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Expectation of wood perfection

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I asked this in my build log but thought the question might better served here. Basically I'm wondering how perfect to expect wood to be. Here is the very start of my first wood build...




The false keel is ever so slightly out of true at its top edge, no more than 1mm of deflection relative to the strait edge. Is this within normal tolerance for a 18" launch or is this going to translate into bigger issues down the road? The bottom length of it seems perfect by the way. I've read about soaking and clamping parts like this but I really wonder if that mightent not do more harm than good.





Edited by Sunsanvil
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I'd say that is pretty good for an 18" long keel piece.


If you want to you could place it on a perfectly flat surface and put some heavy weight on it for a day or so and see if it gets 'perfect', but I personally wouldn't bother, as you'll have more variation than that in putting the bulkheads together on it I would guess.

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Hello Sunsanvil.


That deviation is nothing. Do not spend much time worrying about that.

Instead, take much care to glue the bulkheads at exact 90º against the keel.

There aren't but two options: do it FAST, or do it RIGHT.


Current Project Build Log: HMS Surprise 1790. Artesania Latina 1/48

Future projects already in my stash: Panart: San Felipe 1/75; OcCre: Santísima Trinidad 1/90;

Wish List: Le Soleil Royal, 1/64 Amati Victory


So much to build, so little time!



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I agree.  That millimeter will be nothing down the road.  Do make sure your bulkheads are perfectly perpendicular and square against the keel and parallel to each other.  That is important.


BTW: What's your build and where is the log?  You might want to include a link to it with your signature.  You can edit your signature under "Edit my Profile" and the "Signature" tab.

Edited by DocBlake
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Hello Les here. If you would like a book that addresses this issue. Please purchase Frank Mastini's Ship Modeling Simplified. ISBN 0071558675. It has a great walk through on assembling bulkhead on keel hulls. The take away on this is that if this assembly is any way warped it could translate into build issues later. The last thing you would want is a hull that is slightly warped.

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When planking the hull, lay a plank on the Port side then lay the next on the Starboard side. Then back to the Port side and so on. If you plank just one half of the hull at once you will create a bend in the false keel. Make sure you plank evenly on both sides of the hull.

Regards, Scott


Current build: 1:75 Friesland, Mamoli


Completed builds:

1:64 Rattlesnake, Mamoli  -  1:64 HMS Bounty, Mamoli  -  1:54 Adventure, Amati  -  1:80 King of the Mississippi, AL

1:64 Blue Shadow, Mamoli  -  1:64 Leida Dutch pleasure boat, Corel  -  1:60 HMS President Mantra, Sergal


Awaiting construction:

1:89 Hermione La Fayette AL  -  1:48 Perserverance, Modelers shipyard

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We had a bent hull structure that was used as an example of what not to do, that had been planked on one side and then the other, shown at a NRG Symposium.  It had a very visible curve that would never be corrected w/o removing all of the planking.  I was surprised that anybody would proceed with the planking of the second side - obviously this was from a modeler with out a club or other input that blindly followed the instructions "plank the hull".


Dave is correct that with the blocks added between bulkheads this could not happen as the blocks essentially turn the keel/bulkhead assembly into a solid hull.



Kurt Van Dahm






Nautical Research & Model Ship Society of Chicago

Midwest Model Shipwrights

North Shore Deadeyes

The Society of Model Shipwrights

Butch O'Hare - IPMS

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