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Galley Washington by Mike40 - 1:48 - POFl


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The galley Washington will be my very first ship model build. I decided to start with a scratch model as I know I will enjoy making everything myself. I'm sure there will be a lot trying and failing, but that's part of the learning process, and It will just make it a little more challenging.

 

I bought the NRG plans and they are very thorough and nicely done. I would have preferred the frames to have been shown as parts rather than drawn as complete to save making so many copies for the patterns, but it's no big deal and I am quite happy with them. I downloaded the excellent free practicum to guide me through the build and also the material list. I had some planks of basswood) that I use for figure carving and so I decided to use those for my main building material. I have some other species for trim, wales, etc. I have gotten all the materials dimensioned and sanded, so I am ready to go.

 

So far I have made the keel, bow, and stern and mounted the construction on a building board. I followed the practicum for the building board set-up. It was great to learn that the work was very enjoyable and with the  added advantage that I can do most of it while sitting down, which is an advantage at my age. I hope to start with the first frames tomorrow. 

 

You might notice my first mistake in my progress photos below. I extended the rabbet all the way to the to the back of the stern post instead of stopping it where the stern post meats the deadwood. Luckily I can fix this, so I don't have to do the whole keel over again!

 

Any comments, including criticism, are very welcome. I would also like to point out that the POF build logs you folks have posted have been a great help to get me started, including the several wonderful Washington build logs. I wouldn't have tried ship modeling if it weren't for the massive amount of know-how available on this site.

 

 

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Edited by Mike40
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Thanks for your comments Brian and Joe. My next post will include more detail. I was so focused on just getting the keel, stern and bow together that I forgot to take photos along the way. I'm looking forward to starting on the frames today, so hopefully I will have some more progress to show soon. It will take me awhile to get the hang of posting a better log. 

Edited by Mike40
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Thanks Albert. I will have to get a lot more experience before I can satisfy myself, especially after seeing all the very skilled detail work done by yourself and others on this site, but it helps to know what kind of quality I am dreaming about. I may never get there, but I will enjoy the journey!

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Thanks Bob. As an old woodworker I am very happy that I will no longer have to deal with all the 1:1 scale cut-offs I have always created along with my projects. I'm anticipating having to redo a lot of work, especially on this first model. I don't mind, it's all part of the learning process and otherwise doing the work as good as I'm capable.  :)

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Yes Kurt, after all the milling work I had to do to get my materials ready for the build I will surely be saving even the smallest left overs. I hope they will be a lot more useful than the cut-offs I've been generating the last 20 years! Glad you will be watching. Please feel free to pick on me anytime you see me making missteps. BTW I found that the frame plans weren't so hard to use after all and I didn't need a lot of extra copies either. My bad. 

 

Thanks John. I am quickly becoming addicted this type of work. I love the small fiddly work even though I'm not very good at it yet.

Edited by Mike40
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Thanks Mike and welcome aboard. Yes the basswood is pretty soft, but strangely enough it does behave a lot like other hardwoods. It is fine for ship modeling, but not as nice looking as boxwood, pear and other species like you are using. I carve figures with it and it takes the smallest details and is surprisingly strong, so it is ideal for modeling from a technical standpoint. I will be treating it with a sanding sealer of diluted hot hide glue which should take away any fuzziness tendencies and leave very smooth surfaces after light sanding. Some parts will also be stained in golden tones to provide better color tones. I will also be using some nice hardwoods on different parts of this model to provide some contrast to make it more interesting. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's been awhile since this log was started and even though I haven't made any significant progress since, I thought I should at least show a sign of life to let you know that I haven't given up.

 

I started making some frames after getting the keel, stern and bow finished and mounted on my building board, but I was not happy with the results because I lacked a method to insure the accurate gluing together of the forward and aft frame parts. I did finally find a build log, EDT's Young America build with the answer to my problem. So many thanks EDT! Another problem was having the ability to drill straight holes into the frames. This was solved by mounting my Dremel on my large drill press, another idea I found on this site, but cannot remember who posted it. I did post a photo of it on the the tool forum if you want to see it.

 

So far I have only managed three frames, one finished, and two almost finished. Not very impressive progress, but other things took up my time last month. Here is a picture of the method where small nails are used to connect the drilled holes in the forward and aft frame parts, first to let the glue joints set and then to glue the two completed parts together. This method really works well and I now feel confident that my frames will be pretty darned accurate. I will be leaving some extra material, about 1/32" to allow for fairing. Not sure if that's enough, but I think I read that others do the same. 

 

I expect to see some real progress this month. Right now each frame from start to finish is taking a couple of hours. Pretty slow, but accuracy is more important than speed, so I hope to finish a couple of completed frames each day with the time I have available.

 

 

 

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My latest progress. At least a start. These frames are not glued in yet. I am surprised at how long it takes to make to make the frames, but at least I have a good process now. I expect things will speed up a bit with experience, but the main thing is to enjoy the work and so far It's been fun, especially when problems are overcome. Having support from members on the site makes all the difference. I n the future I will try to show more of how I am doing the work and provide better close-up photos to make the log more interesting.  Any suggestions or criticism is welcome.

 

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Thanks guys for the positive comments and the thumbs up too. I only plan to use the axe if no other tool will do the job!  I'm really enjoying myself now that the frames are going smoothly. I expect things to get a lot more challenging when I get to the cant frames, maybe they should be spelled 'can't' to go with my skill level.

 

One thing that makes it easy to produce the frames is my scroll saw. I think every woodworker/model maker should have one.     The first 3 double frames took me about 2 hrs. each to make while the next 2 took about 45 minutes each (the glue is still drying). I haven't tried to go faster, but my routine is better now and the scroll sawing has speeded up quite a bit too as it always does after not using it for awhile. 

 

I won't be installing the frames permanently until I can find some black monofilament fishing line to use for the bolts. My biggest problem with woodworking and model building where I live in Norway is finding the materials that are needed for any but the most common types of work. This is due to our very small population here and the lack of market demand. The smallest drill bit that can be found locally is 1mm dia. That is slightly oversize for the bolt holes, but only by a small margin, so 1mm will have to do for now. I am planning to order some other tools and supplies on the web, probably from Germany or England as modeling is not exactly widespread here! 

 

If anyone can recommend a good German web store for modeling supplies I would much appreciate it if you could send me a link.

 

 

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Thank you Nils. There have been several excellent build logs of Washington here on this site. Here is a link to the list: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?app=core&module=search&section=search&do=search&fromsearch=1 I chose this ship as my first model for it's relative simplicity to learn some of the skills I will need for more complex builds in the future. 

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Thanks Nils. I am enjoying myself so far even though the repetitive work of making the frames can be a little boring, but that is true of just about any kind of project and the price we pay for our progress. I am very much looking forward to the more challenging aspects, especially the metal work which I have very little experience with. It is really wonderful to have so much knowledge and experience to draw from in all the members great build logs on this site. They are a much better source than any books on the market in my opinion. 

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Something curious about my frame drawings from the Washington plans. Suddenly the  bolt hole locations are omitted. As I previously mentioned I am pinning through the bolt holes to accurately locate the aft and forward parts of the double frame for gluing. I don't know if this omission is accidental or otherwise. It's not a big deal, as I can mark out the holes myself, but there is a greater chance for error that way and it takes a little more time. Not whining, but maybe a heads up for NRG.

 

 

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A little update. Still working on the frames. They are sitting loose on the keel with a couple of wood strips next to the keel to help keep them balanced. I noticed I put a couple in backwards from the photo. I still have a few small adjustments to do before gluing them in, but in spite of them looking out of wack they actually line up nicely only they don't stay that way by themselves.

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Hi Mike. Just read through your log and must say that you are braver than I am tackling a fully framed scratch build on the first try. I do want to build one myself one day so I think I will join you on your journey and see if I can learn something too. 

 

Your work is looking good and there is nothing wrong with a slow pace. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your build as you progress. :)

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