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Caldercraft chatham build- help needed! - moved by moderator

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I purchased the chatham kit a week or so ago, and have run into my first problem!

I'm a radio modelled by background, and tend to build " as per plan"

I searched the included plans and decided to sand the keel, bow piece and stern post to the same thickness as the ply keel.

Big mistake!

I then read johns build log, and got depressed as it looks like the walnut SHOULD be thicker to but the planking too!

I'm sat staring into space thinking- do I contact jotika for new bulkheads and walnut parts and start again - or does anyone have a bright idea or want to tell me it's fine, and life will go on!!!





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I assume only the keel and walnut are glued together yes?


If so, then Brian's approach makes sense to me and would work if thick enough and sounds easiest…


… you could add to the walnut with additional walnut (veneer) to increase thickness to each side to a desired/orginal thickness which might be a bit trickier…


… you could contact the maker for replacement parts.  


Any of them sound like a plan but above all else… it's not really 'fine' but life will go on as this is model building and stutter starts, repairs, redo's and oh-no's are part of the 'fun'.  ;)


If I had a nickel for each time I … :rolleyes:  

Edited by lamarvalley
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The bulkheads and keel look OK to me, and based on my previous Caldercraft kits, the ply false keel and the walnut stem/keel/and rudder post are indeed the SAME thickness (i.e. 5mm thick for the larger kits and 3mm for smaller sized kits). I would surmise that your Chatham, based on her size, would also have 3mm thick false keel ply and walnut stem/keel/sternpost. 


Some builders just modify their ply keel by thinning its foremost and lower edges to form the rabbet, which is a good enhancement and allows easier planking, but you can actually build these kits successfully without any rabbet and just taper the front edges of the planks so they sit flush on the stem. What is indispensable for these particular kits is the need for a bearding line at the stern so the thickness of the double planked stern after final planking would be the same as the stern post. 


One more essential thing is to fair all the bulkheads for a smooth run of planks. 


Dont be discouraged... with properly faired bulkheads and a bearding line, you should be fine even if you don't make the ply keel thinner than the walnut components  ;)

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Thank you!

To be honest I've built numerous aircraft in the past, but, this is my first venture into this fine art of boatbuilding, I really thought I would have it planked and resplendent by now rather than in its sorry state!

I really appreciate the help and advice- what a GREAT forum!

So, some excellent ideas, I'm really not ready to " start from scratch" again after having spent a good time with 2000 grade wet and dry making the keel etc and false keel a perfect thickness to each other!


Tonight, I think open a bottle red, write down some ideas based upon your really helpfull suggestions and map out the way foreward.

Thanks team- it really has given me a boost today reading these posts



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I started the CC HMS Snake kit (which is very similar construction) before I found this forum, it was also my first build.  I didn't cut a rabbet not knowing any better.  As long as you get the 'shaper' pieces installed and correctly shaped, they often need a lot taking off (assuming these are part of the kit) it is possible to simple shape the end of the planks to terminate flat against the wood.  That being said, cutting a rabbet would be the recommended way if you feel up to it.  Best of luck....and get a build log going  :)


"Which it will be ready when it is ready!"
In the shipyard:

HMS Jason (c.1794: Artois Class 38 gun frigate)

Queen Anne Royal Barge (c.1700)


HMS Snake (c.1797: Cruizer Class, ship rigged sloop)

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