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Old Jan 25, 2014, 12:18 PM
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SailorGreg's Avatar
United Kingdom, Hampshire
Joined Jan 2013
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Build Log
Woodies - Dumas Chris Craft 24' runabout

Hello, this is my first thread on RC Groups, so please be gentle. I recently purchased this kit from a fellow modeller who had decided he was never going to get around to putting it together. It is a few years old, and I don’t know how it compares with the kit you buy today, so some of my comments as we go through the build might not apply to a modern kit. (But of course they might - not sure if Dumas update their kits at all?)

I plan to build this pretty much out of the box, although there are a few mods I hope to make as I go along. I have read a lot of the Woody threads here and found them all very helpful. I have also found them a bit daunting – some of you guys go to extraordinary lengths to get accurate and impressive models! As I am relatively new to building model boats (or model anything) I will be learning as I go – and hopefully being helped by some of you.

Having sorted through the box of bits and checked everything was present (it was), the first step is to produce a building board. Mine is from 20mm MDF and is marked out as instructed in the Dumas instructions.



Well, that was easy. Next is separating the frame and keel parts from the plywood sheets. I have to say I have seen better quality ply in my time, and I picked up a few splinters during this process (including one down a finger nail – ouch! ) Other than that the pieces came out pretty easily with a sharp scalpel, although at this stage some are pretty fragile as I found out. Still, nothing a drop of CA can’t fix.



I also came across a potential issue with the frames. I put two marks on each of the frame position lines to allow me to get the frame central (something the Dumas instructions don’t suggest) and then found when I put the frames to these marks that the keel slot was off-centre.



You can see that the corners of the frame are on the pencil marks each side but the centre line is not in the centre of the slot. All the frames that slot on to the keel had a similar offset. The keel was also a loose fit in the slot, so some of the apparent offset could be lost by pushing the keel to one side of the slot. After thinking about this, I decided to press on and align the keel and frames as best I could within my marks and trust that the hull fairing would even out any discrepancies.

I then glued the port and starboard halves of the keel together. I made up a simple jig to make sure the edges were exactly aligned as I clamped the two halves together – just a few strips CA’ed onto a firm base.



At the next stage of erecting the keel and first 6 frames I did favour getting the keel along the centre line over getting the frames exactly centred. It remains to be seen if I regret this in the future! Actually once the frames and keel were glued together and to the base, there didn’t seem to be any huge discrepancies (but then I don’t know at this stage what is significant and what isn’t!



Well, that’s it for the moment. I am already a little more advanced than this, so the next few posts will catch up to where I am. Please don’t tell me I’ve gone wrong already – I can’t change it now!

Greg
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Last edited by SailorGreg; Jan 28, 2014 at 05:04 PM. Reason: To include "Woodies" in the thread title
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Old Jan 25, 2014, 05:29 PM
mahoganyfan
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United States, NJ, Atlantic City
Joined Nov 2010
682 Posts
Getting Her Done

Looks good to me.I am also an amature builder(kits).I will have two builds under my belt soon,and yes it is intimidating to see some other modelers boats they build.But with that said I just try my best and I figure with some more builds I have planned I will some day be like some of the master modelers we have here on R/C GROUPS.I once had a Chris Craft Cobra kit sit on a closet shelf for almost fifteen years before finally selling it on Ebay.I felt bad after selling it because the whole time I had it I kept saying,I am going to get to it.So long story short,it is better to just jump in and build it(inexperienced or not).
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Old Jan 26, 2014, 07:43 AM
Geezer
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Central Kentucky
Joined Oct 2006
3,543 Posts
Hang in there Greg. The older Dumas kits seem to offer various challenges. After years of aircraft building I wanted to try a boat. Santa brought me a Dumas 36' Express Cruiser kit but I wanted to try something smaller and simpler so I got a Dumas Osprey kit. Here is a link on my build in the Dock Talk forum. The first build pics are on page 3. The first two pages are rants about the poor wood and poor die stamping and vague plans.

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2059694
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Old Jan 26, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Camden Maine
Joined Feb 2005
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24" runabout

Greg,
I recently finished up a older dumas 24 (7 + years) old. The wood was pretty bad. But with time and sanding and a little patience it came out pretty well. I'm happy with it. Best of luck, Harry
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Old Jan 26, 2014, 08:21 AM
Geezer
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Central Kentucky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H.Lauer View Post
Greg,
I recently finished up a older dumas 24 (7 + years) old. The wood was pretty bad. But with time and sanding and a little patience it came out pretty well. I'm happy with it. Best of luck, Harry
Nice work Harry. BTW your work bench is far too clean and organized. It might be a sign of some mental issue.
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Old Jan 27, 2014, 01:48 AM
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Joined Jan 2013
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Thanks for the welcome guys - and Harry, if mine ends up like yours I will be delighted - lovely boat!

Next instalment in a day or two.

Greg
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Old Jan 27, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Valencia, CA
Joined Oct 2002
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Your build looks fine, so far. If you haven't done so already, I would highly recommend Pat Matthews' book, Mahogany in Scale which takes you through an entire build of one of these wooden Chris Craft kits. I'm sure that you will find it to be very helpful and well worh the investment.

You can find a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/Mahogany-Scale...trick+Matthews

Pete G.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 03:19 PM
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United Kingdom, Hampshire
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Thanks Pete - yes, I have already invested in Pat's book. As you say, it is a great aid when building a boat like this.

The next step is to erect the rest of the frames along with the sheers and chines, which lock everything together. All these parts have to be slotted together and put in place before anything is glued, so having a third (and fourth) hand is a distinct advantage. Unfortunately I am not so blessed, so I just cursed, swore, picked everything off the floor a few times, and eventually got to this stage.



All the joints now get a drop of CA and a squirt of kicker, as do the legs of the frames where they rest on the building board. Everything then becomes a lot more solid.

Next come some stringers and for some reason those supplied were a little short.



You can see the cutout in frame 2 where the stringers should reach, but they don’t. Not to worry, I made up replacements from some Douglas fir I had and pressed on. Next problem – one of my replacements was too short but I didn’t find out until I had started gluing it in place. (The first person to say “measure twice, cut once” can leave now!) Rather than rip out the glued joints, which I thought might damage the fragile frames, I CA-tacked a second piece of wood alongside the stringer, tacked this to a large block which I braced against the frames then planed a scarph joint in situ. I popped the two pieces apart, turned one round and glued them together – instant longer stringer! Here’s the joint being cut.



Having got over that little wrinkle, the other bits and pieces needed before planking begins were added. The next picture shows the curved transom piece and the end of the “butterfly keel”.



and then the balsa blocks that form the bow. Here they are with shaping underway -



and finished –



Next was a bit of fairing and I made up a board for the larger, flatter areas (80 grit as you can see).



I made sure all edges had been touched with the abrasive and that the bevel formed along the edge of the chine was even all around, then stopped. Next was the first planks, and here they are.



Next time will be the first layer of planking and separating from the building board, Can’t wait to see her right way up!

Greg
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 06:33 PM
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United States, CT, Wethersfield
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Looking good.I had forgotten about the old kits with the strip planking ,I really like them much better than the new ones.
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Old Jan 28, 2014, 07:22 PM
mahoganyfan
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United States, NJ, Atlantic City
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Looks good

Thanks for posting,looks great.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 04:02 AM
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Camden Maine
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Great start. Looks like you have a good handle on things . Browndog-I also like the strip sub planking. Sometimes it makes things go a lot easier.
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Old Jan 29, 2014, 07:12 AM
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[QUOTE=H.Lauer;27342101]Great start. Looks like you have a good handle on things . Browndog-I also like the strip sub planking. Sometimes it makes things go a lot easier.



I agree also it makes a stronger hull.
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Old Feb 03, 2014, 03:52 PM
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United Kingdom, Hampshire
Joined Jan 2013
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Thanks for the encouragement folks. Nice to know someone's watching!

The first layer of planking all went fairly smoothly, although there were one or two points where I had to stop and ponder, and a few adjustments to the frames were made as I’ll explain as we go along. Starting on the flat stern area is great because it is all easy there, and things roll along pretty quickly . Just one short session gets me here -



As I was using kicker on the CA I found I did need to clean the glue away from each joint – the corner of a steel rule worked pretty well as a scraper.



(Yes, I know it’s not the right tool but it works! )

Although I tried to keep the centre join central, I did wander off at one point so corrected myself –



Not sure if that will really matter once the fairing is done, but it keeps me happy. Sorry for the blurred picture.

One area where the instructions are silent and I slowed down for a long think is the point near the bow where the chine washes out into the bow profile - how should I join the two runs of planking? Along the main part of the hull there is a simple overlap joint at something close to right angles.



At the bow, the two runs of planking have to form a butt joint. This is how I made the transition, although those with more experience than me might be able to offer better ways.







I hope the pictures are self-explanatory. However, this is getting a little ahead of things. After I had completed the bottom planking and planed it flush with the chines I tried measuring the frames from the centre line to make sure everything was going to turn out symmetrical. This proved very tricky so I built myself a jig to slide along the building board to allow me to check offsets from the centre line at each frame.



The jig runs on two short lengths of brass angle and the building board does need to be parallel-sided for this to work. I measured the hull each side from the inside faces of the uprights, and these obviously need to be identical distances from the centreline of the building board and hull. I spent some time making sure this was the case (and shimming one side because my centreline wasn’t exactly in the centre of the board) but after that I could take measurements from each side with confidence. Mostly the hull was symmetrical give or take a shaving or two with the plane. There were two areas that seemed noticeably wrong. Firstly at the transom where the ends of the sheers were about 3mm different (probably because I wasn’t careful enough when I glued them in place as the interlocking slots were pretty sloppy here), and around frames 4 and 5 where the two sides were noticeably different. I wasn’t sure whether to sand away one side or add material to the other to make them the same. The “fuller” side did seem fair when I viewed it and ran battens along it, so I eventually decided to add some material to the “thinner” side.



I added thin strips to frames 4 and 5 and a piece to the stringer, then faired everything in until the measurements were the same port and starboard. I then pressed on with the planking. I found the stern area to be quite tricky this time, and eventually decided to leave the triangular area at the transom (that’s the area just above the pencil in the picture below) until I had the hull the right way up, when I will also fix the sheer measurements.



Once I had all the planking in place, I faired the hull with my fairing board, a small palm sander and a little help from a friend…



I found it very helpful to scribble lightly all over the surface when fairing so I could see where I still needed to work. I renewed the scribbling several times as I did this and with a small amount of filling as well I ended up with a hull that looked and felt smooth, and was beginning to show some of the elegance of the finished boat



Once I was happy with the fairing I cut the hull off the building board and turned it over – first view of the inside -



Oh I like that! This is pretty well where I am now, so things might slow down a little from here on. Really enjoying this build!

Greg
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Old Feb 03, 2014, 04:24 PM
mahoganyfan
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United States, NJ, Atlantic City
Joined Nov 2010
682 Posts
Great

Love the pictures,good work.Will be nice to see it come together after it had been sitting on your friends shelf for a couple of years.I had to laugh when I saw the man sanding the bottom of the hull.He has such a nice big smile as he is doing it,I don't think my smile is quite as large when I am sanding.I am one of the "Lets just get it done" kind of guys and can't wait to get the sanding done.
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