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HM Cutter Cheerful 1806 by Seventynet (Ian) - FINISHED - 1:48 scale

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Greetings shipmates,

I have decided, somewhat retrospectively, to show an abbreviated build log of Chuck’s Cutter Cheerful, which has been paused for the last few months while I work on other things.  I hadn’t intended to document this build because there are already so many excellent logs here. My thinking was that I’m slightly beyond the “help me” stage but not yet at the “here’s how you should do it” stage for creating a build log - putting me in limbo land.

So perhaps I can go forward with a “here’s how you shouldn’t do it” log. This will allow me to go back and examine the areas I can improve for the next Cheerful build, not to mention the possible benefit to others. But I am sorry I did not take a lot of photos.


Instructions for this build. Chuck's instructions are the best I've encountered. Read them carefully, re-read them and you will be happy.


Stage 1: Gun Ports & Planking

1.    You simply cannot be too precise with the gun port frames. I was not. I will next time. When you are talking about a 1/64th inset from the planking it is important to get the line right. I used European boxwood for these, simply because I had a piece. Harder than Castello and pinker. Sorry,no pictures.

2.    One must take the time to fair the bulkheads to perfection. While Chuck abundantly warns of this, and I had thought I’d done a decent job of it, there was one or two bulkheads near the stem on the port side that were slightly “high”. This resulted in me merrily sanding right through several planks. I replaced 4 or 5 of them (but could have done a better job of even that).

3.    The planking is thin. Of course, it is adequate if you fair the bulkheads perfectly, otherwise…

4.    The shape of the rabbet at the stem is important. If you want the planks to fit like a lock and key, take the time to shape it perfectly, it will pay off. It doesn’t take much figuring to know how to do that, just patience with a good file.

5.    Bending Castello boxwood is a truly liberating experience. Easy peasy. The first time I’ve ever used it. Absolutely beautiful wood.

6.    Learn how to read the plans properly. Forgetting that the plans represent a 3-dimensional model projected as 2-D will run you into trouble. Witness my first two planks below the wales at the stern on both sides. Too narrow. I had planked most of the hull before I woke up. So I left the whole thing as it was and somehow the rest of the planks forgave me and allowed me to end up approximately where I needed to be as I planked down the stern post. I can’t remember if I slipped an extra-wide plank in there to compensate. I think I did.






Edited by Seventynet
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wales and stuff

1.    Take your time with the “fancy” pieces that run from the bottom of the wales to the top of the transom. That’s really all I can say, just take your time. I didn’t and had to improvise. Pretty much concealable in the end.

2.    My approach for building the counter worked well. Sorry no construction pictures. I laminated several 1/8th inch thick pieces of boxwood edge to edge. Overlaid this prepared structure (there is one for each side) with the pencil-traced outline of the frame using Scotch’s (3M™) matte tape, cut it out, carefully manicured it and glued it into the frame. This worked better IMHO than fitting each plank into the frame.














Edited by Seventynet
Too many pictures that I can't figure out how to get rid of...
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Deck Structures

I bought and assembled all of Chuck’s kits. They are well worth it. Even the windlass which I built but can only conclude was eaten by my shop vac and dumped in the garbage after my semi-annual filter clean. Sigh, I guess I’ll have to order another one from Chuck.





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1.       I used Alaskan yellow cedar for the deck. I’d also used it for the deck on my Brazzera. It is perfect for this application.

2.      Decking layout. I would do it slightly different next time. I would let some of the bow planks close to the center plank taper so that I could end up with all of the planks except the center plank being the same width at the bow. I could have been more careful to achieve the same objective at the stern as well.

This is where I am at today. It may be a few weeks before I have any updates. I hope these are of some interest and value to those starting out. 

Best Regards,





Edited by Seventynet
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Thanks so much for the (overly) kind words and for hitting the like button.


Jim: Thanks for the encouragement. I am intrigued by the picture of your yellow cedar deck. Where can I find your beautiful model?


Antony: Thank you. I have come up with a pretty reliable approach to removing planks by first treating the area with rubbing alcohol and then heating up the area with a heat gun (after the fumes have cleared!). The planks come off with ease. And clean up is easier too.


Much appreciated Joe. I found your Atlantis restoration project the other day. Wow is all I can say!


Thanks so much for following Niles. Love your work!




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You must be especially proud of how you pulled off those fixs. I sure would be! I wish I tried your alcohol heat gun trick. Mine’s planked to just below the wales. so far. I did two rip offs and always took off more than I probably needed to because the edges of some of the best planking would chip, removing the bad ones. C’est La Guerre.




PS.  I really like how the yellow cedar looks.

Edited by Kurt Johnson
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the encouragement Kurt and Don. I really would like to see more of your build Kurt. Don I wonder what you’ve been cooking up in that shipyard of yours? Any undocumented projects you’ve been holding back?:)


I cleared the Cheerful deck for action this morning :pirate41:. It feels good to be back at it.


Best Regards,


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Thanks B.E., honestly your build is absolutely beautiful and there has been more than one occasion where I had wished I was behind you so that I could have followed your lead. I have said to myself many times that I have to build another Cheerful so that I can do a better job next time.


Al thanks for the compliment. I know your work and you will do a splendid job on it. You will also enjoy it as much as I do. Chuck has put together a beauty.



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  • 2 months later...

Greetings shipmates, thanks for looking in.


I'm getting closer!


Lots of fiddly bits: transom boom holders, chainplates, posts, channels and boarding ladders, only some of which have been installed.



Unassembled catheads1639389812_catheadsandposts.thumb.JPG.e67c3dd71d38fe17e757d8adf2a9f69a.JPG

Jib outhaul block:


Carronade carriage assembly line:


Carronade factory:


Trunion cap jig:



Eye-bolt jig:


Uninstalled carronade:


Rudder works:



Bowsprit assembly:


Current state of progress:


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Thanks Jim. I really appreciate your comment about the rim bolts. It's been bothering me since I installed them. Unfortunately I CA'd them in place so I'm not sure they will come out without too much damage. I will continue to think about them but for the time being I will leave them.


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Hey Don, thanks for looking in. These are Chuck's mini kits. The real challenge is getting all the char off such small pieces. The rest is about building jigs to position and glue the pieces together. The mill with the DRO is a true luxury. It allowed me to reproducibly position the drill holes for each carriage piece, amongst a million other beneficial uses.



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  • 4 weeks later...



So here is where I'm at now. Pretty much everything is done in preparation for making and installing the mast, spars and rigging.


First I want to give you the results of my pseudo-scientific experiment on which glues to apply to bind already painted (poly) wood surfaces. This has always been a question in my mind. Do I need to scrape/sand surfaces to bare wood before I apply PVA with all the attendant problems associated with that operation, or can I just apply PVA or some other glue and hope for the best?


So I tested epoxy, PVA and CA on boxwood carriage trucks glued to yellow cedar to simulate gluing the carriages to the deck.  Both received poly treatment and were allowed to dry for several days. I then applied the glues and let them set for 24 hours. I hung weights to the wheels using a bent steel rod attached to magnets and various pieces of steel for deadweight. The PVA let go before I reached 2 lbs, which is not insignificant to me anyway. I proceeded to load up the other two to 5 lbs and they still held on! So eschewing the harder to prepare epoxy I went with CA to anchor the carriages to the deck.




Rudder assembly cleaned up a bit:


Winch and handles completed:


Bow assemblies:


Carronade close-up:


Wide view of deck:



Thanks for looking in.



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Hi, what manufacturer of CA do you use? I don't rate it any more and was coming to the conclusion that it had become 'watered down' here in the UK to either make production cheaper or for it to be safer. It no longer seems to have a strong bond or take quickly. I have always used Loctite, prism 406 if I can get it. We used to use this where I used to work and it actually held drive belts together on a beer bottling inspector for over a week till parts came. Now it won't even hold plastic.

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