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Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack by Timo4352 - FINISHED - Midwest Products - SMALL - First time builder


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Hello and welcome to my first build log. I have just received the Muscongus Bay Lobster Smack and I have started building already. I spent more on supplies to build the thing than the kit costs, but I guess that's the way it goes.  :unsure:

I started with an inexpensive kit so if it doesn't go so well I wont be out too much. I do have high hopes, however. My wife is already expecting to display it in her curio cabinet, so I better do a respectable job!

Just getting my log started here now and will add some pix of the progress shortly.

I'm looking forward to posting the progress and hopefully learning some tricks of the trade from your comments, suggestions, etc. I hope you all enjoy.

Tim

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Got a few pix here of my start on the lobster smack.

I'm finding being patient while the glue dries to be the hardest part so far  

Me and super glue have never got along very well, and this model build is no exception. The stuff sticks my fingers together no problem but the actual piece I'm trying to glue together is questionable.  :huh:

I tried  to paint the cockpit sole to resemble weathered teak.

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Hi Tim,

 

You're off to a good start.

In almost all Midwest sailboat kits, the cockpit floor is too small.  On my first MBLS, I added a bit of with to the cockpit floor for a snug fit against the hull.  There is a photo how I did this in my first post, use the below under 'Completed Build'.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

  

As Can'n'Bob said - Have fun

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I have been making some bits of progress on my lobster smack. The upper planks are done and the glue is drying now on the first side lower plank. Had to do some creative clamping for the bottom plank - I hope it holds.  I spent lots of time fairing the hull, so I hope it comes out good. It is a shapely thing. Makes me want a full size one to sail in! Thanks for checking in and please feel free to add comments and suggestions. I got a pic of the progress for ya.

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OK!   The port side planking glue held just fine. I got it trimmed up and the starboard side is under the clamps now. They both went on without too much trouble, and that's a relief. There is a lot of bend there.  :unsure:

You seasoned veterans know all the tricks, but, my way of getting the bottom planks in place involved simply placing a pencil mark midway along the keel and the bottom plank so I could get them in the right spot before the glue grabbed. And I glued and clamped the back half first, and then did the front half. Worked for me!

It's kind of amazing how stiff the whole hull gets after it's glued together, when the individual pieces are so flimsy. 

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Tim, Your MBLS is looking great!  Yep, fairing the hull is important and a skill you will do on every wood build.  When planking, I frequently use pencil marks on each plank while shaping each plank and especially when I finally glue it on. 

 

A couple of suggestions:  Go easy when sanding the hull where the two hull planks meet.  On my first build, the Sakonnet sail boat, I was a bit over zealous and this area got very thin, really thin, OK, I had a big hole!  To fix it, I glued on a piece of tissue paper with CA glue, painted the tissue paper with a coat of CA, then built it up with multiple coats of paint.    

 

Also, before you add the cockpit combing, you may want to remove some of the 4th bulkhead.  As shown in red in the photo below.  This will make this bulkhead look less obtrusive and more like a frame.  If you're not sure or comfortable, this can also be removed after the combing is added.  

 

Keep up the good work!

 

Dee Dee

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Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. Today has seen a ton of progress and I'd like to show one more photo of how it sits now. The planking is all trimmed up. I'm glad I bought a set of needle files - they worked great for shaping the planking.  :)  I've left the turn of the bilge looking a bit like a hard chine boat for right now. I plan to add and shape the blocks up front before I attempt to sand it all smooth at once - including carefully rounding those chines!

I'm having a great time working on it today.

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Got my planking finished up pretty good. The coamings were kinda tricky, and I guess I didn't get them on just right, because the cabin roof was too small. So I had to add some width around the edges to get my overhang back. I'll shape it up to look better than this. Good thing it is all getting painted over. Oh well, learning some stuff the hard way, I guess. It'll still come out OK for a first build I think.

I did jump ahead a couple steps and added the cutwater - it just looks too cool on there and I couldn't wait to see it. It makes the boat, I think.

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Edited by timo4352
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Tim,

 

The planking looks great!  You got a smooth transition between the planks and the carved blocks.  It's normal to have a small gap at both ends where the combings meet and this can be filled in with a bit of putty.   

 

As for the cabin roof:  The kit drawing shows a 2mm overhang at the front of the cabin.  This is a bit misleading since the kit part only allows for a 1mm overhang on the front and sides and ~2mm on the aft edge.  From the photos, it appears you prefer a wider overhang on all four sides.  I like it!  The best part is you made the adjustments to the kit cabin roof part to get the overhang!

 

When I added the cutwater to my build, this little boats personality starts to shine!

 

Good job!

 

 

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Looking Geat!  One tip about superglue--that I guess you don't need, as you've already done a great job on the hull-- is to use accelerator with it, sticks much better to wood. (Zipkick is one brand) It will bond instantly, so good pre-positioning is key. 

Another trick for joints needing extra strength is to add CA glue (thin works best) over a fillet of baking soda. Again, a bit of caution is required, as it yeilds a nice little exothermic reaction, so fingers out of the way...(ask me how I know...)

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...As for the cabin roof:  The kit drawing shows a 2mm overhang at the front of the cabin.  This is a bit misleading since the kit part only allows for a 1mm overhang on the front and sides and ~2mm on the aft edge.  From the photos, it appears you prefer a wider overhang on all four sides.  I like it!  The best part is you made the adjustments to the kit cabin roof part to get the overhang!...

 

 

Well, the deal with the cabin roof just became all too clear - after looking through the instructions again I realized my mistake...

What I thought was the cabin roof and then I glued on was really just the cabin cutout from the deck sheet - that's why it was too small - dang!  :(

So far I have saved it though. I cut it off - shaving by shaving - so I wouldn't screw up the cabin sides. It did come off clean - so I'm ready to start over with the real cabin roof now. I guess they make an ungluer kind of stuff I could have used, but once I found the mistake I was impatient to get it fixed right away. Learning from more of my mistakes - again.  :unsure:

Tim

Edited by timo4352
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Tim,

 

Well you just learned a lot of skills that are not written in any instruction manual! 

 

I just reworked a small part on my build and I did it the exact same way, shaved it off layer by layer.    

 

That 'debonding' stuff is great, but use it with discretion. Capillary action may / will cause more parts than wanted to become unglued.  This stuff is best when there are only two parts involved, such as the false keel and a bulkhead.

 

The fun is just beginning!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Small progress, but these small things make a big difference in the looks - to me anyways. Toerails and rubbing strips on. Hatches and seats done. The cabin hatch came out a little lopsided, another learning booboo.  :P The hatch rails I made from glued up leftover walnut scraps so they matched the hatch. Those toerails and rub rails are only 1/32" - A little fiddly. Next I'll do the trailboards (? is that the right word?) and there's another rubbing strip to go on with them too.

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Got the hull mounted up on the stand. First time I've used a pin vise. It's a pretty cool tool. Easy to control. The holes in the keel for the pins were 1/16" and the keel is only 1/8" and it was pretty easy to get it centered and straight. I like this tool. I'm showing a picture of the paint samples that I got from home depot for painting this model. 3 bucks for the can.

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