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_SalD_

U.S. Brig Syren by _SalD_ – FINISHED - 3/16" scale

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Just in case you missed this in the 'New to Hobby' forum I decided to change my screen name.  Normally when I sign up on a new website I never know if I’ll like it, or if it will have any useful information, or if I’ll ever return to it, so usually I’ll just pick a name out of the book that I am currently reading.  When I registered on this site, about a year ago, I was reading ‘The Complete Sherlock Holmes and the Complete Tales of Terror and Mystery, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and being that I wasn't crazy about using Sherlock Holmes I went with Dr. Watson.   Now that I use this site quite frequently I felt that with my old screen name of ‘DrWatson’ people might mistakenly think that I am in some way connected to the medical profession or have an advanced college degree.  Either of which are true, or close to it. So, in order to not to misrepresent myself I will, or have, changed my screen name to _SalD_.

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Started chapter 7 (inboard planking) by thinning the bulwarks to the required thickness. Prior to sanding I placed the fillers strips at the stern per Chuck's instructions and also placed some filler at the bow, as Dirk recommended, to help with placing the planks in the bow.

 

post-11922-0-62995000-1424356098_thumb.jpg     post-11922-0-08667800-1424356097_thumb.jpg

 

After placing the first 3/16” plank I cut pieces to fit around each sweep.  While placing these strips I used a 1/8” spacer to keep all the sweep opening consistent.

 

post-11922-0-43998500-1424356197_thumb.jpg

 

For the remaining planks I used the pieces left over from the hull planking.  Being consistent, I planked over the gun ports and cut them out later.

 

post-11922-0-05481700-1424356312_thumb.jpg     post-11922-0-56211800-1424356310_thumb.jpg

 

I also made up the two sheaves located at the stern and cut the opening in the planking.

 

post-11922-0-56473100-1424356417_thumb.jpgpost-11922-0-94639600-1424356418_thumb.jpg

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Good progress.  I like the 'working' sheaves.  Wish I had thought of that.

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Good progress.  I like the 'working' sheaves.  Wish I had thought of that.

Thanks Augie.  I need to give Dirk credit for the sheaves, if it wasn't for his build log I would have never thought of doing it. 

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Finished the inboard planking and gave it a couple coats of paint.

 

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I made the cap rail in one piece from a basswood sheet that was 3”x24”x1/16” thick.  I used a heavy card stock to trace the top of the bulwarks instead of the wood sheet itself because it was a bit more flexible than the wood and less expensive if I messed it up.  I cut the card stock pattern out, traced it on the wood sheet and then cut the rail out with an x-acto knife and sanded smooth.

 

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While the cap rail glue was drying I made the 1/16” square molding strips that go along the outboard edge of the cap rail.  I pretty much made these strips similar to the smaller molding strips at the stern by using my drafting triangles to hold the strip steady, then scoring the wood with an x-acto knife and then forming the groove with the compass point held in a mechanical pencil.  The only difference was that for these strips I borrowed an idea from Richard’s (rtropp) build log and used a small piece of sandpaper folded in half to clean up the groove.

 

post-11922-0-35738400-1424712495_thumb.jpgpost-11922-0-01179100-1424712497_thumb.jpg

post-11922-0-53830200-1424712498_thumb.jpg

 

 

Before I start the decking I’m going to repaint everything (where's Earl Scheib when you need him)  .  The sheer plank, the stern cap rail and the upper wale got pretty beat up while installing the inboard planking and cap rail.  Now I know why Dirk recommended not painting the black until everything was installed.  Live and learn.

 

post-11922-0-99584300-1424712499_thumb.jpg

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Inboard planking looks very nice.  Earl will charge $19.95 ----- any boat, any color.  Keep that black paint handy  :D  :D

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I’m a bit confused, not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last.

 

I’ve been reading up on laying the deck planking from various sources and it appears that the two most common patterns used were the ‘4 butt shift’ or the ‘3 butt shift’ systems.

 

post-11922-0-78329600-1424875301_thumb.jpg

 

Chuck recommends using the ‘4 butt shift’ in the instruction manual.  Now maybe it’s me and I realize that reading a couple of books in no ways makes me and expert on decking, but… the planking layout shown in the manual doesn’t appear to match either the ‘3’ or ‘4’ butt shift pattern above.  Depending on which pattern you use, you would have either three or four planks in between repeating butt joints, the manual shows only 2.

 

Using the 4 butt shift pattern above and a plank length of approximately 20 feet I came up with the pattern shown below.  I would appreciate any comments, pro or con, or just hit the 'likes' button.

 

post-11922-0-33799300-1424875656_thumb.jpg

 

 

Please let me know if I’m totally off base and should keep reading.  Thanks

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Sal -   back in the 'good old days' of MSW 1.0, Chuck had the build log for his Syren prototype.  It ran some 140 pages.  It included discussion/comments.  Many times, it clarified what might be a little 'fuzzy' in the manual.  

 

What Chuck shows in the manual is essentially a 3 butt shift.  The pattern repeats every 3rd board.  But he uses only single nails at the end of each seam.  So it does not match your first illustration.  Your proposed system repeats every 5th board.....and does not nail every board at every bulkhead although it does use single nails at the ends of the seams.  

 

Now we're working at 3/16 scale.  You need to consider not only what might be historically accurate, but also what looks reasonable.  I know that when I tried to do a true 3 butt shift (with the double nails at the seams) it looked like I had blasted the deck with a shotgun.  So I went essentially with what Chuck showed in the manual --- repeat every 3 boards, single nails only.  But notice the 'alternating' nails at the bulkheads where there is no seam.  These add a lot.

 

Here's what I'd suggest.  Make up a 'mock deck'.  Maybe 4" long and 8 boards wide.  Try out a variety of patterns --- as well as a variety of treenail diameters/colors, and pick what you like best.  You can also do your entire finishing sequence on this sample to truly have a mind's eye view of what the finished deck will look like.  Just like painting a room, what it looks like in a large area may not look like what you envisioned from a color chip.

 

Time spent now making the final selection is well spent.  Hope this helps a little.

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Sal, please check the picture here, it's not 100% correct as I had a brainf++k with the shifts, but is shows the picture, e.g. have all the deckbuildings in mind and that there will be no butts neccassary:

 

USS_Syren_Baubericht_146.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Dirk

 

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Augie, Dirk thanks for the input.  Augie your right I forgot to show the treenails at the intermediate bulkheads (lots of holes) and Dirk I didn’t show the cut outs but I should have.

 

I’m still scratching my head over this but I did lay out Chuck’s planking pattern to compare it to the one I did.  After I did this I realized (I think) why he did it that way.  On the 4 butt shift the butt ends of the planks don’t always fall on the ‘supplied’ bulkheads but in between on the ‘imaginary’ ones.  Where as in Chuck’s pattern the butt ends all land on the ‘supplied’ bulkheads.  If I use the 4 butt shift I would need to provide supports at the end of the planks where they missed the bulkheads or use and unusually long plank to keep the ends on the bulkheads.

 

post-11922-0-95414800-1425044572_thumb.jpg

 

So for now, seeing that this is my first deck planking attempt, I’m leaning towards Chuck’s layout but I'm still reading.  I also understand Augie’s point that sometimes you can’t go with 100%  accuracy at these scales.

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I don't wish to bore you with this but after doing a little more reading on deck planking and downloading and reading through Chuck’s original build log I think I have a path forward on my deck layout.  Below are three layouts of different deck patterns.  The first is Chuck's layout, the second is a 4 butt shift and the third a 3 butt shift. Treenails between the joints are not shown for clarity.

 

post-11922-0-13082400-1425158270_thumb.jpg

 

In Chuck’s original build log he uses a three butt shift but uses the bulkheads instead of the ‘actual’ deck beams to space the joints.  I believe that’s the same conclusion I came up with after drawing his plank pattern but just didn’t know how to explain it as well.

 

Chuck’s log (star date 2007):

 

post-11922-0-32709900-1425158359_thumb.jpg

 

 

I also read a few articles from Practical Shipbuilding, by A. Campbell  Holms,  on deck joints and in Article 336 it states:

 

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Being a structural engineer myself it’s hard for me to ignore rules and specifications (much too anal) so in a round-a-about way, what I’m trying to say is that I’ve decided to use the four butt shift pattern, shown above, for the deck on my model.  With the four butt pattern there are not as many joints that will fall off the bulkheads as with the three butt pattern.  And in reality with the balsa fillers I have between the bulkheads there will only be four or five joints that won’t have any support beneath them.  All that being said, now I have to go and actually do it. :o

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I decided not to use the laser cut margin plank that was provided with the kit because it would have required quite a bit of sanding to make it fit.  I used the remaining 1/16” thick sheet of basswood I use for the cap rail to make the margin plank in one piece.  I used a paper template to get the shape of the bulwarks and then traced it onto the wood sheet.  It was then cut out, sanded to fit and glued in place.

 

post-11922-0-78629300-1425482723_thumb.jpg             post-11922-0-78859900-1425482725_thumb.jpg

 

We had one minor glitch with the margin plank when the apprentice carpenter, who was responsible for measuring it's length, appears to have used a tape measure with the first few inches broken off.  Subsequently, the margin plank was a little short. Now this shipyard’s owner is very frugal and not wanting to spend the money for new planks decided to install a deck plank at the stern, athwart of the main deck planking to fill the gap.  Similar to an edging plank in your hardwood floor.

 

Moving on....  After reviewing some of the build logs here on MSW I decided to place the deck planking similar to what Thomas (Gahm) did on his Syren, that is to follow the bulwarks with the planking toward the stern of the ship.  I like how this looks so I thought I would give it a try. I would also like to thank Thomas for giving me a few pointers.

 

I don’t know if this is newbie over design but to help me keep the planks in alignment I pasted little tick strips along each bulkhead marking the location of each plank.

 

post-11922-0-61160300-1425482727_thumb.jpg

 

 

Since most of the first four planks on either side of the centerline will be covered by deck furnishings I decided to install each of them in two pieces. The ends of each plank meet at bulkhead ‘D’ where they will be covered by a grating hatch. The planks towards the stern were sanded down to fit the curve of the bulwarks with the aid of a template.  All other planks will be installed cut to length per my layout drawing.

 

post-11922-0-48577600-1425482729_thumb.jpg             post-11922-0-14092000-1425482733_thumb.jpg

 

 

My planking ‘shop drawing’ to help me keep track of which plank I’m working on and where the butt ends are located.

 

post-11922-0-42812700-1425482734_thumb.jpg

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Nice work on the margin planks.  You're on your way to scratch building.  And I agree, it's tough to get good help these days!

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Nice work on the margin planks.  You're on your way to scratch building.  And I agree, it's tough to get good help these days!

Thanks Augie.  He's a good guy and he's learning a lot so I think we'll keep him around.

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The deck planking went surprisingly well.  I’m glad I used the tick strips along the bulkheads because they were a big help in keeping the stern planking in line.   I’m also glad I the used balsa wood infill between the bulkheads because it gave me something to set the push pins in to hold the planking in place.

 

Nibbing the planks at the bow wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be either.  The only problem I discovered after I had installed most of the nibbed plank was that I didn’t pay close enough attention the diagonal length of each nib on corresponding planks, either side of the centerline.  This resulted in the flat portion of the nib, on corresponding planks, not starting in the exact location along the margin plank.  Lesson learned for next time.

 

post-11922-0-82263100-1425922981_thumb.jpg post-11922-0-38547500-1425922983_thumb.jpg

 

Planking in progress                                                              Push pins used to hold planking in place

post-11922-0-87255100-1425922984_thumb.jpg post-11922-0-30850800-1425922986_thumb.jpg

 

Planking complete, not sanded                                            Planking sanded, no finish

post-11922-0-19172200-1425923130_thumb.jpgpost-11922-0-33898700-1425923131_thumb.jpg

 

Aft companion way opening cut out                                         Marking hatch and mast locations

post-11922-0-46762100-1425923135_thumb.jpgpost-11922-0-89119300-1425923136_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

This is a little off topic but whenever I do any major home improvement projects, e.g. finishing off the basement, which involves framing walls and installing drywall I have a little habit of hiding a little something in the wall just in case someone in the distance future knocks the wall down. So prior to putting up the last piece of drywall I will put an empty (clean) beer bottle, with a dollar bill and note inside of it, in the wall.  To that effect I decided to place a little something in the hull of the ship before finishing the planking.  The beer bottle I couldn’t fit but the dollar and note went in okay.  Who knows maybe a hundred years from now a budding model ship builder will buy the ship at a thrift shop and find the treasure and note while restoring it to its former glory. :D

 

post-11922-0-49766000-1425923720_thumb.jpg

 

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Thanks Thomas,  I like how the tapered aft planking came out. I'm glad I did it that way.

 

Thanks Augie and  ..."I just leave some DNA.",  I'm not going to ask how.  :blush::) 

 

And thanks to everyone for all the 'likes'  

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Looks good Sal. hey I am going to try to come again this Saturday. i have ordered the Syren but its going to be a while before I see it. Can you bring your instruction manual along so I can browse through it? Thanks. Hope all is well See you soon. Jim 

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Just happened across your Syren build here Sal, and she's looking marvelous! Your planking is turning out fantastic. I know I'm a little late for the party, but will pull up a stool and cigar now if you don't mind. 

 

Cheers  :cheers:

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Great looking deck Sal! The planking is very clean.

Thanks Patrick, the Admiral is always making me swab the decks :D

 

Very nice !  Beautiful deck and painting.

gerty, thank you 

 

Looks good Sal. hey I am going to try to come again this Saturday. i have ordered the Syren but its going to be a while before I see it. Can you bring your instruction manual along so I can browse through it? Thanks. Hope all is well See you soon. Jim 

Jim, I'll see you on Saturday and I will bring the manual.  Do you know you can download each chapter from the Model Expo website?  They're located under the document tab on the Syren page.

 

Just happened across your Syren build here Sal, and she's looking marvelous! Your planking is turning out fantastic. I know I'm a little late for the party, but will pull up a stool and cigar now if you don't mind. 

 

Cheers  :cheers:

Thanks George and welcome aboard.  There's always room for another cigar smoker.  How about a scotch to go along with it? 

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Yes Sal I have it, but I would like to flip through it rather then go from PDF File to PDF file just to look through it. Thanks. Hope your well. 

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