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StuC

HM Cutter Lady Nelson by StuC - Victory Models - 1/64

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I've just joined up and introduced myself here

 

You've probably seen it all a bunch it times, but here's the frame. I shimmed up the bulkheads with some thin card and they are all in nice a square.

 

I used thick CA for gluing the bulkheads onto the false keel. It does look a little rough, but you won't see it.

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I glued the deck on with PVA, let it dry overnight and removed the pins. I used the pins in the kit with a nailer. The accuracy with the nailer was a bit hit and miss and I had a couple of goes with some of them. I think I would prefer some map pins or similar - maybe hold/push them in with nose pliers and tap them down...

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On inspection, I skewed the deck to starboard at the bow and to port at the stern, which was a little disappointing, but I think I can correct this with the deck planking.

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Off to port by a mm or so at the stern.

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So far so good (ish). I need to work a bit neater and take more care.

 

Cheers,

Stu

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I took my time fairing the bulkheads. I was hesitant to take too much off and took some shots showing 1 side roughly completed before going on to the other side. I figure this might be helpful as a guide to others who are building a small cutter like this. I'll give some feedback later if it was too much or not enough.

 

I used a 200mm flat and half round file (second cut file- as opposed to a coarser first cut), which did the job quite well.

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I then went on to the other (port) side.

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I fixed up the slight asymmetry at the stern post after these photos

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I didn't want to take more off where the stern post will be glued to, but in hind sight maybe I should have. In any case I think I should be able to taper the thickness of the first and/or second planks to fair it down to the 3.2mm (1/8") of the stern post.

 

Cheers,

Stu

 

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I can't get rid of that last photo under "Cheers, Stu" in the previous post for some reason. never mind.

 

I then decided to follow the instructions and in glue the prow, keel and stern post. I was on the fence about doing it now for a couple of reasons.

  • I've been trying to some balsa up to site to fill between all the bulkheads, but without success, and I just got impatient. I imagine this will make planking easier as well as sanding it fair as it will have more rigidity
  • I think it might give a better result to fit these after the first planking as I would have been able to sand the first planks down to achieve a rabbit line, rather than probably having to try to shape it

Anyway. I gave them a light sand with 600 paper fixed up the offset deck notch at the stem

 

Before.

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After.

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I even got the bow and keel on reasonably straight.

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I'm also pretty happy with the stern post. It looks like it's slightly off in this photo, but it's just a bit of CA that run on to it.

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Cheers,

Stu

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1 hour ago, StuC said:

I can't get rid of that last photo under "Cheers, Stu" in the previous post

Fixed it for you.

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You might find that it's useful to protect the stem, keel and sternpost using masking tape as you've put them on before planking. As a result you'll be doing a lot of sanding and gluing which might damage these parts.

 

Tony

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Nice start so far. You may consider inserting balsa between the bow and stern frames only as they will first ensure a smooth run of first planking especially at the bow and make that tricky part much easier. If you have a first planking that runs smooth and doesn‘t need much sanding or filler use you may use wood glue for second planking - this has a much longer dry phase than CA and you can correct the laying of the planks if needed (and no glueing fingers to the hull 🤗).

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Well I've been thinking about it overnight and all day today, and I've decided to take off the bow, keel and stern post.

 

I've managed to get some CA debonder, balsa and a small mitre box (to go with my razor saw) sourced and brought up on a flight tomorrow. So the keel is coming off, and thanks captain_hook, I'll fill in the bow and sterm sections and fair in the balsa. As it's only a small ship, I'm thinking about filling in all the stations. Is this advisable? Will it make planking and fairing much easier (with a solid substrate)?

 

I've previously looked at some other Lady Nelsons, particularly the build by vossiewulf and I've also looked though captain_hooks AVS just now (both very nice). Tony I'm taking your advice to vossie and going to refit the bow, keel and stern post after the second planking. As both first and second planks are 1.2mm, my plan is to fair the stern post down to a feather edge for the first plank, then sand the first planks down to 1mm total at the stern post, or slightly more, then after second planking, sand a smidge off to make it flush with the stern post before fitting that.

 

I haven't quite figured out the keel and bow rebates , but I'll do some cross section sketches tomorrow to try and nut it out.

 

Cheers,

Stu

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You just need acetone to debond CA. It's much cheaper than commercial debonders. You'll find your planking much easier without stem, keel and sternpost as you can sand and edge with greater freedom. If you haven't already done so, it's really worth studying the planking tutorials provided on this site in the articles database before you start on that. The first layer is not critical, but provides good practice for the second layer. You can always make mistakes less obvious if you're going to paint the hull -- so that's always a good escape clause.

 

Because the Lady Nelson is so similar to the Sherbourne kit, it's also useful to look at those builds to pick up hints and tips on overcoming problems, discussion about historical accuracy and when to overlook the sequence of steps suggested in the instructions. The builds by Dubz, Stockholm Tar and Gregor are especially useful in this regard.

 

I haven't built the Lady Nelson myself, so don't know whether the second layer of planking is 1mm thick, but you might like to use thinner (0.5mm) planks than those provided in the kit. This makes it easier to bend and to fit in the space between the bulwarks and the stem, keel and sternpost.

 

Tony

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I'm a few steps ahead of you in this build.  I put the keel and bow on after the first planking and put a rabbet in them which worked really well. What i should have done is put the stern post in as well and sanded the back of the first planking down to give me a sort of rabbet there

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2 hours ago, StuC said:

As it's only a small ship, I'm thinking about filling in all the stations. Is this advisable? Will it make planking and fairing much easier (with a solid substrate)?

When a shipmodel has only a few bulkheads the balsa should support the planking to run smooth especially where the planks are more curved - at bow and stern. As the planking is more straight in the middle section, balsa fillers are not really needed there. When the first planking is done you have a very solid hull to glue the second planking on. The AVS has a lot more bulkheads that the sherbourne or Lady Nelson so balsa fillers weren’t needed.
 

You can give filling all spaces a try anyway but glueing large balsa blocks into the bulkhead spaces may result in warping the ships keel or structure as wood is always working.

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Well the CA debonder didn't work that well, but I managed to get some acetone a couple of days ago. After about 20 minutes of soaking the keel, I wiggled it loose, then did the same with the stern post and bow.

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I sanded the removed parts and we're back to a bare keel.

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Armed with balsa, a mitre box, razor saw, and PVA wood glue, I got to work filling in the bow and stern sections. I don't have a scroll saw or coping saw on site, so had to piece together the smaller balsa sections I had.

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To summarise my back story, I'm working on a fairly remote mine site in the middle of Western Australia. While we are remote, it's a large site (and expansion project currently in progress) and the total number of people on site is over 3,000. The nearest town is an industrial mining town of about 7,000 people, but it is 140km away and we cannot go there due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Even if I could, small tool and modelling supplies are scarce.  The nearest metropolitan area is Perth, which is a 1 hour 50 minute flight, but is also in almost complete lock down at the moment. So I'm limited in what I can get my hands on. Any mail order is at least 10 days, and if coming from the east coast of Australia, then it's 3 weeks. 

 

Anyway, I got the balsa glued in over the last couple of evening and roughed it out tonight.

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Carved down to about 1/8" off the bulkheads.

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I'll sand the rest tomorrow.

 

Cheers,

Stu

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I got the bulwarks soaking in quite warm water and traced the deck profile onto a stack of 3 cork tiles.

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Using a metal ruler as a square I set up some 1'1/2" pins as a clamping line for the bulwark shape.

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I thought I had a pretty good fair bend in the bow section until I removed them the next day and it was cactus. So I re-soaked them, and got a good bow profile with a planking iron/bender and then clamped it onto the stanchions to get the rest of the curve. I tested the planking iron on a piece of scrap first as I was worried the soaking and/or heat may cause the glue to fail. But it didn't and I've got a much better result now.

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Looking good. If you bend wood, you might try a little overbending them. The wood sometimes has a tendency to reshape into its former form, so a little overbending give you some room to work with. And it is easily bend to shape by hand after it has dried.

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Armed with 2 short lengths of 16mm and 25mm dowel, a sanding block and some 80 grit sandpaper, I got the balsa down to about 1mm off the bulkheads.

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I swapped the 80 grit for some 180 and did the final fairing. I used a black marker so I could get the feathering as symmetrical as possible and I'm reasonably pleased with the results.

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The bow is slightly fuller on the starboard side, but I'll correct that before planking.

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I'm very happy with the stern.

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I did a lot of work on the trailing edge at the stern with a flat diamond needle file and got it down to a uniform 0.8mm.

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This shot is looking down the stern post.

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I'll get the bulwarks glued on tomorrow, then get ready for first planking. By "get ready" I mean trawl through other build logs and the planking tutorials for about a week.

 

Cheers,

Stu

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great job. I’m following this with interest. Can I ask where you got your electric plank bender from please? I’m on east coast Aus and can’t find one anywhere (either locally or internationally). Cheers.

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On 5/6/2020 at 8:20 PM, wbozza said:

Great job. I’m following this with interest. Can I ask where you got your electric plank bender from please? I’m on east coast Aus and can’t find one anywhere (either locally or internationally). Cheers.

Hi wbozza,

 

I bought mine from modelerscentral.com (based in NSW I think)  but I see they are our of stock www.modelerscentral.com/tools-paints-glue/hand-tools/plank-benders/plank-bender-electric/

 

hobbytools.com.au have a number of options, but these are also all sold out:

www.hobbytools.com.au/electric-plank-bending-tool-240volt/

www.hobbytools.com.au/ship-modellers-hobby-tool-kit/

www.hobbytools.com.au/artesania-latina-plank-bender-with-2-blades/

 

I did a quick search on ebay, and there are some international options. Search for "electric plank bender"

 

There isn't much special about these plank benders - they're soldering irons with a turned aluminium tip. So something else you could do is buy a 40W soldering iron ($20 from jaycar www.jaycar.com.au/40-watt-240v-soldering-iron/p/TS1475), have someone machine up a cylindrical tip for you (aluminium - can give you the dimensions of mine) and simply make your own former(s). I recommend this as I paid AUD$105 for mine, which is extortionate.

 

If you have a mate with a lathe, it will cost you $20 and a 6 pack...

 

Cheers,

Stu

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These photos are taken slightly out of sequence.

 

I also sanded the stern fashion pieces and gave the top edges a slight radius before gluing them in place.

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They weren't quite parallel so I cut a temporary (removable) clamp from scrap to align them correctly when I glue the transom on.

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I took the bulwarks off and they held their shape very well. I then positioned them in the final location with clamps. I used the stem piece as a reference for the correct height by aligning the top of the slot in the stem with the top corner of the bulwark. I then glued them in place with thin CA applied on the bottom edge of the bulwark and the balsa blocks at the stem and stern and underside of the deck in the 3 middle stations.

 

If I were to do this again, I would have started at the stern a gently lifted maybe a 1/4 of the bulwark at a time and using thicker CA and carefully placed it with a fine nozzle in sections while the clamps held the rest of it in place. The thin CA wicked up and glued some on the stanchions to the inner face of the bulwark and took some time and care to get off.

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I'm reasonably happy with the bulwarks, thought there is a slight ripple amidships in the starboard side.

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The bow is also quite symmetrical, though there is a small crease on the second starboard gun port which should sand out.

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Showing the transom and feathered stern trailing edge.

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I have also cut the stanchions off and using a chisel blade cut them down to be flush with the deck.

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Clean work so far, but you cut off the stanchions at a very early stage of the build. They‘re meant to give the plywood more stability and to hold the shape when you do the second planking. You may continue with planking the inner side of the plywood first to give it more stability and to prevent deforming. Or you put some thicker wood strips inside the bulkwards orthogonal to the keel to prevent the plywood from getting loose when you plank the outside.

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@captain_hook Thanks for pointing out my error. That makes perfect sense and reading the instructions helps... I cut some scrap and glued them to the deck only at right angles as you suggested.

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After doing a fair bit of reading, and a lot of looking and measuring, I decided to start with a full width garboard plank each side of the keel.

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I glued and positioned these flush with the bottom of the backbone keel and will trim them after.

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The end result is quite pleasing, but I'm uncertain how this will work out with the second planking, and still rebate/fair into the keel.

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I then measured each station and divided by 14 planks to get the plank width at each station. I know this is a lot of work for the first planking, but I wanting to try/practice second planking technique and learnt form it. I don't want steelers in my second planking.

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After tapering/profiling and bending 4 planks (see the first photo in this post) I glued them in place.

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I know why people take the time to spile planks - the bow has a bit of clinker effect.

 

Cheers,

Stu

 

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Very nice work s far, and well planned out.

 

That kink in the bulwarks will likely straighten out just fine once you get the inner and outer planking installed. 

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Thanks Joe, I think the bulwarks will straighten out as well, but that slight ripple on the port side just aft of amidships is more of an optical illusion as the top of the bulwarks don't quite follow the sheer line.

 

I do have a noticeable bulge on starboard by the second gun port which I and trying to address with some more bracing.

 

A couple of photos to try and show what's going on

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Anyway, I've got the first planking done. I'm not too happy with it, but it will suffice for first planking and has shown a few issues with my planking layout that I want to avoid on the second planking. Here are the warts and all progress photos.

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There is some "clinker effect" at the bow which will sand out

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I want much nicer, fairer planking lines for the second planking. I'm going to divide the planking into 3 sets of 5 planks, and try and lay down tapered planks 5 and 10 first to conform to the hull shape better and avoid that pregnant look when viewed from the side. The top planks should taper less toward the bow and the bottom planks should taper more. I'm considering doing the same for the stern, but will then need steelers which I wanted to avoid, but maybe the overall effect will be better.

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The second plank down on the starboard side got away from me at the stern...

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You made a good job - some sanding and looks like a solid base for second planking. You can use the supplied walnut stripes. It is a common wood in kits, but it look quite dark. And it has a tendency to split - especially when you cut the openings (f.e. gunports) and a rather raw structure. But it is easy to bend and no other costs for aftermarket stuff.

 

Or reconsider using another type of wood. A lot of builders use Castello boxwood, which has a nice yellow/cream colour and structure. I used it for my AVS instead of the supplied walnut. But it got quite expensive these days. A lot of buildlogs rise using Alaskan Yellow Cedar which has an even more yellow colour but isn’t as hard as boxwood. Haven’t tried it yet. Another excellent wood is pear. More brownish but has an even structure and little grain. Allmost all Vanguard Model Kits are provided with this one and you may take a look. Sure there are more options.
 

If you haven‘t found it yet - there are some planking tutorials on this side which can be found here:

 They might prove useful for your next steps. 

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Making some great progress and she’s looking good!

I love cutters and plan to build this at some point in the future.

I’ve pulled up a deck chair and will be following along for the journey.

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This ship is on my future build list as a possibility. Thanks for the detail in your build log as it is always helpful to learn from others. Have you seen the build tutorial for this ship on the Amati website?

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Hello.

 

I am also new to the forum and I follow your build with great interest as I am building Le Renard which is very similar.

It is interesting to see that a big difference in the kit construction is that my bulkheads don't have any tabs to support the plywood bulwarks while gluing these on.

It will be interesting to see ho that goes.

 

Your work looks great and I'm  looking forward to see the model come together.

 

Gaffrig.

 

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Hi Guys,

@captain_hook Thanks for the advise on the Walnut planks. I have read in other build diaries that it can be replaced, but I quite like the dark colour and will stay with it. I had contemplated changing for thinner planking, but decided against it as I wanted to stick with the kit supplied materials, I guess not so much for cost saving, but just to stick with the kit because I think I can make it work. Having said that, I do like the look of pear and may consider it for future models if I do another...

 

Yes I have found the planking tutorials thanks. I'm  still undecided about steelers and having sanded the first planking, I quite like the overall effect of the the planks. I think I'll keep with the stern to amidships plank thickness/tapering, but will increase the topsides planking thickness towards the bow and decrease it a little towards the keel to compensate.

 

@Jonny 007 Thanks mate. I was a little disappointed before I sanded her first planking, but as of now, I'm pretty please so far. I've been in Perth for a week and the weather has been great until today, but it's pretty stormy now and have spent most of today on the ship. I am also following your Ballahoo. Looking good so far and I understand why you clamped it so hard. better than nailing and pinning the deck down as I did.

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@Gaffrig Thanks for the encouragement. I read through your Le Renard build and it is very similar to the Lady Nelson and you have made good progress so far. I really like your deck and the framing around the hatches and skylight openings. I think I will do the same with the Lady Nelson. I am also following your build with interest. While my kit (Amati) has bulwark stanchions/uprights, the Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) (as opposed to plywood) tended to split when pins/nails are pushed/tapped through the planks. This has been an issue when trying to hold the planks down when shaping and gluing. Great work so far on your Le Renard and I'm and following your build with interest too.

 

So I gave the first planking a good sand with 80 grit and then 120 grit and it came out quite well. Please forgive the awful hotel carpet...

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I sanded the bow profile back to the MDF and faired it in.

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I also trimmed back the stern and sanded it down to get good symmetry. in these photos, the stern is still about 2.5mm-3.0mm which I need to sand down to at least 2.0mm to allow for the second planking to finish flush with the stern post which is 3.0mm thick.

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I haven't yet trimmed and sanded the bulwarks at the stern.

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Having learnt from my mistakes, I took time to read the instructions and spotted an error.

IMG_1902.thumb.JPG.c417b4054358037eaf7771c9fcd999ab.JPGBefore Before fitting the stern counter (34 - not 36) I should have given the inside face a light sand finishing it with 1200 grit sand paper. Oh well...

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I decided to deviate from the instructions a little here and fitted the stern planking before fitting the rudder post (23). This was for 2 reasons. First, I wanted the stern planks to be continuous and straight, and secondly because had left them behind when I was away... This means I will need to carefully notch and fit the rudder post before the second planking, but I think it will give a better result.

 

So I had to custom cut and shape the top stern plank. This had to fit the deck profile and the notch out in the stern counter for the rudder and tiller. It took a couple of attempts and about an hour to get it right.

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Dry fit. forgive the red hue in the photo.

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More in the next post.

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Again, forgive the red hue in the photo.

 

I glued the top and second stern plank.

IMG_1910.thumb.JPG.5ec8787e74a31a2b5be38564939a61ff.JPGThen

Then the third and forth.

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Then trimmed and sanded fair.

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Profile of the stern showing where I will need to trim the rudder post.

IMG_1925.JPG

I'm enjoying the build so far.


Cheers,

Stu

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I pre assembled the bow and keel pieces

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Then after making a miniature long board did a bit more sanding at the stern and along the keel to try and form a rabbet. I actually reverted to a 16mm hardwood dowel with 120 grit paper wrapped around it for most of sanding, then glued the bow, keel and stern post on. Sorry I forgot to take a photo of this.

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I roughly graded the walnut planking by colour and plan to use the lighter at the top, then get progressively darker toward the keel.

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I soaked 2 light coloured planks and bent them to shape around the top of the bulwark and clamped them in place. I'll let it dry overnight, but I can tell already that this won't do much for me. I think I'm better off just soaking and bending (with my planking iron) the bow section, then gluing it on progressively with CA once it's dried.

 

I would give it a go now, but need to psych myself up for it...

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Stand by - more in 24 hours.

 

Cheers,

Stu

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