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Bracera (Brazzera) by Albuk


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Well, the local shop didn't have the kits I had my eyes on, so I did some research on the web and found a website that sells their own kits in my hometown. The kit I finally bought is a type of 19th century coastal vessel from the Adriatic sea called Bracera or Brazzera and is based on a plan from Tehnodidakta-Pula from the 80's.

 

It comes with bulkheads and centerboard laser cut and Linden and Beech wood planks for the hull and deck. For the second planking there is a bunch of veneer strips, but the name of the wood eludes me. The fittings are from Mantua and the ropes are polyester. Beside the building materials, the kit comes with general instructions of how to make a wooden vessel but not specifically the Bracera. For that, you get the plans and a CD with images of a completed boat.

 

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Edited by Albuk
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The laser cut parts of the kit are nicely done but when inserting the rods, that make the whole construction stronger, I found out that the "windows" on the second bulkhead are not tall enough for the rods to go through. The bulkhead in case, differs from the plan in that aspect and I suppose the manufacturer wanted to make it stronger because it will have a fair amount of fairing. A little fabrication made the rods come through.

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For the filler blocks, the kit came with two choices: Basswood and rigid polystyrene foam. Basswood would need too much time and effort to shape with the tools I have, so I tried the foam. It is easy to shape and rigid enough, but the dust is very fine and sticky. Since the admiral was frowning I decided to go with Balsa with a vacuum cleaner ready for action.

 

To make a nice edge (Balsa did not hold it well) I used a wide, 1.5mm thick beech plank from the kit, shaped it and then glued the Balsa block on top. I pre-shaped them as in the plans and glued them to the bulkheads. The final shape was reached while fairing the bulkheads. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I began planking the first layer. I seem to have forgotten how it is done as I cracked the first three planks. I was cursing, swearing the Basswood planks that came with the kit. Took an Obeche plank from my previous build, soaked it and applied heat to bend it without a glitch. Since I had just a few Obeche planks left, I decided to try the Basswood again. Soaked it a bit longer in hot water and then using a steam iron and soldering iron (the part before the tip which I kept at 200C), I took my time and with a little bit more patience and less pressure I bent the plank to the shape of the hull. It was not the wood after all, it was me! Basswood seems to be stiffer than Obeche but unlike Obeche doesn't start splintering when pushed too much. It just cracks.

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I placed a couple more planks for the weekend. I made the garboard strake too long at the bow and I had to taper the next plank to a pointy edge so that the following planks would have a normal bend. Not a nice job but it will be covered with a second layer of planking (which I hope to do better). The stern seems to be OK.

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I cut the top of the bulkheads as shown on the plans but then decided to make the cargo bay semi open. To do that, I cut the center bulkhead to look as a rib with a help of a Dremel type tool. I made four more ribs with leftover planks by bending them to the shape of the hull and then gluing them one on top of the other. I tried bending a plank laterally but couldn't get such a pronounced curve so I went with layering planks, which took some time, but I am happy with the result. Next, I made the floor planks and lastly glued back the two rods which I cut in half to make them narrower.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A little bit more work done on my Bracera build. I sanded the hull of the vessel, shaped the bow and is now ready for the second planking. I had problems at the stern with clinkering so I hade to put filler (diluted PVA and sawdust) on both sides as the hull was getting paper thin. I am not happy with the second planking strips that I got with the kit so I am thinking of buying cherry veneer and making my own. In the meanwhile, I started working on the rudder and stained the cargo bay.

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Hello Alex,

 

It's great to see another Bracera being build. I will follow along.

I'm glad you fixed the clinker effect.

I like the dark color of the stain. What stain did you use?

 

Elmir (Wishmaster) is also building the Bracera using the same plans. He is doing a scratchbuild.

 

Take care,

 

Anja

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Hello Anja,

 

Thank you for taking interest in my build.

 

It took more sanding then I anticipated to get rid of the clinkering, but I wasn't worried too much about it, since I would go for a second planking layer anyway. What I am worried about is making my own second layer strips. The ones that came with the kit can be seen glued on the bulkheads of the cargo bay that I made. They are very grainy and difficult to cut them for spilling.

 

I have seen Elmir's build and have been in contact with him via PM. It is nice to see another Bracera being built. I was feeling kind of alone building mine :)

 

The stain that I used is a water based walnut wood stain.

 

Cheers,

Alex

Edited by Albuk
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Hello Albuk,

 

Thank you for your reply.

I'm glad you and Elmir are in contact with eachother. You can share your tips and ideas.

 

As for making your own strips. Maybe you already did, but just have a look here, maybe it is of use to you.

Otherwise you can just state your worries or your question there for help and advise.

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/822-milling-my-own-wood/

 

Looking forward to your progress.

 

Anja

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Hello Anja,

 

Thank you for the link, it is very informative. I managed to get my hands on a small amount of American cherry 0.6mm veneer. The funny story is that when I went to buy it, the lady at the shop told me that the minimum amount was 50 square meters. When she saw my jaw drop to the ground and eyes pop out, she sent me to their workshop to see If they had some leftovers. They didn't have European cherry, which I wanted, but I got the American variety for free.

 

Regarding Elmir, I asked him for advice on the Proxxon table saw as I was about to order one. His post stated a problem with it so I wanted to see what was it about, before pushing the button. There was no problem, he just wants to get rid of the belt mechanism and told me to definitely go for it. So, now I am waiting for it to arrive and continue with the build.

 

Alex

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While waiting for the table saw to arrive, I decided to make a pump and test a patina for copper and brass that I bought. I made the pump from a beech wood dowel and have to stain it yet. The patina that I used for the metal parts is some kind of acid of a transparent light blue color which had to be diluted with water. Brass turned immediately black, while copper took a few minutes. On brass, the black oxide doesn't come off easily, unlike copper.

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Great build log Alex! Beautiful ship. It's interesting that both bracera's are waiting for table saw :D

 

I really like a shape of hull, you did great job and also great idea with cargo bay. I will definitely try to copy this idea on my bracera!

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You're doing a great job on a seldom built model, Alex.  I think it's the first one of these for MSW. Beautiful planking.  I like the various shades of the planks. The cargo hold is a neat idea and your pump came out very crisp and clean. 

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Thank you Elmir. I eagerly wait the continuation of your build log and our "curse of the table saw" to pass  :cheers:

Mark, thank you for your kind words. Whishmaster (Elmir) is also building one. I wish I had done a better job planking the stern as the second planking would have been unnecessary then. My plan is to stain the hull above the waterline and for that to happen, better planking is needed.

 

Alex

Edited by Albuk
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  • 2 weeks later...

My new toy has finally arrived. To be able to cut the 0.6mm cherry veneer that I acquired, I changed the blade that came with the saw with a smaller toothed one. I had to keep my fingers very near the blade while cutting, otherwise the edge of the strips would chip off. It was really scary but I managed to make nice and strait strips and keep my fingers attached to the rest of my body.

 

I am uncertain how to glue the second layer to the hull without having problems with excess glue getting on top of the strips. I need them clean for staining. I was thinking of applying a thin layer of CA on the hull with a paintbrush, let it dry a bit, then wet the veneer strip, position it and use a flatiron to make it stick. I have no idea how the CA will react. Ideas are welcome!

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Edited by Albuk
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Hello Alex,

 

I'm glad the saw works. The strips are looking good.

 

I am uncertain how to glue the second layer to the hull without having problems with excess glue getting on top of the strips. I need them clean for staining. I was thinking of applying a thin layer of CA on the hull with a paintbrush, let it dry a bit, then wet the veneer strip, position it and use a flatiron to make it stick. I have no idea how the CA will react. Ideas are welcome!

I have never heard of this being tried before. So I'm afraid I can't advise you on this.

But putting a thin layer of glue on the hull instead of on the strip is a good idea.

That will surely prevent the glue from getting on top of the strips.

 

Good luck.

 

Anja

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Thank you Anja. I haven't tried gluing with the help of a flatiron yet because it is so hot in Belgrade this last days, that I don't even want to think about using any type of heating appliance. I will test it for sure, one of these days but not on the model. If it works, it might make things a bit easier.

 

Alex

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I decided to start placing the veneer strips from the keel to practice my second planking skills. The hull below the waterline will be painted anyway so any mistake will be covered. Before placing the strips, I beveled the edges so that, at least in theory, each separate plank will show through the paint.

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