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East Coast Oyster Sharpie 1880-1900 by davec - 1/16 scale


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Hi John - Thanks for your comments, and I definitely agree with not being too much of a slave to the plans. I do worry about cumulative error. I usually end up allowing little deviations, which snowball to bigger ones when I have to correct for the previous ones.  Here where I am making adjustments this early, by the time the model is done, it could end up with wings, wheels, and a Bofors gun.

 

Will post some pictures later, but yesterday I glued the jig together, shaped the keelson at the bow, sanded the keelson and chines , and milled scale 1x8" planks for the hull bottom.  Plan for today is to do a small amount of final adjustment to the chine slots and heat bend the chines so they don't need a lot of clamping.

 

Dave

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I think the jig is ready.  I've included a picture, even though it looks like all the other pictures, including the jig in the trash can.  You can't see it well, but the chines are symmetric, follow a smooth curve, and line up with the molds on the sides.  On top, they also line up with keelson.  I'm working overnight, so won't touch it again until later in the week, but I'm ready to start attaching the planks for the bottom of the hull.  I'm going to deviate from the monograph and try to do the side planking on the mold.  If that works, will flip it over after to do the stern planking.  Optimistic.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some progress over the course of the week, none of which really merits pictures:

  • Milled a bunch of 1/16" sheet for the side planking
  • Milled wood for the horizontal and vertical stem support logs.  I used the dimensions from the plans, not the monograph, which are different.  I think the monograph simplified by using commercially available stock sizes.
  • I shaped the inner and outer stems.  The monographs instructions for taping sheet stock to a big block to hold while shaping with a disc sander worked really well.  Left to myself, I would have used a plane or chisel, which would have taken longer and probably not been as uniform when done.  I couldn't figure out how to get set my tilt table on my table saw to the necessary angle (22.5 degrees, which would require setting the table to 67.5 degrees)
  • I ordered a copy of Chapelle's Boatbuilding, and have slowed down to read it, something I regret not doing prior to starting.  It is a great read, and really helpful.  70 years old but a classic.
  • The plans come with patterns for the side planking.  I cut out the patterns for the lower plank, which doesn't line up perfectly, but will give me a pretty good starting point for shaping the plank.
  • Biggest issue is deciding whether to plank upright like in the monograph, or upside down over the molds.  I'm still heavily leaning towards upside down.  To do this I will need  the stem attached to the keelson. The jig wasn't designed for this, but will only need a slot in the forward most mold to fit the horizontal stem support log.  I'm also trying to decide how much bottom planking to install prior to fitting the first side plank.  I need to install a few to keep the chines aligned vertically with the keelson.  Leaving the bottom mostly unplanked will give a lot better visibility for fine-tuning the pattern and first side plank.  I'm thinking of installing bottom planks at the bow, aft end of the chines, and front and back of the centerboard slot, then fitting the first side planks, completing the rest of the side planks, and finishing planking the bottom, before turning the hull upright to finish.

When I'm done overthinking things, I'll start cutting and gluing.  

 

Dave

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  • 2 weeks later...

I made some decisions and some progress.  I’ve committed to planking upside down over the molds.  I glued the chines to the keelson and glued three bottom planks in place.  This seems adequate to hold the shape for the bottom of the boat.  It allows me to take the hull on and off the mold, and gives enough access to the chines to fine tune the templates for the side planks.  I modified mold #11 to accommodate the horizontal stem support, and installed the vertical and horizontal supports and the inner stem piece.

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I didn’t have high expectations about being able to use the planking templates that came with the plans.  Seems like very small variations in cutting and assembling the molds would require the templates to be revised, and I’m sure I introduced many.  I’m also not planning on painting, so the joints will be visible, and I want them to look good. This is one of the problems with building a model instead of a real boat, where a gap would have been expected and filled with caulking.  I started with the pattern that came with the plans, and have modified it pretty significantly to get the right fit along the chine.  I started with just the bottom plank, then realized I’d be better off making a template for the entire side planking, then divide it into three planks.  I’ve gotten some good use of a set of ship’s curves that have been sitting in a drawer since I got them at an auction a few years ago.  The template in the picture is the fourth iteration. I think one more and I’ll be ready.  I also need to decide which stern planking option I’m going to use.  The monograph gives two choices, vertical and angled.  I'll need to decide before cutting the planks because the option drives how the aft edge of the planks get cut.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished the side planks.  As they are flat, decided I would glue them together off the model.  I thought I  could clamp them better and minimize the gap between planks.  That part worked OK.  The joints look a little irregular in the pictures.  I took them right after sanding.  After I used some mineral spirits to wipe away the sawdust in the joint, they looked better.  I put my right angle blocks on top to keep them flat while they dried.  I had used a damp cloth to wipe away the extra glue.  When I put the metal blocks on top, I got some discoloration of the wood, probably from some oxidation even though they were only there a few hours.  Should have put some wax paper or saran wrap between.  I was able to sand it away, except for where it discolored the glue.  I was going to redo, then tried reversing the sides, so the side with the spots was now inside, where they will be hidden.

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I trimmed the fore end and clamped them side planks in place as a test.  It is beginning to look pretty boat-like.  I need to trim the aft end of the planks.  I decided to end them vertically.  I’ll trim them this afternoon, then soak the planks and clamp back in place to dry before gluing.  The only thing I’m nervous about is whether the glue joints will separate with a few hours of soaking.  I used titebond 3, which is waterproof (although it says “do not submerge”).  If they separate, will need to redo.

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Planks soaked yesterday, and clamped in  place overnight.  The glue joints tolerated the soaking without separating, and the planks bent mostly into shape so that only a little pressure was necessary with the clamps for gluing.  After soaking, the fit against the molds was also good - the side planking lies flat against them, and I don't have the sense they will bend inward when I take the hull off the molds.  I glued everything up this morning.  Fingers crossed for when I take the clamps off tonight.

 

glued.jpg.0f2553e9e7c8543018c2d102994a4ab1.jpg

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Jim - many thanks.  I'm looking forward to building the stern.  I have a plan for how to do it, that will be a little more straightforward than the monograph.  I plan on building the frame first, then doing the vertical planking as opposed to the monograph, which planks first (unsupported), then fits the framing.  I mostly need to figure out the shape of the upper framing along the shear.  Need to figure out whether I can draw the projection from the top view of the plans using turbo cad, or whether I should free hand it with Bristol board templates until I have something that fits.  Turbo cad would be the right way, but I'm not very good with it.

 

I'm definitely ready to call planking over the molds a success.  I added the bottom planks.  I didn't have any problem taking the hull off the mold (no issues with it getting accidentally glued in place).  It held its shape off the mold.  Not in the pictures yet, but I have sanded the edges of the bottom planks flush, and sanded off the glue on the plank seams that I didn't see until I looked at the pictures.  It is pretty sturdy.  It took a lot of sanding to get the edges flush, and only one bottom plank got a little loose.  In the monograph they plank the bottom before adding the side planks, and use a scroll saw to trim the planks.  I didn't think this through prior to gluing the bottom planks.  With the angled side planking in place, I couldn't use a scroll saw. It ended up being a lot of sanding.  If I was doing this again, would have cut the planks with less overhang.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

John - thanks!

 

My build is on hold for about a month.  We found some asbestos in the basement that needed removal.  Needed to clear everything out of the whole basement (first floor of the house is a nightmare with everything moved upstairs).  In the interest of never having to do this again, we are having the 60 year old peeling floor tile removed from the rest of the basement and the floor painted.  Asbestos is done, and the tiles are up and concrete getting patched.  Hoping the paint goes down this week so we can move all the stuff downstairs and set the workshop back up soon.  Will be a month from starting to take things down to being moved back in.  Has made me appreciate how important getting into the workshop a few minutes each day is for my mental health, especially during COVID.  On the bright side, I've never been more academically productive, and have quite a few of my work projects finishing and getting submitted for publication.  

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Your Sharpie is coming along great Dave. 👍

 

Remodeling..............you're on a slippery slope there! I started remodeling the kitchen in the house we lived in previous to the one we're in now. By the time I got done I'd remodeled the whole house. Beware of the terms: "While we're at it" or "We might as well"! 🙄

 

Jim

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Hi Jim - The house is a 1914 row house.  We bought it 2 years ago and did a down to the studs remodel including replacing all the knob and tube wiring.  The basement floor was one of the things we put off when we decided we'd gone far enough down the slippery slope, and it was time to stop. The asbestos got missed (or maybe ignored) by multiple inspectors and contractors.  Both are things we genuinely regret not taking care of when the house was empty and crawling with contractors.

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  • 3 months later...

I just noticed how long it had been since I had updated the log.  The basement work got finished in a few weeks- my wife would be an excellent contractor and got the floor people in the day the asbestos people finished.  I got side tracked by finishing a Wingnut Wings Ninak that had been on the bench for months, then built the new Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mark I to try to fix some of my airbrush skill deficiencies.  I kept picking away at the Sharpie a few minutes at a time a few times a week, which eventually turned into some progress.  I finished the centerboard and centerboard housing and thwarts.

 

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I installed the deck clamps and framing.  I decided to use swiss pear to have a little contrast to the boxwood.  Most of the framing and clamps will be invisible when the deck is installed.  I also completed the curved stern.

 

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For anyone trying to build from the instructions, there are a couple areas to be careful of.  Dimensions of the wood in the text is different than the plans.  If you are building using stock wood, use the dimensions in the text.  If you are milling your own, use the dimensions in the plans, which are  more to scale.  The instructions say to fit the upper frame after the stern planks have been glued in place. They have two planking options, one of which uses a bent strip to guide the outer surface, the other which installed the planks without a form. Building this way worked for the authors, but looked  harder than it needed to be.  I installed the upper framing and planked over it.  It made planking really easy, and made sure that the stern followed the same shape as the plans.

 

 

 

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I put a coat of  wipe-on poly on the inner surfaces that won’t be glue joints.    I also sanded out the curved stern.  I left way too much excess on the bottom planking overhang.  It took a while to sand flush.  I didn’t include pictures, but I’ve also put finish on the removable flooring, thwarts, and centerboard housing.  Project for the weekend is the metal work for the centerboard.  Once that is done, I can install all the innards and start working on the deck.  The two wooden strips along the centerboard housing are the shoes.  They are on the plans and mentioned as one of the components of the centerboard housing, but I missed them until now.  Clamping would have been a little easier if I had installed them before the side planking.

 

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Moab and Michael - thanks!!  Michael - did you decide what you are starting now that the Queen Anne Barge is complete?

 

I installed all the pieces I have been making over the last month or so.  The centerboard and housing, stem, thwarts, and removable flooring are now in place.  I’m still not doing as well with metal blackening as I’d like, but I’ll be displaying the centerboard retracted, so none of the problem areas are visible. I’ve also made the deck beams, and hope to post pictures of the beams and bowsprit bitts installed shortly. 

 

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Edited by davec
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Michael - looking forward to seeing Cheerful develop, but I'm a little disappointed.  Was hoping there might be another Echo cross section in the works.

 

I've added the deck beams and ripped and sanded the scale 4" (1/16"x1/4" actual) deck planks.  I got a 6" wahuda jointer, and this was the first trial.  Took a few nights to get it dialed in, but it made cutting the planks a lot easier.  In the past I haven't had an easy way to get a completely flat side on the billet prior to thickness sanding.  With the jointer I was able to have two completely flat, perpendicular sides to my billet, and it took under a minute.  I only had to thickness sand one side to get the billet to 1/4". Made ripping the planks much easier, and had straighter planks with less blade marks to sand.  

 

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Looks great!

 

16 hours ago, davec said:

I'm a little disappointed.  Was hoping there might be another Echo cross section in the works.

It is definitely in the works but I am only "allowed" to get one power tool for the shop a year I wanted to go with some better dust control this time.  The thought of cutting all the frames by hand seemed a bit much.  Next one up will be a scroll saw of some type.

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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

I spent the last two weeks having adventures in bending wood. I’ll briefly summarize here.  When I downloaded pictures, I realized I had only taken a few.  

 

The model has 5 different trim strips that go around tight curves at the stern and cockpit combing.  I’ve bent wood for hull planking before, but never around curves this tight.  Up until now I’ve used soaking and a bending iron, which worked adequately, but I was afraid might not work well for the tight bends.  I’d heard good things about using a heat gun, so gave it a try.    Other than at the stern, the bending was only in one dimension, so spiling wasn’t necessary.

 

I did the cockpit combing first, trying to air bend with the heat gun held in a vice.  Didn’t work.  I cut a form to the shape of the cockpit opening from ¼” plywood, and once I’d figured out clamping and the right heat setting, it worked great.  The 1/32x1/4” cockpit combing bent right around the form.  I could actually feel the wood give as the heat did its job.  It took a little experimenting to find the highest heat that didn’t discolor the wood.

 

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The false wale at the stern had the added challenge of being thicker 1/16x9/32”, and wrapping around a beveled surface, so it needed to be spiled.  The pattern wasn’t hard, and I was able to reuse it for the 1/8x1/16” rub rail that went over it.  I made a beveled bending jig that matched the shape and angle of the stern.  Biggest challenge was clamping the piece while gluing in place.  Would have been much easier to install the two stern trim strips prior to planking the deck, when clamping would have been very easy.  I think I used every clamp I have ever accumulated when gluing the trim strips in place.

 

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The 1/16” square pear trim strip around the cockpit combing turned out to be the biggest challenge.  Dry heat worked OK for the fore piece.  I had saved the aft piece for last thinking it would be the easiest, but the two bends were the most acute, and the pear kept breaking.  That was when I finally tried soaking the wood prior to using the heat gun.  I really wish I had tried this at the beginning- it was like magic.  Not only did the wood bend without breaking, but once dry it had much less memory and did not try to spring back to its original position.

 

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I put the first coat of wipe on poly on the deck, which highlighted glue spots I had missed sanding away.  Getting the curved pieces all clamped into place was challenging, and frequently I got glue spots.  It is easy to sand it away, but because it dries clear, some of it wasn’t visible until I tried to put finish over it.

 

This is somewhat of a milestone with an essentially completed hull and bowsprit.  Mast, boom, gaff, rudder, stand, and rigging to go.  I need to sort out a stand next.  There weren’t real options for hiding mounting bolts in the flat hull.  I don’t anticipate needing to transport the ship once finished, so I will probably build some sort of cradle and not fasten the boat in place. 

 

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side.jpg

 

side.jpg

Edited by davec
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