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Hi all, my first wooden ship build is a solid hull model by Mamoli, from their "mini" line. These are simple kits for learning basic skills - measure, cut, sand, glue, & generally work with wood & tools. Complete, the model will be about 10 inches long. This post shows the kit contents (except for the copyrighted plans/instructions). There is no parts list on the double-sided, four-language instruction sheet/plans, but there is a "strips and rods sizes survey table" that shows the size of each wooden strip. I used this to label all the strip bundles before starting.  Rebecca

 

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As shown in my post above, the kit has precision shaped solid blocks for each deck structure - four decks in all plus a sternpiece on the second deck. Figure 1 of the instruction sheet calls for these blocks to be glued together to form the basic structure of the hull. The figure is drawn to size, so I measured and wrote the spacing for the decks on the instructions (all in millimeters) and then marked up the blocks to match the alignment. I glued them together using Gorilla fast-set wood glue and tried out "clamp tape" for holding them while drying.  I always use heavy-duty nylon brushes for gluing (a habit I picked up from bookbinding).

 

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I then cut the long planks for the sides of the first deck - my first time using a mitre box! I cut & glued on the bow end planking (from 0.5 x 3 mm strip), then used a flush cutter to cut the plank ends even with the hull shape and lightly sanded them to fit the rounded curve of the bow.

 

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I then used the mitre box and various sanding tools to cut and shape the angled stern pieces that will hold the paddlewheel and glued them on. They aren't perfect, but I made sure the central rod of the paddlewheel will sit snugly between the blocks.

 

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Finally, before going any farther, I decided to give the hull a little attention. I first water painted it to raise the grain, let it dry, and gave it a quick sand. I then gave the entire ship a light coat of stain (which raised the grain further, more sanding in its future).

 

You might be interested to know that the "stain" in this case is strong coffee!  I've been experimenting on waste wood with different all-natural stains. (Due to severe allergies & asthma, I'm unable to tolerate most chemical products.) A few natural items I found that give differing degrees of darkness are vanilla, tea, coffee, and bitters. A final coat of sealant will ensure the model is not delicious to passing critters. Rebecca

 

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This is a much cuter model than I thought it would be based on seeing the photos on the front of the box in the past. I can't wait to see where you go with it. Book binding? What other hobbies do you have hidden in your talent drawer?

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Thanks!  I do hope it turns out. Minis could be quite addicting for me.  Yes, book binding, but more book & paper conservation (book binding is tedious, repairing stuff is fun), but I've been winding down on that after a decade. I've always been an inveterate crafter as well, but the last few years have been focused on two hobbies: astronomy & photography.  Lately though I've been hunting for something that would give me a break from the computer (I'm on it all day for work) and be relaxing, and I've always loved ships :)

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What a nice little paddle steamer…..

Are you not feeling lost by all those giants around you?

What size is she?

And then all those blocks placed one on each other…..

I will sure follow this and see how it ends.

Enjoy your build.

 

 

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I've gottten a couple more decks done on my mini - sort of...

 

The second deck is built out from the block using a couple of 1x13 mm planks. On the bow end, a space needed to be built for the staircase coming up from the first deck. I had to do a little reinforcing from underneath for the cross-bar, which the plans called for to float magically between the two end planks. In addition, rather than cut curves for the under-deck (a procedure I have no idea how to do), I pieced in scrap instead.

 

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I planked the second deck and proceeded to build out the third deck. There is a problem here with the plans - they expect the built-out portion (from 1x13 mm strips) to adhere to the teeny-tiny edges that run alongside the fourth deck block. I will likely reinforce this deck from underneath also.  This deck required openings for two staircases (stern end).

 

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I found a useful clamp for thin woods - I have a pile of small magnets -- good for holding down strip on strip:

 

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And then...I ran into a problem. The kit is woefully short of planking strip. I had kept every bit of scrap thus far, and using that and a couple planks of a larger size I don't need (due to some alterations), this is as far as I got:

 

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Since not only the third deck needs finishing, but the fourth deck will need planking as well, it looks like I'll have to order some appropriate planking. The kit should have included at least another half dozen strips of 0.5x3mm.

 

In the meantime, I finished the paddlewheel. It took a bit of work to get the planks the right size, all eight of them. Although it doesn't appear so in the picture (wheel is over a little), I set it up so the wheel can spin free.

 

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Since I'm a new builder, I'd be happy to hear any suggestions for improvements! Rebecca

 

 

 

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Sarah you need another ship on your list - that's what #23 now? Wouldnt it be easier to make a list of whats you dont want to build :dancetl6:

 

rebek, I bought the last black walnuts we had, I love the taste but I wont pick them out for them. Black Walnut skin if used when green to make a tincture is a natural antibiotic also.

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Rebeka,

  Have you tried using water based stains and varnish?  They have come along way and are considered safe for most people with allergies.

David B

Edited by dgbot
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Hi David - thanks, I know about water-based stains, I just haven't been able to locate any locally as yet in small sized containers, I'm not ready to invest in stain a quart at a time...

 

I did however see some water-based wood paint markers today at Michael's, which might be useful when I get to a model I want to paint.  And I found a couple bottles of copper and bronze finish (also water-based) on sale, to try out for small parts.

 

Rebecca

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Thanks Tophog - I'm working on cutting the teeny tiny doors (5 mm across) and waiting on planking material I ordered (since kit did not supply nearly enough).  I don't really like the plastic windows in the kit (see first picture), but at such a tiny size, I doubt I can do better. I am going to rearrange them to be more "aesthetic" to my eye, and based on looking at the big steamboat builds (although this will be a far cry from those!).

 

Still, it's good cutting and shaping practice & I think for a mini will turn out okay. I have another mini on the shelf but I find it difficult to start a new project until the old one is finished. Working on a mini, though, I'm beginning to understand why people build much larger ships :)

 

Rebecca

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Hi Rebecca,

 

When you build ships like me there are coming other challenges then tiny things…...

Every build has his own difficulties..

Your's because you have to need tiny fingers….and not those big ones like mine  ;)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally, after quite a wait, I got my planking material in (the kit did not have nearly enough) and so was able to finish planking the third deck, and plank the fourth deck. I also fitted the sleepers to the stern.

 

I also made various doors, which took  a few tries, as the wood was not cooperating (crumbling, in fact). The plans call for nothing but plastic windows, which I thought looked rather boring, so I added some simple doors.

 

I gave the new additions a coat of coffee stain, did more sanding, then gave the whole model to-date a a good soaking of Howard's Feed-n-Wax, which gave it a rich color (and helped with the dryness/brittleness of the wood).

 

I've also been building sub-assemblies, like the grand stairway and the fourth deck cabin, and got to figure out plank bending - built a jig and glued together the bent planks to form a bow rail  (mini-clothespins are handy).

 

Rebecca

 

 

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YEA! Wood delivery. and more pictures.

 

the second coffee seemed to darken quite a bit more or was that the finish that darkened. either way the color is fabulous.

I used those munchkin clothes pins on my peterboro build and they are handing.

 

Dont know if you've seen this or not but decoided to post it here as its on topic and a free card stock steamer

http://www.disneyexperience.com/models/marktwain_model.php

 

One thing for sure, if you have card stock, spare pieces are just a printer away. IIRC there was a build of this on the old MSW and it makes a really cool model. It was hard to tell it was cardstock.

 

You know your building too small when you have to use a quarter for size, it looks larger then the paddle radius.

Keep up the great work, I love watching these little ship builds as they are way to bitsy for my Sjors-esk fingers also, not to mention my patience level. 5mm doors HA, get my white coat with the wrap around sleeves ready.

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