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Triton cross section by robdurant - 1:64

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Hoping to make a fully framed frigate in the future in 1:64, so this seems the perfect place to try out some of those skills. I've only done plank on bulkhead before from kits, so it's a bit of a journey into the unknown, but how helpful to have so many others who've travelled the path before me!


I scaled the plans down by a factor of 0.75 to take them from 1:48 to 1:64 (where 3/16" is equivalent to 1ft).


Here are the picture so far. Parts are walnut. I've left the keelson, keel and false keel longer than the plans and intend to trim them down later on in the build.





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Well, not much progress, but a little.

This project is going to be a slow one, as I'm working on it while I work on Sherbourne to get a feel for whether I have the scratchbuilding skills (and patience) to try something harder.

That said, I had a good headscratch, and I think I'm beginning to work out how I can turn boards of walnut into something resembling parts of frames (given the distinct lack of power tools). So here's the progress so far.


I've printed off the plan for frame 0 (at a factor of 0.75 to make it 1:64) and stuck the component patterns onto the walnut with pritt stick to allow me to remove the patterns later.


Then very gently with a coping saw (I've ordered some finer blades!), I cut roughly round them.


The next challenge was the bigger hurdle. I don't have a scroll saw, band saw or any powered sander... but I do have a basic stand for to turn a hand drill (750W) into a pillar drill... so I mounted a proxxon drum sander part into the drill chuck and lowered the stand as shown in the photo, so it was permanently level with the work surface...


It sounds horrendously loud - so loud in fact, I had pity on the neighbours after a short while... and I had to keep one hand on the drill power button... but it kind of did the trick... My issue was that although it was sanding the excess away, it left a pretty wavy line, so a larger drum would be handy. It looks like the following would help:


* A better way to cut the frames out, so I can cut closer to the lines (i.e. a scroll saw / band saw?)

* A quieter way to sand the frames, so I don't annoy the neighbours and provide a variety or sanding disk sizes to allow me to attain smoother sanding (perhaps an oscillating spindle sander?)


Anyway - progress... and I'm encouraged that this isn't impossible, just time consuming and requiring patience on my part.


Pictures below:









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When I was cutting bulkheads by hand, I preferred a jeweller's saw with a very fine blade to the slightly larger type of coping saw you show in the picture. That allowed me to cut really close to the line. As a result, using a drill-driven sanding drum like yours took less time and therefore less noise, but equally demanded really careful handling to avoid over-sanding.


However, I found cutting so many pieces by hand tiring and when a nice low-cost re-furbished scroll saw came up on eBay I seized the opportunity and bought it. The sanding issues remain, but it's a whole lot quicker and less tiring now.


You might find that it's better to buy a larger drum sander for your drill as you could then rotate it at a lower speed with less noise and greater accuracy. I've been contemplating doing that myself.



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When in doubt, check with the neighbors.   I've done that for power tools and even the smoke coming out of the laser cutter being vented outside.  Some won't notice it, others will.  


What Tony said about the jeweler's saw.  For fine cuts, they can't be beat and if you ever go for a scroll saw, many of those will take a jeweler's saw blade also.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the advice. 


I've paused to reflect on the best way forward as I finish off the second planking on my Sherbourne (bring on the scrapers!). Almost there now. Just two planks left on the port side. I'll have to invest in a jeweller's saw. I managed to find some replacement coping saw blades with a higher tpi, so I'll give them a try. A scroll saw does sound like a good idea though (might have to wait for that kind of investment!). I'll have a look round and see if i can get a bigger drum sander, too.


Thanks again



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  • 1 month later...

Brilliant. Some wonderful people gave me a jeweller's saw for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to trying that out... I think this build is going to go slowly, and hopefully plod along beside the new incoming project - HMS Diana from Caldercraft, but built as Ethalion (1797). That's due to arrive in the new year and will be much easier to get on with in the evenings without annoying the neighbours :)


Happy Christmas to you all :)

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  • 6 months later...

Apologies to people who couldn't see the few pictures on this log. I've moved them from photobucket to MSW, so there shouldn't be any problems. (I've learned my lesson.)


Hope to have more progress to report here soon. I haven't disappeared. Just paused this while I learn more skills with the Ethalion. Thankfully the wood is patient :)

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  • 1 year later...

Well, somehow 2 1/2 years have flown by since I last did any work on this... so long in fact that when I came back to have another crack at it, I realised to my horror I'd thrown out the original parts! 


That said, the process of remaking them today has been educational and I've made some real headway. I realised that I'd been approaching the build by trying to crack a nut with a sledge hammer... This time, rather than trying to sand down the frame parts, I gently carved away the excess with a nice sharp xacto blade.. The walnut was lovely and soft and as long as I approached inside curves from both directions and took it steady, it was surprisingly quick to get a whole frame made. It's by no means perfect, and I'm expecting to remake this frame when I've made some more... but it's certainly teaching me lots. 


So... here are the pictures of my first full doubled up frame. It's the dead centre frame. I tacked it to the keel with a little carpenters glue to see how it looked and even the process of doing that made me realise quite how fragile this is going to be when i assemble it until I get the horizontals in.






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