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7 hours ago, bartley said:

always approach a setting from the same direction

Yes I always do this.  I’ve had no problems getting accurate cuts. I mentioned I cut a bunch of timber heads easily within a .1mm accuracy by carefully establishing a zero start point, all of which came out identical. My comment was only in regard to stiffness of the zero set sleeves.  The knobs turn just fine, the table moves smoothly and the axis settings are quite accurate. It is a small thing, I shouldn’t have mentioned it or at least described the issue more clearly. 

Edited by glbarlow
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On 1/31/2021 at 1:42 AM, glbarlow said:

 My comment was only in regard to stiffness of the zero set sleeves. 

Yes, there is no adjustment on these.  Our x and y are perfect - easily adjusted but not sloppy.  However, the z one is tight as you describe.  Maybe a bit of dust which might blow out with compressed air or very small touch of lubricant.


Good work by the way -  certainly surpasses mine.



Edited by bartley
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The Boom Crutches




I had to sort through how to get started on the boom crutches, the monograph picks up with how to approach the angles, which is essential to the process, but has the basic crutch already made, I had to figure out how to get to that point. I started with some rectangular blanks of ¼ sheet cut a little larger than the finished width and height then, with my pencil and paper constructed a series of measurements and lines to work from to create the initial Y. I suppose some can free-hand such things, I cannot. I wanted a precise beginning to get me to a precise end. 




I used a router bit on the mill for the half circle and the jewelers saw with the blanks in my small vise to cut out a starting point. As Chuck points out these need to be extra thick, the ¼ barely covers it. The reason is distinct angles that have to be accounted for and the resulting sanding and cutting to get those. The monograph starts with the side, I found it easier after a couple of false starts to start with the back angle first, then the side then the front. The two remaining angles, the top and the turn in towards the mast are best done after mounting.




I had to get it to a size that seemed in scale. The crutches are not on the plans so I was eyeballing it based on the monograph photos and mostly what looked right to me. I went through several of my blanks, in fact I got one (show in the photo) very close to a final product only to decide it was two wide, so out it went.

Once I sorted out a process and the scale and finally got one about 50% near what I wanted I stopped and made the second one. One of the many challenges of these things is making the second one identical to the first. My approach, rather than finish one at a time was to bring two along together. There is a lot, a lot, of sanding to get from the Y blank to the shape and size I wanted and get the angles needed. I kept the two in balance with frequent measurements at key points with digital calipers, and kept track on a series of small papers (only the final one is shown) kept next to the sanding tools. I used of different grits, blocks, sticks and holders and a needle file or two here and there. It took two days of taking my time, slowly reducing the blanks into identical crutches resulting in what the photo shows finally attached to the stern then finished it all off with wood filler along the seams of the stern rail. Did I mention there was a lot of sanding. 




I recommend this approach. Rather than make one and copy it, make two together, reducing and shaping slowly just tenths of millimeters at a time. As I noted, I had several false starts on the first one - but once I had the basic Y blank right I had no repeats on the second crutch. I pinned and glued them on then made the final adjustments, filing the tops parallel to the water line and then turning them inward on the angle the boom, connected to the mast,  would rest, Finally I lightly smoothed and rounded all the edges and it was ready to paint.


Stern Complete




I’ve reached something of a milestone. The stern of my Cheerful is complete. I’m pretty happy with how its turned out so far. One challenge after another has been met, I’ve learned more new things than I can count and used tools I didn’t know I needed (ok, wanted). I have more challenges ahead, like how to shape and file brass strip for the stays which is up next. So I’m off to do that, but I can look back (see what I did there) and see a portion of the hull now finished.

Thanks for stopping by.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We’re having rolling power blackouts here, 40 minutes on, 40 minutes off with no end in sight. -1 degrees may not be a big deal in the east, but it’s not happened here since 1949. Consequently I’m not getting much boat yard time in. Too busy trying to stay warm and grab a little internet time when I can. Hopefully by the weekend.....

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Hang in over there..


The 1949 caught my attention..


I was born Jan 15 1949 in Hearne, Tx near Bryan/College station.


I see by the Farmers Almanac, the temp on that day was 75..


Then on Jan 31 it was -2.9... Brrr.


We lived out in the country, so I don't think we had electricity, and pretty sure we didn't have internet..😁



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With the weather, electricity, and heat (lack there of) situation I decided to work on building my remaining 5 carronades. I described my process way back early in this log when I turned to them after my first frame was shattered in a fall to the floor so I won’t repeat it here. I like to use as many tools as possible it seems 😀.


These I can do in the short intervals I have available to have ship time right now. Here’s hoping things get back to normal this weekend when it should warm up.

Edited by glbarlow
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6 hours ago, glbarlow said:

I like to use as many tools as possible it seems 😀.


Hi Glenn, Glad to hear you are safe and hopefully things get back to normal sooner than later. 

It's always amazed me how many tools we get out for some of the smaller projects! :)


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4 hours ago, Gregory said:

several pin vise' for different bits

Of course😀I drill 3 different size holes to make up the gun carriages, so...  Note they’re color coded too as are a number of my tools using these little rubber sleeves I got from a dentists supply website after seeing my dentist’s assistant use them to quickly recognize instruments. I actually have 5 pin vises, you never know😀 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Channels, Chainplates, Dead Eyes, and Strops


This is that moment when you know you’re not in kit world anymore. No PE to cut out and assemble and or laser ready wood to shape and paint, for this segment of the build everything is made from scratch. By now I sound like a broken record, but here again was something I’d never done. While Chuck’s monograph was as clear and helpful as always, I still had to figure out a way make each of these components. I had never worked anything from metal, I know - what limited skills I have.




First up is the channels, take a stick of wood, make it pretty and capable of holding deadeyes and chainplates, then make four of them. The best purchase I’ve made for my modeling is my Byrnes saw, nothing beats it. Quickly moving into second place is my Proxxon MF 70 Micro Mill. I’m learning more and more how to use it, still basic stuff, but things I’m not really sure how I would have made without it.






I chose to make these from my stash of boxwood. I like the yellow cedar but boxwood works better for more intricate pieces, it is a harder wood and holds shape nicely. The boxwood and yellow cedar are complimentary on the model, adding just a little tone difference. Chuck’s mini-kits come in both woods, I chose the boxwood for all of mine, even the ones I painted.




Next up is making the 6mm deadeyes. I made a simple jig to line up the three pieces, a small center and two outer pieces, basically a vanilla Oreo cookie, glued together after removing the char.




I wanted to give the deadeyes a little character, a bit too neat right off the sheet, so I tumbled them in this MicroMart block tumbler. It has a 220 grit sandpaper bottom, sides, and a 4 part spindle also covered with 220 grit. I connected the spindle to my drill, tossed the blocks inside and spun it until I liked what came out. Two things if you haven’t used one of these; I was more successful with it sideways as shown and I needed to reverse the drill (as in screw out not in) to match the the sandpaper. I’m left-handed so maybe I assembled it backwards, I do that on occasion, it’s a right-hander’s world. I finished them up with wipe-on poly. 




Then is was time for me to become a blacksmith and work in metal, I'd put it off as long as I could. I approached this step with a bit of trepidation. The monograph was clear enough on what to do, I just wasn’t sure how I was going to make 6 (near) identical backstays and 8 (near) identical chainplates from a strip of brass. For starters, it hadn’t been easy to find the right thickness and width of brass, but fortunately I’d completed this hunt a few months ago. Now I have enough to make 176 chainplates, just in case. My first step, seemingly as always, was to find out how many different tools I could use - this is just a sample. I always hand drill everything made of wood with pin vises. However, this cheap battery powered drill was essential to drill the holes in the brass, I’d have been twisting forever otherwise. The vise from the Proxxon mill proved equally handy off the mill to firmly hold the pieces.




To make both the backstays and chainplates requires a bit of shaping and filing. I kept the shape simple so I could repeat it multiple times, jewelry making is not in my future. I of course could have filed these by hand, but hey, there is a mill sitting right there. It was slow going, for me, to set zeros on two of three axis for each side, 22 times (I did the backstays working from the center as shown in the previous photograph). 




Having finally completed the chainplates it was time to determine the proper angles using a temporary mask and string, a process most of us know and applies to any model (well not modern war ships I suppose).




With the holes marked and drilled then it’s a dry fit to confirm everything is lined up. I only needed about a third of the length to attach the strops, but I didn’t know that when I was making them.




And then off to the blackening station. I chose to blacken rather than paint these. The result is a more worn, gun metal look.  I was originally going to paint them Iron Work Black like other parts of the model but then decided I liked these. I think it provides a little character, more of a ‘I didn’t buy these from the store’ look.




I normally like to explain how I did something in the hopes it will help others in some way, or at least provide a way they don’t want to do it. I had someone ask me recently in a PM to explain how I did seizings, so I went into great detail and even linked a YouTube video. The person replied, oh I don’t want to do it like that. Sigh...


Anyway, my advice for making deadeye strops is go find another build log. I had to learn every step of the way here. I’ve never soldered anything for a model, never used solder paste (though its kinda cool, you apply it, hit with a torch and it flashes into a finished connection). Now I’m going to use it for some ring bolts just for fun. I had many fails. First make a circle and solder the opening (ok, got it, at least after I learned how to use the solder) then shape that around the deadeye in the traditional shape, Pop, there went the solder joint, start over. I settled on a length of wire 22mm long. I couldn't get 21mm to work without the joint popping while bending it around the deadeye, I started with 24mm, tried 23mm - really these small differences mattered - they were too big, so 22mm it was. After many attempts I got 8 to shaped around the deadeyes and mounted on the chainplates. So yes, I made it all myself from brass strip and black wire. But I’m not the one to ask on best practices even though it turned out ok and I held to my standard of doing it over until I got it right.




This stage took me a full month. Of course it was partially due to Snowageddon here in Texas, rolling power outages, the lowest temperatures since 1949, real snow to play in with the grandkids. I was playing outside with them on a Friday after it finally warmed up to 24 (F) degrees (from below zero earlier in the week). On Monday, three days later, it reached 76 (F) degrees…Texas…


I admit was frustrated a bit during this phase, so many fails. I thought more than once to use some retail ready fittings in lieu of my own but none would really work without cheapening the model, and I would have regretted it later. I am glad I did it all myself, I would encourage anyone who gets this point to do the same, if I can anyone can. The next time a model calls for metal work I now have some experience, I bet I could do it in half the number of fails.


On to fun stuff, I'm not far from finishing the hull. I'm going to finish making everything including the bowsprit before gluing anything on.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you were mildly entertained.


Edited by glbarlow
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I appreciate all the likes and those taking the time to comment. For Chuck to refer to my post as outstanding is special. I can respond that Cheerful has been and continues to be an outstanding experience. Thanks to all for the encouragement. I hope the log helps others to enjoy this model as much as I have. 

8 hours ago, MEDDO said:

Gives me some inspiration


7 hours ago, Chuck said:



6 hours ago, JpR62 said:

always so detailed and informative.


5 hours ago, Edwardkenway said:

great informative log


4 hours ago, DelF said:

echo what these guys have said


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I really can't say much more than has already been said..  You have made an attention to detail that I am not ready to tackle yet, but I will be referring to your methods often, in an effort to improve my skills.


Something that caught my attention is the grain detail on your planking.  It wasn't as obvious on the long shots of the hull, but now with the closeups of your channels, it really pops.

It reminds me of curly maple.  Beautiful !

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Wow Glenn a lot of progress since I last looked in, very nice iron work, and Cheerful is looking splendid.

Your post on making the boom crutches brought back memories of much fiddling time getting those angles right, happy days. 🙄



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