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This is from Chuck's new set of plans for the English Cutter Cheerful.  While I'm waiting for the next update for my Echo Section, I ordered the plan set.  I like the lines of the ship and since there is only one mast, I'm even happier.  Aside from Chuck's long boat, I've not done any POB models, but since she will be fully planked, why not.  Chuck puts almost as many bulkheads in as some stylized POF models out there.

 

First up was buying the plywood for the spine and bulkheads.  Lots of it in hobby shops and on line.  ALERT:  You only need one sheet of 12" x 48" quarter-inch material.  Every piece easily fit with plenty of leftover material for fillers, etc.  See pics.  The material that I got is slightly over-sized so I'll run it thru the thickness sander before gluing on the patterns.  Another tip on working with plywood.  The good side should be UP cutting on a table saw.  Use blue painters tape over every line to be cut (on both faces of the plywood)  to prevent any tear-out.  And use a good 80 TPI blade.  There is not a chip on any cut I made so far.

Cutting the slots for the bulkheads (B/H) over the spine will be critical.  It's easy for Chuck with his new laser cutter, and careful layout is important if you're doing it with a saw.  First off is determining a 90 degree line between the B/H slots and and the tops of the frames.  I cut the patterns out by carefully cutting a line across the very top of each B/H pattern.  Once the patterns are glued on each blank with the top edge flush with the edge of the plywood blank, I can use that side in my table saw sled to get a perfect 90 degree slot.  For the spine (which has a curve to the bottom), I used the bottom of the plan sheet as a square reference to the slots in the spine.

Maury

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More work on the spine and bulkheads.  I cut the sides of the slots in my table saw sled.  Careful not to cut past about 1/2" from the end of the slot so the back side of the cut does not go past the end of the slot.  All the slots were cleaned up on the scroll saw then sanding sticks.  I have some 120 grit paper glued to a 1/4" square stick so the bottom of the slot is square with the sides once sanded.

I rough cut the outside edges of the bulkheads and started on the spine, then decided to leave the bottom of the spine blanks in place 'til I lined up and joined the two pieces.  So far the most challenging was the dovetail joint holding the two pieces of the spine together.  The joint is tight and the bottom line is straight.  I'll finish up rough cutting the spine and bulkheads and then start sanding the edges on the spindle sander.  Fairing is going to be harder than Chuck experienced since his bulkheads were all perfect from the laser cutting.

Maury

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OK, next problem.  The plywood is still too thick (measures .255 - .257").  After cleaning up all the slots, everyone of them is too narrow and they were cut to the outside of the lines.  Trying to open them up to accommodate the thicker plywood is asking for a disaster (alignment side -to-side).   Back to the thickness sander for all the pieces.  Since I want to leave the patterns on, all the sanding will be on the back side.  One of the five plys will be thinner than the other outer one but that should not be an issue.  Those without a thickness sander are going to have to adjust slot sizes to the thickness of the wood.  Chuck may want to add a comment on how to do that without impacting the wrong parts.

Maury

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That little side to side difference wont matter.   I would try and just open the slots up evenly on both sides.  Use a sanding stick that is pretty large with some coarse sandpaper glued to it.   I just ordered a bunch of plywood so hopefully it will be the correct thickness. If time permits I may cut some sets if the thickness is OK.    Its midwest ply...not the 6mm stuff.  You must look for actual 1/4" thick stuff.

 

Dont forget to download the first chapter of the monograph online.   I just added it and plan to get the others written within a week or so until I am caught up with my progress thus far.  One important thing I always mention is for the builder to always measure the thickness of the ply before they start cutting.  This way they can make adjustments to the slots before they start making sawdust.  Its awful trying to find accurate good quality ply.   It looks good so far though....

 

Chuck

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Chuck, Thanks for the comments.  I just downloaded the files.  Plenty to read through before proceeding.  For the amount of Ply, am I missing something?  Everything fit on a 12" x 48" piece.

Maury

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Chuck.  The next step is to cut and glue the rabbet.  Sizing was easy on the thickness sander.  I boiled the fore half for a while then clamped it in place against the spine to get the shape.    After completely drying, I glued and clamped in place.  Now I have to wait for more wood to proceed to the keel, so I started on the windlass.  http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/9519-windlass-for-cutter-cheerful-148-by-maury/

 

Maury

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  • 3 weeks later...

The rabbbet is easy...just make sure to align it in the center of the spine.  I had to wait for more timber for the keel and stem parts.  I bought three 5/16 (rough finish) pieces of box wood from Lumberyard.  It has a lot of grain, a few knots and was bowed and warped.  Nothing like the quality I was used to from Hobby Mill.  I stacked and weighted the pieces and after ten days, they flattened out a lot. 

The stem pieces and keel were thicknessed to 7/32" (.219"), cut on the scroll saw and finished with the oscillating sander, disk sander and sanding sticks.  A lot of trial and error when you cut them like this.  Since the stem and keel are .22" vs the .24" of the spine, I used a piece of card stock (manilla folder material) under the pieces while gluing to the spine.  Clamped while setting.  I'll take off the patterns, finish with wipe-on poly and be ready to set the bulkheads.

Maury

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As I finished the poly on the stem and keel, I realized I had not made provision for mounting.  It might have been easier to drill mounting holes before gluing the keel to the spine.  I'll square up the unit in the drill press and drill and tap for 4-32 bolts.  Box wood is hard enough to hold mounting bolts in a tapped hole.

Maury

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I drilled the mounting holes using my mill to make sure they were centered and plumb, then tapped them.  I then started installing the bulkheads to the spine.  I clamped the spine plumb in a make-shift jig and then glued and inserted the dead-flat bulkhead (pattern facing aft) and clamped it square to the spine.  After about 20 minutes of drying, I can move on to the next bulkhead, working away from dead-flat.

Maury

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More installation of bulkheads ( clamping with small machinist squares).  The only questionable thing so far is the issue of the bow fillers.  Chuck's instructions call for special attention to lining up the reference lines.  Doing so resulted in the fillers being about 1/8" +  lower than the matching tops of the spine and bulkheads.  (you can make it out on the 2nd and fourth pictures).  I re-checked the reference lines and they are square from the bulkhead "M".  I can always fill-in at the top and re-draw ref. lines on the fillers.  Chuck's photos show the fillers tops flush with the spine tops.  Port fillers were sanded to shape and glued in place.  Now to fairing.  The plan is to use an 80 grit sanding block and go at it for a few days.  There is a lot to remove.  As Chuck points out, this is a critical stage!!!

Maury

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Thanks for all the like and comments.  If you see a problem or have a warning, PLEASE point it out.  They are easier to fix earlier in the process.  Rough fairing in process. Boy, does this make a lot of sawdust!  I taped up the stem and keel so I wouldn't damage them with all the sanding to be done.  In addition to checking the fairing with a thin batten, I checked the width of each bulkhead from the spine at the reference lines.  I added some vertical reference lines to the aft most bulkhead and checked there as well.  The sides can be fair, but still not the same from port to starboard (I made that mistake on my Emma C. Berry a few years back).  Several minor sanding adjustments and one bulkhead that needed building up by about 1/64".  Some 1/32" scrap bass is glued on the edge and will be sanded down to the proper level.  More checking along the keel then on to the next step.

Maury

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I'm with Anthony--very nicely done! Thanks for sharing your lessons learned from your Emma build (beautiful model btw!). The "Cheerful" will probably be my next build (have the plans & etc), so it's great to follow along your and Chuck's builds. One thing that's been at the back of my mind is using 1/4" hardwood in place of plywood for the bulkhead former and bulkheads--mainly because even the 'better' grades of plywood I've found so far is not straight, is too thick or too thin, and etc.

 

Based on the fairing you've done so far, Maury, do you think it would be a little easier to do some light pre-beveling on the bulkheads before installing them? Am thinking along those lines if I use hardwood in place of plywood.

 

Again, your work looks great and I really enjoy following you build!

 

Cheers,

Jay

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Thanks for the comments.  Jay, I think pre-beveling opens up another can of worms.  I actually used a very well honed chisel on the edges of the bulkheads near the bow.  If you cut the bulkheads to the plans carefully, sand to the outside edge of the lines (if you have a spindle and disk sander) and just sand away by hand once installed, I think it would work out best.  It's rigid enough to hold up to the sanding.

Maury

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Maury, thanks for your insight and feedback on pre-bevel ing--am nixing that idea! Also good to know that a spindle sander is a good-to-have tool for the build...been on the fence for awhile with purchasing one; looks like one will be my next major tool investment ;) (have Jim B's disc sander--great tool).

 

Cheers,

Jay

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 I've faired so that a batten lies flat across all bulkheads.  Next is to set the tops of the port sills via the use of a batten that runs the entire length, top aligned with the upper reference lines.  Chuck warns they will not all line up and need minor adjusting.  I can get a fair run with some ref. lines above and some below the top of the batten.  Now for some assistance.
There is no upper reference line on the aft-most bulkhead, so I penciled one in at 24/32" above the lower one (approximate spacing of the preceding bulkheads).  See second photo.  At the end of the run of the batten,  if I use the second from aft, the batten would be quite a bit higher.  If I use the third from aft, it would be lower.  The penciled-in one is a compromise, but I'm not sure what is appropriate at the stern.  Any thoughts?

Maury

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Plans question for Chuck:  The bulkhead plan (use dead flat as example) upper reference line is 16/32"  above the bottom of the floor (top of deck beam equivilent) at the sides.  On the plan side view showing bulkheads and port sills, the top of sill (= upper reference line) is 12/32" above the bottom of the floor (top of deck beam) .  Is the side view showing the floor (top of deck beam) at midships reflecting the round-up of the deck or at the side?

Maury

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