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Drilling holes for masts

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You can make a template from card stock from the side view plan to get the correct rake of the mast. Place this where the mast goes and align the drill bit parallel to the template.

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No amount of care is too much care when you are drilling for the masts into a solid hull. I recommend the template mentioned above too but also drill with a much smaller diameter bit first and test your hole with a thinner spar to see if it's correct. You can make corrections if needed as you gradually work up to the diameter you need for the actual mast you will use. I find also that if you place the model so you can stand above it and work down on it helps a lot too.




 Niagara USS Constitution 


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That might have been me...


By trial and error, I tried setting up my drill press so as to drill the holes in the deck to accept the masts. I should point out that the masts on my model are not stepped to the keel as a proper ship. There are simply small blocks of wood glued to the underside of the deck. A Billing design that works and they were installed when I acquired this second hand model.


In a nut shell, I set up the table of the drill press at the correct angle which was taken from Nepean's book concerning the Cutty Sark. I used a digital adjustable square to do so which I picked up at the hardware store for about $35. Then I gingerly clamped the model to the table and positioned it using the laser guide. Then I crossed my fingers, turned on the drill and, you guessed it, drilled.


Here are some pic's of the process. It turned our fairly well, although foremast hole did not go to plan. Hence the toothpick for you eagle eyed observers...




Build Log: Billing - Cutty Sark


In The Gallery: HMS Unicorn, HMAV Bounty, L'Etoile, Marie Jeanne, Lilla Dan, Zeeschouw "Irene"


A Toast: To a wind that blows, A ship that goes, And the lass that loved a sailor!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/14/2017 at 3:29 AM, Richard Griffith said:

Good ideas above.


On one of my builds, I found it best to put the hand drill in reverse because the standard drill bits were too aggressive - the bit wanted to rip into the wood and tear it up.



Are you using brad point drill bits for wood? They cut much cleaner holes than standard pilot points.

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I can see the need for using a drill, powered or hand, to drill into a solid hull, but I have never used either to drill through the deck of a POB hull for fear of damaging the deck. Much easier to cut through with a #11 hobby knife and then make small angle adjustments with a round file. Only very small adjustments are needed to achieve the correct angles and the hole is usually covered by a mast base anyway. 



Current Build: - OcCre Shackleton’s Endurance. 


Completed Ship Builds:

                                     Caldercraft - HM Bark Endeavour. (in Gallery)

                                    Caldercraft  - HMAV Bounty (in Gallery)

                                     Caldercraft - HM Brig Supply (In Gallery)

                                     Aeropiccola - Golden Hind

                                                        - Constitution

                                     Clipper Seawitch (maker unknown - too long ago to remember!)

                                     Corel - Victory

                                     Modeller's Shipyard - A Schooner of Port Jackson - In Gallery

                                                                      - Brig `Perseverance' - In Gallery

                                                                      - Cutter `Mermaid'- In Gallery

                                                                      - Sirius Longboat (bashed) - In Gallery

                                                                      - Sloop Norfolk - In Gallery

                                      Completed Cannon:   - French 18th Century Naval Cannon

                                                                      - Napoleonic 12 pound field piece

                                                                      - English 18th Century Carronade

                                       Non Ship Builds - Sopwith Camel - Artesania Latina

                                                                   - Fokker DR1 - Artesania Latina


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