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Triton cross-section by tkay11 (aka Tony) - FINISHED

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Oops! Just realised I had to start the build log to obtain the plans. So here it is. First steps at the cross-section.


Cutting the lengths was really easy. The only problem was defining the dimensions as I much prefer to work from CAD and in metric -- and I don't know the original dimensions of the real timbers. So I diligently took the plans into TurboCAD and traced them. The difficulty, of course, is defining which part of the thickness of the lines to take as reference since the drawn lines are 0.38mm wide. This resulted in my having a variance of between 0.1 and 0.2mm between the different views of the keel, keelson and false keel. In the end I just decided on a particular width which seemed closest (e.g. 3.2mm for the false keel) since I reckoned the differences to be so small as not to be worth fussing about.


All the same, it might be an idea for beginners like myself to have the original dimensions of the timbers shown on the plans so we can just draw them in CAD.


As a result, I also thought I'd wait to see the plans in their entirety before settling on a particular set of measurements for the purposes of 3D modelling in CAD, so I can use the CAD drawings to think about the whole process.


As to the rabbet, I toyed with the idea of cutting a scraper, but found that one of my milling pieces fit the profile exactly. So this did not prove a difficulty -- although I am fully aware that longer sections of keel would demand more complex curves and angles.


So the following picture shows the progress thus far, and I request access to the plans if that's ok.




I'm still working on the last stages of my Sherbourne (anchors and swivel guns) but want to see the Triton plans as soon as possible so that I can work out what I need and how I'll be doing it.





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Thanks for the likes!

Mark: You're quite right. It's not really a problem from the point of view of constructing the model, and of course I printed out the plans and have cut the pieces so that they have the same width and length (unless, of course, the keelson really is supposed to have a different width from the other two pieces).


The only (and very trivial) reason for the comment is that I like to put the plans into CAD and then (once I have the complete set of plans) visualise the build in 3D. However, because CAD requires accurate and consistent measurement to do this (its lines have no thickness) and because the lines on the plan have a thickness of 0.38mm (or 1/4 inches at full scale) I have to make a decision as to whether I trace the lines from the outside, centre or inner edges. The convention is to take the lines from the centre. But whatever position I take on the plans as they are, the different views of each piece do not match up.


For example, if I take the drawings of the keelson, the outer edges of the cross-section are 8.03mm top to bottom (and 8.18mm across), while the outer edges of its side view are 8.34mm from top to bottom. As I can cut to a tolerance of 0.1mm (on a good day and when there's no wind blowing), I am then left with a choice as to the width and height of the timber.


Naturally I do make the choice, but if the all of plan sheets in addition provided the full-scale dimensions of the timber I would then be confident of matching up all the pieces for CAD purposes.


I really don't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill of this issue, as in fact I know I'll be able to build the cross-section from the plans as they are because the differences are so tiny. It really is just a very, very minor comment in relation to building it up in CAD.


After all, in real life these ships were made from plans that were only on paper in the first place -- and even then the builders did not necessarily follow the plans given but built according to what they had to hand and in accordance with necessities as they arose.


Furthermore, it's a bit ridiculous for a novice like myself to make any sort of comment like this when I have only just started out on the process of a full scratch build (apart from the tiny ship's boat I made for the Sherbourne).



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It's alright, Mark, I'm not really bothered. I took the measurements straight from the PDF after loading the plan both into TurboCAD and into Adobe Photoshop. Maybe if the plans were originally made in a CAD programme, then the CAD files could be left for downloading as well.


Anyway, the important, great and lovely news is that I now have access to the full set! Whoopee (and thanks, Chuck)! I'll now just get on with it as these plans have the full overall measurements, and hope that I can do as well as you have done in following this intriguing path which, at every turn I have taken so far, is endlessly challenging and interesting.


I think you know it was you that gave me the idea of moving from kit to cross-section to full build, so thanks again!



Edited by tkay11
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:blush:  Thanks Tony for the nice words.   


It is indeed a very challenging part of the hobby and the internal rewards are beyond anything else.  


The CAD files were never meant to be downloaded given the nature of piracy on the 'Net.   I've not seen any kits yet for the Triton but.....?????


Sidenote:  if you decide to do the complete ship at some point, there are (were?) issues with the POB version as I recall.   Aldo was doing the POB and brought up the problem.  I have no idea if it was fixed.  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/1512-hms-triton-164-by-aldo-pob/

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The link about the bulkheads is very interesting, Mark. I did have a look at the POB plans, but as I have POB plans of La Jacinthe, I'll probably do that instead at some stage in the future.


I hadn't thought about the piracy problem, so I quite understand. As it is, now I have the complete plans, I am quite happy with rounding the dimensions to the nearest half mm in most cases.


Thanks again



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  • 2 months later...

The story so far:


Studied the plans, lots of the cross-section build logs, David Antscherl’s Fully Framed model books.


Ordered most of the wood from Arkowood, using the suggested timber list on the forum as well as some chunks of pear I already had. Most of the model will be in pear, but I’ll use maple for the deck planking, and I’ll stain or paint the pear for the wales.


I copied the plans in TurboCAD. This was quite important because the wood thickness for the frames turned out to be 5.1mm, and as I don’t have a thicknesser it was useful to ensure correct spacing of the frames along the keel.


It was also useful to have the CAD programme to develop a jig.


I had a little debate with myself about a scroll saw. Up to now I’ve been happy using a coping saw and a jeweller’s saw for various intricate cuts. However, I also found that for thick pieces it was tiring when there were several to do. Luckily an excellent reconditioned Proxxon DSH came up from Axminster on eBay and I was lucky to get it at a knock-down price. Decision made! I quickly modified it by making a zero-clearance top from a sheet of Perspex I found in the road outside my house.


The first practical step, then, was to make the jig. I went with the type that puts the spacing in between the frames. The base was made of 19mm MDF, the top from 4mm ply (again found in the streets around my house). You can see the steps in the following photos.















Having set up my jig, I was still waiting for the wood from Arkowood, so I thought I’d make the grating. I used the traditional method shown by Frolich in his book ‘Art of Ship Modelling’.








The slats were made after I had made a very simple stop from a piece of plywood, a 6mm bolt with its head filed down to fit the slot (and thereby stopping it rotating) and a strip of brass shim shaped round the edge of the ply to stop wear on the point.






Next up: making the frames



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Once the wood arrived, I could set about making the frames. I laid the plan on 19mm MDF and proceeded as follows






I decided I'd also cut the gun port sill placements at this stage, and hope to make sure they're all aligned later.








The following shows my rough alignment of the frames in the jig.


By the way, I used lock nuts to support the ply cut-out. This made sure that there would be no slipping of the cut-out and maintained the height accurately.






So now I can see that at least the frames fit and are roughly aligned. Phew! That means I can now get on with truing up the frames, gluing the keel bits together and the frames to the keel, and making sure the gun port sills are ready.





As a slight aside, my mini-drill made such a noise with sanding the frames that I had to develop a silent sanding drum for night-time work as follows. I used an old broom handle (just under an inch diameter) for the drum, and a one inch spade bit together with a 6mm roofing bolt.







Peace at last! (but sore fingers, too!)



Edited by tkay11
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That's nice of you, fellow Czech! (I was born in Prague, but now live in the UK). I've enjoyed your log too -- except you're doing better than I am in paying attention to the treenails! I'm still debating whether I will add any treenails, but I can see it's good practice.



(who unfortunately speaks no Czech at all as my father refused to let me speak it. We were political refugees and he thought we'd never be able to return).

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Thanks for all the likes!


Mike: Thanks also for your comments. I have admired the way you have approached the Oliver Cromwell with such very careful preparation. At the moment wish I had been a bit more painstaking in preparation of the frames. I'm waiting to see whether I need to re-do some of them once I have done a bit more work on them.


The trouble is I've been treating this cross-section merely as a learning exercise, and it would probably be better that I treat it with the care and attention due to a model that I would look at with pleasure! I surprised myself with the Sherbourne, which I also treated as a learning exercise, but once I'd finished it I found myself looking at it today with a certain amount of satisfaction -- even knowing all the faults!


Despite this worry, even if I continue it as a learning exercise this build is wonderful, and I'm enormously grateful to all those who've put the time and effort into designing it as such. It really does prepare me for a future build, and I love the new intricacy and precision demanded in the frame-making process.



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I've enjoyed your Sherbourne build, and I'm sure I shall enjoy the present build as much, if not more ... Each build we start, and (hopefully) finish, prepares us to improve, for the next build, or another future build. I like Remco's signature, which states to treat each part as a model on itself. I think it makes you get the best out of you for each part. It's a good way to go heads on with the tasks at hand.


So I'll be sitting back, relax, and enjoy the view you'll be painting with parts



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Thanks a lot, Carl. You're absolutely right. I enjoy each stage in its own right and am constantly fascinated by the learning and understanding each stage brings. It also continues to add greater appreciation of the difficulties others have overcome in their own builds as I go through those stages.


The other saying common on this site is that we are all our own worst critics. I have that syndrome recurring frequently, so it's always nice to hear  encouragement from others with lots of experience such as yourself. One of the functions and joys of the forum!



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Now that the frames were seen to align, I started the process of putting them all together.


First was to glue the false keel to the keel. Rather than try putting a strip of cartridge paper between the keel and false keel, I used the old trick of running a pencil at an angle to the the joining edges of both parts. That gave the satisfactory impression of a filler.




I then made sure the keel would stay in place by gluing two ply offcuts on the base board to either side.




I could then fix the frames to the keel with epoxy adhesive and clamp them firmly using an old oak floor tile.






Then came the filling blocks to keep the frame spacing constant and to add rigidity. I made two sets – a set for the narrow spaces, and another for the wider ones – then sanded each one carefully to the exact width of each space, labelling them in the process.








I added the gunport lintels as follows:








I tested the overall heights of the frames by making an extremely simple jig cut to the correct heights. A steel ruler (on its edge) was then placed across the frames on the height jig to test the frame heights.




Needless to say there was some variation -- about half were the correct height and half were 0.5mm too low. I had a choice of either sanding down and then adding a strip of wood to achieve the correct height, or simply sanding down by 0.5mm to achieve the correct height throughout. I took the easy course and lopped 0.5mm from the frames that had the correct height – in the supposition that it won’t make much difference to this learning exercise.






I cut the first limber strakes using the table saw for the indentation. I finished the edging off with a scalpel and file.




The angled cover


I then thought for a while about how to make the angled cover that lies between the keel and the first limber strake. I made the necessary measurements with TurboCAD.




I settled on trying to angle the cover with the disc sander, as by chance the length of the strakes is almost exactly the width of the sander.


I cut a carboard template to the correct angle and used that to set the angle on the disc sander.




Then, extremely gently, I angled each side of the cover strake.






Before I get on with laying the limber strakes and continuing with the build, I have a serious decision to take.


I’m still thinking about this, but while I was sanding the frames down I found that not only were the frames quite uneven (so that it would take a lot of sanding to achieve a really smooth and even surface from fore to aft) but that in my vain attempt at narrowing the frames towards the top I had not noticed that I had sanded the top half of a lot of frame 5 far too much on each side, and some of frame C on the port side.







I was on the point of abandoning the work so far and shared my thoughts with my wife. I think she was horrified at having to endure the noise of all that sawing, scroll sawing and sanding again, and she suggested I should continue even if it meant some imperfection – especially as I was supposed to be doing this as a simple learning exercise.


I’m still not really decided about this.


Argument for starting again:


Polish the skill by making the frames again.


Arguments for just continuing with the existing frames:


(1) it means ordering more wood.


(2) it might end up with another set of mistakes.


(3) in reality a little bit of unevenness will be masked considerably by the planking.


(4) I could lop off the tops of the end of frame 5 and after planking fill in any gaps with filler.


(5) I have in reality learned a lot about making frames in the process, and am likely to be more careful when it comes to my next build.


(6) The greater part of the build is yet to come, with more skills to be learnt about placing beams and other structures, let alone planking and finishing.


On the whole I’m leaning towards just continuing, and cutting off the tops of the rear parts of the 4th futtocks of frame 5 -- leaving a flat rail without the higher curled rail. I have noticed that some builds have done this anyway.


By the time of my next log (and leaving time for comments on how to proceed from any interested parties) I’ll be sure to let you know.



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Thanks, Mark. That's very useful. I'm now definitely leaning that way too. In fact writing out in the log made the decision much easier. That's another value of composing a log -- it composes the thoughts too!


It seems like I'm following your footsteps even more closely than I had envisaged!



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After clarifying for myself what I mean by a ‘learning exercise’ (focus on learning the basic techniques more than attempting a beautiful finish) I decided to continue with the build, albeit with the imperfect frame sanding.


Also, as before with my Sherbourne build, I am using this log not only to clarify my own thinking, but also to help other newbies like myself should they come across similar puzzles and questions to the ones I find as the complexities arrive at each stage.


Part of this decision was not to make removable limber boards, and to avoid treenails. I thought that doing these precisely is beyond my skill level at present, especially as I’m still struggling with how I might make the angles on the limber boards more precise.


Pillars in the hold


These I made to scale of 6” square, with a tapered chamfer starting from 8” above the platform and within 6” of the beams as shown by David Antscherl in his book on the fully framed model. Also following his advice, I made 1mm dowels for the pillars and drilled corresponding holes in their bases and on the keelson.


(You'll see the finished pillars with the chamfered edges later in this post).






After fitting the first 4 strakes outside the limber strakes, I fitted the lower deck clamps. In order to ensure they were at the correct height, I added another platform to my height jig and measured off the height at all four edges.


I thought it best to measure out the spaces rather than use the planking shown in the plans, so I used a simple paper template to mark between the lower deck clamps and the bottom strakes.


This showed that the thick stuff would not be able to lie exactly over the centre of where the first futtock joins were, although it hit exactly over the centre of the second, upper set of futtock joins.




I then checked the setting of the hold pillars






Lower deck beams


I made up the beams to their actual size (rather than oversize) as I’m bending them with a jig.


First of all I measured the width at each beam’s position using an idea from David Antscherl’s book.




I then marked the beams for cutting by measuring them after bending them over a 2mm drill bit. The actual height I measured in the CAD programme was 1.97mm, but I thought this would be within the margins of multiple errors.




I then transferred the cut beams to the following jig for bending:




I am in the process of heating them with a very old hair dryer at occasional intervals over the next few hours until they achieve a stable bend:




So the learning process continues, as I am sure it will continue to do so for a very long time!



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Yes indeed, Dirk, I know you'd have started again. In fact I thought of you and Mark when I made my decision. No regrets. None. Not at all. Well, maybe a teeny weeny bit ...


I hope you've recovered after your Confederacy agitations. For a moment I thought we might be seeing more of the Sherbourne build.


As for your learning about the Triton, well, I reckon most of the others who've done this have lots more to give. I'm still in awe of some of the Triton cross-sections. All the same, thanks a lot for continuing your encouragement -- it means a lot!



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Marking the beams for cutting notches


Once the beams were curved correctly, I placed them on the deck clamps and measured the centre points over the keel with a set square.


To ensure I replaced them correctly and to allow for variations of width from the centre line, I marked each beam on its upper surface with a ‘P’ and an ‘S’ to mark Port and Starboard.


I then took the beams down and marked the positions where cuts were to be made for the carlings and the arms.


I had noted that many cut the notches for the carlings while the beams are fixed to the clamps, but I could not figure out a way of doing that which would be accurate.


Some of those who build the cross section claim that they cut the notches while the beams are fixed because that allows for the curvature of the beam. However, I thought that simply placing the beam on its side on the plan would allow accurate placement of the cutting marks while compensating for the curvature.




Once the beams were roughly marked out, I then clamped them together to ensure that all the marks aligned.




The need for lots of practice!!!!


Once I’d done this, I realised that making the lattice of beams, carlings and ledges would require considerable practice in cutting notches accurately. So I set to with a scalpel and some mini-chisels I bought off a stall for £3. I used a set of dividers in association with the scalpel to mark the edges of the cuts.


You can see some of the practice in the following photo:




I quickly learnt:


a.) that my chisels needed to be much, much SHARPER!


b.) that I’d need to make handles for the chisels to allow me to have a good firm grip.


So I went back to the trusty broom handle and fashioned a couple of chisel handles.




I then spent a lot of time sharpening the chisels on 600 grit and 1200 grit diamond stones, and boy, did that make a difference!! (For those in the UK who are interested, I bought these from ArcEuroTrade for about £6 each. They really are worth it!)


I’m now almost satisfied that I can cut the notches accurately, so I’ll be doing that for the next several days – and probably re-doing them as I make mistakes!



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Thanks for the likes, everyone! These, along with many, many cups of strong tea, will sustain me in my search for notch nirvana. It's possible several pages on the art of practice, failure and practice again will follow.


I sure am glad I didn't start all over again as I can foresee that there will be several points along the way at which I will contemplate exactly the same.



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  • 2 weeks later...

So practise I did, and I still have a way to go before the notches are perfect, but the nice thing is that the lower deck gives practice for the gun deck which will be more visible!


Getting the beams on


I thought it best to make the entire aft beam, beam arm, carling and ledge assembly before gluing the beams to the hull as I thought it would be too difficult to place the arms, carlings and ledges afterwards.


That pesky little aft-most carling which will have no support at its aft end was epoxied in and trued up with a square beforehand as well.


Once I had done that, I glued the beams to the hull with rapid-setting epoxy and held them down with the simple clamping arrangement shown in the photo.




Lodging knees


I then had a look at the lodging and hanging knees. It was immediately apparent that making the hanging knees fit perfectly was going to be a challenge well beyond my capability. So I had a read of Antscherl’s book on the Fully Framed Model, and he suggested that it was quite as likely for the lodging knees to cover the entire distance between the beams – unlike the current plans where the knees do not do so.


If I were to make the lodging knees cover the full distance, this would make the construction of the hanging knees more easy as I’d only have to cut the pattern in relation to the planking below the beams. So that’s exactly what I did.


Notch placement for the ledges


In order to have the notches for the ledges between carlings line up across the width of the section, I placed the carlings in their notches and only then drew the lines across them from knee to knee using the position of the notches on the knees as reference points (and using a pair of dividers as markers). I then took down the carlings and cut the notches for the ledges before gluing them in place.




After all this, placing the ledges was fairly straightforward.






Of course there are lots of errors and slight misalignments, but as I said above, it makes for good practice for the gun deck.


The next challenge, though, is to work out how to make and cut accurately the hanging knees for the lower deck.


Onwards and upwards (to the gun deck eventually, that is)!



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