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Is This Doable and Still Be Correct?

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I am building my first model, a 1:35 version of a 1934 J-Boat.  I'm not quite finished with the first planking on the first side.


As I reached the point where the instructions say I need to move to 2mmx2mm strips to do the keel, I started wondering if I could instead make a mahogany wood laminate keel.  The problem I have found with the 2x2 strips is you have to bevel the edges considerably to close up the joints.  A solid laminated keel would work much better and probably look better.


I got this idea from builds I have seen like this:



What I'd have to do is plane or rasp off some of the existing plywood keel so I could insert the laminated keel.


The easiest way would probably be after the final planking is done but then you can't insert pins into the hull to which you could band the laminate down.  If the laminate is installed after the first planking, every plank on the 2nd planking would need to be trimmed to butt up against the laminated keel.  But that's not a deal-breaker, it just takes a bit more time.


Anyway, my 1st question: Is this a better way to go about creating the finished keel than what the directions say?  Aesthetically, I think it would look pretty impressive but I don't know if it would look correct.


My 2nd question is has anyone done something like this?  If so, how did it turn out?

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That was just three strips of unglued mahogany.  Before I could actually form it into a laminate, I'd have to shave down the plywood keel.


I think what I'll do is plank the other side as far as the first side was done and then take another look at adding the lambeam keel.

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Hello Les here. I have been a finishing carpenter for 25 years. I have done a lot of work with wood and other laminates. The problem arises when you have to cover a compound curve. It can't be done without great difficulty because you have to  slice  it and cope the curves to make it fit the hull. Glue up without big problems is hard. Ship builders use planking to correct for the curve of a hull. I tried this method with a Dumas Chris Craft runabout. I cut larger strips from old growth mahogany soaked them good and tried to do the job. I had to cut them down to kit size because they wouldn't conform to the hull. The only way to get a solid perfect hull is to carve one out of stock. Hope this helps.

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Thanks, Les.


I would only be running along the edge of the keel.  I've made up some thin strips of mahogany that conform well to the keel edge.  But I will need numerous clamping bands to hold it in place while it dries.


A few years ago I was remodeling our kitchen.  I wanted to do something different over the cooktop so I made up a jig to bend up some wood.  I took a piece of jatoba, resawed it to bendable thickness, planed it and then used the jig to form it.





This time, I will use the model itself for the jig.  I will just need a lot of clamps!

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Hi Les here. If you plank the hull and apply the keel later it should work out if you file the hull planks very carefully so there would be a seamless transition to the hull to keel application. So when you glue up the keel it looks as if the planks have been faired into the keel. With this application you could apply a deeper piece of non laminated keel then sand it to shape. Please disregard previous note.

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