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jablackwell

US Brig Syren by jablackwell - Model Shipways - first POB build

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All,

 

Back to ships! 

 

With so many excellent builds of the Syren here on the site, I have decided to put my skills to the test and give her a whirl. I'll need all the help I can get, as this will be my first plank on bulkhead build. Looking through the other logs, I can tell there will be more scratch work than I have done to date, too. I am really looking forward to the journey! 

 

All parts have been accounted for. Plucking out the keel board, the very first order of business is to straighten it out. There is a slight curve to it, so I gave it a quick soak in water and have clamped it flat. We'll see how it looks in a couple of days when dry. The curve is slight, so filler blocks would very likely be able to set it right, but I like to make things a little easier on myself. Making those filler blocks is something I am not quite sure that I am looking forward to doing. Well, I can say this: my woodworking skills are going to get a workout!  Onward! 

 

~john

 

 

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37 minutes ago, David Rice said:

Congratulations, you didn't get any of that poor quality "pink" plywood.  I am still cursing the stuff. I'll be watching. At my current speed you should catch and over take me soon.

I think I was lucky on the wood, as I ordered the kit well over a year ago - it has been sitting on the shelf calling to me from time to time. Not sure that I'll overtake you.... this is going to be one LONG build for me. ;-)

Cheers,

~john

 

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Welcome to the Syren club John:piratebo5:. My bulkhead former had a slight curve too, after wetting and clamping, it was straight and then went back to curved, but you are right, the filler blocks took care of it, and its nice and straight now

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Hi John,

Enjoyed your Kate Cory log. It's been a great aid as proceed ever so slowly on my KC.  Like you, my next build will probably be my first dive into planking. I'll be following along.

7 hours ago, jablackwell said:

I can tell there will be more scratch work than I have done to date,

I'm sure your scratch work will be outstanding. Your tryworks and other deck furniture on the KC were an inspiration for me to get back to building  mine after a very long layoff.

 

Rich

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I'll be sneaking and peeking in as well, if you don't mind. Syren will be my next build. I'm deck planking the Lady Nelson at the moment, so ït will take some time yet for me to finish her. But it'll be interesting how your build will go. A learning opportunity for me :) Have fun!

BTW, I got a replacement set of the plywood after mailing them. Great service!

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Thanks, everyone! I am looking forward to this build as well.  The keel is still a little itty bitty bit curved, but I think now manageable with filler blocks. I need to get some wood.... that will be the weekend mission.... some 1"x2" strip to use. 

~john

 

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The adventure DOES start!  Had some time to figure out that an empty vodka bottle makes a fine way to soak rabbet strips for a keel  ;-)  It is now curved around the keel and waiting to dry before I glue it in place. After that, onto the rabbet itself.  In the meantime, I am starting to hunt around for filler block material. I was thinking balsa, but not quite decided. Any commentary or advice on this? Perhaps something stronger would be appropriate? 

 

~john

 

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I would suggest that it really doesn't matter. the only purpose is to add strength while you sand and to help keep the False Keel straight. I just used some 1 X 2 scrap I had laying around. I believe it was Fir.

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Making slow and steady progress here with the Syren. I spent some good time working on the rabbet, a first for me. I ended up becoming frustrated with wielding a sharp knife and took out a small finishing sander. That did the job remarkably well and in little time.  The stern knee was then tapered to accept the figure head, and then glued on along with the 3/16" square keel along the bottom. I made sure to clamp the bulkhead former onto a flat workspace while gluing things to it... hopefully to help remove some of the slight warp that it has. I know this will be completely rectified when I get the bulkheads and filler blocks installed. Any little thing to help is good, in my opinion!  For the filler blocks, I made a quick trip to Home Depot for a 1x2" strip of pine. I am ready....   

 

I also spent time getting ALL the wood sorted and labeled for easier work in the shop. A Sharpie and blue masking tape made great labels... 

 

;-)  Some images below.

~john

 

 

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John,

as a filler in-between the bulkheads I used balsa.

Easy to cut, and makes a huge difference for straighten the keel up.

No need to use any harder wood.

Maybe pine is cheaper, have no idea. My three blocks of balsa 1x2x12" was some 6 dollars.

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Like you I am wary of the damage that can be done with a sharp knife both to me and the model. I found a Sander did a great job. I just had to be careful not to take too much. Great start!

Edited by fnkershner

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Ahoy,  I am pulling up a seat with a martini and will watch the progress.  My kit is next after a little more work on the Morgan.  

 

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2 minutes ago, chance said:

Ahoy,  I am pulling up a seat with a martini and will watch the progress.  My kit is next after a little more work on the Morgan.  

 

Ahhhhhh!  Well, that sounds like a good way to watch this build ;-) I love a good martini, but the question is this: Gin or Vodka?  It's been a while since my last post, so perhaps I owe everyone a status.

 

I am working on taking the bulkheads and sanding them down, then shaping them appropriately so that they sit on the keel board properly. I am tapping them into place and then cutting small pieces of 1x2 as filling blocks. My main line is a tiny bit curved, but the filler blocks will take care of that. 

 

Welcome to the build!   I'll post some images soon.

 

~john

 

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2 hours ago, chance said:

Hi John,  vodka is the way to go.  Have fun with the project, remember it is not a race but a hobby. 

I hear that!  But there is also a wonderful mix with BOTH... the infamous James Bond version:

3 ounces Gordon's Gin

1 ounce vodka

1/2 ounce Kina Lillet

Lemon peel for garnish

 

I am more of a vodka man.

 

But I digress,,,,,, I will post build images soon

 

 

 

~john

 

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Got a little work done on the Syren this week, between cooking chores for the big Thanksgiving thing. I have most of the bulkheads sanded and dry fit (no glue yet) and am working on the filler block concept. I also fashioned a jig to hold her straight while all this is taking place. I decided on a jig with one half bolted in place and the other fence made adjustable and managed by using clamps. This way I can keep it tight, but also remove the ship, when needed, with ease.

Happy day to you all.

~john

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Edited by jablackwell

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Got those bulkheads roughly shaped and in place: not glued yet until I can cut and shape all the filler blocks. The ship is taking on a shape, which just makes me smile a lot.  Long way to go!  Looking at the second image, you can see that there is a slight bow to the bulkhead former, which I will need to figure out how to un-bow, or straighten. Your choice of verbs. Any ideas for easy ways to do this? 

 

~john

 

 

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16 minutes ago, Nirvana said:

That slight bow you have in your frame will straighten up with filler blocks, make sure they are accurate sized, so they do a proper job.

Once out of that, things will be easier.

By the way, warm welcome to the Syren land.

Thank you, Per! I'll be sure to measure twice (or more) and cut once for those filler blocks.

~john

 

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Hi John,

The way I did it is to cut them about 0.5mm larger and to sand them down until a friction fit. At one stage I had them all sitting in position without glue. I had a slight curve as well. The filler blocks took care of that. 

The other choice to make is whether you position them level or slightly above the bulkheads and sand them down to create a fuller deck area (a lot of sanding...) or glue them below that level and glue the deck planks later on the bulkheads. I took the first road but it raised a few eyebrows from other builders. I am not saying that any of what I did is the correct way, just sharing my experience...

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Hi Peter,

That sounds like a good idea - sanding down from a slightly larger size. From what I have been seeing in other people's logs of the Syren, there is a lot of sanding. ;-)   When it comes to making them level with the deck or not: I am undecided. The deck should have a slight curve to it, and the region is a tight fit for sanding, but I am tempted. Keep sending ideas my way as I work through the build. I am going to need all the help I can get!

~john

 

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