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Andrea Gail by BassicBill - Billing Boats 608

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I started this build over a year ago but what with one thing or another, I have made only a very limited amount of progress with it. Brain injury sure introduces a bunch more challenges! Anyhow, I have the two hull halves about ready to begin planking. Billings directs that they should be planked separately, then the two halves be stuck together. In the meantime; While I experiment with plank bending (accompanied by the frequent discarding of broken planks) ; I fight with myself over rebelling - glue the two halves together now, then plank the entire thing. I really would like to hear recommendations one way or the other, from those of you who know better! ( Given My lack of experience,This clearly includes all of you)! Help please!

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I built the Billing's America,  which is the same process as yours.   I glued the two sides together.......it really doesn't affect anything,  because the planks start and stop resting against the keel.   not only that,  if you don't have the means to clamp the two sides together,  it will be harder once they are planked.   at this point you have numerous clamping points,  and will have a more seamless assembly.

     I used the instructions for this kit to build my Andrea Gail........I also used the ABS hull kit instructions as well.   the model's in the gallery if you wish to see her ;)    I'll be pleased to follow along!

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Hey thank you for this, Popeye! I have absorbed your advice. Impulsive as I am, I had decided to go that route regardless (although I have yet to act on that that impulse). Also, I picked up a thrift store curling iron this afternoon and I'm really encouraged by its effectiveness as a plank bender (bending has been the most stressful issue facing me with this build, although I imagine other issues will arise) lol.

Bill

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you may not need to make drastic bends.......it's more in how the planks are tapered.   when planking,  it's best to create a fairly straight line with the planking,  and then try to maintain it.   I usually dry fit the plank first to see how the plank wants to run.   if it wants to run onto the preceding plank,  then you want to taper {rule of thumb is not to taper in excess of half the plank width}.  if the plank wants to run off the plank path,  then you may need to use a stealer,  or Jog two planks together {merge two planks together to create another row of planking}.   there are many planking tutorials out there......some are here.   a leisure browse should lead you to them ;)   

 

I'm not an expert at it........I can articulate better than fashion ;)        be sure that the hull halves are straight when you cement them together........the only thing to worry about :)

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I began planking the hull, however, because I have most of another Billings kit kicking around here, (Norske Love - which I abandoned after discovering that the strokes and resulting brain injury I've ended up with, had robbed me of the ability to understand the instructions or to do a decent job of building the hull. I then decided that I would use the planking supplied with that kit because that material is much wider than the stuff in the Andrea Gail kit. Also, there are a lot more pieces in the older kit and I figured that by using the wider planking, I can cover the whole thing much quicker (although it will still take me considerable time). To date I have just 4 planks stuck on there but I'm not too happy with the results and will likely take them off and restart planking. So far I'm pretty happy with the performance of my 'curling-iron for bending. Another two modifications I've made to my planking procedure include the addition of a false keel and a "false stem" (my own label..). My reasoning being, with those additions I have something to butt planks against at the stem, to help maintain a smooth "line" rather than a bunch of (what would probably look like a bunch of randomly placed planks. Also,  a strip to help with alignment at the keel when I get down there. Anyone's think these were bad ideas? I do see that I've added a need for much more sanding but I can manage that, I'm sure.

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My planking continues at a slow snails pace, with four planks stuck on in over a week. Each of these has been removed then replaced due to my dissatisfaction with the results. I am especially unhappy about the forward ends are meeting at the stem. I've added a wide plank up the leading edge of the stem in order to facilitate a 'cleaner result, so far with disappointing results. At best I'll end up with a Lot of filling to do before I tackle the standing. Although I'm not certain, I'm thinking that my biggest problem is impatience and / failure to adequately dry fit, especially at the stem. Nonetheless, onwards and upwards!

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there are some things to consider when planking.   at the bow stem,  it is slanted.....so you may want to trim the end to fit the slant.  I usually bevel the end on an angle too {the thickness at the end},  so when the plank meets the edge of the bow stem,  it will meet flat.   not doing this will result in a thick looking bow stem.   start at the very top of the bulkheads....usually it a good way to denote the height of the bulwarks.    when you get to the turn  {the chine.....the turn of the bilge},  wider planking may not conform very well.   it might be wise to go to the narrower planking when negotiating the turn,  in order to get better results.

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Popeye, thank you, sir, once again for your sage advice! I have, today, begun planking the Port Sid, using the narrower, kit - supplied material. I'm not especially confident that I have enough for the entire hull, however I can always go back to the wider stuff if necessary. But for now, this side is begging to appear as though it will come together much more satisfactorily (maybe I shouldn't have said that so soon....).

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no sweat...........your doing fine.   don't be afraid to experiment......ideas are born that way ;)    one thing I can say about using wider planking,  is that it's safer to use planking that is double the width of the supplied planking.  anything wider than that,  would throw the task off........the supplied planking has been pre measured to achieve full coverage.  be sure that the fit at the stem is good......and be sure to cement between the planks {that was one of MY big mistakes}.   in the event that you forgot to do that,  there is a solution.   after the hull is planked and sanded to your satisfaction {you can do any filler work as well},  mix up a batch of white glue and water {not too thin},  and paint the hull with it,  using a 1 inch brush {small brushes would take forever}.  give it a couple of coats......and when fully dry,  lightly sand the hull to remove any wood "hairs" that may have risen up during the treatment.  this is somewhat critical for this vessel.....only,  since it's not confirmed,  I believe this to be a metal hulled boat,  and plank lines might show in the paint.   when I did my scratch build,  I took both of the Billing's instructions and used them as reference.  reading my log on her,  you'll find that the Billing kit is not the actual Andrea Gail,  but another boat called the Lady Grace.   I have only a few pictures of the actual Andrea Gail......but one of these days,  I'll have enough visual stimulus to attempt the real project ;)   here are a couple of articles that you might enjoy reading........one is the search log for her.

 

http://www.downtosea.com/1976-2000/angail.htm

 

http://www.offsoundings.com/WEB PDF/PERFECT_STORM_20TH_ANNIVERSARY.pdf

 

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/archives/lady-grace-also-gets-harbor-berth/article_a983191f-3d1e-5b5f-9013-98b2bcd4faa1.html

 

note the elongation of the port side bulwark and the added length to the stern.........there is a structure there to shield the reels.  I didn't add them to my model......I stuck with the instructions.  on the starboard side,  a section of the bulwark was removable....it shows in another picture I have of her.

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Even More great advice! Thank ou once again, Popeye! I had been edge gluing early on simply because it soon became clear that I'd have a real mess without doing so. My wider planking is not twice as wide as the material supplied but definitely wider. Were I less lazy, I'd go find my Vernier calipers an measure but I don't see that it's important. I am liking the results of using the narrower stuff for now :)

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Planking proceeds at a snails pace. I bent, I glued, I trimmed I glued. Finally realizing that the hull was beginning to look worse and worse (The bow is looking really bluff; closer to that of an East Indiaman.) In frustration, off came plank after plank, followed by beginning at the 'Gunwales down, again, still wondering why it's done that way, rather than from the keel up; but ignoring the question and working downwards while focusing on ensuring that I get some decent flair to the sharp end. Happily, I'm able to delude myself into believing that I'll have the patience to complete the mammoth sanding job which I'm setting myself up for. Good thing I've got a ten year supply of wood filler! No sweat though, as I have a passel of sanding devices:D. 

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I have finally completed the planking of my hull. It's not finished, as my photo shows, sad to say :D. No one has bothered to inform me that one NEVER EVER uses a power sander during these builds. Foolishly believing that I could manage well enough with my Dremel MultiMax, I took a stab at doing a "rough" sanding. My Bad! On several planks, I sanded through to daylight! On others, I merely wore them down to 'paper thin.' The photo shows an example, still requiring patching. I needed to do something like 8 of these repairs. This particular hole has since been patched and I work onwards, filling, sanding and filling some more. Once I've got the sharp end properly contoured and shaped, I'll apply a coat of thinned wood glue, before I get a coat of primer on the hull, allowing me to get on with the rest of this project. But MAN it takes a LOT of filling and sanding!! We're havin fun now!!

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Brilliant tools dremmel's. I took mine to my portholes and drilled them all out the wrong size. A few weeks later though all is fixed as will yours. Will be better for a second planking or is this just single planked? I have looked at buying this kit myself. The only thing that puts me off as with a lot of Billings kits is planking the hull in two parts. This does look like a nice kit though and i will check in on your build and watch your repairs.

Paul

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 have finally completed the planking of my hull. It's not finished, as my photo shows, sad to say :D. No one has bothered to inform me that one NEVER EVER uses a power sander during these builds. Foolishly believing that I could manage well enough with my Dremel MultiMax, I took a stab at doing a "rough" sanding. My Bad! On several planks, I sanded through to daylight! On others, I merely wore them down to 'paper thin.' The photo shows an example, still requiring patching. I needed to do something like 8 of these repairs. This particular hole has since been patched and I work onwards, filling, sanding and filling some more. Once I've got the sharp end properly contoured and shaped, I'll apply a coat of thinned wood glue, before I get a coat of primer on the hull, allowing me to get on with the rest of this project. But MAN it takes a LOT of filling and sanding!! We're havin fun now!!

Ah, yes, the fun continues unabated! Today whist hand - sanding, some ham fisted individual pressed too hard on a stbd. side plank of the paper - thin variety with unfortunate results. Having excised the affected portion, patching procedures are proceeding (just as one might expect of procedures. Further investigation resulted in a similar weakness on the Port side, which has also been cut out. The search for replacement lumber is expected this afternoon. Upon reporting this'  'oopsie' to Admiralty, I was favoured with an indulgent and well deserved smirk, for which I am grateful. But I'm now wondering, how much 'fun' can one man bear? Paul, this hull is single planked.

 

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Addendum, those boatyard workers involved in this particular incident have since been excused from their duties following which they judiciously retired to the nearest wet canteen where they sensibly (more or less) slake their guilt as one might expect.

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reminds me of an amusing story...{true story}.      I was a young lad on a farm.....my older brother and I were in charge of the barn duties.   one day,  my brother decided to show me how to milk the cow.   any age would have been good for him to show me......he hated to do chores ;)    with the cow properly prepped { feed and all},  my initial tries were less than good..........I couldn't milk worth a damn!   my brother saw where I was mess'in up........and taped up my fourth and pinkie fingers together.   with the adjustment,  I could milk the cow just fine.   learning this was good for my brother, he got more free time to be a stupid teenager {ended up in the army,  for being so 'wild'}.   as for me......I'd got to the barn,  prep the cow.......tape up my fingers and get 'er done. :)     one evening, we got home late from a family gathering.   in the barn,  we could hear the cow bellowing out like mad!   my father told me to get right to it,  and milk her.....she was very stressed!   I didn't have the time.......never taped up my fingers..........threw a half a bucket of grain in her trough and commenced to milking!    I was doing it!!!........even without the tape,  I was milking her with no trouble at all!

      no particular reason why I told you the story........just that we all run into moments where things look impossible.   I'm sure we've all been there at one point in time.......we all know how discouraging it is too.   there is a solution here somewhere....sad thing is,  you haven't found it yet :(   you will.......I'm sure of it.   if your like me......and you put too much thought into it,  you may get less than desirable results.   it never works for me.......if I think too much on something,  it never comes out right.   I don't dwell on things long.......I simply...do it.   9 out of 10 times,  it will come out just fine ;)    I'll run my first plank at the top of the bulwarks,  and then work my way down,  fitting the plank as I go.   if I lay the plank and it wants to ride onto the preceding plank,  I'll trim it till it fits.

      if it creates a gap.......fine......looks like a stealer or a plank jogging is in order.   I remember what my friend Tom said to me when I first got into this hobby.   I had gotten a kit of the Nordkap from a friend......the frame was partially assembled and it had been in his attic for about 30 years.   he was concerned that the kit might be in such poor shape,  that I would get discouraged with it,  and give up on it.   but I assured him that I intended on building it.........my enthusiasm level was at an all time high,  and wild horses couldn't have stopped me.   I probably should have mentioned something about sanding........Obetchi is a very soft wood and sand easily.   an average plank is only 1.8 mm thick.....I get nervous when  supplied planking is less than 1 mm.   it doesn't take long before the thickness sanded away........when I sand,  this is always in the back of my mind.  the best way to repair something like this,  is to cut back to the nearest bulkhead and patch a new one in.......of course, sanding will be needed to bring the new plank down to blend in.   I also notice that there is a squarish edge where the chines are..........where the hull sides and bottom meets.........that should be rounded,  following the bulkhead contour.    plank tapering is important here.......taper the bow end of the plank,  so it lays flat on the bulkhead.   this will give you a more rounded chine {turn of the bilge} and the hull contour will look more conformed.   I can suggest two options for you.......you can get some 0.5 or 1 mm planking and plank over it,  or you can remove all the planking and start over.    I know it sounds drastic,  but making all the repairs you say your having to make,  might not give you a good looking hull.   planking over it,  you can fill the voids with any junk wood,  as long as it's the thickness of the planking you have in place already,  and you won't get any dips or off contours.     if you choose to remove the planking and start over,  sand all the bulkheads,  so they are all flush and prep the bow stem and keel.

     I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news,  but these are the options.   I'm not a critic........I want to see you have a good experience and a bit sad that it's not coming out the way you'd like.  I wish I was close to help you more.......I know you can do it my friend :)    chin up........let me know what you plan to do ;) 

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Great story, Popeye! Tough for me to relate though, not a farm boy, me. Not a city lad either, just a kid from the sticks who quit high - school while he still knew everything at 16 years of age and left home to become a matelot, serving his Queen and country by spending his years standing around on the deck plates in the main machinery spaces of HMC ships, when not actively involved in the swilling of rum and/or beer.

my personal history aside, I find myself being unusually stubborn about this build. I intend to carry on with my patchwork with the conviction that I can indeed do a satisfactory job of it. (Hey, it's MY fantasy!) the patches seem to be almost complete (until I crush yet another piece. For the cut water, I'm thinking of sanding the existing stem flat, then scabbing on a thicker, squarish stip to the leading edge of that stem, hopefully gaining enough "meat" to allow me to adequately shape the sharp part and blend it in.

 

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Admiralty, after watching me expend so many hours in trying to finish my hull, finally approached me with a suggestion to cover the hull in fibreglass resin. Having some experience with that product while building my kit-built sea kayak some years ago, I soon recognized that glossing the hull without banishing any and all blemishes would result in a very disappointing  mess. Therefore, I have discarded this suggestion although that August 'body' has yet to be informed of my decision.

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I admire your determination..........very glad to hear that I can put defeat out of my mind :);)     as I mentioned....I'm no expert.....but I hope the willingness to help makes up for it.    the Admiralty may have a point there..........I'd keep the idea in the back of your mind.   done right,  resin can smooth out your hull.......sounds like you have experience with it.   resourcefulness can be the mother of invention....or intervention,  depending how you look at it.   I did a resin coat on one of my projects,  and I was very happy with the outcome.   my admiral is very sage,  I find.......she enjoys what I do with my projects,  and I try to involve her whenever I can.   she is also a good sounding board,  for when I'm undecided as to which way I want to proceed with a build.   it stops though,  when I pull out a plastic kit...... :)  :D  :D 

 

if I get in the way.......just give me a nudge and tell me to shut up ;)   

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Get in the way? Yeah right! Like That could happen! As it happens, cleaning up my mess is coming along quite nicely. Remembering how pleased I was with the finish achieved on my kayak, I am coming around to that idea,more positively. I'll poke around the hardware store and see what they offer. I've had a look before, and also picked up a kit in the past (during my model railroad days, I recall that the resin had quite a translucent green tint to it, something I'd rather avoid, but then of course a couple coats of paint can, as you mentioned earlier, make a big difference. Also, I guess the resin will also serve to fill in some of the less conspicuous scratches and 'pock' / pin, holes where filler often vacates seams while sanding. I've also moved up to 220 grit which is giving me a more satisfying result. Then, A touch of light sanding when the stuff has cured and out comes the paint! Thank you, again for your encouragement and advice!

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there you go!   leave your options open and use what experience you have.......it's like the old saying  "use what you know".    Andrea is green......it'll blend right in ;)    try wrapping sandpaper to small blocks of wood.......different sizes if you can make them,  the wood backing will help with flattening and will help to knock down the bumpy look.   I'm pleased to hear your developing a game plan.   I'm just glad that I can help.......and not sound like a back seat driver.    "I come in peace.......I mean you no harm!"   you know.......white flag,  and all the while,  thinking that someone will write a story about me some day......>don't mind me........I'm rambling<.........jes' be'in stoopid ;)    

 

but really......glad I can help.   I'm here for the ride,  so ya might as well use me ;)    although I think that you ought to buy your admiral some flowers.......she thought of the idea :) 

 

BTW......I should have told you the story about me build'in the back porch stairs,  when we owned our own place.   my admiral even chuckles when she thinks of it.........an' don't think she doesn't rub it in every time I goof up :D  :D 

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I've been using sanding sticks for a long time, excellent tools for controlling/minimizing damage :). I've got me cutwater strips cut and partly laminated. Now Working on shaping them but wishing to hell I had a piece of 50 grit for this, lol! Onwards and upwards!

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Funny (okay, not all that funny),, but pretty much all winter long, I sat in our rented house on British Columbia's "Sunshine Coast, (read the 'Wet Coast') envisioning building this-cheer model as an R/C effort. howsomever, when We got home and I looked over what I had to work with, I had to quickly accept that my dream wasn't going to be fulfilled.bassically (and no doubt for the best), there woulda been an inordinate amount of bulkhead butchery required to find room for all of the electronics along with the running gear. Simply too big a job, (given my skill limitations) for me to accomplish, ( if I expected the result to leave the impression upon anyone that cared to look, to believe that They might be gazing enraptured by my workmanship) upon a model of a water-borne sea-going  vessel of the maritime kind. I had to accept that my particular kit) wasn't/) (isn't)  ever going to become an R/C  boat. Being more than a little impulsive, I've already begun to ponder what I might tackle next. Thus far, I'm thinking that the Dumas, USS Whitehall kit might serve; but I simply don't have enough experience in this game to be confident. Does anyone have any thoughts on this concept? I know that I really am not much interested in doing another planked hull (preferring to go the moulded hull route.) I 'Do have a finished RN/RCN Vosper MTB model collecting dust & dead spiders -) And I recognize that I could consider converting its 1 piece hull to R/C, but I don't know; I just don't know. So I sit here in hopes that one of you can toss out an opinion or two, please.

 

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