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Armed Virginia Sloop by ortho85 - FINISHED - Model Shipways - second model


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I chose this for my second build, because there seemed to be plenty of information on the Forum.  I didn't realise so many logs had been lost - and some of the existing logs have been recreated without some of the (I gather) original details.

 

So, before I start anything with this model, I want to ask a couple of linked questions, please:

  1. Is it better to follow the instructions and glue the keel, stem and sternpost first?
     
  2. What is the best way to cut the rabbett?  Follow the Instruction Manual like this

    post-3616-0-62179700-1388040039.jpg

    or follow the method in the LSS Practicum

    post-3616-0-26310200-1388040193.jpg

I'm trying to follow the advice of reading everything before cutting anything!  I realise it's a small difference, but I screwed up my first model by not asking enough questions.

 

Thanks,

 

Brett

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Ask all the questions, the only stupid question is the one that you didn't ask. Someone here will have an answer for you, sometime it might take a day or two but you will get help. The LSS is more detail as to what your looking at. That is only my option. Wait and see what others say.

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Hi Brett

Good choice on the AVS - it is a sweet ship.

 

I would glue the stem and keel to the false keel before fitting the bulkheads (you can see this in my brief AVS log). The stern post can be left off until later but I also fixed this first. The advantage of the early fix is that you fix the pieces on a flat surface and assure alignment. I applied the same thinking to the Fly but left off the sternpost to ease the plank sanding there - a lesson learnt.

 

The instructions for the rabbet are correct in both cases but don't fret about it. The trick is just to shape a groove so that the planks dress into the keel, stem and stern posts. At the stern you need to sand back the false keel from the bearding line so that that planks flow and dress into the stern post. The very particular angles that the instructions - kit or practicum - suggest are a detail beyond the needs. Just groove the point between the lower edge of the bulkheads to make the planks dress into the keel and stem. I had to recut a rabbet for the second planking and this was no big deal.

 

My best advice is that if you have the full practicum and the kit instructions choose one over the other. They are not compatible and will confuse you. I went with the practicum and virtually never looked at the written kit instructions. The sequences are completely different and I think the practicum follows a better method.

 

 

Look forward to your updates - the AVS, as my first completed model, is a favourite.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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My best advice is that if you have the full practicum and the kit instructions choose one over the other. They are not compatible and will confuse you. I went with the practicum and virtually never looked at the written kit instructions. The sequences are completely different and I think the practicum follows a better method.

 

 

Look forward to your updates - the AVS, as my first completed model, is a favourite.

 

Cheers

Alistair

 

Hi Alistair,

 

Thanks for the info.  Your log was one that I wish had the original text!

 

I don't have the full practicum, just the free first chapter.  I also have the PDFs from The Model Boatyard.  So I have 3 guides, but prefer first hand advice.

 

As you say, it looks logical to me to glue on the keel etc first, as it will be a stronger, more accurate fit.  However it would be much easier to cut the rabbett as a simple chamfer, as show in the practicum:

 

post-3616-0-81085700-1388094113.jpg

 

Any other comments from members who have done this?

 

Thanks,

 

Brett

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  • 2 weeks later...

Brett,

I also attached the stem, false keel and bulkheads before cutting the rabbet. You just have to follow the curve of the hull to see what angle the planks will be butting against the keel. I just took my time and trimmed away at it with a curved blade knife, which I found worked better than the strait chisel type blades. I also created a sample plank a couple inches long that was bonded to gether with both layers to help me get the correct depth of the rabbet, especially at the stem. I would lay it along the edges to check the fit for final planking.

 

Ken

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Thanks, Ken - that's what I decided to do.

 

There is one small problem, but I'm going to mention it in context later, and begin my log now.  Should we call them "Slogs", since a blog is a weblog, and these are Shiplogs?

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

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To start at the start.

 

I bought this version of the Armed Virginia Sloop on Ebay.  Ordered on 10th December, delivered 23rd December – not bad from USA to Australia at Xmas time!

 

All arrived safely.  Impressive looking plans and kit.

 

post-3616-0-64728200-1389160009_thumb.jpg  post-3616-0-99694300-1389160007_thumb.jpg

 

 

As far as possible, I checked the inventory, and labelled and stashed the timber.

 

For my first build I was unprepared, but this time I knew the most important rule – buy lots of tools.  I commandeered a spare bedroom, putting protective covers on the floor, desk and bed.  The bed is invaluable for dumping the plans on.

 

post-3616-0-62656600-1389160162_thumb.jpg

 

The next step was to re-read the manual, and search for any information on this site or the rest of the net.  As I said before, I was a bit surprised how few build logs survived, making it more daunting than I had expected.

 

I found the free chapter of Bob Hunt’s practicum, and the notes from the Model Boatyard site, but when you’re a novice you need highly detailed step-by-step assistance.  Hence my query about cutting the rabbet – thanks, Ken, for your reply.

 

With my head spinning from too much information, I decided I needed to get into it.  The first step is to separate the laser-cut centre keel.  This was the first glitch.  On one side the laser cut was clean, and the tags left to hold the piece in were clear:

 

post-3616-0-69578500-1389161142_thumb.jpg

 

However, on the other side the laser had not quite cut through in several random spots:

 

post-3616-0-52194500-1389161214_thumb.jpg

 

Not a big problem, but I was scared of damaging the keel, either by missing some tags, or by being too enthusiastic in cutting them.  BTW, many of the basswood and walnut pieces have this minor fault.

 

With a little patience, and a #11 scalpel, I managed to remove the keel mostly unscathed!

 

post-3616-0-48011500-1389161472_thumb.jpg

 

Enough typing for today - I only use one finger, and it gets sore!

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

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Brett

The tags are there on purpose, to hold the parts in the parent sheets of wood. Be especially careful when you decide to remove the window frames, plus they are very hard to tell apart once removed.

 

Regarding the laser cutting, there are two things you must do:

  1. You need to sand the edges square, into a right angle to the surface. When laser cutting, the cut is narrower on top, so when you look at the edge, it will have a slight angle to it. I bonded some sandpaper to a block of wood and laid the parts on top of another block, then lightly sanded the parts to a square angle.
  2. You need to remove at least some of the charred wood from the laser cutting, the charred wood will not hold a strong bond with adhesive.

With both these steps, be careful not to remove too much from the bulkheads. For the false keel, keel, and stem, lightly sand square to get a clean fit between them, especially the scarf joint to the bow piece.

 

Ken

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The next step was to try to figure out whether to cut the rabbet before or after gluing on the stem, keel and sternpost. 

 

The manual says glue first, rabbet later; Bob Hunt’s practicum says the reverse.

 

It would obviously be much easier (better access) to cut the rabbet first, but I was worried about trying to accurately glue a 3/16” piece to a 1/16” edge after thinning the centre keel.  In theory this would be the cross-section:

 

post-3616-0-03907900-1389419817.jpg

 

I wish these kits were metric, it would make calculations and measurements so much easier! 

 

So, I trial fitted the stem, keel and sternpost to the keel, and found small errors.

 


post-3616-0-12614000-1389419079_thumb.jpg

 

post-3616-0-87283700-1389419105_thumb.jpg

 

post-3616-0-93154500-1389419135_thumb.jpg

 

After a bit of careful sanding I got a reasonable fit, and glued them in place:

 

post-3616-0-39017000-1389419335_thumb.jpg

 

post-3616-0-38024400-1389419355_thumb.jpg

 

Before I finish this post, a word of warning to other beginners - don't force the bulkheads on to the keel if they are a tight fit.  Sand them looser first.  The two areas marked with pencil Xs in this pic snapped off, and had to be glued!

 

post-3616-0-58317700-1389419726_thumb.jpg

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

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I'm well into building the AVS (just finishing deck planking).  My advice is to purchase Bob Hunt's practicum.  The kit instructions are often vague or misleading.  The practicum is extremely detailed and step-by-step.  Also, you can access the practicum's forum for questions, and get  a quick response from Mr.  Hunt.  Just my two cents, but I think the practicum is worth it.

 

Dave

post-3900-0-76261200-1389451346_thumb.jpg

post-3900-0-32933800-1389451511_thumb.jpg

post-3900-0-02024400-1389451512_thumb.jpg

post-3900-0-55305200-1389451512_thumb.jpg

post-3900-0-03858500-1389451513_thumb.jpg

post-3900-0-63964600-1389451513_thumb.jpg

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So, I traced the rabbet line on the keel, and drew the extensions to position the bulkheads.  There's not much to see here:

 

post-3616-0-76371500-1389580836_thumb.jpg

 

Then I tried to understand the instructions for cutting the rabbet.  Talk about confusing!

 

Here I struck another problem.  The manual and other practicums refer to the first layer planks as 3/64" covered by second layer of 0.020".  Being simple minded, I will talk in metric, to try to explain the problem!

 

WARNING - maths following!

 

Theoretical thicknesses:

First layer                3/64"  equals 0.047"

Second layer                                 0.020"

Total theoretical thickness             0.067"

 

In reality the second layer planks supplied and listed are actually 0.030".

 

That gives a thickness of 0.077" for two planks on a side, and a total actual thickness of 0.154" for both sides.

 

Now the centre keel is 3/16" which equals 0.187".

 

If you cut a rabbet on each side to the true double plank thickness you will leave the centre keel only 0.033" (about 1/32") thick in parts - surely too weak?

 

Here's a graphic to try to illustrate my maths:

 

post-3616-0-28996300-1389580858_thumb.jpg

 

And here's the question - am I overthinking this, and it will be strong enough after the planks are glued on?

 

OR

 

Should I keep the rabbet to 1/16" depth, and thin down the first layer garboard strake to compensate, like this:

 

post-3616-0-02677400-1389580873_thumb.jpg

 

Apologies if confusing!

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Hi Brett, am about to go through a similar process myself on a different but similar sized build and was wondering the exact same thing!! My instructions don't even call for a Rabbet/Bearding lines to be made.. (yet they seem to be needed if I do as you have done using maths, my actual Keel is 1mm wider than the 'Keel' Former, which makes for 0.5mm each side (not enough to 'sit' my 2 layers of planking into without either a Rabbet or some serious sanding!)

Hopefully we can both learn from your question :) then I can begin my own Build Log!

 

Eamonn

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Hi Eamonn,

 

My first disaster (Swift) had no rabbet, and no thickness of keel really to allow for it - so I can't help.  However, as I did with this my second build, I think you should start your log and ask the experts.

 

Twice the exposure!

 

And, not to rub it in, but how does a man with the surname Morgan, get to play cricket for England, and be Irish?  BTW, I thought his first name was Owen - making it sound even worse!

 

I really struggled with my first build, and bodged it.  Hope we both have better joy this time.

 

Sláinte,

 

Brett

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Morgan played for us for a short time before abandoning ship to England.. jeez ye guys gave them a fair drubbing over the past 8 weeks.. :)  sorry to all England Cricket fan members but this gave myself and a cricketing friend a cause for much merriment :) (to be fair I can't really talk, as we aren't even a First Class side, best of the rest perhaps but the step up is immense)

 

I think perhaps you are right in that I should just start the Log and ask questions (jim_smiths is building the same boat as me at present, HMS Ballahoo, and he has the Rabbet/Bearding line in so I shall do the same I expect, Jim is a super builder and I would defer to his knowledge, it is the sizes/amounts that I like you am questioning, might just take a nip over to his build and ask him, I'm sure his answer will serve us both!)

 

Talk again soon Brett,

 

Eamonn

 

Edit, Jim just got back to me with what he had done.. he drilled and pinned the Keel to the 'Former'.. sounds like a perfect solution.

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Brett,

Your harsh reality diagram was pretty much correct for me. After cutting the rabbet down near the stem where the rudder will be, the false keel was almost transparent do to being so thin. Dont forget you lose some thickness from sanding though, you want the final plank to protrude a bit, so it can be sanded flush. Dont worry too much about the angles of the cut, just follow the bearding line and slowly "shave" away at the rabbet. Shave is the key word, don't do deep cuts, just take you time with shallow cuts and do a lot of fit checks with a piece of sample planking. Just slide a few bulkheads in place and lay the planking on it and against the keel to see where material needs to be removed.

 

I was worried about the strength, but after planking, she is rock solid.

 

PS In future when sanding, be careful not to go too deep with final layer, you can easily sand through it.

 

DocBlake,

Nice to see another wood finished hull AVS, looks really good!

 

Ken

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  • 2 weeks later...

I took heart from the replies and pressed on with cutting the rabbet to an estimated 1/16" deep, expecting to need to deepen and reshape it before planking.

 

post-3616-0-29103500-1390628384_thumb.jpg

 

I then attached the bulkheads, and reinforced them with random bits of scrap wood.

 

post-3616-0-54198200-1390628468_thumb.jpg

 

I had problems with the 3D positioning of a couple of bulkheads, so I started a discussion here.

 

Finally I had them to an acceptable state - not perfect, though - and did some fairing and shimming.

 

post-3616-0-52398800-1390629867_thumb.jpg

 

Like a fool, I then followed the instruction manual, and approximately shaped and glued on the wing transom and filler pieces.  It was only when I tried on the stern frames that I realised I should have put those (the stern frames) in position first.

 

Here you can see the wing transoms and fillers glued in place, with the stern frames just resting on them.  You will see that the stern frames 2 and 3 stick up a little above bulkhead R.  I'm hoping I can trim the wing transoms down to shape!

 

post-3616-0-55270700-1390631065_thumb.jpg

 

I must say, I'm a bit disappointed with the manual and plans for this model.  And it's not easy finding info from other logs, since many of them are now just the reloaded photos.  I'm sure experienced builders would have no problems, but for us novices, a bit more spoonfeeding in the manual would be helpful.  The plans looked great at first view, but need a more logical arrangement and relationship to the manual.

 

End whinge!

 

 

 

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Hi Brett

I may have been a little bit alarmist and misread your photo - I was seeing something different. Do not worry about the stern frames yet. Loose laid is good. You need those fragile little window frames to position them. The stern fillers leading up to the counter need to be heavily sanded and his needs to be coordinated with the pain of shimming and sanding all the misaligned bulkheads along the entire hull. This is the nature of this kit - the bulkheads are never right and the misalignment is a kit problem not yours. The shimming and sanding takes a bit of time and is back and forth but should be done before you go any further and should be combined with bow and stern fillers. Leave off the stern frames until you have sorted this. These in turn need a lot of shaping but once you are past this it really starts to work out. You need a lot of shims by the look of your kit. If you take the time to get the planking flow right you'll be away.

 

If you have Bob Hunt's practicum follow it to the letter, it will get you there in all aspects of the build and any other guide is redundant and dangerous. Bob's way of sequencing things and getting the relationships right is the best part of his practicum and will stand you in good stead for future builds.

 

I'll keep following and if I can assist, I will.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Many thanks, Alistair.  I expect to get delivery of Bob's practicums any day now, so I will hold off any further gluing! 

 

I have started fairing and shimming. 

 

A couple of questions to one and all - what plank size is best as a test for fairness (the manual says 1/8" square - obviously bulldust!)?  And is a sanding pad the best tool for fairing?

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

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Hi Brett

I'd use a 1mm thick plank x 4 or 5mm wide. I use a sanding block and hand held sanding, the latter particularly at the bow and stern. Although it is tedious don't go so fast and hard that you fair too much otherwise you end up chasing your tail. I also found that I'd add shims and sometimes end up sanding them off. The stern fillers are often under sanded. The planks need to turn up to the counter in such a way that they don't snap and this needs more sanding than you'd expect - I think there is a reasonable shot of this in my log.

 

Cheers

Alistair

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I agree with Alistair, you're doing fine, its just a lot of sanding at this stage. The cabin frames can be placed later using the window frames to get the correct spacing. When sanding the bulkheads, use a flexible block that spans across 3 or more bulkheads, don't individually sand each bulkhead.

 

Ken

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I'm still waiting for the Practicum, but I have the free first chapter, so I thought it would be safe to press on - slowly!

 

The next step is the sub-decks, and, for the quarterdeck I agonised over the best way to strengthen the deck beams.  The manual suggests beam end supports like so:

 

post-3616-0-90423700-1390870817.jpg

 

Bob Hunt's doesn't show any supports, which I thought was faulty.  Then I found the answer in Alistair's build log, and added supporting blocks between the beams and bulkheads M & N.  I used scraps of offcuts, so they are functional, but ugly:

 

post-3616-0-06751700-1390871079_thumb.jpg

 

After considerable fairing of the bulkhead tops, I shaped the dampened poop deck in situ for an hour or so, then I glued it on, lightly held with elastic bands.  The scraps on the sides are just to hold the deck down evenly:

 

post-3616-0-83139200-1390871244_thumb.jpg

 

And now, again, it's time to sit back and wait for the glue to dry, and the practicum to arrive.  With the occasional drive-by fairing as I pass the model!

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

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Looking good, don't forget to install the two blocks that enclose the mast step before installing the sub-main deck. With the quarter-deck frames, just keep it even height port and starboard so the cabin face is the same height on each side. You also need to add an extension piece on each side of the cabin face bulkhead to provide a support surface for the planking where the rail steps down to the main rail.

 

Did you fabricate the bow fillers yet? those really help with the planking as well.

 

Ken

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Thanks, Ken.  I had not noticed the "mast mortice" until you mentioned it.  I haven't glued the sub-main deck on yet - trying to mark time until the practicum arrives.

 

Are there any other traps before I go any further?  I haven't shaped the bow filler blocks yet - that's today's project.

 

I'm sorry, what do you mean "You also need to add an extension piece on each side of the cabin face bulkhead to provide a support surface for the planking where the rail steps down to the main rail."?  I've looked at plans and other builds, but can't figure it out. 

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

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Brett

I think Ken is referring to fillers that you need to support the ends of the inner bulwark planking where it meets the bulkhead wall between the quarter and poop/cabin deck. There is no support there and these fillers will become an obvious need when you get to that point. They are referred to in Part 2 of John Earls free AVS practicum on his modelboatyard site. While John's mini practicum has a few "reading between the lines" tips do not follow it over and above Mr Hunt's or you will get confused...

 

Cheers

Alistair

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Yup, that's the one Alistair's referring to.  However, it's short on detail, and really just an add-on to the manual that comes with the kit.

 

The free chapter of Bob Hunt's practicum (http://lauckstreetshipyard.com/PDF/avs_sample.pdf) is much more detailed - I'm hoping for great things from the rest, when it arrives!

 

Cheers,

 

Brett

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Sorry late response, but Alistair got it.

I did my build using the free "Hunt" chapter and the rest using the "Earl" practicum and did fine, but also had all the feedback and support from MSW 1.0. There used to be almost 10 build logs of the AVS to scan through.

I think the most help came from following Alistairs build (thanks!), since at the time he was just a month or two ahead of me in the build, so in a way I may have also built to Hunts' practicum by proxy ;)

The next "tricky" parts ahead for you, that I can recall are:

  • Cabin/Window framing (keep the windows organized in their position. If you remove them from the sheet, they are very difficult to figure out which ones are inboard and outboard. It took me several times of studying the plans to figure out how the window/cabin frames are supposed to be done. Ironically it came clear to me just after I installed the frames but I decided to keep mine as-is and am happy with how they look. The windows are slanted, but I installed them vertical with the angles following the curve of the wing transom instead of horizontal with the vertical at an angle (I could be wrong though ??? :huh: ) there were many differing examples of how the windows were done.
  • Be careful when installing the Wale, its important regarding its alignment/height from the sub-deck and where it terminates at the counter/fashion pieces.

 

post-876-0-72285600-1391000649_thumb.jpg

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