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Schooner Germania (Nova) by KeithAug - Scale 1:36 - 1908 / 2011

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I agree with those who say they have removed the little holder on the scroll saw that prevents uplift.  I can not explain it, but it just seems to cause more trouble than it solved.  I have a nice delta variable speed saw with heavy plate.  I slow the blade way down and stay 1/16 away.  on anything thinner that 1/8 there is a little praying going on too. Then  on the inside cuts I stay a little out of that and then use a hand held wireless Dremel to mini drum sand.


as to the spindle sander. it is new to me, last summer, and I have a lot to learn.  for large projects it is great. for carving multiple planks for dories etc it is great too.    I bought 240 grit, the finest they offer.  I wish I could slow down the motor and honestly turn on and off the oscillator.  


anyway enough shop talk....we all need to go back to work ...smile





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Just a bit more shop talk: you can control the speed of almost any machine at little cost by putting an electronic dimmer before it. Make sure it is sufficiently rated in terms of Amps. There are dimmers that simply can be plugged into the wall-socket and then take the machine's plug. Doesn't work, if your machine already has an electronic speed control (in case you wanted to extend its range downward).

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A couple of suggestions on the scroll saw.  Remove the metal plate that the blade is passing through and make one out of wood or metal (your choice) with a hole just slightly larger than the blade.  It'll take some fiddling to get the right thickness.  Also, I brace mine on the underside with scrap as the vacuum I use for pulling in the sawdust deforms it.  The smaller hole keeps the wood from flexing over the hole.  


As for finding the "right" way for the blade, run your thumb lightly over it in both directions.  One way will catch on your skin, and that is the end that goes down.   


As for the drifting mind... I have that also so I take breaks sometimes even in the middle of a cut.  It slows production but at least I don't end up have to re-cut a piece I screwed up from lack of focus.





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And, in the fullness of time, the frames were scrolled!!!!!!! ------All 46 of them.


I had one mental aberration where I jumped from one frame line to another and as a result cut a keel section too thin - that's the one with the brown edge. To make good I stuck strips of mahogany to the edge to widen the keel back out to where it should have been and then sanded back to the correct line. At this stage I haven't removed the templates because I need them for the next step.


To make sure that I maintain alignment while setting the frames on the building board I accurately drilled alignment holes. The holes at the deck end will be slotted out to mate with a wooden strip on the building board while the holes at the keel end will get a 6mm steel alignment rod.


The holes were drilled small and opened out with a 6mm diameter milling cutter to produce an accurate hole size.


I skewered the frames on the steel alignment rod as I went along.


It looked pretty good with the exception of frame 15 which was visually too fat. I will adjust it back and post the corrected frame profile in the next post. Don't be deceived by the char on the edge of some of the frames - I haven't suddenly invested in a laser cutter. The char is the result of my frugal nature which prevents me from changing the paper on the sanding disc until its well past its sell by date.



Edited by KeithAug

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Druxey, Michael, Patrick - thank you for your comments. Also thanks to everyone for your visits and likes.


And so I continue to plod on:-


Having drilled the alignment holes I accurately cut the slot in the top edge of all the frames. You can probably work it out from the photos how I did this but to explain - here is the sequence.

 1) I put a piece of wood vertically in the mill vice. 

2) I installed a slitting saw, locked it in position and cut off its top edge of the wood. This meant that any future cuts would always be on this line.

3) I got 2 x 6mm diameter shank end mills and put one in each alignment hole in the frames.


4) I then placed the end mill shanks up against there previously cut piece of wood - and cut one edge of the slot.


5) I then flipped the frame over and cut the other edge of the slot. This ensured that the slots were exactly the same width as the end mill shanks i.e. 6mm.


I then aligned all frames using the slot and a 6mm diameter by 300mm long steel rod (recovered from a broken printer).


I then had a really good look at the profiles. The alignment of the centre lines was good and the red lines of the deck followed a pleasing curve. The black lines of the water line were equally consistent. Rubbing my hand across the profile did raise a question about  frame 15 which seemed a little too full. I used frames 14 and 16 as a guide to sand a better shape and then recorded the new shape for posterity.

Frames 5.pdf


Then it was back to the scroll saw. To make the building board up-stand removal easier it was essential to cut through the majority of the red deck lines (leaving only sufficient to maintain structural integrity). My previous scrolling trick of leaving an allowance to sand back clearly wasn't going to work here and I was forced to cut on the line. Fortunately my extensive recent practice came in handy.


The red line on the above frame has a scroll saw cut along it. The larger image below may help you to see it:-


More work with the scroll saw yet to be done, but for tonight it is a book and a glass of wine by the fire. It was cold in the workshop today and even colder on the dog walk.




Edited by KeithAug

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Thoughts on sizing deck features - the "PLANK" method.


The deck is covered in fittings - cleats, bollards, winches etc., etc., none not which are detailed on the plans. I therefore have to develop a method of estimating their size from the many photographs I have. A feature of most of the photographs of fittings is that they usually have a section of the adjacent deck somewhere in shot and I figured that If I could size the width of the planks then I could (by comparison) size the fittings.


So I used the following photograph and sized the planks as follows:-


The skylight deck house, as measured on the plans is 71.6" wide.

From the photograph the skylight is 9 of the wider planks wide.

The wider planks are therefore 71.6/9 = 7.95" wide - call it 8".

Comparing the wider and narrower planks the ratio of sizes is .320 to .840.

By Calculation the narrower planks are 32/84 x 8= 3.047" - call it 3 inches.


8" and 3" seem sensible sizes for deck planks and I'm reassured that the sizing is reasonably accurate.


Now to size the winch in the picture:-

Its major diameter is about 4.5 narrow planks wide = 13.5"

The diameter of the neck is 1/2 of the major diameter = 6.75"

The diameter of the top flange is 3/4 of the major diameter = 10.125" 


The vertical dimensions need a bit more care in estimating as the perspective is a more significant factor. It's better to find a shot of the winch in the distance as the camera to deck angle is much reduced. Having done this the vertical dimensions can be obtained by comparison with the already sized diameters.


Edited by KeithAug

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Not sure anymore, whether you where aiming for the original or the 'Nova'. For the former, you may want to consult:


BRIX, A. (1911) Praktischer SchiffbauBootsbau.- 327 p., Berlin (Akademischer Verein Hütte).


BRIX, A. (1921) Bootsbau, Praktischer Schiffbau.- 370 p., Norderstedt/Hamburg (Verlag Egon Heinemann GmbH).


which gives a lot of details on German (big) yacht building of the time.


Edited by wefalck

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Thank you I will follow up your suggestions. In terms of which version I started off undecided. The availability of information however is swinging me to Nova. I will need to make the decision soon. 


Michael - thank you.

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I am sorry it took me some days to see your thread.


I see you are building the GERMANIA NOVA.

I do not know, how much it differs from the original.


There is a quite good set of commercial drawings in 1:50 scale available from the original GERMANIA, 3 sheets.

Vendor is HARHAUS MODELLTECHNIK in Germany. http://www.harhaus.de

The description can be downloaded here: http://www.harhaus.de/hmhh12467.PDF


I do have the plans, too.

Once upon a time I felt to build a model of this awesome racer. 






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17 hours ago, tomwilberg said:

do have the plans, too.

Thomas, i visited the site but it does not carry much detail. Do there plans have a lot of detail and do they seem accurate?

Thank you.

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Today my resolve failed me. The workshop was cold and uninviting compared with the delights of the lounge and roaring wood burner. Will power fades with age!!!!!


Anyway having made a start on sizing deck fittings I thought i could sit in my arm chair and complete sizing of the winches.


Fortunately photographers and winches seem to attract one another like wasps and jam and I have many photos.



I particularly like the starting gun version. Must make one like that.


Germania has 3 sizes of winch. The good news is that the deck plan I have clearly identifies the positions of the different sizes - 2 large, 8 medium and 11 small - a total of 21 which seems to me to be more than ample for a craft of this size.


Much measuring later and I have the size of all 3 versions. All dimensions in inches and at 1:36 scale.



Tomorrow is committal day, I don't mean to an institution, although the kids might disagree. I mean committal to either Germania or Germania Nova. The winches are from Germania Nova and once I have knocked them out I don't think I will want to change track. I have cleaned off the lathe and the brass rods have been sorted. So tomorrow, bright and early, it will be time for turning. Note to self:- DON'T LIGHT THE WOOD BURNER.

Edited by KeithAug

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20 hours ago, KeithAug said:

Thomas - thank you. I will check it out.



as uninspiring the website of the vendor looks, the better is the plan set.

I find the plans very much complete, it meets certainly high standards.

As far as it comes to my opinion, I would say the plans may complemented with some photos, may be from Beken of Cowes or others, like you have it, and that should do for an almost perfect model even in larger scales.





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I couldn't resist the urge to make the winches. It was the first time in a long time I had had the benefit of a production  run. I do like solving the problem of how to make identical components efficiently. By the time I had finished I could make a winch in under 5 minutes. I will try to explain.


Because the tops of the winches are spherical I needed the ball turning tool. I didn't however want to mount and demount the tool post / ball turner for every winch. So I set the ball turner up on the rear of the cross slide while leaving the tool post in place. I also needed to maintain access to the tail stock for drilling. 


I set the ball turner to .800" radius and then mounted it loosely on the cross slide. It was preferable to have the ball turner set to stops so that I could always get it back to exactly the same position for each winch. The lathe bed has a standard clamp type stop (bottom left in the next photo). 


I don't have a cross slide stop but I do have a trick. In the previous photo you can see that the cross slide hand wheel stands proud of the boss connecting it to the slide. The horizontal bar behind the hand wheel isn't part of the lathe, it is a piece of tool steel that is restricting the outward travel of the slide, thus creating a stop. 

I wound the saddle and cross slide against their respective stops and then positioned the ball turner on the centre line of the chuck and clamped it down - ensuring that returning to the stops meant that the ball turner was set up perfectly for the next ball turning operation (i.e. the next winch).


I mounted all 4 tools that I needed in tool holders.


I needed a very fine grooving tool so I made one from a broken 1/8 inch centre drill mounted in a home made slotted clamp.


Having worked out the set up the first operation was to turn the spherical end. The sphere was turned on the back side of the lathe with the lathe running in reverse (At least it was when I remembered). 


Because the sphere turning operation was done against stops the position of the sphere was easily repeatable for all successive winches.


I then machined the first winch in the conventional manner using measurements to check the dimensions. I did however note the axial (saddle) location and transverse (cross slide location) on the lathe dials for all the finishing cuts.


I then generated the subsequent winches by duplicating the recorded dial settings with no measurement involved. Needless to say that I made sure that I never reset the hand wheel scales or changed the tool post rotation at any point.


I had to do the recording of dial settings 3 times for the 3 different winch sizes.




I made a fortunate mistake in that, for some reason, I made 9 of the medium sized winch. The fortunate part kicked in while using the polisher buffing wheel. It ripped the winch out of my hand and the initial impact on the bench was followed by a distant ping. At this point a micro worm hole popped into existence and devoured said winch, transporting effortlessly across the vastness of spacetime and into an infinite future of possibilities. I am comforted that in one of these possibilities a sentient being (named Keith) is working on his boat and wondering where he put that winch. Suddenly it materialises in front of him and my efforts are not in vain. 


Edited by KeithAug

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15 minutes ago, wefalck said:

Was there a particular reason for using (expensive) hexagonal stock, rather than round bar stock


I only used the hex bar for the 2 larger winches - about 25mm of it. The across flats dimension of the hex was just over what I needed (about .61" and I needed 0.54" ) while my next available round size was 3/4 inch. I had more .610" hex than .750" round in my metal store so chose to use it. 


John - thank you.

Edited by KeithAug

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And so back to the scroll saw.


I'm not planning to kit out the cabin as it wont be possible to see it. However what I do need to do is create a cabin floor so that the view through skylights and down the hatches looks realistic. While I was at it I decided to put the floors in at their correct levels. The cabin floor actually has 3 levels - stepping up progressively towards the bow.


I started a data sheet because I am apt to forget critical dimensions. Soon I will be on the making the building board so I recorded the frame positions. While I was at it I also recorded:-

1 - positions of the masts.

2 - the cabin floor levels

3 - where I planned to cut out the frames for the cabin floor

4 - the width of the cabin floor at the various frames.


I expect I will expand the data sheet as the build proceeds.


I marked out the cabin cut outs on the relevant frames - I found that overlaying the frame lines with another piece of paper reduced the confusion and made the task of cutting the correct line somewhat easier..


I made sure that I didn't remove the frame alignment holes at this stage.


Much time then passed quickly:-


The cabin floor levels can be clearly seen, albeit up side down.


I remember previous experiences of trying to drill and file hawsepipe holes through deck, hull and frames and thought I'd make it easier by pre-cutting oversized holes in the relevant frames (33, 34 and 35).



I also took the opportunity of drilling the pilot holes for the prop shaft. These are the smaller holes in frames 4 5 and 6 below - I also predrilled frames 7 and 8.



The prop shaft hole positions are as follows:-


I'll make a start on the building board next.

Edited by KeithAug

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On 2/6/2019 at 8:00 PM, paulsutcliffe said:

looking like a hull alread

Thank you Paul - hopefully within a few days it will look much more like a hull.


Another small diversion - Bollards!


I didn't have a lot of time so I did a quick bit of turning. Germania has a nice pair of mooring bollards. Towards the stern - located both port and starboard.


I dimensioned them up using the plank method described previously.


I made myself a small profile tool to the dimensions shown in the sketch.


Soon I had all 4 of the circular elements.


I will make the square bases separately and solder them on.



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