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grsjax

Maine Peapod by grsjax - Midwest Products - Small

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This is my first build log and I expect it will progress in fits and starts with many mistakes along the way.  I have been building models off and on for 50 years.  Mostly plastic cars and planes when I was a kid progressing to simple wooden boats later on.  The last 20 years have been taken up with family and job but now that I am retired I have gotten back into the hobby and have time to work on models.

 

This model is the Midwest Maine Peapod in 1" = 1' scale.  I have built a few of the Midwest offerings and generally like the kits but they do have a few problems that I will point out as the build progresses.  The first is the poor support for the building forms.  As I mentioned on another forum it was necessary to use scrap from the kit to reinforce the strongback as can be seen in the following pic.  The edges of the forms are coated with bees wax to keep any stray glue from sticking the planks to the forms (I hope).

 

As you can see I have a couple of planks in place.  Planks are fastened with Gorilla 10sec super glue at the stems and a very small amount of Elmers white glue along the seam. 

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Haven't had much time to work on this lately.  First a problem with my eye and now we have family visiting.  Went back to it after letting it sit for several days and sure enough I discovered I had made a mistake :(.  Comes from poor eyesight and getting in a hurry.  The first couple of strips were short.  Not by much but enough that it would be obvious when the rest of the planking was applied.  To repair the damage I broke the planks free from the stem and managed to break the stem in the process.  After sanding everything smooth again I repaired the stem and reinstalled it.  I was going to just remove the planks and start over but found the other end fit perfectly and so decided to let it be and see if I could fix the short end by adding a small strip of wood to the end of the planks and sanding it to the right contour.  After letting the glue on the added wood dry for a couple of days I set out to carefully sand the ends to fit against the stem. After much sanding and fitting it looks much better.  Can still see the added wood at the stem but paint covers many sins and I think this will work fine.  Going to have to pay much more attention to fitting the ends of the planks from now on.

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Made a bit more progress.  Have learned a few lessons.

Last (should have been first but I managed to get the pics in the wrong order) pic is the model with the 3d plank on each side.  This was the first one after my adventure with short planks and the subsequent repairs.

 

2d photo is after the 6th plank on each side was installed.  This was the last one that would go on without modification of the planks.  The first thing I tried was steam bending the planks to get some edge set.

 

 The 3d photo is my jury rigged bending jig.  I wrapped the planks in wet paper towels and microwaved them for 3 minutes.  Worked ok for the next two planks, see 4th pic, but I think the next ones will require either more bending or tapering.  Will post my findings at a later date.

 

 A couple of lessons learned so far. 

1.  Don't try to trim the ends of the planks to fit exactly.  Leave a small feather edge to overlap the stem and after everything is glued down come back and trim/sand to shape.  The last two pics are the un-trimed ends and the ends after rough sanding to shape.  Final shaping will be done when I sand and finish the outside of the hull. 

2.  pin the planks to the forms very tightly.  The have a tendency to lift up as you go down the line gluing the planks together. 

3.  Use lots of cloths pins to hold the planks in alinement with the one below.  If you don't little bumps and hollows develop.

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Hi grsjax,

You're doing a beautiful job of planking on this peapod. Very clean. Have you had to shape any planks, or do they fit as is? I've never seen this kit before, and I'll be following your build log with interest. Thanks for posting.

 

Steve

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Thank you for the kind comments.  Up to the 6th plank on each side there was no need to shape the planks.  The next two were steam bent but I am experimenting with shaping vrs bending right now.

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Hi grsjax,

 

I am also currently build this same boat and looking forward to your progress. I just finished the planking. One of my struggles was the planking as I was getting to the boat's keel due to the curvature. The instruction did not help much either.

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Great looking job on the hull.

 

Lack of instruction in planking the boat is one of the problems with the kit.  No mention of shaping or bending the planks and no hints on how to plank the turn of the bilge or the garboard.  Midwest would do well to update their instructions.

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Check out "Building Classic Small Craft," a book by John Gardner. It has plans and detailed building instructions for 47 small craft including a peapod. Great book!

 

Steve

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After trying different methods of getting the planks to lay down flat on the forms I decided to use the wet bending method.  I soak the planks in warm water for about 10 minutes and pin them to forms to dry.  Takes several hours to get completely dry but they are much easier to fit.  I will post some more pics later.

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Check out "Building Classic Small Craft," a book by John Gardner. It has plans and detailed building instructions for 47 small craft including a peapod. Great book!

 

Steve

"American Small Sailing Craft" by Howard I. Chappelle has a section on peapods.

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Been a while since I posted anything on this build.  Had to have eye surgery and thought I would be back to work on the peapod sooner.  Unfortunately although the surgery corrected my problems with distance vision and night vision it made my close in vision a bit worse.  Have to get new glasses before I can do much more on the model.  Until then I have other projects to keep me busy.  Will post more as soon as I can.

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Well things have not gone very well with the peapod.  After I recovered from the eye surgery and got new specs I got caught up in a long list of "honey do's" that needed doing.  That ran into more time than I expected.  Along with a family reunion on the mainland and a few other distractions I didn't get around to working on the peapod until recently.  Then along came hurricane Iselle.  Ended up being a tropical storm by the time it hit and it didn't do much damage to us.  However I had packed everything away to get ready for the storm and a lot of it ended up in my work area.  When I got around to unpacking everything and getting my work space cleaned out I found that the peapod had not survived as well as other things did.  The hull got a bit beat up (actually more that a bit) and redoing it is going to probably take more time than starting over.  For now I have set it aside and will work on something else from my kit stash until I can get around to buying a new peapod kit.  Maybe a ChrisCraft runabout from Dumas, always liked the looks of the old mahogany runabouts.

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Well, that is mixed news, to be sure. Glad to hear you survived the storm, though - coping with natural disasters can be a pain in the *** (we had to evac for a wildfire last year). Good luck on your next project!

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