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Old Jun 12, 2009, 10:50 AM
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Mini-Review
Jersey Speed Skiff from M. A.C.K. Products

M. A.C.K. Products has recently released the new 1950 Jersey Speed Skiff through Legend Model Boats. This very complete kit is beautifully executed, with features not seen before in most boat kits which make the model much easier to build then some of the earlier kit releases.

One very nice feature is the laser etching of the part numbers that make identifying the parts easier with fewer steps. Another is that the hull plank locations are etched into the hull frames and keel stem that make the planking proces much easier and far less time consuming then having to mark the location with gauges as done previously.

The kit is laser cut, and contains a fitting package that truly lives up to the standards set in all of these Legend Kits. The step-by-step instructions are complete with lots of photos as well as a seperate book of CAD drawn detail drawings to aid in construction. A full size general arrangement drawing is also provided. In a word, this is a beautiful kit! Now, lets build it.....
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Pepairing To Build the Speed Skiff

As with any kit of this level of complexity, it's worth the time to read throught the instructions from start to finish before the assembly process begins. The instructions are well done, but as you read through them, some things might not make a lot of sense -- yet -- but will go a long way in eliminating surprises as the building process progresses. Another thing I've learned that pays off well is to read a couple of steps ahead as the build progresses to eliminate any possibility of confusion.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 10:58 AM
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Building Begins With the Keel

The balsa keel is assembled and clamped together until the glue dries thoroughly. I used Elmer's Carpenters glue to laminate the parts.

The first lite ply doubler is added and allowed to dry, then the cut-outs made for the prop and rudder bearing tubes, followed by the second doubler.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:04 AM
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Assembling the Frames

Hull frames #3 & #4 are fitted with the doublers at the bottom. The hole in #4 didn't align quite right, but can easily be fixed with a Dremmel drum sander and won't effect the strength of the frame in any way.

Once the glue had dried, these two frames were then stained and sealed with 3 coats of resin, sanded and given a coat of spar varnish to ease the finishing process once the hull was assembled. Meanwhile, the remeaining frames were removed from the laser sheets to prepair to begine the hull frame assembly.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:07 AM
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Setting up the Basic Hull Frame

With the finish roughed in on frames #3 & #4 the frames were slipped onto the keel and the deck sheers dry fitted into the frames. With everything positioned and aligned, the assembly was tack glued together to make it easier to handle while being glued to the building board.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:10 AM
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Gluing the Hull Assembly to the Building Board

The hull frame was tack glued to the building board using hot melt glue. Generally speaking, the assembly laid down nicely, but there was a slight bow in the keel that showed up around frame #2, so weights were used to draw it out and hold everything in place while the glue cooled.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:13 AM
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Fitting the Hull Bottom

The chine batons were added next, followed by the laser cut bottom. The batons were sanded and the bottom trued up as described in the instructions. The bottom plate was then glued in place using Elmers WW glue to make alignment easier, then clamped and weighted to hold everything in alignment while the glue dried.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:20 AM
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Pepairing the Hull Assembly for Planking

After the glue had set up overnight, the clamps and weights were removed and the bottom skin beveled into the chine batons. I tried using a wood chissel to cut the bevel, but the ply fought that process tooth and nail, so went to a hand held belt sander to knock the edges down.

If you haven't used this method before, TAKE YOUR TIME! The sander is very aggressive and will take the edge down quickly if you get too heavy handed. The stem post was sanded using a narrow flat sanding bar. Once all that was done, the plank marks were extended back to the point.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Planking the Hull

Lapstrake planking is without a doubt a challenge, and care must be taken to get the planks aligned properly. With that being said, the laser cut planks on the Speed Skiff fit beautifully, and in conjuction with the laser etched locator marks planking this hull was actually easy.

Begin with the botomm plank which is alligned to the first mark on the frames. Glue it in place and trim off the front and rear overhangs. Ten add the bottom plank on the opposite side in the same fashion. Then after the planks were in place, the small gaps at the front were filled and the bottom sanded flush with the bottom skin.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:29 AM
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Moving Up the Sides

The second plank lays down just like the first, aligning its top edge with the marks on the frames. Cya was used to glue the planks in place, and because the fit was so good, no problems were encountered in getting the alignment right and the edge sealed the previously laid plank.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:33 AM
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Continue Planking the Hull Working Both Sides Together to Insure Symmetry

The remaining planks were glued in place in the same fashion as the first two. All but the last plank was glued in place taking care to keep a nice true alignment. A very small amout of stretching and pulling was required to keep the alignment true, but never enough to require even wetting the balsa.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Fitting the Top Plank

I decided to remove the frame from the building board to fit the last plank since it was a bit difficult to see the top od the sheer to align it easily. At this point, the hull is rigid anyway, and there's no danger in it warping or twisting when the glue joints are released. At this point, no sanding has been done exept at the stem and transom -- the planks fit that well!
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Fitting the Bass Wood Stem Post

The front of the hull was marked to sand the 5/16 wide flat onto the front end using a machinists divider. The belt sander was again used to sand the flat. The stem was glued in place, then the 1/8" wide chrome tape added as reference for sanding later.

At this point, the build has gone flawlessly. Parts fit and wood quality are as good as anthing I've seen so far, and am realy looking forward to moving ahead.

PAT
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Beautiful looking kit. Looking good. I like that I'm not the only one with bullet mold weights on my boat bench.
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Old Jun 12, 2009, 01:02 PM
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
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Wow! From opening the box, to completed hull in 47 minutes!
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