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Niagara by Rich_engr - Model Shipways - 1:64


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Greeting everyone!  Yes, I'm back with the Niagara-anonymous Club (we should prob have our own forum for this, but everyone is welcome in this house of solitude). 

 

Since I did not save a copy of my old log, I'll basically start with a brief intro/summary of my build, then jump into where I am now. 

 

As before, I apologize in advance if I don't make frequent updates on my progress, but I will reply to questions/comments as they come up.

 

This is still my very first wooden/POB build (I'm not counting my 60+ plastic fleet that's it's own navy), so needless to say I felt like an orphaned deer in headlights when the Great Crash of '13 happened.  I would not be anywhere near where I am nor confident in my abilities without the help and support of the passionate craftsmen and women of MSW!!!  So I salute all of you!!!!

 

To summarize:

  • Began the kit in March 2009 (got her for $145, which is a steal)
  • Purchased some small tools (probably less than $200 in tools to work with- doing this "on the cheap")
  • Framing of hull completed in summer, 2009
  • Inner bulwarks planking complete in Dec 2009
  • Hull planking completed in May 2012, shortly after joining MSW 1.0 (took 2.5 years due to my hectic work schedule and a year's hiatus from the build)
  • Deck planking completed in Sept 2012 (unstained as of yet)
  • Completed deck gratings and their coamings

Where am I?:

  • Began work on the carronades (batch of 6 at the moment)
  • Just received my Ropewalk from ME (after being backordered for 3 months)- tried my 1st attempt to get a feel for the thing last night
  • Anxious (scared?) to use the Blacken-it I received from ME (halfway considering stripping the guns that are painted and blackening them for more even color)

What's my ever-evolving plan?:

  1. Finish sanding and staining deck & install hatches only
  2. Complete all carronades and long guns & their tackle
  3. Build all deck structures and misc deck fittings (fife rails, pin rails, install all deadeyes & rings, etc.)
  4. Bowsprit, lower masts (wood fabrication and some standing rigging)
  5. Tops & topgallants, followed by yards
  6. Finish standing rigging
  7. Running rigging
  8. Ship's boats and cutters

I'll also try to work on my photography skills so I can show my work and oopsies.  :)

 

Thank you all who visit and I'm glad to be sharing my experience with you, and vice versa!

 

-Rich

 

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Patrick,

 

Thanks for joining!  I'm glad to see the Niagara Club up- always motivational and inspiring to see how everyone is progressing.  Your build is going along very beautifully, and she looks very clean and sleek- hopefully I can do a tenth as well on mine!  ;) 

 

Now about those pictures of the deck I promised............

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Here are some pics of the deck.  All strakes run the full length (from nib to stern), and were all tapered uniformly the entire length.  To do the tapers, I lifted dimensions from the plans and used two pieces of flat bar aluminum as a clamp over the full length of the plank, with a piece of wood inbetween that replicated the angled taper.  I placed my wood to be cut into the aluminum "vise" and then just used a blade to cut the edge.  All planks came out very even over the length of the deck.

 

post-1342-0-81996100-1362364804_thumb.jpg

 

post-1342-0-69293200-1362364706_thumb.jpg

 

post-1342-0-02548700-1362364755_thumb.jpg

 

post-1342-0-08950400-1362364669_thumb.jpg

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Yes, it does feel great to be back and at it once again. I'm slowly setting up my shop after having packed everything up for the 3rd time (everything was collecting too much dust and cat hair since I wasn't working on it enough). Now I'm just trying to find the right balance of time between my Niagara and other duties at home... ;)

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Hi Rich,

I can hardly wait to see what stain you select. Are you using the basswood for your deck? A friend suggested I switch to ash, but I think I'll stay with the kit wood for this build. Your method of tapering the planks worked very well, I'll look into trying it once I get to that point in the build.

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Larry,

 

I'm using the provided basswood- all materials are what was in the kit (exceptions may be somw wire and rigging later on). I'm still working on the deck stain issue- I'd like to have it done in a week or so... And yes, I'm happy with how the deck planks tapered using my jig- perhaps I can try to improve on it when I do my 2nd build later on... :). I'll see if I can get some pics of how I did the full-length tapers.

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Rich,

The build looks good!

 

As far as your stain, what color are you shooting for? Before you try a paint to tint with see if you cant find some Universal Tinting Colors or some dyes designed for the same carrier as your stain. Years ago I tried adding paint to a stain and ended up with a mess. Depending on your stain and paint compositions you could end up with a ball-O-goo instead of stain. If you have a Rockler store near by, they carry the TransTint Dyes I mentioned in the Painting  and Finishing post. That will tint your stain no matter what the carrier is, ie water, oil, etc. Also, sometimes I have found it pays to buy several stain sample packets in the general color range you are looking for. Dont expect the picture on the can to be what your final stain will look like, that depends as much on wood species as it does prep. You can usually find sample packets for about a buck or less each.

 

If you just want to lighten the color, you can add some of the same brand clear to it or even some conditioner as long as its the same brand and carrier; water or oil base. If you need to shift the color; ie too red, find a color wheel online and use that to determine what color you need to add to get what you want. For instance if it is too red add some green tint, that will neutralize the red. There should be instructions when you find a color wheel.

 

Another resource is a place called homesteadfinishing.com, there is a forum there and people are just as friendly and willing to help a newcomer as they are here. 

 

This tool might also help you.  http://woodworking.rockler.com/hardware/Stain-Color-Wheel

 

This is a inexpensive tint I have used for making glazes in the past. It should work for color correcting your stain as well, just test first. I have bought it at all of the big box home improvement stores here in Los Angeles. The Do-It Center (if you have them in Texas) has carried it most consistently I have found.

http://www.amazon.com/Sheffield-Bronze-1524-Tints-All-Colorant/dp/B003TGW9B0

 

Have fun and good luck!!

Sam

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Sam,

 

Thanks for the awesome tips!!!  I'll have to try that when I get to some of the other fittings and maybe mast sections (and future builds once I finish this one first!).  But I did stop by Wallyworld today and saw a stain by Minwax called Weathered Oak- looks really grey, and does add a touch of that weathered look.  The original stain I was going to try, the Golden Pecan, had too much yellow.  More coats of that got too brown.  I got the weathered oak and applied it to a sample deck piece (on top of the conditioner), and it looks just about right.  It's not too light, or dark/brown, and definitely no yellow (there's enough yellow & browns in my deck planks, which are somewhat hard to see in my aweful photos).  I will probably go ahead and do the stain this weekend (conditioner then weathered oak), so I'll keep my fingers crossed that the whole thing turns out ok!!!  :)

 

I like the idea of experimenting with dyes for that really customized look- will have to try that someday.  That definitely opens up the possibilities to fine-tune one's model and the look and feel of it all.

 

Again, thanks for the info and following along- all help and suggestions are always welcome here!!!!!  :)

 

-Rich

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Ok.  Weekend update:  made the pinrails for the bulwarks, made about 15ft of rope for the gun tackle (sticking a drill on the end of the ropewalk definitely speeds up having to turn 6ft+ of rope at a time!), and stained the deck (in between errands,  cleaning the house, and playing with the dogs).  I'll try to get some pics of the deck, etc. up tomorrow, as well as work on the gun tackle.  :)

 

Was a good, relaxing, yet productive weekend all-around!  :)

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Patrick,

Making the ropes is fun and I think it will add to the realism and that personal touch. And it's pretty easy- I just stuck a drill in the end of the ropewalk and it cranks out 6ft of nice, even rope in about 2 minutes. :). I just hope I don't go overboard with detail, since this is my 1st kit and I want done "right.". Next build (probably in 2-3 years at my rate) will be better. :)

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Rich,

 

It is good to see you back at it.  I think using the weathered oak stain will work out great as the real boats decks (when dry, which is not often enough :) ) are a sort of grayish/silver color.  The comming look great as does the hull profile.  I look forward to seeing more of your progress.

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Thanks! Last night I made up the tackle for 1 carronade in about 2hrs- wasn't too difficult making the seizings and reeving the blocks. So one gun is about 80% done, 19 to go (prob take about 3 weeks, which isn't too bad). I think I need some clamping jig/helping hands to hold the work, since I only had the block stuck onto a small drillbit and worked around that.

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Now I've "upgraded" my seizing/block holding drill bit to a makeshift helping hands (actually 2 alligator clips from some test cables soldered onto some leftover chicken wire and clamped to the bench).  ;)   Gotta get creative since the Admiral is disapproving when I try to buy tools & supplies (plus it keeps the mind sharp).  :) 

 

So it's stropping the blocks, turning rope, seizing, then reeving.  Strop, turn, seize, and reeve...  and repeat.  Sounds like some sort of box-step dance instructions!!

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Rich, the carronade looks good. The blocks are a little out of scale and it's a shame that Model Shipways doesn't account for it. I have some much smaller blocks from a botched Phantom kit that I plan on putting to good use for my Connie when the day comes. 

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Patrick, 

 

That's a good point.  In order to keep things real and true to scale, I'll definitely have to check dimensions and the overall size of things.  I was almost about to trust the kit's judgment and assumed that all parts were true, but it appears it isn't so.  But that's part of the newbie learning curve, right?  ;)  One thing I know I'll have to play with a bit in terms of size are the various rigging lines- it's a good thing I feel somewhat comfortable now in making my own rope (mostly using the line supplied in the kit, with the addition of some very thin thread for seizings and whatnot).

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Rich, I stuck with the blocks in the kit for this ship. I'll be putting the smaller blocks on the Connie when I get to her. I have been wanting to make my own rope as well but will most likely do that on my next build. The craft stores are usually pretty good spots to find some other sizes of line for rigging also. 

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