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Gaetan Bordeleau

74 gun ship by Gaetan Bordeleau - 1:24

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As we can see on the drawing, # 14, there are spacers between deck beams to help to maintain the deck beams in place.

After the installation of the spacers, I did cut cardboard to cover the first deck, to begin after the construction of the deck beams of the second  deck.

On the third photo, we can see a long steel rod with a sharp point at one end to sting a wood part when I drop one on the bottom. Unfortunately, I cannot turn the mode l upside down every time I drop a part.







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There are 35 deck beams for the second deck. Each one is made of 2 identical parts. Each part is traced on wood with a  stencil. First the stencil is made of heavy paper then transferred on a wood sheet. It is adjusted  until  it fits the "good size" then all the parts are done with this stencil.


The 70 parts are cut from a front view, then 2 notches by part are cut, as we see in the first drawing of 3. After, both extremities are cut at angle and the 2 halves are  set face to face to set the exact length. Finally on the third part of the drawing, notches are cut at angles. To set the width of each one, again the 2 halves are set  one in front of the other and references are noted for the exact width of the top and bottom notches. The 2 deck beams are then adjusted to fit together. When all the sets will be complete, a final adjustment will be done before gluing. When there is a large number of parts to do, it is easier to proceed  by step rather than doing 1 beam complete at the time. By using steps, it is easier to concentrate on 1 operation at the time. This way it is easier to control the fabrication.


While sanding parts, a shaft from the belt sander broke. Another on was turned on the lathe. The threading made at one end was made with na small jig helping to make sure that the threads were well centered around the shaft. It is also possible to turn the threads with the gearbox but this method is faster. The jig which was used came from 1 of these books. With these books and some other, I learned ,machining with the milling and the lathe and a good exercice was to make few tools which were much more less costly than to buy.











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Gaetan, those are remarkable joints in the beams, with dovetails across the face of the mating surfaces. I am not aware of a joint like that in British ships; another French innovation that makes a lot of sense.


What brand is that little razor saw with the straight red handle in posting #668, the fourth picture down? It looks very useful.



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Hi Eric.


Your question is very large. If a machinist is somebody fabricating tools, there is a good chance he will be using a milling machine first and a lathe after. These are 2 important  machines to know the parts. After you will know to use the accessories for these 2 machines. If you enter in this spiral you will want after to build a few tools. To build a tool, you will need other tools and this can go a long way. Working with wood usually smells good. Working with metals rarely smell good. you will have dirty hands if you do not use gloves and the dullest part of it is the cleaning after, but it can be very interesting!


I joined a photo for introduction:



Hi Mark, I guess the more joints, the stronger it is.


I think it is a Kugihiki from Lee Valley:




This tool works so well!  this the best razor saw I tried.


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Back in post #657, you wrote about working at different scales.  To offer an alternative way to look at this:  yes, the model @ 1:24 is twice as long as the one @ 1:48.   However, it is also twice as wide and twice as deep.  S0,  2 x 2 x 2 = 8.  The model @ 1:24 is 8 times larger than the one @ 1:48.   Going the other way,  when you were at true miniature @ 1:192 it is 0.015 the volume of 1:48.  Even @ 1:96 , the difference is actual size is more than it first appears.  The 1:48 is 8 times larger at this common reduction in scale   I am sure that the 1:24 model is using more that twice the number of board feet of lumber.  Maybe a little less than than 8 times more, since the loss to kerf is a smaller proportion,since that is a fixed amount.

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8 hours ago, Jaager said:

I am sure that the 1:24 model is using more that twice the number of board feet of lumber

Hi Jaager, 


When somebody ask me How much wood do you need to build a model, the best answer I could find is: twice the volume of the model. Also I think that staring from a lumber, over 60 % is lost when cutting and recutting the planks.

It would be very difficult to calculate the exact quantity of lumber we need because losses are difficult to calculate. Here is how I guess the quantity:  when I buy  $1000 of cherry wood at the beginning of a project, I know how much I have left at the end; so the difference is how much it took.

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Second deck beams are needed to install few parts of the first deck. The rails which support the deck beams are installed parallel. Also, they follow the line of the gun deck openings. The front parts of these beams are not curved. At this thickness, it would need to be steamed  or laminated. The fastest  way is to cut the shape  from a whole plank. It takes a lot of wood but it is easy to sand at the good thickness. This way, no stress in the plank. Then, you installed the deck beams of the second deck.









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Hi Gaetan, Fantastic job!!! It seems like a computer drawing but it made of wood. very precise. Congratulations!!

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There was 2 things to do before being able to work on the first deck. Cut the beams for the second deck because some parts will be adjusted in relation with  some deck beams. These are all done at the same time. It will save a lot of time this way. Just think how much time if  it was done only as needed; set the tools before and after 35 times. Also a greater uniformity is reached by doing all these by similar steps in the construction. Carlings between the deck beams needs also to be fit. On a photo, we can see a simple jig to test the height of installation for each one. Even though they are suppose to fit in notches, it is easy to  change the height, so the jig helps for the height regularity.












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This week progress, few photos. I will be working in the front of the model for the next months.


In various contents in the forum, that I looked these last weeks, I was surprised how many over engineer model ship building, making a simple job, taking 10 times  longer but not with results 10 time better.







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5 hours ago, captain_hook said:

You will need a separate room to display this ship.

The same problem arrived twice before and there is no separate room free.

This is the third 1/24 model ship and when it will be finish, for the third time, I do not know where it will go.

I did not have a separate room and I do not have a separate room now. So for this one, I have no clue where It will go. There is one, behind a movie screen and the other one in the basement.


The pleasure is in the building process. Ounce the model ship is completed, there is only one thing to do; build another one.

In a way, it could go to the garbage and I would not mind. The pleasure is in the building process and what happens to the model, after, is not really important, but having fun to cut curves, it is important.

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10 hours ago, Dowmer said:

why not inquire with any museums to see if you could donate?

Let me tell you few stories:


I told a  curator museum in Quebec province that I had models ships and he answered this:

Before making a decision about these models, I would need some historical and documentary information concerning their origin, the name of the model maker, the place where they are kept, in what context they were made, etc.

Also, can I also know the nature of your intention concerning these objects, donation, sale, or other?


If I  answered  I give you these "objects".  he answered I take everything.

If I answered these "objects are for sale, he would not bother to answer.


So, he did not even bother to answer



Here is another one with a man who had a museum in Ontario, he came to see the model ships at home.


He has many ship models in his collection with mainly 2 sources: models made in l' île Maurice and models given by peoples. His sales key was something like: Do you want your artist work to survive?


To him I answered: If you buy at least one, I will give you as many models as you want.

How many model did he has now, from me?


Finally, a last one, one of my friend, also model maker gave in consignment model ship he made. He sold 3.

The buyer said that for the first models he cannot give you very much because your name has no value, but he will give you more when you will be well known.

He sold for him  a model for $75,000 US and how much did he gave to the builder?  1/3

Seeing that, I guess that the name of the man who sold the model ship for my friend has a lot of value!


6 hours ago, EricWilliamMarshall said:

can make room in my house.

You just need a 8 feet long wall at least.


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1 hour ago, Gaetan Bordeleau said:

You just need a 8 feet long wall at least.

I see the challenge you have just in the taking of the photos. We can clearly see how tight space is in your workshop.


You need a patron! Some Lord or billionaire who loves your work! My personal list of ‘grade A’ patrons is empty. :(

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You must have a local (city) museum that would jump at the chance to have it donated.

This way your work will be on display for relatives years after we are all dust and lost memories.

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38 minutes ago, EricWilliamMarshall said:

You need a patron! Some Lord or billionaire who loves your work!

I would have loved to build furniture for the king.


On the other side, I sold  few ones. All the buyers had a similar point, money was no object.

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31 minutes ago, Gaetan Bordeleau said:

would have loved to build furniture for the king.

Me too! When I was young, I worked in NYC repairing 18th-century furniture, some of which was once owned by nobility. Unfortunately, the economics of that industry is exactly the same as the one you lament (to some degree here). On the plus side, I have a stupid amount of strange hand tools to bring to bear on ship modeling! Were/are you a furniture maker as well? (Yet another hobby requiring eight-foot wall-space lengths per project!)

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