clear which line of a detail area is part of the detail, or just a line overlapping from another.


For example I have multiple layers for the trailboard graphic on my skipjack drawing. One for the outline, another for the eagle head craving, etc. I turn on as many layers as I need as I go. When I was done with the initial design, I later made new layers with changes I felt would make it look better. This way I could easily select from any of the layers to compare old and new. If I decided for example that a line in the carving design needed to be different, I could change it, then switch between the layers, or turn them both on at the same time to compare old and new. Much easier than looking at different versions of different drawings.


As of my latest Smack drawing I am at version 76. Sometimes I have to go back a version or two and restart from there because I made an error that is easier to correct by redrawing from that version, than trying to correct the one I am on. Typically I deleted something I should not have, or really messed up a section I have been working on. If I’m on version 50 for example I might go back to 49, correct the error, then save this as version 50, overwriting the mistake. I might also go back to an earlier version, and just copy something from it to the latest version, if I deleted something I should not have, perhaps I even deleted it a couple versions back, and do not want to lose the additional details I have drawn since then. I generally save a new version after any major change, or several times a day, if I’m still on the same part.


As in making the model itself, sometimes you break a part off ,and have to replace it, or decide you can make it better than the first time.




Now onto your question.


Now that you have your frames, you can go a couple routes. The easiest one will involve some more drawing, but be clearer on your final drawing.


One thing to remember is that you can move the origin (0,0,0) to anywhere on the drawing with the Point – Origin command.


Create a new layer, call it for example “Water Line Grids”. Switch to 2D mode. Draw Your waterline grid, using whatever spacing you want. Then select all the lines and make them a Group.




Select where the baselines cross. Go back to 3D, then rotate the grid 90 deg. Around the Y axis. It will look something like this.




Here’s a view with some of the frames removed for simplification.




Now select the intersection of the grid and baseline again.




Copy the grid “Ctrl C” and then paste it “Ctrl V”. You will see an outline of the group that will move with the cursor.




Go to the intersection of the first frame and the baseline and select it “F4”. The copy will drop to this intersection point, and you have your first waterline grid placed.




One important note about the F4/intersection point command. If you have 2 or more lines laying on top of each other, the program can not figure out which of the overlapping lines you mean, and will fail. For instance in this drawing, if I copied the baseline from another layer, or redrew it for some reason, and had both layers on, the command would not work. I would either have to turn off the original layer the line came from, or erase the line on one of the layers. This one gets me all the time, expecialy in 3D where lines can be on top of each other in one of the views.


From here on I simplified the grid and removed some of the frames, to make it easier to see what is going on.


I copied the other grids in.




Using the Draw – Lines – Curve Connect the intersections of a waterline and the grids. The blue line below.




Next I connected the shear and chine points.




Edited by thibaultron
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Part 2


Without the all the other lines here are the shear, chine, and new waterline.




Now copy a grid to the new frame location.




To generate the new frame you draw a curve to the intersections of the new frame grid and the waterlines.


Here in lies the rub. Notice that the shear and chine lines do not fall on a grid line. I have never been able to figure out how to draw the curve to these points, as there is no intersection with the grid. I’ve tried locking the Z axis, drawing a perpendicular to the reference lines, etc. The program always chooses the point on the line closest to the cursor. You cannot place the cursor at the right spot, that is what you are trying to find for the new frame.


The only way I have found to do this is to go back to the 2D side and deck views I drew previously along with the frames. I always draw these first from the drawing or Offset Table. Then I turn on the layer with the new frame grid, and draw a line top to bottom on the 2D layer.




Then I dimension the intersection points I need. For a drawing with curved frames, you would still need to find the shear and point where the planking meets the keel. This is a pain! If someone knows how to do this, please tell us.




With these points found I go back to the 3D view.


I use the  Point XYZ command “:” And enter the first point.




Then I select the intersections of the grid and waterlines. In this case only one.




Then use the point command again for the other end of the line.




This completes the first new frame (green line).




I hope this helps. It would have been better with curved frames, but I don’t have any drawings with those, yet. I’m doing one for the next boat. Fortunately it has a straight keel to planking line, and the keel is not tapered along its length.


Another way to do it is before you go to 3D and place the frames, draw a grid on each frame layer. This does clutter up the frame drawings for other purposes though. It can also make setting the frames in 3D difficult, with all those lines.

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Thank you all for the likes, and especially Ron for his input.  I admit I have retarded capabilities on DesignCAD.  With Ron's help I have gotten further into 3D on my ship than I have ever gotten.  I am now printing this section of pages so I can have a reference to work from.  I am hoping I can follow his instructions through getting all my waterline grids onto my frames in 3D so I can begin to create the individual frames, fore and aft.  I have a lot of studying to work through.


 If this works out, this will be a great HOW TO REFERENCE work on using DesignCAD 2D/3D to do framing. I have to admit that Ron deserves all the credit, due to his knowledge of this program, which I am trying to understand how to use even though I have had version 13, 14, and most recently 23 and have always had problems breaking through into using the 3D aspects of it.  If he can coach me through to the ultimate printing out of my full frame set, He will definItely have proven his skill at teaching the program, as well as using it. THANK YOU RON!!! 

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  • 8 months later...

Try as I might, I have not been able to break through into repeatable and more importantly accurate use of 3D CAD.  I am going to take my 2D drawings, and try to build an inexpensive keel of plywood, and install plywood stations with the water lines marked on all of them, and build a mock up of the frame.  Then I will install some material of as yet undetermined material for using strips on the waterlines to determine the locations and dimensions needed to create each frame between the stations which I found had a uniform spacing, and make the frames to fit in a uniform spacing between them.  In stead of 32 frames, I will be using 31 so that I can get them uniformly spaced.  I doubt that it will make any difference in any great way.  I will just have to make adjustments for the differences if the plans call for bitts or any other deck feature on a specific distance from the bow.  I figure if I can work the boat this way, it will still be a worthwhile project. I have been at this CAD 3D long enough.  I will find a way around it.   

Edited by Walter Biles
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I have finally made the adjustments to the offending stations.  Things seem to be lining up pretty well now.  All the water lines fall in line, and the bottom ends at the proper line for the planking.  I keep trying to learn the terms for those planking lines, but they keep escaping my memory.  Dang leaky short term memory!  At least I can work on models again.  

Edited by Walter Biles
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Here are the more recent pix of my preliminary trial fittings of patterns to a plywood keel to test the fit and alignment of the Stations I generated by DesignCAD V23 which is my most recent version.  I need these patterns to fit correctly so I will be adjusting the lines on the stations until I get a good representation of their shapes.   Then I will fair these and start adding thin pattern stock at Frames 1-31 around them and then when those are fair, I will replace all the stations with frames, and create a new keel and start putting frames together.  The model which I will be building will be based on the Blue Jacket 1/4" scale POF America plans.  I hope I have caught all the corrections to the shapes to fit the keel drawing I made from their plans.  I found that the Station drawings needed adjustments just to line up fair, and I am not sure if it was their drawings, or the drawings I made from them.  I used their plan measurements from main reference lines for all the stations fore and aft of the plans to do all my CAD input. I had to fair them quite a bit, and decided to do this pattern check trial to see how close they come to lining up.  






I will Invert my frame holders and take a few more of the inverted hold to post later.  

Edited by Walter Biles
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Thank you Mark.  I have been doing a lot of work on the plans.  Since my plan is to blow up the plans to get a near scale to my Meridea  which is about 1:13 if I was guessing correctly at it being nearly 38'.  However, since it was between 1/3 to 1/2 the length of America just beyond where she was tied up, she may be closer to 50' and if that is the case (my memory is no longer clear on the comparison)  I might just double America's size to 50" so she won't be too big to handle.  My Meridea is 34"  She would still be bigger than scale with America.  But they should be so pretty together on the water!  I just hope that I can get the RC to work right.  That is something I have never tried before in this application of boats.  


Thank all of you for your likes.  I am beginning to get back into the spirit of building again.  

Edited by Walter Biles
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Well, I am backing up again.  I found another error in my plan.  I lost some height in some of the waterlines on the keel plan.  That was why I was having to cut down some height off the frames.  I am glad I found that.  I thought I had some of the frames in the midsection stretched in height somehow.  I am getting ready to cut a whole new set of keel and stations.  I just got myself a new 1" x 30" upright belt sander with a 5" disk sander attached.  I spent the day setting everything up on it, and found a problem with keeping the table angle from changing.  I cut myself a brace to hold it from moving when I am working on square sanding.  I think I might make a better table angle mechanism.   I like the layout of the thing, but I will have a few concessions to make.  It should still help me work truer.  I am backing up to my earlier station CAD drawings since They were closer than I thought.  I just had about 3/8" error in height on the keel and uprights.  It is sure amazing what you can find out about a drawing plan by doing periodic mock up models to test out it's accuracy.  You can see how I had trimmed height off of D through G stations in the lower post #47.  It was near the bottom of the frames were where the lines were closer, and I hadn't caught it before.  I don't know how I did that one.  At least I have it corrected now.  

Edited by Walter Biles
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  • 1 month later...

I have been hard at work on the America Plans.  I went back and am verifying every waterline at each station off the original plan, and making myself a table of the data.  I have the spacing and size of material for each frame established for my boat.  As soon as I can finish dimensioning my plan completely, so I know it should match the plan drawings, I should be able to formulate the shapes of all the frames in between, including the angles of taper for each one, so I won't have to oversize too much and waste a lot of material.  Once I can get the plan I have made In CAD verified to dimensions, then I can get to work lofting the frames in between.  Then, and only then, will I be able to get to work on the actual frames.  Right now I really don't have anything I can show except the mockup with the stations and keel.  I have finally drawn in the STERN parts although I still have to determine their material thickness.  I am going to do a box around the rudder for the brass sheath to fit in so the rudder can have resistance to water entering the frame around it.  I figure to put a small "O" ring at top and bottom of the rudder with a washer over each end, so I can pack the shaft with vasoline for lube and water protection.  The box will become a part of the horn timber and form the bridge around the shaft to the keel framing.  I wish I had done that on my Meridea.  It wouldn't be an off center hole mousing up the alignment of things.  This old codger learns another thing the hard way!  

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Well, I finished doing all the dimensions so I can locate how far out the waterline to mark the curve on the frames at each level.  I think I already did the butt line dimensions on my set of plans.  If not then I will have to do those, if there are any points where they could add to the definition of the hull.  I believe I should have enough.  I am going to have to rest a bit while I think over where I would want to go now with the build.  I am contemplating another mockup with these latest lines and figures to make sure I have them okay all over this time.  It would sure save me some wasted wood if something still is not right, and I have already had 2 strikes in the department of planning and I can get cardboard from pallets and boxes from the local grocery store.  I can just dream of cutting those frames and assembling them as if it was a real boat.  However all that basswood came to way more money than I can afford to waste.  


I'm sorry guys, I use my site to put down the thoughts before I do them,  I use it more as a tool to help me muddle things through.  So If you read this and have a thought let me know.  It wouldn't be the first time nor probably the last that somebody came up with a relevant idea in my build.  I am not just building  a boat, I am working on brain process repair in the effort.  For awhile, I couldn't even do anything constructive with my mind back not so many years ago.  I am also working on piecing my thought processes back in order.  It has not been unusual for me to skip over an important process in analyzing a problem or process that I used to be able to do as a matter of course, before they finally found out that I had severe apnea and started my treatment.  The doctors, with all their training, could not even tell me if I would be able to do any better than I could at that time.  I have found that if I can re-establish a link with an old set of memories, that often they will break through and become useable.  However, It is not without some effort and I often have gaps that need worked through.  I have relearned an awful lot, but I realize I have a long way to go.  I often remember how easy it seemed to come to me to do a task or build something, and I can still remember NOT being able to do so more recently.  I do love building models of things, though.  


I wish you all the very best.  

Edited by Walter Biles
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Yes, Bob, that's the plan.  I still have not figured out how I malformed that keel frame.  Grabbing a line at the bottom and unintentionally moving the bottom closer to the top sounds to me what might have occurred, which was the inverse of what I thought had happened to the longer frames.  Finding where the misallignment was has proved to me that I am still not good enough with even 2D CAD, and I will need to be very careful when drawing.  Using the mockups was my old school acid test to see if I had screwed up, but now I know, and at least where I messed up even if it is still a mystery to me exactly How I did so.  

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  • 7 months later...

Hello again, finally!


I have been all over the state this past 5 months.  After our son's death, my wife's condition went south.  She has been doing dialysis in hospice at our daughter's since December.  She just got cleared to go to twice a week which will allow her to come home at least some of the time.  I'm getting the house all spruced up for her return this next weekend.  I have actually been able to get some work done on the shop to get it towards functional for the first time since we moved here 21 years ago. 


I now hope to be mentally able to work on my new ship for a change.  I am leaving Meridea for now until I can get some framing done on this America Schooner.  I am fairing the stations to fit the 1/4" scale and then I will measure the points for a fair frame at each frame position using strips at each elevation line.  That will give me an edge of frame line which I can use to develop each frame.  I will use CAD to develop my frame patterns, but only in 2D, since I could not get my mind around using 3D.  Thank you anyway, Ron, for trying to help me.  I couldn't retain the "how-to" even though I managed to get the stations positioned fairly close in a straight time run.   Once I got that far, when I tried to go back to it, I could not even remember how I got it to where it was.  I guess I'm stuck with using 2D.

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Hi Walter


Welcome back!  I agree with Mark's sentiments. Life just doesn't seem fair, at the best of times, but I hope you can move onwards to a more positive future for both you and your wife. 


All the the best and I wish you every success in this Build. 





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