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Bluenose II by Schooners - Scale 1:48 - POF - from L. B. Jenson measured drawings - first POF build


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Seeing the Bluenose II off the starboard beam of our cruise ship last fall, sparked my desire to build a model of her. She was an awesome sight and I was convinced this would be a great project.  Then I started to do some research and figured I needed to cut my teeth on some simpler builds.  I purchased Steve Rogers “Model Boat Building Made Simple” and built my first rowing skiff.  I had so much fun I went on to build his “Spritsail Skiff” and am now working on his “Skipjack”. But in the back my mind, the Bluenose II was a constant presence.

 

Using the measured drawings from L. B. Jenson and Gene Bodnar’s wonderful Modeling Practicum, “The Queen of the North Atlantic ―The Schooner Bluenose”, I started lofting a 3D model of the Bluenose II in SolidWorks. This has taken me almost a month. It is amazing how intimate one becomes with the lines of a hull through the process of creating a 3D model.  I had many false starts, but finally developed a simple set of equations and a table that describes the spline control points for all of the frames of her hull.

 

I imported and scaled the side view, top view as well as the hull lines as my starting point:

 485763773_3DView.png.ec04a5a4cc375ae9459fb20f4afea5f7.png

 

Resulting in my final model:

 

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Now, as they say, it is time to make some sawdust:

 

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Now I go into mass production mode as I need to make over 60 frames.  It is bizarre timing, but today I reported to work as usual and was immediately sent home due to the Covid-19 crisis.  My company is limiting on-site access and having us work from home.  I don’t know how that will work out, but at least I have some time to crank out more frames. 🙂

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Hi Joe,

 

I actually have a CNC machine and I have been wrestling with the idea of using it to cut the frames.  I do not think it would be faster (each frame would have a unique tool path), but the resulting frame would be much nicer. They would be dead accurate as I could also machine the bevel on the outside of the frame.  Since this is my first Plank on Frame model,  I have a lot to learn about making the frames manually.  I've always beleived that to automate a process, you need to be able to do it manually to completely understand what is involved.  I've learned so much just by making these and each frame is made a little different as I learn.  My table saw cannot repeatable produce thin strips of wood to the tolerance I would like.  I built a thickness planer from a hand planner, but it is real finiky. Even dealing with the paper patterns was tricky. It took me a while to figure out the best method to adhere the paper pattern to the wood.  I now use a glue stick and apply it judisiously to the wood, not the paper, as the paper gets soft, wrinkles and expands. So many things to learn.

frames-frames-frames.thumb.jpg.3d6bca344ea0d9c8e4d88713235afcfa.jpg

 

I have created a DXF and PDF file for each frame, front and back. Below is an example:82217044_examplefile.jpg.3132370370c322770d7c30840648c6a6.jpg

Frame 26 front.pdf

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3 hours ago, Schooners said:

I built a thickness planer from a hand planner, but it is real finiky.

Hello Schooners,

 

For the outside of the frame I always find it best to cut as near the line as possible with a scroll saw and then finish to size with a disc sander for convex curves and a spindle sander for concave curves. For the inside of the frames I just take care and use the scroll saw. I cut the edges square and then fair the frames with a sanding block once they are built up. Like you I attach the patterns with glue stick.

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Richard,

As far as selling plans goes - I can't image you would want to build another Bluenose.  Your build is crazy awsome, I've spent hours ogling your model and admiring the results of your fabrication expertise.  If someone is interesting in building to my plans, I would provide them free of charge, as long as they are not released into the public domain.

 

Keith,

Thanks,  the band saw with a 1/4" blade and the disk sander work really well, but the spindle sander is really slow.  I use one chucked into my drill press, maybe I need to crank up the RPMs.  I was going to use a dremel with the little  sanding drum to fair the edges, followed by a sanding block.

 

I have now perfected my planer technique.  Using guides attached to the fence, and shims of thin tin, I am able to control the thickness of the strips of wood within a few thousands and I am getting a real nice finish.

planer.thumb.jpg.47f820263090b674e65e1486cfa653b0.jpg

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Schooners said:

I use one chucked into my drill press, maybe I need to crank up the RPMs. 

Schooners - I all use a sanding drum in my mill. The drum has 120 grit paper and is 1.375 diameter. I run it at 1000 rpm and it removes the frame edges really quite quickly.

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Just a note on the glue stick: I used to use Pritt (a water-based glue stick) but discovered that Uhu (a solvent based glue in a tube) which is used by card modellers is much better. The Pritt caused problems by causing warping of the paper and in removal after cutting -- since I found I had to dampen it in order to remove it easily. This itself caused slight warping of the wood on very thin parts. The Uhu doesn't have either of those problems. I just used acetone to remove it, which it does very quickly and without any obvious effect on the wood.

 

Tony

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I have finished laying up all of the full frames and have rough cut them on the band saw. Each has thirteen individual pieces of wood..  Now I need to start working on the keel and thinking about the build board.  I am going to build this ship right side up 🙂

 

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Below is my keel plan, I will build the deadwood oversize.  Bond the first second and third keel and the shoe together.  I'll joint the sternpost assembly and the keel assembly with a mortise and tenon joint, then fit the deadwood. I bought some bamboo place mats with some really great looking bamboo for the trenails.  I will drive them through the shoe into the keel in several spots.

 

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And  finally, I need to get started on the build board, seen in the back ground below.  I have some masonite that I will use to support the frames.

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Well, back to it.  Be safe  out there.   The wife and I have been wearing a mask and gloves when we need to run an errand or go shopping. Then we wash our hands like the dickens when we return.

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Continuing to learn new skills.  It took me a while to get my trenail draw plate built.  I kept having to add more and more holes as the decrease in size has to be very gradual and you end up with a lot of holes.  But I am very happy with the result, below is my first trunnel:first trunnel

I am working on my build board design.  Decided to use the 3D printer to make the frame spacers as this will be much simpler and more accurate than me trying to cut over a hundred slots by hand.

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Building the keel now.  below is the deadwood, stern post and the keel.:

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Close up detail of the scarf joints.  these were held together and aligned with trenails, works really well.

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I'm still working on the Keel, but have turned my attention to the Stem.  There were multiple timbers that made up the stem, including the keelsons, but I am going to make it out of three pieces.  I thought I would try something a little different, since the Bluenose model is in SolidWorks, it is easy to cut out parts on the CNC.  Feels like cheating though.

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I still have work to do on the keel and frames, but I want to get the framing jig set up and trued. I am using the 3D printer to make the critical alignment fixtures.  Parts off the 3D printer are very repeatable and dimensionally accurate.  I cut lenghts of 2X4 as stands for the top fixture. I cut them as accurately as I could, but I am still going to need to use a few thin shims out of thin sheet plastic to get the proper spacing between the botton framing jig and the top framing jig.

 

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Below I have set acouple of frames into the fixture and found everything lines up very well. The top edge of the top framing jig is right at the waterline and the waterline will be marked on all of the frames.  The frames will rest against the top jig and sit on the keel.  The keel is supported at two places on the bottom framing jig and two places on the top framing jig.

 

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build board 3.jpg

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Are you notching the keel or the bottom of the frame?  If not, will be putting a wooden peg through the frame to the keel?   I'm wondering about strength if relying only on glue.

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Good morning Mark,

 

The square frames rest on the keel without a notch.  Two trenails, I use 1mm bamboo dowel, are then installed to hold each frame to the keel.  When all square frames are attached in this manner, the keelson is laid in place over them and another single dowel goes from the top through the keelson, the square frame and into the keel.  At this point the whole assembly is still very fragile.  The three deck clamps are installed on both sides, at which point the ship is stable enough to be removed from the jig.  The half frames are then glued and doweled to the keel in the carved slots seen below.

 

I spent yesterday carving the notches for the half frames:

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In the upper left corner of the photo you can see the masks that my wife has been sewing.  My next task will be carving the rabbet.  I have been looking through lots of other build logs and have found some neat scraping tools that clamp an exacto knife blade in such a way that only 1/16" of the tip is exposed.

 

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Good morning Mark,

 

The square frames rest on the keel without a notch.  Two trenails, I use 1mm bamboo dowel, are then installed to hold each frame to the keel.  When all square frames are attached in this manner, the keelson is laid in place over them and another single dowel goes from the top through the keelson, the square frame and into the keel.  At this point the whole assembly is still very fragile.  The three clamps are installed on both sides, at which point the ship is stable enough to be removed from the jig.  The half frames are then glued and doweled to the keel in the carved slots seen below.

 

I spent yesterday carving the notches for the half frames:

717538660_keelwithhalfframe.thumb.jpg.eedc18416c380b5ce1ead9a2b5faa0cc.jpg

In the upper left corner of the photo you can see the masks that my wife has been sewing.  My next task will be carving the rabbet.  I have been looking through lots of other build logs and have found some neat scraping tools that clamp an exacto knife blade in such a way that only 1/16" of the tip is exposed.

 

1776088525_keeldeadwood.thumb.jpg.e732b83ad150de6f8b5fbf25c51f216b.jpg

1342438711_keelstem.thumb.jpg.c66b5463af6e02769e2c68115d05194c.jpg

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I worked on the Rabbet today.  I made a scraper from a razor utility knife blade.  A cutoff wheel mounted in the dremel made nice work of the razor blade, then I mounted it into a small block of Delrin.  I spent more time fabricating the scraper, than it did to carving the rabbet. Then I carved out the aft deadwood, fairing the rabbet into the bearding line at the base of the half frames.

 

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Major Milestone for me today.  I glued and doweled the first frame to the keel.  I have spent the greater part of this past week adjusting the framing jig making sure it is perfectly square in all regards.  I shimmed and adjusted until everything is locked in to as tight a tolerance as practical.

 

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Some details to notice.  Each frame is marked with a waterline that is supposed to line up with the top of the top framing jig.  The the photo below, It is the light pencil line on the inside of the frame right at the bottom of the pink spacers.  The spacers are .15" thick for reference.  One of the dowels securing the futtocks together can be seen.  Or, if you want to get technical, securing the stanchion to the 5th futtock :-). 

 

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Here is a closeup of the frame to keel attachment.  There is no notch in the keel to accept the square frames, but they are glued and doweled. Later the keelson will be laid on top of all the frames., also glued and doweled.

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Things I would do differently: I used a stout piece of .75" cabinet grade plywood for the jig base, but then used masonite for the top piece of the framing jig.  The masonite is only .11" thick and is too flexible.  The top sheet should be at least .25" thick.  

 

 

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Jerry,

 

The Bluenose will have a total of 58 frames: 5  Cant frames attatching to the spiderlegs/horn timbers, 11 Cant Frames (half frames) attaching to the deadwood of the keel, 9 Cant frames attaching to the Stem, and 33 Sqaure frames sitting on the keel.  From the original Bluenose specificatins we know the Frames were a foot wide, spaced at 27", and held together by Treenails (Trunnels).  From a drawing by L. B. Jenson created in 1975 with the assistance of Mr. Fred Rhuland and Mr. John Rhuland, ship builders at Ludenburg, the number of frame types as I have described above can be seen.  At my scale of 1:48 this results in frames 1/4" thick and on 9/16" centers.

 

Here I am test fitting more frames.   These still need a bit of final shaping and the dowels installed before final attachment to the keel.

Thanks for your interest.

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I am continuing to fix the square frames to the keel and continue to learn things that I already know.  For example, when drilling a hole, a drill bit has a tendency to wander.  So, I would test fit a frame to the keel and  get it perfectly aligned, then pull it out, apply a bit of glue at the keel frame joint and properly reposition the frame.  So far so good.  Then I would drill the dowel holes through the frame and into the keel.  Ahhh, but the drill wanders as it hits the keel and when you install the dowel, the frame is not exactly where you want it to be!  So lesson learned, I glue the frame to the keel, let the glue cure, THEN drill the dowel holes.  However this slows the process down because I can only install one frame, let the glue dry, dowel it, then install the next one, let the glue dry, and so on.  But thats OK.  You can see the yellow clamp holding astrip of wood applying pressure to the frame keel joint that is curing.

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Now I have started preparing for one of the next steps, attaching the deck clamps.  I will use the little clamps to hold the strip to the frames, but in the following picture you can see the next issue I ran up against.  The frames are .200" thick near the keel, then thin to .125" at the top.  but I found that my .125" dimension is not perfectly consistant frame to frame.  I have a variance of as much as +.015".  In the next picure you can see a gap between the deck clamp strip and the frame where I am pointing with the screw driver.  Not good.  If I clamp and glue all the frames to the deck clamp like I want to do, the variation in this dimension would all be transfered to the outside of the frames and they would have more variation than I would want to sand away.  So I need to sand the inside of the frames so the thicker ones are much closer in dimension to the thinner ones.

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Now the next lesson learned: The way I designed the frame spacers, they extend past the inside of the frame and I cannot easily get a sanding block to the inside face of the frames.  Plus, I think they may interfer with my deck clamps.

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So I will need to adjust the frame spacers outward. But that is OK, I'll know better next time and I continue to have fun with the build.

 

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I am planning my next steps which include installing the keelson and the deck clamps.  the sketch below is from J.B. Jenson and shows a cross section at a deck beam.  

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Below is the way I am going to simplify the build:

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And this is the CAD drawing showing some of the coming detail:

 

 

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This is the keelson being fabricated:

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I am at an important decision point regarding my deck beam layout.  My original plan was to model the Bluenose II because it was seeing this ship in Halifax that motivated me to get into model ship building.  She is beautiful. But as I have done more and more research and collected more and more old photographs of the Origninal Bluenose I have changed my mind.  The deck plan is quite different between the Bluenose and the Bluenose II.  The original was a working fishing schooner and the the Bluenose II was built after the style of a yacht with plush accommodations (at least compared to the original 🙂 ) and, of course, no fish hold.  The deck beam arrangement is driven by the deck plan, so I am beginning to work on the deck beam placement for the original Bluenose.  Another builder stated something to the effect of "the Bluenose was a fishing schooner and a racer, while the Bluenose II was neither." And this really struck me.

 

 

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