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Small Boat Construction Technique

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I wasn't really sure where to ask this question because there doesn't seem to be forum for asking questions regarding general modeling techniques. But, I figured this was probably the most appropriate place to ask this question.


As the topic title implies, I'm currently working on modeling the small boats for my build. I'm experimenting with several different types of small boat construction, including POF and breadboard.


Anyway, I built a small boat using the breadboard construction technique (which I've come to like a lot better now that I've actually tried it). I decided to use styrene strips to add the frame members to the boat (since it's going to be painted anyway). I started gluing the strips in using CA glue. When I was almost finished gluing all the strips, I hated the way it was looking. There were places where I had obviously gotten a little to much glue on the strips. Consequently, it just didn't look real. And, I didn't think that paint would cover up my errors. So, I've started over. I've removed all of the strips, redid the interior of the boat, and I'm ready to start adding the strips again.


So, my question is this - is there a better way to do this? Should I be using something other than CA glue? Would it be easier to control the amount of glue using a gel CA glue? Is there a trick to getting the styrene strips installed in the boat? Or is it simply that I need more practice doing this?



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Hi Fletch


How about tacking the strips in place with the gell CA in small places,then use super thin CA with a small aplicator and just flowing some in between the strips and the hull?

I have also used styrene strips onto wood before and had problems with it taking long for the CA to hold if there was not a very tight fit,what I came up with was a clamping system that wouldjust have a small point that would touch and hold the styrene strip in the center,holding it down onto the wood. Then I flowed thin CA down the crack on the side of the strip and wood hull. I then took a Q Tip with CA accelerator on it and ran that over the side where I had put the CA glue.


I also etched the back of the styrene strip with the tip of my axacto blade so the it was rough,and would give the CA something to hold onto. Smooth plastic surfaces sometimes do not hold CA glue well.


Try some of these and find out what will work for you.



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Well, I've gone back and started installing the styrene frame members using gel CA instead of the regular thin CA glue. To this point it is working infinitely better. The small boat on which I am working is approximately 5-3/16" long.  


One of the other problems I was having was consistently getting the distance between the frame right. I was originally using a short piece of 3/16" wide wood placed in the bottom of the boat as a spacer while installing the next frame. However, with the thin CA, I frequently ended up with the spacer glued to the bottom of the boat. I stumbled across a solution (at least for me) while going though my parts bins on another project the other day. I happened across some lead tape strips which I think came with a ceiling fan for balancing the blades. I cut one of the lead tape strips to 3/16" wide, left the backing material on and use it as a spacer for installing the frames. Because it conforms to the shape of the inside of the boat, it can be used to space the frame along the entire inside of the hull. Also, can be used to easily used as a measuring device to determine the length of the styrene strip you need. Since the inside of my boat is going to be painted and not natural finished, I simply conform the tape to the inside of the hull, trace a line on the inside of the hull to mark where the next frame will go, remove the tape and use it to determine the cut length of the styrene, and install the styrene on the marked line.


With the gel CA, I use a small piece of scrap wood or a toothpick to put three spots of glue along the mark line - one at each gunwale and one in the bottom of the boat at the centerline. When I install the strip, I make sure it's on the mark line at centerline and then use a small clamp on each side near the bottom of the boat to ensure that the strip is touching the entire inside of the hull and is aligned to the mark line. I then use a triangular tipped carving tool to remove any excess CA before it dries.


I'll post some pictures of the progress as it moves further along. However, I must say at this point that I'm warming up to breadboard construction for small boats,



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