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Having trouble with Washburn tug hull planking

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The plans & instructions from Duma (which are pretty explicit) say that they show "exactly" how each plank was put on this hull, on their prototype.  The planking material for this is 1/8" x 1/2" balsa.  My hull is framed correctly.  The first 3 or 4 full-width planks (from topside) curve upward toward the bow a good deal. In fact, the 1st plank rises fully 3/4", which can be measured even on the full-scale plan.  They show no spiling in these first few planks, they describe them as needing no trimming at all, they just bend along that curve.  I just don't see that as possible, without a really big "clinker" effect. (Actually the very first plank is a 1/4" width one, which is no problem bending to that curve.) 


In looking at a Washburn build in these forums (see Larry's), it almost looks to me like he doesn't have the upward curvature at the bow that I've got. In fact, looking at a couple specific photos, it looks like no curve upward at all. Could that be the case?


I'm going to send Larry a message about this - but in case he doesn't remember solving this, or isn't available, I'd love to hear from anyone else who might have done this build, or otherwise might have some insight.  I'd like to try to build this "as described", and learn how to deal with this sort of problem, but then wonder if I should just put some kind of stealer there instead.



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Hi Mark,


I hope your enjoying the Washburn build. It's a great kit and helped me as a beginner to learn about the basics of building wood model ships. I do not know if it would have ever made it to completion without the help and encouragement of the MSW community. In regard to your build here are my suggestions and input.


1) I did not find a build log. Having a build log is important. It allows other to follow and learn from your build, plus it also allows others to better help you and even spot potential issues before you may see them.


2) The planks on the Washburn are thick - yes 1/8" allows for a lot of sanding, which I also had to to do. I used Balsa Light filler at seams where needed (mixed with a little water to make a paste). I attached a few photos that may not have been published in my build log that shows this (yellow substance is where I applied Balsa Light filler). The last photo is before sanding off the excess filler. Clinkers can be fixed with sanding and some filler.


3) The Washburn had a steel hull which I simulated with a fiberglass coating and can also be simulated with an epoxy coating. I'm assuming your doing one or the other which provides lots of opportunity for correcting the hull lines. Since (assuming) the hull will be coated or covered do not worry too much on how the planks go on. Simply cover the frames, and sand, use filler as needed - the planks will all be covered and out of sight. 


4) Coating the entire inside surface of the planks with epoxy not only helped make it waterproof, it really increased the strength of the hull and stiffened the planks. I suggest you do this before sanding very much. I used z-poxy finishing resin on all the above - it sands and brushes on very easy and nice (Amazon purchase). 


5) Start a log, post some pictures so we can see where your at and get a better idea of the problems your concerned with. You will get a lot of excellent advice and support for the entire build...


I hope this helps...




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Thanks for the tips & advice, I appreciate it.  So it sounds like you perhaps had some stair-casing on those upper planks as well?  I will be fiberglassing the boat also, so I know I shouldn't worry much about it at this point; I pretty much just wondered if I was going wrong...


No build log yet, but I see what you mean about all the tips, I was just looking through your current build of the Niagra.  That's been some project!  Certainly looks great, though, very impressive.  


You comments bring on another kind of question - how did you happen to come across the info that the Washburn's hull was steel? Is there a good database for such info, or did you just do a lot of searching somewhere on the net?  Maybe right here in the NRG?

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Hi Mark,


Your welcome. I'm anxious to follow your build log. Sorry there is not much text with my build log but it was lost when MSW had a server issue. Luckily I saved all of my photos on my desktop, making it pretty easy to recover my build log other than being able to show all of the great help from more experienced builders.


The hull was really iron (my error saying steel) and the Washburn started out as a single stack until refitted with new boilers and two stacks in 1921. I believe she was demo'ed in 1949. If look on-line at Amazon books and search for Cornell Steamboat Company you will find a book about Cornell. Amazom lets you search in the book on-line and it lists all of their tugs and some specifications. It's worth reading...

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