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SawdustDave

USS Constitution by SawdustDave - FINISHED - 1:60th Scale

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This, being the first day of progress in my effort to scratch build one of the truly great war ships in naval history, I am hopeful that I will be able to do reasonable justice to "Old Iron Sides".
I should begin with thanks to Tom ("usedtosail") and John ("mundie") for their valuable assistance in helping me get up and running on this project.  Folks like these guys are a perfect example of what makes MSW such a great community.

 

One quick note about scale....
A new experience for me has been the task of changing the scale of plan sheets - in this case, from 1:76.8 to 1:60.
Many of my friends being aware of my initial thoughts of building the Connie at a scale of 1:50th.  Then after receiving the plan sheets I discovered that the size of the model, as designed by Model Shipways, is already very large....and that converting the scale to 1:50th was pretty much unreasonable.
Playing around with scale for a couple of days led to a conclusion that 1:60th is about the maximum size I can reasonably do.

Why not just build her at the plan scale?
For a scratch builder, "bigger is better" in terms of creating detail.... 

 

So, for what it's worth, here we go "splishing and asplashing"!


 

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SCALE....
If, like me, you don't have a real perspective in terms of the difference between scale sizes. here's a little visual you will appreciate.
This is what made me say "Holy She It"! when I first saw the difference in the size of this bulkhead part.

 

post-11777-0-94900600-1482507457.jpg

 

Now, as the saying goes  "You get the picture".
 

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First Progress Report....

Great to be making sawdust again after finishing up the Sovereign of The Seas build.
Here's a little tip for scratch builders.... kit modelers seldom have to do this....
Cutting out parts on the band saw:

Rather than try to trace the shape of your parts onto a piece of lumber, it is much more accurate to glue the plan drawing directly onto the surface of your lumber and make your cuts after the glue has set for about 30 minutes.
This allows you to optimize the layout and reduce the material waste.

Also, the issue of tracing a part actually increases the size of the part for obvious reasons.

 

Seen here, I make a rough tracing of the part simply to define the area I want to spread the white glue.
Then apply white glue to the marked area and smooth out with your finger.
Then apply the drawing and smooth out with your finger.

Let it set up for about 30 minutes...........

 

post-11777-0-06884000-1482508047_thumb.jpg

 

Ready to make some sawdust!

Edited by SawdustDave

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Dave,I am pumped to follow along with your build. I can't wait to see the details you can add at that scale. And I am very happy to be of help as you proceed. Of course, I am two years into my build so some of the procedures I used in the beginning are slipping into the fog...

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One more quick tip....
Just for those friends just getting in to the hobby.

I find it really helpful to use this little digital timer to make sure I allow my glue-up's to dry properly before handling them.
It's so easy to lose track of time, or become impatient and grab an assembly before the glue is fully cured.

Seen here, the three main keel parts have been placed on my table saw top with two heavy tool boxes securing the joints while the joints are curing for an hour.

The timer will alarm after the set time, as a reminder that I can begin handling the assembly.

 

post-11777-0-41626100-1482510117.jpg
 

Edited by SawdustDave

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Clamps of every size and shape is the bread and butter of every woodworker....right?

 

The width of the lumber used to create the three main keel parts was about 1/4" too narrow for the pattern. So it is necessary to add a strip to the bottom edge of the assembly.

Not bad actually, as the solid continuous strip strengthens the joint between the three large parts.

Once cured, I will be able to trace out the bottom line and cut the full assembly to it's final shape.

 

post-11777-0-98102200-1482513417.jpg

Edited by SawdustDave

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Darrell.... All I can say is that I have many friends who have given me sets of plans after they have finished their build and no longer need them.

I did find a site with plan sheets for the Connie, but found them to be considerably inferior for my taste.

Just do a GOOGLE search on "free plans for USS Constitution"..... actually costs $2.

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Hi Greg.... Referring to posting #10 above- that photo shows the clamping of the single 1/2" wide strip I added to the bottom of the assembly which was necessary for me to get the complete width BEFORE adding the false keel pieces.

In other words, the false keel has not yet been added.

But....yes I did use a straight edge AND "C clamps" in that glue-up.

 

Welcome Al Jesse and Mark.

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Nice to see such an early start (having just finished your last) build Dave.  1/60 is a good scale to work with, just the right size for detail; after your last effort I look forward to what you do here.

 

Now you have embarrassed me into getting going with the Victoria ;) Have a safe and happy festive season and happy modelling in 2017 mate.

 

cheers

 

Pat

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Cutting out bulkheads....
 

I'm not sure if this posting makes much of a real contribution to my experienced friends, however.... I'm hoping a few modelers taking their first shot at scratch building might find it helpful.

Creating the bulkheads from plan sheet patterns can be a rather lengthy process, requiring several stages of development..... printing the patterns, rough cutting plywood blanks for applying patterns, gluing patterns onto the plywood blanks, then cutting out the patterns, cleaning up the cutout part and fitting to the model.

 

The bulkhead patterns seen here demonstrate an example of an issue faced by the scratch builder.
In order to remove the material from the two spaces within the bulkhead with a band saw, it is necessary to cut through the top of the pattern.  After removing the entire area, I have simply inserted a replacement center post and added a space filler where I made the cut.

These three bulkheads are used to show the three stages.  The yellow one is a plywood blank with a pattern glued and allowed to cure for at least an hour.

 

post-11777-0-71738300-1482851888.jpg

 

Of course, I should note that using a scroll saw does eliminate the need to cut into the pattern.

 

 

 



 

Edited by SawdustDave

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Thanks for the tip Tom. For sure, now would be the time to do that.

Is adding a gun deck an option to be found within the instructions?

 

I'm actually beginning to wonder what the useful purpose of those two cut-outs in each bulkhead former. Assumed it was for planking, but after going through the instructions, it appears there is no planking of that deck.

 

So, the question becomes, If I do not intend to add planking to that gun deck.... Why should I go to the trouble of cutting out those two areas on each bulkhead former?

 

Anyone?

Edited by SawdustDave

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Yes, the instructions mention adding one if you want and give a few tips on how to do it. I added a part of the gun deck on mine, since I have the open waist.. ME sells cannons to use on the gun deck to replace the dummy gun barrels provided in the kit.

 

If you don't add a gun deck, I can't think of any reason why you need to cut out those holes in the bulkhead.

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If you are planning the gundeck, I would think that's what the holes are for.. might be wrong.  I did the gundeck on my Constellation and it required a lot of rework of the kit to accomplish.  I'm not sure how much rework you'd need to do but it can be done if you want it bad enough.  

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With all my focus up to this point being on just getting plan sheets scaled and printed etc. etc..... completely missed the gun deck option and how you guys have done yours.
Now, after spending more time on your logs, I think I understand what I must do to cut some of the patterns to accommodate the creation of a gun deck between bulkheads "E" through "L".

 

Remarked the eight patterns like the pic below.

 

Looks like I'm in for a real sawdust day. 

 

post-11777-0-72171600-1482933714.jpg

Edited by SawdustDave

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More good news (for me)....
 

Very pleased to see that all of her artillery is finished in black..... which allows me to create cannons to scale by turning a master, creating all of the cannons from molds.  This was one of my big concerns relating to going with 1:60th scale.  

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One suggestion, Dave. When you cut the beams off (the uppermost cut in your picture above), I cut them at an angle so that the new beam had a place to sit when I put it back in.

You will be happy adding a gun deck. And I like that you are going to make new cannons too.

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