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Should I build Benjamin Latham?


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Would a newbie to plank-on-bulkhead be able to have reasonable success with the Model Shipways Benjamin Latham?  I have finished an old Scientific Models solid hull Cutty Sark and want to try a more advanced build. Is the Latham skill level too high?  Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

FCE43F68-D974-4EEC-9530-9F3E97E4A5CE.jpeg

Paul

 

Cutty Sark, Scientific Models (no build log)

18th Century Armed Longboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Coffee Wagon and Limber, Model Shipways side project

New Bedford Whaleboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Gatling Gun, Model Shipways side project

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Judging from the model you've successfully completed, you already have two necessary skills; 'stick-to-it-iveness' and carefulness. Another more ambitious model will not only exercise those skills but develop new ones. I'd say, go for it! There are many folk who can help clarify any questions you might have, so there is a good support resource right here on MSW.

 

The only criterion is that you have an affection for the subject of your build.

Edited by druxey

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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I appreciate everyone's reply on this.  I have another question based on a build log that I just found.  Can this ship be built from the Model Shipways kit without power tools?

 

Paul Schulze

Stephenville, Texas

Paul

 

Cutty Sark, Scientific Models (no build log)

18th Century Armed Longboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Coffee Wagon and Limber, Model Shipways side project

New Bedford Whaleboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Gatling Gun, Model Shipways side project

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27 minutes ago, Dr PS said:

Can this ship be built from the Model Shipways kit without power tools?

Heck, I know people that scratch build without power tools. I do find my Dremel rotary tool very handy, and technically it is a power tool, but it's not a mill, lathe, thickness sander, or band saw, if those are the kinds of power tools you're thinking of.

Chris Coyle
Greer, South Carolina

When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
- Tuco

Current builds: Brigantine Phoenix, Speeljacht

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Don't underestimate yourself. Your last model demonstrates that you have the skills and ability to build just about anything you'd want. It's just as with the last one, pick something you like, take your time. read the build logs in MSW, ask questions if you have them.  Model Shipways kits are relatively high quality and their instructions are clear. You should have no problem. Actually, plank on bulkhead or on frame models aren't more difficult than solid hulls, just different. I think they have a reputation for being difficult only because so many people who are starting out bite off more than they  can chew. You don't appear to have that problem. Go for it!

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Gidday Paul and welcome to the site.

In answer to your question re building the Benjamin Latham, you are the only person who can objectively answer that question. I will say there is a wealth of knowledge here and you would be hard pressed to find a more positive and encouraging group of people anywhere.

Re the non use of power tools, I often marvel at the Admiralty Ship Models that are centuries old. No power tools or electric power for that matter. I recently read a comment, forgive me for forgetting who posted it, about modellers of yore building magnificent models on a card table with a minimum of tools.

So in my long winded opinion I believe fantastic results can be achieved with hand tools.

I would say that you should attempt to build the Benjamin Latham. Remember to utilise the knowledge and support of the members here.

I sincerely hope I haven't confused the issue.

Wishing you all the best with your endeavours.

Mark.

 

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The short answer is YES.  

 

The preceding comments are all valid. 

 

Also, power tools as a rule make the job go faster and in many cases more accurate, but that is only after you spend lots of money to get them, and then spend lots of time learning how to safely operate them.  Very find models are made without them, but as Chris says, a Dremel is very useful because you need to drill lots of holes.   Good luck and have fun~!             Duff

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I have the usual assortment of hand tools, a Dremel, a variable speed hand drill, and a small jig saw for model building.  For big stuff, I have a table and a mitre saw.  If you were to recommend one additional good small power tool, what would it be?

Paul

 

Cutty Sark, Scientific Models (no build log)

18th Century Armed Longboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Coffee Wagon and Limber, Model Shipways side project

New Bedford Whaleboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Gatling Gun, Model Shipways side project

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2 hours ago, Dr PS said:

I have the usual assortment of hand tools, a Dremel, a variable speed hand drill, and a small jig saw for model building.  For big stuff, I have a table and a mitre saw.  If you were to recommend one additional good small power tool, what would it be?

Are you going to stay with kits or scratch build?   If kits, I think that would do it.   For scratch build, depends on how much scratch work you wish to do.  If you intend to mill your wood, then a table saw such at the Byrne's.  If a lot of machine work, then a mill or lathe.   For the most part, with scratch building, I had (until I got a laser cutter) just a mill, small table saw, scroll (jig) saw, and lathe.   Each has it's uses so figuring out what the next tool to buy is up to you after you consider what you want to do first.  My most used have been the scroll saw and the small table saw.

Mark
"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans - ON HOLD           Triton Cross-Section   

 NRG Hallf Hull Planking Kit                                                                            HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               

 

Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         

         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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2 hours ago, Richard Griffith said:

Paul, the best small table saw is the Byrnes saw A small drill press is very useful, and a thickness sander can not be beat. 

 

Since you have a table saw, I recommend a quality drill press.   Tool selection depends on your needs and building methods.            Duff

I forgot to mention that I have a good drill press.  I can also use the table saw as a disc sander.

Paul

 

Cutty Sark, Scientific Models (no build log)

18th Century Armed Longboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Coffee Wagon and Limber, Model Shipways side project

New Bedford Whaleboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Gatling Gun, Model Shipways side project

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Mark, I plan to kit build, so I think I probably have all the tools I need to do the job.  Thanks

Paul

 

Cutty Sark, Scientific Models (no build log)

18th Century Armed Longboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Coffee Wagon and Limber, Model Shipways side project

New Bedford Whaleboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Gatling Gun, Model Shipways side project

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I think that I have decided to go with the Armed Longboat 18th Century, 1750-1760 by Model Shipways.  It looks like a good boat to learn plank-on-bulwark.  I feel good about rigging so I think I can figure that out on a more complex build.  Also, I like the looks of the longboat and think it will make a nice finished piece.  I will study other build logs and attempt to do one myself.  I really appreciate all the help I received as now I think I can go into this next project with more confidence.

 

Thanks, Paul

Paul

 

Cutty Sark, Scientific Models (no build log)

18th Century Armed Longboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Coffee Wagon and Limber, Model Shipways side project

New Bedford Whaleboat, Model Shipways

Civil War Gatling Gun, Model Shipways side project

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Let me "pile on" and urge you to get a small drill press, or even a drill press and mill combo, from Vanda-Lay Industries. See: http://vanda-layindustries.com/  (When you google "Vanda-Lay Industries," the first "hit" is titled "Lay" for some unknown reason. That's them.) They make a quality drill press that mounts any standard Dremel tool or Foredom handpiece ($140 for drill press w/o Dremel tool.)  http://vanda-layindustries.com/html/drill_press_plus.html This "system" can be upgraded with an X-Y table for use as a mill ($190 total for mill/drill ) which turns your Dremel into a mill, saw, cutoff saw, sander, and drill press. http://vanda-layindustries.com/html/acra_mill_plus.html They also make a good router table that mounts the Dremel tool. Add to this a Harbor Freight in-line "foot control" (which you can also use with your scroll saw) and you're good to go.

 

The Vanda-Lay "system" is very well made of CNC'd aluminum and has sufficient stability to do accurate modeling work. As with all "multi-tools," top of the line stand-alone dedicated tools will be better, but you get what you pay for. As for power, you are constrained by the limits of the Dremel's power, but that's plenty enough for modeling work. IMHO, you need a drill press because a hand-held Dremel cannot provide the accuracy and control needed to do good fine scale drilling "freehand." (Pause here to allow time for outcries of dispute from the Neanderthals.) Your hand isn't steady enough, particularly when trying to hold a running, relatively heavy Dremel. Not only do you have a hard time holding a Dremel to drill holes in the right place, but a bit of a wobble at speed will break a lot of bits in the small sizes. The Vanda-Lay stand allows you to drill to exact depths and exactly where you want the hole to be. This is important if you need a series of equally-spaced holes in a straight line, such as for pinrails.  I haven't tried their "mill," but I'd expect with the Dremel's power limitations, it would have enough power for modeling tasks. I think it's probably worth adding to the package, given what a dedicated micro-mill and tooling would set you back. I have a Vanda-Lay drill press and find it's great for fine work.  I don't expect it to be hogging 1" bores with Forsner bits, though.  Vanda-Lay is a small, family owned business in Southern California. I've found them accessible and very helpful. We're not talking the .0005" accuracy of one of Jim Byrnes' table saws or a Sherline lathe or mill, but Vanda-Lay provides basic tools with what I consider a very high "value for the money" factor. So much the better if you already have a Dremel tool and a collection of bits and burrs to start with.

 

Whatever you do, don't buy the comparably-priced Dremel brand drill press for your Dremel tool. I've never had one, mainly because upon examining them in the store, they looked junky. Those who have bought them were not happy with them at all. They reportedly lack sufficient rigidity to produce accurate work. I'd put them in the "toy" category.

 

 

7_drill_press_w_drill_table.jpg

Basic drill press with optional drill press table ($30 for the table)

 

mills_multi_clmpx3-2.JPG

Vanda-Lay drill presses with milling attachments and various Dremel models.

y_table___mill_display3.JPG

Drill-mill with X-Y table. (Z fine adjustment attachment also available.)

Edited by Bob Cleek
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I find Disc sanders to be very useful.  I have two, a 10in dia one driven by my homemade thickness sander’s shaft and a small “Jarmac” sander with 4in disc on my workbench.  Human nature puts a premium on convenience.  If you need to go to your table saw and mount your sanding disc every time you  want to sand a little from a strip of planking guess what?  You won’t take the trouble and your workmanship will suffer.  Buy a small bench top disc sander.

 

Roger

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