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HBMS Amphion 1798 by Matrim - 32 Gun 18pdr Frigate

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And wait and wait while glacial progress occurs.


Speaking of glacial progress it is probably about time for an update with dodgy photos.


I have started on the keel initially by trying out two woods for ease of use and appearance – European Pear and American Cherry. The Pear was easier to ‘work’ but the Cherry looked nicer so the Cherry ‘won’. Once this was decided I then produced lots of blanks to do some practice joints.


When happy with an approximate joint methodology I created yet more 6 inch blanks by cutting on the table saw and then thicknessing to around 0.75 mm larger than required before testing them for straightness.




For the joint I decided to go for the more traditional diagonal scarph and took the following approach.


First up I marked the joint angle on the initial piece and cut it out. I then used this to mark the wood to remove on the next piece.




(Obviously not at the indication above which would be a minuscule keel section..)


I then cut out the shoulder with two to three scroll saw cuts to get a slightly larger ‘gap’




Then the joint was worked down on my lovely Byrnes disk sander (which had come miraculously to life after I used the highly unscientific approach of pulling grumpily all the wires attached to the capacitor in a successful way to stop it behaving like an arthritic hamster after two years in the loft) almost to the line.



This was then matches to the previous piece to ensure the ‘angle’ was correct. I could then stop or adjust further on the sander.




If unhappy then I could use the extra length in the 6 inch blanks to shift the joint slightly and start again.


If happy then I would use a chisel to flatten the area around the shoulder usually by following the flat section of the joint first.




Then finally the joint was tested against a flat surface with my table saw base being the obvious star here.




So I now have a ‘1st team’ of keel pieces that still might get relegated to ‘2nd team practice squad’ dependant on the results of my next (and current) task.


I have just attempted three practice joints using


A -  Black pigment in glue
B – Black pigment in glue but with the exterior wood protected (hohoho) by masking tape
C – Black paint in glue


I don’t particularly want to forstall the obvious excitement in awaiting the results but it does look to me that the ‘squelch’ from the joints has still managed to stain the surrounding wood. My sterling efforts to wipe it clean just appeared to spread the stain over a wider area.


Anyway I do still want to see what joint strength is like and then how much mess remains and how easy it is to remove. If it is hard to remove then I may either re-start with thicker blanks better able to withstand the tidy up operation or perhaps try dark paper.


So my final question is any advice on the best paper type to try and or tips on coloured glue usage which keeps the other wood clean(er)..


Thanks for reading.

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That joint looks perfect!!!


I haven't tried it but some say black tissue, others say any black paper.   But do test it first as I remember someone (I forget who) had the paper bleed when they added the finish.  And be sure to punch a number of holes for the glue to have access to the wood on both sides of the joint. 


For the "squelch".. use a rag with alcohol or water and wipe immediately before it sets.  That seems to be of some help with blackened glue.

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Thanks Mark, I had a brief check of the test joints this morning and the 'glue with paint' was not impressive, the 'pigment with glue unprotected' was a mess and required a lot of sanding mainly because the glue and pigment had soaked into the wood (or the grain at least). The 'pigment with glue and masking taps' was not bad at all though. The glue had partially spread under the masking tape but not outside of the masking tape so though that also required sanding because it was concentrated in one area it was 'proud' of the wood and therefore required less sanding to control. Using 'frog tape' might be a better approach as would perhaps sealing the exterior wood with the tape half an hour prior to applying the glue.


I will sand to cleanliness tonight and then see how much thickness I needed to remove. if it is still at the correct dimensions then I may go with that. If smaller I will probably redo with larger sized base pieces.

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Good approach, Joss.   Would a bit of wipe on poly on the area not to be glued work?  As far as removing the excess glue that is?   I have some PVA that mixed in some pigment powder and it seems pretty strong.  I used it on my stem but I'm just not impressed the way it came out as my joints weren't "perfect". I do need to work on my joinery.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ended up with the pigmented glue again but without the masking tape (it suddenly struck me that the masking tape would prevent the keel from being straight and introduce tiny diagonals).  I found as long as I left enough width to thickness the end result then all appeared well.




Here you can see the tidied 'top' of the keel and the not so tidied side. I will be thicknessing the sides to size after the false keel is attached mainly because that will also introduce lots of extra staining.


My rather unexciting approach is to squidge a small amount of glue into a tam jar lid and then use a chisel to add a small amount of pigment (the chisel is easy to clean). It is then mixed in with some scrap wood until it gets a disgusting texture (and fairly repulsive smell all things considered).




This is then smeared onto both sides of the joint before attaching. With glue I find the key points are


  • Have a well jointed surfaces
  • Secure the joint so it does not move whilst gluing though this does not mean excessive force
  • Leave well alone for the entire setting period (in this case 24 hours)
  • If surfaces smooth rough them up a bit (for wood less important due to woods structure)
  • Don't glue multiples at once. This last stops the first two breaking as adding another piece risks subtly adjusting the initial glued piece and this weakening the joint.


So for this I have used two large clamps to secure a metal straight edge to some scrap but smoothed walnut. This provides two flat surfaces. The keel is then pushed against the ruler and secured with lots of little clamps and then left alone.


The above all appeared to work well and the next step is the false keel. I hit a marginally quandary here as all my helper books seemed to disagree with various things


The Naiad had a depth that matched Steel but used five false keel pieces where Steel states seven

The Euryalus had a depth that matched my plans but also used five keel pieces

The Swan books depth was not relevant as it was a different class and neither was the count for the same reason.


The depth was not a major problem as I always take the plans when Steel or the class Progress book disagree so slightly under 7 inches is what I am looking for plus the Euryalus provides reinforcement that other similar ships also used similar false keel sizes (I wonder if they expected extra leeway in these ships due to the finer hull shape so compensated by a slightly larger false keel). The amount of pieces was more problematic. In the end I decided to follow Steel. Most of the design books state that the False Keel is designed to fall off in pieces to protect the main keel from grounding (and the like). It seems sensible to have more pieces than fewer as otherwise larger sections of the keel could be exposed.


It does not really matter of course but that is in the end what I have decided on.


Joints for the keel were made on the disc sander which coped easily enough with the challenge and I have just started gluing it on using my many little clamps. For this I am ensuring one side is aligned with the keel and the other can poke out. This is because I will be thicknessing the results so need a flat side to keep everything square.






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I've used both pigmented glue and black kraft paper to good effect. Do one further test before you proceed. Liberally apply isopropyl alcohol to a test joint to see if the stain runs during the debonding process. I've had some adjacent pigment bleed during the process. Or, never make a mistake and this won't be an issue.

Edited by dvm27
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Matrim, I've also used paper, paint in glue and dry charred bone black pigment mixed in the glue.  For me the pigment in the glue gave me the best results.  Paper looked nice and was thicker, but sadly the joint was weak.  Greg makes a great point about pigment bleeding during the debonding process. Let's face it, sometimes you don't get something right on first try and have to take joints apart.



Edited by wyzwyk
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When using paper to simulate caulking between joints I make numerous pricks throught the paper everywhere but at the edges before gluing.  Perhaps this allows better glue adhesion. In addition I use bamboo treenails glued, or brass wire epoxied, to reinforce the joint. As yet, I have had no papered joint faliures. The most perfect joints result from using slightly oversized scantlings and reducing them too finished dimensions on the Byrnes thickness sander.

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When using pigments to darken glue, I have found that very little is needed to produce dark glue when dry.  I use about a teaspoon or two to a full six (or is it 8) ounce bottle of Titebond wood glue.  I also found that slurrying the pigment in some watered down glue first - until it is completely syrupey - before mixing with the rest of the glue - improves the result including stronger joints.  I believe this method helps encapsulate the pigment particles in glue and helps with cleanup.  Of course, if alcohol is used to soften a joint later, the glue will disslove and release the free pigment.



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hanks for the 'wise words' all. I will probable end with the 'thicknessing to size' approach. I may have to reset if I have not left enough meat to do this satisfactorily though. One thing I have jsut realised is that I would be better of cutting all the 'blanks' for the keel, false keel and boxing joint before starting. That way I can have an exact width over all the pieces. My current approach had me cutting keel first (completing joints) then false keel etc etc and I am coming to a belated realisation that this has generated extra work for me as I will have to do some tidying even before the thickenessing is carried out.


I will see how it goes and if I don't like the result reset.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Time for another quick update. I have been working on the boxing joint and after several rather abortive attempts finally found a process a 'liked' that produced a piece I 'liked'. Some people have the talent (or practiced enough) to produce beautiful joints using just hand tools. This is not me. Instead I have to use various power tools mainly for their unbeleiveable ability to keep things at 90 degrees to each other.


Anyway for what it is worth here is the procedure I eventually followed (some of the photos are actually of earlier pieces)


1 -First up I started with a larger blank than normal to give plenty of 'fat' and then re-cut the long end and the short end on the table saw. I then marked those sides so I knew which were 'true'.


2 - Next I pasted the paper onto the true edge making certain I left plenty of space at both ends.


3 -The next cut was a parrallel cut for the upper side of the keel piece using the table saw. I found this easier earlier when I had more meat to work with. As the piece gets thinner the table saw gets a lot more fiddly and dangerous to use.. Also keep well away from the actual end of the straight line.




4 - Next up I cut the majority of the upper curve on the scroll allowing an upper section to be removed


5 - I then cut the forward diagonal edge with the scroll saw but not across the entire length of wood. I initially did this step after milling but found it far more difficult to get the angle at the correct angle and position. Here I used a blank to cut the angle then compared that to the pattern before putting the keel piece itself to the saw. 


6 - Now it is safe to mill. Initially I cut to a test depth and on some spare wood (on the keel piece) so I could check the measurements.




7 - Allowing the depth is correct milling with an end mill can now be carried out. This has the superlative advantage of keeping the cut face at right angles. The piece is also easily secured on the 'dead' ends allowing safety without marking the wood of the piece itself.




The end result was left relatively rough




(Note the above was a test piece before I cut the diagonal joint - from this you can see how difficult it would be getting that cut in the correct location)


8 - Now the forward vertical cut can be made with the table saw and then the rear vertical cut making the piece about the correct size.




9 - At this point the pattern still remained and I now tidied the mill section with a chisel




10 - Once seemingly correct it was then placed onto of another printed pattern to test for unusual edges




11 - If still happy then the pattern was removed. At this point I really wanted to see the various joints at the correct angles and no extra future work with the horizontal sections not being horizontal.




12 - Height was now compared to the remained of the keel and was adjusted slightly by the disc sander and then with the piece upside down on sand paper for the section close to the curve (as the disc sander introduced a small step).


13 - Finally the scarph joint to the rest of the keel was cut.




Now I fully expect further tidying up to be required when the mating piece is introduced but with the several earlier versions featuring various minor problems this rather regimented approach seemed to work for me.


Next up the false keel will be going on and after that bolting the keel together.. Thanks for reading.








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  • 3 weeks later...

My next mini-project was to look at the keel bolts. This essentially comprises two rather distinct topics. Firstly we have what occurred historically and how we wish/not wish to represent this on the model and secondly how we can carry execute a plan to actually carry it out. This post will delve into my slightly obsessive look into what actually occurred.


The base facts are quite simple. A ship of this size would have utilised six copper bolts of 1 1/8 inch diameter over each of the keel scarph joints. The only other specific restriction is that the bolts should avoid getting in the way of the currently uncut rabbet.


This seems simple enough and I calculated the locations by the simple expedient of splitting the area into sections and assigning a bolt to each.


Using our scale this relates to a bolt of 0.44648 diameter which relates to 24 gauge copper wire - perhaps slightly drawn (using Ed.Ts stretching method). But this does cause me some issues technically and historically. My historical problem is that the bolts were 'clenched' which basically means they were hammered over a ring to hold them in place and tighten them. This might or might not have been counter sunk. Now there is not a lot of pictorial evidence as to which especially as the remaining example of ships of that era have had their own copper bolts replaced with more effective bolts and screws (clenching's main weakness was that the woods own movement could loosen the joint making it much less effective).


I did find a few pictures of an earlier repair of the Victory which shows clenched bolts.




This leads to some interesting and not entirely unexpected observations. Firstly the bolts are slightly proud of the hull, so not counter sunk in this example, secondly accuracy does not appear to have been a major factor in their placement. As modellers we perhaps make things a little too perfect compared to actual reality as why would it matter in real life if the bolts are not perfectly placed in a horizontal/vertical grid? Finally look at the state of the wood….ouch


Anyway this leads me down several avenues. I am keeping the regimented order of the lines as I can and it looks nicer. But I do want to do something for the bolts appearance.


The clenched bolt would spread by a fair amount so would automatically be wider than the invisible interior of the bolt. Therefore I should use a larger gauge. I will try and use 22 gauge which is 0.644mm at scale assuming an increase of over 20% in outside diameter. This is probably still to small but is more 'realistic' than the initial size. It has one further advantage in that the drill bit for the holes can be larger and thus is more sturdy and less inclined to be pulled of track by  the woods grain. Experimentation showed that firstly drill bits of this size are really delicate (I knew this already but after breaking three without noticing 're-knew' this) and secondly that the 7mm drill was better than the 8mm drill in that the bolt looked tighter and the 8mm showed a minute gap on one size and due to the copper being soft actual clenched slightly into a slightly less circular shape.


Anyway the prominence of the clenched bolt is another knotty problem. Hopefully we have better represented the diameter of the bolt visually but if we clench ourselves and leave proud then the vertical height of the bolt is likely to be drastically out of scale. Therefore I will keep the bolt filed flat to the keel. I am also intending to copper plate the hull and in this case having the keel flat will be helpful. This makes much of this discussion superfluous as why worry about the size of something unseen? I 'might' leave one side uncoppered so that will be my excuse for spending so much time and effort on this.


So here are some working diagrams showing measurements.




For cutting my test pieces I used my earlier keel attempt (and in the end lots of blanks). I am using my Sherline mill but hit several problems with technique and usage. These can  be listed as follows


1 - The free size chuck was not capable of holding micro drills perfectly vertical which could generate slight but visible differences in hole locations. I could relate this to the ' they were not that exact so this is fine historically' but addressed this by increasing the drill size (helped by the increase in diameter caused by clenching) , used a drill bit with a larger shank, and finally decided against using the chuck and switched to a collet instead. The collet was the perfect correction and the holes drilled post-collet use were perfectly vertical.


2 - There is some backplay on the wheels of the mill. This is actually expected but it does mean that I should keep the mill moving in one direction only as that way the back play does not marginally adjust each measurement as it occurs. It cannot be avoided entirely but by re-setting prior to moving Westwards on the upper row the backlash should be minimised. Making a drill plan to minimise 'returning' in the opposite direction as much as possible will also help.


3 - The weight of the keel could cause minute sagging which might affect the angle of the cut. Here I ensured both ends were supported and not just the section being cut in the vice


4 - The vice needs to be exactly horizontal and vertical to the x and y axis. Prior to each cut I addressed this by moving the drill along the joint line and the false keel line to ensure it stayed close to the line and did not deviate.

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So onto the actual work. After a lot of test cuts I secured my keel as follows

with a piece underneath and two on either side (to allow the drill close access otherwise

the vice jaws would interfere).




The drilling pattern was as follows


Centralise on left joint and upper false keel.


Move up 1.42 mm

Move right 6.41mm

Drill the first hole

Reset the mill to Zero.

Move right 6.41mm


Move right to 9.22mm


Move left to 0 and keep going slightly so I move over

the first hole and then back onto it (to sort out the mill backtrack)

Test hole location

Move up 1.42mm


Move right 4.61mm


Move right to 9.22mm



Rinse and repeat for all the holes.




I am happy with the results which I feel can be improved on for more visible joints

later on. One fortunate fact of the early keel work is that most of it (and the frames) will

be hidden so practice can be perfected before hitting stuff that can be seen.


Anyhow. Once I was happy with the joints it was time to add the copper wire.




These were inserted in one way with glue, removed, glue removed from the wood and then inserted

in the other. I may have to find a better way as glue still managed to escape so a better

process will be needed later. 


Once glues the copper was then snipped low (note the glue that still got out)





before one side was carefully filed to close to flat.




I then used a quick jig to tidy up. I chiseled a small square out of a flat piece of wood (the size

of the joint and bolts) and the placed the joint I was working on over this hole. Two pieces of the

same size as the keel then surrounded my keel and were secured. If my filing then became to aggressive or

off center then the surrounding pieces would get damaged and the keel should be okay.


Results were 'shiny'.




Next up I have to decide whether to 


A - Add the deadwood where I can

B - Add the lower stem (and equivelant rear) then taper the keel and stem and rear

C - Add the lower and upper stem (and so on) and THEN taper the keel.


All I am certain is that I dont want to cut the rabbett until the deadwood is on but the deadwood needs

the lower stem at least which would argue for B.  But lots of people seem to do the entire stem and then

taper....Not at all certain so any advice would be welcome.


Thanks for reading.


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Ok, though I have now started the build






 for those who have deliberately missed it.


I will still be returning to the research thread every now and then to update on plans. This post is with regard to something I had difficulty with earlier on in this thread even though several people made valiant attempts to explain things.




So here is the new center line plan. The keenly observant, or those with too much time on their hands, will actually notice this is almost the same plan as done on around page three of this thread. Since that point I had re-done all the plans (page 3-4) plus had managed to lose the original (everything had been redone so that was probably lucky).



Anyway once I had completed the keel and started to look at 'what next' the lack of that plan suddenly caused a burst of CAD work.



The issue I had had earlier was with the rising wood (page 3). In the end I managed to work out what to do by a combination of Steel, the Naiad books draft notes and de-constructing the Naiad, Euryalus and Swan plans.


The key to it (for me) was that I had not realised the rising wood was a fixed height above the keel that moulds into the Deadwood line.  Steel gives the measurements for both this height above the keel and for the width of the line to add to the body plan to allow the deadwood to be marked on the Sheer. 


Since I rely heavily on our three research streams (Naiad, Swan, Euryalus) it was interesting to see how each interpreted that line in their plans (once I knew what was going on) as each took very different approaches to solve the same problem. Mainly involving variants of ease of construction as none of this will be even remotely visible.


The Naiad takes the simplest engineering approach and for the majority of the keel has a couple of long and flat rising wood pieces with a slight jump when the deadwood needs to curve at stem and stern. It also avoids the notching for the frames. This makes it easier to build and to more accurately place the frames horizontally.



The Swan takes a slightly different approach by having the stem and stern line merged into the eventual straight section of the rising wood but also avoids the notching and has only a few pieces.


The Eurylaus takes perhaps the most historical approach as it not only has the stem and stern line merging into the straight section but also includes both the notching and has the full five pieces of rising wood.


This is a good example of how plan makers need to make their own decisions on how best to replicate in their plans playing a balancing act between historical accuracy ease of building.


For my own I like the notches - though difficult to construct IF they are accurate and at right angles then they will settle the frames nicely in place with less need for complicated jigs later on. I also like the stem and stern line merging into the straight section - it would keep the structure stronger as there would be less jump between pure deadwood and keel supports though the frames themselves would supply a lot of support that is not directly visible on the plan.


What I did do though was to introduce one adjustment to simplify construction which was to make the rising wood straight over the curved section so it is easier to cut than the otherwise slight angle. It makes little difference to the strength of the piece but will make it much easier when working on the frames in the same area.


This all does mean that I will have to adjust the seats of all the (already drawn) frame plans but that will not be too onerous a task when I eventually get around to the frames.



Once I had this in place (and copied over to the master sheer plan) I could then start on the center structure  plan seen above. I will also produce exploded views for rising wood, stem and stern.


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  • 2 months later...

Next up the rising wood itself.  Now this process has proved interesting as it allows me to retrospectively 'understand' some of the decisions other designers have utilised in making their own plans. Plans are always a compromise, when working at a smaller scale, between realism and achievability but this is the first location where I have seen excellent examples of this in practice.

It is nice to understand what was done and why as it helps me in my own choices though I wont cover what those differences were in case I am – wrong or – distressing (i.e stating one method is more ‘historical’ might put peoples backs up) so I wont.


Anyway for mine I decided to attempt the notches so followed the Euryalus approach. Part of my reasoning is that fitting frames is a delicate operation and I need all the help I can get plus allowing the notches are mill cut correctly then they should be both in the correct location and perfectly sized/horizontal. This should really help support correct frame placement later on in the build. The weakness is that the notches, due to their size, are still weak and will not provide much 'support' or be very resistant to pressure so could easily break.  I will not find out until later in the build whether this was a good or bad choice..




Mill Setup


Since I am cutting the notches I have to be extremely careful about accuracy and my initial plan of operations was as follows


1 cut blanks, go 2mm oversize on height and width to all a small amount of correction post join

2 join together blanks in five pieces

3 thickness to correct height and width

4 Cut to length then stick the pattern on the side

5 start endmilling top notches

6 start end milling port side notches

7 start end milling starboard side notches


1-4 are being done first so that I don’t cut the notches then joint the pieces only to discover the glue thickness has knocked all the frames out. Is also allows consistent horizontal cuts to be made across the entire rising wood length. This would not be guaranteed if each was cut separately.


Well that was the plan but after several (read ' a lot ' of wasted wood) I was unpleasantly reminded of Einsteins comment that 'madness consists of carrying out the same action repetitively and expecting a different result'.




Top notches cut


I hit a lot of little problems all of which forced me to repeatedly start again. The problem was once I had worked out a solution (or methodology) to reduce one of the problems I then hit the next. Roughly speaking the problems were


                - I started using spare wood to prop up the piece being worked on in the vice, rather stupidly these were not always as flat as I would like causing the mill to cut deeper/lighter as I went along

                - The vice was small so I used random wood to prop up either end of the cut piece but again these were not always the correct size

                - I would get distracted and instead of turning the sidewise wheel would instead move the vertical axis wheel and make a much bigger cut than required

                - I would misread the cut list and move to far cutting too far

                - Sometimes I miscounted when turning the wheel. 'Short' cuts were correctable, long was not.

                - Getting the axis to zero so the cut was the correct depth was difficult especially so on the side cuts.

                - The notches are so small that 'breakaway' of chips would sometimes occur.






Using frame sized blanks to check slot width


Fiddly is not the word for it though as a plus I have learnt useful lessons on utilising the mill in this fashion and my basic premise of not accepting work that is just 'good enough' meant I managed to control my temper as piece after piece was thrown away.


The process corrections made were as follows


                - I stopped using spare wood to prop up the piece and instead always positioned it at the base of the vice.

                - Related to the above since I now knew the base height I cut some wood on the table saw to exactly match the vice height allowing the supporting pieces to be consistent and always 'supporting'

                - Attention errors  just required more attention. I had two solutions for this. An early helper method was to 'draw' the cut prior to moving the wheels so I knew its placements. The second was to walk away if I was getting to tired/easily distracted

                - The depth of cut issues were perhaps the hardest and in the end I started to run comparison cuts on dead wood. I would cut, remove and compare to the existing. This was fine for the top cut but not so easy for the side cuts. For these I eventually decided to duplicate cut on both sides so I could compare the wood that remained against the keel itself. Since the base of the vice was a fixed point this meant I could reset and cut in confidence that the depth would not be too deep. Something I could not do when comparing to other pieces.

                - The breakaway problem may have been the cherry or more likely cut speed combined with increasing bluntness of the mill. I countered by building up a larger section of straight scrap to support the target piece securely and ensuring first cut was on at least one edge and not the centre.





For the angle end pieces I cut to the max height of the slot and then used a chisel to slowly introduce the relevant angle. The only major difference was the first piece which had to have its side slot cut first as when the angle was introduced I could not secure the piece in the mill properly.​






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You mention lining up bolts perfeclty in models but in real life it's not always done. In fact, in real life it's not desireable. Lining the bolts up in real life has the added bonus of creating essentially a "tearaway" line like a stamp sheet has. You're creating a weak spot in the grain. A good builder will try to stagger the bolt holes as best he can to avoid this.

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My first thought when seeing that first pic, was "cherry?".  The second was "speed".  I've run into that with cherry myself and good, preferably new bit and as high a speed and as slow a feed as I can do will usually get it.  But, cherry is an iffy wood due to the grain in my opinion.  


They look great in that last photo...  really good.

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  • 1 month later...

As noted elsewhere I am re-starting (for the second time) my Amphion plans, explantions elsewhere.


This does have some advantages. First up I am much more competent with Turbo cad so it should be an easier process along with the fact that I seem to need to do things multiple times to understand what I am doing. Secondly the first plan set was documented on the original MSW (back in 2012 if I remember correctly). This meant that a lot of the early donkey work was lost which will hopefully not happen again.


I will leave both superceded research and build threads open until this is (re) done and then mark them as deprecated.


To start I am going to lay down some ground rules for the project to avoid the mess I got into last time. This will be incredibly boring to anyone who is not ocd so i recommend most stop reading here, at least until I get to something more interesting draft wise.




Drafting Style Guide


To better control the validity and understanding of what a file actually occurs the following guide will be followed.

Folder Structure


Past experience says that large amounts of files will be generated in the drafting process. The folder structure can be used to ensure a files location indicates its relevance. Files will be held locally on a pc and auto backed up to a one drive folder.




  • Source Scans:     Contains the scanned version of any source plans. Will not change once added
  • Plans:                    Parent plan folder. Will only contain other folders.
  • Structural:           (Or source). This will contain master plans that will be used in the building process to generate the actual working plans. As an example the sheer and framing plans will appear in here
  • Build:                     This will contain plans intending to be built off of. Individual frames, keel sub plans etc
  • Presentation:    This is for helper plans that show, usually styalised versions to assist in building. Examples include the ‘fish’ plan and subsections showing how parts go together or what they are called


Each of the three main working folders (listed above as Structural, Build and Presentation) will contain a sub folder called ‘[Primary Folder Name] Approved’. When a plan is regarded as complete it will be moved to the relevant Approved folder and its file name adjusted.


Each of the three Approved folders will have a sub-folder named ‘[Primary Folder Name]-Revisions’. When an approved file is changed the old version will be moved here and only the new version will reside in the approved folder. This means that there should only be single files in the approved folder but both the working folders and revision folders could contain multiple files.

Change log

A change log will be generated and held in a one note page for each primary folder. This will list the file name, the added date, the superseded date and either a ‘current’ indicator or a description of what was changed and why. I.e




File Naming Conventions TCW Files

 AM-[Zone]-[Friendly Name]-V[number].tcw

‘AM’ is the project name (in this case short for ‘Amphion’)

Zone indicates which working folder the file is intended for. Currently ST for Structural, BU for Build and PR for Presentation.

Friendly Name will be an appropriate name for the file in question i.e Sheer or Keel etc

V[number] is the version


So a sheer plan may be called



Indicating the 5th version of the Structural ‘Sheer’ Master plan for the Amphion project



When a plan is ‘Approved’ (as hopefully complete) a copy will be moved to the approved folder and its name will change to

AM-[Zone]A-[Friendly Name]-RC[number].tcw

RC is a software development short hand for ‘Release Candidate’. Therefore there are two visual indicators that a plan is complete  - the ‘RC’ version and the ‘A’ after the zone. So if the above sheer plan is regarded as complete then the copies name would ne



Copies will be made to prevent accidental adjustments of originals.


Paper Space Naming conventions

This will be different to the file name and is intended for printed versions of complete plans as opposed to draft versions. This naming convention will be


AM-[Zone][Plan Number][Plan Subset]-V[Version]

Only approved plans will have paper space so the above sheer master might have a print name of



So version 1 of approved structural plan 5. All printed plans will also have a name describing the plan and a separate title.






So allowing I stick to the above if I down tools for a year or two and return then I should be able to at least ensure I can access and find the correct current plans.


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Need to keep track of your methods, perhaps change my ways now. Working through some plans I have obtained for 542 Class LST's with the intent of a build, already I see problems developing with folder and file organization. Drawing in full scale using Traverse PC for COGO work and General Cad for drawing cleanup. Started with cad from downloaded plans, then added some plans I purchased from 'The Floating Drydock', did not like how this was progressing, but it was easy to produce an image that didn't look bad. I wanted more than line work, I wanted a Coordinate File using point numbers in a table form, although the coordinates were there in cad they were not in a format I liked or easy to extract. Dropped the cad for now and went to Traverce PC, a 2D surveying program I am familiar with. Few measurements on the plans and lacking some details, but enough to end up with some good coordinates for the hull to work with. No crown on LST's decks and they are built perpendicular and parallel except for the sloping bottom for beaching so bearing-bearing, bearing-distance and distance-distance intersections produce good missing points with their coordinates from a few known points and distances. Some details need to be rooted out from other sources, but I have plenty of data for now. Why am I doing it this way? I want the coordinates of the points, curve data and the ability to use the cross section routines in the program for frame shapes. I will take all into cad for fine tuning of the appearance, will also print patterns from cad. Planning on 1/72 scale, but I will be able to print at any scale, even full scale, if you provide the plotter. :P

Any suggestions or pointers are encouraged, this is my first attempt at this.

jud  :pirate41:

Edited by jud
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I might as well start at the beginning, please note I use TurboCad for the draft plans so these posts will be heavily turbo cad specific.. I hit an unexpected early snag when I 'upgraded' to TurboCad2016 from TurboCad20 which was a few years old now. On adding the profile picture to be traced I eventually noticed that it did not seem to be coping very well with drilling into the image and it rapidly lost both definition and focus. 


Confused I tried saving various versions including png, bmp, 24 bit bmp, jpg but none of them seemed to avoid the issue. I did wonder if I was being overly sensitive so I tried the same action in TurboCad20 and it did not happen. This indicated either a settings issue or a bug in the newer release and eventually I found the issue was the first. Later version of turbo cad have a fancy new image manipulator called Redsdk this was trying to do something fancy and failing. Switching this off and returning to default gdi allowed excellent clarity on drilling down.




Once I could drill down the next job is to make sure the image is horizontal. The guide 'Wayne.K's excellent walkthrough available on MSW') says to use the keel line it being the bottom line of the rabbett but I found this too thick on my plan to accurately get an indication of how the image needs adjusting so instead used the upper edge of the rabbett which has the added advantage of providing a semi-end start point here




From this point I drew a long line that ended at the opposite end of the keel (approximately in the middle of the same start line). I then drew a second line from an identical start (hit v for vertex and then when dragging the line hold shift down which ensures you get an exact horizontal line).




I then 'disappeared' the image, added a vertical construction line (use this to avoid mismatches when the angle is worked out) and then used the angle measurer to indicate the difference between the two




The picture is then returned and selected and this value is entered into the rotation field. If you are 'rotating the wrong way' then either roll it back or move a negative distance in the other direction.




After the image is rotated I then carry out the same exercise and allowing the rotation is correct the lines should be identical. Just for safeties sake I also drew out horizontal lines on the keel line, the base of the false keel and the top of the false keel. Allowing the plan is not warped they should all be level and within the original line markings. In this case they were so I can now start tracing which is always rather fun.


Thanks for reading.



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If I called for using the bottom of the rabbet line for leveling I was mistaken.  The top of the keel is correct as you have done.


Another way to level the drawing is to draw in the reference line as you have done in red.  Then select both the drawing and the reference line.  Place the reference point on the end of the red line (use D) and then relocate the X-axis control arm point at the other end of the red line (hold down CNTRL while clicking on the X-axis control point).  Then click on the X-axis to rotate the line and the drawing around the reference point at the end of the red line.  By holding down SHIFT and then clicking the line and the drawing are automatically leveled.  This method eliminates measuring the angle.  I was unaware of this procedure when I penned the little treatise you were so kind to mention.  


I have yet to find a top of keel line on an old plan that was straight.  



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