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Bluenose by CPDDET - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64 - First ship build

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20 hours ago, CPDDET said:

What's more important at the very start is getting your keel pieces flat and straight. I took a tip from a great book to make mine and I'll pass that along to you ASAP.

The Book 



The layout board for the keel 



It's simply a piece of shelving cut to length and a ledge board screwed down even with the bottom edge of the shelve piece.


This allows one to rest the bottom edge of the keel pieces on the shelf and glue them together. Then I placed a second piece of wood on top of the keel and clamped all three layers ( shelf, keel and top board) together. You can use wax paper or index cards over the glued joints.


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19 hours ago, Snug Harbor Johnny said:

I've reviewed your build thus far and am impressed by the care and craftsmanship you exhibit.  It is an inspiration for me to better my intermediate (at best) technique, yet in this line we all must chart our own course.  Doing the best we can , within practical limits, can be a source of satisfaction one can't put a price on.  

Thanks for the kind words!

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Next up on the build list was the Jumbo Jib Boom Crutch. The top piece and knees are laser cut pieces but the uprights have to be cut from stock. The instructions call for 1/8 square stock but I found the thickness of the laser cut pieces closer to 3/32nds so that’s what I used for the uprights.


I cut a scrap piece of wood to place between the uprights in order to keep them at a 90 degree angle while clamping. Using PVA glue I set up clamping on my MicroMark magnetic jig. I have found this 10 ¼ inch square metal tray very useful for clamping various items, especially when it comes to building deck furniture. The ends of the metal plate are bent up at a 90 degree angle which is a big help. In order to keep the glue from bonding to the plate I taped a piece of plastic wrap on it. Plastic wrap (Saran Wrap) seems to work well for PVA and wax paper for CA.


After the glue dried I did some sanding and glued on the knees, again with PVA.


Then mounted the assembly on a scrap piece of wood with double stick tape. Staying with my color scheme, I put on 3 coats of Varathane Poly Stain instead of painting it white as the plans call for.


According to the plans and the instructions that came with the model, the hoisting mechanism attached to the crutch as well as the engine box on the port side of the crutch were removed for racing, so I will be skipping those and install the boom crutch without these parts.


As best as I can tell the counter shaft assembly and stand remained on the ship for racing, along with the windlass. So next up will be the countershaft assembly and stand. Some of these parts look usable while others look very rough and will probably have to be remade.


And so it continues……

Edited by CPDDET
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Boy those metal castings are a sorry looking lot. Since I have no recourse I am going to have get creative in retouching them, filing, maybe use some plastic metal filler. Mine are just as bad.


I also contacted MSW with a list of missing wood strips and blocks...all the metal was there....I hear they're quite responsive and customer oriented when it comes to this type of thing.

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good to hear.


Here's a weird question, When I see close up pics of the tiny wood pieces they're hairy, as in small wood fibers have been raised up and even after sanding the paint never lays flat. I'm thinking of running a wide soft flame over them to burn them off...I'll do a test and let you know. 

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I have found a light sanding with 800 grit paper does a pretty nice job.


If paint is to be applied I sand as above, paint on a light coating of Delta Ceramcoat (sanding sealer), let dry and sand again. This gives a nice clean, fuzz free surface.


After paint has dried I spray a matt finish of acrylic sealer.


Both the Ceramcoat and acrylic sealer can be found at Hobby Lobby, or probably Michael's Crafts.

Edited by CPDDET
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That's going to be a great setup.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you're able to create with the milling machine.


The metal parts in my kit are similarly rough.  I have a 3D printer so I've considered sketching some replacements in CAD and printing them, then painting with a metallic enamel to simulate metal parts.  But having the ability to make real metal replacement parts would be way better.

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Thanks for the tips on painting.


Wow, that is one cool looking piece of machine and I'm sure you'll be turning out some nice parts. Looking forward to seeing your progress.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Learning curves, learning curves, learning curves have really slowed me down, that along with what seems like constant snow clearing. Using the grinder in the garage in close to or below zero temps hasn’t been much fun either. LOL


First was assembling the new mill, reading all instructions and playing with scrap material and mill attachments until I became somewhat comfortable with it.


Second was learning to use a grinder to sharpen and /or make lathe tools. My right hand lath tool needed sharpening and I totally destroyed it attempting to do this. I did have a backup right hand tool but decided to take a ¼ inch high speed steel blank and make my own. Yes, I could just have purchased new tools but my lathe and mill mentor, Retired Guy, said sooner or later I would need to learn the necessary grinder skills if I ever wanted to make my own custom lathe tools. And, as I have been telling myself lately, if not now, when? So I read the tool making instructions that came with the Sherline product and used the backup right hand tool as a template. Success! I was able to make my own right hand tool that worked beautifully. Besides, the cost of blanks is about half of premade tools.




Third was learning how to make my own gearwheels using the gear cutting tool holder I purchased with the new mill. There were several failures and for a time I thought I was going to run out of brass rod before the job was finished. But persistence, slowing down and being as being precise as possible paid off. 


Also a big help was a video I got from the Midwest Model Shipwrights video library. On this video, Doc Williams explained how he built the windlass for his Charles W Morgan, part of which was making gear wheels.


This is what I got with the kit for the counter shaft assembly.



My first thought was to cut the gearwheels off, clean them up with escapement files, and drill a 1/32 hole for a new shaft. But that didn’t work as well as I liked so I took a deep breath and made my own gearwheels.


Starting with a piece of ¼ inch brass stock, I loaded it into the lathe and turned it down to same diameter as the white metal gearwheel. That’s my self-made right hand cutting tool in the pic.




Then I loaded the piece on the mill. On the right side of the picture is a 4 jaw chuck, mounted on a rotary table which is mounted on a right angle attachment. The rotary table allows a circle to be divided into 3600 parts. I just divided the diameter of each gear by the number of needed teeth, 8 for the small gear and 12 for the large gear. Then, using the handle on the rotary table, I rotated the piece the necessary amount for each cut. The cutting tool I used is actually made for cutting threads. The reason there are 2 cutting tools mounted in the gear cutting holding tool is because the tools are 1/8th inch vs the standard ¼ inch the holder is made for. Sherline advised me that when using 1/8th inch tools to mount 2 of them to make up the 1/8th inch difference. I cut the teeth .150 inches deep.




This is a picture of what the large gear looks like after finishing in the mill.




Then put the piece back into the lathe and drilled a 1/32 hole for the shaft.




The rear cutoff tool made easy work of cutting the gear to the proper thickness.




Here is the finished large gear



And the finished small gear




Bothe gears next to the white metal gears that came with the kit.




I was, thankfully, able to salvage the stands. My skills are nowhere near ready to make these. I didn’t have any 1/32 brass rod but I did have some 1/32 copper wire (unknown gauge) so used that for the axel shaft. Here is the piece assembled.



While this assembly probably should have been entirely black, I have previously left lots of brass pieces unpainted. So I went half way and blackened the frames only. I’m always conflicted about blackening the brass pieces. Kind of like painting over beautiful woodwork. 




Next up is the windlass. This is the piece that came with the kit, which isn’t very pretty. The cuts in the center for the pawl are hardly visible. So I’m going to attempt to build  my own windlass.



 Looks like more learning curves in my future. But if not now, when?

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is there a difference? 😜 Still a beginner at this. But yes, Im a bit of a tool nut. Just want to make my job easier and continue to learn. The Bluenose has, and continues to be,  a real learning tool. Maybe someday I'll have enough confidence to build as well as you do.

Will be reviewing your video on building a windlass as well before I start that. 


Isnt it great the way we inspire each other to reach deep down and improve our skills?


Thanks for all your tips.



Edited by CPDDET
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Those parts look great.  By the way I own the same Rikon grinder.  I've mostly used it for restoring traditional woodworking tools, putting bevels on chisels and plane irons, and buffing rusted parts.  I've never had a problem with it.  If you ever want a piece to have a somewhat burnished look, a wire wheel can do it.

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Just caught up with your build Dave all looking very nice great job, you have come along way 👍 and I am glad you have taken to the machines, and each piece you make will just get better once you learn the skills, as my Dad always said to me Rome wasn't built in a day 🙂





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