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Swallow 1779 by tlevine

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The inner upper deck bulwarks were faired to a thickness of 7" using a combination of a Dremel disc sander on a right angle head and hand sanding.  The stern fashion pieces were built next.  Quite simply, I used several laminations of basswood sheet to fill in the space between the last bulkhead and the counter timbers.  These was sanded to the correct configuration.  Using basswood made the sanding process much easier than if I had used hardwood or ply.

 

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Openings for the gun ports and the oar ports were framed with castello.  The forward-most gun and oar ports are located in line with two bulkheads.  This required some creative construction.  My approach to the problem was to make a continuous filler piece between the first four bulkheads that could be slid in and out to facilitate shaping the inner surface.  This was done using several scraps of basswood.  It worked out well but it sure looks ugly!  This will also give me a solid surface to glue the upper hull planking as it curves toward the stem rabbet.

 

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The next oar port also is located through a bulkhead.  I glued strips of basswood on either side of the bulkhead and framed the port between them.  The rest of the ports were located between bulkheads and did not cause any other problems.  In order to maximize my use of the scrap box, the frames were cut from various thicknesses of castello.  Once planked over, this variation will not matter.

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I cannot believe it has been almost six weeks since my last posting.  Quite a bit of progress has been made on Swallow; some of it is even visible.  Throughout the planning and start of the build I have had a difficult time reconciling the model and the plans.  For example, the model has a beautiful frieze between the top of the gunports and the rail.  At this point I was still deciding which direction to go...model the plans, model the model or do something in between.

 

The next step is to install the wale.  This was made from two thin layers of holly to make it easier to bend the wood at the bow.  I ran two strips of chart tape along the hull and marked between them with black marker.  This made it easier for me to develop a smooth run of planking.

 

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The first layer was installed with two rows of three planks each.  This was tapered down at the bow as the final thickness of the wale is the same as the thickness of the rest of the hull planking at the rabbet.

 

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The second layer was then installed, laying the plank butts on different bulkheads than the first layer.  

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There is a decorative strip above the wale.  On the model this is located halfway up the gun ports but on the plan it is at the base of the port but cuts through the oar ports.  I make my moldings using "A/O Thin" discs that I chuck onto the Dremel.  These are much thinner than the discs sold by Dremel.  A single edged razor works well but is more fragile than cutting the pattern into a thicker sheet of metal.    I will usually put four different patterns on each razor blade.  The pattern on the right was a little too deep and not perfectly symmetric so I am using the pattern on the left.

 

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Moldings1a.thumb.jpg.991a28ebf6831e389264d8a7c8cfa861.jpg Moldings2a.thumb.jpg.2c13da1d4b4efee2d4a48400ba3daab1.jpg

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Nice going, Toni, but are you aware that on naval vessels the moldings were applied over the planking? (It'll be easier to fit the planks without having to also fit them between the wale and molding!)

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The next step was to plank the upper hull with costello boxwood.  This was straight forward and required minimal tapering of planks.  At this point I made my final decision regarding the frieze above the gun ports.  I decided to model the plan and not the model.  The rail will form the top of the gunports but I have not trimmed the excess bulkhead material yet to prevent damage to the planking.

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After finish sanding the planking, the paint on the wale was touched up.  There is still a little more to do but this will wait until after the lower hull is planked.

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As you can see in the pictures above, the deck beams are now installed.  They are a combination of plywood where they will not be seen and boxwood where they support the hatch and ladderway coamings.  Carlings were placed between the beams that support the hatches.  The stove has been temporarily removed.

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All of the coamings are made of swiss pear.  The large coamings are 4 1/2" wide at the beam and taper to 4" at the top.  They are 13" tall.  The curve of the deck was sanded into top and bottom of the athwartship faces of the coamings.  The small coamings for the stove chimney, steam pipe and light are 3 1/2" wide and 8" tall.

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The capstan base abuts the ladderway.  It is parallel to the waterline.  The difference in angle can be seen in the next picture.  A skylight will be located behind the capstan.  I painted the bulkhead and spine black where it will be installed.

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Well, Druxey, I obviously forgot about applying the molding over the planking.  Next time...  Actually, this mistake worked out well since I did not have to worry about glue seeping out from underneath the molding.  I am trying to stretch my precious half bottle of isopropanol.

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I made of template of the upper deck and drew in the deck openings, furniture, planking and waterway.  Although this took a few hours to complete, it will save a lot of time over the next few weeks.  On the starboard side one can see the four waterway planks.  The deck planks and the locations of the ports are seen on the starboard side.  I decided to taper the planks from the bow to the fore hatch and aft of the main mast.

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Templates were made for the four sections of the waterway.

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Using the same razor blade that has the upper hull molding pattern, I cut out a pattern for the waterway.  The waterway looks like a stair-step; the section that meets the deck planking is 3" thick and the section that meets the inner bulkheads is 4" thick.  The waterway is made from castello.

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The pictures show the foremost sections of the waterway laid onto the deck beams.  Only six more sections to go!

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Yes, Carol took my isopropanol bottle. However, I had another one stashed away, (not for medicinal purposes only)  heh heh!

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Funny you should say that, Druxey.  I started howling yesterday when I opened a cabinet that I had not been in for a while.  My husband thought I injured myself but the pathetic truth is that I had just discovered a half-full bottle of isopropanol that I had forgotten about!

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"May you live in interesting times". I got excited finding a 1/2 can of Lysol behind all the laundry detergent over the weekend.

 

Your Swallow is looking good. Hopefully I'll get to see it for real when physical club meetings start up again.

 

Richard.

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The remaining waterway planks were made next.  The best way to do this is to cut the plank a little long on both ends and then scrape the profile into the plank.  The plank is then placed under the previously installed waterway plank and the hook scarf is traced onto the plank.  I cut the scarf undersized using a razor saw and chisels and fine-tuned it with sanding sticks.

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The capstan step has been inscribed to appear as though it is made of three planks.  Each of these "planks" has two treenails fore and aft.

 

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The upper deck planking is 3" thick holly.  The average plank length is 20 feet.  The centerline plank is 12" wide and the average plank width in the center of the ship is 9".  In order to accommodate deck openings, different plank widths were used.  The planks taper fore and aft as the width of the ship narrows.  The narrowest plank width is 6" at the bow and 7.5" at the stern.  In this era, the deck planking was not nibbed into the waterway.  The caulking line is simulated with pencil lead. 

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Already one can see how little of the lower deck will be seen after the entire upper deck is planked.  

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The deck planking is complete.  All of the coamings had been temporarily installed.  Once the planking was done, they were removed to facilitate sanding.  These picture were taken before sanding.

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The sanding begins.  I start with 120 grit, followed by 220 and 400.  The deck is then scraped with a fresh razor blade.  There are still some irregularities in the deck but they will be taken care of with final sanding after the treenails are inserted.  The color differences in the decking indicate the high (bright white) and low (yellowish) spots.605213045_Deckcomplete4a.thumb.jpg.be7002a8588917eaaf5cb6dd26ee47ce.jpg

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Toni, many thanks for the first class descriptions and images. There is something in the picture in post#44 that has made me think. This hurts so I hope you can cast a bit of light on the subject. I have indicated (with bad skill) the shaped planks around the deck fixtures. 

 

Inked1799134217_Deckcomplete3a.thumb.jpg.950528345661a0d2ad31ffa85249be68_LI.jpg.3e796cba9759e824ba30ca8351c9e937.jpgI have seen something like this before but do not know the rules. Are there rules? Are they dependant on the era?

Lovely job on Swallow, I am learning every day.

 

Bruce

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Good question. Yes, the rule is that if any plank is cut into by more than half its width, then the neighbouring plank is widened instead. This is to address a strength issue.

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2 hours ago, druxey said:

the rule is that if any plank is cut into by more than half its width, then the neighbouring plank is widened instead.

Thanks Druxey. And the next question: where is that rule written down? 

This isn't meant to sound picky. I looked at the planking on Toni's Swallow and saw a wide plank and a narrowed plank side-by-side to make good a section where the curve is subtle. I refer to the planking around the aft hatchway, better shown in the photo below.

18 hours ago, tlevine said:

605213045_Deckcomplete4a.thumb.jpg.be7002a8588917eaaf5cb6dd26ee47ce.jpgI like what I see, but maybe I am just not observant enough because it was the first time I had spotted this trick in practice. I would enjoy reading the rule (good grief I sound ancient).

Bruce

 

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I'm not sure if and where I read it, Bruce, but observed this feature on some contemporary museum models many years ago. It makes sense, just as the rule for not cutting away any  framing timber to 'make' the sides of a gun port.

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56 minutes ago, druxey said:

It makes sense,

Yes it does. When I saw it, that is exactly what I thought but wondered how often is it applied to a model? 

Now that the subject is itching me, I will see what is hidden in my shelves or digital stash that tells the story. 

Thanks,

Bruce

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Thanks for questioning, Bruce.  For the deck planking guide I used TFFM Vol. II.  Although the Swan class is a larger ship, the era is the same.  My biggest concern was whether to use top-and-butt planking for the outer rows.  I chose not to.  There were also a few planks that looks fine until I saw the photos.  One of them is just below Bruce's aft arrow.  This has been corrected.  Now begins the process of marking out the deck for treenails, drilling the holes and inserting the treenails.  The holes will be #76, which corresponds to the third smallest hole on a Byrnes' drawplate.  I almost forgot...I have to make the treenail stock as well.  Hopefully, I can finish that within the week.

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4 minutes ago, druxey said:

… the master shipwright on Swallow - Toni - has done a very nice job on the layout of the deck planking.

Raised the bar for me.

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Just a quick update.  The deck has been trunneled and sanded.  The trunnels were made from bamboo obtained from barbecue skewers.  They were drawn down to #75 drill bit (0.21") or 1" in full size.  Bamboo was selected because of its subtle effect with the holly decking.  I would have preferred a slightly smaller trunnel, #76 or #77, but my bamboo was too brittle to draw that thin.  And with COVID-19, I simply was not in the mood to shop for another package.  I would be hard pressed to call that an "essential" purchase.  Trunnels are secured to the beams and the ledges.  I went back to the plan and marked the beam locations on the deck.  Then I drew in the presumed locations of the ledges, typically two ledges between each beam.  The picture shows the deck with the trunnels drawn in and dimpled with a fine awl (aft), with the holes bored (between the ladder way and the main hatch), trunnels inserted but not sanded (starboard bow) and finally, sanded down (port side between the two hatches).  The effect is subtle but will be a little more prominent once a finish has been applied.  I still have not decided whether to simply apply a sanding sealer which will help maintain the white color or tung oil which will yellow the planking.  1469510370_Trunnelsstarteda.thumb.jpg.e681e7df9299335b2d4e002c5ef3c8c0.jpg

I use a needle holder to grasp the trunnel as I insert it.  I do not use any glue.  There is a tight friction fit and the finish will secure them.  The inner bulwark planking is next.

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Thank you gentlemen and thanks for all the likes.  The inner bulwark planking has started and I will post photos once that has been completed.

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I have finished planking the inner bulwarks.  The lower two rows (spirketting) are 3" thick and the three upper rows (quickwork) are 2" thick.  Referring to TFFM, the Swan class spirketting was installed top and butt.  As Swallow was a purchased ship and not necessarily made to RN establishments, I chose simple butt planking instead.  The port openings still need a little work in these photos.  At this point I am torn between finishing the bulwarks with a clear matte finish or paint them.  The model from the RMG shows a clear finish except on the transom, which is red.  However, it also shows gold leaf on the outer edge of the channels!  If I decide to paint the bulwarks, I will not bother with treenails.

 

I will be taking a week off for some real life issues; this will give me time to think about the options.  1027357715_InnerBulwark1a.thumb.jpg.dcb92ddfd6e8aab96560a31314ad5125.jpg

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