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French cutter Le_Cerf (1779-1780) by shipphotographer.com - Scale 1:48


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The Le_Cerf's keel was laid in my shipyard in June 2014. In AutoCad I drew the bulkheads with steps in them for the clinker planking, which speeded up the planking with narrowing only in the bow and stern. To provide a larger area of adhesion, the spaces in the stern and the bow are filled with alder wood. First were planked the transom and the stern counter. I decided not to use paint, but to make all the details of artificially blackened hornbeam. Clinker planking is made of swiss pear. The carvings will be made from European boxwood. As this will be my first attempt at carving, I hope my deer will not look like a cow. 

 

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I made the mistake of listening to the older generation of shipmodelers who argued that using the steps in the bulkheads will not let me lay the planking fairly. For this reason I cut the half-finished clinker planking (as it turned out, my method of planking was very strong - barely managed to remove the strakes) and completely filled the spaces between the frames with alder. Following the advice given me, I also cut off the notches for the planking strakes from the bulkheads. Now, in order to glue one strake of planking, it was necessary to use a bracing timber to clamp the plank and prevent it from slipping. Because of this planking became a very slow process. No more than one strake a day could be made, as I had to wait for it to dry completely. Also, the gluing area has decreased, because each board no longer lay flat against the bulkhead, but only a narrow edge bore upon it and on the previous strake. Only in the bow and stern, where the clinker planks lie flat on the frames, did they have enough surface for the glue. My experience convinced me that that the first variant is stronger and more reliable. I ought to have followed through with my original plan and learn from my own mistakes, instead of listening to the advice of the older generation, which does not have experience of AutoCad and laser-cutting.

 

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At the same time began to work on the keel, the stem and the sternpost. For these I again used Asutrian (pink) pear and blackened hornbeam. I am using a table saw for this, though, of course, this could be done with AutoCad drawings for laser cutting. However, the laser doess not give a 100% perpendicular cut and for this reason I decided to make the details by hand. Besides, this proved to be a very interesting process of fitting the scarphs and faying the pieces together. At this stage work on the model was interrupted in January 2017, as I was commissioned to build a large model on a tight schedule. 

 

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After a break of more than 3 years:

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Work on the model was renewed in March 2020. This stage of the work on La Cerf is already being carried out in a new country, in a new workshop. The work will follow a new methodology and will tell about it in the proper order. At last I completed the clinker planking and replaced the walnut gunport frames with pear, as the grain of the walnut did not match well with the pear. I used a soldering iron to remove the old pieces and glued in new frames. The pear I used was kiln-dried with oak and had obtained yellow-brown color. The cills will be installed after the completion of the outside planking.

 

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Then began building the transom with the help of a frying pan, which had the right radius for bending the planks. For the construction, I used soft poplar and built a support structure which will hold the transom in the right position until the completion of planking. I have begun mounting the wales and clean the planking from glue remains and fairing the surfaces for attaching the stem and sternposts. The wales are made of hornbeam, a hard, but workable material that acceptable bending characteristics. During the long interruption in construction, the transition to the new place, a few pieces of the stern post and the blank for the stem were lost...

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At the same time I was building the longboat of Le Cerf. You can see the whole process in the video. 

 

 

After the completion of the clinker planking and the wales, I finally added the keel and the stern post. Only part of the stem was mounted at this time. The rest will be added when the planking is completed. It was time to nail the planks and for this I manufactured 3500 naisl. Hopefully this will be enough for the entire hull. 

 

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Before I could turn over the hull, I had to drill for and drive 2175 spikes (this is only for the clinker planking and the transom).
 

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Placing the hull right side up in the stocks is a key moment when the model finally begins to look like a real ship. The next stage of planking would be more easily accomplished with the vessel being right side up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today I came across this building report by chance. 
Since I myself am very interested in French shipbuilding, I am very pleased to see such a beautifully built hull from the Le Cerf. 
In the meantime I have also looked at several of your models and admire your skills. Therefore I am sure that the Le Cerf will be a wonderful model.
 

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Hi.
 I really like Le Cerf and particularly the clinker hull. Your craftswomanship is of an exceptionally high standard. This will definitely be a build I will follow. I remember seeing your build at the beginning several years ago on an eastern European modeling site. It was a little difficult to follow using a translator app back then and frustrating. Here will be a lot easier and more enjoyable by far.

 

Welcome to your new country and wecome to MSW. You will make a lot of new friends here.

 

Kurt

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11 hours ago, shipphotographer.com said:

I made the mistake of listening to the older generation of shipmodelers who argued that using the steps in the bulkheads will not let me lay the planking fairly.

I own the ANCRE monograph of Le Cerf.  I worked on lofting the frames for POF.   When I encountered the notches in the frames for the planks, the idea of doing that was more than I cared to attempt.  The framing style displayed in the monograph is unique to say the least.  I find the hull too small to offer much viewing joy if left unplanked.  Starting with base of a fully planked hull,  I opted to develop my theoretical plan of construction with all bends and scantlings that match a hull of that size in that era.  The traditional method of clinker assembly has the lands cut from the planks.   I speculate that full scale framing timbers would be a bit thick for a laser cutter to cut the notches.  I would not attempt to cut the notches in the timbers of 100 frames by hand.

 

Your work has shown me several things:

The efficiency of using a laser cutter to produce the proper notches in the moulds on a POB build.

That there is a method to the madness of the original builders in choosing the cut the lands into the much thicker framing instead of the thin planks.

As long as the notches are done correctly, the actual planking is idiot proof.  It is much more difficult to misplace a strake run.

That the planking went much more quickly for you using notches suggests that it was also faster for the full size builders. Even if they did not have the glue setup time as a factor.

Cutting the lands into each plank probably required more skill and experience as well as more time on the part of the shipwrights.

 

I thank you for running the experiment.  It was edifying and useful.  I expect that it was unintended and frustrating on your part, but it was valuable for those of us who can learn from it.

 

And,  if the results of my searches have been anywhere close for what is available,  you will find that Pear is a lot more difficult to find and expensive and Hornbeam near impossible on this side of the Atlantic.

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1 hour ago, Kurt Johnson said:

Olha, 

 

I just was looking at your website which is very well done and it will be interesting going through all it’s sections.

 

Regards,

 

Kurt

Thank you, Kurt!


I'm just translating the site into English. And for now there are a lot of Google translators!
Now it's a little difficult for me to write, because I just started learning English, so I will have more photos than text)))

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44 minutes ago, Jaager said:

I own the ANCRE monograph of Le Cerf.  I worked on lofting the frames for POF.   When I encountered the notches in the frames for the planks, the idea of doing that was more than I cared to attempt.  The framing style displayed in the monograph is unique to say the least.  I find the hull too small to offer much viewing joy if left unplanked.  Starting with base of a fully planked hull,  I opted to develop my theoretical plan of construction with all bends and scantlings that match a hull of that size in that era.  The traditional method of clinker assembly has the lands cut from the planks.   I speculate that full scale framing timbers would be a bit thick for a laser cutter to cut the notches.  I would not attempt to cut the notches in the timbers of 100 frames by hand.

 

Your work has shown me several things:

The efficiency of using a laser cutter to produce the proper notches in the moulds on a POB build.

That there is a method to the madness of the original builders in choosing the cut the lands into the much thicker framing instead of the thin planks.

As long as the notches are done correctly, the actual planking is idiot proof.  It is much more difficult to misplace a strake run.

That the planking went much more quickly for you using notches suggests that it was also faster for the full size builders. Even if they did not have the glue setup time as a factor.

Cutting the lands into each plank probably required more skill and experience as well as more time on the part of the shipwrights.

 

I thank you for running the experiment.  It was edifying and useful.  I expect that it was unintended and frustrating on your part, but it was valuable for those of us who can learn from it.

 

And,  if the results of my searches have been anywhere close for what is available,  you will find that Pear is a lot more difficult to find and expensive and Hornbeam near impossible on this side of the Atlantic.

Thank you for your post! If my experience was of any use to you, I am very happy to hear it! As far as Pear availability and cost are concerned - you are spot on! I already discovered this myself. As to blackened Hornbeam, I will have to buy this when I next visit Kyiv. 

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Lovely work, Olha. I think a clinker planked hull is much more interesting than a carvel planked one. The notched frames method would seem ideal for laser cutting but I also note that M. Frolich, when he built his Coureur, was able to cut these notches by hand (in case one doesn't have access to laser cutting).  I just subscribed to your chanel and there is some great content there.

 

It's also a pleasure to welcome a younger member here. Stick to your guns. Just because we old timers have done something one way for decades doesn't mean that's the only way. Technology and innovation in ship model making will hopefully recruit younger, tech savy  people to this aging hobby.

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Olha,

 

I remember back when I was following your build, I thought how insane is cutting all those bulkhead notches!! I never realized they were laser cut. Maybe you are a mere mortal and one of us! LOL. I never understood the picture you show were you are cutting through your planking with the rotary tool. Now I do.

 

Kurt

 

 

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