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Beavers Prize by Mike Y - 1:48, 1777, POF (Hahn style)

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Why scratch?

I always had a high requirements for a wood quality and fitting quality. Unfortunately, even expensive kits were never that close. After getting a first pack of boxwood, I would never go back to any inferior wood. Hence, only scratch. Not that scary though, I do most of the parts from scratch anyway.

It's a pity that kit producers do not offer a wood upgrade. For a serious build, cost is spreading over a number of years, so is it really so important?

Speed of the build is not important, I enjoy the process. As Remco says - "Treat each part as if it is a model on its own, you will finish more models in a day than others do in a lifetime".


Why Hahn?

For a weird reason, don't like the realistic framing style, like David Antscherl suggests. First - you don't see anything between frames, and second - uneven spacing and shape of frames make me feel dizzy when I look on them. Physically. I know it sounds weird, but I just can't. So - frames would be spaced evenly, even if it's unrealistic. So what, I'm not adding a rocket engines to my model ;)

Also, Hahn's method for a frame construction looks easier. Yes, the wood usage is higher, but again - why that matters? I will build it for 5 years at least, so paying a bit extra for additional wood is not a problem. And I truly like the design of Hahn's jig!


Why Beavers Prize / Oliver Cromwell?

This ship has no honorable history. It was built in 1777 in Philadelphia, started a pretty good career - capturing 7 ships in 3 months after a start - but then was defeated by british HMS Beaver. Was downgraded from 24 cannons to 12, and served remaining time guarding british coast. Died in a hurricane after a number of years, slowly degrading and having a continuous problems with discipline onboard.

But there is something in the lines of that ship that touches me. Look on the model - hull proportions are pretty nice. It's not too high, and not too low, and I was looking for that photos a lot, admiring its beauty:





Edited by Mike Y
Renamed Oliver Cromwell to Beavers Prize
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And here is what you get inside the timbering set from The Lumberyard.


Various planking and frame wood. Notice that wood color is pretty varying, so needs to be sorted.

Framing, keel, deck beams/knees would be in swiss pear, planking - boxwood, fittings - mixed. I also got beech, walnut and cherry for some parts, but not sure if I'll use them. Will see!



Laser cut parts. Planning to make my own deck beams with a cute scarfs, instead of using these. But they are a good backup, if my scarfs will turn into failure:



And plans, lots of them!



Don't mind the small size of the photos, it's 11.5 kg of wood!

Let's unpack the blueprints and make some sawdust! :)

Edited by Mike Y
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Hi Mike. Great start on what looks like a beautiful ship. Can you pls clarify for me ( sorry if this sounds like a stupid question), but are you modifying a kit to build the Cromwell, or are you building entirely from scratch using plans from someone else's kit? Either way, 11.5 kgs of wood is serious stuff!!! I'll definitely be following along with interest.


All the best and kind regards.

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There is no kit for that ship (and there are not so many POF kits out there). This is a timbering set - plans, required amount of wood milled to a proper thickness, and some laser cut parts (Hahn jig, keel, some small parts). There are also no instructions, only plans. I have Hahn's book, but most "instructions" are build logs on that forum. See http://www.dlumberyard.com/shipkits.html

Scroll/band saw is a must for that build, lots of frames to cut from that wood!


You can also look on Licorne build as a good example of Hahn's method. Or Triton build (there is a sub-forum for it). Or just any other POF scratch build.


It is not a 100% scratch because you skip the step of preparing 3d model of a hull based on old plans, and you already have a proper amount of wood in a sizes that you need. But that deviation is acceptable on that forum :)

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Hi Mike. Now I understand! Thanks. I've been building models most of my life and this is the first time I've heard of a timbering kit. But then again, I often say that I'm a bit thick, but happy to learn new tricks!


I still reckon that what you've set out to do is one hell of a challenge and a great deal of fun. Looking forward to following your log.


Thanks and all the best!

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Hello, Mike

What a surprise!  I'll be following your build with interest.  I agree with you regarding the "Kit Wood" in most kits.  I have also been less than impressed with most instruction "manuals".  Now that Chuck Passaro has several ships available via Model Expo however, that complaint has been resolved for me.  The inferior kit supplied wood for planking I plan to upgrade.  I guess I'm just curious why you didn't choose a similar approach?  

You mentioned you liked the design of their "framing jig".  I can't seem to find a photo of it on their website.

Are you planning to rig the ship?

Anyway, I wish you success.  She's a ship with beautiful lines and I'll enjoy following your progress!

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Dave, I wanted to build a fully framed model, and there are quite a few kits offering this. Basically, POF kits in a good wood - none. Only sets of timber + plans, like Admirality models / HobbyMill or Lumberyard. And I like the challenge of blueprint interpretation :)


Hahn jig is documented in some logs here (like Licorne by mtaylor), or here: http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/Framing_and_Planking/HahnMethodnew.pdf

You build the hull upside down, and jig helps to align frames properly and space them evenly.

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Speaking of a fully framed models - a friend of mine visited an interesting project today - 1:1 reconstruction of Poltava, 1712 ship, partially designed by Russian tsar, Peter I, who studied shipbuilding in Holland. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_ship_of_the_line_Poltava_(1712)

The site is located in St.Petersburg, Russia.

Pretty interesting to see, looks very close to that build logs, and nearly-round shape of the hull make it look like Triton :)

















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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Finally finished most of the renovation works in the apartment, and here is my modelling corner! :)


All the tools are in a large drawer, only most popular ones are stored in the table itself.

The band saw is hidden under the table, it would be rarely used.

The drawing is a Cromwell plan from NMM, but it is purely for decoration - Hahn plans are much more detailed.


Since my wife occupied another corner for her knitting stuff, it is a time to rename the "living room" into a "hobby room". But hey, isn't hobby a big part of our life? :)


(Yep, I know that furniture is quite not in same style, will slowly fix that over time)



So now I can finally start cutting the frame blanks! Finally! Time to make a first bucket of sawdust :)

Edited by Mike Y
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Started to make a frame blanks. Discovered that my table saw is not precise enough, but luckily frame blanks do not require a lot of precision.


First - edge gluing on a flat surface, with a blueprint under the glass to make sure that everything is assembled correctly:



Second - laminating. Many thanks to Mark for making a good thread where hidden traps of lamination are discussed. I used a thick plexiglass and a lot of clamps:



Even with a small layer of glue, that is pre-dried, wood warped a bit:



But after 10 hours it looks close to normal, no warping:



But I'm worried that there is a consistent small gap between the layers:



To reduce the gap, will need to apply more glue - but that will case even more warping.

Or try to polish the surface of blanks even more before gluing (I sanded them with 240 and 380 grits)


By the way, quality of wood for blanks is, khm, questionable. Width varies a lot (might be ok, it is just blanks, but makes it harder to cut with an accurate angle on a tablesaw). Thickness is also very random, will need a careful thickness sanding when frames would be cut. Colour of that swiss pear is also very different, from very pale to bright pink. The most strange thing is that all laser cut parts are much darker than planks for frame blanks, but they are expected to be same wood (swiss pear). Luckily, this time colour difference is actually good, I was worried that frames would be too dark. And having a darker keel and keelson might be ok. But it would be good to have a consistent colour of the wood inside one package.


Plus a lot of planks have a pretty visible grey areas, around half of the planks are affected. Worried that they might be visible on a frames. Like this:



I understand that it is perfectly natural for the wood, but that's the whole point of buying a milled wood for modelling - it should not have such imperfections... Or I might be just spoiled by a wood package from Hobbymill :)

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A couple of things I've found... you really don't want a mirror finish for making the blanks.  The 240 is about as fine a paper as I would go using wood glue.  With the warping I had, I ended up having to redo 2 frames out of 60 because of it once I figured out what was happening.  In my case, fresh bottle of glue.. a bit too damp.   Left it open for about a day, mixed it up well, and it was ok. 


The wood blank strip wood...  I had to resize the width on my original order using the table saw.  One side was just too raw to use and it was too wide.  It will need thicknessing before you cut and make the blanks.  As I recall, my wood was 1/32" too thick so I ended up (after thicknessing) with 1/4" wide frames instead of 3/16". (I ordered a timbering kit knowing that the wood needed adjustment since there wasn't a timbering kiit for my plans.) However, the thickness varied over the length of the strip....  Perhaps sanding after glue up might not be a bad idea afterall.  Same for the sheet wood... thickeness varied, etc.


Hmm.. Consistent color is an issue. But on framing that's visible, I'm not sure how much of an issue it is as some of us like variable colors to show the join lines.   I almost wish I was leaving my in frame..  I guess it depends on the builder.


I will agree though that Hobbymill will spoil you.  

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I wouldn't go above 180 grit sandpaper for the surfaces. You need to have a "tooth" for the glue to bond. Variations in color shouldn't be a major issue since the finished frames comprise only a small portion  of the blank used. After cutting your blanks for the Hahn-style build make sure to mix and match your different blank piles when gluing up the frames to minimize these streaks.

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Mark, Greg, thanks for comments!


But there is one thing I do not understand. If the surface of blanks would be rough when gluing them together - that will increase the gap between the blanks, and will require to apply more glue, which will increase the wood warping.

Or I simply need more clamps and higher pressure to prevent warping.. I'm already pre-drying the glue to reduce the moisture level.

But if two very experienced builders recommend it - I should listen. Will sand the blanks with a low grit to get a rough surface, will see how it behaves.

Edited by Mike Y
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Thanks Peter, I will try more. Need to find a consistent process giving a perfect result, otherwise too many frames would be ruined later on :)


Will apply more glue and closer to the edge, plus ordered extra and stronger clamps. 5mm plexiglass should hold quite a big pressure!

Edited by Mike Y
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A couple more thoughts....


1) Squirt some glue on a piece of waxed paper or aluminum (aluminium) foil.  Use finger to apply.  Spread all the way to the edges trying to make an even coating.  Not too thick though which requires some trial and error.  Scrap cut-off's are good for this testing.


2) I have two pieces of glass (not plexi as it bends) 12" X 12" X 1/4" (30.5mm X 30.5mm X 6mm) that I put the blanks between after applying the glue.  I toss a couple of large books on top of the glass as weight and then go fiddle somewhere for about an hour or so. 

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Thanks for all the help!

Applied much more glue this time, glue was pre-dried (small can left opened for 24hr).

Looks much better, warping is minimal, and I used some extra clamps, stronger ones.

As it turned out, the lamination was ok - no sign of gaps or warping anywhere when the frame is cut.


Cut the test frame just to verify the process. It would not be installed on a model, the goal is only to practice.






First question: what is the proper margin, how far should I cut from the lines? If I cut too far away - frames would be either fat, or there would be an enormous amount of sanding later on (and with too much sanding the final shape of a frame would not be close to a proper lines). If I cut too close - frames would be too small after sanding. What is the golden rule of thumb?


Here is the side of a frame. Glue layer is slightly visible, but I guess that is expected? Or not? 




A lot of sanding and scraping to bring the frame down to desired 7.2mm thickness.

Note to readers - avoid using a heavy grits, even if you need to remove a lot. Sanded with 60 grit and got some deep scratches, very hard to remove. Good that it is a test frame, would be quite sad otherwise :)




And the end result is:





When sanded with a fine grits (1200 => 2000), the colour difference between various part of the frame is striking. Not sure what to do with that.. Well, in the end it is not plastic, so it is quite expected from wood to have a different colour naturally :)


Please post any critics, it is very important to get the technology right on a test frames. 

I am posting detailed process pictures hoping that somebody will spot a mistakes and share a good advice before I will produce 40 frames using a wrong technology :)

Edited by Mike Y
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I try to cut (operative word is "try", usually fail) just outside the line.  As for fairing.. 60 grit is fine if you're taking off a lot of material, but for just bit of removal, I00 should be good.  If you're going to plank, don't go below about 250 grit (I'm trying to recall Greg's advice) as the glue needs some tooth to grab. 


For a test frame, that one is looking most excellent.

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