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Old Feb 07, 2010, 08:09 AM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
patmat2350's Avatar
Motor City
Joined Dec 2004
12,303 Posts
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Saving Money

I hope that if one good thing comes out of the recession, it's a return to more scratch building. Kits can be expensive, but when you whittle your own boat, there's a lot of cost saving opportunity, along with some serious satisfaction.

But how about some cost saving ideas all in one place? I'll start:

1. Invest in a saw. Anything from the $40 Harbor Freight 4 incher to a Byrnes and/or a $100 band saw. Now you can rip less expensive lumber into planking, and save a bundle on expensive strip wood.

2. Can't get the saw? I double-planked my 4 foot PT in stripwood cut from sheets of 1/32" basswood with an Exacto knife and a metal straight edge. Yep, I'm happy I have saw now!

3. CA is great... but the little bottles are getting costy. Take yer time, use pins and clamps, and use cheaper epoxy and/or Titebond.

4. Learn to read (and use) ship plans... hulls aren't THAT mysterious! Now you can build your own hulls all day long.

5. DO learn to estimate and budget. Lots of guys go off and build big hulls (because it really isn't that hard), then get a dose of reality when they find out how much the motors cost, or what it's going to take to buy or build all the detail parts, etc. The project gets abandoned, and where's the value there?
Make a list of everything needed to finish the project, and ask yourself the hard questions BEFORE you get into it.

6. John Gill and others have listed plenty of examples of "found" household goodies that can be converted into all sorts of detail parts.

7. Learn some basic electronics. Why buy a $110 "power center" box, when all you needed to do was select different voltage light bulbs, or size resistors for your LEDs, or use a $3 voltage regulator from Radio Shack?
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 08:34 AM
apprentice shipwright
John Pilot's Avatar
Little Rock, AR
Joined Sep 2005
112 Posts
Cheap-skate ideas

Cost savings ideas: I love it!!!

1. Make lots of friends at work and let them know about your hobby. Tell them the stuff you're looking for and you'll be surprised how much help they'll give you locating cheap basic components. (I actually had a friend of mine give me a half-finished airplane kit, engine and all, when he found out I'm building models)

2. Get a good scroll saw. You can get a decent one for less than $200.

3. Get a dremmel tool. I got this knock-off at Harbor Freight 5 years ago: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40457 (back then it was on sale for $20.00). I've used and abused the sh** out of it and it's still holding up really well.

3. Get a cheap air compressor and regulator (Harbor Freight too)

4. I got this spray gun also at Harbor freight. http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=92126

5. When buying stuff at Harbor Freight: Be careful, they have good cheap stuff, but they also have junk... Example: I've bought many a plastic clamp at H.F., some worked well, some fell apart after I used them once or twice...

6. Regarding the use of paint: check out this tip posted a while back on the forum: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...=895444&page=5 (post nuber 71)

7. If you feel inclinded to make your own speed controls; there's a lot of information about that on the web. I'm building mine, based on this design I found a few years back. Granted, it does take some time to learn electronics and PIC programming (+ a small investment in the PIC programmer), but I can now make my speed controls at a fraction of the cost of what I'd pay in the store. http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/bha...ectronics.html

8. I like to visit All-Electronics or the Electronic Gold Mine for cheap components such as motors LED's and such: http://www.allelectronics.com/ and http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/sitemap.asp

9. Check out hardware stores for potential components and materials.

10. Favorite glues: Titebond III for wood-on-wood, regular superglue for stuff that needs to set fast (don't use it that often).

11. There's probably a ton more that I'm forgetting now, but I'll post when I remember...
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 09:22 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
Western N.Y. winemaking country
Joined Jun 2005
9,738 Posts
Saving money is always a wise idea, but your best intentions can get undone by buying really cheap tools and other items.

It gets tragic when your creation falls apart, thus wasting your hard work---.

Remember that junk begets junk---.
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 09:31 AM
Naval gazing
United States, MA, Boston
Joined May 2008
1,198 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350 View Post

6. John Gill and others have listed plenty of examples of "found" household goodies that can be converted into all sorts of detail parts.
Great advice, all of it, though I have nooooo regrets whatsoever for spending as much as i did on my boat. Well....maybe 100 of it could've been saved but the rest I've got no qualms about.

So: where is this list by John Gill? I seem to have been asleep for that one. if there is a test at the end of the class, I'm screwed.
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 09:48 AM
apprentice shipwright
John Pilot's Avatar
Little Rock, AR
Joined Sep 2005
112 Posts
Agreed with "der kapitan"; some tools you just don't want to buy "on the cheap". In those cases try to find the best cost / performance ratio you can afford.
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 12:51 PM
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Hatchet Jack's Avatar
Albany NY
Joined Nov 2008
87 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350 View Post
4. Learn to read (and use) ship plans... hulls aren't THAT mysterious! Now you can build your own hulls all day long.
I'm personally very interested in this aspect of model boat building for some future projects. I've been particularly inspired by CG Bob's 16' Hacker build which is based on the boat plan/line drawings found in a magazine, enlarged accordingly. However I have no experience reading and interpreting boat plans. Can anyone suggest some good reference material for me to learn how to make frames/keel etc from plans? My main focus would be on mahogany runabout type boats, not more complicated hull designs. Any guidance here would be greatly appreciated. I'd basically like to be able to do what Bob did for his Hacker project.

John
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 01:26 PM
Cheif Bottlewasher
more coffee's Avatar
Canada, NS, Sydney Mines
Joined Sep 2005
3,159 Posts
I just started to dabble with this ..but ..

A computer power supply will offer
3.3 volts
5 volts
12 volts

If get more time to get into one to see If I can get a splitter made up ..by eliminating the AC/and rectifer circutry and just plug in to a 12v battery ..to split the voltages ..

Old power supplies can be had at garage sale's and reclamation yards ..new ..an older basic one is under 40$
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 02:27 PM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
patmat2350's Avatar
Motor City
Joined Dec 2004
12,303 Posts
Handy for a bench top power supply... but the voltage change is performed in the transformer, which only works with an AC input.

I'll ask again... why spend $$ on any of that? Choose the right components in the first place, and you can run EVERYTHING off of 12v.
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 03:34 PM
Cheif Bottlewasher
more coffee's Avatar
Canada, NS, Sydney Mines
Joined Sep 2005
3,159 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350 View Post
Handy for a bench top power supply... but the voltage change is performed in the transformer, which only works with an AC input.

I'll ask again... why spend $$ on any of that? Choose the right components in the first place, and you can run EVERYTHING off of 12v.
I hear ya Pat ..
I have 2 old power supplies laying on the shelf ..

Kinda like I did with my Darby ....paid 10$ free shipping for 100 Leds + resistors

My Pancake compressor ..Porter Cable ..run's my air brush ..and my Impact gun ..

I have a 12v Battery Charger ..From Crappy Tire that can deliver 70Amp If I need it ..
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 07:14 PM
Guard-Cadet
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Canada, NS, Sydney
Joined Jul 2009
472 Posts
I purchased the 110 power supply unit. When I first started my model I didn't know anywhere near as much as I do now. Now I would have built my own voltage regulators.

I must disagree that everything can run off of 12V. Yes MOST things can run on 12v, but some things need lower voltages. Obviously your receiver and servos need 6v, some accessory motors require 3v (ie, radar motors) and some of the more high tech devices require 5v regulated power supplies.

I'm not saying my power supply unit was a waste, I defiantly need the flexibility in my model. At first I wanted everything to be 12v in my boat, but that is hard to do when your building more complex models, there are so many different components that making them all run on 12v is next to impossible. I am trying to get the best parts possible for my model, if that means that my water pump requires 6v, but is nearly silent, then I am happy. I'm just saying I am not letting a 12v requirement dictate my project, of course I look for them first, but I will accept almost anything, as long as its a quality part.

I have put a lot of money into my ship, because I wanted the best. I am a firm believer that cheap parts = cheap results. Of course there's a difference between quality parts and overpriced parts. I think some of the stuff I have bough falls into that category where they may be good parts, but are still quite overpriced.

That's my power supply rant.

As for saving money, I think learning to do things yourself is the best way to save money. And there is nothing like building your own parts from start to finish.

Cheers,
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 07:55 PM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
patmat2350's Avatar
Motor City
Joined Dec 2004
12,303 Posts
Well, there are still ways around it. Rx and servos can be run off the BEC of most any ESC (your choice to use it or not). I've yet to find other electronics, even with innards that require a regulated +5v VCC, that don't come with their own regulators. Sound cards come to mind... they want the full 12 or even 14v.

3v motor? Their current draw is so low that you can use resistor voltage splitter and not worry about the wasted power, though you're still better off with the $3 LM7803 regulator. Spend a few more bucks and mount it on a board with screw terminal wire connectors.

I enjoy the fancy stuff too, and I have had a few projects where the budget was there for me to indulge myself... the point is, you CAN do it for less, if you're willing to do a little research and build a few things yourself.
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 08:11 PM
SKPERFRANK
skipperfrank's Avatar
mmoraine Ohio
Joined Feb 2008
295 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350 View Post
I hope that if one good thing comes out of the recession, it's a return to more scratch building. Kits can be expensive, but when you whittle your own boat, there's a lot of cost saving opportunity, along with some serious satisfaction.

But how about some cost saving ideas all in one place? I'll start:

1. Invest in a saw. Anything from the $40 Harbor Freight 4 incher to a Byrnes and/or a $100 band saw. Now you can rip less expensive lumber into planking, and save a bundle on expensive strip wood.

2. Can't get the saw? I double-planked my 4 foot PT in stripwood cut from sheets of 1/32" basswood with an Exacto knife and a metal straight edge. Yep, I'm happy I have saw now!

3. CA is great... but the little bottles are getting costy. Take yer time, use pins and clamps, and use cheaper epoxy and/or Titebond.

4. Learn to read (and use) ship plans... hulls aren't THAT mysterious! Now you can build your own hulls all day long.

5. DO learn to estimate and budget. Lots of guys go off and build big hulls (because it really isn't that hard), then get a dose of reality when they find out how much the motors cost, or what it's going to take to buy or build all the detail parts, etc. The project gets abandoned, and where's the value there?
Make a list of everything needed to finish the project, and ask yourself the hard questions BEFORE you get into it.

6. John Gill and others have listed plenty of examples of "found" household goodies that can be converted into all sorts of detail parts.

7. Learn some basic electronics. Why buy a $110 "power center" box, when all you needed to do was select different voltage light bulbs, or size resistors for your LEDs, or use a $3 voltage regulator from Radio Shack?
Amen
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 08:14 PM
SKPERFRANK
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mmoraine Ohio
Joined Feb 2008
295 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipperfrank View Post
Amen
I cant efford the kits of today dont know how some of the fellas can efford them. once you build scratch you never go bact to kit builds. i just started building the Ferris cargo tramp steamer from herrmills thread useing the plans on the thread with printer friendly bada bing.
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Old Feb 07, 2010, 09:03 PM
KC8WPF
CG Bob's Avatar
Euclid, Ohio, United States
Joined Sep 2004
3,723 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatchet Jack View Post
I'm personally very interested in this aspect of model boat building for some future projects. I've been particularly inspired by CG Bob's 16' Hacker build which is based on the boat plan/line drawings found in a magazine, enlarged accordingly. However I have no experience reading and interpreting boat plans. Can anyone suggest some good reference material for me to learn how to make frames/keel etc from plans? My main focus would be on mahogany runabout type boats, not more complicated hull designs. Any guidance here would be greatly appreciated. I'd basically like to be able to do what Bob did for his Hacker project.

John
I used plans found WOODEN BOAT magazines book THIRTY BOAT DESIGNS book. The first book in the series, FIFTY WOODEN BOATS, has some good basic knowledge on reading the three view plans and laying down the lines.

I enlarged the plans from the book to the scale I wanted. I make several copies of the half breadth plan. I use thses as my bulkhead or frame plans, as they mark specific stations to form the hull shape. I use contact cement to glue then half breadth plan to poster board or light cardboard. Since most boats have some curve to the sheer, I usually draw a line parallel to the waterlines a few inches above the deck sheer line. I use this line as a base line for drawing and cutting the frames and gluing them to the building boars.

Here's a short photo tutotial.
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Old Feb 08, 2010, 12:06 AM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
Arnold, Mo.
Joined Jul 2005
4,534 Posts
Sign up for Harbor Freights extra coupons, besides regular the coupons they sometimes offer percent off coupons.

Check your yellow pages for copier and printer repair places then check out thier dumpster. Get to know somebody there and they may save something specific for you. There are tons of pieces in one of those copiers and what you don't use haul off to the recycler for a few extra bucks.
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