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Deck planking problem


Steve D
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Hi.

 

I have finally begun building wooden ship models after years of gathering tools, resources, watching and learning, practicing on plastic aircraft models etc. I have many models in my collection but opted to build the most expensive one to begin with. Crazy I know, but hear my reason why. My choice is the weekly part Endeavour from magazines from Newsagents. Because it came in weekly parts, it ended up being a very expensive model. BUT...It had comprehensive, step-by-step, fully illustrated build instructions.

Because it was published weekly, some parts of the build required waiting for the next week's issue to continue, and therein lay my problem.

The deck comes in several sections, and the instructions required you to place deck planks on that section, and have some overlay awaiting the next deck section. Now, I did wait till I had ALL the weekly parts, and COULD have continued on immediately, but I chose to compartmentalise the build into weekly build sessions for personal reasons.

So the overhanging deck planks interspaced with empty decking areas that will have deck planks placed in the next issue or build session got a bit dry I suppose, and when gluing the next section of planks, the planks tended to "rise" up a bit and not sit flat. I hope the attached photo illustrates the planks sitting off the deck, and not quite glued down correctly.

So that's my problem...how do I fix this? I thought perhaps I'd water down some white glue until it was very watery, suck it up into a syringe with a needle, then try to carefully squirt it under the lifting planks and place some kind of weight on it to help it "sit down" properly.

Does any experienced ship builder have any other ideas? Any help will be gratefully received. I am really at a loss, and that solution seems like it might work, but I don't want to mess it up. Sure, I have enough planking (and better good quality stuff too) but I want to build this first model out of the box, no scratch building.

Can anyone provide a solution? Any suggestions for a better way? Or helpful suggestions for my method. What sort of weight can I use that will not stick to the deck without damaging it? Can I just squirt on a thin layer of white glue and hope it will seep in under the planks?

As I said, any help at all will be gratefully accepted.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Steve

IMAG1330.jpg

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White glue can soak into the porous wood and swell and buckle it, If it is loose underneath I'd be tempted to experiment with CA glue, the very viscous, fast setting, type and squirt it underneath  carefully and pressure hold that section for a few seconds. I don't think I would add more water to the decking as you describe. If it is not loose but buckled I a tad try sanding as your last step. If all else fails (and we all have had that) I'd rip it up and start again.

 

Also white PVA glue can be softened up somewhat with heat (try a hair dryer) and then use the CA technique approach. Hope this helps.

 

In terms of what won't stick to the material when weighted down you can use wax paper. And as far as hold downs go try those squeezable pressure clamps (see ERIK, Cutter Cheerful) and a thin plywood spanning port and starboard over the wax paper.

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Hello Steve.

 

My very first wooden ship came in 100 weekly installments, so nothing wrong with your choice, IMO :)

Now to your problem.

First: What glue are you using? I have the feeling you are not using the best choice of glue. I suggest Titebond or Elmer's WOOD glue.

Seems to me that you did not spread enough glue on your planks, or that it may have been thinned down too much. I never had the need to "weight" my planks for a proper setting, using the glues I mentioned.

If the planks are properly glued from the beginning, they can't just "rise" as you said.

Also, you may have been doing it in a hurry, placing one plank before making sure the prior was perfectly glued.

I am just shooting ideas from my head, not saying you did wrong this or that.

I don't see other solution but to scrap or sand off the deck planks and start all over.

Are the false deck pieces already glued in place? If not, that would make this job a bit easier.

Maybe someone else will come with more ideas.

Not sure if I was of help.

Best regards.

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Thanks gents,

 

I used contact cement, following the instructions provided. In the photo you can see some of the contact cement in the left of the photo directly on the deck where there is no planking (in preparation for the next section of decking to be assembled). The planks for this session were glued into place, then staggered, leaving blank portions of the deck with dried contact cement, possibly until the following week (or more in my case). The glue then needed to be re-applied, and it became a bit messy.

 

I thought the white PVA glue might be a better choice to seat the planks down. The wax paper seems to be a good idea, I night do a trial run with some excess planks and spare bits of plywood to simulate what my situation is at the moment.

 

The choice of the 100 part build was a hard one because as I said, buying it in 100 parts (at AUS$15.00 a part) made the model total cost AUS$1500, way more expensive than the usual Corel or Model Shipyard models out there, but their instructions seem to assume the builder is somewhat experienced, and only say that you must do "such-and-such", not fully detail how it should be accomplished.

 

Any other suggestions?

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I had a similar problem with a model of Titanic I was building. I used a debonder to loosen the strips and was able to lift them and then start again. It does not look like there are a lot of planks lifting so you may get away with that method. Another thing to consider is what is going on the deck. You may find some of the superstructure will cover that area. If so you may be able to cut a small section off the end and the rest will be hidden under a wheelhouse or other deck fitting. If all this fails I'm afraid it's except it as a learning thing and lift sand and start again.

Witch ever method you choose don't let it put you off the build you will get it right in the end, and you will find a lot of members on this site will do their best to give you good advice as you are already getting. 

Paul

 

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You guys have been great. Excellent ideas, feedback, and general good vibes in helping out a newbie on his first build. I do have a lot of cut off plank bits and extra planks, and plywood offcuts so I'll do a bit of experimenting and see what works. Indeed Paul, this might eventually be covered up by launches and cutters mounted on the deck at a later stage, so I'm not too worried yet. Like I said, I'll experiment and see what happens.

 

Thanks lot guys, you've helped me out and alleviated my fears and given me ideas.

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 I have used contact cement and never had an issue. Perhaps, thin it out with a little mineral spirits, on your brush, and just go plank by plank, fixing them in place after the appropriate drying time. Wait for a dry tack, on both surfaces, before joining the surfaces. You'll have a couple of seconds to get it firmly into place, then rub it to make it smooth.

 I might suggest to avoid applying fresh contact cement over dried. Surface prep is the key to bonding.

 Good luck,

 

 Steve

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Just an observation, but why have you cut your deck planks so short? At that scale I would guess each plank should be at least 120mm in length. By making your deck planking longer, you avoid having so many joins. It also means that it is both easier to 'line up' your planks and they are less likely to lift at the ends. My advice is to sand back and have another go. It will take more time but, in the long run, you will be happier with the result. Also, I assume by your reference to WW1 Aero Historians, that you are an Aussie. If so I would suggest you get to Bunnings and buy some Aquadhere quickset pva glue. It is great stuff and as the name suggests, it sets very quickly. I would also advise that you use CA glue very, very sparingly. I only use it on copper plates and sometimes on the end of planks that have a very tight curve and need to be kept in place while the PVA sets. All the best with your Endeavour build. 

 

Steve

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Hi Steve

 

I am building this same model, however I am doing a lot of scratch building and have not followed the instructions very much. This is because I am an experienced builder. I have found that although detailed, the instructions aren't very good in places.

I assume that the only deck you have already planked is the lower deck and will not be seen very well, if so just leave it and move on. Cutting the deck planks short as in the instructions in not a very good way to do it, I left most of my planks their original length. The planking pattern in the instructions is also wrong. Do not use contact adhesive, it looks like your planks are sitting up because there is too much glue under them that has partially hardened before you laid the planks . Use white PVA glue. Check out my build log to see the decking pattern I used. A lot of the joins are just drawn on in pencil.

If there is any thing you need to know, just ask, we are here to help each other.

 

Cheers

Steve

 

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Thanks Hornet and shipaholic.

 

As shipaholic states, the deck planks were cut so short because that was the length given in the instructions. Perhaps it is because they are a lower deck and might not be the "weather deck" (I hope so, then this "problem" will not be very visible in the end)[though I will know it's there]. I'll check out your build log shipaholic, and maybe I'll make one of my own (I have been taking photos).

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All,

 

I have made some progress towards repairing my error given all the great advice and after much deliberation. My solution was to mix up some watered-down PVA wood glue, suck it up into a pipette, and (not so) carefully apply it in, on, under and around the lifting planks. I then lifted some planking with a toothpick and got as much glue under there as possible. I then placed a sheet of waxed paper over the lot, and covered it with some scrap wood. The clamps I have don't have a deep enough "throat" to grip the centre pieces tightly, so I laid a couple of tongue depressors over them to hold it down athwartships (gee I love that kind of talk!). I then took some very strong neodymium magnets and held one underneath and applied another to the deck to hold the whole contraption in place tightly. I did this on the other tongue depressor, and finally sat a small heavy object on top to really weigh it down. I hope this works. I'll keep in touch.

Sorry about the blurry photo, but I'm sure you can work out the process.

 

Steve

IMAG1337.jpg

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Hi Steve, 

I believe your problem stems from using contact cement and not getting an even layer before placing the planks. Using a PVA glue such as Tightbond is the way to go. Make sure the false deck is clean and free of dirt, splinters, and glue. Apply a few spots of PVA on each plank and spread evenly with the blade of a small screwdriver before placing on the deck. Use your finger to run across the top to press it down. 

Also,  make the planks longer using the model scale. About 100 to 120mm. Use the 3 plank shift pattern for the seams,  as was used on real ships of the period. After completed and dried,  sand lightly and apply a clear matte coating to seal it. It will be smooth as a baby's butt and look great. 

Vince  P. :dancetl6:

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