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Bulkhead Fairing Questions

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I'm working on fairing my first build and a have a couple questions.  I've looked through the forums and if this information already exists I didn't find it.


What wood do people usually use for the shims?  I would assume that the shim needs to be exactly as wide as the bulkhead but I'm not sure about this.  I have the wood in the kit for the planking and leftover wood from the laser cut pieces, could I use either of these or should I purchase something specifically for shims?


Should the shim be a consistent thickness and sanded down where necessary or can a taper be cut that will match where the most and least shim is needed?


If the shim goes through a significant curve on the bulkhead, will I need to steam the shim to get it to follow the curve without breaking?


Thanks for any advice or ideas you have.

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If you're going to fully plank the hull then a shim, if needed, can be of virtually anything as it won't be seen.  Whether or not a shim would need steaming or soaking would depend on the type of wood and thickness you need.  Give it a go and see what happens.



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Whenever I have had a situation where I needed to shim the edge of a bulkhead I've usually grabbed a small piece of the second planking or any scrap that's 1/32 thick.  Once it's glued in place, I check it for fairness with a planking strake and sand the shim as needed.  You could use anything, it just depends how badly "off" the bulkhead is.




Current build:    Rattlesnake - 1780  Model Shipways

Builds:               Mare Nostrum  1:35  Artesania Latina

                          Cutty Sark  (I believe it was an AL kit)



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Bulkhead fairing is critical to successful hull planking.  Depending on your kit, you may need more or less fairing.  Attached are pictures of my "Fair American" build showing my approach to dealing with bulkhead fairing problems.  The filler blocks are bass wood but clear pine would also work.  Fairing was done with #80 grit paper using an 1 1/2" dowel.







Pete Jaquith


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