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With a Black Friday sale price on the screen and a long pandemic winter in prospect, I finally took the plunge I had long been considering on Emma C. Berry.  Although my experience is limited, the thought of building up a ship's proper framework and deck substructure was appealing.  I liked what I saw in the various logs here, and wanted the challenge and opportunity to extend my skills that ECB offers.  Most of all, I wanted something to occupy my time, hands, and mind.  ECB has not disappointed.  I started work on Dec. 7 and have entries in my handwritten log for every day since then, Christmas and New Years included. No holiday gatherings, no family obligations - no problem.  Best of all, ECB has taken up many brain cycles that would otherwise be spent in fruitless worry about this or that.


I have reached the first major milestone: all frames installed and the clamps in place.




I love the look of this early stage - so graceful, light yet strong.






There are several excellent ECB logs going so I won't include every detail of construction.  I'll concentrate on areas I found particularly challenging or interesting, rather than documenting each step.  For starters, I'll skip the usual unboxing and kit contents photos, other than one picture of the box.




The next couple of posts will cover how I got from a pile of laser-cut pieces to the frame as it stands today.


Finally, my thanks to the modelers who have shared their ECB journeys in build logs.  Without those logs, I probably not have started this build, let alone made progress.  May all your ECBs reach glorious completion!


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Thanks for the interest!  This post covers preparation and keel construction.


I bought a 4' section of 1"x8" lumber, making sure it was as straight as possible, and cut a 22" section to use as a building board.  It is just wide enough.  The remaining board was useful for placing under the plan so I could pin keel sections to it.


I also took the time to go through each of the nine ECB logs, making notes about how far each builder had proceeded and what problems were encountered.  A few date back to 2013 and some have been inactive for a long time, but I found valuable information and photos throughout.


Keel assembly was uneventful.  However, I recently found a note on the plan sheet containing the outlines for laser-cut parts indicating that the edge of the stern post should be given a concave shape to accommodate the rudder shaft.  (The same detail is visible, but not called out, on the deck plan.)  Once the horn timber assembly is added, this becomes much more difficult.  I'll need to figure out how to do this.  As other builders have noted, the instructions don't always provide these details - you have to look at the plans.


I didn't add the horn timber assembly at this time because I wanted to be able to keep the keel pinned to the plan while I marked out frame locations and the rabbet and bearding lines.


I took a lot of time assembling the jig to the building board and constructing the "frame clamp bar fixture," which I just call the bridge. 




Once released from its sheet, the jig base developed a twist such that its support feet wouldn't sit flat on the board.  I nailed through the feet as well as gluing them to the board, but even that didn't fully remove the twist, as I discovered while checking the alignment of the bridge.  I had to add a buttress at the bow end and a block at the stern to get everything into plumb.




These photos also show the frame locations and rabbet/bearding lines marked on the keel and transferred to the building board. 

Edited by ahb26
Corrected building board dimensions.
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In preparation for framing, I decided to dry-fit every frame to the keel to check its height and width, and relation to the marked bearding and rabbet lines.  By doing so, I hoped to avoid some nasty surprise half-way through gluing in the frames.  This would allow me to identify any frames that were too short or long and to modify the bearding/rabbet lines if needed.


I started by creating an Excel spreadsheet to record the plan height and width of each frame.  I took the height from the inboard profile and the width from the laser cut plan sheet, using a digital caliper.




(A side note: The divider is part of a set that might have belonged to my great-grandfather, a builder in Maine in the later part of the 19th century.  We have tools from three centuries at work here.)


I mounted the keel to the building jig, making sure to add a little spacer at the rear as others have noted.




I clamped each pair of frames to the bridge and measured their height above the building board and width.  The instructions emphasize getting the height correct, but I was more interested in making sure the bottom of the frame aligned correctly with the bearding/rabbet lines and that the width was close.  As expected, the notorious frame 4 was short and required extensions at the top of each frame.




The ten or so frames in the middle sit on top of the keel, so there is no opportunity to raise or lower them.  I simply noted the height and width of each set.  In a few cases, I added a 1/32" extension to the tops of a pair of frames.




All the measurements were transferred to the spreadsheet.  This allowed me to create a chart showing the plan vs. actual measurements.




The goal over time was to get the "plan" and "fitted" curves to match.  Initially I fitted the frames to the correct height; during installation I tended to favor width, as will be seen.


In the aft section, the frames join in the middle and fit into notches in the keel.  I found they were well above the plan height and also far above the bearding and rabbet lines.




To lower the frames, I sanded the notches.  (I later noticed that the plans show a bevel in the section of frame that engages the notch, which would achieve the same end.  I created a sanding stick by gluing a strip of sandpaper to the edge of a piece of 5/32" scrap - an invaluable tool.)  Even after lowering the frames to the correct height and width, their bases were above the indicated bearding and rabbet lines, so I moved the lines up slightly.




I cut the rabbet - a first for me.  The middle section along the keel requires a rolling bevel that I had trouble getting my mind around.  I suspect the rabbet may be troublesome when I get to planking, a long time from now.




Finally, I built the horn timber assembly (twice, I got it wrong the first time) and glued it to the sternpost.  I marked the locations of the two frames on the side horn timbers but didn't attempt to trial-fit them because the bridge is too low in that area.


I scribed plank lines onto the aft section of keel.  I wish in retrospect that I had also scribed lines onto the deadwood and other interior sections - too late now.


This took me to the end of December.  Frame installation would start Jan. 1.



Edited by ahb26
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A new (and welcome) year and a new task.  I had previously sanded the bevels into frames 1-4 as noted in the plans, so I started with 1 and glued each pair in turn to the stem or deadwood.  I was being careful but not always careful enough: some of these eventually had to be re-set for one reason or another.




Note that the spring clamps I used previously to secure the bridge to the building board have been replaced by hefty C clamps I purchased.  The spring clamps were not up to the task.  (You can also see the extensions I added to the bottom of the bridge to allow me to clamp the amidships frames.) 


As I moved into the next set of frames, those that glue to the top of the keel, I opted to glue the two halves together before installing them.  I did another dry fit to re-check height and width, decided on a width that would give me a good compromise between the two, and glued them to that width.




I then glued on a cross-brace before removing them from the board, using dilute white glue.  After installing each of these frames, I trial-fit the keelson so I could sand the middle of the frame if needed (mostly it wasn't).




Some builders have installed the frames with a minimum of bracing.  I took the opposite approach.  Wherever possible, I cross-braced the frame halves, ran longitudinal braces between the cross braces, and added several buttresses down to the building board.  The resulting structure was very robust and stable.




I was careful not to add any bracing that would interfere with the eventual installation of the clamps.  As I went, I updated my spreadsheet with the as-installed width and height of each frame.  I eventually recorded the port and starboard heights separately since they weren't always identical.  The photo also shows the keelson finally installed.  I used wood glue where the keelson crossed most frames, but to ensure good contact I used CA at the midpoint and aft ends and applied pressure until the CA caught.


To install the final two frames, I had to modify the bridge to clear the rudder box and horn timbers.  I notched the bottom of the bridge and added a stiffener to the top.




I braced the frames by running struts to the top of the horn timbers - not particularly effective as it turned out.




At this point, I had captured the "installed" dimensions for all the frames.  I spent some time working on the spreadsheet to create a heat map of sorts, making it easy to spot where dimensions were out of whack, and did some adjusting of heights. 




I readily admit to being a bit obsessive about this! - but I think the data may still come in handy later.

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The instructions have you install the transom prior to the clamps, but a few logs recommend doing the clamps first and that's what I did.  The process was relatively straightforward.  The boards need to be tapered slightly aft of frame 17 since the area where they glue becomes progressively shorter.  After some pondering, I decided that the tapering should all come from the bottom of the clamp and accordingly sliced them down.  I soaked them and bent them against a line of pins inserted through the plan.




On each side, I offered up the plank to the inside of the frames and cut the bow end to lie flush against the stem, then checked the fit of the board to each frame.  I had sanded the inside bevel on each frame prior to installation but this needed to be adjusted on some frames, using a very thin sanding stick between the plank and frame.  In a few cases, the frame was too far out of line and I had to remove the cross brace to allow the frame to flex into place.  One frame became detached during this process and I had to reglue it.




Finally, I glued the clamps into place.  The beam ends rest on the clamps and should be flush with the tops of the frames; I used a scrap piece of the correct thickness (5/32") to position the clamps as I glued.  Mostly this was successful, but there is one area where the clamp is slightly too high and the beam and/or clamp will need to be adjusted accordingly.




I have some old clothespins (darker) and bought a bag of new ones at the grocery store.  They are a weak imitation of the old ones - don't make 'em like they used to - but got the job done.  I used binder clips in a few critical areas.  With the clamps safely installed, I stripped out most of the bracing, recorded the as-clamped frame heights for posterity, and turned to the transom.


The plans welcome the builder to scratch-build the transom but I opted to use the laser-cut piece.  I scribed plank lines on both surfaces, then traced the bevel lines onto tracing paper.  I glued the paper to each side of the transom in turn, using dilute white glue applied only to the bevel line area.  I sanded up to the bevel line on the paper, then removed the paper - light sanding took care of the glue residue.




I was puzzled for a while about how to shape the little tab at the bottom of the transom.  After reviewing the plans and looking at other logs, I decided that planks would run either side of the tab onto the beveled area of the transom, and flush with the surface of the tab.  Sanding at the bevel line on the tab produced exactly this result.




Now comes the first major question of this project.  When I trial-fit the transom to the horn timber, positioned so that the bottom planks run fair across the frames onto the transom bevel, I discovered that the top edge of the transom  was 9/32" higher (relative to the base) than shown in the plans.  The distance between the (projected) deck surface and the beveled edge of the transom (i.e., bottom of the cap rail) is 1/4" more than shown in the plans.  I spent a long time trying to figure out why this was so, to no avail.  Everything seems to be in the right place, the transom is the right size, yet there's this large difference.  Other builders have noted issues fitting the cap rail in this area, and photos of other builds at this stage seem to show the transom on the high side.  Eventually, I made a leap of faith that everything will work out and glued it in, which brings us up to date.




I've given some thought as to how much of the interior to leave exposed.  I am tempted to leave almost all the planking (hull and deck) off one side, rather than the smaller area shown on the box picture.  Inside, I could build the floor, bunks, live well etc. part way across the hull, but leave some off to reveal the framing underneath.  I have some time to decide.

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Congrats on your build. I wish I have waited till you started your Emma before I started mine. I had trouble aligning the frames and afterward I had to shave the bevel in situ which was a not fun. My biggest problem was the planking and what I failed to do was to keep track of the thickness of the planks as I planked. The result was using tons of putty and lots of sanding.  Same problem with transomThe plans showed the approximate bevel for each frame but you actually calculated it accurately. So my hat goes to science.

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  • 2 weeks later...

With the frames in place, I started thinking about the interior.  I quickly realized that much depends on the location of the well and so decided to build that first.  I combed the build logs and studied the plans.  Few logs contain construction details for the well, and the plans - they need a lot of studying.  I think I have come up with a structure that is anatomically correct (although I wouldn't swear to it) and its construction was interesting to say the least.


Before the well can be built, enough of the deck framing must be built to locate the upper ends of the well's corner posts.  Once I got the hang of cutting the tenons and dados that join the carlings to the beams, I quite enjoyed this exercise in miniature carpentry.  For the carlings, I needed to cut 3/16" square stock to 5/32" - this did the trick:




I assembled enough to define the landing areas for the corner posts, and glued it up sitting on the frame to incorporate the sheer:




Next step was to construct the side and end bedlogs, which taken together form a tub upon which the well is built.  The side bedlogs look like combs with fat teeth that fill the areas between the frames and seal to the hull planking.  The end bedlogs attach to the frames in front of and behind the well.




The Batman profile of one of the end bedlogs allows it to fit over its frame's "floor" piece.  The pieces were then assembled without glue into the hull.  I used a home-made tool to align each side bedlog with the landing area for the top of the corner posts on that side:






After a lot of measurement, adjusting, and fettling, I glued the ends of the side bedlogs to the end bedlogs - but not to the frames.  I was then able to lift out the resulting assembly (which I cleverly photographed upside down):



With the tub back in the hull, I cut and shaped the four corner posts.  Each post runs from a frame to one the corners of the well's hatch, outside the hatch opening.  This is where you really have to look at the plans.  The posts run outside the end bedlogs and the outer edge of each post aligns with the inner face of the side bedlog.  The top of the post is angled to fit into the corner of the beam and carling.  Next, I glued a plank to each side bedlog, and when that had set, glued the post to the inside face of the plank, but not to the frame.  Then I glued the topmost side plank on each side to its pair of posts:




To complete a rigid structure, I glued temporary battens across the fore and aft sides of the posts.




I sawed off the top ends of the posts and sanded them flush with the deck frames.




I could then lift off the deck frame assembly...




... and withdraw the well assembly from the hull.




This will allow me to finish planking and paint the well without having to work around and through the hull frame.  The next post will show the full planking.


I hope this explanation is reasonably clear and that it will help someone navigate this area in the future.  I welcome comments and corrections!

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Very nice work so far Andrew. Thanks for taking the time to provide so much detail in how you have approached the build - I’m sure it will be helpful to many, me included as I have this kit in my stash. I’ll continue to follow your build with interest.

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Thanks, Grant. I was a technical writer in a former life and I do like to explain stuff, perhaps to excess.


As promised, a couple of photos of the finished well in place.  I've left one side off - planning to omit a good part of the starboard planking to expose framing and cabin details.






The well will be painted with anti-fouling red inside.  The plans call for it to be "oiled" on the outside - still thinking about how best to show that.


I'll probably install the forecastle and cabin soles next and think about how much of the ceiling I want to install.  Time to study the logs again to see what ideas I can, um, borrow.  I also have to organize paint.  I have some that is appropriate, including a gray for the interior surfaces - others I will need to source.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Time for an update.  Interior outfitting is mostly done, just needing some trim and a lot of paint.  I have committed to doing just the port side of the interior, leaving the starboard side open so the underlying structure can be viewed.  These photos show the well and hatch deck framing set in place - they are not yet glued in.




One bunk is enough!




I painted the inside of the well, but not the frames underneath it yet.



I decided to omit the ceiling from the forward section to keep the frames visible.


To dig into a few of the details... I set up the fore and aft sleepers for the cabin sole at the correct level, then tacked a couple of scrap pieces over them to act as references while installing the rest.  (Thanks to craigb for this tip.)




I decided to build up the front panel of the bunk before installing it, and added a few fake drawers.  I used a jig to glue the two panels at the correct angle.










There are three ladders, each at a different angle to the vertical.  I scoured the logs for tips on ladder building but ended up devising my own version of one of the jigs I saw.  It keeps the stiles precisely spaced and allows the rungs to be placed at the correct angle for that ladder, adjusted by sanding the block at the end of the alignment tool.








While all this was going on, I also managed to turn 70 years old - how the heck did that happen?


Once the interior work is finished, there are various directions I can go.  I want to get back to building the remaining deck frame sections, especially the one that locates the mast.  I am also considering planking the bottom band of the hull so that I can drill under the well and paint the inside of the planks with anti-fouling red, without having to work through the well hatch.  The upper band of planking can't go on until the deck and covering boards are in place, but there's nothing preventing me from doing the lower band now (other than fear of planking, of course).


Thanks for looking in and for the likes.

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On 2/26/2021 at 10:18 PM, turangi said:

Beautiful and meticulous work! I am a couple of years ahead of you in terms of trips around the sun so I tend to take the quick and  dirty approach.

Quick, possibly - dirty, not!  Thanks to all for the likes and compliments.


I moved on to the deck framing that supports the mast, king plank, bowsprit pawl bitt, and bowsprit.  The piece that the mast goes through - mast partner? - is 1/8" thick while the beams are 5/32" and slightly cambered.  I cut the mortises in the beams and set up everything on a very flat board, with two short 1/16" thick pieces under the mast partner, resulting in the partner being slightly recessed below the surface of the beams. The two lodging knees serve to keep the beams parallel; they aren't glued in at this point.




Once that set, I glued in the lodging knees using the same setup.




Now I could work out the mast position and also check that the king plank was correct.  The mast's rake is shown in this photo by its angle with the frame, which is supposedly vertical.  By eyeball it looked pretty close to the spec of 2-1/2 degrees - I later verified with a level that it is slightly larger, which I can adjust with a wedge at the base of the mast.




At this point, the king plank wouldn't slide down the mast because the hole was too tight - I had to bevel it slightly.


Next I made the bowsprit pawl bit - twice, because the first one was a mess.  The plans indicate that it's 5/32" thick above the deck, but the slot in the king plank is only 1/8", so a shoulder must be cut at deck level.  Also, there is no 5/32" strip wood in the kit, so I had to cut the piece from scrap on a laser part sheet - fortunately, there's plenty of that.  Here's the bitt in place with the bowsprit stock trial-fit:




Next up was the assembly of two beams that supports the bitt - more micro-carpentry.  This is the glue-up, with accoutrements appropriate to the task:




Note that these two beams were cut from a single laser-cut beam - there aren't enough laser-cut pieces supplied to use one for each beam.


At this point I did a lot of trial-fitting and fettling to get this assembly in the right place relative to the bitt slot in the king plank and also at the correct height.  As mentioned in a previous post, I suspected that the clamps might be a bit high in this area and that proved to be the case.  You may be able to see where I notched the clamps slightly under the frontmost beam.


Edit: This placement of the king plank is not correct - its lower surface should be level with the top of the stem.  Here I have set it up so its upper surface is level with the top of the stem.  See Post 33.




One final trial assembly before I move on to the next task, and a check to make sure everything lines up...




... and it does!

Edited by ahb26
Note error with king plank placement.
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I finished the remaining beam assemblies but have not yet installed them - here they are just set in place:




I'm pleased to say that all the assemblies, which were glued up on a flat surface, sit on the clamps with no rocking.


April Fools Day came a month early.  When I made up the beams for the cabin opening assembly, I marked the mortise locations on one beam and transferred the marks to the opposite beam, as I had done with previous assemblies.  But when I dry-fit the parts on the plan, I got a surprise:




Turns out the cabin is 1/8" narrower at the aft edge.  Fortunately I hadn't trimmed the beam ends and was able to move one of the mortises over to the correct spot with the aid of a dutchman:




(Funny term, that.  I had to look it up.  I hope folks from The Netherlands are not offended.)


The last beam assembly surrounds the stock opening and will eventually be tied to the aftmost beam, glued to the transom, with two carlings.




Working on this model has really improved my ability to make parts like these with a higher degree of precision.  It's also taught me to assume nothing and look at the plans before cutting anything - a variation on "measure twice, cut once."


Thanks for the likes and for your continued interest.

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Great post! I found the same issue with cabin being narrower at one end after I installed the beams and coaming. Too late to change that so I did a bit of correction building the cabin by adding some shims to the walls at the slightly wider end. I noticed the problem while preparing to build the cabin and happened to notice the roof was not a perfect rectangle but slightly tapered. Glad you caught it early! 

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On 1/29/2021 at 10:06 AM, ahb26 said:

I cut the rabbet - a first for me.  The middle section along the keel requires a rolling bevel that I had trouble getting my mind around.  I suspect the rabbet may be troublesome when I get to planking, a long time from now.





Truer words were never written.  I decided to plank the lower section of the hull so that I could paint the inside faces of the planks where they enclose the live well.  I lined off the lower planking band on the port side (which will be fully planked) and started in on the garboard plank.  I quickly discovered that the rabbet on that side was cut too low on the keel.  I'll have to fill it in.




On the starboard side, I did better but still not perfect.




In both cases I needed to employ Chuck's edge bending technique near the aft end of the plank.




One positive is that I have gained a better understanding of the planking process.  I knew there were various techniques - lining, tapering, edge bending, spiling - but I didn't have a good grasp of when or even how to use them.  I reviewed Chuck's videos, which explained a lot.  The Model Shipways instructions have a good explanation of the process, and the plans include both a hull planking profile (view from the side) and hull planking layout indicating the width of each plank on each frame.  The plans also indicate where the three planking belts should be placed.  I learned how to transfer dimensions from the layout diagram to the frames (using my great-grandfather's dividers) and got a sense of how they taper.  It's the next best thing to having an experienced modeler at your side.


Now all I have to do is execute!

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Planking the port side proceeds.  I've finished eight strakes - the "C" belt plus two, and enough to close up the bottom of the live well on that side.  These three photos are prior to sanding.




The plans call for the three lowest planks to be nibbed into the planks above them at the stern.  I got better at it as I went along.




At the stem, I think I over-tapered the first few planks and tried to make up for it with a few exotically shaped planks - worked out reasonably well, but the whole area is a bit rough.  You can also see where I've added a narrow shim to a frame, one of several requiring this treatment.




After rough sanding, things looked better.




And the interior view, showing where the planks that form the bottom of the live well will be painted:




I'm pretty pleased with the way this has gone.  My prior planking experience was with widely spaced, thin bulkheads; planking over frames seems a lot easier.  I haven't used any edge gluing except at the stem and transom.  Prior to installing the frames, I sanded bevels per the plans and this made fairing go quickly, more touch-up and identifying frames needing shims than anything.  The planking layout diagram makes it easy to line the hull, and if I carefully taper the planks to fit the lines, they pretty much fall into place.  A very satisfying experience so far.


I'll take a look at the starboard side to try to get an idea of how much planking I want to do there.  I am pretty sure that I won't install any planks above the garboard strake in the area of the live well, but I'll probably add some planks at the bow and stern.  The rest of the planking will have to wait until the deck framing and cover boards have been installed.

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Posted (edited)

One suggestion I would offer that deviates from the instructions is to install the bulwark stanchions before planking the deck. Once the deck is planked it is just by guess and by golly to secure the stanchions by applying glue through the small covering board holes without being able to see where the glue is actually landing.

Edited by turangi
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10 hours ago, turangi said:

One suggestion I would offer that deviates from the instructions is to install the bulwark stanchions before planking the deck. Once the deck is planked it is just by guess and by golly to secure the stanchions by applying glue through the small covering board holes without being able to see where the glue is actually landing.

Good point.  I think I will also install the stanchions as soon as I've added enough hull planks (maybe just one) under the sheer plank to position them, so I can get behind the planks from below.  Not there yet, but getting closer.

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Posted (edited)

Another tip, if your hull is planked and ceiling installed in the interior, while trial fitting a stanchion don't lose your grip! It isn't coming back out of the little opening in the covering board but a new one can be made from the matrix the original was removed from. After losing one I used self closing tweezers to test fit the others.

Edited by turangi
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Some progress to relate - doesn't look like much but it still takes time.  I drilled the holes that flood the live well in the planks beneath the well.  As is usually the case, I refined my technique as I went along, but this is one time I really wish I could have a do-over.




Can you tell where I started?  Second group from the left.  I can clean it up some, and the holes won't stand out that much against the dark anti-fouling paint.  Next, I switched to the starboard, which I plan to leave mostly open, and added partial planks (I call them stub planks) at the stern and bow.






I plan to run stub planks to the entire transom and stem, with a similar treatment in the upper few strakes to create a large, sort of oval-ish window to the interior.


At this point I have a question: How do you trim the planks that overhang the transom?  The goal is to get a cut that is perfectly flush to the transom's face and has a sharp edge, without damaging the transom over much.  I purposely did not install the oval trim ring on the transom yet to avoid damaging it during this operation.  I have a razor saw and a number of Xacto blades at my disposal, and I realize that I need to use a hard, flat sanding block when sanding the plank ends to avoid rounding off that edge.


While installing the stub planks at the bow, I realized that they were not going anywhere near as far up the stem as the same number of planks on the port side.  In my previous post I noted that I had thought the planks weren't far enough up the stem and added extra-wide ones to "correct" the error.  Now, after much thought, I decided the error wasn't an error and that my measurements and planks on the stub-plank side were correct.  So I excised and replaced the top three planks on the port side; now it matches the starboard exactly.






At this point I'm done with planking for the time being, so I need to install the deck framing.  Since I try to do as much as I can with the parts off the ship, I decided to make up the various bits that attach to the frames.  The cabin coaming is made of 1/8" square stock with a 1/16" square rabbet cut into its length.  Turangi did this quite beautifully with his scalpel but I decided on a different approach: a router bit mounted in my drill press and a guide.




This eventually produced acceptable results but only after I tore up some stock figuring out how to feed it.  A router bit is a pretty brutal tool to use on a small basswood strip.  Anyway, here are the collected coamings and the rudder stock pad that I made:




I trial-fit them and noticed that the king plank, which should abut the forward hatch coaming, comes up about 1/16" short.




I can't move the king plank because it establishes the mast angle and its forward end is pretty much where it has to be.  I can't move the hatch frame assembly - which I think is slightly aft of its proper location - because the live well has it locked in place.  So I'll need to make another coaming that fills the gap, which I'll defer until the deck framing and king plank are firmly installed.  Another case of ready, fire, aim...


Thanks for the likes and the comments!

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Build looks great! I like your coaming approach but unfortunately I don't have a drill press or any machinery so the trusty scalpel was used. I cut the planks at the transom a bit proud of the surface using a saw or scalpel as seemed appropriate and sanded them flush as you mentioned with a large block and was satisfied with the result. 

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I am well into the lodging knees.  I intend to install all of them even though half will be covered up.  This post describes the process I've developed, in case it might be helpful.


I first check the space between the frames shown in the plans against the actual space in the model.  It is usually very close, but in this case the model measurement was about 1/16" wider (a known issue, see previous post).  I trace the shape of the part, and this time, the actual width (solid line) as well as plan width (dotted).




I trim the tracing and offer it up to the model:




I put a light coat of dilute white glue on the 3/4"x1/8" basswood strip and apply the tracing, with the long edge on the edge of the strip.




Once the glue has dried, I cut out the curved area with a coping saw - close to but not on the line.




The result of this operation tends to be a ragged mess.  I finish shaping the piece on a makeshift  setup using a Dremel sanding drum in my drill press.  This does a nice job of making a smooth curve with right-angle edges.




Next, I cut the sides.  This requires holding the strip in the miter box at an odd angle and can be difficult.  It's the first time I've wished for a mini table saw with a really good miter gauge.




I trial fit the piece on both sides of the model.  Usually it requires a bit of sanding to get it down to the correct width, but in this case it was almost too loose on the starboard side and much too loose on the port.  So this piece is destined for starboard.




To make the piece for the other side, I use this piece as a template, reusing the cut in the strip since it is at the correct angle.




I repeat the cutting and shaping, making sure to take into account any differences in width, then mark and scribe the joint lines.  Once everything fits correctly, I glue in the pieces with PVA. 




And there we have it.  I'm not particularly pleased with the fit of the starboard piece, and will fill the slight gaps at the edges.  It's worth while to cut the pieces just over width and sand to fit; however, the only piece I had to discard was one that I cut too far over width, and messed up while sanding.


I have now installed five pairs of these things, in addition to the knees surrounding the mast partner which I did previously.  There are eight pairs to go, plus whatever is supposed to happen at the bow.  Tedious, but rewarding when I get them right.


Thanks for the likes, comments and suggestions,

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Good Morning Andrew 

I've been following your build while I wait for my ECB to arrive. One good thing about this covid is UPS is delivering on saturdays here and around 5 my kit arrived. 

You know with the size of the lodging knees I'm not sure using a table saw would be of much use. I went out to my shop and found a modelers mitre saw like a carpenters finish mitre saw.  Probably too lake but here's a picture.



I use this if my cuts are one off and not worth making a jig or setup.


Stay Well and Stay Safe

Will  :pirate41:

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