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Old Jun 01, 2007, 02:21 AM
oldtribefan
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Dumas Chris Craft Cobra

Greetings all.

I am new to this board and thought I would show a few photos of the project that I have been working on (a very loose term) for the past few years (I am not very prolific!).

This is my second boat, the first being the Dumas Triple Cockpit Runabout that I completed some time back.

I find that the Dumas kits have reasonably good hulls, though not totally accurate, very poor dash panels and really bad fittings. As such, I decided to not use any of the Dumas fittings on the Cobra and make my own, mostly from brass. On the Triple, I made some fittings, reworked some of the Dumas parts and then had them chrome plated at a local chrome shop. Once I got over the $250 price tag to have the plating done, I was very happy I did this as nothing looks quite like chrome plating except chrome plating!

Attached are some photos of the Cobra and it's fittings. She will have full lighting (bow, stern, cabin, gauges) able to be controlled by remote, R.A.M. sound system, padded seats, etc. I could not resist making my own instrument panel and a photo is attached of it under construction. The steering wheel rim was machined out of 1/2" acryrlic and the trim is all made of brass.

Hope that you find these photos interesting.

Kip
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 03:06 AM
Taking care of the pond.
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WOW Very nice
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 06:29 AM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
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Hand cut brass lettering? You know you can't just leave us hanging with that! Gotta know more...
Walnut Creek... was that your triple on the great display stand I saw in Golden Gate Park last October?

Pat Matthews
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 07:36 AM
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WOW indeed. Very nice. Makes my stuff look like it was done with a chain saw.
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 11:18 AM
oldtribefan
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United States, GA, Kennesaw
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Pat,

Yes, I had the Triple on it's display stand and the under construction Cobra at Spreckles last October. That was the last time either boat was out. Were you there - your bio lists you as Motor City (Detroit, I assume)? If so, you were a long way from home!

What else would you like to know - I am always happy to discuss the stuff I make and share how I do it.

Kip
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 11:36 AM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
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Kip- I thought so!

I'm always baffled by how handcrafted metal parts- castings usually- are made. From making the pattern through the casting process, it's all beyond my ken. Then you add "handcut lettering"- oy! I picture you working with nano-sized tin snips...

Please look for a private message here on the board.

Pat
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 11:47 AM
oldtribefan
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Pat,

I have not done any metal casting, although have done some resin casting (the Chris-Craft lettered step pads on the Triple). I build up the parts from pieces of brass and solder them together. If I was reproducing the parts for sale, then casting would definitely be the way to go. But I only build to please myself, so one of a kind hand made parts work fine.

As for the lettering, it is cut with a scroll saw, hand jeweler's saw, worked with files and and Xacto knife, then sanded with wet-dry paper. Lots and lots of very slow work. You should see the rejects I made before figuring out how to do this kind of work! Probably would have been much better off teaching myself how to do photo-etching, but I only had to make two of each word and two stars that were useable. Besides, I find the work theraputic (HA!), but finger numbing.

Kip
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 11:53 AM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
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Easy! Nuthin' to it!
BTW, see Kip's triple here:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...8&postcount=15

And Kip, you're welcome to post more on both boats!
Here's another question- what do you use for the rivet/screw heads holding down the bright stainless work on your triple? I've been looking at bright plated sewing pins, but even those seem too fat.

Pat M
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 12:09 PM
oldtribefan
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Pat,

When I was making the Triple, I refused to use the sticky aluminum trim Dumas supplied, so made new trim for the hatch, rear fender and cutwater out of brass. I wanted to use screws, or screw substitues for these parts and the rub rails.

My first thought was, like you, pin heads. I found some at the fabric store that were not too bad as far as size, but they still did not have the groove for the screwdriver. I tried to cut a grove into them using a sharpend Dremel cut-off wheel, but centering it was a nightmare! And then thinking that I would have to do about 200 of these was a bit too much.

So I started trying to find micro screws and located a place in Massachussets that made micro SS sheet metal screws the proper size. Problem was they cost $.80 apiece, so it would have been $160 for enough screws to do this one boat! No way I was spending that much on screws.

I then started watching eBay. Since I was in no real hurry for them (as I said before, I am not a prolific builder and each boat build spans 4 - 5 years for me), I started setting up searches for screws. Ultimately I found 14 gross of antique Swiss made watch screws for sale, won the auction and they were perfect. So, on the triple, everywhere you see a dot on the trim, that is a watch screw driven into a drilled hole in the brass. Lots of drilling, lots of screwing and a bit of swearing went into that work.

As an aside, if you look closely at the Chris-Craft lettering on the Cobra fin, you will see even smaller watch screws where they should be holding the name plates to the fin.

So, like there being nothing better than chrome to replicate chrome, there is nothing better than screws to replicate screws!

Kip
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 12:09 PM
Grumpa Tom
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And another "master" comes out into the sunlight!

Your handiwork is stunning! And inspiring! To think you made all those fittings from pieces of brass stock just blows me away!

Quote:
Please look for a private message here on the board.
I see a magazine article coming up!
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 01:02 PM
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Master indeed!

I'm familiar with your work, Kip and it is outstanding, amazing!!!

Welcome to RC Groups!
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 01:11 PM
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Watch screws (info only):
http://www.timezone.com/library/wglo...93519772632937

Then I talked to www.microfasteners.com... he says they can't get'em... hard to order, there are no standard parts, each is watch-specific with a maker's part number, and way expensive.
Good ebay find, Kip!

PM
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 01:35 PM
oldtribefan
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United States, GA, Kennesaw
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Aerominded, thanks for the compliment!

Here is the company that I found in Mass who makes the small SS screws.

J.I. Morris Company


Looking at their website now, I see the price has gone up a bunch from when I first contacted them 7 years ago! Even if a group goes together to buy in quantiy to get the quantity discount, they still are too expensive.

Kip
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Hmmm... but only $24 for a gross of brass 000-120 flat heads, compared to WAY more for the stainless. Combine that with my $13 brush-on nickel plate outfit, we might have something!

Pat M
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Old Jun 01, 2007, 01:50 PM
oldtribefan
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United States, GA, Kennesaw
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Now you are thinking! Super idea.
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