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Old Jan 22, 2005, 09:33 PM
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Plymouth, MI/Philadelphia, PA
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Chris Craft Triple Cockpit Barrel Back

OK, I'm ready to start this rather daunting project. Thanks to everyone who so graciously answered my plea for help. I figure that with so many people looking over my shoulder, how can I fail. I'm going to go slow (probably of necessity fbecause of my visual problem) and will try to post pictures of my progress;hopefully anyone who spots a problem will sees a problem will scream bloody murder before the project becomes a poster child for kindling.

I'll try to keep the whole thing in this thread for continuity's sake. It's been very helpful to look at some other's progress: Mike's Cobra and Pat's excellent Typhoon (which I'd love to tackle if I can get through this one. I have an elderly neigboor who has Parkinson Disease and he remembers seeing Edsel Ford's original on the Detroit River many times. He rather whistfully commented that wished he still had the ability to make the Typhoon. I thought it might be nice to make it and give it to him. He was a designer with Ford for many years and has provided me with more fascinating conversation than I could ever repay.

Anyway..... a couple of elemental questions. As noted and several of you have warned, the mahogany plywood shreds and splinters easily. I an using an exacto knife and trying to be careful but cutting those things out is a mre visual task than it appears on the surface. Even sanding the frames seems cause minor splintering. Is there a "best" way to do this? With the grain? A specific grit? On the surface as opposed to the edge? I know it's probably an elemental question but bear with me if you would.

Thanks!

Charles
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 12:06 AM
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Albuquerque NM
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Charles, Do yourself a favor, save the Typhoon for the fourth build!!! It's a great kit, but it's by far the most intense project I've done so far. For the most part, it builds just like all the rest, but, every single plank on the hull needs to be tapered, all 84 of them!!! And with the deck planks spaced at .020, and tapered on both ends, that'll make you stand up and take notice too. I can't tell you how happy I am to finally be able to build one of these incredibly beautiful boats, because that's been my goal since the kit came out. I'm just glad I didn't try it 5 years ago!
BTW, the Typhoon is progressing nicely, it's just that I'm adding coats of resin to the deck to fill the gaps between the planks. It is moving forward, you just can't tell by looking.
PAT
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 12:11 AM
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Charles, When you put Cya on the splintered edges, rub the glue into the grain, crossways to the grain, then sand with the grain using a sanding block with 100 grit paper. Then sand the edge by hand along the edge, running the length of the edge. But be careful sanding the mahogany, it splinters easily, and can poke holes in your fingers if you're not careful. The good news is that once you get rolling, you'll have so much glue built up on your fingers that not even mahogany will be able to penetrate it!!!
PAT
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 08:41 AM
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T-ride!, Co @ 9545' ASL
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Charles, There is no easy way to cut out the diecut parts. If the diecutting is really bad then I use a scroll saw. If I had a choice, I would try to find a kit that was laser-cut. The parts just fall right out.

As for sanding the parts, mount the sandpaper to a block, that way there will less chance of a splinter digging into the sandpaper and breaking off and poking yoour fingers. I like to steal my girlfriend's fingernail boards. The black boards are about 1" wide and coarse enough to shape the wood. The pink boards are fine for finishing.
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Old Jan 23, 2005, 01:57 PM
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Thanks guys...........
Pat, I tried your suggestion with the CA, had some problems because of speed/hand/eye coordination and so I modified your technique just a little (thanks Dan) and used wood glue instead of CA. It gives me just a little more time to be sure everything is aligned properly.

I also tried the fingernail boards and what a great idea. They work well on the cut-outs in the frames. I suppose I could invest in some mini files but as long as the theft isn't noticed, why bother?

Pat, the Typhoon was just whistful thinking; you're absolutely right. That is something for several down the line and seeing as I'm still repairing frames, it's a bit of a stretch by any empirical formula. Something to look forwrad to though. My elderly friend's stories of watching that thing roar up and down the Detroit River are enough to stir the imagination. Back to frames. Thanks to all for the advice.
Charles
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Old Jan 24, 2005, 01:33 PM
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Well, the frames are out, sanded and what splintering occurred that is possible to repair has ben repaired.

Per instructions, I have two building boards, one of a double thickness ceiling tile and the other of much more rigid shelf stock. This brings up another question: the directions say to pin the shears to the building board (ceiling tile one I think they mean) and work from there but I have heard others say they use the more rigid board and glue the shears down lightly. Should I follow the directions or is it better to glue it down?
Thanks
Charles
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Old Jan 24, 2005, 02:27 PM
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T-ride!, Co @ 9545' ASL
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Follow the directions. The kits that you glue to the building board usually are break-away or cut-away frames so there is always some extra wood. There may not be any extra wood to sacrifice.
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Well, it's started. Both halves of the center keel glued together and edges sanded to even them up and, as illustrated, the sheers are pinned. A no-brainer, even for me.

Then the first brick wall..... "Preparing the Frames." I had read the instructions numerous times before I began and in reading, this step didn't seem like it posed much of a problem but ouch! In frame preparation there are 1/8" square strips to be cut and exactly positioned on each frame before gluing them to the frame. The Dumas plans give precise measurements to locate them and are easy to understand. However..... bear in mind here that I am legally blind with no vision in one eye and less than 20% in the other (I note this only because my problem will seem pretty insignificant unless you take that into account). Having drawn a centering reference line on each frame, I couldn't see it, same for any positioning lines and references I had drawn. The color of the mahogany and the pencil are too similar and because my eye is super sensitive to intense light (the only way I could barely make out the lines) that was out. Finally, a solution. I approximated each wood strip according to the drawing and held it in place with two clothes pins. With the strip in place, I was able to use a ruler to measure the reference distances according to Dumas' instructions. When everything was triple-checked, I hit it with thin CA. It's a long and tedious process to be sure, probably not the best solution but when I went back to measure, everything was DOBA (refer to My Cousin Vinnie) and I was fairly pleased to have dodged that bullet.

So half the frames are done, the rest tomorrow.

Charles

PS: I had some other pictures but they were over the 100 KB limit. If I can figure out a way to reduce them, I'll post.
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 09:59 PM
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Charles, Looks Really Good To Me.
A Good Craftsman Follows Directions To The Letter, A Great Craftsman Knows How To Fix His Mistakes.
Steve C
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 12:50 AM
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Charles, Sometimes in my job when I have to layout my artwork, I can't see my reference lines, so I usually use masking tape instead of pencil marks. Your work looks good so far!
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 05:20 PM
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A little further along. I know this is old hat to most of you but frankly, I'm pretty tickled. I'm using thin CA to tack things until I can back off and triple check and that allows for correction if my visual perspective is off. When I'm sure, I follow up with medium or thick CA. This could be addictive.

Charles
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 06:16 PM
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Looks great so far Charles! I love the flair in the forward topsides! it will be a great looking boat when you are done!
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 11:26 PM
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Charles, it is never old hat to see the progress of another craftsman.
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Old Feb 07, 2005, 10:10 PM
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How is your Chris-Craft project coming along, Charles?
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Old Feb 17, 2005, 01:01 PM
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After some rime out for a death in the family, I'm back at the CC. The bottom is fastened in place and filled. I used wood filler but understand now that I could have used a light, non-shrink wall patch that would have been easier to sand. At any rate, the first plank is now installed with titebond. I will probably use CA for the rest. I took some pictures but they are over the 100kb limit and I can't figure out how to make the file smaller so next time I'll change the camera resolution before I take the pictures. I'm assuming that after the first layer of planking, I can use the wall patch and sand the whole thing down. Do I have to seal at this point? (it's going to be a static model, I think, although Dan has been working on me to put a motor in it). I suppose if I do that, I'll definately need to seal before the final mahogany planking. If I do seal, what should I use and any tips how to do it?

Thanks
Charles
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