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This is my first serious attempt at building a wooden ship model, something I've thought about for years.  My wife encouraged me to finally do it this year, so here I go.

 

In addition to the included instructions and plans I'm following Bob Hunt's practicum from Lauck Street Shipyard.  I've also viewed most of Gary Brinker's video log and am following CPDDET's build here in the forum.  Let's see if I can not screw this up.

 

Inventory of the kit took about two hours, mostly due to my lack of experience reading ship plans.  I still have a few Britannia parts I can't identify in the plans, but the total part count added up so I moved on.

 

As I told CPDDET, my kit's bulkhead sheets are....weird.  There's some kind of tacky, almost sticky coating on one side of the plywood.  Cutting the bulkheads free was challenging with the only blade I owned at the time - a #11 X-Acto.  Since then I've gotten some #10 blades which are much better for freeing laser cut parts from the plywood sheets.

 

Up to this point I've assembled the keel and finished cutting the rabbet and tapering the stern.  The rabbet came out better than I expected.  The stern tapering was the more challenging of the two for me.  I have little to no experience carving wood and just tried to take it slow.  For some reason I struggled with a #17 chisel blade.  It worked well for the rabbet and also the aft edge of the stern, but I had trouble using it to create the gradual taper from the bearding line to the aft edge.  For me the #10 blade was easier to control for this task  The result was a pretty irregular dimpled surface that I'm not totally satisfied with.

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I had a couple of mishaps tapering the stern.  A small chunk blew out of the starboard side of the stern's aft edge, right above the rabbet.  I considered gluing it back it but have decided the stern post will cover it so why bother?  It could have been worse and I'm glad the breakage didn't go all the way through the keel.

 

I'm thoroughly enjoying this build.  About 9 hours invested so far.  Next up -- tapering the stem.

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Before I glue on the sternpost I've got a question.  As you can see below, my tapering job gradually decreases as you go upward from the rabbet to where the top of the sternpost sits against it.  At the rabbet, the stern is tapered to the thickness specified in the plans, but I wasn't certain about how far upward to take it.  I'm afraid it's not tapered enough at the very top.  Should the stern's thickness be uniform from rabbet to "top"?20181114_203633.thumb.jpg.db542dab0ceb389b43edbae6792eccfd.jpg

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  • 1 year later...

It's been a while, but I'm finally working on this model again.  I found some time this past week to finish installing the bulkheads.  They're not all fared yet but a few are started.  After the glue dried I noticed in the instructions they call for the stanchions to be trimmed down to 1/8" wide from their stock thickness of 3/16".  It doesn't specify which side (forward or aft) the excess wood should be removed from though.  I'm following Bob Hunt's practicum from LSS which doesn't specify either (or maybe I didn't read carefully enough).  The practicum's full size photos do show trimmed stanchions with material removed from the aft side of each stanchion.  For anyone familiar with this kit, is there a guideline or something I can base this decision on?  My concern is that if I choose wrong, the fake stanchions that come later will have alternating spacing that aren't equal.  I've looked at another build log where the material was removed from the aft sides, just like LSS shows, so I'm planning to go that route unless I hear or learn differently.

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Sheet 2 of my plans, Model Shipways model, shows all except bulkhead "A" are trimmed on the aft side. "A" is not trimmed on the plans but your practicum may show it is.

 

If your following Bob Hunts practicum you will eventually be removing the extensions completely. But you need them untill the bulwarks are installed.

 

I cut mine completely off too soon and it caused a big problem. Read a few chapters ahead in the practicum and it will be clear.

 

Dave

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  • 11 months later...

And we're back.  My Bluenose finally sees the light of day again.  After a move from TN to FL, lots of home improvement (excuses excuses), I finally unpacked this box and am getting setup to continue.

 

Issue 1 of 2 is visible in these photos.  The keel has warped a tad.  I'm not sure if I am going to worry about it.  Some spacer blocks placed strategically between bulkheads might sort it out.  The warpage was either there to begin with and I missed it or it happened in storage/transit.

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Edited by W4LKR
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Issue 2 of 2 is that at least a couple of bulkheads fall short of the bearding line.  Bulkhead K is near center in the photo below.  I feel confident the bearding line is in the right place and it's the bulkhead that ends to high above it.  My expectation was that most if not all bulkheads would overshoot the line and need significant fairing but in the case of this kit it's maybe half or less.  The middle bulkheads are smack on the line and they need the least fairing to boot.  But as you can see in the photo, several bulkheads just barely touch the bearding line with the aft edge.  I'm unclear on what's needed here.  Shimming is certainly possible followed by fairing the shim material on the forward edge mostly.

 

I could use some suggestions on adding shims.  I hesitate to use kit materials as I don't know how much extra stock is included.  A trip to the craft store for thin basswood or balsa strips is probably in order?

 

Issue 3 of .... 3, is that I really botched the sizing of that added block in the photo.  The keel needed some additional support and I think this added material was recommended in the practicum I was following.  But wow, I really made it too big and created additional sanding work for myself.

 

 

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Edited by W4LKR
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  • 2 weeks later...

Great sandpaper block  tip.

 

Keep on ...patience seems to be the common byword through all the blogs.

 

I'm right behind you as I just started on the keel last night....fun times

 

Ron 

 

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Thanks Ron, appreciate the encouragement!  Congrats on starting your Bluenose!  I look forward to following your progress and learning from your build.

 

Another build I have followed is CPDDET's Bluenose.  His kit had the exact same problem with the rear bulkheads not reaching the rabbet line.  He fixed the issue by applying wood putty to extend just those bulkheads downward a fraction of an inch, then faired them as normal.  I think I'm going to do the same rather than apply shim material to the entire bulkhead edge.

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Find thin basswood stock and shim with that. Most kits just aren't perfect in terms of length of bulkheads. Errors just creep into these things from design to laser cutting. Don't sweat it. It will all smooth out once you start fairing the frames. 

 

Spacer blocks will definitely fix the keel warpage as well. They're also going to come in very handy when you go to plank the deck, as the narrow planks will lay MUCH better over a solid surface. I did the same on my current Benjamin Latham build if you want to look at my build log for photos. 

 

 

Good start. 

Edited by jwvolz
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Nice start to the Bluenose. I've just about finished the hull on my Bluenose, and ran into similar problems on my build.

 

1) Try to add strengthening blocks on the keel joints, especially at the back where it is really weak and susceptible to breaking off.

2) Add batons between each bulkhead to help strengthen the model and add rigidity. Make sure you don't push the bulkheads out of square from the keel.

3) Try to use the blocks and batons to pull your keel back to square. If you just can't get the keel straight I would consider removing the bulkheads etc and straighten it out. Otherwise you're going to have problems later on.

4) Use calipers to measure and sort all of your wood stock, bundle them together and mark their measurements on a tag. You should find that there is a LOT of extra wood included that is not in the inventory list. I was pleasantly surprised at Model Shipways generosity and never felt like I was close to running out of wood. You can shim the bulkheads safely using wood supplied, but read below.

5) Make sure the bulkheads that might need shimming near the rabbet line are actually all sitting flush at the top. You might be able to extend the slot on the bulkhead or keel so it will sit lower. If it's glued in already you should be able to work the bulkhead free if you do it carefully. I had to do the on one to correct a similar error that you have.

6) I made my keel strengthening blocks too big too. A small rasp file to remove large amounts of wood is very useful.

 

I'm about a year into my build (I'm building rather slowly) and the Bluenose is my first build. If I can offer any advice it would be patience. You're going to need a lot of it. If things are not right, if you're not happy with a certain stage of the build don't be afraid to rip it out and do it again. You'll always do a better job the second or third time around. There's no rush.

 

So try and fix your keel warp; it might take some work but it will be worth it and you're not storing up problems in the future.

 

 

Edited by Yorky
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Thanks Yorky.  Regarding #2, I've just finished installing the batons.  I'll post some pics momentarily.

 

It's good to know there's ample extra material in the kit.  I may end up shimming the bulkheads with spare decking or planking materials, but before I go that far I'm going to attempt a wood putty fix.  There's only three bulkheads that need it and I'm hopeful it will be less work.

 

I think this makes four of us who are currently building Bluenose kits.  I'm looking forward to following your build as well.

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Batons have been added between all bulkheads except the forward-most two (A & B).  I can tell how much stronger the entire model is after completing this step.  It seems that one or two of the bulkheads have been pulled just slightly out of square with the keel.  I'm making note of these little mishaps but not necessarily committing to fixing them in this build.  I want to avoid making this mistake in the future but I'm uncertain how much trouble it will cause me going forward.

 

Next up is continuing to trim back the bulwark stanchions.  Bulkheads A thru D have already been cut back to be 1/8" thick from the 3/16" thick bulkhead material.  I paused this work to install the batons.  Once I finish the stanchions it will be time to address the bulkheads that don't reach the bearding line.

 

After that, it will finally be time to begin sanding bevels into the bulkheads.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't still very intimidated by that process.PXL_20210131_203431609.thumb.jpg.9a24c92db4b0b85e5d121946289950ec.jpg

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Hi W4LKR, my Bluenose build is my first model build in 40 years. I have very, very little experience in working with my hands as I worked in hospital administration all my life. I found finding answers lots of my basic, rather dumb questions difficult to find since most forums, guides and videos assume some basic knowledge. Reading guides on, say, planking, made the build even more intimidating and there seemed to be an overwhelming plethora of technical, and often contradictory or confusing advice.

 

I do intend on releasing a build diary but have terrible social anxiety and so have been putting it off. I was hoping to offer some advice on the mistakes and pitfalls I encountered.

 

i understand ABSOLUTELY how you feel intimidated by the process. Heck, cutting the rabbet took me days of dithering, worry and procrastination. If you have ANY questions please feel free to ask and I will answer as best as I can.

 

I have found this build challenging. It's been a steep learning curve. I've made rather a lot of basic mistakes. However, there are a few things that have helped me immensely:

 

a)  I decided that I will NOT rush this project, nor get frustrated and impatient. I expected that things will go wrong and if they did I would put them right and learn from the process. It's been difficult at times to do this, and I honestly wanted to burn the boat when the hull painting went disastrously wrong, but I stuck with it and it's been worth it.

b) Take a break if you're getting frustrated. Even as long as a few days or more.

c) Don't be afraid of starting again on a particular part of the build if you are not happy. Today I scrapped the same thing I was attempting to make 5 times.

d) Gary Brinker has posted a great build diary of his Bluenose build on YouTube. It's very detailed and answered lots of my dumb questions and really felt like I had someone was holding my hand. I REALLY recommend that you watch them.

 

Sorry, I tend to waffle on so I'll cut it short here. But do try to square up the keel and bulkheads, they are like the foundations to your house and if they are off the whole house will be out of kilter and have structural problems. 

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Oh by the way, I would recommend you think about simply cutting off the bulwark stanchions. When you add in the fake stanchions there is a huge difference in their appearance between the fake stanchions and the bulwarks and they just don't match. "Retired Guy" as he had a rather ingenious method of temporarily fitting the main rails, then shaping and fitting the fake stanchions, then removing the bulwark stanchions and fitting fake ones.

 

I'll try and post a link to his diary. His build is rather amazing!

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I agree 100% on removing the bulkhead extensions. I did that on my Benjamin Latham build. Not only does it ensure consistency (they plywood is a real paint to work), but at least on the Latham it makes fitting the planksheer much easier.  

 

My build log has some photos showing this. 

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12 hours ago, Yorky said:

Gary Brinker has posted a great build diary of his Bluenose build on YouTube. It's very detailed and answered lots of my dumb questions and really felt like I had someone was holding my hand. I REALLY recommend that you watch them.

 

I ran across Gary's video series when I was researching the Bluenose kit and have really enjoyed the parts I've watched.  He's entertaining and you get the feeling he's just being himself and wants to share his passion with others.  I've been watching the videos as I progress through build.

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Thanks everyone for the advice about removing the bulwark extensions.  I was concerned about them looking different than the others but I never considered removing them, especially after the bulwarks are in place.  So what is the technique?  Do you use some temporary attachment between the extensions and the bulwark so you can cut them free out from under it later?

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I looked through RetiredGuy's build log of MSW Bluenose.  Thank you for referring me to his build.  It appears to be a top-notch job and is a source of inspiration.  Looking at his stanchions though, I couldn't find any photo or mention of removing the bulwark extensions and installing stanchions in their places.  Every photo in his log that shows a close-up of those areas shows the bulwark extensions still there.  Later on he even paints them.  To my eye his bulwark extensions and stanchions are indistinguishable from each other.  This is probably a testament to his modeling abilities.

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I had zero issues cutting the extensions off before any planking. You have to trust me it will work, and it is much easier to match everything up rather than trying to shape the ply. I'm not sure how the planksheer goes on the Bluenose, but as I mentioned it was easier to install that first, and then replacement stanchions in the pre-cut notches. Everything ends up plenty strong enough and the bulwark planking went on fine. 

 

There are some photos of all of this in my log. 

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If you look on page 1 of Retire Guy's build, towards the middle of the page you can see that he makes his main rail early in the build. Since you have to make the main rail anyway, it's no extra work really. He then temporarily pins it to the existing bulkhead head stanchions, and as the main rail is painted white later on the pin holes can be filled and won't be seen.

He then cuts his fake stanchions to shape (use  jig to get the same heights for fore and another jig for aft stanchions). Remember the hull curves so you'll need to shape your stanchions individually to follow the curve of the hull.

He then removes the main rail, cuts away the bulkhead stanchions and fits fake stanchions in their place. He does not specifically show this, but you can see this from the photos and the high standard of the build.

 

I did not use this method on my build, but instead used temporary bulwarks. It worked but I think the method described above is superior and I will definitely try it on the next build.

Edited by Yorky
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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to let you know I followed the instruction manual starting on page 10 and 11 Fig 1-3 and Fig 1-4 regarding bulkhead stanchions, I beveled and cut the stanchions as it says to do and then once I had the waterways installed made up the main rail and used fig 1-14 to install fake bulwarks stanchions, these I made with inboard bevel were needed to suit the shape of hull, not sure why you would need to cut them off 🤔

 

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These bulkheads are not plywood so they do blend in well with the fake stanchions and also they help a lot when time to start planking.

Hope this helps

 

Regards

Richard

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