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

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well done, Ron.  What wood are you using?  I can't tell the actual size of the carving, but those cuts under the wings and separating the wings from the head are awfully tight.  Are you using some kind of gouge, or ye olde exacto?  For most of my carvings, I had to resort to using dulled exacto blades as scrapers, and found that strategy more effective -- and less destructive -- than the more straightforward one of gouging out waste.





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Thanks, Martin.


I am using a small piece of Castello Boxwood, temporarily glued to a hunk of wood.   Here is a photo with some scale context--



The eagle itself will be 13/16ths of an inch across.  


My birthday was last month, and I treated myself to a very nice set of micro carving tools.  It was that or the Byrnes saw, and these won (and they were less expensive).  I feel a bit foolish, as they are for folks way beyond my talent level, but the carving is something I want to get better at.


Here is my model for the eagle--

Oneida 2020-06-01 B Eagle Model.jpg



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Working VERY slowly on the eagle.  At this rate it will take me a good week to finish it.


As I've worked, I've discovered details I missed at first (one important one being the talon gripping the shield), and I've sanded down the surface of my carving to be able to recapture those details.  My model image is very low resolution, and if I look at it too enlarged, the details (like the talon) blur too much to be apparent.  I have to look at it small, to see more! 


The outline is basically there now, and I am working on developing the basic relief areas--






I am realizing that the beak is critical to this piece, and I am holding off on its definition.  It's what will distinguish this from being an eagle, seagull, donkey, or an aardvark.



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Thanks Phil!  So many things to learn in this hobby.  I'm enjoying the carving, though I can't imagine doing a ship with a lot more.  It's very slow going at this point.


Continuing to work on the overall relief areas--



At this point, I began thinking that the thickness of this piece from the "ground plane" of the flattened area was about right, and I needed to get rid of that "ground" and to reduce the overall height.  Rather than shave everything down from the top, I unglued this from the base, and rubbed it on sandpaper until that "ground" was paper thin and translucent (guessing I removed about 3/128ths of an inch!).  Then I glued it back, and trimmed what was left of the "ground" away.   Now I am continuing to work on developing the relief--



If you compare this to the last photo of the previous post, I think I improved the shape of the shield (the curve of the right side and top, which were too flattened before), but I may have somehow reduced the width of the eagle's neck too much. 



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I'm calling this done.   Sometimes you get to a point where you're afraid of going just too far, and messing up what you've done to that point.


The beak never really materialized, there's no feather texture on the neck and body, and the wing feathers could be better (well, everything could be better), but I'm happy with this, and I'm going to stop before I slip and make an irretrievable mistake--



Isopropyl alcohol is repeatedly swabbed over and around the eagle to loosen it--



And after a while, the eagle is released--



This afternoon, from my porch, I surprisingly saw this guy (or gal) hanging out in a tree across the street--



It stayed put long enough for me to run inside, grab my camera and move a little closer for a couple of shots--



Now, that's what the beak should look like!   Still, I took it as an good omen that I was done.





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  • 6 months later...

Hello All!


It's been a while, about 6 months, since I've done any work on Oneida.  I felt I botched some work, and it sapped my motivation completely.  It's only in the last few days that I've felt ready to start (yet) again.


Back in June, after finishing the eagle carving, I made preparations to paint the ship's name on the transom.  I wanted to actually paint the letters, not use a decal, or transfer letters.  I knew I was going to have to turn the hull upside down to do this, so I wanted to do it now, before finishing anything else.


I experimented printing the name is some different fonts, and different sizes to arrive at something that looked about right.


Here is the printed name, taped to the transom with a small piece of white transfer paper underneath--




At this point, I nervously turned the hull upside down, hoping I wouldn't break or lose anything.  I left the ship's boat lashed down, and removed anything that could be taken off easily.  This photo is after I then "colored" the lettering with a sharp pencil, which transferred the letters onto the planking.  You can barely see it there on the transom--




Here's a close-up.  Not too pretty.  But enough to give me a reasonable guide for painting--



I used some artist oil paint, and the finest brush I have, and did the best I could.  It was not very good.  I didn't even take a photo.  For some reason, this completely deflated me.  And, unfortunately, I gave up the ship.  I turned it right side up, and left it alone.


Fast forward: I'm working from home due to Covid, don't get out much except to grocery shop, and when it was warmer, do some walking/hiking on the weekends.  I finally got bored enough to look at the ship (actually I have looked at it often enough, but without any desire to do anything), and see if I could make some improvements to that attempt at painting the name.


I turned the hull upside down again-




And I set about with a knife to trim and scrape at the edges of the painted letters, trying to clean up the serifs, and the uneven thicknesses of the strokes.  In this photo, all of the letters have already been given some work.  It was worse before--




All the letters needed some surgery, but the ones that needed the most work were the "O", the "N", and the "D".


After cleaning this up, it looked better.  Not as good as I would have liked, but enough better to accept.  I also had to glue a transom molding that had become detached at one end, and I glued the eagle-




You can see a nasty gap in the transom planking.  It was the first planking I had done on the whole ship, and it looks it.  I think I can fill it with some darkened sawdust and glue.


Here she is back right side up--




I've also continued working on the anchors.   Here the wood anchor stock pieces are shaped, treenailed (for appearance only, for they should have been drilled through the companion piece also; but that would require a precision in which I have not the confidence), and carved out for the shank.  I've cut a thin sliver of brass sheet for the iron bands that help hold it together-




All for now--Happy Holidays and Joyous New Year, if I don't post before then.





Edited by rlb
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Great to see you back at it, Ron.  Frankly, I would be terrified, utterly terrified even to try painting letters.  I love carving, but even there have only barely tried doing letters, especially since they require their own technique.  But your work looks pretty doggone good to me.  And with the eagle above the name, the overall appearance is handsome.  That gap in the planking shouldn't be at all hard to fix -- you might even just slice a long sliver off some stock and set it in place.  Since the transom is painted, it could blend in well.


Cheers, and Happy Holidays!



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Thanks for your kind words, Mike!  I could have easily used the wooden anchor masters instead of casting one-off metal copies.  It was a great learning exercise, though; and I prefer the metal copies.


Work continues to finish the anchors.


All four of the shipped anchors on Oneida are different sizes.  Here the wooden stock of the #1500 anchor is treenailed.  The two halves of the stock are temporarily glued together--




Here the treenails have been sanded flush, the halves have been separated with isopropyl alcohol, and the interior gap has been shaped--




After chiseling out the interior location for the anchor shank, The halves are glued together again, captivating the anchor shank--




I pondered a while concerning how to do the iron bands.  I decided that I could tape the bands, and then use those as patterns for the metal pieces.  The beginnings of the Anchor rings are also shown here--




The anchor rings are here, and I slid off the masking tape patterns for the bands.  Two different sets for the different weight anchors--




Unfolding the bands, I was able to cut lengths for them--677600159_Oneida20201226FAnchorsBandsandRingsCut.JPG.0f78290b9190bb9926ce7a84d3bc44ab.JPG



The the next step will be to blacken the rings and bands,  and attach them to the anchors.

Edited by rlb
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  • 2 weeks later...

Moving forward with the anchors:


Here I have blackened the straps, and anchor rings--




My plan was to epoxy the blackened straps to the top of the stocks, and once the epoxy set, bend the bands around and epoxy the ends underneath--




Unfortunately, the epoxy wouldn't hold the bands, even though the brass was paper thin, and took hardly any force to bend.  They just popped off.  I tried CA glue next, but that didn't work either.   Plan B was to solder the bands closed, and then slip them onto the stocks.  However, the brass was too thin, and melted before the solder would flow.


I cut new bands from thicker brass, and bent and hammered them around this dummy stock, then soldered them closed.  I then test fit them on the real anchor stock, trimming and re-soldering as necessary to get a snug fit at the proper locations on the stock--




Once I had my eight bands, they were ready to blacken.  You can see I also "pudding-ed" one of the rings--




Most of the bands fit well, and they are just held by friction.  I did the other rings, and here is Oneida's complement of anchors--








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Now that the anchors are behind me, it's time to finish up the channels and chainplates.


The channels have been shaped and glued to the hull, reinforced with wire pins--




I have some brass brads, however they are too large to use as is for the bolts that fasten the preventer plates to the hull, so I need to file them down a bit.  There are about 60 to do, and I thought about buying some that were the right size, but rather than spend the money and wait, I decided to do them by hand.  I need to reduce the diameter of both the shaft and the head.  It only takes about a minute per pin.   Even with them thinned, I need to drill the holes in the preventer plates a little larger.  You can see the difference comparing the ones on the left to the last one on the right (both the pins and the plates).  I'll cut the pins much shorter when it's time to install them--




The work area in a more cleaned up state than usual--





Edited by rlb
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

Finally, an update--and a very small one.   I should wait until I have more to add, but I find that just posting something gives me motivation to continue.


Here you can see the difference between the filed, and unfiled pins--





After doing them all I blackened them--





As I mentioned in the previous post, even with these narrowed pins (and you should be able to see, they are narrowed near the head, but not all the way down, as they will be cut short), I needed to drill larger holes in the preventer plates.   And there I hit a wall.


It should have been a very minor issue--how difficult can it be to just drill larger holes?!  I tried using the pin vise, and holding the small pieces down by hand.  The first one was fine, but after that, the drill bit would just "thread" the hole, without making a clean larger diameter hole.  I'm not sure if I am explaining that well enough, but basically it wasn't working.  I realized I would have to use the rotary tool with it's high rpm to drill the holes.  I had no idea how to set this up with these tiny pieces, so I was stuck.  What I should have done was move on to other parts of the model until a solution occurred to me, but I couldn't.  This needed to be solved, and for some reason I just stopped working until I had enough motivation and persistence to figure it out, as insignificant as it seems.


Finally, I had enough determination to see it through, and after some failed set-ups, hit on this one which worked, and seems so simple in the end.  I clamped a piece of wood in a vise fastened to the rotary tool drill press "table", which had a small hollowed out bit to fit the preventer plate, so I could align and hold it there (via needle nose pliers), without shaking (I drink too much coffee), while depressing the drill press lever with the other hand.  Presto.  Twenty preventer plates (40 holes) drilled--






I hope to have another update before too long.




Edited by rlb
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Well done Ron.  I have to admire your determination to work through a problem.  To my mind, that's one of the key attractions to model building.  Setting up, or designing a jig to get something done is very often the biggest step.  But, if you're like me, in 5 months when you have to do something similar you'll look at that those holes and wonder how you ever got them done. 





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Thanks so much Steve and Martin.


I have to say I don't think of myself as much of a machinist.  It's not my background; I am not knowledgeable.  I'm impatient with having to spend time 'making things to make other things'; but at the same time I'm in awe of people like Michael Mott and RJ Soane on this forum for whom the machining and jigs seem to come so naturally, and which they seem to enjoy doing!  (And so many others, but those were the first two that came to mind.)   But Martin you are right, I often do look at the model and wonder "how did I do that"!?  Not in the technical sense, but just the accomplishment.  You don't know until you try.  It is rewarding, to be sure.



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  • 1 month later...

Thanks Maliba, and Joe a while ago.  I know I am working very slowly at this point, but I think I will be able to post something in the next few days.


Rick, all the frames were far too fat.  What you see in the photo is 80 grit first, then I think it was 220, then 600.  It took forever.   I'm not sure I would bother with the 600 next time around.   





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