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Deben 5-tonner by vaddoc - Scale 1:10 - a Whisstock yard design

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Happy New Year to all!


I could have done some work on the boat during holidays but I accidentally threw away the filler putty I had just received. So waiting for the replacement work on the hull could not proceed. Strangely, there are still some glue stains around the tree nails that refuse to disappear despite aggressive sanding. It is very tiring to sand this huge hull so I gave up. Maybe I ll give it another try later on.


As I had a lot of free time, I decided to set up a ropewalk and make some rope. In my new garage I have more space and also I got some linen thread I was keen to try. Again I used whatever I could find lying around in the garage that could do the job and the motorised spinning thingy I had put together building my previous boat. I can easily make ropes 2 to 3 meters length. I still need to improve a few things though.








A short video making some rope





I did 2 ropes, left is cotton, right is linen





This is rope made from cotton





and this is made from linen




Not really a huge difference. Cotton is a bit more rigid and less fluffy.


I then did some thick linen rope 2 ways, either with just twisting 4 threads per strand producing 3 strand left hand rope, or by properly twisting 3 left hand ropes and then using them to twist a 3 strand right hand rope. Despite needing much more work, it looks pretty much the same. Maybe the RH one is a bit more tight.





All ropes side by side




I can produce pretty much any size rope in any twist in long lengths but I do not really like how rigid cotton and linen ropes are, I feel they are a bit wrong materials. I have ordered some cotton/linen thread, cotton/synthetic and some monofilament thread to experiment. I would like to get some cotton covered synthetic thread as well but it comes in large industrial lengths and is a bit expensive. 


Also, I think I need to make a new motorised twisting thingy with 4 strands instead of my current 3, this should give me more flexibility. As I work in 1:10 scale I think I will need some really large ropes for the rigging.


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Another milestone reached, the hull is finished!


It took a massive amount of filler to do the job.




Then I applied two coats of sanding sealer, sanding after its coat. Finally, I sanded to 240 grit and then used some 0000 steel wool. The hull is now very smooth, sealed and the imperfections are all filled. Notice that the light reflects off the surface of the hull!












I then cut the ribs flush with the sheer. I left the ones that secure the braces though. I now need to figure out how the deck will work and then start making the beams









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Hi Vaddoc!

I've just scrolled through your log, impressive I must say, given the surrounding circumstances with family and all.

Congrats to the milestone of finishing the hull!


I think you will find all the detailing that now comes so much more fun. And laying the deck will be a breeze ;-)

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Druxey, Wintergreen and Mark, thank you all for your good words.


I have been deliberating the deck issue for the last few weeks. Today, I sat down to the computer and did a bit of 3D.


Initially, I decided that a deck crown (or camber) of 3/4 inch per foot, that is 7.5 mm in my boat, should look ok. Actually I thought that it would be too much. After adding the deck to the hull though, on 3D it is apparent that actually is not enough!








I did it again with a 10 mm crown and this time it was better. 






I then made all the beams and the longitudinal members and trimmed the beams, I could not make Rhino work with a parabola but an arc looks ok. I used the same arc (as it  came out at max beam) for all beams and indeed, the deck centreline worked it self out fine (I checked, it is very fair). 





and then added the whole thing to the boat









I will check but I do not think My boat matches accurately enough my plans so maybe I will not be able to use these templates. Still, the 3D has been very useful so far not only to decide the camber, but also for the following reasons:


Following the original plans, there is really a very narrow deck on the sides of the cabin, I think I will need to make it a bit wider.


I had the concern that the longitudinal beams would have some crazy twist but they appear reasonably straight as the next photo shows





Finally, as I decided to make the beams vertical and not perpendicular to the sheer, the 3D gives me more or less the bevel that will be needed






I have also done a bit of thinking for the cabin. I think the side walls should have a slight tilt inwards and that the top should follow the sheer to a degree and of course have a camber. But this is for much later on.





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Well, I just measured the actual length and beam of the boat

Length (to more foremost end of planking: In plans 703mm, actual 703. (!)

Beam: In plans 236, actual 239. (a couple of frames were off sideways by a mm or 2, reason unknown)


So the 3D designs for the beams correspond to the boat length wise but are off by 1.5 mm on each side of the beam. So I will need to re-do the beams but for making the cabin I probably will be able to fully use the 3D to cut the templates.



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Hi Vaddoc


Wow...very, very nice indeed.  I especially like the close up shots emphasising the treenails.  They really show up beautifully.  It’d be almost a shame to paint the hull, though.





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I think you have made some correct desicions.

Deck beames, if you go back to the ships of the line, deck beames were indeed a segment of a circle.

And also, in my opinion they should sit vertical.


Great job so far.

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Dear Patrick, I never expected the hull would come out this nice. If I did, I would be more careful with the treenails, to align them better and use the same material throughout. Now the tree nailing is far from perfect. But I also have this desire to paint it green and red or something bright. Or maybe gold and fill the deck with pillows, you never know!


Hakan, there is little info on this matter on the net compared to other aspects of boatbuilding. This is surprising as this is a tricky job.


I had another look on the Whisstock website and I realised there is a forum area. I posted a question and George Whisstock very kindly replied. Apparently the plans call for a 7% camber (and 9% for the cabin roof) with translated to 17 mm crown, quite a lot more than the 10 mm I intended to use. This will result in a really curved deck but this should be fine as the actual deck areas are quite limited.


I realised that the marking of the positioning of the beams was very inaccurate. Also, It was impossible to accurately mark the position of the beam on the opposite sheer. It took a day to finally come up with a way to do this without a massive jig. The straight strip on the port side has the positions of the beams and the sliding jig across the central rail ensures everything is completely square.








I used tape to mark the positions as I need to also account for the variable thickness of the beams.





I also put some order in my wood stash today, which was all over the place. I realised I have accumulated quite a lot in the last few years. The timber is now well seasoned but all the maple sheets are horribly warped, as well as some very thick beech strips. I did though the mistake of storing my wood vertically.

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Thank you Hakan and John!


After a long brake due to travelling, children's flu and work issues, I finally found some time to work on the boat and I designed on rhino all the beams. First I designed an arc based on the maximum beam and then used segments of it according to the length of each beam.


The beams have 2 widths, 2 and 4 mm. All beams will be made from cherry (or pear) and I will install the 4mm ones. However, the 2 mm ones are short just going from the sheer to the sides of the cabin. I will make these initially from plywood and full length across, so I can arrange all the notches etc to the rest of the beams and after everything else is installed I will swap them for the real thing. I will not make these out of wood as the curve is too great and the grain will be too oblique. The longitudinal beams supporting the cabin top will be laminated from beech (or whatever 0.5 mm strips I have in my timber stash). I will attempt to use PVA glue although I think it is not really going to work.


Enough talking, some photos. This are the templates printed out on paper and glued to 2 mm plywood.




I calculated the bevels for the beams, but they are negligible. Only the first beam has a bevel of 0.5 mm, the next 8 beams, 0.2mm and the rest almost none at all.




The first 4 plywood beams are ready. I forgot though to leave the edges flat so they can rest on the beam selves.




My home made disk sander was playing up so it was time for a bit of an overhaul. Now it runs brilliantly again.




Since my garage was today tidy, I though it would be nice to post a couple of pictures. The admiral has agreed that it will be used primarily for boat building.


I have two large and very solid benches I made myself and a few power tools I have accumulated over the years. You can see my ropewalk, I need to experiment with a few new threads I got.




This is the other side, selves with wood, chemicals etc and my air cleaner on top. The gas heater appears to be dangerously close to the flammable stuff but it is actually alright.




I hope I will make some more progress over the next few days.



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That's a nice shipyard you have there. Well lit and well organized. A tad too tidy for my taste though ;-)

Nah, just kidding. I do clean my shop from time to time, but I make it a mess again in no time.

I envy your floor where you actually can see the small pieces that regularly are lost.

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Today I cut the beams, the proper ones from cherry and the temporary ones from plywood. The Dremel moto saw did pretty well considering that the pieces were small. The beams came out fine but my measurements for 2 of the beams were wrong so I had to redo them. In the next photos I have just placed them in their respective places.








 Strangely I was allowed a lot of time today to work on the boat so I shaped the first 6 beams. I cheated a bit as in the real boat the beam shelves would be notched, not the beams themselves. Considering the circumstances though, it is the better option. I also figured out a way to make sure they stay vertical when the glue goes on. 




I do have some concerns though. A flat strip resting on the beams does not make contact with all the beams, which is what I expected as the deck centreline follows the curve of the sheer. I intend however to use plywood for the deck, I think that boats of this size do not have planks for deck but plywood with canvas. I am not sure though that the plywood will want to sit on the deck. I think this is called a non developable surface?




I think I need to play with the CAD a bit more. There are of course many more beams at the bow as well as a hatch but these will be done later.



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Hi Vaddoc


I bought some 2mm birch 5 ply for the deck (or maybe 7 ply), beautiful stuff made in Finland, it did the double curve well but I used tiny screws to hold it down instead of clamping. The ply curved more easily on one direction than the other, which was used across the hull. A cabin structure - if your model has it - would also act as a break in the stiffness of the plywood & allow it to be more flexible. However, you don't seem to be afraid of a challenge, so maybe planking & canvas....

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Druxey, this is a small boat with limited deck space, it makes more sense in both the model and the real boat to use plywood. Having said that, planks would be much more versatile. I know very little about canvas sheathing and have never seen it in a model! I think that sanding the plywood with a relatively rough grade and painting straight without sealer or primer, might imitate canvas?


Mark, for this boat I am drawing knowledge and ideas from the blog of a couple that built a cold molded sailboat (the chap is a cabinet maker). Their blog is fantastic, worth checking out on http://northseabuilder.blogspot.co.uk. They used 2 layers of 1/4 inch ply, the first one in manageable pieces scarfed over beams and the second one laminated on top. Then they put on the canvas which also covered the deck to sheer joint, ending in a groove. Lovely!


EDIT: Fibreglass was used, not canvas!


I might do something similar, in 1/10 scale it calls for 0.6 mm ply (0.8 mm much easier to find). 1.5 mm or 2 mm will be very stiff I think. I have used 1 mm screws extensively so far, must have gone through more than 500. Indeed, this double curve is something ply will not really want to do!


The boat will have a cabin and I would like all deck components to be made of shiny varnished beautiful wood. This poor little boat does not have a lot more to boast of, its a blue collar boat...


On a different note, I finished all cross beams, most temporary, some the actual beams. Isn't this poetry in wood?














The structure attached to the transom is just a jig to allow me to find the horizontal level, to make sure beams lie vertically and to later on define the waterline.


There is a big problem though. I should have left the transom oversized to allow space for the gunwales. I did not though so it ends up flush with the sheer. I am not sure how to correct this, I think I should define the projection of the deck to the Transom and cut the excess so that the deck rides on the transom. Then it will need gunwale and a rubric, rather difficult to make due to all the angles and curves. Hope this makes sense!

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I've used SilkSpan painted with acrylic to resemble painted canvas, but this at a much smaller scale. Painted old sheeting as material, perhaps?

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Dear all

Time for a quick update. Problems are mounting up both in work and personal life so boat building will likely slow down even further.


Druxey, Silkspan or the equivalents appears a good option. Someone used Shellac to glue silk fabric down, wonder if it would work. This has the advantage that can easily be removed with methylated spirits. Some testing will be needed I think.


Progress to date: I glued some supports for the cockpit floor. I also finished most of the deck beams. Everything is properly notched and glued with epoxy, took a long time to do it! There are still a few things to do and also to replace the 7th beam from the bow that currently goes across. I used this to temporarily support things but needs to be replaced.


However, I realised that the structure is far from rigid because there are no structural bulkheads as I decided not to work on the interior. I used the laminated plywood from the discarded temporary frames to make 4 bulkheads, when epoxied in place should make the deck beams rock solid. It needs to be as during deck fitting it will certainly take some abuse.


I must admit, the boat is starting to look nice! 



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Hi Vaddoc


that looks great - I would think the deck will be enough to brace it, but bulkheads would be even better.


Hi Druxey, I hadn't realised shellac was nasty stuff. Could you explain this, thanks. 



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Hi Vaddoc. 


Mama Mia!  Your hull and deck beams are looking absolutely brillliant!  You must be really pleased😀. 


I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing problems in your personal and professional life. I hope all’s well and stays well. 








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Thank you all for your comments!


Druxey, you are are right about the solvents. In my experience so far it has never been a problem, maybe due to the tiny amounts of shellac that I actually have used. For this boat though, which is pretty massive, it might be an issue as I would need to saturate everything with it. I work in my garage which is full of drafts, but still best to avoid solvents.


Mark, there are two issues with the deck beams. One is I did not laminate the longitudinal beams but cut them from 4 mm cherry sheet, so they are not as rigid. The second is that these beams are curved so there are significant torsion forces compared to if they were straight. The bulkheads made a huge difference.


John and Patrick, much appreciated!


Andy I think cotton is the way forward, it should combine well with PVA glue. How will this respond to drilling, painting or gluing anything on it, any advice from your experience?


Back to the boat, I hit a bit of a landmark today!

The deck beams are finished!






I had to add some more timber to the hatch as in the plans it is placed too close to the cabin wall. By adding the timber there is enough width for the deck and also space for the hatch cover to be placed.




I used cardboard to see how the deck would work. I think it works!




The boat is level in this photo with the waterline completely horizontal




Now, decisions need to be taken.


1. I need to experiment with the canvas sheath. I am not sure if the deck hardware should be placed before or after the canvas goes on.

2. I need to think how the upper end of the stem needs to be shaped. It needs to be cut and shaped but I am not sure how.

3. The stem and transom, as they are now, allow for the boat to be turned over and securely kept in place with the waterline horizontal. I can also define easily the waterline. If I do any more work on the deck I will probably loose this advantage. So the hull I think needs to be painted now.

4. For this to happen, I need to cut the propeller aperture and probably also make the rudder. 

5. I will soon need to define the position and install the mast foot. I will also need to define the shape and position of the chain plates, as these probably will be placed under the rubrail.

6. The Transom needs work as well.


Lots of conflicting priorities! I also have huge concerns with painting such a huge hull, painting is not my strong point. I will spray Humbrol primer on and then I think I will use Humbrol enamel, hand brushing! Then enamel varnish will be brushed on. Hand brushing such a large surface will 99% lead to a disaster but needs to be done and I do not have access to airbrushing or funds to set it up. 


This will be messy!



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