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US Brig Syren by Redshadowrider - Model Shipways - Scale 1:64 - First wooden ship build


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I am going to attempt to create a build log that is somewhat different.  It is intended to follow my first ship construction including both the good and bad that occurs.  I have built and flown RC Aircraft for about 18 years now, and have some experience with wood construction.  However, I know that what I am starting is quite different.  I have to stop building planes since some are now so big, they barely fit in my pickup bed.  That being said, I will gladly take advice and comments as I go along.  

Since there are numerous build logs by experienced builders here, I will try to stay with a photo log and keep the writing to a minimum.  It will be mostly from a newbie point of view any way, and I am not sure what tips and skills will convert from planes to ships.  So here we go....

 

First, I needed to add some items to my tool box/bench.  Not much need for a 9mm wrench, hex wrenches, or other larger tools.  So I bought some diamond files, spring clamps in different sizes, and built my own building board that can be seen in the pictures.  I used scrap wood I had laying around, added a lazy susan to be able to turn the model 360 degrees if needed.  I built clamp devices that will allow me to turn over the build when I begin planking.  To keep the table from spinning, I put in two blind nuts and a butterfly screw on each side.  This will allow me to clamp it from either side so it will stay put.  

 

Today, I was able to begin the first step..... 

 

Hoist Anchor and get under way.  😃

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As indicated, this is a newbie build reporting good and bad by the builder..  (me)  I am hopeful to keep this to a minimum

 

NEWBIE Mistake #1 -  Read a page ahead on next steps, and forgot to go back to the page I was on.  Not a big deal as it has been resolved, but I need to be more careful.

   

 I started gluing the stem knee on before I had carved the beard line.  Probably not a big mistake, but it would have made carving much more difficult and possible damage to the stem knee.  Caught it, cleaned both parts of the residual glue, and now moving on to the carving.  (LOL...need some small chisels first though.)

 

Considering these:  https://www.amazon.com/Power-Carving-Tools-Seven-Piece/dp/B0037MI3K2

 

ALSO - LOL on the jack stands...  They are from Harbor Freight and have been recalled...due to the virus, just haven't taken them back in.  😁  Will sell cheap...

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1 hour ago, Redshadowrider said:

NEWBIE Mistake #1 -  Read a page ahead on next steps, and forgot to go back to the page I was on.  Not a big deal as it has been resolved, but I need to be more careful.

 

I've been there...done that...and I still keep doing that!!  So don't feel bad.  Steady on... 

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Now that the mistake was resolved, I have started the true next step, carving the bearding line.  As you know, the bearding line along the bottom that it is difficult to carve without hitting the rabbet.  It leaves me with a question in the intent.   I know that the rabbet is a slot for the planking.  Is the intent to remove enough material so that the planking is hitting the bulkheads only?  If so, I can slide in bulkheads 2 at a time and sight between them to ensure clearance.  I have done a search on it and still am confused a little.

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Many people approach this differently ... I actually rough carved the bearding line and the lower edge of the bulkhead former (big center piece which holds the frames) before I put the small section of wood which actually 'creates' the rabbet.  It might be a bit risky, but for me it was a bit easier as I am horrible at sanding.

 

The intent of the rabbet is to give the garboard strake (that first plank that sits against the rabbet and runs along the frames) a slot to sit in, as well as the terminating ends of your planks at the bow and stern.  It makes planking a bit easier.

 

I'm still a novice...but the rabbet definitely helps!

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I am thinking that I also have to keep the planking free from any obstruction between the bulwarks.  That will avoid the occasional bulge if the plank hits it on the backside.  I will see more when I test fit each bulwark.  ...and, I have a wood carving chisel set on order. I think I will be ok.  I just got nervous carving away wood.  😁

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This morning, I tried a different approach to carving along the bearding line.  I think this will help me visualize what amount of wood I need to remove beyond what the different drawings show.

I removed 3 bulwarks from the laser cut template and used them to see where they fell along the bearding line.  Since I started carving already, here is how I am using them.  I took each bulwark and placed it on top of the hull at the spot where they will be glued into place.  By doing this, I will be able to see where, and how much of the hull to remove along the bearding line.  Time will tell if this works as I move forward and stern.  (Tip...Just make sure you put the bulwark, in the right place for the visual.)  😉

 

 

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Finally I have started carving the bearding line.  The pictures are of the stern portion on the port side.  I did order and received the chisels that I noted in a previous post.  I gotta say that a good chisel is worth it.  I know those that I ordered are not top of the line, bu they came recommended.  I have included two pictures, but details are hard to see.  OHHH,  for a macro-lense ....LOL    

 

I will post again after completing the bearding line. both port and starboard sides.

 

First bearding line pics.

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Progress Made

Although it is hard to see because of the color of the light ply, I have completed the bearding line on both starboard and port sides.  It is now ready for the knee stem and keel.  

 

Newbie tips:  You can see in the pictures the tools that I used.  Although the instructions show an x-acto knife being used, I found it a lot easier using a good chisel (pictured).  I also used the emory board, and sanding stick in the hard to get places and I was pleased with the outcome.  As far as the rubber bands and CA applicator, I recommend that you keep them handy along with extra thin CA in the applicator.  You will and I mean will, at some point slice into the rabbet and you will need to pause to fix it.  The CA applicator, and rubber bands make for a quick fix.  (I know you don't have to ask how I know that.. )  😉

 

Onto the kneed stem and keel.IMG_5503.thumb.JPG.c1decd6a6255830b9686476cc428e128.JPG

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Just a thought - alternatively, you can carve the bearding line/rabbet curvature into the bulkhead former without the rabbet piece glued on...then glue on later.  This is what I did and it made the carving a bit less stressful.  Alternatively, you can glue on the piece using PVA glue (spot glue at certain points to keep it on) then carve the keel.  Afterwards, remove the rabbet piece (a bit of water at the points used to glue it on) and add a new rabbet piece (nice a clean).  

 

You did a great job carving!  I used also chisel (mini chisel I got from Micromark).  Fun stuff!

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Keel and Knee Stem are in place, and glued.  Just clamped up and now watching glue dry 😄  

 

Cut the bulkheads from the light ply board and cleaned them up.  

 

And thanks, Overworked, you are absolutely right about the next model.  I did that a lot in the RC plane hobby, so It's something this house is familiar with.  I have, I think, a total of 15 planes of flyable condition from 40" wingspan all the way up to 83" ..  I had to start building smaller.  😁

 

NEX STEP:     On to CHAPTER 2!

 

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My advice - do yourself a favor and don't leave the overage from the keel section longer than an inch beyond the edge of the stern post.  I left mine a bit long and during planking feel like I got away with one of two catastrophes when I accidentally hooked the extended section of the keel.  

 

By the way - love your stand!  Lazy susan was a great idea!!

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Question on Bulkheads:  In the Chapter 2 instructions, I have started going through the bulkhead fitting.  At the same time, I am checking the alignment  for bulkhead former to see how close to 90 degrees they are.  Have completed sanding and fitting from the stern to the bulkhead that has a O ..with an X through it.  The instructions say to face the numbered bulkheads to the stern and the lettered ones facing the bow.  Does it matter with the O with an X in it?  Stern or Bow?   LOL

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2 hours ago, Redshadowrider said:

Question on Bulkheads:  In the Chapter 2 instructions, I have started going through the bulkhead fitting.  At the same time, I am checking the alignment  for bulkhead former to see how close to 90 degrees they are.  Have completed sanding and fitting from the stern to the bulkhead that has a O ..with an X through it.  The instructions say to face the numbered bulkheads to the stern and the lettered ones facing the bow.  Does it matter with the O with an X in it?  Stern or Bow?   LOL

I don't remember what I had done with mine for that one, but I don't think the orientation matters. I think the letter orientation is just so that the dotted line on the edges lies correctly (dotted lines show where they will need to be beveled). The middle one with the O and X won't need to be manually beveled with a blade since it will naturally have the correct curve once you fair the hull with sandpaper.

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Next step has been completed.  All bulkheads have been placed in their proper positions.  I am happy to report that only 1 or 2 did not sit at a 90 degree angle to the bulkhead former, but they are so close, the strengthening blocks that go in next will certainly take care of that.  

 

Next step is to begin "carving" the bulwarks and bulkheads that need to be shaped.  I have looked over them, I can see that once this is done, the bulkheads will line up correctly with the bearding line.  I am sure some small adjustments will be required, but it doesn't appear to be a huge job ahead.

 

Process Question:  The instructions indicate that I should "carve" the bulwark and bulkheads to shape them to the curve of the hull for planking.  I am wondering if anyone has tried using a Dremel to sand the angles into each?  It seems to me that I am just asking for a bulwark to break even with just a small amount of pressure.

 

 

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Yeah...this is a difficult part.  Fairing the hull (bulwark angles) is key to getting decent planking runs.  If you have one badly faired frame, you can run into problems.  I did use a dremel at this point to trim some bulk of the wood.  The dashed lines on the frames are a guide....not the rule.  Dremel drum sanders take off a LOT in a short time.  So just be careful.  Filler blocks between the frames once they are glued in and true (square with the bulk head former) will stabilize the model.  

 

I think a lot of the builds gloss of this part as it is both labor intensive and boring.  😃  But very very important to get right.

 

Looking good!!!

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Well, I got the carving done on both the fore and aft bulkheads just now.  Still a little to do to firm them up, as I still need to sand the inside of the bulwark.  I may elect to go ahead and put in the spacing blocks, after "firming" up the hull.  Doing the outside with the Dremel Sanding Disk is somewhat tedious, but that's part of the deal.  We have those in RC flying, so I am ok with that.  I now need some 1"X2" stock for the bulkhead spacers and I know that I have wood, but 1X2's is a size I haven't used much.  

 

Process Note: If you have used a Dremel for work like this, I recommend it.  I think it came out more accurate and was easier than using these "newbie" carving hands.  I used, just a sanding disk for 95% of the work and it was a great set up, just by coincidence.  The dremel sanding disk that has the replacement sandpaper disks makes it a good for the coincidences.  1.  The sanding disk radius is the same radius as the thickness of the lite ply.  It's almost like a router sander.  However, since it is sandpaper you are replacing blades quite a bit.  I used the cylinder type on only 1 bulkhead and it was the very first one at the bow.  Most have small amounts wood removed that can be handled with the disk.  The first one has the most wood to be removed.  I started with a sanding cylinder and finished with the sanding disk.  YMMV  😄

 

Here is a pic of the bow... still a little hard to see due to the wood coloring, but here it is.

 

 

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Chapter 2 (continued):

 

Reading the instructions, it covers the process of “fairing” the bulkheads.  It is to be done before gluing the spacer blocks and bulkheads in place.  However, I am thinking that I am going to reverse the steps.  Since I am going to square up each bulkhead as I glue it in place, there will be less of a chance that the bulkhead will move during the fairing process.  Only 1 or 2 bulkheads were not square, and then, a very small amount, so I think the risk of an issue will be very small.

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