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Sea of Galilee boat by Wintergreen - Finished

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Hi fellow builders!


So, first scratch build as well as first build in a fairly long time...what can be of this you say. Actually it is a build that I've been commissioned to do. That doesnt happen too often. For this particular commission I will not charge any payment, it is for pure fun.


Quick background story (to keep with MSW rules of non-this and non-that content):

Our pastor came up to me and asked about ideas for a candle holder to place in our church. A candle holder, usually found in Lutheran and Catholic churches, can have the form of a globe, a tree or just a box filled with sand to put small Christmas tree sized candles in.


"A boat" was my immediate thought. I tested the idea and it was received well so I went home and took out my sketchbook. But what form should the boat be of? Anything open of course. Reverted to Google that told me about a excavation some 30 years ago at the shore of the Sea of Galilee.


How appropriate! A boat from the time around the start of our calendar. Not unlikely a type that Jesus, himself, rode in.

Search "Galilee" in our forums and you will see both scratch builds as well as kit.


Anyway, out from my pencil came the below sketch. Never mind the tables, they are a separate story. The sketch was presented to the board and accepted. Return question was: "When can it be ready?"

Guess I have to start making sawdust.




But first I made a card skeleton to grasp the needed size. As it turned out the finished boat needed to be some 20% bigger than the card model.






Obviously the finished boat will be of wood, not card. But card is quick and easy to do a mock up in.


Scale, might someone ask for. No such thing. My boat will some 75 cm long from stem to stern. I have blown up the mid section to care for more candles. There is some plan of the real thing on the site above which shows a flat bottom, rather upright sides and curved stem and stern and then the distinct feature of the cutwater. Like found on Roman ships of the time.


Wood then? It will be oak. Rather uncommon on these pages because of it coarse grain. The real thing was build in Mediterranean species of which I have none...also the size of my model will cater for rather sturdy dimensions. Oak is known to bend well and it looks great when aged. Another feature of the oak I will use is that it is salvaged from an old motor boat from the 1940s...the trees that was used started to grow some 200-250 years ago...


Here are some pieces that I picked out, arent they nice?




Well, after some hand planing and a couple of runs through my thickness planer the blanks for the stern looks like this:




That is how far I've come now. 

As always, daywork will interfere with time in the workshop, but I will make the most of it.



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Thank you for your interest.


I dont mind chair squeeking, the row up front is almost always available (at least in church ...lol )


Today I practised sanding to true angles. Big pieces make for forgiving progress...


Pinned and glued. The bamboo pin blends nicely into the oak.




Next up will be the keel, I think.

What I forgot to say is that it will be a waterline model. And for constructions, well, I will return to that topic further down the line.


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Next installment, some kind of a keel and stem.

Since this boat will be generic I am using my artistic license to build as it suits me. 


For safety measures I glued the stem in place twice. Well, not really for safety, it was more of the so familiar:  

"I can do better than that" kind of joint...


Happy enough with my second try. The stern came in place somewhat easier. You cant avoid being very humble when you look at other masters work here on MWS. Joints without gaps, straight and true pieces and all. Well well, I might get there some day when time permits.


Here are a couple of images of the work so far. Stem and stern are glued and pinned even though I really dont think they would fall off without pins. I took a hot kettle of water to make the stem part with the keel. And it is not really the keel either since it will be a waterline model.


Pictures, yes, here they are:






Camera in question is the cell phone, hence the warped corners. 


Next up will be to form a floor/bottom for the boat. Since the boat will be half full with sand to position candles in I want to make it a confined structure.


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Hello Hakan,

    Nice to see you building again. I built 2 of these boats. One for my home, the other went to our church. Have fun I will be watching. This is the 1/24 scale model and the book I used almost extensively plus versus in the bible.



Edited by Cap'n Rat Fink
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Hey Hakan,

   Thanks brother. If you need any info I kept a lot of mine. Don't know if you have that book. But the author was the onsite archaeologist when they unearthed the wreck. Plus it has a lot of input from the brothers who found the boat. I know you Hakan, you like to get things a correct as possible. It  will be a joy to watch your progress buddy.


Mario :dancetl6:

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Thanks Mario, re "correct as possible" this time it will be a bit different I am planning to ease my pain a bit by not making it a replica or true scale model. Hope you dont get too disappointed friend. 


At this point I have no more progress to show, working on ripping planks for flooring and sides. Lots of uninteresting sawdust, but I will take some progress shots nevertheless.


Tomorrow current projects at work has send me to London for the week...one of those weeks you know. My workshop will miss me and I it.

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Back from abroad and able to spend some quality time in the shop ... yay.


One thing that struck me today is that some day..any day ... in the future .. I will actually put together some accurate plans and then think through a step by step scheme to work by. However, this is not that day. I am more like Jack Sparrow (Captain Jack Sparrow) making it up as I go kind of type.


Since the hull will be semi filled with sand I reckoned it needed a form stable flooring. In my stash I found an old piece of plywood of unknown origin (not really, I know exactly where it came from) some 12 mm thick.


Next problem to solve was whether I should make two half sides and attach to the "keel" in some ingenious way. I opted out for that and instead made single piece floor. Problem with that was how to attach the backbone to it. Instead of more words, the pictures will tell the answer.


First with the backbone in place




And then to show the solution.




Next up will be to bevel the plywood and also cut a rabbet in the stem and stern.


Mario, a question to you if you read this, Do you have any information on the dimension of the planks for the hull? The thickness I have worked out, but how broad were they? Do you know? The scale I am building to is somewhere in the range of 1/12 - 1/15.

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Mario, I just found what I was looking for in this practicum from Dick Webber (google told me...):


Planks are in the range of 6"/120 mm wide. Which will give me a handy 10 mm wide plank.

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    I been out all day. Just got home. My apologies i did not see this in the morning before I left. That is a nice practicum. Yes I agree with you there. My planks were at 3.175mm (1/8inch). Since i built at 1/24 scale.  I remember seeing Webber's practicum.

   The author of "The Sea of Galilee Boat" Shelly Wachsmann was the nautical archaeologist on site during the excavation of the boat. He had Professor Richard "Dick" Steffy at that time known to be one of the best authorites on ancient boats. I left out the ceilings because when Steffy inspected the boat he never found any evidence of ceilings in the boat. Plus the frames were never attached to the keel.

   I have plenty of diagrams of the boat from the boat. If you need anything Hakan I can PM you. I will keep a better watch on your progress my friend.


This gentleman here built his close to your scale right here.It might have some information you can use...





Edited by Cap'n Rat Fink
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No worries Mario, you are helping very much. Thanks for the link, I've been to that site a couple of times. My scale is somewhat floating, but nevertheless I want it to be reasonable when it comes to dimensions.


As can be seen in the latest images the hull is way wider than the original. (So much for scale) But that has to do with this models purpose, being a candle holder of sort.


Ben, you are welcome. There is plenty of space on the first row ;)

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Hi Alan, welcome to my place. Any questions, just ask. Great building table you put to together. 


Todays update re the build.


First out was to plane a bevel on the floor. Started by setting the for and aft bevels inline with the stem and stern lines. After that I continued the bevel from fore to amidships and from aft to amidships to minimize tear-out. Regarding using cutting handtools, it is an absolute joy to work with very sharp tools. How come you ask? Well, work had me on watch over the Xmas holidays which generated some extra to the budget so I ordered a long sought after addition to my shop, the Tormek sharpening system. I ordered the larger one and I have not regretted it. It IS pricey, yes, but then I do a lot more than just scratch wood for models. 


Also, in the pictures I try to let the tools I use linger around in the pictures so that viewers can see what has been used for each step.


Stem bevel.




And stern




And here the entire line is cut.




After the bevel was in place I started the rabbet. This was my first go at a rabbet, but I am fairly pleased with the outcome.

Planks are 4 mm thick which I hope makes for a quite easy plank-rabbet mating process  later.




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Was able to sneak some time in the shop tonight.

All four rabbets are cut. Not to Remcos standard, but well, very few can reach his standard...


I had previously cut and shaped the cutwater piece so I glued it in place now. The black rubber band is a scrapped bicycle tube cut at an angle. Very handy to have. For the bigger bands needed I snip from the 2" one, and for smaller I use a scrapped road tube, ca 1" in dia.


When the glue has dried I will shape the entire stem to get rid of the bulky appearance that is has now.





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Question for the weekend: How do you plank a boat that lacks frames?

And subsequent, do I really need to go down the spiling path?


It took the entire Saturday to come up with the answer which is kind of: Nah, you dont really...


Next question, how do you soak a plank that is nearly 1m long? 

The obvious answer to that is: In something that is just above 1m long and holds water...


Went all over my place to find something useful. The closest I got was A. the bathtub on 2nd floor. B. Flower tray (unfortunately pierced to drain water...)


Think again.


Eventually I used some leftover gutters from my renovations. Wacked it to the shape of an ugly tray and voilá! There it was. Have only knocked it over once up to now. The shop floor needed some soaking anyway....not!


Back to planking.

First I ripped down the plank to some 8mm width. Then it went for a bath. Unsuccessful tries were performed yesterday so I gave up and left it in water for the time being. Went back to the shipyard this morning with a fresh set of mind (well, almost fresh). Having spent the last 12 hrs in water the oak was mildly negotiable both laterally and longitudinally. It will be a struggle nevertheless.


Summary: I need more C-clamps.




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Steambox Carl? It is for sure on my short list of things to build. Need a heat source and am thinking of a single plate stove. Internet told me they come in the 20£ range which is affordable. Can be used for more things than just heat water to produce steam me think. 


Stay tuned.

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   WOW made out of OAK! Boy you got your work cut out for you. Have you thought of using a steam humidifier, hose, and a plastic bag. You stick your plank into the bag. Connect your humidifier to the bag using the hose. seal the bag real good. But at the other end make sure you have a opening that will let the steam escape. But also making sure it does not escape too quickly so it will soften the plank. Check the plank as it softens up, once pliable use gloves so you won't burn yourself. Turn off humidifier, clamp the plank plastic bag and all to your form. Turn on humidifier, let it steam a bit more. Then turn off humidifier, but leaving the plank clamped in place. Once cool take plank out of bag and it should form up pretty close to what you want. It should not be a struggle to glue in place. That is what I would do Hakan.


Plus you can use the humidifier if you a bit of a congestion in the lungs there Hakan. LOL!


Oh yeah no frames You would use a STRONGBACK to plank. Check out my build logs for the Bounty Launch and Galilee Boat. Have fun my friend.



Edited by Cap'n Rat Fink
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Håkan: Instead of soaking you could try using heat to bend the planks. I use a heat gun which is basically a glorified hairdryer except mine can actually set the wood on fire if left in front of it to long. I found that my oak planks turned to a rubber like consistency when heated making then very easy to bend.






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Thanks for the "Likes" and tips, mates.


I have a heat gun, but I guess I was a little to eager because it didnt soften the oak. Or so I thought.

Since I am planning on actually do more scale ship modelling I will invest time in a proper setup for a steambox. Shouldnt be too complicated I think.


And of course I could just drop the planks in hot water. But then again, safety of handling hot water and so..


Oak, yes, Mario, why take the easy path down life???

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So, was a bit creative the last day...bought a stove good for 2,5 hp (funny, you never relate to electric equipment that generates heat in horsepower...always the dull kW...) "My heatgun can blast at 2 hp!" Nope, you never hear that.


Anyway, a couple of pictures. The construction was straight forward. No glue, just stainless steel patio screws. The lid was firstly put on to tight so I had to rearrange the hinges at add a sealing profile. Drilled a 10 mm hole in the far end of the lid also to let the steam out. The box is 90 cm long, inside height 45 mm and inside width ca 55 mm.




And the inside. Planks rests on elevated bamboo skewers.




Finally, take two on the first plank. In a gleaming "time to lock up and go inside" kind of light.





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