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Rattlesnake by divarty - Model Shipways - 1:64

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Throwing my hat into the ring with the Rattlesnake, I received the kit about two weeks ago but put it aside to finish my longboat.  I picked up the fair a frame kit from modelexpo at the same time and started putting it together last night.  After I get back from the family Christmas it will be time to implement a  lesson learned from my longboat build, measure, separate and label all the wood, cordage, blocks, deadeyes etc to ensure I don't use the wrong size when I'm not paying attention then it will be off to the turtle races!

 

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A minor update for my second post but this will be a long drawn out process, so I figure I will update anything that strikes me as useful for others/interesting to me.  

 

I spent the afternoon crawling through the parts, measuring all the wood, it seems I'm short some cordage and one sheet of laser cut wood, I'll put in a call to Model Expo to get them replaced later (nothing necessary for the start).  I marked up the center keel with the waterline and bulkhead letters and matched it against the plans, it appeared the center keel was too short, thanks to the other logs this wasn't a huge issue and I shimmed it up before gluing.  I still need to shim up the slot for bulkhead G but I'll do that when I fit the bulkheads.

 

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Then I weighed it down with the best flat heavyweight I could think of, which turned out to be quite fitting.

 

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I'll let it all set up then tomorrow I'll mark up the bulkheads with the waterline and start to place them onto the center keel.

Edited by divarty

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The shipyard was in somewhat full swing after the holiday adventures.  My first step was to set up my fair a frame from Modelexpo, that took a little bit of time.  I'm probably just not understanding it or I didn't set it up correctly but the damn thing seems unworkable.  I moved on to finishing up the false keel (Having shimmed the center keel I realized I had to shim the false keel as well.

 

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After my failure in understanding the fair a frame I moved back to my longboat build board and my old fashioned mechanics square and square ruler. 

 

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I realized I hadn't beveled the stern per the instructions so I went back and took care of it.

 

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One thing I questioned was this picture from the plans

 

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It seems to show the rabbet backwards from everything I've read or done before.  Anyone have commentary on this one?

 

After setting all the bulkheads I ran two battens down them to see the highs/lows and where everything didn't flow correctly.

 

It looks like it's a little sharp/square? at the stern, will need to sand those transition bulkheads down a littleso it runs smoother.

 

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The only other catch is at bulkhead I, not sure what went wrong with it but it's way out of wack.  I checked that it was centered and it is, I verified it's 90 degrees and square to the center keel so I'm guessing I will need to shim it out to make everything flow smoothly.  I'll check other logs to see if anyone else had issues at the same bulkhead.  

 

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And a shot straight down the hull showing the beveling I've done on the forward bulkheads and the general shape of things right now.

 

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Next weekend in the shipyard will be truing up the bulkheads, ensuring the run of my battens and prepping the transom and stern blocks.

 

ryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by divarty

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Ryan,

You're off to a good start. RE: bulkhead alignment: if you move the batten down toward the bilge, is the gap consistent?

Tom

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Ryan:

The rabbet shown in the plans is pretty normal looking. How have you seen it done otherwise?

 

Russ

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Ryan:

The rabbet shown in the plans is pretty normal looking. How have you seen it done otherwise?

 

Russ

  

Hey Russ, it just seems reversed, the diagram shows the rabbet being cut deep at the bearding line and shallowing towards the false keel, all the other views of the rabbet and how I cut it started at the bearding line and went deeper towards the keel.  In the picture you can see just above the diagram in question is the way I thought it should be.  I could have made a mistake and the rabbet slope changes directions when it gets to the midship of the keel?

 

Ryan,

You're off to a good start. RE: bulkhead alignment: if you move the batten down toward the bilge, is the gap consistent?

Tom

 

Thanks Tom, I failed to move the batten down to check lower on the hull, I'll do that when I get back into the shipyard and see if it's off the entire bulkhead or just the upper deck sections.

 

ryan

Edited by divarty

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You are looking at the rabbet from two different areas and from two different perspectives. The one with the sternpost is shown from above and the one with the plank at the keel is shown in cross section.

 

In any event, you can just cut a groove in the profile former to let the plank in to the junction with the keel. However, what is shown in the cross section rendering is a typical rabbet for the keel, with the deep cut at the bearding line, and rabbet shallowing towards the keel. At the sternpost, the deadwood (in this case the profile former) is thinned back towards the stern post to allow the plank to butt against the inside edge of the sternpost and be flush with the sternpost.

 

Russ

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In any event, you can just cut a groove in the profile former to let the plank in to the junction with the keel. However, what is shown in the cross section rendering is a typical rabbet for the keel, with the deep cut at the bearding line, and rabbet shallowing towards the keel. At the sternpost, the deadwood (in this case the profile former) is thinned back towards the stern post to allow the plank to butt against the inside edge of the sternpost and be flush with the sternpost.

 

Russ

 

Got it!  After sleeping on it, reading your comment again and looking at my plans I understand now.  Thank you for the clarification.  Unfortunately I had already cut the rabbet entirely starting at the bearing line and going deeper to the keel across the entire run, to fix that Ill just have to bevel the garboard on the inside so it matches up with the angle that I cut, a saveable mistake but something that I will know not to do again!

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Divarty,

 

Watch those bulk heads. Many of us have realized that a few of them are not cut on center. I had a quick write up on my solution to the problem early in my build log.  I think you will find that here even after you attached the bulk heads a few will be off center.  Beveling the bulkheads is a must if you want this build to work.  I strongly suggest you visit a few of our snake building logs before you get to far forward.  Learn from out mistakes or sage advise. I know it saved me a lot of headaches.

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Divarty,

 

Watch those bulk heads. Many of us have realized that a few of them are not cut on center. I had a quick write up on my solution to the problem early in my build log.  I think you will find that here even after you attached the bulk heads a few will be off center.  Beveling the bulkheads is a must if you want this build to work.  I strongly suggest you visit a few of our snake building logs before you get to far forward.  Learn from out mistakes or sage advise. I know it saved me a lot of headaches.

 

Thanks Scott, I did verify that all of my bulkheads are cut on center, once mounted to the profile former they are equal distances from the edge of the bulkhead to the former.  As for reading everyone's logs, already on that one  :D, I am following all that I can find as well as reading from the beginning.

 

Ryan,

You're off to a good start. RE: bulkhead alignment: if you move the batten down toward the bilge, is the gap consistent?

Tom

 

 

Tom I checked the runs lower on the bulkhead, towards the bilge and the bottom of the bulkheads the run is clean so it looks like I need a combination of sanding and shimming on the upper sections of the bulkhead

 

Without further ado I finally got back into the shipyard this weekend.  I had finished most of the initial fairing and was working on the bow blocks slowly carving away at them with an xacto knife when the admiral walked into the shop.  I mentioned to her that it was super slow going and I had no idea how everyone else carved these blocks.  Her response "Why don't you use your Dremel?" It was like a light switch had flipped, after that epiphany the blocks were finished up fairly quickly.

 

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I had a lot of leftover 1/32x1/8" basswood strips from my longboat build and used those to shim out bulkheads.

 

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They were pretty much the perfect size, after I laid them on I would sand them down to a good fit and taper the bottom so it flowed into the real bulkhead like it was a piece of it.

 

After two pretty long days of sanding, fitting, more sanding and more fitting it appears that I have some nice smooth runs for the planks.  I checked along multiple spots and they all run as smoothly as the ones in the photo.

 

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Out of all the bulkheads the one that gave me the biggest problems was the I bulkhead, it had to be shimmed damn near the whole length (2 shims on one side, but only one on the other) as well as having fit problems where it went into the bearding line, it was too long and didn't have the correct curves to allow planks to flow smoothly.  Quite a bit of sanding and a little knife work was required to make it right.

 

Once again more enjoyable time in the shipyard and as always I was supported by one of the shop animals, this time is was the shop dog, Huckleberry.

 

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Moving forward Ill be working on the stern block, that one should be interesting to carve out (this time using my Dremel instead of doing it by hand then working on more of the framing.

 

ryan

Edited by divarty

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Ryan, welcome to the snake pit, as many of the boys have been so helpful to me I am sure they will be an encouragement to you as well.

 

I just finnished my planking and would sugest you vet the bow fillers well. I HAD though i did a good job on mine only to find i left a smidge to much roundness that caused a few planks to miss the a bulkhead completely. This of course wont be seen or know of once the rest of the planking and decks are on but its something to look at .

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Ryan, welcome to the snake pit, as many of the boys have been so helpful to me I am sure they will be an encouragement to you as well.

 

I just finnished my planking and would sugest you vet the bow fillers well. I HAD though i did a good job on mine only to find i left a smidge to much roundness that caused a few planks to miss the a bulkhead completely. This of course wont be seen or know of once the rest of the planking and decks are on but its something to look at .

 

Thanks Rev, I have already followed all of the Ratt builds (yours included!) to see how other folks are handling things.  I've checked all the positions where planks cross the lead bulkhead and they all rest flat on the filler block and touch the forward bulkhead.

 

I started work on the transom block and completely hosed it up on my first attempt.  I transferred the measurements from the plans to the block as best I could then roughed it out with my Dremel.

 

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After getting most of the shape I did a test fit that didn't go so well.

 

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You can see from these pictures that the curve didn't match the top of keel piece and it's too short by about 1.5mm from the keel piece to the first bulkhead.  I'll think about how to approach fixing this, wether I redo the entire thing or I use other wood to "shim" out this piece and make it fit. 

 

One thing I was unsure of was the curvature on the rear of the transom block

 

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You can see from the lines where I believe the curve should go, but I'm not sure if I have them correctly located.  I guess tomorrow I'll go troll the other Ratt builds to see how other folks shaped the transom block.

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Hey Divarty,

 

Take your time on the back fill block.  Shaping it to its proper 3D shape is a challenge.  Remember to that can always sand off more wood but if you go too far it's not that easy to add it back.

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Hey Divarty,

 

Take your time on the back fill block.  Shaping it to its proper 3D shape is a challenge.  Remember to that can always sand off more wood but if you go too far it's not that easy to add it back.

 

Thanks Scott your words were exactly what I needed to hear in order to sit back, relax and enjoy the process.  I pitched the initial piece I made that didn't quite fit and approached the new piece very methodically.  I started by making sure my starter wood was overly large, then roughed it down with a dremel but leaving a lot of extra meat on the piece.  After that  worked it down with files and xacto knives, fitting it frequently to check shape and size.  I still have a bit of shaping left on the horizontal piece (the curve on the rear of the ransom piece and the bevel.  I believe I'm there on the two vertical fillers.  If someone is following and sees that I'm still off I will always take criticisms and advice.

 

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I did a little more work on the transom blocks and was finally happy with the bend of the planks into the rabbet.  I then started work on the transom and I'm pretty sure whoever cut that part was drinking heavily that day.  Excuse the horrible arrows but you can see from my reference marks (I called the discrepancies out in red) the piece is way off.

 

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More work to be done tomorrow fitting the transom and attaching it if I can get it squared away.  I did break one of the pieces that stands the transom up, I dropped it and when I rolled the chair back I went right over the top of it.  It was a clean break so I glued it back together, if it's not strong enough I'll just make a new one.

Edited by divarty

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Looking good. Make sure you review the plans frequently.  I actually photo copied the plans various drawings from the sides, back and top and actually glued the paper onto the wood and then sanded down to the paper.  Remember to check the angles of that back piece with some planking. The wood back there is a difficult step and getting the angle wrong now will hose you over later.

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I put in the center and edge support pieces for the transom tonight, as I was putting them in I noticed that the center supports didn't reach from the bulkhead to the edge of the transom block, I fixed it by shimming in a small piece of scrap onto the bulkhead.

 

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The biggest issue with the placement of these, beyond being short,  was ensuring they didn't block the windows on the transom.  I gave myself some wiggle room by holding the transom in place and marking the bottoms of the windows, then extended these to the bulkhead to give me some reference lines to place the center supports between.  After I put down the center supports I double checked with the transom held in place to verify I didn't cover the windows.

 

When I was fitting the center supports I realized my transom block didn't have the correct angle (about 62 degrees is correct) so I did some more sanding, seems to be the story of my ship building, and got the transom block to the correct angle.  I was then able to sand down the edge support pieces to the correct height (about 1mm too tall) as well as putting a bevel on the bottom so they would sit flat against the transom block then placed them.  You can see the 62 degree angle I'm talking about in this picture.

 

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A random shot from the back

 

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And the last shot showing the correct 62 degree angle for the transom as well as a test plank bent into the rabbet over the blocks.  I think the plank sits pretty well.

 

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It touches along the rear former and the rear bulkhead nicely but doesn't bulge out too far or give me any sharp turns, I think this will make a presentable rear end for my Snake.

 

On a side note to the build one of the largest issues I have is what we term in the tech industry as "analysis paralysis" where if I'm not sure if I'm right about something I'll hem and haw and make no progress.  I'm doing what I can to progress and suffer the possibility that I have to redo something or work around it later rather than be stuck moving no where.

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Looing good. Yeah, I had issues with the windows and that back filler as well.  Actually, I think my block actually would have covered part of the window, but since you end up painting the windows anyways I didn't lose sleep over it.  Some times you need to pick your battles divarty.

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Seems like forever since I've updated, I took a break because I was stumped by the transom, I did some research and let the build linger while I tried to sort out how it should be handled, I'm still not sure I know what I'm doing but just letting it sit on the bench wasn't doing me any good either.

 

I had built the window frames in the transom piece then popped them out to paint them.  After they dried they had distorted quite a bit and would not fit back into the holes in the piece, this caused some breakage and swearing but I finally got them all back in order and installed even if a little damaged.

 

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I primed the transom piece in prep for painting, not sure if Ill flood one color then come back and highlight details or try to carefully paint the whole thing.

 

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Leaving all the transom pieces to dry I moved on to cutting the slots for the knights head and timber head in the forward blocks and standing up the pieces.  I'm honestly not sure about the lengths and sizes of the timber head and knights head, the drawings are questionable in my mind and I was unable to figure it out from the other build logs.  I'll revisit these next time I'm in the yard.

 

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This weekend I had a fantastic opportunity, I got to sail on this lovely lady, The Lady Washington

 

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In a mock battle against the ketch the Hawaiian Chieftain

 

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I took a ton of photos of the entire boat to reference them as I work on various pieces or the Rattlesnake.

 

Hopefully I'll manage to make more progress this week or next, I think I just need to make headway regardless of right or wrong, if it turns out wrong then I redo it, but I want to make some forward momentum.

Edited by divarty

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I like your window framing, looks good. I took a picture of my timber heads for you:

 

post-1401-0-60089700-1425267899_thumb.jpgpost-1401-0-77389600-1425267913_thumb.jpg

 

If you go too big or too tall you can sand/trim them later, but too small or too short gets a little tougher. I made mine a little beefier to give me someone sturdy to attach planks at the bow. Keep up the great work!

Edited by sport29652

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Thanks Eric I looked at your pics and went to the correct spots on your log (I follow your build earlier but I missed the sections with the timber heads) for the timber head and knights head, Ill pull out the pieces I put in carve the slots a little deeper and thicken them up a little.  Great advice on overdoing them rather than under doing them.

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And now I have to say a large pause will be taken in the shipyard.  The Admiral and I decided to rip out the carpet monster and fix up the hardwood floors underneath in our hallway and workroom.  I'm going to have to box up the yard and tear down my work area for awhile during the work.  I expect I should be back up in a month or two.  While the pause sucks at least I wont have parts eaten by the carpet monster anymore!!  In the meantime I'll continue looking at the other builds and figuring out how to do the next pats of my Ratt.

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After an extended pause to tear out carpet, refinish the hardwood and repaint the room then move back in the shipyard is back in production.  Feels like forever.  It took me a while to figure out where I was in the build and how to make tools work!  But I managed to make some progress this weekend.

 

First step was attaching my transom, that was a chore, the plastic I used to back the windows flexed out, I had to remove it and custom cut smaller pieces.  I think this was a problem with having my frames set too deeply into the transom so the plastic was on the back, if they were recessed slightly the plastic would have been in the cutout instead of flat on the back where it could flex.

 

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I plan on adding another crossbar to the top of the windows as well as the metal work and the lettering later, I'm still having issues with the fit on the decoration piece.  I painted the britannia all black then went over the raised filigree work with the same ochre thats on the transom.

 

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I installed the mast supports and waterways

 

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If you notice on the waterways I probably went too far aft with them and not far enough to the fore.  I don't think it will be visible once I deck above it and put in all the masting and deck furniture but time will tell.

 

Then it was onto the fore rail.  Looking at this photo

 

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you can see my initial attempts at the knightshead and timberhead were horribly thought out, the knightshead was too thick to fit through the forerail and neither the knightshead or timberhead followed the curvature of the bulkheads so the rail didn't fit at all.  I tore them out and started again pinning in the correct sized knightshead to the block up through the fore rail then I recreated my timerhead out of a block of balsa, carving the correct curvature into it.  I then fixed the rails onto both sides and got a nice match up and good form.

 

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Future work will be putting in a knightshead of the correct size then bulking it out.

Edited by divarty

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I have started the framing of the gun ports and oar ports, it's been slow progress so far but enjoyable.

 

I rigged up a quick platform and temporarily put together a single gun to check the initial height of the gun ports.  This jig was used to help me measure each gun port as I built them out.

 

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The instructions called for using 1/16th square stock to do the framing.  Had I used that thickness it would not have been flush with the planking when I laid it in.  Instead I used 1/16th by 1/8th which is a touch wide.  I put the piece flush with the inside of the bulkheads, this leaves it standing out to the outside of the bulkheads then I go back and sand it down.  This allows me to have a flush framework and to maintain the curvature of the hull when I plank.

 

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To make sure the framework was level I matched it against a square using the bulkhead as a "true" point

 

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To get the correct sizing of the gun ports I would use my jig with the gun to get the correct height then lay down the first horizontal beam, I would then insert the blank measured to the correct size for the gunport (pulled from the plans) and insert the top horizontal beam tight against the blank.  After the glue had set on the two horizontal beams I would measure the correct distance from the bulkhead for the gunport and put in the first vertical beam.  Leaving my gunport blank in place I would put in the second vertical beam.  This gave me pretty close to a square gunport.

 

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I have read other builds where the didn't extend the gunport and oar port framing underneath the rear deck, I have gone back and forth about it.  Although it won't be seen, and initially it seems to be a waste of time I don't know how you could successfully line up the false gun ports at the aft of the ship without building out the framework ahead of time.

 

Anyway, the next steps will be finishing the frames on the current side and then building out the frames on the other side.  I don't have plans beyond that yet as I expect it will take me a little while with real life commitments etc.

 

 

 

 

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