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joep4567

Chaperon by joep4567 - 1:48 - Sternwheeler

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I'm currently building a Revolutionary War brig and it is coming along ok but i have watched some threads on paddlewheel kit construction so i ordered some Chaparon plans to get me started. My thinking is that in the event i tire of one i would switch to the other for a while. Anyway I thought i might be able to scratch build this one. The idea is not have what is historically accurate but rather a representation of the period in general. I would really like input from other folks on what i'm doing as i have no ship building experience. I decided to try another method of hull construction as opposed to planking because the flat bottom lends itself to another. I used the full scale keel plan from the kit and made to sides with the intent of a flat plywood bottom. I rabbited  the sides for the bottom and rounded over the exterior sides.

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I thought the next step would be to create a fullscale plan view of the deck and use it to build a thin plywood subdeck which will be overlayed with planking.

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There's a good argument for not planking the bottom, which can't really be seen. Are you going to plank the sides, which are visible, or are you figuring that paint and the low viewing angle will obscure the wood grain and joints? Certainly, it may not matter if your goal is a representation in a certain style rather than an accurate scale model. Interested to see where you take this idea.

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It would help me if someone with the Chaperon would give me the dimensions of the recess for the paddlewheel.

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4 hours ago, joep4567 said:

dimensions of the recess for the paddlewheel.

I thought you said you had purchased plans, wouldn't that be part of the plans? I don't have plans, but there are a lot of Chaperon builders here who will find your log soon and help you out.

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the plans are not at full scale ( for the most part ) so it requires interpolation ( i think that is the correct term) which is possible but i just thought it easier for someone who had the model in hand.

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I decided that maybe the correct approach was to make the paddlewheel and then design the hull opening around it. I came up with what i thought is a suitable diameter and draw up a pattern to follow. The first step was to cut out the hubs followed by milling the spoke pieces. Using the pattern and a jig i assembled the spokes for the first wheel. Three more to go. The wheels will be mounted on a 3/16 shaft.

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When building paddlewheels from scratch, I've found it surprisingly difficult to get them all perfectly the same, and even tiny variations will ripple throughout the wheel once you try to line up all the spokes with straight buckets (the horizontal planks that tie the spokes together). It can help to define your first wheel as the pattern, then build each subsequent one directly on top, using clamps or pins to guarantee that they match.

 

It also helps to clearly mark one spoke as the starting point for when you try to line them up later. Again, even tiny variations in the pattern will cause problems later, so knowing which is spoke A on each ring is really helpful, as is which way it should be oriented (mark the starboard or port side of each ring). Otherwise you can end up rotating them around like tumblers in a lock, trying to find the right combination.

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thanks a lot for the advice as i was aware of discrepancies but didn't realize the impact it would have when i got to plank assembly. Any other bits of wisdom?

 

 

 

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I got all 4 wheels of the paddlewheel built and have them mounted on the shaft with sized spacers. The spokes of the wheels appear to be in sufficiently good alignment to allow attaching the buckets without too much fitting (thankyou cathead).

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I got the planks for the paddlewheel done and mounted so that pretty much completes the wheel. I made the pillow blocks and mortised them into the cylinder timbers and attached them with bolts. The bolts will get washers in the final assembly

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