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14' Banks dory by Martin - 1/12 scale


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Being a newbie, this will be my first build log so please feel free to chime in with any and all helpful hints! The plan is to build a 14' banks dory with my nephew building one alongside me, so hopefully he'll learn a little something about both model making and the history of the full sized boat. I'm hoping to do things quickly since his attention level may slip if things get too long winded. I will take pictures and post updates to the log as quickly as possible but if my day job should interfere there may be a few gaps in the posting. Dories have long been a love of mine, since I was brought up in a family with a long history of fishing, and as a kid I remember my Dad and Uncles rowing out to check the salmon nets in boats very similar to this build. I've always marveled at the simple but beautiful lines of these tough little boats, so let's get started building one....first up for me and the kid, a trip to the local Michael's and hobby shop to pick up our materials and then we'll lay out our cut sheet and start building a boat!

 

 

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we made a successful materials run and picked up four sheets of 1/16 x 4 x 24, 1 sheet of 1/8 x 3 x 24, 1 sheet 1/4 x 3 x 24 basswood,  along with 1 sheet of 1/8 x 12 x 12 birch plywood. We'll get two boats out of this material, and for less than $20.00 it's a good deal. Tonight I'll lay out the bottom, stem and transom posts and the ribs, and then tomorrow we'll cut them out. The ribs will be cut from the plywood so they will be nice and strong for planking since we are going to build this boat right side up and plank directly over the ribs. The stem and stern posts will be cut from the 1/4 basswood, and we'll plank with the 1/16th basswood.

 

We also gathered up the tools we'll use and I gave the nephew a quick safety lesson so hopefully we'll need a minimum of band aids....I'm pretty sure I just jinxed us there! I think everything we'll be using is in the picture, except for the scroll saw which we'll use a lot. The tools are pretty basic and will include a couple of x-acto knives, a small plane, a couple different grades of sandpaper, a razor saw, water thin superglue and kicker, and a flexible edge, square, and pencil for laying out the bottom.

 

please excuse the clutter of my work area, I'm a firm believer that a clean desk is the sign of a sick mind.... :)

 

popcorn is always welcome!

 

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today we managed to get the bottoms and the ribs cut out for the dory. I would like to get a scale 4" of rocker on the bottom so I soaked the bottom in a little hot water then clamped it to the bench with a 1/4" spacer on the ends. I used my microdrill box under the clamp to ensure that the bottom didn't curl up on the edges like a potato chip. Once everything is dry we'll have a nice curve to the bottom. The young fella had fun with the scroll saw and managed to get all 20 ribs and a couple of extras cut out without a single nick to his finger....maybe the safety lesson worked?  To make things simple we cut all the frames at 125 degrees. This will make the dory a little wider in the bow which will add a little more curve to the sheer...a look I find pleasing to my eye.

 

Tomorrow we start gluing up the ribs, working on the stem and transom...so far so good, the nephew is having fun, and that's sort of the whole purpose of this project.... :)

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so today we managed to get all the frames and posts in place and they are starting to look like boats. Hopefully tomorrow we'll start planking. Here the frames are displayed with an almost finished version I've been using to teach the nephew how things should look as we build. There's also a 19' version in the background to show which colors we're going to use on the finished boat. I'm hoping to teach him how to pick paint colors by not telling him what they are, then letting him go shop to see how close he can get.

 

This project is very much reminding me how my Dad, Grandfather, and Uncles taught me to do things, I'm hoping i am half the teachers they were...I owe them my entire career.... :) .

 

 

 

 

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Sweet work.  What you're doing is something that every kid (boy or girl) should have... practical, hands on knowledge.  They may go into some theoretical such as physics but they'll have the bit of confidence that comes this type of education...  <ok... kicks soapbox back in corner>  <grabs popcorn>  I'll be good now and just watch and admire.

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despite a brief interruption for a bit of go-carting, we managed to get the sheer set and the cross spalls installed. Next up we'll bevel the stem and transom to accept the strakes. We also ripped our 1/16th basswood boards to 3/4" wide on the bandsaw and we'll bevel the edges of those as well.Oonce we are ready to start planking it should go fairly quickly....hopefully anyway!

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today we managed to get the garboard hung along with a couple planks on each side. It took a little while to get the nephew doing the bevels on the strakes properly, but once he got the hang of it was on it like an old master.We also had a lesson in repair with a broken rib but we managed to get the old one removed and a new one installed with only a minor amount of frustration. You can see from the picture that he has a nice tight fit of the strakes on the transom. I decided it would be easier to bevel the strakes in place as opposed to before installation and that idea seems to be working out pretty well. We're using an x-acto knife instead of a  plane and we're shaping and fitting until we get a fairly tight fit. For his first try I am very pleased, and so is he...

 

I'm not too worried about neatness with the glue since we're using thin CA which works great in this situation, but goes most anywhere it wants. As my Dad always said, a good coat of paint covers a lot of sins.... :P

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  • 2 weeks later...

after a weeks delay due to work, we managed to get the dories largely finished. We finished up the planking, added the rub rails, breasthook, dory cleat and seats. I also had some wood with me on my last job so I carved a set of oars and built a fishbox to make the model a little more interesting....next up, paint.

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  • 5 months later...

well  months after we got started, we finally finished up the dories. I'm sorry I didn't document the rest of the process but my work got in the way...but we finally got them painted and over the finish line. The nephew is very proud of his finished dory, and it resides on the nightstand beside his bed. I ended up building a 3rd one, along with a few details, while I was on set working for the past 5 months.

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Did you use any plans for these? Your dory's beam is much wider than mine and I really like it. It reminds me of what is called a "drift boat" and used on the rivers for steelhead and salmon fishing here in the Pacific Northwest.

 

Pete in Portland

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Hi Pete, I didn't use any formal plans for these, but pretty much eyeballed them based on the lines of the dories my Grandfather built to check salmon nets on the East Coast of Nova Scotia. His design proved to be pretty popular for the calmer inshore waters. The wider beam made these really stable and were great for one guy checking nets...sounds like the builders on the west coast had a similar idea. I like that the lines are a little more sweeping than  a traditional dory, but for open water schooner based fishing I think I'd prefer the more traditional dory. I'm building one of those now and will post pictures of the two different lines. Thanks for taking the time to look and write guys, I appreciate it!

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the barrel hoop and the anchor were both rusted the same way...painted with sienna and umber oil paints,  and then lightly dusted with Bragdon's weathering powders. If you've never used the Bragdon's products they are really great for this kind of stuff. i believe they are around $25.00 for a starter set, but it'll last you through hundreds of models...they are one of the best things in my toolbox.

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