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Mary Taylor by jgodsey - FINISHED - Bluejacket Shipcrafters - Scale 3/16" - Solid Hull Wooden Kit

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This is my 2nd build.  Received the Mary Taylor kit for Christmas 2018.  My first build was the Swampscott Dory from Bluejacket, so this is a real step up in difficulty.  I'm excited to get started and welcome all helpful feedback. 




The instructions suggest two ways to shape the hull 1) by eye, or 2) using hull templates.  Since I'm new at this, I've chosen the template method.  It takes a bit more work, but should produce a more accurate hull shape.  I've marked the station lines from the Body Line Plan.  Now it's time to create the templates.



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  • 2 weeks later...
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Another piece of deck furniture - skylight.  I choose to scratch build the skylight rather than use the kit supplied Britannia.  I'm pretty happy with the results. 


I photo copied the etched brass roofing, glue the copy to the 1/32" plywood, then carefully cut out the windows.  I used .020" brass rod for the window grates.



The skylight housing is made from the 3/32" scribed decking sheet wood.



And, the finished result.  The roof will be placed once the skylight is glued to the deck and the inside painted black. 

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With a little wood putty, sandpaper and elbow grease, the hull is pretty close to complete.  The next step is to cut rabbits along the deck edge for the bulwarks.  


Port side





The bulwark rabbit came out well.  Now, to create the bulwark templates fitting them to the rabbits.


IMG_1915 (Edited).JPG

IMG_1916 (Edited).JPG

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Made very good progress on the bulwarks.  Started by shaping thick paper templates.  I found that the weight of gift box cardboard is ideal.  IMG_1919.thumb.JPG.5792ebb2db918f22f4142f82d45995ab.JPGIMG_1921.thumb.JPG.fa0cb835480a9f56f57ccf747ccd2608.JPG

After getting the shape "just right", I traced the templates onto the 1/32" plywood and carefully cut them out.



The bulwarks took a little sanding and smoothing, but they eventually fit well.  After they're glued (several steps from now), I'll fill in any gaps with wood putty.  No worries.


Next, it was time to craft the transom template.  Using basically the same method, stiff paper and a bit of geometry, the transom template was ready.


Transferring the template to the 1/32" plywood was easy and the transom fits nicely.




Per the advice of the instructions, I cut both the bulwarks and the transom a little tall.  After they're glued, I can smooth them down to the right height and insure tight joints.  So far so good.


The next step is to cut, stain and laminate the decking to the hull.  Again, using a stiff paper template, the decking is ready for staining.



It's been a good few days in the shipyard.




Edited by jgodsey
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  • 1 month later...

Although it's been a little over a month since my last post, I've been working on boat.  It was time to prepare the deck and glue it to the hull.  I traced the hull on to stiff cardboard (this has become my most important modeling tool) and used that as a template to cut the decking material.  3/32" x 3 1/2" scribed sheet wood.


The next decision took me some time.  Do I scribe treenails in the decking or not?  Using a pounce wheel, I practiced on some decking scraps to first, see if I liked it, and second, can I do it consistently.  Practicing and thinking on it for a couple of days, I decided yes, let's do it.  I spaced the rows 3/4" of an each to simulate 4' spacing.  I also stained the decking using Minimax Weathered Oak.  This gave it a sun-bleached appearance and the treenail holes are there, but not overly contrasting.



Then, the decking was glued to the hull using contact cement.  I painted the cockpit floor black to provide a good background for the grating that will cover the cockpit floor.




Edited by jgodsey
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With decking in place, it was time to glue to the bulwarks and start putting on the timberheads.  Confession.  This is when it all turned south.  I was beset with of problems.  All seemingly my fault.  First, I couldn't get the bulwarks to adhere to the hull.  I was using medium CA glue, but it wouldn't set up.  It seemed to take 20 - 30 minutes for it to hardened.  Each time the glue would get very crystallized and not hold strongly.  The bond between the bulwark and the hull would come undone with the slightest of pressure.  When separated, the crystallized glue would need to be scraped off and the adhesion area lightly sanded again.  It took three attempts at gluing the bulwarks to the hull and required pinning at the bow and stern.


Next came the waterways.  I soaked the 1/32" x 3/32" strips in water for 3 minutes and bent them around the inside each of the bulwarks.  Once again, the CA glue was giving me trouble.  I guess I'm either stupid, stubborn or both, but it didn't occur to me to switch glues just yet.  It required pins to keep the strips down.  Oh well, I'll clean that up with white paint after all the timber heads are in.


With the waterways done, it was time to cut and glue the timberheads.  These were cut from the 3/64" square basswood and were two lengths - 1/4" for the main deck area and 3/16" for the quarterdeck.  Then, they were glued to the inside of the bulwarks every 3/18".


Measure - glue - repeat about 43 times, plus 5 more on transom. 


Bulwards on.  Transom on.  Waterways on.  Timberheads on.  Admiring my results so far and the unimaginable happens.  I dropped the boat.  It fell about 40" to the hardwood floors which by the way are harder than basswood and CA glue.  Bulwarks break away from the hull (again!).  One of the bulwarks breaks about 1" from the transom.  The transom breaks away from the hull.  Timberheads break away from the bulwarks.  It's a mess.  All my progress is laying there on the floor in small scattered pieces.  Colorful language ensued!!!  Then, just sitting and staring at the wreckage.  


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After a couple of days internalizing the shipwreck, I got back to work.


Step 1 - Salvage.  What remained of the bulwarks still attached to the hull were removed.  The waterways were removed from the deck and the timberheads removed from the bulwarks.  Only the bulwarks were saved.


Step 2 - Rebuild.  A new piece of 1/32" plywood was cut and spliced to the end of the broken bulwark.  The rabbit on the hull was re-squared and sanded.  The bulwarks are refitted.


At this point, I start thinking deeply about the glue I'm using.  Why is the CA not holding?  After some internet sleuthing, as well as an excellent glue discussion on this site, I realize my CA glue is too old.  It seems that without refrigeration or freezing, the CA shelf life is maybe 1 year.  The bottle I was using was easily 2 years or older.


I threw out my old CA glue and buy new - Loctite Super Glue Ultragel Control.  I also decide to use PVA glue for the bulwarks. Using Elmers Carpenter Wood Glue, 4 pins on each side and 24 hours under clamp, the bulwarks are reattached to the hull.  The result is as desired.  The bulwarks are holding and fit is within tolerance.  Any gaps can be filled with wood putty.  The transom is reattached using PVA as well, but the Loctite Super Glue is used to glue the bulwark and transom corner.  


Next came the waterways.  I took a different approach to bending.  I traced the hull shape on to a cardboard templete, then used small finishing nails to create a form.


I soaked the wood strips for 5 minutes in boiling water, then gently bent them around the form using masking tape to hold them in place.  They were left this way for 24 hours.  The next day, the waterways held their shape and fit along the inside of the bulwarks perfectly.  Using the new Loctite Super Glue, a single small drop held for 10 seconds worked like a champ!


Next, the 43 NEW timberheads were cut and glued using the Loctite Super Glue.  Again, small drop, 10 seconds and super strong hold.  Eureka!  Using the right glue makes this so much easier.



While waiting on the various wood, glue or putty to dry, I started preparing the coppering for the hull.  Using another great tutorial from this site, I made 50 6" copper strips using a pounce wheel to simulate the bolts.


I chose to keep the copper in 6" strips rather than individual plates.  There is only so much patience to expect at this point.




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Shipwreck totally recovered.  It was a painful, but fruitful lesson.  This second result with the bulwarks, transom, waterways and timberheads is so much better.  I understand glue and the process better.


After a bit of putty and sandy, the hull is ready for painting.  The deck is fully masked off and a primer coat is applied.


I even drilled holes for the pedestal.  That will come after the coppering is applied.



The primer revealed a few much areas that need putty.  After the putty dried, a nice sanding with 400 grit leaves that hull smooth and ready.


Now, the first coat of black is applied.  I'm using Floquil Engine Black.  This is a deep inky black that covers well, but I want to build up the color slowly in thin layers.  I thin the paint by about 10% - 15%.  And hey, while I have the paint out, let's paint caprails and some of the britannia fittings too.

IMG_1986.thumb.JPG.9a27abcef5ebd8e9927fc39c0e3c52b4.JPG Once this dries, it will get another light 400 grit sanding and another coat of paint.  It may take 3 - 4 coats before we call it done.


Now for an adult beverage (or two) and some mindless TV.  


Cheers All.





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The hull painting is complete with 3 coats and a bit of sanding in between.  It was now time to mark the waterline.  First, the hull was leveled on some very technically advanced paint bottles and cardboard layers.  Once the waterline was drawn in pencil, thin striping tape was laid down on top of the pencil so I could see it better.



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Now, it is time for coppering the hull using the 1/4" copper tape that I had previously marked using a pounce wheel.



This went surprising well.  Go slow and carefully line up the edges and the plate marks for that bricklaying pattern.  



Here's the port side complete.



Now, on to the starboard side.  


One thing I did do first was practice laying down a few strips on a piece of scrap.  The copper is really shining, so I sprayed my practice strips with some Testors Dull Cote and will see how that looks in the morning.




Edited by jgodsey
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The starboard side is now coppered. 



I'm pretty pleased with the result.  To my novice eye, using the copper tape strips appears more scale appropriate than individual plates.  The only thing that bothers me is the shiny.  The copper tape is really shiny.  I tested coating the copper with Testor's Dull Cote. 



I'm not sure this picture does it justice, but the coated side is definitely less garish.  

Any thoughts?





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Took the major step and mounted the hull on the temporary working base.  I've turned the corner on the hull and now the attention goes above the waterline.  Great feeling!



I removed all the masking tape from the deck and bulwarks.  Felt like removing the bandages after surgery.  It's Alive!!!


Having fun now.


Thank you to all for all the thumbs up and comments.




Edited by jgodsey
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