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US Brig Syren by fnkershner - Model Shipways - 1:64


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Well as else where mentioned I need to create a log. Actually I thought I already had an existing log. But I dug thru the logs back to 2013 when I was much more active. And I found a lot of logs from me by not this one. So here we go! First off I have been digging around for the pictures from the work I did up till now. But unfortunately what you see here is all I have.

 

 

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So let me bring you up to date on this build. As you can see from the pictures I got to adding the Lintels and stopped.

 

For reasons I cannot explain I did not notice that my templates were out of scale and I added the lintels before the sills. And to add more salt to the wounds I also had rotated the lintels 90 degrees.

 

So now 4 years latter I am revising much of my work. ( I guess I should mention that during those 4 years real life got in the way. I moved and changed jobs a couple of times.)

 

 

USS Syren bulkheads.JPG

Top Bow view (800x548).jpg

Top Stern view.jpg

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So along the way in this build there have been a few setbacks. As I mentioned above the Lintels were installed incorrectly. A Dremel with cutoff wheel and lots of sanding took care of that. And the wonderful Model Shipways Guarantee replaced the wood. I also discovered (thank you Dr. Per) that for some reason the prow where the figure head would sit was not tapered. This was resolved. And then I began the install the sills and lintels. I had an alignment problem and had to install the sills and lintels again! While finally getting this right my Jim Byrnes Sander gave out!

 

(Small Commercial for Jim) - I sent an email to Model Machines. They told me that I purchased the sander approx. 9 years ago. and it was likely that the power switch had just worn out. And for $7 postage they would overnight a replacement! Well long story short in 48 hours I had 2 new switches and a functioning Sander! :) 

 

So as you will see below finally I have completed my sills & lintels! Now comes the sanding!

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Edited by fnkershner
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Ok now comes the moment of truth! Sanding! I have questioned whether it makes more sense to install the cannon port sides before or after Sanding. but given the challenges up to this point I will follow Chuck's lead. Some Syren builders have suggested chisels and other implements. With my lack of skill and the plywood bulkheads, this scares me so I will resort to just sanding.

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I guess I'm a Syren junkie!  I'm keen to see where you take your build. I think you made a good choice by sanding sills and lintels before the gunport sides are installed.  If you decide to trim some of the basswood away with a blade or chisel it will be easiest without them in the way.

 

Sand away!

 

 

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Ok so here is the weekend report. You will also see in the pictures below my secret weapon. After 4 hours of sanding the Port side is done! And using a Micrometer I am proud to say that all of the port sills and lintels measure as directed in the instructions. The Starboard side is close. still have some finish work to do. Somewhere in the forum (I can't remember where) it mentions the use of professional Nail files for the sanding. They are the perfect tool. They are flexible enough for the curves and have both 120 & 240 grit. and the are water proof. :) 

 

The tool if you can't figure out from the picture is a sanding drum on my drill press.

 

The last 2 pictures are essentially a before and after. you will see the port side complete and the starboard side has yet to begin.

 

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Ok so the sanding is done and I am installing the gun port sides. Cutting out that last bulkhead gave me a bit of a scare. It almost broke. So I stopped sanding and glued the port sides in to give more strength. Then I finished the sanding where the bulkhead was removed. I also took this opportunity to remove the bulkhead that will be in the way of a sweep port. I figured it would be easier to work with before the port sides were installed. So now the port side gun ports are complete. And I am moving to the Starboard. (Waiting for the sun to go down. It is very warn in the workshop/garage)

 

So I have a question - any advice is welcome. I am reading ahead about installing the "red" pieces that define the top of the sweeps. and the Blue that define the sides of the sweeps. The instructions say the sweep ports are 1/8" X 1/8" on page 13. How is it possible to fit a wood strip that is 1/4" by 3/16" into a 1/8" space? are these "blue" pieces 1/8" long? !!

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9 hours ago, fnkershner said:

So I have a question - any advice is welcome. I am reading ahead about installing the "red" pieces that define the top of the sweeps. and the Blue that define the sides of the sweeps. The instructions say the sweep ports are 1/8" X 1/8" on page 13. How is it possible to fit a wood strip that is 1/4" by 3/16" into a 1/8" space? are these "blue" pieces 1/8" long? !!

 

Hi floyd,

 

I believe that was a typo in the instructions and that you use 1/4"X1/8" strip

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK after a long pause here. Chapter 3 is complete!! I like sanding as much as the next guy but Jeez! As mentioned above I installed the "blue" pieces first so that the tops of the sweep ports would fit snugly. And I believe someone estimated 5 hours of sanding. Even with Power tools I think it is a bit longer. Also I am absolutely in love with the professional Nail files. They fit perfectly last longer and do a great job. Thanks for the tip. Enjoy all!

 

Now on to that scary stern.

 

 

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With regards to sanding. I have found that using the Black and Decker Mouse with very fine sand paper does a very good job with low risk of over-sanding. Gentle pressure is the key. It has a pointed nose for tight spaces. For wider mostly flat or gently curved areas. I use a 1/4 sheet sander, again with very fine grit paper.

 

I find the Dremel way too aggressive for this type of sanding.

 

Hope  this helps

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Just a quick note for other Syren builders - at the beginning of Chapter 4 step 1 it talks about cutting a spacer to fit into the slot next to the stern most bulkhead. I suggest that when you cut this piece. you should be aware that you will be cutting 4 pieces the exact same size as this piece. The other 3 will be used later in the chapter. 2 of them can be edge glued to strengthen the gap between the tops of Frames "A". Similarly when you cut the spacers between Frames "A" & "B" you will need to cut a total of 8 pieces the same size. I am not planning to use the same wood for the spacers between "B" & "C". I cut small blocks from the same 3/8 X 1/4 material and turned it sideways for the bottom of this gap. But I found a piece of material that is 3/8" square and I will use that for the spacer above the sills between "B" & "C". I am currently at step 6 waiting for Glue to dry and I will post a pic later today.

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Edited by fnkershner
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Just a brief Update. thanks to Rich I created a planking Board from some spare Plywood. I also stopped at my local H/W store and picked up some 1/4" tubing. I took the deck layout and screwed some screws covered with sections of tubing and began shaping my Wales. Tonight I plan to thin some MS dull red paint and paint the ports. Tomorrow is Planking!

 

Note: The 2 screws in the middle are for the shaping of the cap rail for the transom. I will be adding screws later.

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Edited by fnkershner
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Ok its time for another update. After careful work with the micrometer. I found the need for more sanding. Imagine! I then painted the ports and found that the paint was too brown. So I had to repaint. Next I wanted to be very careful placing the first wale. Since this will determine all the rest of the planking both above and below. I could not find a guide that satisfied me. So the picture will explain what I did. Using some Plexiglas and a copy of the plans. I soaked the wale and shaped it as I wanted. I had to be careful to get both Starboard and Port. Since I had already bent the bow curve into the wales. I need the gentle curve from bow to stern to go in the correct direction. Anyway the picture will make sense.

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Edited by fnkershner
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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I guess it is time for the weekly update. It seems quite hard to find time in the shipyard during the week. The Port side is planked above the wale. The starboard side is approx. 1/2 way. You will notice I am having difficulty keeping the sweep ports uniform in size. I should also mention that I seemed to lose the transom some where along the way. I contacted Model Shipways for a replacement. Even with the hurricane they came thru and it arrived this weekend. Very timely since the stern is the next step after the Planking above the wale. I am particularly happy that the planks line up from the bow view. I have never got that right before.

 

So I have a question for you Syren Builders - I want to try my hand at treenailing. This will be my first attempt. Chuck mentions that he used a .055 drill. Anyone know what number that is? I have drills number from 65 to 80. Also if I am not mistaken he says to stain before you drill and putty? Is that correct? So if I get the sequence. It is stain with Golden Oak, drill, putty, sand, & wipe on putty.

 

Sorry I didn't look at the pictures before I posted them. Apparently the flash was over powering. I am on my way to bed but I will retake them and post an update.

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Edited by fnkershner
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12 hours ago, fnkershner said:

Ok, I guess it is time for the weekly update. It seems quite hard to find time in the shipyard during the week. The Port side is planked above the wale. The starboard side is approx. 1/2 way. You will notice I am having difficulty keeping the sweep ports uniform in size. I should also mention that I seemed to lose the transom some where along the way. I contacted Model Shipways for a replacement. Even with the hurricane they came thru and it arrived this weekend. Very timely since the stern is the next step after the Planking above the wale. I am particularly happy that the planks line up from the bow view. I have never got that right before.

 

So I have a question for you Syren Builders - I want to try my hand at treenailing. This will be my first attempt. Chuck mentions that he used a .055 drill. Anyone know what number that is? I have drills number from 65 to 80. Also if I am not mistaken he says to stain before you drill and putty? Is that correct? So if I get the sequence. It is stain with Golden Oak, drill, putty, sand, & wipe on putty.

 

Sorry I didn't look at the pictures before I posted them. Apparently the flash was over powering. I am on my way to bed but I will retake them and post an update.

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Hi Floyd, a .055 drill bit is a #54, it is 1.397 mm,  I believe you have the sequence for treenailing correct as well, if you stain first it should keep the color from bleeding into the wood. Your planking is looking great!

 Can I ask you something now? I am at the point of starting the gun ports and I am nervous about gluing the sills up yet, how concerned do I need to be about the height of the sills in relation to the deck planking? I think I read where there should be 1/8" from the opening to the deck, and after the waterway is installed there will be 1/16", at first I just put up a batten and got a smooth run, but I adjusted the sills slightly for 1/8" with a plank resting on the deck. It still looks like a smooth run however, Am I overthinking this? I want to make sure the carronades fit properly. Thanks, Shawn

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I have finished the planking above the wale on both Port and Starboard. I have some sanding and clean up to do.

 

Shawn - Are you sure about the #54 drill? my drills go from #61 to #80. I did some experimenting and even the #70 looks big.

 

I also found out what happens to supplies when you stop building for a couple years. My Putty is hard. Paint thinner is ... Any way I guess its time to go to the H/W store for stain, thinner, & Putty. I did try some Danish oil on my boxwood planks. I kind of like the effect.

 

I also found a micro square file that works wonders on my sweep ports. Stay tuned for more exciting progress. :D 

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Ok its time for a bit of a mid week update. Step 1 of Chapter 5 is complete. Step 2 calls for bending and planking the counter and transom. I soaked the planks over night and now as before I have cut out the template from the plans and clamped the strips to Plexiglas with the plans underneath. This will have to sit over night. So for now the Syren will take a break.

 

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the metal parts that come with the Syren and tell you my plans for them and ask your opinion. I do hope the rest of the Syren club will chime in. I will take each part and offer my ideas and I hope you will the same.

 

Ship's Bell - I have ordered from Model Shipways part number MS0426. Which is a pair of copper Bells that are the right size and look so much better than the part that is supplied.

 

Ship's Wheel - I have ordered from Chuck one of his wheel kits. I haven't tried to assemble it yet but it is so much better than the metal thing provided.

 

Figure Head - Unfortunately I have not found a suitable substitute for this item. I doubt my carving skills at up to the task. I am going to try several different painting approaches. if I don't like the result I will order another from Model Expo.

 

Side Badges - These ugly things are in the trash. My Syren will live without.

 

Stern Decorations - Here again I have not found a useful substitute. I will try painting and use them.

 

Stern Chaser Cannons - I have order replacements from Chuck and I am now playing with assembling them.

 

Cannonades - Like most people I intend to replace these if I can find a US source to order them.

 

Cannonade wheels - I am hoping that Paint will deal with the ugly moldings. Over all these guns will need serious attention to be at the same quality as the rest of this model.

 

Metal Belaying pins - I would prefer wood. but I think I may have to stick with these.

 

Is there anything I have overlooked?

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