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BlackSeraph

America by BlackSeraph - BlueJacket - 1/4 scale

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The keel and frames are made from basswood. Is easy to work with, but also is easy to grind too much. It seems I will use less power tools and more manual sanding.

Also, it creates an INCREDIBLE amount of saw dust, very fine.

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I have this same kit and am so glad to see someone put up a build thread.  I too was stumped by the keel not lining up w/the drawings.  I know plans can shrink but the wood/pattern is what is off.  This was a buy off eBay from a fella in TX who bought back in 1995, still had the order sheet in the box.  Like what you have done so far.  I agree, power tools make for fast removal, but I am old school and use elbow grease for that work.  Will follow your build closely.  Funny, I also have the smaller kit (Bluejacket) as well as a Marine Models version of the America (solid hull).  Has been in the back of my head to do the Cup version, the Union version and the later painted white hull version.  We will see, that a long time build of the same subject matter.  A side note...inside my kit was 2 sets of cut ribs,  Seems when the fella ordered his kit, the ribs for the Jefferson Davis were sent instead.  There is a letter explaining the mix up and the correct set was set.  Just curious, will you go for the painted finish or the Admiral build?

Rick

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On 10/8/2019 at 1:52 PM, BlackSeraph said:

Next is to ensure that frames are symmetrical. In theory I should align outside top edges and see where the middle is, but it seems that frames are way off. So I will perform this operation only when I'll have cut the notches in the keel, so I can check them against it

 

2019-10-08 12.26.11.jpg

After seeing you do this I checked mine and they are the same as yours!

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13 hours ago, RickyGene said:

 Just curious, will you go for the painted finish or the Admiral build?

Rick

Hi Rick

I intent to do a half-half, but I will decide once I finish framing

13 hours ago, RickyGene said:

After seeing you do this I checked mine and they are the same as yours!

Unfortunately both methods to determine the center are based on aligning top edges, but the result is not correct - see below - the heel would disappear completely.

I will try this evening to see what is the right height and then I will adjust the top, then determine the center and make both sides symmetrical

 

2019-10-11 18.56.00.jpg

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Have you figured her out yet.  You know I am following this to see what you have to correct before I build mine.  Look forward to more of your work.

Rick😁

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Yes, I think I found a way. 

Measure the height on plan

20191014_221023_resize_93.jpg.56500517e3fe7e8ace837451fc0dba97.jpg

Align shorter leg top, center then longer leg (red), simultaneously with lateral width (blue). Mark center on all sides.

20191014_222107_resize_64.thumb.jpg.f99e4a6388201f1f18340ca92e4e0b87.jpg

Mark and cut longer leg

Make a template from paper, mark center, fold it carefully and see which side is smaller, then mark it on other side. Be careful, the frames are beveled, you template aft, then you mark aft - turn it before marking it. 

20191014_214842_resize_16.jpg.61a2bbc438c07a68d6408ca0fb692503.jpg

20191014_215001_resize_79.jpg.aa62b7a15948e1b4874fc39b9b30d195.jpg

20191014_215124_resize_43.jpg.401e46c128274404c711736437c94340.jpg

20191014_215306_resize_7.jpg.d75076afc01e4ea71d7c7d407d975c14.jpg

I think it goes pretty well, but the legs are not same width. 

20191014_215523_resize_18.jpg.19238909153c27117c34819085a0fb50.jpg

20191014_215551_resize_57.jpg.bf865269bc145fd9b8ddbfc5d7c2a4a7.jpg

Don't sand too much now

 

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Slow progress, but I finished adjusting the frames. Thing is, I don't know at this time if the sizes are correct. I measured them from plan, aft side, but there are so much differences.

If one expects same precision as laser-cut plywood, not the right place.

My feeling is that the log was 'warped'; the aft side is much more asymmetrical and had a lot more material to be removed (I really hope I'm right!)

20191020_200044_resize_29.jpg.b81ca688d93ed86e461bcf2f5d89f153.jpg

20191020_194506_resize_89.jpg.dcffcfdfa5b3faf8a8fc518a083a5bb5.jpg

20191020_194855_resize_67.jpg.91b84bb65569d390fe5f9634e4aba23c.jpg

The following photos are not following bearding line, but they show the discrepancies, mostly on stern half.

20191020_200944_resize_18.jpg.89ddec18d925d07a9522b881ad4ed7ca.jpg20191020_201009_resize_32.jpg.235801a48aca15bcde3b6fad1f3b1bf9.jpg20191020_201105_resize_60.jpg.309339aa0774b568ca8bc34dce2babfd.jpg20191020_200933_resize_94.jpg.e95388c4a6bdde5957ba19fe3137e62e.jpg

I think the best thing is to leave enough 'meat' on the frames and sand them to proper dimension when fairing the hull.

 

What I tried to do was to center the tops AND have the feet as symmetrical as possible, which is challenging because the frames seems warped.

Advice: don't use the papers they provide, they are warped. Make yourself new ones and print enough of them.

I measured on top of the paper but I used new templates; I found that if you have a proper drawing on paper you can cut it directly, but this doesn't work with what the provide because the lines are warped

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FWIW, I heard that Bluejacket makes the frames by creating a full hull with CNC, then slices it up to make two kits.. 

Maybe Mr. Bluejacket will see this and clarify if I'm wrong.. 

 

I can't visualize at what point the errors you are seeing would creep in.

 

It certainly speaks of a lack of quality control..

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2 hours ago, Gregory said:

FWIW, I heard that Bluejacket makes the frames by creating a full hull with CNC, then slices it up to make two kits.. 

You are right, when I ordered the kit they told me they need to cut it. Also, from instructions seems to be 2 sets of frames, one numbered, other labeled.

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Normally this would be the moment to test fit the frames. Unfortunately the slots in keel are way too big than frame thickness and I didn't checked in advance.

20191024_222906_resize_45.jpg.048cc558ce07687dbb9216492c9b225c.jpg

So I postponed this step until I will have everything else and I will be ready to permanently fix them. I will NOT test and glue them one by one, but once I test and fix with fillings all of them, I will not take them out to carry other operations, just glue them one by one, otherwise it would be almost impossible to match again fillings. 

 

I have cut rabbet line. Basswood is too soft for my taste. It split very easily. The cut is far from perfect, but I tried several techniques. 

First, cut a template for rabbet line on laser side BEFORE you cut it. Your life will be much easier. Alternatively, you can use carbon copy paper.

20191025_211248_resize_23.jpg.b97123cd9a5ec6dee69ef65087025fa1.jpg

First techniques was the one they recommend and the most obvious one: cut the bottom with a x-acto knife and then use a straight blade to remove material starting from bearding line. 

Pro: depending on your skills and patience the cut could be perfect.

Cons:... or a disaster. You need a firm hand and lots of patience. There is a lot of material to remove. You'll need good, sharp blades. Is hard to make the a consistent 1/16" (1.6mm) deep cut, even doing several passes, as I found myself. 

2nd technique was milling. 

Pro: the height (deep) of the cut is guaranteed. If you have the skills and can control the piece, you'll get a nice cut

Cons: it might be hard to follow the curvature. Also, basswood is not easy to mill, is too soft. Can't go more than 0.5mm at once and the cut is not clean.

 

So one side I cut it manually, then I passed it through mill to get a consistent deep cut. Them sand it again using a Proxxon micro pen, which proved very useful and can keep the bottom cut straight. 

 

The final result is not bad. It needs more sanding, but I will do it at the end. Now I'm afraid I'll take too much because the wood is so soft.

 

I have also Jefferson Davis. I will apply the experience gained with America on it.

20191025_221125_resize_32.jpg.8c75053eec02ad0bf3cff21eb2a04483.jpg

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20191025_221042_resize_64.jpg.4cc8e8748720064cb93cf66d1a2f97b9.jpg

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I wasn't completely lazy. I've finished rabbet line on both sides and I've made a building board, based on designs of Ed Tosti and others. Is quite versatile and lots of things can be adjusted. The size is big enough to accommodate bigger ships, like Young America or it can be used in methods using deck line supports (sorry, I can't remember how is called now) 

2021288288_2019-11-0215_32_30.jpg.d3cdeeb69cf56188f220e9d6f4c18b45.jpg

1273228927_2019-11-0215_32_21.jpg.5ee13be0382f6ed08d45bf76f88ee2c2.jpg

The keel can be hold using clamp-like 

1464424389_2019-11-0215_32_59.jpg.dfa20080a98340835cc51d496eeb1352.jpg

..or using a support, which can be adjusted up-down

172142901_2019-11-0215_33_25.jpg.2223f097c652609801a03b5db4a1af06.jpg

1842615201_2019-11-0215_33_32.jpg.8e2ec97a4d4f90981321fe4618a1506e.jpg

247230464_2019-11-0215_33_49.jpg.e89ed7eb3f1d1102b196db0010edf533.jpg

1216368467_2019-11-0215_33_56.jpg.38806ba302601dcc38f40152bd4dc4f8.jpg

1811213994_2019-11-0215_34_31.jpg.087f61d964258d01c2e1630191eca0e5.jpg

 

 I have the project in Rhino, if anyone is interested. Is in metric (I used M3 and M6), but can be adjusted

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Hey, another Bluejacket America build!  I'll follow along.   Mine is about 80% complete but has been languishing all year as other things have gotten in the way.   But I keep saying  I will get back to it soon.  Maybe this will help inspire me.

 

I made that same mistake you did, of cutting the notches in the keel based on the lines instead of based on the actual thickness of the frames.  Makes me feel better now, thanks.

 

Otherwise I like your approach.  I also took a lot of material off the frames, maybe even more than you.   I can also say there were about 3 or 4 different times I thought I was done adjusting the frames, then went back for more, and probably still did not quite have them as fair as they could have been.

 

Feel free to check out my build log (in the signature), my hope was that it would help someone.   Or if you wish to ask questions....that is fine too.  I am far from expert, but I have been where you are going.

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Went and read the thread for Gary's thread and keeping up with yours BlackSeraph.  I am feeling less daunted by the prospect of maybe starting mine after the current project I am working on.  I believe if one follows suit and applies what is to be gleaned from both threads, a fine vessel can be had from this kit.

Rick

 

Looking forward to more of your thread BlackSeraph. 😎

 

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On 11/2/2019 at 9:51 AM, BlackSeraph said:

I wasn't completely lazy. I've finished rabbet line on both sides and I've made a building board, based on designs of Ed Tosti and others. Is quite versatile and lots of things can be adjusted. The size is big enough to accommodate bigger ships, like Young America or it can be used in methods using deck line supports (sorry, I can't remember how is called now) 

2021288288_2019-11-0215_32_30.jpg.d3cdeeb69cf56188f220e9d6f4c18b45.jpg

1273228927_2019-11-0215_32_21.jpg.5ee13be0382f6ed08d45bf76f88ee2c2.jpg

The keel can be hold using clamp-like 

1464424389_2019-11-0215_32_59.jpg.dfa20080a98340835cc51d496eeb1352.jpg

..or using a support, which can be adjusted up-down

172142901_2019-11-0215_33_25.jpg.2223f097c652609801a03b5db4a1af06.jpg

1842615201_2019-11-0215_33_32.jpg.8e2ec97a4d4f90981321fe4618a1506e.jpg

247230464_2019-11-0215_33_49.jpg.e89ed7eb3f1d1102b196db0010edf533.jpg

1216368467_2019-11-0215_33_56.jpg.38806ba302601dcc38f40152bd4dc4f8.jpg

1811213994_2019-11-0215_34_31.jpg.087f61d964258d01c2e1630191eca0e5.jpg

 

 I have the project in Rhino, if anyone is interested. Is in metric (I used M3 and M6), but can be adjusted

Where do you people come up with these wonderful building tools.  I have to settle for shelving and angle brackets from Home Depot!

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@BlackSeraph, your building board is excellent, if I may ask could you make another one of those and if so whats the cost? Or could I have the dimensions (Rhino) of your board and pieces? If you have the time I would love to have one built, but I don't want to impose. Really nice building board, never heard of Rhino before. I am assuming it's a type of cad program?

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@RickyGene - Is a customization of several building boards I saw here or other places, like the one used by Ed Tosti

@Jonathan11 - I'm from Romania, it would be impossible to ship it for you. It should be easier for you to make it in US than I did here (for some reason it was really hard to find 22mm MDF)

I will upload tomorrow the plan here as DXF and some pictures, so you don't have to deal with Rhino unless you want to modify it. The only thing you need to take care is the size of the rails - whatever you find you must match the grooves in the board.

I

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OK, I uploaded a PDF with table dimensions, a DXF with pieces prepared to be cut, usable for CNC (sorry, too much text to translate, but is MDF 22mm, plexiglass 5 and 10 mm) and the Rhino project (everything is in layers), including 2D

Table2.jpg.343a81dc5abb3f8d07138b5cb48a2396.jpg

 

 

What you need to pay attention to is the grooves - first find a suitable rail then set your groove to match it, slightly below the surface (I have about 0.5-1mm). Because the wood is quite heavy, I put the supports exactly below grooves - don't leave less than 5mm of wood below groove or you risk to break

Also, you might want to adjust a bit hole sizes, for Imperial

Table1.jpg.e48de9b51a8fbf949a8d4d70047f043e.jpg

 

 

I prepared also some supports for keel which can be adjusted:

Table3.jpg.a2dfc8a939aaaf897cc6636f3066160b.jpg

 

In plan there are some holes, you don't need to drill them now, but I calculated so it can be used for building like this:

20191108_081637.jpg.e844ac9e5d56edd20a4c6d8b3214455f.jpg

 

Catalin Serafimescu - Masa Asamblare - CNC.dxf Masa asamblare.pdf Masa asamblare.3dm

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That has too be one of the best building boards I have came across.  Thanks so much for sharing and I am sure many here will give one a go.  If someone with the machinery to mass produce made them for sale, would make a killing!  I have bought many commercial available boards and all after awhile seem to get out of whack. I have one that I pretty much use, but it has it limitations.  Again, thank you.

Rick

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Some health problems prevented me from working. In the meantime I learned how to use the lathe 

 

Normally now I should test fit the frames. Unfortunately it takes some time to fit them and they are not tight fit, so they have to be fixed somehow. One solution might be Elmer's rubber glue, other to use some pieces of wood. I tested one, marked position and removed then tried to put it back. It requires again some time, so I decided to skip this step and assume some discrepancies when I will affix them in one step.

20191130_190613_resize_31.jpg.387e9461b3e2c42ab5073a162db1c2d0.jpg

Now I decided to cut the part below the keel and fix it with rubber glue. Is going to be hard to do it after the frames are in place.

 

The next step is to cut the frames for timberheads. The process is well explained in the book, but it wasn't so obvious for me when I read it first time. 

The distance is calculated using sheer plan, inboard profile and station sections, but you need to consider the thickness of the deck and of deck beam end, while in plan you only have the distance from underside of railcap to the deck.

I found useful to draw frame positions on the plan, otherwise takes some time to determine it for each one.

20191203_211435_resize_56.jpg.888235284c47b8022db807c938042d70.jpg

The process of cutting frames is throughly described in the book.

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I apologize for disappearing for so long, but my back pain prevents me from working. I have a desk job :(

 

I tried several ways to install frames. Normally they are fixed temporarily and mark cutting line. As I said, because the slots are too big, it takes too much time to fix them. In the end I decided to install and cut one by one, checking against previous one.

 

I was inspired by other builders and I used some gadgets: 

A small piece of wood to help me measure 1/8 timberheads:

20200115_215434_resize_68.jpg.0c452de4c83eb66d572d65b4bc64c9d6.jpg

A tool made by a friend meant to draw circles, but very useful in porting dimensions:

20200115_215742_resize_22.jpg.ba2b0c9b146a52f29a70c8d0310a1a81.jpg

20200115_215929_resize_7-01.jpeg.6e317441688565f74e7cf5f0a336e715.jpeg

I fixed the frame on keel slot, taking care of measurements and angles (keel and frame vertical, height the same on both sides), took it off, then, using the small piece of wood, I marked timberhead, cut it, then fixed it back on keel. Great care was observed so the squares will not be moved.

You can notice the utility of plexiglass squares I built as part of assembly table - they are fixed in place with screws and help keep the sides

 

A square plank might be useful to hold frame in place at right angle (instead of two metallic squares). Best is to have a board cut in the middle to accommodate the keel. The plexiglass one is more a POC because is too flexible, but one can be made from wood.

Or the wood one with measuring paper, as the book recommend, but I find more useful one which goes both sides

20200115_220336_resize_61.jpg.e960a38d442df8eade2428745a2bf731.jpg

20200115_215829_resize_37.jpg.ebb927f0ed2d126be9c23078f4c1516b.jpg

20200115_220440_resize_48.jpg.17d96c537bd5f2762d63eb5c96919a5c.jpg

Please note that measurements were made relative to center line on the board and the keel either has to be fixed or, in my case, I marked keel width on both sides and took those into account when placing small square for keel verticality 

20200115_215804_resize_90-01.jpeg

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The keyword for this post is "mistakes".

Please don't forget this is a build log a not building instructions. 

 

The most important thing one should do is to cut keel slots of proper size, so the frames will stay in place by themselves. This will save you lot of pain and few years of your life. 

The last 5-6 frames have recessed timberheads. The frames must  be fixed so the measurements can be made and see how it looks. As is indicated in building book.

I tried to fix frames with rubber glue, but is too flexible. Then I challenged gods and I worked by measuring everything. It doesn't work well, there are differences between frames around 1mm, is the best I could produce. 

 

I built the stern using the milled piece of wood. Measured on plans, dimensions and curves. Tested and affixed on horn. 

20200126_173149_resize_52.jpg.51cf7bd073633a172439ff6a9eadf27a.jpg20200126_173222_resize_17.jpg.0f33c120cde0e21e12cb6a77e68efedc.jpgIMG-20200126-WA0000_resize_54.jpg.b495a3fe65e0b60229ff288afc9ab87b.jpg

BIG MISTAKE. After I fixed the last frame I realized that the hull curve doesn't match. The sides are correct, but under hull curve is more steep. So I cut the horn, unglued it from stern, cut a slot for it and then tested again. Better, but still not good.

It can be seen in a previous picture that there is steep differences between last frame and stern. I think that @gsdpic is right and lots of material must be removed. I will fix all frames, then fair (?) them and see how I can solve stern issues. 

 

Another HUGE problem is the wood, which is soft. As I said, the last frames have recessed timberhead. The shape is a bit complex and the wood breaks easily. Like 5 times a timberhead. 

20200209_190324_resize_83.jpg.68469bf098f9782e43b65260857c7f02.jpg

So, what I did was to half cut the timberhead and fix the frame. And use a vise to keep the frame tight; I didn't break anything after that. Then, when all are in place, I will mark it and cut it in place.

All this pain could've been avoided if keel slots were cut right!

20200209_105255_resize_91.jpg.351587897f0c12305355523514d32781.jpg20200209_190223_resize_51.jpg.2c870c6fb363f5cf3d976b51a9d57e57.jpg

 

On a different topic, I struggled to measure and keep in place at right angle the frames. And keep the keel from moving. For this I reused a piece from plexiglass board and that gave me some ideas about a system. I designed it, I need someone to cut the pieces for me.

I'm very excited to see it done. Keep close, is pretty crazy. 

20200209_105425_resize_16.jpg.6422dfa52eea4a3ba768a6b7b2567fcf.jpg

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1 hour ago, BlackSeraph said:

The keyword for this post is "mistakes".

I think that's a keyword in all of my build logs! 😉

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