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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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Ahhhhh Gezz Jerry, NOW you tell me there are 63 frames instead of 58 😉.  That is an interesting read in "Bluenose" by the Backman brothers.  I don't have that book, but I now have a copy on order after reading your post (I am old school and love books).  That page that you picked out of the book is about where I am in my construction.  I have finished installing the rest of the square frames and have laid the keelson.  The keelson is three pieces with two scarf joints and a dowel is installed at each frame.  Jerry, I am not familiar with the plans you showed.  I would be interested in seeing the deck layout for the original bluenose as that is the direction I am goiong now.


I am now modeling the lower deck shelves and lower deck beams.  The mast steps are also ready to install.


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I purchased the plans from this site http://www.modelshipbuilder.com/page.php?87 as well as i printed the Practicum.  Check it out, the practicum is Great. 

I too started to build this model some time ago but it came to a halt after reading the discrepancy in number of frames.  Also, i was not happy with the choice of wood that i used, it was too soft. 

As of right now Its on hold until my HMS Fly is completed. 


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  • 4 weeks later...

Over the memorial day weekend I completed glueing of all the aft half frames to the deadwood.  I still need to drill and install treenails to all of the half frames, fore and aft.


Today I worked on what I call the Horn Timber/Spider leg assembly, the cant frames are bolted (OK, glued) to this.  It is not very big but it has some complex shapes.


I made patterns and fabricated it in three parts, the horn timber, and two spiderlegs on each side.


That is the horn timber and below is one of the spider legsspiderleg1.jpg.4e9dd191fce2fb028c5a80863dc31950.jpg

Below the Horn Tiber/ Spiderleg assembly is being test fit in the fixture. You can see the rudder port behind the stern post.


This is the underside:


There are five pairs of cant frames that attach to this assembly and, of course, the transom is fixed to the back where my thumb is.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I have installed all of the frames and have been able to breath a sigh of relief, this was a little nerve racking as each frome had to be positioned just right.  The fixture worked out really well.  Below I am installing the clamps to the frames.  "Clamps" are the timbers that tie all the frames together at the deck.  Don't confuse them with my colorful Harbor Freight clamps. 




 To install the lowest "clamp"  I used some custom made 3D printed screw clamps that were designed to fit between the frames




Here is a view from the outside of the frames.




Once the three "clamps" are glued to the top of the frames, the "shelf" is bonded to the top most "clamp".  This shelf then supports the deck beams.  Throughout the build I have taken some liberties, but in the case of the shelves I cut them to 4" lengths as this is 16' in scale and realistically timber does not come much longer than this.  Each shelf piece was sanded on the side that is glued to take on the curve of the hull and to present a level top side for the beams.


Below is what I call the last "picture in the fixture".  See if you can identify: The lower deck shelves , there are three sets, the main cabin, the fish hold and the foc's'le.  How about the mast steps, the sister keelsons, and one lone deck beam.




Now I will be fabricating a whole bunch of deck beams.



screw clamps top.bmp

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As I am building the ship, I am also working ahead on the 3D model and the plans.  The next assembly task will be to install the lower deck beams, the upper deck beams, and the carlings.  Here are the lower deck beams for the main cabin, the fish hold and the fo's'cle.  The samson post can also be seen near the bow.



Then the main deck beams.  I am still working on the aft beams, but you get the idea.




Here is a cutaway view of the deck beams to come.




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I am just catching up on this build and enjoying very much.  I will be following along.  Thanks for the link to the Gene Bodnar practicum, I had seen it a few years ago, but lost track of it over time as I have been away from my Bluenose build for a few years.  Great start and I am looking forward to following your progress!



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My pictures are a little deceiving and do not represent the actual construction sequence.  There are several pictures taken in the early stages of construction with the assembly out of the fixture. I lifted the ship out of the fixture a few times to take pictures, but I don’t recommend it.  I got lucky and did not break or distort anything. The ship was out of the fixture for only a few moments, a few times, before I took the last “picture in the fixture”. All fabrication and gluing of the frames to the keel and the clamps to the frames etc. was done in the fixture.  There are also a couple of pictures where I am showing some custom made screw clamps, I should have said this was for illustration only, as the actual construction was all done in the fixture. I am like the kid that can’t wait until Christmas to open his presents, I wanted to see what the ship was going to look like free of the fixture.


Love your work, by the way

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The ship is out of the fixture, never to return,  so I built a simple stand that allows me to rotate the model side to side.  It holds the ship level at the waterline.



Here I am installing the lower deck beams, the aft main cabin beams have not been installed yet




These lower deck beams were relatively easy to make.  First I cut strips of wood that were the same width of the beam and the other sided dimension was the max height of the longest beam in its middle.  I slide the strip of wood between the frames and rest it on the lower deck shelf, then trace the frame onto the beam with a pencil.  Rough Cut the beam out with the band saw, touch up on the disc sander and test fit, finally a little cleanup with a sanding block.  I make a mark on the ends of the beams to insure a 1/8" height where they rest on the frames and deck shelf. Then I take the beam camber template shown below and trace the curve of the deck beam with a pencil, then take it down to shape with the spindle sander.  I use a straight edge to insure all the deck beams are the same height, then glue into place.  Making a beam takes about a minute.  However the main deck beams are going to be tougher for a couple of reasons.  I have to cut mortises in most, and I need to insure they are properly sized and level across the entire deck.  That is, I need to take greater care as the how well the deck turns out depends upon the precision of the beams.


Below is the beam camber template with the top camber on one side, and the beams bottom concavity on the other.  The ends of the beams are 1/8", the radius of the top camber is 40 inches and the radius of the concavity on the bottom is 70 inches, so the beams are thicker in the middle.




All of the below deck beams are complete.



At this point I suppose one could continue building out below decks: plank the flooring, install the stoves, mess table, bunks, galley, stock the store room, etc.  I will leave that to the next builder and will move on to the main deck beams, the knightheads, the timbers around the bow and stern hawse pipes etc.



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I am working on the top deck and started with the hawse timbers and knighthead.  This is the drawing from LB Jenson.



They are made from multiple timbers stacked at an angle.  I took a stack of 1/4" wood and glued them together.



Then carved and sanded the piece.  View of the outside and inside.  On the inside only the flat surface matters as it is glued to the keel.



This is before installation and after:





One small detail the LB Jenson drawings do not correctly show is the way the bearded line moves further from the rabbit as we approach the shear.  this is because the shear plank intersects the keel at a flatter angle than the planks below it.


Finally a shot of the deck beams I am fabricating.  They are just resting in place right now, once I fab all the beams I will cut the mortises for the cross beams and carlings.




It is starting to get warm here and my workshop does not have air conditioning.  I have really enjoyed the spring.  Take care and thanks for the kind comments.


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  • 4 weeks later...


I am in between projects at the moment but moving back into a schooner build. Bluenose is always one of my favorite subjects, though at 1:24, mine does take up a bit of room.  I too have been on Bluenose II and found it an incredible adventure.

As to your modeling, I am in awe to those who have mastered the 3D modeling and the chain of possibilities 3D printing has made.   Your understanding of the vessel must be really complete through that process.  I am envious of your little custom clamps that you figured out to hold deck shelves and clamps in place. Even better was how you chose to follow that incredible book and make the knight head like they would have been made in reality as opposed to my previous sanding a solid block.  That improves one's understanding, and to me that is a major point.  I look forward to following along too.      


A simple question as to the sawdust.  I did not see where you shared with us you choice of materials.  I would love to know what species of wood you ran through the planer to get you framing stock. I am trying to learn how to make my own lumber too.   I am debating between a thickness sander and a planer.    The sander may be less " violent" and allow thinner stock for planking. 



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I have both a planer and a thickness sander.  The planer is great to about 1/8" and does a great job and quickly.  BUT, I usually rip planks within about 0.01 or so on my mini table saw then go to the sander.  The thickness sander will allow you to make much thinner pieces (0.02 or less is not a problem) and is accurate within a few thousandths at worst.  Just need to change the sand paper regularly, and wear a mask.  LOTS of fine saw dust.   I save a small jar of the sawdust from a given type of wood for filling tiny gaps with a mix of glue and this fine dust if necessary.  I know it should not ever be necessary, but stuff happens.     I HIGHLY recommend the Byrnes thickness sander.  It allows you to put two different grits of paper on the drum side by side so you can do a relatively smooth sanding with a 150 grit or some such on the one side of the drum, then a SUPER smooth sanding with a 400 or 600 paper on the other half of the drum.  You will have to adjust the table slightly as the thickness of the two sandpapers do come into play.   It as a graduated adjustment wheel on the unit for very fine tuning.


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thanks for the informative response.  As I get ready for my first plank on frame schooner I am both reading everyone's logs and have put a Byrnes thickness sander on order. call it my early Santa clause visit. I also have containers of sawdust that I use in dioramas.  


to Schooners


i wanted to share a photo taken inside the Ernestina Morrissey being rebuilt here in Boothbay Harbor.  The reason is to share the info that clamps and shelves have replaced knees on this work at the highest level.   if I try to go this far on my next build, where things might show, this is the detail I plan to use.   







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Thanks for you kind words, we all bring a different set of skills to this hobby and it is fun to see the varied techniques people use.  I am an engineer by trade and have been using 3D modeling software for over 20 years.  I enjoy building the ship on the computer and then seeing the real deal come to shape.


I echo everything Allen above has said.  I would consider my adventure with the planner a failed experiement for accurate and repeatable thicknesses of thin wood strips.   The thickness sander is the way to go and I have heard several people speak highly of the Byrnes thickness sander, if you have one on order, good for you.  I ended up buying a real nice table saw with an excellent adjustable fence.  I use a thin veneer blade that makes very clean cuts with minimal waste.  The trick is to take as much time as you need to adjust the table saw and make everything true, but once it is dialed in, the cuts are nearly perfect and highly repeatable.  I then use a 4 inch Dremel table saw to make the final cuts to width.


As far as the wood goes, I am probably not the best person to take advice from.  This is my first Plank on Frame (POF) attempt and I did not know how successful I would be so I chose an inexpensive, readily available wood for the framing.  I used white pine available down at my lumber yard.  I searched for quarter sawn planks with small tight grain running vertically when viewed from the end.  I will use sitka spruce for my planking and hard maple for the rails.  I have both of these woods here in the workshop left over from some luthier projects.


Thanks for the picture of the clamps and shelves, pretty neat.  You can see alot of the ship structure, the frames with their futtocks, the deck beams and the outer hull planking.  Cool.


Below is an update on my progress, I am working on the deck beams.  




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