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Dolphyn by Jan B. - Modified Corel

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In 2010 I started a blog on this first build. The blog continued for perhaps 6 months when model ended up behind cupboard doors next to the Christmas tree decorations and a pile of books on boat building and rigging. Last week the hull found its way back to the building board  for final stage of planking. post-17157-0-90126300-1419868696_thumb.jpg.

After three years of abstinence I had to get it all back in my fingers again; wood bending and cutting, doing all the checks before application of glue, getting it right


My old MSW account and blog are gone, but I still got the pictures:


Purchased by my dad somewhere in the eighties


The instruction drawing, the big white area pretty much sums up the Corel planking instructions; must have left my dad with a huge question mark above his head and perhaps explains why it took a next generation to muster the courage to add glue to the various components  - with inspiration derived from internet, especially MSW.


I suppose Corel must have taken note of the work of Frederick af Chapman.


Fredrik Henrik af Chapman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredrik_Henrik_af_Chapman


the Ketch, no. 3 in Chapmans' Architectura Navalis Mercatoria, published in 1768. The book contained 62 illustrations of ships and smaller vessels, both Swedish and foreign designs. Some of these were Chapman's own designs, but many were also types that he had seen during visits to foreign countries. Everything from large warships to small fishing vessels were represented (Source: wikipedia).



Set up of frames


Solid Surinam hardwood handle keeping everything in check


Many planking instructions suggest you should divide the space over the frames evenly according to the number of planks and then taper and hang the planks accordingly,thats what I did with the first layer of planking. Its wrong. With 5 mm planks the planks decide how they run, they are too narrow to allow for spiling, only with wide enough planks (planks which allow for spiling) the planker may devide the space according to his will


looks like its made of match sticks

But add filler and sand it all down, and youre ok..


with first layer, that is


addition of false stems and keel (not included in kit), made from oak


Problem: the instructed planking scheme for the second layer does not match the dimensions of the first layer as defined by the frames, I therefore find it necessary to heighten the bull warks therewith altering the the side profile / the run of the gunwale.


And commence planking of second layer,

I then find this picture on the internet...


A revelation: planks do not necessary end at the bow but may turn upward and form "saddlebags" underneath the whales.




After completion of the saddlebags (the segments which require dropplanks) I commenced at the keel with the lower concave sections (the sections which require stealers).


I let the first planks envelop the stem


The two sections meet at the one plank which connects straight and free from bow to stern



Another important find is that all you need for woodbending is a glass of water and a candle



Stick the end of the wood in the glass, and let it soak until its wet about 3 cm above the water, then you know its soaked enough...then hold it above the candle and bend it, you will feel the wood give in. Dont overbend it, you cant bend it back. If the wood burns easily it probably means you did not soak long enough. If the wood dries up on the outside while heating use a brush to keep the wood wet on the outside of the bend.


Do not only bend the wood but give it the right twist at the same time..


to ensure stress free gluing...


for each and every plank..



[to be continued]


Edited by Jan B.
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  • 2 weeks later...

last plank "hung". Will sand and treat the hull once the entire casco is finished. Modifications from the original out of the box model are the "buttock" behind instead of a flat stern (a modification I would not recommend), the false keel and stems, and the heightened bullwarks.




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  • 2 weeks later...

The kit does not provide planking of the inner bull warks,


with all the corrections I have done to them I need some cover up .


Woodstrips are not for sale in Curacao let alone walnut woodstrips, I did however buy 3 years ago a package of Billing Boat Annegre strips, but those will not contrast with the deck planking..


I therefore bleach them and then stain with Minwax Special Walnut


The rather peculiar result, with treatment the wood has become a bit "grainy"

Edited by Jan B.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Nenad, thanks for the compliment, hereunder a picture I ran into last  week of another boat with planks moving up, without stealers though and with all planks ending either at the bow or under the whales. Still lots of room for improvement on my planking methods, also have to review my conclusion I gave in a previous post that planks should have their natural run, that is not per se the case with real world planking


Edited by Jan B.
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  • 2 weeks later...

Long time since my last post, had a stay in The Netherlands, and bought myself some walnut and some of the Corel Green Stuff, to replace the green planks in the kit. Must say, present day Corel green planks are much better quality then the ones I found with the kit, less neon like green, much smoother finish. Also find the new wood much less prone to splintering and breaking than the 30 year old wood that is included in the kit. Makes you wonder about shelf life. Its not only the woods, over the decades some of the "gold" ornaments have become seriously corroded. Had a bit of an issue bringing the wood to Curacao, the 0.5 mm strips and 5 mm sticks were a bit too long to fit in my bag, so I bundled them together with rubber bands to take as hand baggage..The resulting "stick"  worried the check in lady, she thought it looked like a weapon and thought it might not pass security, however, at the gate the security guy did not  blink an eye. I have a history with air port authorities, but the stress moment passed.  Anyways, I used the new wood  to replace the green planking I had already glued to the model, demolished the inner bulwarks for which I had invented home made walnut (see previous post), lowered the bull warks, sanded them to right whith again and plastered them with real walnut. I then made a walnut caprail  instead of using the "flexible beach" included in the kit, here is the grainy result.



Making the cap rail took me a lot of time, 2x 5 walnut is not what you call flexible, I had to assemble the 2x5's in 2x10's and make bow pieces from these


while for the really tight bends I fell back on laminating 0.5 mm walnut strips




With the cap rail in place I now have to confront the bow and stern design, the Corel drawings leave room for improvement

Corel bow design


instructions for the stern, the windows in the metal ornament are way to big.


Please note Corels depiction of the rudder hinges, the rudder would fall straight to the bottom of the ocean.


To solve my bow problem I start with lowering the bowsprit height to make it fit under the cap rail..



The situation at the stern, the kits instruction are simple: just glue on the metal ornament..


Edited by Jan B.
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Moving through the paces required to get it done with the (un)available materials. She's a tough cookie this one ... You have got some more undamaged pieces than I. Looking good ... curious as to the next results ...

Definitely a challenge, I found a Dolphin 3.0 by the way in Domanoff's "Swedish Privateer" (http://shipworkshop.com/models/swedish-privateer). Great looking model and good inspiration.

Edited by Jan B.
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Update on my progress, which has been excruciatingly slow..

Dolphyns new nose, made  from oak, as every handbook and blog advices the grain is indeed too coarse, had to knock my own head into that wall to learn that lesson, and well, did not have alternative woods available..



And the stern..



to be continued..

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Looks sturdy enough, and I like that 'moustache' at the stern ... I had to remake the stern, and beakhead too, can't recall what I used ... some darkish wood ... luckily we've got a good wood supplier near here (Arnhem 50 Km), they can deliver most types of wood, in large or reasonably small pieces, though, probably a wee bit out of your area ...

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Looks sturdy enough, and I like that 'moustache' at the stern ... I had to remake the stern, and beakhead too, can't recall what I used ... some darkish wood ... luckily we've got a good wood supplier near here (Arnhem 50 Km), they can deliver most types of wood, in large or reasonably small pieces, though, probably a wee bit out of your area ...

Found them on the Internet, great looking site, and they also have a great shop for tools, might be worth a detour, when I am in the Netherlands Amsterdam would be closer, the Amsterdamse Fijnhouthandel would be the alternative place to go..

Edited by Jan B.
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Good looking. What is next?

Nenad, next has been some "outside in" engineering by hollowing out the insides and then squaring out some holes for the side windows (still have to design those)


and opening the cabin to the front and placing a door frame..


Reason for enlarging the cabin to the front is to allow the steering wheel to be placed on top, the Corel drawings place the steering wheel in front of the quarter deck, behind the mizzen mast, making it impossible for tiller and wheel to be connected, unless with a tiller that sweeps at belly level through the cabin, and with some intricate wiring underneath the deck.


Next will be finalization of cabin, maybe even doing some interior work, and making of rudder for which I have to learn how to solder hinges, the kit's hinges are way to coarse

Edited by Jan B.
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One can accomplish much with a few more blocks on those rudder lines ... It doesn't need to be on the same level ... Moving it up has another disavantage ... you're looking into the sails and at the masts when steering ... It does look nice though!!

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Amsterdamse Fijnhouthandel - if I remember correct - is more expensive. Besides, I like to go tool-snifting at Baptist in Arnhem ... A towel against drooling won't be enough ... you require at least a bucket if not larger ... When you come to Holland, where abouts do you stay usually ...?

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Guys, thanks for the likes. 

In the meantime I added a table and additional beams, still loose fitted..


I then had a go at making windows which turns out to be real challenge, my first attempt is a complete failure..


I earlier read Alex M.'s explanation on window making


so I have a go at his method, first with copying the frames on transparent paper..


Then to put the paper over white paper with packaging plastic on top (package from Dremel sanding drums; feels like good quality plastic).


Then I find my master in Alex M. with making 05.x 0.5 strips and handling them in a precise way, such small scale really requires a complete different approach to handling materials, and makes me realize that all this kit bashing introduces levels I might not be ready for or take too much time.I will let it rest for a moment, might continue with the deck first


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