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Cutting planking smoothly around Gun Ports

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I am working on the USS Constitution by MS and I have planked the inside of the bulkheads. I left a little hangover around the gun ports and I want to get a nice smooth cut out. The gun ports are already formed. The files I am using unfortunately have teeth on the edges and it's hard to get a clean job in the corners without making a notch. What can I do about this? Is there a video or a build log which shows how to make these cuts. Thanks


Greg H.


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Greg. Have you seen Xken's most recent update to his USS Constitution build ?? He details using a copper template to form and cut the planking around the gun ports.

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I used sanding sticks.  Just a piece of wood the right size with a bit of sandpaper attached.  Oh.. and only apply pressure such that the cut is when the plank is against the bulwark.  In other words, if it's inside needed trimmed, pressure is only applied on the stroke out of the ship.   Vice versa for the planking on the outside of the hull.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

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Hi Greg,You should be able to obtain a file with a "safe edge",they only have teeth on the face and one edge. On the other hand why don't you carefully grind one edge smooth,easy enough to do and costs you nothing  :) An old fitters trick I was shown more years ago than I care to think of.




Dave :dancetl6:

Edited by davyboy
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Dave that's a great idea also. Mark and Captain Steve had great ideas also. I'm going to try all of them and see which ideas work best for me. I actually think they will all work for me. You guys are awesome! I feel a little rush creeping in on my build so I've got to slow down some. It's just excitement of seeing the Conny start to show signs of life.


Greg H.


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Go into any discount beauty supply store and buy several different sizes and grit emery boards. They make a perfect sanding tool, are cheap, and very effective. 


PS: I am now working on cutting the gun ports on my 1:84 scale HMS Victory. What I do 1st is to drill a number of small holes inside the port which eliminates a whole lot of tedious cutting and leaves mainly, just some 'trimming to the outlines' of the port. The sanding is the very final way to clean up each edge to the lines, checking along the way to make sure I'm staying within the desired dimensions.

Edited by daddyrabbit1954
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