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Old Jul 26, 2004, 08:02 AM
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Albuquerque NM
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Warden Johnston -- the Alkatraz Launch

A friend sent a photo some time ago of the Alkatraz Launch, Warden Johnston, since then, I've been thinking about how to best acomplish getting the model built. Then, when the oppertunity came up to do the kit review on the Dumas, Jersey City tug, it occured to me that the hull from the JC would be a great starting point.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 08:11 AM
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Close, but not close enough

Once I got started on the rough drawings, I discovered that the hull was actually too narrow and too shallow. So, rather than start from scratch, I started playing around with proportions, and it turned out that if I took a 3" section out of the wide part of the hull that the width would be perfect, and the depth within 1/2" or so. For me, cutting up the existing hull will be much simpler then drawing and building a new one, so I broke out the Dremel grinder and got at it.
The first step was to locate and mark the section to be removed, then cut the hull into 3 pieces. I must tell you though, that it was really hard to make that first cut--you know, the fear of screwing up a perfectly good hull. But as it turns out, the rematch was very nearly perfect, and the results, definately worth the effort.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 08:20 AM
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Re-attatching the front and rear halves

Once the hull was marked up and the section removed, the front and rear sections were trued up and glued back together. The sections were clamped together and tack glued with Cya, then, the inside reinforced with 3 oz cloth and thin Cya. Finally, a coat of the Gell type Cya was rubbed onto the fiberglass cloth and sanded to remove the rough edges. Now that we're back to a "one piece" hull, Gell type cya was squeegeed into the seam on the outside to fill any remaining gaps.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 08:31 AM
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It still wasn't quite right

Finally, to make the hull right for the new model, the external ribs had to be removed from the hull sides and the stem narrowed a bit. Using a disc grinder the ribs were ground off and the bow contoured to match the 2 views. With all the grinding and reshaping done, the reworked areas were given a coat of spot glaze putty to fill the pinholes that surfaced during the grinding process.
One other problem with the hull was that the bulwark was wrong at the transom, so a section was cut out there and will be replaced.
Stay tuned folks, the fun has only just begun!
PAT
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 12:21 PM
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CA, not Resin?

Neat Pat! Gel type superglue reinforced with glass cloth is adequate for bonding the two halves of the hull?
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 04:47 PM
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That surgery is real bravery. I don't think I would have the nerve to do that. Possibly spending a lot of time and effort getting a scratch built under way may persuade me other wise.

Nice job Pat.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 08:47 PM
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The hull is Finished

Spent the better part of the day working on "cleaning up the mess" and getting the new hull up through prime. It turns out that the mating surface was so closely aligned -- it's not my fault, it just turned out that way -- that very little filling was needed.
The next step was to cut down the bulwarks to the proper contour, and the transom built back up using 1/4" bass wood.
Finally the seams were in good shape and the pinholes filled, the rub rails were cut from .093 PVC plastic and glued in place. The joints were filled and sanded, now we're ready for prime.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 08:53 PM
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Priming and Filling

With all the surface work done, the first coat of prime was applied. A few little boo-boo's and a couple pin holes showed up, so they were filled with spot glaze putty and re-sanded. After three tries, all the flaws were gone, and the final coat of prime applied. Finally, the hull was final sanded wet, with 600 grit sand paper.
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Old Jul 26, 2004, 09:07 PM
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Aero, I don't think there's any reason to worry about the joint failing. I really think it would do fine on it's own, but the equipment tray will span the joint, and the deck support rails will run the full length of the hull at the bulwark too. With all that working together, I doubt there would ever be a problem. BUT, (there's always a "but") it won't be a problem anyway, as this hull is actually the plug for the new mold. The actual hull used for the boat will be a one piece afair.
Tony, I don't think it's as much "bravery" as it is being some what "obliviouse to realiy". When I set out to do a project like this, I rarely think about the posability of ruining a good hull until it's laying there in 3 pieces, and now, totally useless. I prefere to wait till I'm in clear over my head and then figure out how to un-screw it up. Actually, the mod went without a hitch. The shape lent itself perfectly to making the cuts where they were, and as you can see from the profile photo, even the bottom flows perfectly --that's not my fault either, I didn't realize just how well the lines did flow until I saw the photo. Like they say, "I'll take 'lucky' over 'good', anytime"!!!
PAT
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 02:38 AM
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You're very modest!

It's skill and a good 'eye'.
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Old Jul 27, 2004, 06:55 AM
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Tony, Thanks for the kind words! As to the good eye, about halfway through the mod I thought I was going blind! I had the TV on watching the Yankees getting shelacked, and before long I couldn't see the game any more, everything was foggy, and it seemed like the floor was kinda' slippery. It turns out that with all that grinding, a fine white powder had decended upon everything in site. When I walked out of the shop, I looked like Gerry Garcia, but with a clean spot right in the middle of my face where the mask was. So, when you guys do something like this, work in a well ventilated area, or plan to spend a couple days shovelling fine white powder!
PAT
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Old Jul 28, 2004, 06:52 PM
Casey Thrower Born for RC
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Neat

I will be watching this build. You got me through the Jersey City which is almost done. Neat how you did the hull.
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Old Jul 30, 2004, 02:16 AM
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Actually Tony, some of the most enjoyable clinicals you can perform on "someone elses" boat is taking the twist out of a scratch built hull.

The point where you place their boat on your bandsaw and ask,
"Are you ready for this?"

Pat,
I love your build ups, they make every thing look so easy.
And I would like to testify to everyone, "It really is that easy."

Looking good Pat.

Umi
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Old Aug 03, 2004, 06:35 PM
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Umi, Someone once told me that "nothing is hard if you know what you're doing", and I couldn't agree more. It's getting all the way up to "knowing what you're doing" that keeps life interesting. I can honestly say though, that even after over 40 years of modeling there's rarely a day goes by when I don't have to stop and think about something to make it work. But for me, that's the part I look forward to most. I really enjoy a simple "throw together" project now and again, but before you know it, I'm right back to cutting perfectly good hulls into 3 pieces again. There's just something about modifying stuff that I just can't get passed --- for me, that's where the fun really is!
PAT
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Old Aug 09, 2004, 10:17 AM
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Pat,

You know, if you now get another Jersey hull, ADD the 3 inch section into it, you'd have about the right proportions for the old CG cutter!

charlie
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