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It's a bit crazy to think it has been nearly 3 months since I've done anything with the Winnie.  I had gotten really busy at work and fallen into a bit of a funk from fairing the interior.  I thought taking a few weeks off might have been the medicine I needed and although it took a little bit longer, my head is back in the game.  My goal is a strake a day; maybe two on the weekends, so should finish planking around the end of April, maybe a little bit sooner.

 

Yesterday, I decided to start from the stern and found the travel iron did a great job bending planks over the filler piece.  I was also pleasantly surprised that the spring clamps made good purchase on where the planks meet the lower tuck.

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The joints appear to clean up alright when I sand then back flush to the tuck.

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but the joint is so thin that edges start chipping out when I sand the curve back into them.  I'm going to need to change my process a little bit and start glueing down from the stern to improve the seams.

 

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My first attempt at edge bending went pretty well.  Not perfect, but it was a lot easier than I thought it would be and added a good deal of confidence.

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My second attempt took 4 tries and it still seems like magic.  Can't believe how such a simple tweak to planking makes planking the bow fun.

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Probably will hold off on updates until I finish up each belt unless I run into some sort of disaster or epiphany.

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Posted (edited)

I've been planking away the past couple days and decided to change up my workflow a little bit.  Rather than focus on a strake at a time and having to change technique with each plank, I decided to focus on planking the bow of belt 1, then moving to the stern of belt 1.  The first 2 bow planks went in without problem, but then I really struggled with the third one.  After about 6 or 7 times back at the bending station  and then during the final test fitting I managed to break the plank across the bow filler.  Deep breaths and a fair bit of cursing later, I re-made the plank and realized I needed to tweak my process or I was just going to frustrate myself.  

 

The good thing about having a busted plank with the appropriate bend intact means I had a pretty close template to match the general curve for the first bend.

 

I repurposed my beat up chopper when I was test bending and it worked well enough that I decided to keep using it.  I start by spiling and bending the plank per Chucks videos. 

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I then heat bend the plank on the bow filler while on the ship.  I now know exactly where I need to adjust the plank.  The only small snag is the plank no longer lays flat.   

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Simply a matter of transferring the reference mark to the opposite side of the plank and clamping in front of the plank on the opposite side.

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The first belt is complete on the starboard side.  I'll finish up the port side this weekend and then move to the stern.  I lightly sanded the first 3 planks between the bow filler and frame W as I did get a little clinker effect initially, but that has subsided once W flattens.

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I know if left to my own devices and not edge bending the planks, I'd be super frustrated right now.  So far, so good though.

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A week ago, I never would have thought planking the bow would be the (most) fun part.  

Edited by Greg M
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Thanks so much for the likes folks.  

 

Finished the first belt today and I feel a certain degree of accomplishment.  There were a whole lot of highs and lows.  I decided to sand each side with 60 grit and 100 grit as I finished up the belt in case there were any major defects that might get hidden until later.  This post in particular may come off as more frustrated than I am as it will be a lot of pictures of me messing things up and then fixing them 😀.  I figure if nothing else, it will be a good reminder for me down the road of what not to do when I look back and hopefully it may be help others avoid the same pitfall.  In actuality, I can't wait to start on the 2nd belt tomorrow.

 

When I came back to work on the stern, I realize I had made a complete mess of the first couple planks as they met the tuck.   I was blind glueing them and hoping the clamp was applying enough pressure.  It was not and I realized without changing my method I was going to be in for a boatload of hurt  the closer I got to the keel and it wouldn't help my skillset much if I ever built a ship without the trim work to cover the errors.  In fact, the seam was so poor on the 2nd plank of the port belt after I sanded that I needed to splice in a little piece.  I'm not sure if it the seam will be visible yet once the trim piece gets applied, but if so, I feel comfortable that I can inlay a better patch.  

 

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I found spiling the plank, running a fingertip of water, clamping and using the travel iron over the filler piece did a great job of bending the the plank to the necessary angle.  Previously, at this stage, I cut the plank and then attempted to glue it all at once.  This was a mess as the previous picture attests.  Simply cutting it, then clamping it into position and running the iron across it again, made a world of difference

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I was now able to apply a tiny dot of glue on the front of the filler piece and the joint between the plank and the tuck and walked away for about 10 minutes to make sure it set up.  At that point, the plank glued down without any fuss.

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This shot gives good visual of the dangers of blind glueing including the 2 planks directly below the wales.  Happy with the final four planks of each belt.  Just a little bit of glue cleanup necessary still.

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After sanding, I flipped the ship over to check the run of the planks and it's pretty obvious there is a problem with the run at the bow pinching in on the port side.  I flipped it back over, ran a chisel blade behind frame W and popped the plank.  I was able to use a shim and the iron to remove the dip.  Finally, I glued in a piece of .25mm off cut from the black strake behind plank extending to the end of the 2nd belt.  It looks much thicker in the pictures than it is.  

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Updated shots at the bow.  

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Now that the major errors are fixed, time to get started on the second belt.  I also still have to paint the underside of the wales, but I'll probably wait until after I've finished all the heavy sanding.

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Your planking is looking great, Greg!  I had to shim mine in a few places.  You’re wise to wait on finishing painting the wales.  I kept finding reasons to sand the hull a little more and kept messing up the paint on the wales.

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Thanks Matt and for the likes.  As I've been working my way up the second belt, the stern has needed some shims.  When I was fairing, I was worrying about not sanding enough and appears that I over sanded a bit.  The bright side it's a lot easier to sand a cedar shim down than birch plywood.

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Ugh!  Tragedy struck today...although after a little bit of time, I realize it's an opportunity.

 

That first time you do something, it never comes out as well as the second.  The starboard planking on the 2nd belt at the stern was coming together much more cleanly than the port side and I started to think maybe just a little more sanding will straighten the lines...well, they weren't glue joints and I managed to sand through a couple planks.  Once cooler heads prevailed, I realized I wasn't happy  with them anyway and I could carefully remove the entire belt at the stern and do it right.  The run of the first plank on the belt was a little wonky at the final bulkhead and it threw off the next few planks.  Although it's frustrating losing a couple days of work, I wasn't particularly happy with it and was able to carefully cut back and remove enough planking without any major damage.  The biggest difficulty will be not aggressive sanding the old planking as I don't want to thin it out any more.

 

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So tomorrow will begin round 2 of the port stern.

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Greg,

You have no idea how many times I end up doing things. You at least have the courage to post your mistakes to let folks learn from. Me, I kinda bury the mistakes and admit to many but rarely show them. It's how we learn and you must admit, we get so much better after each foul-up. I'm about 2-3 days away from starting the bottom of my hull. For sure I will be following yours!

 

Ron

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Thanks Matt and Ron.  As much as I hate mistakes, there’s definitely much more of a lesson to be learned having to redo something after the fact.   I figure by documenting it, it may save someone else some time, avoid the same mistake and give reference to myself as to pitfalls on future projects.

 

I’ve learned a lot and have been kicking myself for not spending more time looking inboard as I’ve been sanding to look for thinning spots.  At the same time, I have already backed off on edge glueing as I was realizing trying to clean up glue stains was causing me to sand excessively and also hiding some seams that became more apparent as I sanded. 

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Hi Greg, i experienced a lot of the same problems. If you want to edge glue you still can, use scotch brite pads soaked in denatured alcohol and that will take the excess glue off without taking away the wood. I was doing the same thing and getting too thin in the stern, it’s a tough part of the model to plank.
Also try planking from the stern and join the bow and stern strake in the middle, it makes that joint at the counter a lot easier to handle.

JJ

Edited by scrubbyj427
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Thanks a lot.  I have both Scotch brite and denatured alcohol on hand, so will give that a try tomorrow.  There are a few glue spots that I need to remove that I don't want to sand back any more.  

 

I remembered you giving the advice about joining the strake in the middle several months ago and have been doing that since the beginning.  I repaired 2 strakes today where I couldn't remove the middle plank and it added an extra 20 minutes or so each time.  Joining the strake at the middle makes life a whole lot easier.

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Better repair and do it better righr now, than looking it from your lazy armchair in a few years from now and thinking you should have corrected it back then...
She's looking very nice to my eyes Greg!

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Thanks Frank.   It took me a little longer than expected, but I've repaired the damage and finished up the first two belts.  JJ, the alcohol worked like a charm to remove the glue stains without removing wood.  Thanks again for that advice.

 

I had always thought the hardest plank was going to be the one at the stern that bridged the tuck and sternpost, but this turn out to be pretty simple once the piece was fit at the stern.  The next plank though; the first one solely on the sternpost has been my bugbear.  Not sure what others have found difficult, but if there has been one particular item in this whole build so far that's been a struggle no matter how many time I made it, it was that one.  So many changes in geometry and no good clamping angles where even a little miscalculation when glueing up with CA glue ended up damaging the piece.  Even now, I haven't had the aha moment after crafting it about 6 times between the 2 sides.  

 

Overall I'm happy with the results and I can see where the urge to restart the project comes from.  There are a couple minor visible gaps/chips on the port side where the repaired strakes joined the originals, but the overall run is much better than before.  I sanded to 220 and gave it a couple coats of WOP to protect and keep it clean while I move on to the next belt.

 

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and from starboard

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That looks excellent, Greg!  Planking this model is a big job.  For me, it seemed like it would never end.  The part I found most challenging was getting the transition from the counter to the stern post to look good.  Yours looks to be in good shape.  I found that the third belt looked like even the 5/16" planks would not be wide enough right at the stern post and I was afraid I'd come up short.  But the first few planks are pitching up and that angle gives them a little bit more width where they meet the stern post.  I needed that in mine.  That may be useful information to you or it might just give away the errors in mine.

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Thanks guys.  Matt, I took a huge sigh of relief once those transition pieces went in and laid flat and had the same exact concerns as I'm getting ready to start the 4th belt, so I went back, re-ticked and came up with the same markings.  I'll take it as a leap of faith.

 

I think the one change I will make in the future is to either use a lighter lead or only pencil one side of the plank.   I'm a fan of bold caulking, but there's so much contrast with that it accentuates the flaws as much as highlights the details.

 

Final chance to look at it upright before the planking is complete.  I can see the benefit of planking the 4th belt and working up from the keel before finishing with the 3rd belt.  There's a little synch issue starting to creep in and if I continue along with the 3rd belt, I'll either make it worse or struggle to catch up.

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At a normal viewing angle, I can't see much if any of residual chipping from the repair job, so large sigh of relief.

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On my first Winnie I made an awful job of the planking below the wales  where it twists up to meet the underside of the transom. I found it a lot easier second time round after studying other logs. Yours has come out really well. You are well on your way to a fine ship.

All the best

Fred

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Thanks Fred...appreciate the kind words.  Planking the Winnie has been exhausting, but extremely rewarding.  About 3/4 through the fourth belt and I've stopped edge glueing, am only using wood glue at the rabbet and am picking my planks by thickness much better; my first couple billets had a lot of variance that I tried sanding my way out.  No more 60 or even 100 grit being used.  My planks are fitting better with just a couple planks that slipped off the rabbet a touch and had to be pulled and redone.  Realized I haven't been taking pictures because I haven't had a cautionary tale on this belt.

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Belt number 4 is officially in the books.  I thoroughly enjoyed every strake on this belt.  I think the biggest difficulty with this belt was getting a good fit into the stem rabbet, but there were no excessively frustrating moments.  A couple mistakes I wish I had caught sooner.  I don't think I hit the tick marks quite right at the stern, so I didn't quite get enough of a rise at the sternpost.  Probably 3/64" off and hoping I won't need a stealer, but think I can make it up in the final belt.

 

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Sanded and a couple coats of WOP applied.  I'll get the tape back on tomorrow and get cracking on the final belt.  

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With the 3rd belt, I'm thinking the final strake will be the most difficult/time consuming due to fit.  Just wondering if there's a best practice as to which strake will make it the easiest.  Have folks had an easier time continuing to plank away from the keel or towards it or alternating?

 

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Before you get there, the last plank seems intimidating.  But when you get there, it’s pretty straightforward.  Just take your time on the fit and make sure you are happy with your tick marks as you get closer to it. 

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Thanks Chuck, Matt, Rusty and all the likes.  Appreciate the feedback; overthinking a bit too much.  

 

Planking continues.  My estimate for completion of planking was the end of April and I should just about hit it.

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Whew...big day today. The bow planking is complete.  156 planks down, 28 to go and (knock on wood) no tricky ones.  Sanded and applied a couple coats of WOP to protect the planking up to this point...Tape will go back on tomorrow

 

I chose the short plank to be the final one.  The port side was done first and I started continuing the 4th belt and planking away from the keel before alternating and planking from the 2nd belt towards it.  because there was more of a bend to each plank closer to the 2nd belt and I had used all my clamping space up, getting a good tight fit was very difficult.  Just enough spring left in the planks to cause difficulties with the old finger clamps.

  

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On the starboard side, I switched the order and it was much easier.  

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I'm pretty happy overall.  There are more than a few mistakes, but definitely the most symmetrical hull I've ever built.  The tick strips made all the difference in the world.  

 

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Need to start thinking about building a cradle now.

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