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

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Thank you all, for your support and kind words.


I challenged myself that I wouldn't make another post until I finished the frames.  I didn't think this was very much of a challenge, as I thought it would be four or five hours work to do the half frames.   Now it is ten hours later (where does the time go?) and I can report progress.


I spent much of the day in this situation--





Some frames, having been wet and heated, are clamped to set the curvature, while I hold a freshly glued frame in place with my fingers until the glue sets.  The boat is in there, somewhere.



Here, the last two frames are clamped to set the curve--





I dropped the boat onto my wood floor twice.  The second time I had four clothespins attached, and I was sure some planking would spring loose, but there were no ill effects.


Now all frames are done.  I think.  There are a few that draw my eye due to uneven placement.  I don't know yet whether I will adjust them.





In this view they look more uniform--





There is still quite a lot to do on this boat--







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Thank you all very much for your comments!


Snow and bitter cold in upstate New York today.   So I stayed home from work. 


Most of the morning I spent researching; trying to come to grips with many details of the cutter.  Chapelle's plan gave me the hull shape, but little else.  I looked at some ships' boat models on the Russian forum, which were very helpful; and I went through the plans available on the NMM.  I came back to an 1808  22' cutter that had very similar lines to (though significantly broader, and a little longer than) mine.   There was a lot of detail on this plan to fill in the blanks, and I think it will adapt fairly easily to my somewhat shorter hull.


I made the keelson, glued that in place, then started with the foot boards.  I figured I could end these just past where the aft platform will be, but I wasn't sure how far forward to take them.  Some boats on the Russian forum took them all the way to the stem, so I copied this.  I glued some temporary spacers, and a dab of glue on each frame--





First pair of foot boards in place.   On top of the plug I sketched the plan of the thwart locations.  The bow area is still a little unresolved, but this will be the general scheme of things.  I had assumed there needed to be an even number of oars (if single banked), but the NMM draft for the 22 foot cutter showed 5 single banked oars.   I guess the three rowers on the starboard side don't need to work as hard!






Another pair of footboards, and the footwaling is done--





Taking a break now to post this, and plan the next steps.



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Continuing work on the cutter



After installing the footwaling, the aft platform needed to be cut and installed.  This was made as a "solid" platform.   I cut a guide out of card and used it to trace the rough shape--





This was sanded until it fit reasonably well--





Unfortunately, the platform didn't sit low enough.  Furthermore, and after looking at other model photos, I concluded that the "filler" piece I had put between the platform and the footwaling was a figment of my imagination (but wouldn't it be good to have something there to keep things from rolling under the platform and getting lost?).   The best way to get the platform to sit lower was to notch it around the hull framing, and also notch the upper piece of footwaling.  So, along with removing the filler piece, this I did--





The underside of the platform is not pretty or correct, but that doesn't matter--





Looking at these posted photos, the difference in elevation of the platform is hard to see, but it is actually significant, at this scale and detail level.


I've put a coat of finish on the platform, footwaling, and interior framing, and the next step will be to install the rising pieces--they support the thwarts.  To the left are some spacing jigs that I made to help me get the risings placed correctly--






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I agree with Russ, The notching of the platform makes a huge difference in detail. Top Notch work Ron, pun intended :)


I've stopped work on my long boat to see how you will finish your interior. I notice some of the ships boats have gratings in the stern as part of the platform. Is there a consistent rule as to which type of boat had what type of interior structure (i.e. cutter vs. pinnace vs. launch.....)

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Thanks, Russ, Keith, and the Likes.


Keith, regarding your question, the short answer is: I don't know. 


Long answer:  I'm still confused on the nomenclature of all these boats (barge, launch, pinnace, longboat, cutter, deal cutter, gig, jollyboat, shallop, yawl, wherry).  If I took some more time on research I might be able to learn more, but I've concentrated on just finding a suitable "cutter" to pattern mine on, and running with it.  Even under the generic name cutter, I've seen some with gratings for the platform, some with "solid" platforms, some with spaced boards.  With the forward platform, there are also many variations in configuration.


Now, here is a collection of ship's boats that puts my clumsy (in comparison) work to shame:





These are the boats for the 74 gun ship Rivoli, modeled by Doctor Michael.  (and Keith, I'm pretty sure that's ebony :huh:).    Link to the source of the picture- http://forum.modelsworld.ru/topic8019.html  where you can see more photos of the boats, and the whole stunning ship.


My cutter will end up looking (in configuration only!) most like the middle one in the row of five, and the second one in on the left, which looks about the same, just bigger.   Those two appear to have a similar hull shape to mine, though my boat is smaller, and my oars will be single banked instead of double banked.  Mine will also be stepped for one mast instead of two.


One point I saw interesting--these all have posts under the thwarts, which I'm not used to seeing.  Maybe being double banked (with two crew per thwart) the posts were necessary, but on smaller single banked boats they were not? 



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Yes it's amazing and humbling to see what the "professionals" can do.  It's an awfully high bar to measure up to, and just a little depressing to think one is not likely to ever achieve that level. 


On the other hand, the other night I think I spent about an hour just turning this little boat over in my hand, running my thumb along the frames on the interior; enjoying the feeling of having turned some small pieces of wood (have you ever stopped to think about how many pieces!?), into such an intricate, beautiful little form.  That's a wonderful thing, even if it's not perfect!


Little was done today, though.


The temporary spacers were glued to the hull--





The rising pieces were glued to the frames--







Then the spacers were removed--






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Your little gem continues to get honed further. Beautiful work. I especially like that aft platform notched around the frames - too nice.


Of those spacers you've got setting the height of the seat risers - how are they secured? Do they lock into the clinker planking?





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Thanks, Elia.  The spacers were just glued to the top edge of the hull, very little was actually holding them there.  After the rising piece was set, it was very easy to just pop them off again, and touch up the edge with some sandpaper.      Ron

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Thanks for the link to Dr Michaels works. That is some amazing work, his ebony blocks are amazing also. I completely understand what you mean about spending an hour just looking and feeling the completed boat. It never ceases to amaze me what we are capable of and how practice always pays dividends.


I don't think looking at work such as his or yours ever intimates me, it just make me want to try harder, knowing what is achievable with effort. I can't even imagine planking a small boat in ebony but now seeing it makes me want to try. This is such a great hobby as one can practice for years and will always continue to learn and improve their skills. I like that spacer idea, I think I'll use that.


More great work Ron.

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Thanks, Keith, and Martin, for your comments--you're right, the admiration and inspiration we get (not to mention knowledge gained) from those who work at the highest level is often what drives us to do more, and better, than we ever could on our own.



Today's minor update:


As much as I've rhapsodized about the joys of my little cutter, I'm also feeling a little burnt out!   I didn't spend very much time on it today.


But I did decide that it would be better to do the gunwales before the thwarts, just in case I need "elbow room" while gluing the gunwales on, without the thwarts in the way.  (I do try, at least sometimes, to think ahead!)  In anticipation of that work, I also determined that the apron at the stem needed to be cut down from where I initially had it-- 





The gunwales need to be 1 1/2 inches thick, by two inches wide.  Using my rotary tool "thickness sander" I roughly sanded some stock down to approximately 1/16th inch square (about 3" x 3" in scale), wet and heated it, to set the curve. The piece on the left I have started sanding down to final thickness--





The next photo shows the difference between the rough form, and final thickness.   There's also a pretty significant kink in the curve of the un-sanded piece, but I think it will disappear by the time it gets down to its final dimensions.  In the background you can see I also had to re-glue the starboard rising piece.  It had come loose on some of the frames.  This is not a good thing--some earlier varnishing of the interior may have compromised the gluing integrity on the frames-- 





I think I am going to stain the gunwale black.  I'll do this before I glue them on.   The other pieces that attach to the gunwale--the breasthook, and a piece and some angles at the transom-- willI also be stained, but not the washboard.   The port gunwale has been sanded to the correct thickness, but not yet the width.  The starboard is still rough--





And that's it for now.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks, Sam.


I'm at a bit of a standstill on the cutter, regarding the gunwale.  Along with figuring out exactly which parts to stain black (all, or some combination of the gunwale, breasthook, stern angles, washboards, and oarlock supports), and how to glue and stain that assembly prior to gluing it to the hull shell,  I also had to wait a bit for part A of my staining solution to ripen. (Steel wool needs some time to disintegrate in vinegar.)   The result of this combination of a forced wait, and mental challenge, was a loss of inertia.   I haven't "powered" through this little phase yet, but I hope to soon.



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