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US Brig Oneida by rlb - The Lumberyard - (POF) 1:48 scale - 1809 Lake Ontario Warship

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Continuing on with the aft coaming area--


Here the blackened brass rods are fit to the skylight sashes, and dry fit on the frame--





The skylight hinges are trimmed short.  You can see where I've cut a small mortice in the skylight for them to sit--





The binnacle is started from a solid block.  I've also epoxied "glass" (cut from the plastic address window of an envelope) on the underside of one skylight sash--





The center is cut out of the binnacle block.  I've glued the hinges onto the skylight sashes, and you can see the effect of the glass in the skylight--





A top is made for the binnacle, and holes are drilled in the center.  A larger size from the top (the width of the compass) and a smaller one all the way through, to push the compass back out from below during test fittings--





In this photo you can see two sections of brass tube soldered together.  Inner tube will form a seat to glue the compass face to.  For the compass, I smeared the corner of a piece of white card stock with some stain, so it wouldn't be so bright.   Then I epoxied some "glass" to it.   After not doing a very good job cutting a tiny circle (that's where that little cut out in the corner came from), I got the idea to file the end of a brass tube to make a punch--





The punch worked great, but I ended up making another from the next smaller tube, as this left a little gap between the brass tube and the compass face--a hint of a gimble assembly--





After much frustration and delay with the companionway doors (re-gluing hinges multiple times), everything is finally there.  Some is glued, some is just sitting (the binnacle).   There's no hardware (i.e. latches, knobs, etc.) on the companionway doors, or the binnacle doors.  I'm still deciding whether to add anything to those.  I have a hard time controlling epoxy smears, and my CA has all gone bad, so for now they'll stay as is--




The binnacle is pretty short.   It's that way to stay below the companionway top, which overhangs its sides about and inch and a half.  



I think the visibility through the "glass" is just about perfect--





A longer "context" shot.   The deck is looking a lot more finished!









Edited by rlb
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Thank you all, for your appreciation of the model!


Dan, thanks for adding the portraits!  I do love the history.  All were present at the building:


Christian Bergh designed Oneida, and built her with Henry Eckford.  James Fenimore Cooper wrote a little about her building and serving aboard her as a midshipman, but, as you first guessed- 


My eye on the ship is Lieutenant Woolsey.   And not because he has the best first name (Melancthon) of the four.   From Wikipedia: "he was ordered to the shores of Lake Ontario in 1808 to supervise the construction of Oneida."  


Since he also commanded her for a time; I figure he had a lot riding on how she came out!




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Your deck furniture looks wonderful. Very crisp lines and details. Obviously a very tight grained wood. Are you using pear or is this something else?

BTW..I defer to your build frequently to keep my mindset were I want it to be. There's nothing more motivating to me than seeing the possibilities, thank you ;)




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Thank you very much B.E., Alistair.


Bill, thanks.  All of the recent work, and most of the model, is Swiss Pear.  The hull and deck framing is American Cherry, the deck is Maple, and there is some (only on the stern at this point) Castello Boxwood trim.


I'm not counting this as an official update, but I did get some work done today, just not much worth showing.  I epoxied the bulwark pin rails, and some additional cleats.  Did some work on enlarging the bowsprit hole with a file, and started locating the hawse holes--





There is a piece of wood marked with the correct (I hope!--using Charles G. Davis as a reference for this) spacing, sitting on the stem.  Rather difficult locating the holes along the angled bow, but they look pretty close in the photo.    The holes vary from where they are drawn on Chapelle's hull plan drawing--  





However, in this case I trust my locations more than Chapelle's drawing--I suspect he "eyeballed" them rather than working it out.  Not a big deal, but it might end up having some minor effect on the head rails vs. how he drew them.



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I've spent more time on the hawse holes, but I'm also planning ahead for a ship's boat which will be made fast to the deck, and needs to be built soon.  An ongoing source of angst for me has been trying to determine the dimensions of this boat.


Chapelle lists a 20 foot cutter as one of Oneida's boats, and to help me in trying to determine the other dimensions of this boat, I have the following references:

     The Boats of Men-of-War by W.E. May

     The History of the American Sailing Navy by Howard I. Chapelle

     The Built-up Ship Model by Charles G. Davis

     Ship plans available on the National Maritime Museum website


There seems to be a wide variation in length to width ratio for ship's boats between c1800 and c1850, and/or between English boats and American boats.


In May (who is writing of British practice), c1800 a 21 foot cutter would have a width of 6'7", which is a length to width ratio of about 3.2:1  (In his table, he does not list a 20' cutter, so I chose the closest available size.)


According to Davis (who writes of American practice), the length to width ratio of cutters was 4:1, so a 21 foot cutter (to compare with May) would be 5'-3" in width.


Chapelle lists many boat dimensions in an Appendix, though they are all dated later than Oneida.  The closest example is for an 1821 Schooner, with a cutter of 20'4" having a beam of 5'3".  This would be a 3.87:1 ratio , close (sort of) to Davis' 4:1.


Additionally, there is a 22' cutter (1808--right on my time frame) on the NMM site, which has a beam of  6 feet.  This is a 3.67:1 ratio.


I'm going to follow Chapelle on this--making a 20'4 cutter, with a beam of 5'3".  He includes plans for this boat in his book, so I'll scan and enlarge the plan to scale, and cut out templates so that I can make a "plug" to form the frames, and lay the planking upon.


I welcome any additional observation and insight any may have on this!



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I've been working on the cutter.  I should say, the plug for the cutter, which I'll use to help with planking and forming the frames.


I bought a piece of aspen, at a big box hardware store, and, based on an illustration in W.E. May's book, drew some templates which I printed on card stock--





I needed two layers of the aspen to make the necessary thickness.  These were clamped and glued--





At this point, I found a better cutter plan--a 20'-4" cutter illustrated by Chapelle, (described in the previous post), and I drew up a new set of templates--





I glued the plan to the aspen block, and I began cutting the templates out--





After cutting and sanding the block to the outline of the plan, I began shaping the plug.  This was done by scrubbing on sandpaper, using a knife, and mostly with a rounded sanding block--





I should have made some photos between the previous one and these.   I now worked on one template "station" at a time.  I started at the dead flat location, sanding it close to the template, then moving one template at a time forward.  When the forward templates were roughly good, I made my way aft.   After they were all roughed out, I went back to the beginning and fine tuned the shape, again, one template at a time.  After that, I sanded the overall shape, using progressively finer sandpaper.  Here's how it ended up--






The faint markings on the side give an indication of the approximate location of the sheer.  When done, the actual cutter will be substantially shallower than the plug.



The shape looks good to me.  Now I need to cut a slot in the plug for the keel, (and probably the frames) and then start building the backbone of the cutter.




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That plug looks fabulous. A really good piece of work, so it's with some trepidation that I make the following suggestion: if the plug were of the dimensions of inside the frames then you could lay the frames on the plug and not have to cut slots for them. Wouldn't that be easier?



PS. I know I just dropped in on your build and have just looked at your artistry with the deck furniture. You clearly know what you're doing. Maybe I ought to just shut up.

Edited by TBlack
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Thanks, Russ!


Tom, that seems like a pretty good idea.   I wish it could have occurred to me at the beginning!  I could have adjusted my templates to account for the frame thicknesses.   As is, the templates are taken straight from the hull plan, which is the outside of the frames.


I think at this point I'd rather cut slots for the frames, as opposed to sanding another 1/16th inch or so layer of wood off of the plug.  




PS, Tom, after your edited post--I may do some things well, but I'm not an expert and don't have a problem with suggestions! 

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Beautiful work Ron as always, 


I have a question on The History of the American Sailing Navy by Howard I. Chapelle.

I was looking at Amazon for this and found 2


This one is listed as 1998 with 592 pages



this one is listed as 1949 with 558 pages



Strangely they both are first ed's but are differing publishers. Does anyone know the difference? Is the newer addition added to or are the addition of pages just a reformatting of paging?

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By the way Ron, have you considered just cutting the keel slot and planking the plug, then adding the frames after removal of the plug. Personally I think slotting the plug for frames would be a tough job. If doing it this way I would pre notch the keel for accepting the frames at a latter date as they will be tougher to cut afterward.


Just a though.


Also your plug has a shape very close to the modified MS longboat kit I'm working on, which makes me more confident with my eyeball method of measuring. I plan a plug method next so I'm looking forward to seeing how you progress on this little beauty.


Also, your calling it a cutter. I read that the English cutters were clinker planked while the launches, pinnaces and barges were carvel planked (from McKay's Vicky AotS). Just curious how she will be planked.

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Hi Keith,


Can't help you much on the book question.   For what it's worth, my copy was published by "Bonanza Books, a division of Crown Publishers, by arrangement with W.W. Norton & Company".  I'm not sure what year.  It has the same front cover to the dust jacket as the 1949 example you linked to--but the back dust jacket image is different on mine.   My copy has 558 pages.



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Good thoughts on the plug.   I do plan on planking over the plug first, without frames.  Then taking the shell off, and inserting the frames afterwards.  The purpose of notching the plug for the frames would be so that I can use the plug for bending and "setting" the frames, before transferring them to the planked shell.


I have a tutorial by David Antscherl that shows this method.   But I've been keeping my eyes open (and noting suggestions!) and have seen some other ways of doing it. 


The cutter will be clinker planked.



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Thanks for the info as I'm working on filling in my library with more of Chapelle's work. As Chapelle passed away in 1975 I'm thinking the newer version is just a reprint by a differing publishing house. I've seen 2 different covers on the older book also. If I recall the other version has a white spine with blue covers and a black silhouette of a ship on it, that may be the just the text without the dust cover though.

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Hi Ron -


The plug is looking good.  But cutting a notch for the keel-stem-sternpost in the curved block is going to be really, really hard to get straight.  Don't ask how I know this . . . :-))


Let me suggest that while you still have a flat and straight face to the block opposite the keel that you use a table saw and slice the block in half along the centerline.  Make the saw kerf the width of your keel.  Sandwich a keel-width thickness sheet of wood as a spacer between the plug halves and you will have a straight slot ready for the keel pieces. 



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My book has the white spine, and blue cloth with a black ship silhouette on the actual hardcover.  




That's a great idea, but, unfortunately, I don't have a table saw, so I'm going to have to do it the hard way!   I appreciate the "beware" caution!




Here's the illustration in Chapelle's book.  (If I am violating copyright I will remove it, but I think this is okay to show--in the manner of a quote.)  It is not printed to scale, in the book--





It's the upper boat I am modeling.   I scanned this image and brought it into a drafting program (AutoCAD, which I have at work).   There I scaled it to actual size, though I could just have easily scaled it to my model scale of 1:48.



Then, over the body plan--





I traced the section lines, labeled 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, B, D, F, and H, and then mirrored each of them, copying the resulting pair of section lines off to another area of my "drawing", where I completed the outer rectangle of each template. I was careful to indicate (by the "notch" on the templates) the location of the sheer line, so I can transfer that to the plug as well.  


I also mirrored the half-breadth plan, to give me the template that I glued on the top of the plug--




I then printed this out to scale, on card stock.


You could do this without drafting software--scale the illustration on a copier, trace and mirror the section lines by hand, etc.


Hope this helps. 



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Ron, always a treat to drop in and see something new, and well done. 

I was going to ask the same question as Robert, thanks for explaining. I have enough challenges with the Enterprise to last me another year, but I am really tempted to add another..... is there a cure to this kind of masochism?


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