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Norwegian Sailing Pram by lraymo - Model Shipways - 1:12

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Despite your own opinion, you are doing well. Improvising when something goes sideways (as will happen to all of us!) is a valuable skill in itself. And is there a deadline? Take as much time as you need to build your model. No-one has a stopwatch and is timing you! "It's the journey, not the destination."

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If you build models too fast, you'll run out of places to put them! Seriously, everyone else is right, you're doing fine. Every mistake you recognize now is one you'll learn to overcome later and be proud that you did. I'm still a bit stunned at what I can do now when I look back at my first models.

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Thanks for all the encouragement!  I was getting down... but you've helped me put this in perspective.  I'm not a perfectionist and I'm trying to learn patience, so this is a hobby that is stretching my limits!  (Of course, golf gives me the same "teaching moments" too!) And you've given me some helpful tips as well.  I'm off to do knees, frames, and cleats!

I'm using yellow wood glue.  I may try using the white glue when i really don't want anything to show.  You are all Master Craftsmen and looking at your models, I just can't imagine how I could ever get to your level.  But I've got to tell myself I've only just begun!  Thanks everyone!

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Good job so far! Regarding tools- the list provided with the kit is pretty complete. I've found the broach set (Amazon, from Germany) is very useful. You can drill holes undersized and then open them up very precisely to fit a part. I've also found a rotating vise to be indispensable. 



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Too hot to play golf (100 degree heat index today) , so back at it!  I started the thwart frames, but realized nothing in the instructions showed me the correct height of the top of the frame!  And since the middle one (er, midship thwart) has a knee on top of it, I wanted to make sure I got the measurements right.  So I balanced the frame, a scrap piece of wood the same size as the thwart, and the knee... on the side of the ship and marked where I can glue the frame!

For an initial dry fit, I couldn't use the actual thwarts...  they are all too long.  I'll have to trim anywhere from 1/8" to 1/4" from the sides of each.  So I used my old business cards (i KNEW they'd come in handy someday!), and I made rough templates for the fit.  Then, realizing I still needed to determine the correct placement (height) of the frames, I scotch-taped the frames in, so that I could put the card templates on them, to determine where and how the thwarts will fit.

These are all rough estimates and rough drafts of the templates.  Now I'll go back and make more precise measurements, more accurate templates, and begin the process to true everything up and glue it all in.  Whew, talk about a learning curve!  

Also, I am having a hard time getting the proper angles for the thwart frames to fit snugly against the planks.  Is there any sort of "tool" that can help determine weird angles?   I suppose I could use another business card (I have hundreds!) and manually do a trial and error fit, till I get a good template, but thinking there must be a tool to help somewhere, maybe?

Thanks for all your help in this endeavor!










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It is much better that the thwarts are too long than too short! No-one has invented a good wood stretcher yet. Card patterns are certainly the way to go, just as you suggested. Cut a piece roughly to the angle you need, then refine it by careful trimming. For complex shapes, you can glue small pieces of card to a larger one to get exactly the shape you need.

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Druxey, haha!  Maybe i need to invent a "wood stretcher" as a retirement project!  I found a "contour shape duplicator" with metal spines that could supposedly be used to capture angles, but the reviews weren't very impressive.  So I'll try the card idea before I purchase anything!  Thanks!

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 Lynn, what a great post! I could see your wheels turning figuring out how to solve the problem. That's growth, I'm very proud of your progress and the little pram is looking great. 


 I agree with druxey regarding a large contour gauge but Micro Mark carries a six inch model that may or may not be useful? It's not that expensive In the great schema of things, see the below link.




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I have a seen a great home-made version on MSW, I wish I could remember where so I could credit it. I think it was in a Viking ship log (which have the same internal-clinker problem). Basically, you cut a series of strips from stiff card, each about the inner width of your planks. Then you use a clamp (like a paper clip or clothespin) to hold them together in a fan shape. You match the end of each strip to one of your planks, resulting in a fan with a very close approximation of the inner hull shape. For non-clinker hulls, just make the strips thinner and they'll still approximate the curve. Now you have a pattern to trace that doesn't require endless trimming of a single piece of card. Does that description make sense, or do I need to figure out a sketch?

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Keith, thanks for the encouraging words!  I looked at the MicroMark tool, but then used pieces of cards as druxey and Cathead mentioned to create a fan-like template to use, so I'll save money for now.


I thought my templates were ok, but after installing the thwart frames, trimming down the thwarts, and doing a dry fit, I realized the midship thwart was first (too short now, but still works), and second, too low in the boat.  I had two choices... either remove and re-attach the frame at the right height, or put a spacer under the thwart, so that it sat level. I chose the simpler fix... which was easier, (and probably not helping me learn more about undoing mistakes, but I was getting tired!), so I added a couple of scrap pieces as "spacers" under the thwart, and it seemed to work.

These frames and thwarts were a challenge.  My templates didn't work out exactly as planned, and I removed a bit too much of the midship thwart, and my frames were less than perfect...  but for now, its ok, and I'm learning.

How do you guys get perfectly clean char removal?  Every time I see your ships, the pieces are beautiful!

And what's the difference between beveling and softening?  The book says to bevel (which I understand), but then says to "soften" the edges.  Isn't that just a light sanding of the bevel?  Just curious.


Thwart frames installed



Dry Fit (midship thwart is too low)



Add spacers to bottom of thwart



Fit is better (although I trimmed a bit too much off the sides!)






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Cleaning char is a chore. Changing sandpaper when it gets clogged will help. I use 220 grit and then 320 grit. Real fine tuning with 400 grit (overkill, but it works well for me). As for your twarts, if you are not happy with them now you will never be (someone on MSW told me this once). Now’s the time to redo. It’s always better a second or third try. Also, he means soften the edge so it’s not so sharp. Really just a light sanding on the edge. I wouldn’t consider it a bevel. 

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Uh oh, I'm stuck!  Am I doing this correctly?  To create the chain plate slots, it says to drill a hole into the inwale (using a #72 bit), and then take a #15 narrow saw blade and push the point through the hole.  I drilled the hole per the instructions, but I am having trouble "pushing" the saw blade thru the tiny hole.  I am afraid of breaking the inwale. 

Question 1 - is my saw blade the right size?  (see my pics of the tool package).  It's called a "keyhole saber (push)", but I don't know if that's the same as a "#15".

Question 2 - is there a technique to "pushing" a saw blade thru the hole?  I've been giving it as much force as I dare, but it hasn't gotten very far thru the inwale, and I'm scared to push too much harder.

Your thoughts?


trying to "push" the saw blade through - but its not working very well



My tool 



the "keyhole saber" description... is that the same as a "number #15 saw blade"?







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Wow, almost ready to paint!  Added rudder gudgeon pad, rowlock pads, rub rails, and dagger board.  Thwarts and stern sheets done.  Midship thwart knees completed.   Just need to prepare the rudder, shaping & sanding, then I can start the painting process.  Whew!   Of course, there's still much left to do after painting... sails, rigging and metal work all look daunting, so I will enjoy the painting while gearing up the nerve to move to that next challenge!






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Ay yi yi!  Lots going on with this pram!  Started painting, using the paints from the kit.  Pleased with the Warm White outside of hull, and with the Clear satin finish as well.  Used the Copper Red inside the hull.

Then came the floor boards.  First, I had to trim off about an 1/8" on both sides of each floor board.  Then, not feeling very steady-handed, I laid out the floor boards upside-down on some painters tape (for easy removal), and glued them as a "unit" into place.   Creating another template for the aft floorboards, I needed to trim these as well, and again, used tape to install these as a "unit of 6" rather than 1 at a time.

Experiment 1 - tried some "Minwax Golden Oak" stain on the stern sheets.  Didn't like it, so turned it over and tried to do a better job of staining the other side.  That didn't work either!

Experiment 2 - Painted the stern sheets with the Yellow Occre from the Dory kit.  Liked the effect, so went ahead and painted the thwarts as well, and beveled and re-sanded the stern sheet too.  Worked to bring back the "flush mount" which I had achieved originally, but after using the opposite side for painting, I couldn't get it sanded enough (I was afraid I would sand too much off), so I left it as is.  I'm ok with how it turned out, though.'

Meanwhile, reading ahead, the author talks about "driving home" some bolts.  Question - since these bolts are thin as needles, how do you "drive these home"?  Use a thimble to push it?  Use pliers to grip the bolts and push it into the wood?  Is there a small tool/hammer to use?  Your advice?  One more question:  I love reading everyone's blogs and seeing the pictures, but are there any YouTube videos which show details of rigging, masts, and metal work?  I've done some rudimentary searches, but haven't found any.   As always, thanks for your feedback!











Experiment 1 - I didn't like the white-ish mark left by the stain on the side of the stern sheet



Experiment 2 - liked the paint, but now need to re-sand and re-bevel the stern sheet.



Current status - Liked the look of the completed paint job.  And getting ready to start working on the tiller and (gulp!) some of the metal work!  Fingers crossed!




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