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USF Essex by Cookster - 1:48, 1814 Configuration, POB and POF (first scratchbuild)

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Mobbsie, I don't know about the "I know what I'm doing" bit...  I think I've learned just enough to now be considered dangerous.  I have studied quite a few build logs and bought more books that I care to admit (VOL 1 of the French 74 gun ship is AMAZing!).

 

I *hope* I'm getting this build close to historical reality, but honestly I'm not sure.  I'm a pretty crafty carpenter at full size, so in my mind I think "well I could make that at full size if I had to...."   So does that help?  Not really - but it makes me feel better anyway.      :cheers:

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Hi Wes,

 

I don't want to sound patronising mate, but we all have a picture in our "mind's eye" about how something should look, but unfortunately that picture is rarely achieved, I am privileged to know a few through this forum who can achieve this and you mate are in there.  

 

You can read all the books in the world and look at as many logs as you want, you still have to produce the goods in the end, this is where I and a good few others fail, but we keep trying.

 

Be Good

 

mobbsie

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Hi all, I'm back on my Essex build.  I took a couple months off, frankly I got burned out.  Those pesky cant frames and scarph joints started getting to me. I've been reading some other logs and came across a couple of folks using jigs and a mill to cut similar joints so I've decided to give that a try.

 

I have a sherline mill and haven't even used yet, if you can believe that!  I bought it on sale 2 yrs ago and only opened the box once.  I just never seemed need to need it until now.  i KNOW I will be able to use it extensively later on, once I get past these dang frames...

 

I've been continuing my drawings as well and am looking forward to finally finishing the forward cant frames.  I've got to build a jig for the scarph joints, then I can start on more cant frames.  I'm looking forward to making some progress again!  More pics to come

Edited by cookster

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Mobbsie, your comments are flattering, thanks so much.  I'm not sure if I deserve them though. And yes, I can see where this is going in my minds eye, I just wish I could communicate it to others without 1000 word essays (that don't help).  I know 9 out of 10 still don't have a clue what I'm doing.  Hopefully someday it will become apparent...  Oh, and don't sell yourself short either, remember that "little" Agamemnon boat you built?  She's a beaut mate and I just hope I get close on anything I build.

 

Augie, I almost found myself doing just that - cutting corners and quality just to speed up and finish something.  I had to step away before I actually did it.  

 

Kmart, thanks.  I'll get back to my Connie at some point, I'm ashamed to admit I got kind'a bored with her.  I see her sitting almost everyday just waiting for attention...    

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I've been using my mill for a couple days now and so far I love it.  I hated cutting those scarph joints the way I was doing it, to the point I almost gave up on making them.  With the mill they are so much easier, and much more accurate.

 

Here's one I cut today.  Now I don't mind making them....

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I thought I'd briefly show how I milled the scarph joints using my Sherline mill.  This is my first milling project so it took me a little time to wrap my head around it.  When I first started thinking about how to do this I drew a blank.  I didn't want to use paper patterns or layout lines to do so, it seemed to me that would defeat the accuracy of the mill.  

 

Here's a dwg of the measurements for this joint on this particular frame.  I tried to think of ways to use the accuracy of the mill to my advantage, and then it hit me.

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First, I cut the angle needed on the end of the piece in the chop saw.  I will use this angle to locate, then clamp the stock in place in a jig.  I realize using a square (even this accurate starret square) is not as accurate as a machinist would use, but for this it works fine - so far.  And as far as the jig, a piece of plywood will do until I decide how to build a "real" jig.

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Then I mounted this setup in the mill vise.

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First, I faced off the end of the stock a few thousandths to get an accurate zero point.  My first test on my process yielded less that accurate results from just guessing at zero, so facing off allows me to get a "perfect" zero start point.

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Then I moved the slide over the exact amount of the width of the scarph, in this case .750".  Then I moved the bit down until it just contacted the stock, this point became my zero for height.

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Then, using the measurements for the depth and length of the scarph, I milled the waste out.

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Next, the same process was repeated for the other piece.

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And here's the completed joint.  I'm pleased with the results.  Joints are nice and tight and accurate, and best of all no patterns, layout lines or guestimating was needed!

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Edited by cookster

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I've added a few more cant frames now that I'm over "Cant frame builder's block".  

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Here's how it looks when added to the center bulkhead section and square frames.  The cant frames are only rough shaped, the tops aren't shaped at all but you can get somewhat of an idea of the bow of a ship.

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More Cant frames made.  Using the mill for the scarph joints  is working out fine

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I'm beveling each frame where it goes against the center bulkhead, just as it would if this were a conventional deadwood joint.  The frame looks like it's beveled, but it's an optical illusion.

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Here's a close up of the top of the plywood "frames" against the center bulkhead.

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And a few more in positon

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Won't be long before I'll have to start on the stem and apron, and the hawse timbers/Knight Heads.  

Edited by cookster

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All the Cant frames are made now.  They're all pinned with brass pins for alignment, and I've screwed the frames to the bulkhead.  This allows me to remove and reinstall and keep alignment.

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I also added a piece to form the apron that sill needs to be trimmed.  In the beginning I'd planned for the area at the rabbet to be planked over, but now I'm thinking I'm going to be able to have it show so I need to add some pear in place of the plywood since it would be visible.  

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I also pinned the bulkhead extension to the main bulkhead to hold it in place (in this pic it's on the temporary bulkhead) and added truss rods through the cant frames on each side to hold them tightly to the square frames.  

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Next some shaping and the stem.  As always thanks to everyone for the likes and for looking in.

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hi all, back for an update.  First, I hope all had a Merry Christmas and here's wishing all of you a happy new year!

 

Here's where I'm at currently.  I'm shaping the cant frames and working on the hawse timbers.   I made a test run of the hawse timbers out of pine to get a feel for making them.  It's become apparent I need 2 more cant frames.  Without them there's too much space that needs to be filled with hawse timbers.  I used Portia T's plan as a guide for laying out the cants, but I see now I need to add 2 more.  Once I do that then 4 hawse timbers will work- instead of the 5 I have now.  That also lets the hawse holes line up in the correct place.

 

Also, I will go back and mill out the air space between the hawse timbers once I get them shaped.  The pine is a good test sample for practicing doing that on the mill.  That and drilling the hawse holes,

 

Still a lot more shaping to do, but it's getting there.

 

Pics

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Been quietly following this one for a while now Wes, and I must say this is definitely a unique approach, and one, I think, is a "one-of-a-kind" build. You said in the beginning, something about having the skill, or know how, to pull this off, but I would say that anybody that can accomplish what you have already, AND doing it in an unconventional way to reach the same end, is more than skilled enough to pull it off.  :) Very nice! 

 

Hope you have a great 2016 and Happy New Year post-12186-0-57811200-1451603919.gif

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Thanks George!  I was pretty confident I had the woodworking skills and design abilities (he says with all modesty!)  I've been building and designing stuff, models included, since I was 6 years old.  The problem I knew I'd have, and it's proven true, is lack of shipwright knowledge.  There just so much I DON'T know.  Before I started this project I'd never heard of "frame lofting".  I couldn't have drawn an accurate ship frame if my life depended on it.  There are people on this board who know 10 times more about framing and building wooden warships than I'll ever know.  What I am good at is drafting (CAD helps more than can be stated) and designing "stuff.  So I dug in and and started learning, and fell back on common sense when research failed to turn up what I needed.  I hope to draw plans for another ship one day - I do enjoy it.

 

And I've made plenty of STUPID mistakes.  I've redrawn those damn cant frames more than I want to admit while making several versions of them, mostly because of not fully understanding the various lines on 200 year old plans  OR, trying to force the lines on the original draft to fit something when in the real world the needed "line" was staring me in the face - but refusing to believe it.  At least they finally fit now.

 

A lot of what I've drawn is based on well informed (I hope) guesses.  Others, here's a prime example, is needing to add 2 more cant frames.  I have no idea if that's correct or accurate, but based on what I have now - it's a course I must take.  I drew out the added 2 cant frames and everything i was struggling to fit fell right in place.  So that's an easy "guess"  for me.

 

In the end when this is all done and finished if I can say to myself I did everything I was capable of doing in both research and intelligent guessing - then I'll be happy.  I hope.  

 

Thanks again for looking in!

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Here's how I plan on making the stem, a test piece was made from pine.  I'm going to use template routing.  To do this requires a template of the desired profile.  I won't go into details on pattern routing, it would take much text to describe the process in detail and would bore 99% of you.  Anyone interested can google "template routing" or "complimentary template routing"  to see the process described in detail.

 

I made a pattern of the stem's profile at the apron by sanding to a paper template.  This pattern has to be made perfectly as it will be the master for all other templates needed.  The I used the pattern to create negative pattern out of high quality hardboard..

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The negative pattern has to be reduced by the diameter of the pattern router bit to be used.

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Here it fits the stem profile perfectly.  

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The stem blank was made using scarph joints.

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Next, the stem blank was placed in the proper location on the template.

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Here's the back of the template.  You can see the excess that will be routed away.

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And after routing.

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Later after installing onto the bulkhead the stem's thickness will be sanded down using another pattern so the knee of the head can be built up.

Edited by cookster

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Hi all, I've been working on the hawse timbers  Sorry, no additional pics yet.  I'm now on version 3 of the hawse timbers and I'm struggling with them to be honest.  Not the making them part, but drawing them and getting everything around them to line up.  In a post above I described changing the number of cant frames to help alignment, I I had to do that a 3rd time.  Not only the widths of the hawse timbers (which directly affect the spacing of the hawse holes) have been tricky to determine but the height of the hawse holes as well.  I posted a topic over in the research section, I won't go into details here - if you'd like to take a look it's here:

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/12746-usf-essex-1812-vertical-location-of-the-hawse-hole-question/

 

I was doing more research and I stumbled on Alan Yedlinky's scantling book.  I had no idea that was out, so I ordered a copy and it arrived today.  I plan to bury my nose in it and see what else I can learn that may help me (or confuse me more...)  As soon as i have some real progress I'll post some pics. 

 

As always, thanks for looking in, hitting the like button or replying...

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Hi Wes,

 

I don't have a clue what your doing or how your doing it but whatever it is it looks really crisp and clean.

 

Keep doing what it is your doing and I'm sure it will all come together nicely, just like your previous work.

 

I can appreciate a craftsman and shipwright at the top of his game and it seems to me your there.

 

Good on ya mate.

 

Be Good

 

mobbsie

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Mobbsie, I don't deserve those flattering comments but thanks so much for your kind words!!  I can tell you there's a whole lot more I don't know than I do know.  I'm just hoping to learn all I can while on this journey and not screw up anymore than can be avoided.  

 

Thanks again!

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Here's an update on the hawse timbers.  

I'm using templates of each timber, glued to each timber.  I placed center marks for line up pins for use when gluing each timber together.

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Since I'm now on version 3 of the hawse timbers I'm hopeful everything I've drawn will work out, so I went ahead and milled out for the air space between the hawse timbers.

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I glued spacers between the timbers to maintain spacing when gluing up.  Here's brass rod as line up pins.

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After all the timbers were glued together, I used a sled I made to cut the bevel that meets at the cant frames. This could be quite a dangerous cut on the table saw plus there was no way to accurately hold the timber assembly, the sled made it possible to do this.  Also I wanted to glue all the timbers together, then cut the bevel.  That's the most accurate way to make a cut of this type where all the individual cuts must line up.

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Here's better pictures from version 2 of the hawse timbers.

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Here they are after cutting, pinned in place.

post-5597-0-41488300-1455514748_thumb.jpg

 

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Here's the hawse timbers after some very rough shaping.  Still a lot of sanding and shaping to do.

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Hopefully this latest version will work out.  I hope I worked out all the kinks on the first two attempts.  Guess I'll know soon enough...

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Hi all, I'm back after a long break this spring and fall.  One of the reasons I quit working on Essex was I'd reached a point where i needed a build board and a new work table/bench.  That's what I've been working on the last few weeks.

 

I've got the build board made, I just need to add one more piece of T Track.

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Of course it's covered in clutter while I finish the new work bench.

 

New work table.  It will be portable, on casters.  I debated adding casters but decided I wanted the portability, something I've never had in a work bench.  I still need to add the casters, the top and the doors and shelves.  I'll be working on that the next few weeks as I have time, then I'll finally get back to building.

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Oh, and I finally got me a Byrnes saw for my recent birthday, now I can really get to scratchbuilding stuff.

 

As always, thanks for looking in....

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Thanks guys!

 

I re-read back through this build log last night as It had been awhile since I'd looked at it, and I immediately came to and stopped on one of Augie's posts.  Damn I miss his replies, witty banter and the encouragement he had for everyone, not just me.  It really stopped me in my tracks for a few minutes as I read on and then saw his last post to this log.  Makes you stop and think - at least it did me.

 

Anyway thanks again!  I was gonna sneak in a pic of new progress but the camera batteries just died, so you'll have to wait a while longer...   :piratetongueor4:

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I temporarily attached the model to the buildboard just cause I couldn't wait.  I still have to complete it and build several clamp blocks and such.

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Here is work I had done last spring but never took pics of and posted.

 

The unplanked side is rough faired, the gaps you see at the joint between the feet of the hawse timbers and the first cant frame are only due to things being loosely held together.  Trust me, the gaps are tight when assembled correctly.

post-5597-0-96084500-1474518117.jpg

 

The unfinished side still needs to be rough faired.  I also had to rebuild one of the square frames due to a stupid error I made when assembling them.  Dopey me....

post-5597-0-34469400-1474518116.jpg

 

Here you can see the bollard timbers and the gaps between the Hawse timbers.

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Now on to finishing the build board, a lot more sanding and the stem assembly.  I cut the pieces for the stem last spring, I've yet to start assembling it.

Edited by cookster

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