Jump to content

Shaping Solid Ship Model Hulls


Recommended Posts

Shaping the Solid Hull

By Peter Jaquith

 

Recent internet posts have identified problems/concerns relative to shaping solid hulls.  The following notes outline the process and techniques I have used with success to shape both kit and scratch built solid hulls.  Note that I prefer to plank over the solid hull and these notes are based on that approach.

 

Rough Carved Kit Hulls:

 

Templates – Prepare station, deck camber, deadrise (if applicable), fore/aft deck endings, fore/aft cap rail endings, and stem & stern frame profile templates.  I prepare templates by pasting copies of the hull lines to firm card stock or matt board.

Reference Lines – Establish hull & deck reference lines.  I recommend transferring the deck lines to the exterior hull and then clamping the hull in the inverted position to layout the centerline, station lines, and deck & bulwark shear lines.

Deck Shear & Camber – Shape the deck shear & camber.  If the carved bulwarks have been removed, a draw knife is useful here.  If the carved bulwarks are retained, than flat chisels and small sanding blocks will work here.

Bulwark Shear & Camber – Shape the bulwark (or deck at side) shear & molded breadth.  If the bulwarks are retained, use a flat chisel to carve the upper bulwark edge to the shear line.  After layout of the bulwark (or deck at side) molded breadth, use a flat chisel to carve the bulwark upper (or deck at side) edge to the molded breadth using a downward sloping cut to allow for tumblehome.

Keel, Stem, & Stern Profile – Shape the keel, stem, & stern profile.  If material needs to come off the keel line, I recommend a draw knife or block plane.  I use a flat chisel, mill file, and round sanding drums to shape the stem & stern profile.

Hull Exterior Surface – Shape the hull to the hull lines.  I prefer to carve the hull lines with the hull secured in the inverted position on a building/reference board.  First I carve the deadrise using a draw knife.  I then rough out the stations using a sharp gouge and then fair between stations.  For fairing between stations, I use gouges to remove the majority of material followed by a #49 Pattern Making file.  The #49 Pattern Making file leaves a good surface on both convex and concave surfaces, and with a minimum of sanding with sanding sticks the surface is ready for planking or copper application.

Bulwark Inner Surface – After layout of the bulwark inner surface, I use sharp gouges cutting vertically to remove the majority of the material, followed by a flat chisel and wedge shaped sanding blocks.

Option #1, Remove the Carved Bulwarks – Many modelers prefer to remove the carved bulwarks.  The bulwarks can then be fitted by recessing a piece of 1/32” ply (I have not tried this method) or by building up the bulwark framing with the timberheads slotted into the hull block.

Option #2, Recess Upper Hull – For vessels with copper sheathing, I prefer to recess the solid hull and plank only the bulwarks and upper hull.

 

Scratch Built Solid Hulls:

 

Material – For scratch built solid hulls I prefer to work with basswood or sugar pine.

Templates - Prepare station, deck camber, deadrise (if applicable), fore/aft deck endings, fore/aft cap rail endings, and stem & stern frame profile templates (see notes above).

Fabricating the Solid Hull – I fabricate the hull laminations using a table saw.  I prefer to laminate the hull block while in rectangular form.  I glue up the laminations using brown carpenters glue as the glue lines provide useful reference lines.  Where appropriate, I laminate the poop deck as a separate assembly.

Reference Lines – Establish hull & deck reference lines.  With the hull block still in rectangular form, it is easy to accurately layout the centerline, station, deck shear & camber lines.

Transom Assembly - Shape the transom assembly.  If the hull lines permit, I use a disk sander to shape the transom or counter.

Deck Shear & Camber - Shape the deck shear & camber.  I use a draw knife to shape the deck shear and camber.  If a poop deck is involved, I shape the main deck prior to installing the poop deck assembly.

Deck at Side – After layout of the deck at side molded breadth, I use a band saw to rough out the deck at side (leaving adequate material for tumblehome).  I then use a flat chisel to carve the deck edge to the molded breadth using a downward sloping cut to allow for tumblehome.

Keel, Stem, and Stern Profile – (see notes above).

Hull Exterior Surface – Shape the hull to the hull lines (see notes above).

 

Using the above techniques, I have been able to accurately ship model hulls from both rough carved kit hulls and scratch built solid hulls.  I should note that the above approach generates a limited amount of sanding dust but a lot of wood chips (most of the material is removed by draw knife, gouges, and chisels).  A good shop vacuum is a critical tool here.

 

I have attached pictures of “Newsboy” 1854 (machine carved hull, kit) and “Eagle” 1847 (laminated solid hull, scratch) illustrating the process.

 

Pete Jaquith

Shipbuilder

post-5855-0-89365200-1402854650_thumb.jpg

post-5855-0-28016200-1402854651_thumb.jpg

post-5855-0-86178200-1402854651_thumb.jpg

post-5855-0-89617800-1402854732_thumb.jpg

post-5855-0-82579000-1402854733_thumb.jpg

post-5855-0-32086200-1402854734_thumb.jpg

post-5855-0-81868400-1402854734_thumb.jpg

Edited by Pete Jaquith
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...