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La Belle Poule 1765 by MTaylor - Scale 1:64 - POB- French Frigate from ANCRE plans

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Mark, good to see you building again. Looks good to my eye.

In regards to OC suggestion about coating the delicate parts with CA, what about thinned epoxy? You would have more working time and use fewer brushes. Something like West Systems is already thin and I have thinned it down in the past. It is however expensive if this is the only thing you would be using it for. I have tried this with the 5 minute epoxies from the LHS, doesnt work as well, it cures but stays somewhat flexible.

Sam

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Actually, Sam, that might not be a bad idea but I've been heavily reworking the cutting drawings as I there were problems.  I've been reworking the bulkhead drawings, the backbone was fine, and also working on sorting out the stern which may also take a couple of go's to get right.  Quite a bit of complexity to it as far as getting everything ship shape and Bristol fashion.

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Mark,

You are using this particular plywood because it plays nice with your laser ?

Why not produce duplicates or triplicates of each mold and glue laminate them on the outboard side of each master?

It will increase the strength and give a better land for the planking.  The down side is more work rasping the bevel.

 

Dean

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Dean,

I'm sticking with the 1/4" ply as I really can't go any thicker without reworking my laser which I've modified quite a bit from the original.   I've looking at some builds of this model and the general practice is to fill in the gaps with balsa and/or basswood and sand that.  For some reason this ship only seems to show up on one French site and there's only about 4 or so.  Any way  I look at it, sanding is still going to be a headache so the softer woods will be better. :wacko:  BTW, only the bow back to the about the 3rd maybe 4th bulkhead and the stern to the 4th from the rear will need filling.   Anyway, it's an adventure to be sure.

 

Still waiting for my plywood.  Should be here by Friday so in the meantime I've been prototyping the stern and trying to get ahead of things with the drawings.

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Mark,

Since I enjoy "denken experimenten" - armchair experiments:

The problem that I am looking to help you solve is the warping of an individual mold.  I was not suggesting using something other than your 1/4" ply.  Just that you use more of it.  Use your laser tool to do most of the work.   I am thinking that it is imperative that each mold be dead flat before attachment to the spine.  Using a filler that is added after the molds are glued, will not help in making sure the mold is dead flat before assembly.  The area at the spine - that is notched for the main molds, would be removed for the additional layers.  If the bend is at the notch, just this being a thicker ply is not a fix, because it is not thick there in the middle.  But the edge of the additional layers can be close enough to the spine (tight tolerances)  to force it to be perpendicular.   Would not 1/2" or 3/4" of ply would be less prone the warping than 1/4"?  The scrap ply between your molds on the sheet can be glued on the center face sides as lots of pieces and placed away from the edge as a way to further thicken it, putting what is otherwise waste to use. Each mold  would be built up and mostly sanded before being fixed to the spine.  If you over do it, scab some veneer along the edge and re sand that.

 

I mean this with all respect, but being required to use thin ply because of the laser imitations ....  is this sort of fitting the work to the tool, instead of fitting the tool to the work?

 

I find that sanding the end grain of plywood - especially softwood ply - to be a less than rewarding chore.  The rough quality  and voids in construction grade ply.........ugly.

But with solid wood, a sanding nightmare was the last aft section of the ship Commerce de Marseille.  The "ply" was 8 layers of 1/4" Hard Maple - a 2 inch solid lamination.  A good property of Hard Maple is that it is difficult to remove too much too quickly.  The downside is that it is difficult to remove much at all.  The bevel is very acute.  A ton of work, trying several methods, it was ultimately done using the rounded end of a 4x36 bench belt sander using 60 and 80 grit media.  Since my sections can be manipulated as a separate unit, I can take the work to the sander.  A problem is that it is difficult to position a vac nozzle where it can pull in the ton of saw dust produced.  I bet I still have drifts of Maple flour in the corners of my garage.  I looked like a end of shift coal miner if the coal was blonde instead of black.

 

Dean

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Mark,

I misunderstood your narrative and thought your stock of plywood was other than flat.  If you have fixed a warping and then cut,  I must have mentally jumped to thinking that if the ply wants to bend, then any fix will be temporary.  It will still try to bend again - unless you add in a counter force to prevent it.   Mother Nature is kinda relentless.

 

As for a solid hull, if you mean the Marseille hull, it is yes,  while I shape the hull and until I add the keelson, and bilge riders, it will be solid.  I followed Delacroix as per frame timber scantlings.  My scale is 1:60 - essentially the same as your preferred scale.  ( I am still overwhelmed by the size of that ship's hull.)  As delineated on the plans, the space is small - all the frames are bends - the members of the pair of frames are each sided 0.24" and the space between each is 0.07".  Above the LWL I made them all,  solid Maple, below the LWL the 0.07" space has a temporary Pine filler, held in place by an adhesive that I can easily debond and pop the Pine out.  The filler allows for the hull to be shaped and sanded and still have sharp and crisp edges on the bends.   With a space this small,  with future hulls,  (doing Marseille over in my head) I would make the frame thickness 0.275" each, and omit every other bend.  The temporary filler Pine below the LWL would then  be a total thickness of 0.55" also.   Doing POF and leaving frames on display,  I think a bit wider space is more visually interesting. 

 

If I remember it correctly, Davis presented a 50% wood and 50% space as the the way actual hulls were framed - maybe 1900 and later hulls were,  but not even close before 1860 for warships.   Hahn used the 50/50 assembly too.  He focused on the time of the American Revolution and I found that frigates at that particular time were all but solid timber - just ~1" air spaces.  Framed that way, any visible display as unplanked would be fairly boring to see,  so omitting every other bend is a logical technique.   Starting around 1800 it seems to have become (on average) 67% wood and 33% space.  for me, increasing the frame thickness by 50% to be able to omit every other bend looks unnatural,  The frames are just too thick.  For those, I frame the hull using scantlings that are the same as the original.

 

Dean

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Dean,

It's only the thin stuff that's a problem.   The 1/4" wasn't warped too bad.  I let it "rest" for a day or two and it straightened right out once the moisture from humidiy, etc. evened out.

 

Licorne was build using Hahn method which looked and worked well.  The Belle Poule plans use bulkheads which is a slightly different critter.  So I'll be filling the approximately 1-1/4" space between them for the planking and to lock them into place.  There is a bit on the plans for using ribs but they're pretty much packed together as on the USS Constitution.

 

Meantime, bidding my time, waiting for the wood to show up and fiddling with the plans and designing the way the stern is supposed to be built.

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Mark,

 

I measured the frame scantlings as 2/3 wood and 1/3 space - 9.5" x 9.5" x 9.5" .   If you add trunnels to your outside planking, following that interval would match what ANCRE has.

I compared Belle Poule center cross section to Renommee to see how close they are - Belle is a bit wider and deeper and Renommee is a bit more extreme in the degree of curving.

 

Again with your filling between molds,  = a low cost option

Mill boards from a clear Pine 2x4 stud (~$4?)  having a thickness  that your laser likes,  and that the appropriate sum of lamination is just a push fit between molds.

In your Corel Draw, draft an inside moulded dimension for each mold  ***- The line of the fore most or aft most mold of each pair can define the inside for a particular unit, so no additional shaping there is needed.

Now that I think on it, the center mold does not even need this line drawn for it.

When you draw the inside line add 2-4  alignment dots - inside the pair  lines - and use a drill press to drill  a hole the diameter of whatever bamboo dowels you have.  Given that it is inside and hidden,

off the shelf bamboo skewers can be used as is, no pesky draw plate work needed .   This will perfectly align the stack of layers.  PVA glue up each stack of Pine layers  Add an additional 1/4" layer on the outside of the stack - on the side nearest to the mid line.  Bond it with double sided tape.  Have the two mold shapes on patterns rubber cemented to either face of the stack of layers.  Sand the bevel for each stack - off the hull,     pop off the 1/4" layer  (It was needed because it takes into account the mold thickness for a precise bevel).  When you place the filler stack between the molds, ~ 95% of the shaping has already been done.  If you wait until now to cut the bevel on the plywood mold, it should be easy to remove exactly what should be removed and with the Pine there, near impossible to overdo it.

 

*** ( I would say thick enough, but not too thick.)  The Navy demands that solid carved hulls be hollowed out, in their museum acquisitions.  An adaptation for heat and humidity, I recommend taking the hint.

 

I did some reading and discovered that Painter and Gimp and PaintShopPro are "raster" based  and Corel Draw is "vector" based.  I don't know what the practical difference is,  but raster works for my needs.

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The ply came into and it's "breathing" in the workshop.  A bit warped (but not bad) from the changes in humidity coming cross country.  

 

I've got lots of balsa and basswood for the areas that need filling.  I also have left over 1/8" ply that can use for for bracing the bulkheads.   If I'm lucky, I start cutting wood on the 'morrow.  If not, I continue trying wrap my head around the building of the stern area.  

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Whilst you wrap your head around (what paper do you use?) ... most POB builds have the curving part of the stern as a shaped block of wood, on which the planks can be glued ... you may consider the same method

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Thanks Carl.   I found one who built it as basically a sub-assembly off ship.  I'm getting a grasp of this so when I get to that point, I'll have a starting point.

 

As for updates.... wood stabilized overnight, and so I cut it... 16 bulkheads.   I dry fitted them and added a "security" beam across the top.  On the morrow, I'll start getting them fixed into place with braces and adding a few boards to guide me in filling in the bow and stern.  I may also do the center section also. Any way, here's pics of the day's efforts.  Not 100% straight or even as not glued nor properly aligned.

1-3.thumb.JPG.54c9aea1502b90215b7ddfc2e80a8585.JPG1-4.thumb.JPG.2159cca357919bd24e7d2f09ddad345e.JPG1-5.thumb.JPG.b7bfd52e3af16182414ac131faf01991.JPG

 

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Thanks for the "likes", I appreciate it.

 

Pat,

There isn't any rabbet yet.  I've been trying mentally to sort this out before I glue the bulkheads into place.  The problem is the keel is 5+mm thick while the false keel is 3+mm thick.  I basically have two options.  The first is thin the planks where they meet the keel/false keel junction.  The other is grind away some material of the false keel but I'll still have "nudge" the planks in.  I think a 1mm plank is totally impractical but I'm sorting it out. 

 

If someone has good idea, I'd appreciate it, but outside of going to 1:48, which makes for other problems, I'm considering the options above.

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Mark,

Rather than cut into the spine to form a rabbet,  scab a thin veneer that makes the keel wider.   As thin as can be managed so that the planks look as though they dip into the keel.

No way to tell now deep it really is.

 

Was it a Jerry Lewis movie - Don't raise the bridge, lower the river?

 

Dean

Edited by Jaager

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Dean, 

I went into overdrive.   I've ripped the keel off and am replacing it with one a bit wider that will give me 1/16" (~2.0 mm).  Between that and just a very small amount of taper, I'll have enough to work with planking.  It'll take me a few days as I have other priorities going on.

 

I do appreciate the extra eyeballs.  Been a big help.

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Hello Mark, Sorry I am a bit late but I still found a chair well in the back row. It is nice to see you back in your Old Ship Yard again, and doing a great job of it also. Your La Belle Poule will surely be a beauty and a very interesting ship to build,                                                         ENJOY.

Regards   Lawrence

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Thanks for the likes and the comment.

 

I've re-keeled her, did some fiddling with a few of the bits.  I now have a 3/32" fake rabbet on each side.   By fake, I'll run the planks hard up to the false keel and then finish sand to the boxwood keel.   I'll be fitting some braces between the bulkheads and to the false keel to keep everything straight and proper.  When that's done, a bit of fairing (actually a lot at the bow area) along with the false deck to help get everything ready for working on the framing above the main deck.  There's bulkheads tops in the way and need to be moved amongst other things.  I need work on my photography a bit... clipped of the keel on the side view.

 

Here's the progress pics.

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1-7.thumb.JPG.1379c8eff9690c926450a8d5f8891a07.JPG

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It's been pointed out to me that I have and error with the first 3 bulkheads.   I cut the wrong ones during a stressful period earlier this week without thinking and used them.  I'm recutting using the correct drawings in the next day or so.  I won't repost the same image, but just letting folks know I have at least that problem covered.

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Thanks for the "likes" and following along.

 

Well... the rework is finished for the bulkheads.  I also added some stiffeners between the bulkheads.  These will be below gundeck level so as not to interfere.   I put the stern piece on to help me mentally sort out that area as the stern curves around and actually ends up as part of the quarter galleries.   Edit, due to the sanding, the lower ends of the bulkheads fade out as I've sanded off the char.   Most of the char will disappear as I shape things prior to planking.

 

Here's pics...

 

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Mark,

I did not notice until your replacement molds made it obvious,  Belle was a bit of an out layer. The degree of hollow at the bow is more than Sea Witch even and Griffiths was heavily criticized for designing that.  I wonder why Belle did not set a trend?

Dean

 

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I have no idea, Dean.   I know the French did a lot of experimenting due to the way their designers were trained and used.   If you go look at Licorne, it had the mast dimensions that ended up years later on Le Venus.  

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Enough fiddling about and making stupid mistakes....  I took the ship off the build board for fairing and doing repairs due to the keel warping and bending the stern end (about 7 bulkheads in length).   The false keel was ok and straightened out on it's own in couple of hours.  Originally it was one long strip of boxwood that I cur from piece that was the right thickness, 5" wide and longer than what I needed.  I still have it, maybe I can use it where some wooden beam needs to be bent :P    Hopefully this will be the last d*** major rework.

 

The unplanked hull (see pics is now on an old display base I had handy and in preparation for fairing.  I feel that fairing should be done before anything else.   So digging out the sand paper and sanding sticks.

 

1-11.thumb.JPG.6331a2de30868dcfa2f0f521ddeedf15.JPG

 

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Thanks for the likes and comment.

 

Update time.  I did a lot of reading of other logs (not many out there) and tried several different approaches.   The pics below show the method and result for the bow.  I'm heading towards an "extra" half-frame on each side between the next 3 full frames.  This is to give me some extra "meat" for planking and also to assist in frame part above the main deck.   I have to remove several of them for gun ports and put them in a different spot.    Testing and thinking will continue as start filling in the lower hull with balsa. 

 

Here's photos....  The last few show a dummy bowspit in place as I had to account for angles, diameter, etc.  BTW, the bowspit is square to the bulkhead but looks off center due to the angle of the photos.

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1-18.JPG

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