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Mike Y

Oliver Cromwell by Mike Y - 1:48, 1777, POF (Hahn style)

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Nice work mike.  Good to see you back at it.  Yes indeed, as with any new technique it requires a bit of practice to find its limitations.  You will soon discover that that its easier ti bend a little in two or three places along a curve rather than a lot in one place for certain bends.  Give it a try.  

 

Basically find the apex to bend and then move the strip a little one way or the other and bend it again maybe an inch away from the last center point.  It extends and elongates the bend needed.

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Thanks for the advices! It is nice to be back, spending a bit of time per plank every evening. Easier than trying to dedicate a long modelling session.

 

Mark, I was trying to avoid soaking, because a soaked plank need to dry for some time, otherwise it will shrink and there would be a gap. The whole point was to be able to bend and glue the plank right away. Maybe it would become dry enough in the area that is heated, maybe not, but it would still be wet in the non-heated area.

So I'll just practice more to find that sweet spot where wood bends, but haven't dried enough to be brittle.

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I understand, Mike.  I tend to only soak the area of the bend (if I can) then bend it, run the plank along the heat source a few times and let it sit overnight.  I'll bend 4-6 strips in one sitting, but I'm a slow builder and lucky if I get my 4-6 planks put on in one session.

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Practiced more today, and so far for edge bending a small clothing iron works better, takes just 15-20sec to heat up that boxwood strip (5mm wide, 1.6mm thick) to give it a slight edge curve. It is not powerful enough to overheat the wood, while a soldering iron is too aggressive.

 

For the other dimension I had a good result with this soldering iron attachment - press it into the wood for 15-30sec, then when the area is hot enough - hook it and bend it slowly. The iron that is shipped with it is probably not powerful enough to make this big chunk of aluminum too hot, so no problems with wood burning and overheating.

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I do not have enough experience with heat bending really, just a few evenings and a dozen of planks bent in various directions. Thanks Chuck for promoting this method!

It works so far, adding one plank per evening, trying not to miss any days :) The second inner planking strake is done.

 

But I would still use my old preferred method for thick planks (like deck clamps or wales) - dunking them into a boiling (!) kettle for 30-60sec, then carefully bending by hand and just clamping onto a model overnight, with a slight over-bend. Works like a charm, allows for complex shapes with multi-directional bends, the only problem is a long drying period, can't just glue it right away. No steam box needed, but need to be sneaky so nobody sees you bathing wood pieces in a kitchen kettle, otherwise one would have an awkward explanation to do. My daughter knows though, but she keeps that secret :D 

 

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Mike, I picked up one of those benders you are showing a number of years ago, and didn't have much luck with it. But I didn't really know what I was doing back then. I soaked the planks, then tried bending around the aluminum former. They mostly burned or broke. You have inspired me to try it again, if I can find it in the bottom of my stored-away-because I never thought I would use them again-tool box.

 

So are you sliding the aluminum head back and forth along the whole length of the desired curved section, before finally hooking it and bending it?

Mark

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13 hours ago, SJSoane said:

Mike, I picked up one of those benders you are showing a number of years ago, and didn't have much luck with it. But I didn't really know what I was doing back then. I soaked the planks, then tried bending around the aluminum former. They mostly burned or broke. You have inspired me to try it again, if I can find it in the bottom of my stored-away-because I never thought I would use them again-tool box.

 

So are you sliding the aluminum head back and forth along the whole length of the desired curved section, before finally hooking it and bending it?

Mark

Yes, just bending a cold plank around the former would not work (tried it a few times) - the contact area is very small, so the plank can't get hot enough.

So first I heat up the future bending area by using this aluminium former like a clothing iron, sliding it back and forth. Probably a clothing iron is even better, but I did not want to fiddle around with two hot tools at the same time.

Only once the plank is hot - it can be hooked to the former and bent.

 

Jorge, very nice solution! It is interesting that there are so many contraptions for the same job, and everybody have different preferences :) 

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7 hours ago, canoe21 said:

Hello Mike, Very nice work as always, nice to see your approach to these building problems. May I ask you what kind of camera you are using these days as the clarity and depth is very nice,                                                              ENJOY.

Regards   Lawrence

Hi Lawrence, 

Thanks! I am happy to report that the build is progressing, few planks per week, but slowly getting there.

 

The camera is just a phone, iphone SE to be specific. No extra lenses. It is not always focusing ideally on the right part of the model, but I just make a series of photos from different angles and then pick the ones that are focused on the right places. My wife's iphone 8 is making even better photos, but I am too lazy to borrow it when needed :)

A "proper" camera requires much more fiddling with white balance and such, and can do wonders in hands of people who knows how to use it (see Gaetan), but for a simple build photos any decent phone should be good enough.

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Construction progress is not so fast, for a good reason - we got a second daughter a month ago (yay!). Everything goes well so far, we are a lucky parents and Daria (the youngest) helps us a lot. But, as expected, there is little time for anything... Though I still sneak a plank every now and then, so it is moving with a pace faster than zero, one streak per week on average! Each plank takes from 1hr (for a simple straight planks midship) to 2-3hrs (curved ones with difficult shapes). Sometimes a plank goes to waste, so overall it is not a fast process.

It is a nice to get a bit of your own time and work on a model, even late at night. Makes for a good photos :) 

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Back to the build progress. Got quite comfortable with heat bending, pretty low error rate. But I still feel that the plank made this way is more brittle than the one shaped with steam. Luckily it is not a big issue.

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Since I did a bad job in fairing, there are some low spots that are fixed by adding a filler underneath the plank:

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Or chiseling away the high spots:

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Slow but steady, I passed the equator - 7 streaks done (plus limber streak), 6 remaining!

Nothing is sanded yet, and considering bad fairing I expect to spend a lot of time scraping and sanding to make the planks look smooth and fair. There are a lot of glue traces, they would be cleaned up after treenailing.

I'm glad I started with internal planking - it is a good training exercise, that would be barely visible on a finished model, hidden under all decks and cabins. Hope to get enough skill to do a better job on external planking :) Consider this a practice piece.

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Congratulations, Mike, do not forget to pass my best wishes to your wife and Daria. You will be a very busy man. Does she have a name?

 

Nice to see some progress, little as it may be, it still is progress. Love that first photograph

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Congratulations on the new addition to the family Mike! :champagne-popping-smiley-emotic

 

Now you will have even less time for modelling. ūüėģ

 

Maybe you should enlist Daria‚Äôs help now that she has so much experience with her own build......ūü§ó

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Thanks Carl, Mark, Pontus and Grant!

 

Grant, Daria is stretching her time between school, friends and various hobbies - she got into dances, bead bracelet weaving (with really tiny beads that are too small for adult fingers), and now nursing her little sister Emelie. We are still working on her model few times per month, more like our own little thing. Soon she is planning to get a pet rabbit, so her time would be even more limited. It is a good problem to have :) 

I'll sort out my model on my own, somehow. Even a few sessions per month is better than nothing. Everybody should have a getaway!

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Thanks a lot for your comments! :) 

It is becoming increasingly difficult to clamp. Soon it would be a time to try the CA+PVA trick (using CA spots to fix the plank, while the PVA wood glue is setting).

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And some magic tricks that a Hahn jig allows you to do :) I love it more and more, it is so easy to position the hull on an angle when planking, avoiding glue drips and just generally orienting things the way you need. The key is to have a vice that can hold an entire jig. 

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This was an interesting part of the build, though pretty repetitive. I am glad that I took internal planking first, it would be barely visible, and a good practice before doing an external planking. 

One more time thanks to Chuck for showing how to edge bend. Got the hang of it, no more broken planks, and I get quite close to desired shape from first or sometimes second attempt:

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Got more Pfeil chisels, this time to simplify in-situ fairing. Works like a charm!

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Closer to deck clamps it became harder to clamp, so some awkward arrangements were used:

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The last streak was difficult. Even though I used tick marks, the last forward plank ended up a bit too narrow. Will be careful next time, does not worth re-doing this time.

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A blade is used as a wedge to press planks into each other in the areas of some gaps. More glue to soak into the gap. It is cheating, I know :) 

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During the last few months I was sneaking to my modelling corner regularly (which is a challenge with a newborn), and managed to install all planks before the end of the year! Yay! I did not expect it to take this long though - with an average of 4-5 hours per streak and 14 streaks it sums up to 60-ish hours. 

 

So here is how it looks today, before treenailing / fairing / smoothing / trimming. 589018626_Photo2019-12-29152857.thumb.jpg.801a7e41bd7c5bd3b2fe95c82ba73c2f.jpg

When in display case, light coming from the bottom of the case goes through frames and makes an interesting pattern on the planks:

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There is plenty of dust over the model, that I will need to carefully remove after sanding.

Hope to finish it in a near future and get to less repetitive parts (breast hooks, mast steps, deck structures, etc etc).  But before that I need to decide on a finish to use (or maybe no finish at all), will make some test pieces and try all the sanding sealers that I bought last year.

Also I got a surprising color deviation in planks, even though they are all cut from a few sheets of castello box, and sheets had no obvious discoloration. 

Maybe it is a side effect of heat bending, may go away after final sanding. Anyway it is not so bad, shows individual planks. A bit of deviation is good! :)  

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Hi Mike, First Congratulations on you new Daughter, and a happy new year to you and your Family. The model is coming along beautifully your workbench with the built in vice looks like a very nice bit of kit. I had to smile at you comment about the time spent fairing earlier would have made the planking easier. I am sure we have all been there. It is interesting seeing your fingers inside the hull and it always surprises me how small some of these areas are that require so much fine work to be accomplished inside them. looks like you have mastered them very nicely.

 

Michael

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Thanks, Michael! Your words mean a lot to me :) 

Getting second thoughts about some distant plans on making a 1:96 model, too fiddly indeed. At least planking at my scale is easier than with 1:24, I guess! 

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