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HM Cutter Cheerful - 1806 - 1:48 scale by Chuck


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This will mark the beginning of my project to build the prototype for the Cutter Cheerful.  The plans are completed and I am getting ready to release the plans in a few months.  I will be building her out of Boxwood or possibly even Pau marfin.  I havent decided.  This project is a POB build as you can see from the details in the plans posted below.  Its not a very cumbersome project with just a cutter rig to deal with.  She is carvel planked and not Clinker planked.  This is one of the reasons why I chose it as a subject.

 

Once I have the skeleton built and the hull planked,  the plans will be released. The remainder of the project is pretty straight forward and doesnt need much of an explanation.  I just need to prove out the design concepts for the hull skeleton.  It shouldnt take too long.  I will be writing a monograph as I build her and posting it on my website for free download as well as here on MSW should folks want to read it.  But as I stated,  I wont need to finish the entire project to release the plans as they are really straight forward.  At a 1/4" scale...the hull will be 28 inches long and 26" tall.  A nice size yet built at a larger scale to show some great details.  

 

I am finally at a point with the Syren store where my inventory is quite full and I will be able to enjoy working on both the Winnie and the Cheerful for several hours each day.  I just cant wait to get started.  Having a laser cutter doesnt hurt either.  It will save me much time.

 

Chuck

 

cheerfulsheetone.jpg

 

cheerfulsheettwo.jpg

 

cheerfulsheetthree.jpg

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Thanks guys for the interest..I am just waiting on some wood to be delivered then I will start making some sawdust.  I am looking forward to it like you cant believe.  I couldnt find any decent quality 1/4" thick ply anywhere within driving distance so I had to order online.   I may just use solid wood instead for the bulkheads but I will see what I get.

 

Chuck

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Thanks guys.

 

I may use it because Jeff has a stash of it at Hobbymill.   I have samples and it looks like real nice stuff.  Its a bit cheaper than boxwood but only marginally so.   But if you didnt know which was which side by side it would be hard to tell the difference.  Because they are so similar why not give it a try. Boxwood is slightly more tightly grained and the the color is more even.  But if you get choice pieces of Pau Marfin it looks just as nice.  It isnt as hard as Boxwood but its really close.  More along the lines of pear in my opinion.   But I figured why not give it a try.  It also helps Jeff get rid of some.  Maybe if more folks see a model made from it they might give it a try like I may do.  It all depends on how long I have to wait for it.  I think Jeff is going on vacation soon if he hasnt already.  But I can still make the bulkheads and stuff while I wait... :)    

 

Chuck

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Today I laser cut the bulkheads and false keel from 1/4' thick ply.  It was comforting that the laser cutter will have no problem cutting through this thickness of ply.  That is really good.  Normally you will see 3/16" thick bulkheads.  I have started to use the thicker stuff in my latest designs.  I think it really helps with the stability and strength of the hull.  Its just a better thickness to go with in my opinion if you choose POB.    When you no longer have to worry about mass production and kit MFG profit vs. loss,  you are free to do these things.  Its a great feeling and in the end make the modeling experience so much better.

 

The parts fit really well.  You can see how large in comparison to the Winnie in the background.  I made the bulkhead former in two pieces as you can see.  I think its important to make these in shorter lengths.  If they are too long they have a tendency to warp and bend.  The slots cut for the bulkheads makes this even more of a problem.  It helps the warping become even worse.  You will also notice the many, many bulkheads.  I have added a picture of the Sherbourne cutter by Caldercraft for comparison of design.  With bulkheads that far apart the planking is going to be tough.  

 

Chuck

 

testfitbulk.jpg

 

testfitbulk1.jpg

 

post-7943-0-30024100-1397336034_thumb.jp

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That looks seriously good. With your access to plywood and a laser cutter will you be offering pre-cut bulkheads and a centre keel with the plans as part of a package? I realise that heads you towards a full kit supply as I'd guess gun, rope and blocks from you could be packaged in as well. I'd certainly be interested in a bigger package combined with Jeff Hayes timbers. But that might be an expansion path that you don't want to go down...

 

In any case looking forward to more as this unfolds!

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I was thinking about it.  But just the bulkheads and false keel.  What you see in that photo.  I want this to be a scratch project and scratch experience for the builder.  As much as possible anyway.  The bulkheads are easy and anyone could cut them out with the scroll saw.  It doesnt take much skill.  So if I offered them it would be only in an effort to save folks time so they can get to the fun stuff quicker.  They would still need a scroll saw to complete the project.  I basically cut these out over two-plus hours.  My laser cutter is very small but very powerful.  So I can only cut a few pieces at a time.  But it would have taken me far longer to cut them out by hand.  Its basically just a time-saver.  

 

I am a little worried it might be too expensive though.  Good 1/4" thick plywood is expensive.  These few pieces fit on three sheets of ply that  cost me $30 and then another two-plus hours to cut.   There is a lot of waste because of the funky shapes. Its midwest plywood.  I would have to look around for something as good but cheaper.  But thats a tall order.  Everything else I looked at was warped or a weird composition of woods.  This is some nice heavy stuff.  The stuff at my local Lowes and Home depot was just horrible.  

 

I am not sure what the price would be and if it would be too high for folks.  This 1/4" stuff is also heavy and would cost a pretty penny to ship...   Its the reason why you get half the bulkheads needed for most commercial kits.   But I would be willing to do it if enough folks are interested.  But I am definately not going into teh complete kit business.  I will do al-a-carte stuff like blocks and cannon and carronades....My recommendation would be to just cut them out yourself...then it would just cost you the price of the plywood.

 

I will be giving Jeff a wood supply list as well.  So that will be easy enough.

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I have already received the gunnades (carronades on carriages) for this model.  Thought I would share some photos.  These are turned brass just like the cannon I carry.

 

These are actually all ready to go...along with the carriages which are also already laser cut.  I am getting there...havent built one yet though.

 

Chuck

 

gunades.jpg

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Thanks Chuck

Hear what you are saying. I can get access to a laser cutter but I'm kind of opposed, in my own workshop, to anything except hand tools (well it is my wife that is...). That said, getting a scroll saw seems to be about a base line for scratch building so I may have to invest and hide it somewhere. Then there's the drill press...and...

 

Good to see the prospect is filled out with turned gunnades. However you furnish it and package it, it is looking really tempting. I'll wait for your decisions on that and just keep watching for the time being.

 

Thanks

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Well I dont have any pics of the machine working...today is a rope making day.  But here are some images of the shop with the laser cutter.  Its very very messy as I am in high gear making stuff for the NRg conference in a few weeks.  The laser cutter....is a BOSS Laser cutter 80 watt.  But its custom and I had the larger laser tube placed in a smaller machine body for space reasons.  I dont need a huge laser bed because most of the parts we make are small.  I am very happy with its performance.  Buying a laser cutter is like buying a car...so many opinions and stuff to weed through on the web about which is the best one.  This particular unit cost about $5500 after everything was all set up.  The cheaper desktop models you see just wont do the job and cut very poorly.   Many promise to cut through 1/4' plywood but just wont.  So far I was able to cut through teh plywood using only 65% of the power that this tube is capable of generating.  It sits on a stand with wheels and can be rolled around teh shop but I like it right next to the workbench.  Its just like sending a document to the printer....instead you just hit "file Cut"   rather than "file print".   Its very easy to get up and running.

 

laser5.jpg

 

Baiscally the Laser is hooked up directly to an old laptop of mine.  I use Corel Draw to draft my cutting files.  They are saved as DFX files and opened up in the laser cutters software...lasercut 5.3.  Note the dryer exhaust behind the laser cutter.  The laser cutter doesnt leave behind anything after it cuts.  It actually obliterates the wood in its path leaving only residue....thats the brown stuff you see on the cut edges.  It is also on the laser bed.  It must be cleaned from time to time.  The material will smoke a bit as it cuts and there is a powerful exhaust fan that blows it outside through that vent.  My shop always smells like a fireplace now...very pleasant actually.  But I wont cut plastics and other materials because its noxious and the fumes are usually very hazardous...it could literally kill you.

 

Its a bit noisy because of the blower to work the exhaust and the pump to cool the laser tube.  Water is constantly pumped through the center of the laser tube as it cuts.  

 

laser.jpg

 

laser1.jpg

 

You can see its size in relation to my work table...

 

This is the bed of the laser which allows me to cut a 14" x 14' piece of wood comfortable.  Its big enough for what we do.

 

laser2.jpg

 

This is the actual 80 watt laser tube in the back of the machine....the heart of the machine.   Th e laser beam is invisible and bounces off a series of mirrors to the laser head.   The laser head moves with a pulley and track system to follow the path of your lines.

 

laser3.jpg

 

The three things used to become an effective laser cutter is mastering the POWER setting for any given thickness of material,  the SPEED of the laser as it travels...and the maintenance of the machine to focus the laser as sharply as possible to give you the thinnest kerf.   Oh and of course the drafting and files you create must be done to the best advantage for your laser settings.

 

Basically its trial and error...place a thickness of wood on the bed and try various setting of power and speed until you find the optimum settings.  Every type of wood and thickness has different settings and they are recorded once I find them.  

 

Now back to the rope burning station where I need to finish up these 24 packs of black .012 rigging rope.  From high tech to incredibly low tech in just a few steps.

 

laser4.jpg

 

When you think about how much money you could spend on a Sherline lathe and mill and all of the accessories...$5500 is not that crazy.  I make a lot of parts for a living and that isnt the case with most ship modelers but I view this as just another tool to make parts.  You can excel at using it just like you could with a mill and lathe...which by the way,  a lathe is something I dont own.

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