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Jim L's Echo cross section

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Hi All,


I wil be attending David's and Greg's upcoming workshop in Baltimore. As the most inexperienced person who has ever attended one of these workshops (seriously) I'm counting on the great build logs that used to reside here being reposted. In anticipation of the workshop I had started to check out the build logs that were here and they were a great help in understanding what needed to be done.


Earlier this week I received the wood for the keel from Greg and this weekend will be busy down in the shop doing my "homework". I'll start posting as soon as I have some work to show.


Thanks in advance!

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Hi All,


Here are a couple of shots showing the starting point for my Echo cross section. The wood is from Hobby Mill and as always is top drawer material. Each section comes in its own little package so you really can't mix things up and since some of the pieces are very similar in size that is a good thing. There is enough wood supplied to build two complete keel assemblies and enough rising wood for 3. Since the rising wood is the most complicated part of this particular exercise it's nice to have that extra piece.




This next photo shows how the wood arrives.




I will start work on the keel this weekend and post whatever progress I have at the end of the weekend.

Edited by Jim L
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Jim L,

I will be following your build with anticipation. The cross section Echo project is one I was following on MSW before the crash. It is a project i would sincerely like to have a go at but feel my budget would not run to some of the expensive machine tools required. I shall continue to watch and learn... then one day !

Edited by Sarge
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Rising Wood


Hi guys,


Thanks for checking in. I was able to get a little work done today so here goes!


I started work on the rising wood by making a couple copies of the illustration that I downloaded from Admiralty Models website. I checked to make sure the sizing was accurate by using the 3" standard on the sheet. Then I cut out the top view and side view cutting exactly on the lines. I rubber cemented the top onto one of the pieces of boxwood supplied. Then I rubber cemented the side piece. When I tried to cement the other side I realized that it would be upside down as what works on one side will be backward on the other. At this point I had a couple of options:


  1. I could put a piece of carbon paper with the carbon side up under the sheet and then trace the lines which would give me a mirror image on the other side of the paper. Even with a sharp pencil this would result in a thicker line than I felt comfortable with. Accurately marking out the lines is critical and a fat line leaves lots of wiggle room.
  2. I opened the PDF again on my computer and selected Print but before actually printing it I checked the "print options" and found that the printer had a "mirror image" option. I selected that and printed a perfectly sized template for the other side.

I ended up with is a scantling with the top and both sides covered with paper with an outline of what I needed, here is what it looked like:



The red "X" denotes a piece that needs to be removed. I set my table saw to approximately 1/32" and cut a piece of scrap and adjusted the blade height until the depth was exactly 1/32". I ran the piece over the blade multiple times until everything in a section was removed, then I moved on to the next. I then flipped the wood up on one end and did the same thing to remove the wood from each side. After removing everything this was what I was left with.



Having used rubber cement to glue the paper to the rising wood made it easy to remove what was left. I used a small file to remove the slight imperfections from the bottoms of the cuts left from the saw kerf. This is the end result



Tomorrow I plan on working on the scarf joint.

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'Sarge' suggested that a lot of expensive machinery is required, but that's not actually true. Sure, it's nice to have powered toys, but everything can be done with decent hand tools, just like the old-timers. Yes, it'll just take a little longer, that's all.

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Very nice work there Jim, I also have the ECHO to build but must finish at least one of my builds before the Admiral will allow me to start another, in the meantime I am getting the nesscary tools to be able to do it justice.

I will follow you log with great interest.



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Scarf Joint


Today I tackled the scarf joint. Like the rising wood my table saw came in very handy. To druxey's point you can certainly do all this by hand but for jobs like this power tools make the job a lot easier and in my opinion, more accurate. The boxwood provided for this exercise is milled to some pretty tight tolerances, for example I used a digital caliper to measure the two keel pieces that I used so that I would know how deep to make the cuts. One piece was .2550" and the other was .2535". I divided those dimensions in half and first cut to almost the center of one then adjusted the blade ever so slightly to cut to the center of the second. Cutting to such close tolerances is certainly doable by hand but not by someone like me, without the ability to make the tiniest adjustments I'd be sunk. I've been a wood carver for years and am used to eyeballing things, it if looks good, it is good. When I got into building ships I had to get used to measuring things. It took me awhile and a lot of wasted wood before I broke down and bought a mini-table saw (Micro Mark) but it has allowed me to do better work so I do understand Sarge's point.


To start I held the two pieces, one on top of the other then slid them so the overlap was exactly 3' 4" on my architect's ruler. As carefully as I could I then drew a line on each piece using the end of the other piece as a guide. I then  got to work on the saw and cut to the center of each piece based on the measurements I took earlier minus a couple thousandths. The saw leaves tiny ridges and by leaving a minute amount of wood I was able to sand them away so that when I ran my nail across the joint it didn't catch. I was happy. Here are those 2 perfect pieces:




Next I cut little pieces of thin black paper and glued them to the butt ends of the joints and even though it would never be seen, I also glued it to one of the interior faces of the joint. When I glued it all together I found to my horror that my perfect  joint wasn't anymore, it was off by the thickness of the paper and glue. RATS! I made a mental note that when you measure things in thousandths of an inch the thickness of the paper really DOES matter. Lesson learned.  After a little sanding I ended up with this joint:




This is all that will be visible once I glue the rising wood and false keel in place:




The spec calls for 3' 4" and that's what was delivered!




I really do appreciate the support and the photos from other logs otherwise there is no telling what would have been produced but I'm sure it would not have turned out so well, THANKS !


Next up is the rabbet.

Edited by Jim L
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Looks good.  Having attended the first Echo workshop I can assure you that your skills will definitely improve.  I agree with Druxey that hand tools can take you a long way but a scroll saw will take you a whole lot less time to get there.  I don't know if Greg updated his "bring" list but a few things that were not on the list that were helpful to me were a cutting mat, a no. 11 Exacto, a sanding stick and a small straight edge (and of course your Optivisors!)  Enjoy!

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Toni, thanks for the tips on other helpful items to bring. Since I'm driving down I don't have to worry about the TSA and having sharp things in my bag.


Jamie, thanks. I looked at this workshop last fall but couldn't swing it work wise. It wasn't looking too good for this session either but about a month ago things opened up at work and I was able to book one of the last seats in this session.


Well, I'm done with the keel and it's on to the framing jig. The macro lens on the camera really shows every fiber, luckily it looks better in person.


Lots of clamps on such a tiny piece. 3 hold the 1.5" spacer, 2 hold the rising wood centered on the keep and 2 to hold the rising wood down on the keel.





Finished keel from the side. The blackening keep flaking off the wire so what I ended up doing was putting a tiny drop of CA glue (used a needle) on the end of the wire which left a very slight bump to simulate the head of the bolt. Also using a needle I put a tiny drop of flat black paint on top of the CA glue.





End view.






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Well done. You have passed your homework assignment! I'm happy you made the more complicated scored rising wood as it will definitely make the raising of the frames easier. 


As Toni said Optivisors for those among us with gray(ing) hair is a great help. If you do all you cutting and fitting with them the accuracy and neatness of your work will definitely improve.

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Thanks everybody, I am really looking forward to this workshop. Having only done plank on bulkhead kits previously this workshop really raise the bar for me. The final photos before the workshop are of the framing jig.








It seems like a very long time since I posted anything on my Bluenose so I'm going to get to work on the main cabin in the hopes I will have something post-worthy soon.

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Thanks Mario, I got the idea for the higher backing when I saw the size of the frames in your log :)  I figured it would give me a little more stability and I could draw a centerline on it. The frames look very fragile and I thought maybe a temporary piece running across the tops of the frames would make them a little more sturdy and at the same time I could mark the centerline on that cross piece and align it with the centerline on the backer. Just thinking ahead which I'm not sure is a good idea when I don't know what I'm doing in the first place.


I will bring my camera to the workshop and take some photos. Initially my intention was to take the workshop just so I would know what goes into this type of build but the more I read about it and see it in practice (again your log is a very helpful) the more I want to build the full cross section.


Enjoy the day.

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HI Jim,

    You are doing the right thing weather it be a kit or scratch build....."THINKING AHEAD".... I also plan on adding a bit more support before i fair the frames. They are very fragile and thats what worries me the most, breaking one during the fairing process. On the backboard square you made I to plan on adding a center line, but I also plan on adding serveral horizontal lines about a 1/16" apart. That way i will stand a better chance of keeping the toptimbers level to the horizon....


take care

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Hi Jim:


I am seriously considering the Echo cross-section as an entry into scratch building - followed by the Hannah from the Lumberyard....I wish I could head down to Baltimore, but alas, it's way too far away! Maybe if I was living back on the east coast it wouldn't be so bad...I'm sure you're going to learn a lot!


Looking forward to following your progress here


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Hi Hamilton,


Like you I thought the Echo cross section would be a great way to get into scratch building and POF at the same time. I know several people that attended the last session in the fall and they all said it was very worthwhile. I am a member of the Ship Model Society of NJ and at our last meeting one of the guys brought in his Echo cross section so I could see what the workshop covers. I was very impressed, nothing is stylized, the frames are build just as they were on the original. Over the weekend I gave Greg my order for their Echo cross section kit. It is small enough so that even in my little shop I can work on it and the Bluenose at the same time.


Living just outside NYC Baltimore is only about a 3.5 hour drive. If I remember correctly you live in the Vancouver area so Baltimore would be a pretty long haul. Maybe they will have the next session out west somewhere.


I'll be posting photos of my cross section as I go.

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