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Greetings Group,

Many of you know me from my first build log as a pilot on Chucks Confederacy Build a few years back.  That build was a tremendous learning experience and I have had a hard time following it up.  I was hesitant to start a build log - as I have had a few aborted attempts on fully framed Ancre subjects.  I decided to post one because as many of you are making the leap to trying your hand at scratch building for the first time - maybe I can offer some guidance/advice.  Remember you will make mistakes - part of the fun is repeating assemblies to get them right. Ive got a big scrap bin already !!! 

 

Chucks designs are so user friendly - being able to print your plans off the download makes life so much easier.  I have already made three attempts at the stem parts and have probably burned thru 20 sheets of paper - way easier than having to go to FED EX or UPS Store to copy Ancre plans.  That said - once retired I will get back to a fully framed subject -its my passion.  But for now raising two 6 year olds and running two businesses can get in the way of time in the workshop.  I have very little progress to show for my LGV at 1/36th scale - steep learning curve and hard to build momentum.  Chucks beautifully designed Winnie project is a perfect solution and so far I am having a blast, not to mention being part of a group build.  

 

My approach - scratch build everything in Pear - you can see Ive attached photos of the my remaining flitch of French Pear along with some of the resulting billets - milled by a local facility.  This is way more cost effective than buying already milled sheets and you get consistency of color. I want to experiment with finishes on this build - Confederacy was finished in Pure Tung Oil - I am thinking of mixing my own shellac on this build to mimic the original UK model's luster. No simulated treenails or caulking - most models from 200-300 years ago did not show these features.  I will use red paint for the bulwarks and hopefully try to match the blue of the original model for the friezes (that's really the part of this build that scares me the most).  Ill probably just paint the wales vs using dye - which is a headache and fades (its already happening with Confederacy).  And carve my own figurehead and sculptures.....

 

Thanks for following along - progress shots attached from two weeks of work thus far...

 

 

 

 

Pear Flitch.jpg

Pear Billets.jpg

Winnie keel.jpg

Stem Parts.jpg

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Excellent work Chris.   You will have the stem all assembled in no time at all.   I would keep the seams between each part not too dark.   Try gluing some scrap together with pencil just on one edge.   The seams on pear always get a bit darker than other woods.   So test your darkening methods to simulate the caulking on scrap first....no sense in risking having to cut them all over again.

 

 

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Pretty exciting Chris, looking forward to your execution in pear again, you know what they say about imitation and flattery right? Just so you know.... 😎  Your Pear looks a lot different than mine, it’s not steamed right? Also the grain is a bit more pronounced? Or is that just the camera? Your stem is looking good, precise joinery is a challenge for me, I’m good on flat joints but curvature kicks my butt.... gonna try Mikes custom sanding forms technique this time...

Did you ever do anything more to the WVH? I was hoping you were gonna resurrect that one, but I know about having a model or two in the “closet” so to speak.....   Take care......

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Thanks Lou and Rusty !  This one should be fun.  This pear is actually a lot lighter than the pear supplied by Jeff Hayes on my last build - which is much darker and pinker.  

 

In terms of the WVH - she's still laying in wait.  Im spoiled now working with nice wood - the thought of going back to cheap kit provided walnut and pot metal carvings to complete the WVH keeps me away for now.  

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Chris, I am impressed with the quality of the pieces you have made so far.  I look forward to following your build.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Dputzler !

 

So a couple pics of the stem assembly so far.  Keep in mind third attempt with these pieces - I got them as close to Chucks tolerances as possible.  As you can see the back of the stem near the top has some meat on it for sanding it to the false keel.  I thought these pics might be helpful to others who are scratching their stem.  These pieces were glued on top of the table of my scroll saw to insure flatness - no simulated caulking for the joints - the finish should be enough to subtly highlight them.

Joint.jpg

Stem.jpg

Edited by ChrisLBren

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That looks great!!!  No need to get a perfect fit to the rabbet strip with that.  Its best to make sure that the curve on the aft side of the stem is a nice smooth curve that matches the plans regardless of a few gaps against the rabbet strip....That is what will show after planking.   If there are minor gaps between it and the rabbet strip it doesnt matter as long as the stem is secured firmly to it so it wont come free.   I had a few gaps which will have no impact at all with the final model.  So dont obsess about that aspect.   

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Thanks Chuck -not too worried about the aft side.  The rest requires endless tweaking to get it right - spent a good part of the afternoon yesterday on the assemblies - not there yet.  Heres a progress shot - I do love this French Pear Im working with so far !

Stem Progress.jpg

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Not too shabby!!!  Just a little bit more along the stem and you got it!!!  Looks great.

 

Chuck

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Posted (edited)

Looks great Chris,  how did you cut such an accurate gammoning slot? Do you have a mill? And is that a planked cutting/work board? 😄

Edited by ASAT

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Hey Lou - I do have a mill - the Proxxon MF70 - which I utilize on everything.  I did start the gammoning slot with it - the rest was finished with files and sandpaper taped to 1/32 scrap wood.  As far as the cutting board - bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond -works great for any work you need to use your chisels/knives with.  

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Great start . I,m hoping to go with pear for the most of my effort so i will keep a close watch on your progress if that,s ok 

 

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Hello Group,

Preparing at last the stem for final assembly.  My printer was a bit off - I highly recommend checking your settings.  The pieces on my stem were about 110 percent larger - I made the adjustment and remade some parts so Im now at spec with the plans.  

 

My original thoughts with this model was all pear, no simulated caulking or treenails.  I may have changed my mind on the caulking - heres a test using a china marker on some stem parts - would love your thoughts before I commit.  Two photos - china marker caulking and natural. 

IMG_0195.jpg

IMG_0191.jpg

Edited by ChrisLBren

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They both look very good Chris.   I would struggle to choose myself although as I have mentioned, the hull is quite large and using simulated caulking very lightly between the planking makes the hull more interesting.  Having such a large focal point of the model as one even pear tone without such breaks may be a bit bland Especially without treenails.   using caulked seams without treenails may be good compromise.   But its up to you.  Maybe my hull with just a few planks left can help you picture what the planking would look like with no caulking...this is as of yesterday.  Only four more strakes to complete the port side.   Imagine if you can that there was no caulking of the seams.  That would be a huge mass of tan/yellow.

 

almostdone.JPG

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Hi Chris,

 

I think it's a personal thing. What I or someone else likes might not be what you like.

 

Having said that I agree with Chuck. I plan to simulate the caulking using a #2 pencil as I have in previous builds.

 

Good luck choosing!

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I really prefer the caulking, I think it helps to accentuate your painstaking efforts in the joinery and it gives the eye a transitional focal point, which helps emphasize the “treat each part  as an individual model” concept. 

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Thanks for the advice everyone !  Ill probably go with caulking - just not sure if the china marker is the way to go - maybe its better to just go with a number 2 pencil.  

 

Hopefully I can be back at work on the Winnie - as you can see by the attached photo Ive had my hands full refinishing and painting my deck.  Im getting to old for this - it rained last night but you can get an idea of the scope of this project by the photos.  All thats left are the lights and post caps.  My back is broken - lol....

 

IMG_0200.jpg

Edited by ChrisLBren

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Very nice Chris.  By the way my deck needs a serious face lift. Just saying. :)

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No chance Rusty - never again will I refinish a deck.  I got severe tennis elbow from washing my shingle shake roof this summer and my back is still messed up from the deck.  When will I learn - LOL

 

Also curious still curious about China Marker (grease pencil) vs Number 2 Lead Graphite- any thoughts ?

 

 

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China marker might be too dark...with a pencil you can adjust your pressure to go lighter or darker.  Best to do a mock up and compare.

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I've always used a pencil and been happy with it.

 

20 hours ago, ChrisLBren said:

I'm getting to old for this -

 

Just wait my friend, you ain't seen nothing yet!

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Finally an update !  4 versions later - the stem is finally finished and ready to mount to the former.  Getting curved pieces to fit flush is tricky - I read a tip somewhere on the forum to use a piece of graphite paper which shows the highmarks you need to sand for a flush fit.  Worked great - finally I can move on...

Stem.jpg

Stem 2.jpg

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Beautiful work Chris, your persistence really paid off.  I will have to try that graphite paper trick.  I've had a hard time getting curved pieces to line up too - I get one side looking great, and then the other needs work, and i ended up going back and forth a dozen times never getting it quite right.

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