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Triton Cross Section by ChadB (Chach_86) - FINISHED

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Back before the "Great Crash" of MSW I had built the Triton cross section. I had a pretty robust build log to go along with it where I detailed just about every little step of my build. As it turns out, a friend of mine had actually saved about 95% of it and it has been sitting on my hard drive for quite some time. I haven't been on here much at all the last couple years but I saw my wood list made it's way on here and has hopefully helped a few people. It got me thinking that I would be good to get the build log out there to help others, also. I am going to try to start parsing it out in posts over time starting from the beginning going step by step, but I also have no problem giving out the .xps file to anyone currently building who doesn't want to wait (just be warned it is 180 pages long and includes a lot of fluff you would have to wade through!).












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Woohoo. That would be great. I was expecting to see your latest update as it would not be surprising to see you spend 3 years working on a wheel. Anyway nice to see you post again.

LOL... you remember me too well! I have been working on another build, but life has me in the thick of it with kids and such. At some point I'll start a build log for that, but I figure I have a good 10 years before I finish  ;) !  -Chad

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1. Intro


I realized some time back that I'm just not liking the prospect of building kits forever. The fact that I would look over the ME and Bluejacket catalogs almost obsessively probably didn't help that much, since I've looked at just about every kit out there about 8 billion times. I also think that while working on my second (kit) model at an astonishingly slow pace (not for want of working on it, just the rest of life doing whatever it can to keep me away), I've found that it's just so much more satisfying to take the time and replace all the garbage castings and alot of wood that is supplied. I still have the box in the closet and it now contains about 3 times the amount of wood that originally came with it, since just about everything has been replaced with something nicer. 

So slowly but surely I've started to accept the fact that diving in to scratch building is the way to go, and the sooner the better. I'm still pretty young (29) and I now have a new home with a garage that is just begging me to fill it with power tools. Originally my first build was going to be the 42 foot longboat practicum that I ordered from ANCRE. Now not to get off topic, but it is a very nicely done practicum that I really can't wait to build. I was all set to go when I came to the realization that I really need more practice on my recently purchased scroll saw and table saw (the Dewalt scroll saw and the Byrnes table saw- both HIGHLY recommended..) before I tackle some of the cutting for the longboat. This is what brought me into the Triton forums... 
I had checked out the Triton info before, and really never was that interested. Not that I didn't admire all the (free) work that had gone into the planning- that's something that goes on in very few places on the internet and just shows what an amazing sight this is. But once I really started digging into some of the build logs and seeing how everyone was making the build "their own" I became really interested. I also realized that the help would be there along the way as I get my feet wet in reading drawings and really planning just about every aspect of what I was gonna do. 
Edited by ChadB
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2. Plans and Jig


** So if I accomplish anything with this build log, I hope to lay out a somewhat easy to follow order of doing things and a "plan of action", because that is probably what scares me the most about this build. I'm someone who likes having a physical book or directions sitting in front of me. So maybe if there's anyone else like that out there, I can help a little. Unfortunately I build at a snails pace- so that person I can help may not be born yet.** 

OK- the first thing I did once I got access to the plans was obviously check them out. There's quite a bit- a little intimidating. So I headed out to Target and picked up a some page holders and a binder. Then I started printing. I printed out all of them and double checked that the scale was correct- 1/4 inch per foot. I found that on my Epson, the printer automatically defaults to shrinking the page to 97%, so the first couple were a tad small. Once I figured that out, everything was cool. Now I have a nice binder with all the plans easily accessible and can be easily rearranged in the order I think I'll use them. I also printed out between 2-4 copies of each, depending on if I felt they will be "high usage. 
My plan of action is try and set up a jig next following UweK'S tutorial (http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/901-uwek-triton-build-re-post-by-mod/). I headed out to Lowes and picked up all the hardware- so hopefully this weekend I can give that a go.
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3. Wood Selection


 I got down to the business of deciding the What, Where, and What Size of the cross section. I started by figuring that I was going to buy most of my lumber pre-milled, since I have yet to buy a thickness sander and I'm still learning the ropes with my table saw and scroll saw. Next on the agenda was trying to decide what types of wood I'd use. Two things I figured into the equation were 1) I haven't worked with many types of wood outside of the ones that come with kits, so I would like to try diversifying a little, and 2) money wasn't going to be a hinderance. I remember a post somewhere a long time ago that if you divide the price of the supplies over the amount of time it take to finish a project, that the cost tends to be very small- so I'd rather pay a little more for the wood I want since in the end it's probably only pennies difference. 

So trying to decide what I wanted to use was going to be tough since my wood knowledge is pretty shallow, so I hit up the gallery and came across Raul Guzman Jr.'s Oliver Cromwell*. I have seen this model before and absolutely love it, so I PM'ed him and he was nice enough to provide me a "who's who" of the types of wood used. I pretty much ended up using the same wood list since I liked it so much, and added a couple other types. 
Once I knew what types I was going to use, I set out breaking everything down into sizes and types using the plans and came up with this list**. The only part (I think) that I missed was the gun carriages, but I'm going to wait and see how things play out and see what I would like to use. I've ordered everything from the Lumberyard and qty's in parenthesis are for 12 inch+ lengths- which will give me enough to screw up with and yet probably finish. 
(2) 3/16 x 3" x 24" frames, lodging knees, sills, beam arms
(13) 1/8 x 1/8 ledges
(6) 3/16 x 3/16 carlings
(3) 1/4 x 1/4 gun deck beams
(3) 5/16 x 1/4 lower deck beams
(1) 5/32 x 2" x 24 hanging knees, lintels 
(1) 13/32 x 5/16 keel
(1) 5/16 x 5/16 keelson
(1) 13/32 x 1/16 garboard strake
(20) 3/16 x 1/16 planking
(3) 1/4 x 1/16 broad strake
(6) 7/32 x 3/32 lower deck spirk./gundeck clamps
(2) 1/16 x 5/32 skid beams 
(1) 1/4 x 1/16 gangway ladder
(1) 3/16 x 1/16 FWD ladder
(1) 1/16 x 3/8 sheer rail
(1) 3/8 x 3/32 gangway trim
(1) 5/32 x 5/32 gundeck stanchions
(2) 1/8 x 5/16 false keel 
(6) 1/8 x 5/16 thick stuff
(4) 3/32 x 1/4 planking 1
(2) 1/16 x 1/4 planking 2
(2) 1/16 x 3/16 planking 3
(2) 5/32 x 5/32 hold pillars 
(2) 1/4 x 5/32 hatches 
(4) 1/8 x 3/16 wales
(2) 1/16 x 1/8 trim
(1) 3/8 x 1/16 fenders
(2) 3/16 x 3/32 steps 
(2) 1/4 x 3/32 gundeck spirketting
(1) 3/32 x 3/16 gangway clamp
(3) 1/16 x 3/16 bulwarks
(1) 3/16 x 3/8 gallows
(1) 1/8 x 5/32 cross piece
(2) 1/4 x 1/4 bitts 
(23) 1/16 x 3/16 deck planking
(3) 1/16 x 1/4 waterways
(10) 1/16 x 5/32 gangway 
... so now I wait...
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  • 2 weeks later...
4. Cutting the Rabbet


I cut my keel the other night and came up with this little jig to scrape out the rabbet... 

Pretty easy- just a scrap block of wood with another scrap piece used as a "slide". That piece was cut in half and half a razor blade was super glued between at the correct angle. I found the angle by taping the keel 

cross section to the end... 

I went through quite a few razor blades, but I found that with the super glue, the blade never moved during scraping and was easily removed with a pair of pliers. 

Overall, I was really pleased with the outcome- the rabbet has a nice, sharp edge and matches up nicely with the drawings. 

On to the False keel, keelson, and frames!



Edited by ChadB
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5. Screwing up Frames and Lessons Learned


Well, I was hoping this next post would be my 'frames are completed- Hooray!' post, but it's gonna be a 'lessons learned post' instead. 

I had cut out all my frame parts and started assembling the other day, when I came to the conclusion that I'm going to need to reorder some boxwood sheets and start over if I want to do a quality job. I made a couple major (and a couple minor) mistakes that led to this point that hopefully will help a few other modelers.. 
1.) Cut out your frame pieces with a little extra 'meat' on them- This was probably my biggest mistake. It led to me having to re-cut alot of pieces because I cut away too much. As many have said- you can take it off, but it's nearly impossible to put back on. I'm still a novice when it comes to scroll-sawing, I'll just consider it more practice. 
2.) If buying milled wood, get enough and don't skimp for quality- Because of #1, I had to order more boxwood since I didn't expect to use as much. But I ordered from a different dealer since I wasn't too happy with the quality of the first dealer. I knew the second dealers quality was great, but had balked on ordering since I wanted to order all from one place. Well, the new boxwood was great, but the thickness was a little less than the original. This caused me to have to sand down the frame by hand if I had to make a replacement futtock. I ended up not sanding down enough on a frame, which left a gap between the second and third futtock. Trying to pry them apart after the glue had cured nearly caused a stitch in my finger. 
3.)If using spray mount to tack the pattern onto your wood, don't put all patterns on unless you plan on cutting them all soon.- Maybe it was the humidity, but I had cut all the patterns out and placed them allon the boxwood at one time. As mentioned, I'm still pretty new to woodworking with power tools, so I took my time over a week or two to cut the frame pieces. Unfortunately I ended up having to re-tack alot of the patterns because they lifted before I cut, or had flapping patterns while scroll sawing. It was a minor thing, but a nuisance nonetheless. 
..Well- I'd be lying if I said I wasn't really discouraged last night when I came to the realization that I'd lost the work I'd done- but I told myself I was going to take my time and do everything right. I don't want to slap something together that looks crummy just to regret it later. Unfortunately my modeling time is close to nothing right now with a little one running around, another on the way, and my mother in law living with us, so it'll probably take another 2 months to get back to this point. 
On the bright side, I guess I have been lucky enough to learn all these lessons now at one time, than slowly throughout the build! 
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6. Back on Track Making Frames


Well, I think the little setback is the best thing that could have happened to me. I'm back on track now and have a little over half the frames built and they look a heck of alot better than the first ones. Restarting was definitely the best way to go. 
So I thought I'd break down how I've been building my frames. It's alot like some of the other ways I've seen, but with a few little twists. It's been changing a little bit with each frame since I've found little ways to 
make it more efficient. but here's where I'm at now. 
1 - cut out pattern pieces for frames
Pretty self explanatory here- just make sure there is extra "meat" one all four sides of the edges. I probably leave at least 4 mm just so I can get a good adhesion for cutting. 
2- apply the pattern to the wood
For this I used 3M Spray Mount. I have mixed feelings about this product since sometimes it peels off in the middle of cutting and other times it takes forever to try and remove it all from the wood. I can't find any correlation between dry time, cleanliness of wood, or the amount of spray- so after this project I'll probably be looking for something else. If anyone has any suggestions I'm open to them. 
But back on track- Because of the shapes of the floors and futtocks, it's pretty easy to conserve wood and tack everything to the wood close to each other. I tried to avoid doing that since thats what led to my demise the first time around. Maybe when I get better at scroll sawing I'll feel more comfortable cramming everything together, but for now I've given each piece some air to breathe. I tried to stay with the grain but was not horribly worried about it on this model. It seems like that becomes very important with cant frames on full models. One last note on the 3M Spray Mount- it gets everywhere. I'm using a pair of needlenose pliers to hold the pattern while I spray it so it doesn't cover my hands. I've also since learned that spraying over the garage floor will cause the wife to ask questions like "Why is the floor all sticky?" - so I do all my spraying over the garbage can now. 
3 - cut out the pattern
I gave myself about a 1mm cushion on the sides and about 5 mm cushion on the heels of every piece. I think if there's ANYTHING taken away from this post- this is it. It's save you lots of future trouble and money. 
4- file out the floor where it will sit on the keel.
I just used a couple small square files I got at the hobby shop for this. Took off a little at a time until the floor fit snugly on the keel. 
5- Assembling the first side of the frame.
Once I knew the floor would fit on the keel, I sanded down the heels right to the edge of the line. For this I used a disc sander which has made things go really quick. It's important to make sure the table is squared up to the sanding disc to avoid problems later. Then I taped the floor down in position on the assembly drawing- which you won't see in the photos since that was something I just started doing last night. Everything else gets based off the floor, so it helps having to recenter it all the time. 
Next up comes the second futtock. I sanded down the heel where it'll join the floor right to the edge of the line, then checked the fit. The goal was to have the heels sit flush AND have the frame eventually fit naturally into the jig without any pressure. Most of the time the futtocks will have to be resanded by just "touching" them to the sanded to get the correct angle. This was what I shot for.. 
After it "looked" good, I peeled back the edges of the pattern to see make sure the heels were fully flush.. 
Once everything looked kosher, I glued the floor and second futtock together. I found that poking the heel with an exacto to leave some small divits for the glue seems to give a better joint.. 
From here I just repeated the same steps to apply the fourth futtock, which gave me the first side of the frame. 



6- assembling the other side of the frame
One half the frame is done, the rest was pretty easy. I started by peeling the pattern off of the floor and second futtock, but I guess there's no reason not to take all the patterns off. It's important to watch for residue from the pattern or glue that could prevent both sides of the frame from sitting flush and leaving gaps. This is a little extreme, but a razor will scrape it all off.. 
Now I was ready to line up the first futtocks. The hardest part was having both heels sit together and still line up with the floor and second futtock. But once I got that, I just sanded the heel for the third futtock and got ready for glueing. I did the same thing with the divits on the heels and also on the face that was being glued down. Then just a little glue and a bunch of colorful clamps.. 
Once this was done, the rest is just repeating what was done above. Making sure the heels are flush and everything lines up with the assembly sheet in the plans are the biggest points. I sanded down a couple of the first frames (but have since left all frames unsanded so I can do all them at the same time) and have found that the joints are so good I had a tough time finding them. Two of my friends have taken a look and thought each frame was made from a single piece of wood! This is the finished result..
- file out the rest of the seat for the keel
Since the floor is correctly filed for the keel, I just had to match up the first futtocks. Here's the right side done and the left side ready to be filed.. 
...So that's it so far. I have to make a few more frames before moving on and may remake a frame or two also. I tried out some treenails on one and found that the Dremel workstation does not take the place of a good drill press, so that may be my next investment. I know this was a pretty long and detailed writeup on making frames, but this was one thing that I had no idea how to approach coming into this build, and like I said in the beginning- hopefully this will help someone else in the same boat as me. Oh yeah- here's how it's looking so far
After the frames are done, I'll be working on sanding them down and treenailing. 
Edited by ChadB
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7. Dry Fitting Frames


So I now have all the frames cut and together, but they are still rough. I decided I'm going to fair down the frames all together once they are mounted on the keel like it would be done on a full framed model just for a little practice. I don't see this being a problem once the frames are treenailed down and the keelson is in place. I think I will also put spacers in above the wales since both sides will be planked wales up, which will add a little sturdiness. 

I'm now doing a final fit of all the frames to the keel and cutting the notch for the keelson. I had cut it very roughly- and in hindsight probably could have cut a little tighter- so there's alot of sand a little and check, sand a little and check... . Luckily this can all be done in the house and not in the garage where it's getting a little chilly. 
Here's where I'm at.. 





these are the tools I've been using for the keelson. The large file was an impulse buy at Harbor Freight for a dollar that has come in very handy for this. It seems big but for some reason is easier to use.. 




..So once this is done, I'll be treenailing the frames, finishing the keel and keelson with tung oil, then treenailing the frames to the keel. Onward! -Chad

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Totally agree about the value of making your own scrapers. I wish I'd done my rabbet like that now I've used a scraper for the waterways.


On the tacking down of the templates, I use a water-based glue stick (Pritt stick in the UK) for two reasons:


1. It's easy to put on, and so if an edge lifts off it's really easy just to dab at it with the stick.


2. It's much easier to remove than the contact adhesive rubber-based glues. All you have to do is paint it over with a brush or dab with a sponge.


I also agree about the learning you've done. On my previous and first build I found that on average I had to make something twice over before I'd get it right a third time. There are some people here who've even built a near complete ship only to find it was absolutely necessary to start all over again. If you see it as learning, as you've done, then the pain is very much less!


On my Triton build I've had to do quite a bit of insertion of wood pieces to make up for over-rigorous sanding but oddly enough that's a skill I've really enjoyed learning.


Looking forward to the recovery stages!





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8. Treenail Holes


I've gotten all the frames fitted for the keel and keelson now and am starting to work on treenailing. One of the little things that I wanted to make sure I did was have the treenails evenly spaced and not just 'eyeball' it. Just one of those things that can look crummy if done wrong, and I really have no desire to mess it up and cut anymore frames! So I wanted to come up with a template of some kind to correctly drill my treenail holes. This is what I came up with for the floors

pretty straight forward... It's just a cutout from the plans with the holes measured out... 
The template for the heels of the futtocks took a little more brainstorming. I ended up with the following template. It's just a piece of rigid plastic I cut from the packaging of a pack of batteries. I just scribed a straight line down the middle and poked 2 holes an even amount from each side of the scribe. The scribe was placed on the joint on the frames and a mark left where I was to drill... 
Overall I was happy with the results.... 
For the actual treenails, I was planning on using my old faithful bamboo skewers pulled through a drawplate (the Byrnes drawplate is the way to go..), but after alot of tests on old frames with different finishes and and even trying to soak the bamboo in stain, I'm just not liking the look. I ripped some boxwood (lord knows I have TONS of scrap to work with...) and tried a few trials and it looks real nice- very subtle but you know it's there. So now I'm going to attempt boxwood treenails, which won't be easy but it's the look I want so I'll suffer. 
Anyway- this is what I have so far. I've also gone ahead and finished my keel (apple), keelson (apple) and false keel (indian laurel) with tung oil. -Chad 


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9. Treenails


Treenails. Ugh. 
How anyone does a full model I don't know. I had read in one of the posts by Russ somewhere that it's a good idea to just start making treenails in advance whenever you have a minute so you don't have to sit there for hours mindlessly making them. I am here to tell you I wholly endorse that idea. 
Boxwood treenails turned out to be a bit more work, but I'm glad I did it. Here's a photo of a 1mm boxwood vs. bamboo treenail mock-up to show the difference. They were given a coat of wipe on poly, which is 
what I'll use... 
boxwood left, bamboo right
It seems like bamboo might hold the slight edge in strength, although boxwood seemed fairly strong also. The cross grain on the bamboo is very porous and always looked green to me, while boxwood just has a cleaner. subtler look. I think in places where treenails are not seen (attaching frames to keel, etc...) I will use bamboo and attempt to use hardwood for the rest. 
It may seem fairly straightforward, but I'm trying to take nothing for granted, so here's how I made my treenails.. 
I used a spare billet of boxwood that was the same thickness as the frames and ripped small plank-like pieces about 1.5mm wide... 
...then using an exacto and a metal ruler, cut each plank down to toothpick size... 
This was then pulled through the drawplate (no. 36 or 37 hole on Byrnes drawplate). Most would break at some point or another so the 3 inch long toothpicks usually ended up considerably shorter, adding to the frustration of making treenails. 
Once they were ready, it was simply inserting into the pre-drilled holes. Some slid right in so I rubbed a little white glue on them, while others were just tight enough that they didn't need anything. I left a little extra on each side of the frame and then just sanded it down. 
All the frames are ready to be mounted on the keel now, so I've been starting to put together a jig for that similar to what I've seen in some of the full build logs. -Chad


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10. Jig making for Setting Frames


 Today I was able to put together a jig for aligning and attaching the frames to the keel. This is a pretty vital step so I've been going through various building logs and coming up with ideas of how I was going to do this. Everything kind of came together this morning and here's what I came up with... 

I started with two half inch thick by five and a half inch wide billets of poplar from Lowes which cost a total of 6 bucks. The first step was cutting a base that would be long enough to hold the keel and have plenty of extra working room- this one was about 1ft long. Next was something to hold the keel in place on the board. I ripped 2 pieces to run the length of the base with a height of a quarter inch, so as not to interfere with the rabbet. One of them was then glued to the base like so.. 
Next, I took a print of the 'cross section frames' and cut out a section that shows all frames and the keel. This was then cut into two, making sure to cut exactly perpendicular to the frames. I then attached one side of the drawing with 3M spray mount to the base like shown, using a square to make sure the frames will be perpendicular.. 
Next the other side of the drawing was attached in the same way to the other side. Two things to watch is make sure you have fore and aft facing the same direction on each side and that both sides are aligned correctly. This is what it looks like at this point.. 
I then put the keel up against the 'rail' and glued the other 'rail' in place (over the frame drawing). The keel fits snugly in place and has no extra movement. With the keel in the correct position, I then glued small stoppers made of scrap on each end to keep the keel from sliding out of place. You can see these in the last few photos.. 
Next was the vertical board that will align the frames. My goal was to have it contact as much of the frame as possible. I cut a notch in the bottom just wide enough to straddle the 'rails' and just high enough to clear 
the keel.. 
Next came probably the most crucial part- creating the pieces that will keep that board on the correct axis when mounting the frames. After they were cut, I checked and checked and checked again that they were an exact 90 degree angle. The shape is totally arbitrary- it's the angle that counts. 
Finally the assembly. Pretty simple from here, but still easy to screw up. I attached the 90 degree pieces to the board tight in against the 'rails' so there isn't any play side to side. It's also imperative to make sure the board lines up exactly against the frame drawing edge and is at an exact 90 degrees up and down.
And that's it. The final product..




A long time ago I bought the fair- a-frame from Model Expo. I think I paid something like 40 bucks for it and what a piece of junk it was. This cost me 6 bucks and is essentially the same thing just alot more accurate and sturdier. Hopefully someone will see this (or the others throughout various build logs) and be saved the frustration of trying to use that god-awful thing. 
So next up is the step that probably scares me the most- actually using this. I see attaching frames as the 'no-turning-back point'. I just always have this feeling that I'l get everything attached and remember some vital step that I missed, so I think I'll spend tomorrow making sure I have everything that needs to be done squared away. -Chad
Edited by ChadB
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On the tacking down of the templates, I use a water-based glue stick (Pritt stick in the UK) for two reasons:


1. It's easy to put on, and so if an edge lifts off it's really easy just to dab at it with the stick.


2. It's much easier to remove than the contact adhesive rubber-based glues. All you have to do is paint it over with a brush or dab with a sponge.




Tony- I love this idea! I'm still using that damn spray on adhesive on my current build but I think that comes to an end now! I stil have the needlenose pliers I used for the cross section build and they are nearly impossible to open because they are so gunked up at this point. Thanks for the pointer!



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10a. A Good Conversation on Aligning the Frames Correctly


A very interesting and useful looking jig. How do you ensure that the frames are not skewed to one side? Are you going to set up a grid on the vertical board to ensure that the frames are even about the central axis, or do you have another method of controlling this? 

John- That's the question that I wrestled with yesterday afternoon and woke up this morning at 530 thinking about. I put a centerline down the middle- which can be seen in the last photo- just to start with. I may try something along the lines of Lee's Le Fleuron build where he has used a string pulled tight down the centerline and spacers across the top of the frames marked in the middle. I can't remember which other build log (sometimes they all just meld together in my head after a while) had a grid also, which is another good idea- unless the grid is off a little. Hopefully I'll have an idea ready to go by tonight. 
The other builder who uses the wide open string method is an exceptional one, Gary Bishop with his outstanding Alfred build. 
Let me give you some hints for this jig, these are not all important here for the x-section, but for a full build they are a must. 
Glue something across the back of the angle pieces. Right now they are very good, but after a few times sliding this back/ forth, the jig will start to loosen up a little. Hard to notice until you have a few bad frames 
Use some wax on the outer edges of the keel clamping pieces- nothing worse then having this start to bind a little when you have glue on the pieces and need to move a little more quickly. 
A string and cross spalls at the top of the frames guarantee the frame is set exactly correct. Glue the cross spall across the top timbers of the frame, lay the frame over the plans and when all lines are covered by the frame, and the keel notch is right on- mark the cross spall. 
When setting up the frame, just line up the string and the mark and you know for sure that nothing is wrong and the true shape of the hull can be sanded too- you are not starting out with any dips or places that are too small for the envelope of the frame before you even begin fairing. 
Keep up the great work, I love logs like this! 
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11. Cross Spalls


Thanks for the tips Lee and thanks to everyone else again for the kind words. 

I decided to go Lee and Gary's route of a tight string down the centerline and cross spalls across the tops of the frames. I was kind of freaked out about glueing anything to the tops of frames, even though that whole area will be covered. Something about having to separate it at some point and the possibility of a frame breaking scares me a little- So I came up with something removeable that still does the job of centering the frame and keeping it in place. 
I was lucky enough to have a few sheets of extra boxwood left over from my frames, thanks to Jeff at Hobbymill. I don't think I could say it enough that he provides the best quality milled wood around and has answered MANY questions I've thrown his direction about different types of wood. So back on subject- I ripped nine 5mmx5mm strips that were all long enough to cross the top of the widest frame (200mm or 8 inches would be a good length. 
The next step was to take one of the spalls and lay it along the 'Top of Frame Line' mark on the frame assembly drawing and mark the inside of the frame. I then sanded down to this line on my disc sander and checked and resanded until both sides were where they needed to be.. 
So you'd think that would be good enough, right? But no- I'm a man, and it's in our genetics to over-engineer anything we make, especially something trivial like this. So I still had some of the small strips of boxwood left from making treenails (the stips that would eventually be cut down to toothpick size) and I glued one on each side along the top of the spall like so.. 
OK- so even though I joked about doing this- there was a reason behind it. I had a couple frames that that were a tiny bit too wide at the top for whatever reason. Nothing real bad, but enough that it seemed like it could be an annoyance down the line. So to fix that, I took some small square scraps and glued them to the outside of the strip affixed across the top of the spall. If the frame was a bit wide, I made sure that this little square was glued in snug against the frame to keep it in place. 
Once everything was dry, I went back and just double checked that all the frames were fitted correctly and added the centerline on the top using the centerline mark on the frame assembly drawing. So now I have a frame that can be aligned correctly and ready to be mounted. 
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12. Updating the Jig


Just a quick update- I decided that there really isn't a reason to actually use a string, since the centerline on my jig would do the trick. I understand why it would be used on a full model since there's not as much room to work with a jig like this one because of the stem and stern getting in the way. So to make my centerline accurate I had to extend the board up like this.. 

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13. Setting frames


Well, I finally finished mounting all the frames to the keel last night and included spacers in between the frames. I turned out to be a little harder than I originally thought it was going to be- but the finished product 

came out real well. Here's how I did it... 
First using the jig I previously built, I'd put the frame in the correct position on the keel buy pushing the slide right up to lines on the drawings. The first couple frames I would then glue in place and treenail after, but I found that whle drilling the hole in the frame for the treenail, it would vibrate the frame free. This could have either been that I was using the drill press to drill the hole or that the keel had already been finished with tung oil. So after roughing up the top of the keel, I decided to dry mount the frame and drill the treenail hole freehand using my little battery operated Dremel.. 
..I drilled the treenail holes on the floor side since I was terrified that drilling on the other side would cause the frame to split. Once that was done, it was glued and set on the keel with the treenail inserted. Using the cross spall built earlier, I was able to center the frame by matching up centerlines.. 
Once the frame was set and dried, I ripped a few pieces of scrap that would be used as spacers between frames. There are only two distances between frames- 1/4 inch and 1/8 inch. The next frame was mounted as desribed earlier and the spacer was sanded until it fit snugly between the frames at the keel. 
I had drawn a line on the vertical part of the jig where the lower part of the spacer would go. Now I was able to trace the shape where the spacer would be fitted. Since the distance between frames at the keel was measured, the spacers would keep the top of the frames the same distance apart. 
Trying to hold the wood straight and in place while trying to trace the shape turned out to not work well, so here's how I tackled it.. 
After the spacers were cut out on the scroll saw, I had two pieces that wouldn't leave a whole lot of extra to sand later 
To set them was easy. I smeared each side with glue, lined them up on the jig, and clamped the frames to keep them tight.. 
I just repeated for all the frames, and now have them all mounted. The first thing I noticed was how solid everything seems. This will be good for the next step of sanding the hull, which I'm totally terrified of doing. 
Onward! -Chad 


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14. Fairing (Blech.)


So far in my short ship modeling career, I think fairing a hull (well) is right up there with planking a hull as one of the tougher things to do. I now know why it's tough to get good advice on how to do it well, since it's just about impossible (as far as I can see, anyway) to explain how to do it well. I just had to jump in and feel it out along the way. 
I started with the frames not being roughly faired so that the fore and aft sides of the frame were even, which in hindsight was a mistake since it would have been easier off the keel, but really just adds extra time to the fairing process... 
I turned out to be a real pain to sand those areas down, so I decided to start on the floor, since it was flat and would let start getting a feel for what kind of tools were going to work. The first thing I had to do though was determine where the flat part of the floor ended and started curving up, since - once again- nothing was faired first. I did this by taking a copy of the Cross Section Frames drawing and drawing a "centerline" down the middle perpendicular to the frames. Then I took each of the Frame Assembly drawings and measured the length of the floor, copied it onto the "centerline" of my other drawing, and connected the sides with a french curve. Finally I just pasted it to a scrap piece of matte board and cut it out, giving me this... 
The floor was pretty easy since it was flat- I found a standard card cabinet scraper worked best. I guess before I go any further I'll mention the tools I found worked best. First and foremost- a $10 pack of 3 cabinet scrapers was a fantastic investment. Of course, with cabinet scrapers they will have to be sharpened- so I also had to pick up a $10 burnishing tool and a waterstone (about $25). Sharpening them is almost an art in itself, as I've gotten sharpening the card scrapers down but the curved ones have taken a little more practice. I looked at about every link on sharpening cabinet scrapers that google brought up, but everyone has their own way of doing it so I just went at it until I found something that worked for me. Other than the scrapers I used a flat ruler sized piece of scrap wood and 4 sanding blocks with 100 grit sandpaper on them. I found the sanding blocks are used the most. All are pretty much just small rectangles with one side curved over that I cut out real quick on the scroll saw. One of them is just a little over the width of a frame, and the others are about a frame and a half thickness. The thicker ones I find usefull for sanding across multiple frames without getting "caught up" between frames, while the thinner one is good for just working on a single frame. 
So after the floor, I started on the inside since I thought this would be the harder part (it is) and on the side that would eventually be fully planked. I figured it was best to get a feel for things on the side that would be a little more forgiving since it will all be covered anyway. This is where I can't really explain what went on since it just has to be "experienced". I imagine it like trying to describe to someone how to sculpt- kind of tough to do I would think. I just started rough and kept refining it little by little. This was when I noticed a problem on the horizon- one of the frames seemed out of place at "the turn of the bilge" (thanks Lee). I 
thought about it and finally decided one night to break the frame loose and reset it to try to align it. Once it was broken free with an exacto knife I had no clue what to do- that's how I ended up with this gem  ...
..first I aligned the turn of the bilge area by laying a scrap piece of wood along the frames and wrapping thread around the frame and the scrap, and behind the free frame, which kind of cinched everything into place. Then I used a couple more pieces of scrap to align the tops. Once everything was glued into place, the frames aligned much nicer. After that was done and I had the inside roughly faired, I started from the floors and just started cleaning it all up by working my way up with a scrap pushed down along the inside to see what needed to be cleaned up. 
So now I have about 3/4 of the cross section faired with only one of the outsides to go (once I got a hande on the inside, the outside is pretty easy). Although I don't think I'll be able to leave a whole side open as 
planned since I still have a few spots that aren't totally faired because I STILL left the frames thin  , a decent section near the bilge will be, which is OK with me. The only disturbing thing I've noticed is separation on some of my futtocks.. 
I was pretty careful not to have anything like this when I built my frames, so I think it could be from either the little bit of bending that went into setting a few frames on the keel or the cold snap we had a few weeks back when the cross section sat in the garage (since moved inside). There's only a couple spots like this, so I may try filling it with some wood glue/sawdust mix and see what the results are. -Chad


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14a. More Fairing (More Blech.)


I just finished the fairing of the hull and I can honestly say I won't miss it. I think the whole process took me quite a while because I really only worked in 10-30 min spurts because 1.) it's an incredibly monotonous and tedious process and 2.) any longer than that and I go from the "quality work" mindset to the "good enough" mindset. After I finished the rough fairing with 100 grit sandpaper I took it all the way down to 600 grit in the places that would be visible. I found that since the finer sandpaper doesn't last very long it didn't work on wooden sanding blocks very well. I took a trip over to the local woodworking store and found a felt pad (about 5 bucks) which worked like a charm. It was just flexible enough to get around the inside and evenly sand the outside.. 
The "finished" product.. 
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15. Making a Story Pole and Transferring Lines.


So I decided the next step should be transferring lines to the inside and outside of the hull. It took me a few days to remember reading in one of Russ's older posts about using something called a "Story Pole". It's a vertical "pole" that has all the heights of different spots on the hull. Once the idea kind of came together it seemed like a great idea for making sure everything was going to be even and uniform on both sides. I started by using some scrap from the frame setting jig I used as a base, since I was going to use that jig to hold the model in place while transferring lines. Then I used various drawings to transfer heights to a scrap piece of apple left over from the keel. Put together and squared up to make sure it was exactly vertical, this was the finished product.. 






Next I used some more scrap to make a couple "arms" to beable to get the height right up against the frame to mark it.. 




Then I made sure the model was secured in the jig and centered the same way I used to mount the frames. This way nothing was wobbling or uneven..




Transferring lines was then real easy. Move the story pole up to the frame and tick of the height. I just started from the bottom and worked my way around the hull. Once a height was sufficiently marked, I just 
moved on to the next height up (unlike in the photo that was taken post-transfer  ) 
Once I had enough marks, it was just a matter of "connecting the dots". I double checked the height by measuring from a fixed point- say the top of keel- to the mark and then checked the measurement on both the opposite side and opposite end to make sure nothing is going to be either crooked or slanted! 
I'll probably cover the lines with a bit of wipe on poly or some other finish just to make sure the lines don't get rubbed off along the way, but the final product should be good enough to finally start adding some meat 
to these bones! -Chad


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16. Adding the Thick Stuff


So things have been quite easy now because of the time put in to fair the hull and make sure all the lines were transferred correctly. I decided to go ahead and do all the thick stuff first and fill in the rest once that was all in place. It was real nice to work with something other than boxwood and apple (cherry), too. 

I started by soaking the cut planks for about 20 minutes and then giving them a little bend by clamping both sides over a board with some foam in the middle. The foam keeps it from getting marked up and gives it just enough of a bend to sit a little more naturally against the frames.. 
Then I gave one side a bit of a beveled edge using a sanding block so that way the other plank touching it would fit nicely. I also sanded the back (the side sitting on the frames) to a bit of a rounded edge so it conformed to the frames. I finished off the front side with some 400 grit sandpaper on the felt block (which is quickly becoming one of my favorite tools) and clamped it down. 
The limber strake was alot easier to make than I thought it was going to be. I just set the fence of the tablesaw as close to the blade as possible and raised the blade to just the height of the groove where the limber board site. The limber board was hand made and just took some trial and error to get the right angles. -Chad 
The "finished product".. 


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17. Finishing the Hold Planking, Cutting Limber Boards, and Cutting out Gunport Sills and Lintels


. I finished up the hold planking with one side fully planked and the other just thick stuff as to show off frames. All the planking was pretty straightforward, but I was a little worried about making sure my treenails were in nice straight lines. It's one of those things I've tried to do to the best of my ability since mediocre results would stick out like a sore thumb. 

I started with this little jig which was a small piece of scrap with a block on either end that will let it fit over all the frames and stay in place. I marked on the scrap the positions of each treenail so it could be marked 
on the frames. 
*Sorry about the photos. I'm actually a little embarassed to be showing them because of the horrible white balance. My kitchen table has been my headquarters over the winter and the lighting overhead is the new 
energy-saving flourescents 
Once I had marks across each frame, I connected the dots.. 
Once the lines were drawn, I drew perpendicular lines to make sure they would be even across the frames also, which left me with small crosses at the points that needed drilling.. 
I started drilling the holes using a pinvise but it took forever, so I switched over to my small rechargeable Dremel which worked well. I went through and used a pn to start a hole so the drill had somewhere to start. All treenails were done with cherry and I used a 1mm hole for the thick stuff and a 1/2 mm hole for all the rest.. 
Once that was done I wanted to finish up my limberboards. I had opened a thread a while back in the general discussion about it and came to the conclusion that they would be 3 feet long with openings on either side to pry them out. So scaled down gave me 3/4 inch long sections with half circles drilled out on each end. I already had the long continuous limberboard shaped, so it was just a matter of cutting and drilling. I started by cutting the lengths, then setting up this little jig to make sure the half circles lined up. Two boards were put in and lined up so the drill bit would fall directly between the two. Any small adjustments were made 
with a file.. 
Overall a simple task once thought out. I will glue in place eventually and there will be small pieces to cover the ends. I don't know if they were actually staggered like this, but I really like the look.
And then just last night I finally built up the courage to cut out the slots for the gunport sills and lintels. I don't know why this scared me so much, but it ended up being incredibly easy. I think it was actually seeing Grant,s method of cutting out the slots in the floors on Dokondr's build log that really made it easy- thanks Grant! Everything was already marked, so I just used a jeweler's saw to make a few horizontal cuts and break out the pieces with an exacto knife. 
So that's it so far. Next up I believe I'll finally tackle the wales! -Chad
Edited by ChadB
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