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strapats's blog
Posted by strapats | Nov 26, 2006 @ 01:00 AM | 4,485 Views
Moving this thread to http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...27#post6511649

I wanted a mahogany transom so I purchased 1/32 mahogany to apply to the stern. I basically attached it the same way as the decking except that I did not use weights. When I worked as a cabinet maker the best guy in the shop was a 55 year old Turk. He taught me a lot of things about working with wood. One of the things I learned was that if you cut your parts correctly you really donít need much more than tape to hold them together while the glue dries. So I try to cut my parts really accurately and I use tape a lot to hold them while the glue dries. Sometimes the tape is almost unnecessary and sometimes itís amazing what you can do with it. In this case, having to bend the 1/32 mahogany to conform to the curve of the transom, I didnít hold back on the tape.
Disaster! The epoxy never cured- don't know if I had incorrect proportions or mixed it incompletely. However, about half an hour after I pulled the tape off the mahogany had peeled from one side. The other side was attached pretty well- perhaps I did not mix the epoxy well enough. Took about an hour to clean up- wound up pulling some of the fiberglass off so I'll have to do that again. I think I'll try pre-bending the mahogany first as well.
Second attempt went much better. Transom looks good. Just need to get the trim on the hull, primer and then I think put it in water and adjust it to the water line.
Posted by strapats | Nov 26, 2006 @ 12:41 AM | 4,423 Views
I decided to complete the deck work first since I wish to add trim to the sides of the hull which really requires the deck to be don first. I prepped the scribed decking from Bluejacket with a couple of coats of Amber shellac to protect it. I sanded with 400 grit sandpaper between coats. Once the deck was prepped I rough cut the pieces, six in all to the general shape of the boat. I taped the pieced together at the seams, three in the front and three in the back. I then cut the joint between the front and back sections ensuring everything lined up the way I wished. I laid up the front decking first using epoxy resin and a combination of steel weights, T-pins and masking tape to hold it down. Once this had cured I trimmed the edges and moved onto the rear deck.
The rear deck is a little different. Since it is removable there is an additional step. In this case I taped off the hull and then attached the deck material with resin to only the rear deck but allowing the deck material to overlap the hull. Once this had cured I removed the rear deck and very carefully trimmed off the excess material with a razor. I then applied these pieces to the hull and trimmed them once they had cured.
Once the deck was in place I filled the grooves with Elmers water based wood filler. I squeegeed it in and wiped off the excess with a damp sponge. Keep rinsing the sponge to ensure you donít get a lot of clouding.
Posted by strapats | Nov 26, 2006 @ 12:04 AM | 4,428 Views
Neither the cabin structure nor the rear deck fit very well on this boat. There was a 1/8 to 3/16 gap where the cabin fit into the hull and about a 1/16 gap where the front of the rear deck set in the hull on both sides. I debated how to deal with these gaps for a long time. Since I decided to re-deck the boat using the scribed decking from Blue Jacket so that allowed me some freedom to deal with the gap issues, i.e. it didn't have to be pretty.
The method I came up with to fill the gaps prior to re-decking the boat involved using the existing parts and Bondo.
For the cabin I cut 1/16 plywood that I attached to the underside of the deck that fit pretty close to but not necessarily perfectly to the cabin. I glued this in place then attached paper to the cabin, taping it above the plane of the deck. Then I set the cabin in place and filled the remaining gap with Bondo. Once the Bondo set I removed the tape which allowed the cabin to be removed and then peeled the paper away from the Bondo. The amount of Bondo applied is pretty insignificant, but enough to really close the gap up. The Bondo ensured a perfect fit by filling to the shape of the cabin.
For the rear deck I used approximately the same method, however I wrapped the edges of the rear deck with blue painters tape instead of paper. I pull the rear deck a bit to early and some of the Bondo came off with it which was a pain- but I simply re-did it and waited for it to cure a bit longer the second time.
Posted by strapats | Nov 24, 2006 @ 12:49 PM | 6,349 Views
I decided to fiberglass the hull for additional insurance. I used micro-fiberglass and epoxy to do this. The micro-fiberglass is so fine- I am used to the stuff you use to repair real boats or what you get for your car.
The micro fiberglass didn't seem like it would offer much protection, however, on the sample piece of balsa I made I did some destruction test and it seemed to make the balsa considerably stronger. I didn't do anything official but it seemed like a force that would easily punch a hole in 3/16 balsa sheet only dented the fiberglass skinned balsa. I really had to whack it to get a hole in it!
Through trial and error I found the best method to apply the fiberglass was to cut it roughly to size, then apply the epoxy to the boat, making a smooth even coat, lay the fiberglass over it and using a dry brush smooth it into place. The epoxy takes a while to cure so I allowed it to soak into the glass at it's own pace helping it along gently with the brush.
Once cured I simply used a razor to trim the edges and 220 grit sandpaper to clean them up.
I avoided sanding much at this point. Rather I applied a thin coat of auto glazing compound which fills in the pattern left by the glass and any other small imperfections. Then I sanded this smooth with 220-320 sand paper again being careful not to sand into the glass.
I have other things I want to do like resurfacing the deck, veneering the transom with mahogany and adding the other trim pieces to the sides before I paint. Speaking of which what is the proper color for the bottom? Copper? Bronze? Dark red? I am considering copper or bronze with a red pinstripe at the water line.
Posted by strapats | Nov 24, 2006 @ 12:29 PM | 6,123 Views
I am using the rudder set up from MACK products which includes brass stuffing boxes. In order to secure these in the boat I fabricated housings from balsa reinforced with 1/8 plywood. I designed them to go in after I installed the floors in order to pick up some strength from them as well. Since the stuffing boxes are 3/8 diameter I simply purchased 3/8 and 3/4 by 3/16 balsa to create the housings. The stuffing boxes fit pretty snugly into the housings. Now I just have to figure out how to mount my servo.
With the flooring and stuffing boxes securely glued in place I counter sunk pretty generously the hole where the stuffing box comes through the bottom of the boat. I also cleaned out the corners a bit with an Exacto knife. I scuffed the stuffing boxes and set them protruding a bit more than I wanted. Then I applied epoxy around the countersunk hole and let it seep up into the stuffing box housing corners. Finally, I pushed the stuffing boxes in to the desired location- with the Oilite bearings just proud of the bottom of the boat. I gave the epoxy time to re-settle forming a nice fillet around the tube.
Posted by strapats | Nov 21, 2006 @ 04:25 PM | 4,667 Views
In an effort to get caught up to where I currently am in this project here is another entry.
I decided to go with MACK products for the drive-train. Because this is my first boat I went with the power package they offer for this boat. I requested the dual ESC package because I wanted individual control of the motors. So it will be a 50 year old boat with fully upgraded hardware. I ordered the Harbor Models power panel as well because I would like to do cabin and running lights. I ordered the propellers from Ships N Things, RABOESCH 3 blade, because I wanted to keep it looking fairly scale underneath. And they sure are pretty. Speaking of which, I am looking for advice on how to secure them on the shaft? Loctite and a lock nut?
Cutting holes in the bottom was a little unnerving. I decided to attached the struts to plywood panels cut out to fit within the ribs. I cut holes in the bottom of the boat allowing the struts to drop to where the tops of the screw heads were almost inline with the bottom of the boat. I then filled back in with epoxy and a bit of body filler which is apparently a no-no. I read in a separate thread that epoxy with some sort of bubble filler is better.
Anyway, I cut the holes for the stuffing boxes large enough that I could adjust them to where they would line up with the motors nicely and then began to epoxy the struts and stuffing boxes into place. Itís kind of like putting together a puzzle where you design and build the pieces.
Posted by strapats | Nov 21, 2006 @ 11:14 AM | 4,774 Views
The first thing I did was clean up the inside of the boat where my father had torn out the flooring to prep it for new flooring. I used a method of creating templates out of 3x5 cards taped together. I allowed the templates to overlap in the middle. I then taped them together while they were in position, pulled them out as one piece and then made one cut up the middle to get the two halves. I used 1/8 birch plywood. I still had to sand them a bit to get them to fit correctly.
I believe the boat was built quite a while ago. The original builder used some sort of glue I am not familiar with. I would guess it was build prior to the 70s. I wonder if it was built in the 50s? Either way it's a little strange working on a something that has been around longer than me.
Actually, before I did any work- I researched the boat a bit. I was lucky enough to locate a modeler via an eBay auction who had just purchased an intact kit of the same model. He made copies of the plans and instruction book as well as providing advice on drivetrain and refurbishing the deck. The documents have been invaluable in restoring the boat- not to mention a hoot to see how RC was done in the 50's.
Posted by strapats | Nov 20, 2006 @ 11:20 PM | 6,947 Views
Earlier this year I visited my mothers house on the east coast. While I was there I decided to relieve her of all the 'projects' my father left behind when he passed away. I packed up models of all sorts, including some of my own unfinished projects, and shipped them to my home back on the west coast. However, back in my own world, I quickly came to the conclusion I that I did not have the time for all of these 'projects'. I sold everthing on eBay except for one wooden boat. I thought about selling it too- but who would want it? I also considered giving it to my son to play with. I really liked her lines though so she sat in the closet for about 6 months. I had no idea what it was but I got attached to it. I liked that it was made of wood and, what was left of it, basically a bare hull and cabin, seemed well crafted and solid. I began to do some research late in the summer and eventually stumbled across one that looked like it on eBay. Apparently I had a Sterling 63' Chris Craft.
I saw what they were going for and so I decided to keep and restore her. The boat had some fittings which my father had removed. He had stripped it some as well, pulled the floors out to repair a hole in the bottom and sanded it some. He had found it at one of the junk shops you find in the area where he and my mother live.
Since I have begun restoring her I have met some very nice folks who have helped me along which has been great as this is my first RC boat. I created this blog to post details of the restoration in an effort to help others as well as cover myself in case I am doing something horribly wrong. Critique, advice and comments are welcome!