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SJSoane

HMS Bellona 1760 by SJSoane - Scale 1:64 - English 74 gun, as designed

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Thanks, Allan, this is very helpful. I had tried clamping the metal in a cutter holder over  blank bit, and dialing it in against the spinning disk. But the metal was clamped a little high that way. Holding it freehand on a tool holder like a manual lathe would solve this problem.

 

Mark

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I have used razor blades like those shown by Allan and also heavier hard metal - like saw blades.  I also have 16g SS plate cut-offs that

I have used a lot.  One additional suggestion: scrape the shape onto the a larger wood blank of the right breadth then rip off the molding on the saw.  The larger piece is easier to hold in a vise and the stiffness helps when scraping.  The final sawed thickness is then always accurate even if the piece is over-scraped.

 

Ed

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Thanks, Ed, for this additional advice.

 

My first effort at a molding unfortunately comes on a piece that will be a challenge to clamp down firmly. Both legs are curved and/or tapered, so they will not clamp in a vise easily (and they will be both thinner and narrower than this roughed out piece shown below, as seen by the pencil lines). Perhaps I should consider lightly gluing a piece behind the long leg that will allow me to clamp that in the vise, then remove with isopropanol later? Also, I see I will need to glue an extension onto the short leg, so that the cutter can finish cleanly off the piece. The end of the long leg has to turn around a quarter diameter radius, which I will have to practice to see how I do that cleanly.

 

Maybe I should have started my mold making with the waist molding, which is all evenly linear, just to get more of the hang of it before tackling this difficult to hold piece...

 

Mark

 

 

IMG_8876.jpg

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Hi Mark

Sorry for not replying earlier, I use a mini hacksaw blade and cut the profile with a diamond wheel in the dremel or small vallorbe files, I have never filed the sides or edges to cut as the blade seems sharp enough after profiling, im with Druxey on this one and find the hacksaw blade thickness easier to use and scrape with heres a picture of my blade with a few different profiles cut into it, I stick the piece down also as Druxey says and glide the blade along the top

20191021_150143.thumb.jpg.e7bf6b75b0c01504b7ec51ab2ac86077.jpg

I also have one in a piece of aluminium that I have found useful for profiling in situ, the shape again makes it easier to hold20191021_150229.thumb.jpg.d51b382aaffd508b2ea2550530807031.jpg

Funnily enough I did make one with a razor blade last week to use on the main channel where I wanted a different profile while it worked ok I still think the hacksaw blade is the way to go

20191021_150158.thumb.jpg.491bc867ede49f3508e1a88bc2464ff1.jpg

Just my preference I guess

Hope some of this helps you decide

Regards 

Paul 

 

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I am able to clamp cheeks in a vise by the inside corner to scratch mold (line the vise with soft jaws!). I don't try to go round the corner of the side arm; I finish that off with Swiss files. Also, I leave the knee arm long until after I've cut in the molding.

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Thanks, Paul and druxey, I will try heating up a hacksaw blade with a larger propane torch; the butane torch just could not get to red.

 

And druxey, thanks for the ideas about how to clamp and finish the cheeks. I will try these ideas. I already cut the knee side too short for this, so I will have to temporarily glue on an extension.

 

Mark

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Hi Mark - I've been using a microtorch and it has been working OK.  Few things that might make a difference.  I put the hacksaw blade in a vise and break it into 2-3" sections. I find this size scraper much easier to handle when forming the shape.  It also less metal for the heat to dissipate from compared to using a full length blade.  I don't heat the entire blade.  I just focus on the edge I will be filing.  Much easier to get a small section red hot than the whole blade.

 

Dave

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I agree with Davec: I use about 3" to 4" lengths. I hold the piece securely in a 'third hand' and blaze away. A semi-darkened room shows me cherry red more easily than in full light.

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OK, I'm sold.  I will give the hacksaw blade a try the next time I am making moldings.   I do see an advantage in being able to use two hands to hold a 3 or 4 inch blade on each end and thus having a bit more control when drawing the cutter along the wood.   

Allan

 

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I have been pulled away from the shop for a time, but back to planking.

 

This is a fairly tedious repetitive job. The row of planking above the black strake is mostly between ports, so no longer strakes are possible yet.

 

In the past, I would work up one side, then the other. Getting started on the second side was always an uphill battle, because I had already worked out all of the problems and now it was just a slog on the other side.

 

So this time, I decided to work up each side in parallel. This also allows me to leave one side glued, work on the other side, and the the first side is ready to go again.

 

My little jigs for the reveal on each side of the port are working well. I first use these to get the angle for cutting the end of the plank, and then as a go - no go for fitting the planks between the ports.

 

It is taking about ½ hour per plank between each port...

 

Mark

 

zOBJ_Bellona_20191102_2.jpg

zOBJ_Bellona_20191103_4.jpg

zOBJ_Bellona_20191103_5.jpg

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It is just remarkable (spelling pun intended 😀) to me that the care and attention you are taking will result in a model that puts the original dockyard model to shame.

 

It is all really that good, IMO.  Cheers to you, Mark!

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Thanks so much, druxey, Marc and Mark, for your kind comments.

A few thoughts with coffee before launching into more planking this morning:

 

Marc, when I started, I saw the craftsmanship of the original dockyard model builders as something to aspire to, but not something I could ever fully reach. In more recent years, though, I have seen that their perfection is not quite perfect, and so the bar is a little lower than I originally thought. The most interesting evidence is in Rob Napier's Legacy of a Ship Model, which shows that the old craftsmen sometimes screwed up, and they found interesting and satisfying ways to fix their errors. And sometimes, they let the mistakes stand as built if they were not going to be seen readily.

 

That gave me greater leeway to worry a little less about getting it absolutely right the first time--which can become a debilitating thought in your head--knowing that I can probably fix it if I mess up. I have done enough of these now to feel confident in being able to do them in the future. A case in point was making the hawse liners in the wrong wood, and needing to pare these down to be covered by real hawse liners in boxwood. Tedious to fix, but it works.

 

Mark, I think I mentioned a number of years ago on this build log that I learned the value of jigs from a moonlighting project I did while in architecture school. A friend and I had a project to build scale models of the condominiums soon under construction at the Big Sky Ski Resort in Montana just north of Yellowstone National Park. It had a very tight deadline. I was frantically cutting and gluing parts on the models, while my friend was building a jig. I urged him to stop messing around and start helping with the models. He ignored me, finished the jig, and then started cranking out perfectly crafted window and door frames, way faster than I would ever have done without a jig. I learned my lesson then and there.

 

I started the Bellona using lots of jigs. I cut the stem knee with a full sized router and a jig, for example. I did not trust my hand tool skills, and jigs reduce risk. But as my hand skills have improved, I have used jigs less to control a tool, and more for alignment and fitting issues like the reveal around the gun ports. Also, they are great for making repetitive identical parts. By the way, I modified my gun port jig a little, gluing a wedge to one side. My fingers were too clumsy to hold all four pieces in place while I pushed in the locking wedge, sometimes while also holding the plank so it could be scribed against the jig...

 

Back to work!

 

Mark

 

 

IMG_8885.jpg

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Mark you are right about it.

 

There is a nice video on you-tube about a guitar maker using a lot of jigs... and he is producing one of the best guitars on the market. A jig facilitate repetition  and it is faster to use.

 

I do not think that it is possible to produce a perfect model, in my situation, I am sure that I cant, there are too many thousand operation to do with perfection . I try to do my best and I also try to make it look good.

My goal is not to do a perfect model ship, it is only  to have fun in the construction process.

 

I guess we could that every model ship builder has his own speciality. As an example, I would name Alex for  the best sail representation.

Yours would be something like: "Research and Building parts with the best possible method" and you succeed well with  this result very clean parts.

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thanks, druxey. I have been out of touch with my friend for 45 years or so, but I still owe him a great deal for that important lesson on craftsmanship early in life.

 

Gaetan, I entirely agree with your view that the goal is to have fun in the construction process, not to create a perfect model. And an important lesson I learned from you a number of years ago is that the more one repeats a process (in the case you advised me on, hand cutting the mortises for the gun deck carlings and ledges) the better and faster one gets. Which gets closer to perfection, but never all the way! And thank you for the kind comment about my specialty.

 

Best wishes,

 

Mark

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Small progress, finishing the first strake of 4" planking above the black strake.  The aft-most last planks here were surprisingly challenging to shape. The uppermost curve did not fit any of my sanding templates, appearing to be more of a part of an ellipse than a circle. Although it is an arc of a circle when drawn straight on in the sheer elevation, because of the tumble-home in, and raking back, the actual curve is something more complex. Now I understand this, the next planks in this area should go more smoothly--or so I naively think before I actually try-- 🙂

 

I decided to trim the upper edges of the planking at the gun ports by turning the hull upside down and using a sanding stick through the opposite ports, as I learned from the Fully Framed Model books, and as I did when I first cut the ports in the hull. It is otherwise too hard to see the edge of the port framing to which the planking needs to align. The aft-most port has not yet been trimmed at the top in this photo.

 

Mark

zOBJ_Bellona_20191111_2.jpg

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Hi Greg,

I understand Hollywood actresses in older days always had their pictures taken with a gauze effect that covered up imperfections. I can see the value of that! Those super resolution closeups reveal more imperfections than I can see with my naked eye, and I much prefer to see it just as I see it without magnification.

Having said that, I promise to increase my resolution when I get past the interim stages, i.e., after I sand and paint to my final finish. Then it is what it is! So here, for example, is the gun deck at its final finish, at a higher resolution.

1106074766_Bellonadeckhires.thumb.jpg.3958d5edcea59e090b640b65d69df751.jpg

At a little lower resolution, because it still needs some work with sanding, trimming etc., is the next strake of 4" planks at the bow.

This was a little trickier, working around the remnants of my mistaken hawse piece, and bending from the stem to the first port. But it is coming along! The hawse piece will cover up the planking forward of where the black strake changes color.

45579989_Bellonaplanking.thumb.jpg.6bcccd4d612382fb7000055e946d36cf.jpg

 

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14 hours ago, SJSoane said:

 Those super resolution closeups reveal more imperfections than I can see with my naked eye

A medal always has 2 sides. It is true that we see "new" imperfections with magnification and it is very frustrating at the beginning.

 

The good side of it, if you take picture when  you finish a section of the work, you will be able to see what needs to be corrected. We could call this tool "inspection by photography".

 

After the make the small corrections,  you take a second set of photography and you will be satisfy of your work.

 

I think it is a good tool, to increase of one step, the quality of our work; but with miniature photos, it is impossible to do.

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Hi Gaetan and Greg, I take your points. How large a photo are you both posting? Are you controlling the overall size (I have tried to stay under 1MB), or resolution (72 DPI for screen), or both?

 

Mark

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size: 2000 X 2000 pixels *

resolution: 240 pixels/ inch

adapted for screen sharpness

 

* If I remember correctly, MSW allows a generous size for a photo to be 2000 by 2000. Unfortunately, almost nobody presents "large size photo".

When a photo is presented on Facebook, by example,  in a "small dimension", It is like showing nothing, because there is insufficient data to appreciate the content.

 

You can get a $200 camera to photograph with a resolution of 4K. You cannot post a 4K photo, but you can scale it down and show a good detail which is going to be profitable, not only for you, but for every body also.

But like the mystery of the Exacto, even if we tell them that they could use a sharper knife, they continue to use only the Exacto. Of course, there is no need to drive a Ferrari when a Mazda will bring you at the same place.

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2000 X 2000 gets reduced.  I use 1500 X 1500 and that is reduced on the log page.  However, clicking the photo will usually open it and show a magnifier and clicking again, opens a new window and lets you enlarge.

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Slow work, I have started the second strake of the 4" planking (this is a photo 1500 pixels high, and 240 ppi resolution).IMG_8969.thumb.jpg.575c9b89b4127d3336121d0dac187c90.jpg

My jig in the port hole helps me find the exact angle for the adjacent plank. I hold up a small spacer against the jig and on top of the plank, then draw a line.

IMG_8970.jpg.b6c2cb30f4a9f90cc200ee7648ede068.jpg

I use this line to set an angle gauge, which I then use to set the angle of the miter gauge on the disk sander. The sanding paper on the disk sander is used to hold the small wood piece against the miter gauge. This allows me to control light presses of the wood into the disk sander.

 

IMG_8968.thumb.jpg.a7d9c743a7983d0433d6bdf1d77030e8.jpg

 

 

 

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Almost to the stern with the second strake of 4" planking. Here was my first drop down to a port head, creating a pretty complicated piece to shape. Lots of transfer marking of high spots,  and then filing, marking and filing. With patience, just about any piece can be made. But I do need other little projects to turn to when I lose my patience, then I can come back to finish with a little better mental attitude.

 

Mark

IMG_8977.jpg

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