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Old Nov 20, 2007, 10:14 PM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
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1932 Ford Tug "Dearborn"

OK, I've dropped plenty of hints about this, time to get busy and build something.

Started with the Ford Tugs thread:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=702365

And started an experimental build with glue-lam ribs:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=767272

I'll write up some history here in a while, but here's a little treat. I went back to the Benson Ford Research Library at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn to look a little closer at the original of the first photo here, and realized that it was part of a series. The Dearborn is pulling Nicholson's "Coralia" away from the dock... but wait, what's her deck cargo?
Well, the second picture made it clear- a load of Fords! One attaboy to he/she who first names the correct model year! Which by the way was the only way for me to date the picture, and thereby track some changes which had crept onto the Dearborn.

Pat M
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Old Nov 20, 2007, 10:37 PM
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I was thinking this is where you were headed with the laminated frames! (the drawings on that thread were also a hint!)

A handsome tug and an interesting bit of history, Pat! Looking forward to seeing your progress!
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Old Nov 20, 2007, 11:37 PM
Taking care of the pond.
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1937 Ford.
My 1931 PU.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MILLERTIME
1937 Ford.
My 1931 PU.
Attaboy!
And a nice '31 too.

The boat is being built in 1:24... and I have a '25 T pickup and a '32 Deuce Coupe (stock) in 1:24 which I intend to work into the display base...


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Old Nov 21, 2007, 06:58 AM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
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Looks like a great project. The non- Great Lakes members of this forum might find the auto transportation method a bit odd. By coincidence the 2007 Calendar from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum features photos of lakers with deck loads of autos. It was common for Ford, GM, and Chrysler to ship this way. There is a well known photo of a wreck being offloaded across the ice. They waited for the freeze and drove the cars off. Also, rail cars crossed on the carferries. The SS Milwaukee had some new Nash autos onboard when she went down. Pat, thanks for putting up the pics. Really nice.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 07:21 AM
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I drive a Ford. Heck, in my spare time, I even work for Ford. In Dearborn. And I like tugs. So when I found out there was a Ford tugboat named "Dearborn", I was hooked! And she was built in the auspicious year of 1932, too.

A little sleuthing led me to photos on the web, and original photos at the Benson Ford Research Library and at U of D Mercy. More searching led to a number of original drawings from the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Bowling Green State U in Ohio. GLEW was a major builder near Detroit who constructed a number of lakers, including the Henry Ford II, the Edsel Ford, and the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The plans are are pretty complete for what I have, but I'm sure there are many more detail drawings still to be found in BGSU's somewhat poorly indexed collection. Enough to get started at least!

Pat M
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 08:24 AM
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A few specs on the Dearborn:
She was actually a pretty modern tug for 1932:
- Diesel-electric: Twin Cooper-Bessemer 8 cylinder diesels driving generators, and one big drive motor.
- Drawing indicates a four bladed prop about 8.5 feet in diameter.
- Riveted steel hull and cabin
- 109 t gross
- 85 foot overall (80 ft on the waterline) by 21 foot beam.
- This yields a model about 42" x 10.5" at 17 lb, in 1:24 scale.

Dearborn worked for Ford 1932-1946, where she was mainly used as a harbor tug around Detroit. Later owners renamed her Milwaukee and then Interstate. Out of documentation in the early 90's.

Here's another look at her profile, and where we pick up the build with the rough shaped hull.

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Old Nov 21, 2007, 08:32 AM
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I'd offer up my '29 if you can scale it down. Crushing machines don't count.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 09:01 AM
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Pat, to answer your question,I believe they are 1940 Fords.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Sorry Charlie, you're off by 3!
The 37's introduced the headlamps integrated into the fenders, and the split windscreens.
I didn't know this, but when I was at the Ford Library I looked it up in a pretty comprehensive Ford catalog- and there they were!

Pat
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patmat2350
Sorry Charlie, you're off by 3!
The 37's introduced the headlamps integrated into the fenders, and the split windscreens.
I didn't know this, but when I was at the Ford Library I looked it up in a pretty comprehensive Ford catalog- and there they were!

Pat
Ok,I was looking at the grill.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 03:02 PM
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A few more details, really adds interest to the project.

The third picture shows that some details on the drawings were not included on the boat as launched- ventilators and railings on the cabin roof, abeam the stack. But they do show in later pictures... I guess the parts were on back order!


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Old Nov 21, 2007, 03:16 PM
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This sounds like a neat build for you patmat. Your ties to Ford, your location, and your nautical interests seem a natural for this one. Plus, it would be interesting to follow.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 04:08 PM
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nice subject and good looking build so far.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 04:30 PM
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OK, enough of history and old cars, back to the build.

I like to experiment and try new construction methods... it keeps me from getting bored, but it doesn't always work as hoped.
In "Thriving on Chaos", Tom Peters tells how successful companies encourage LOTS of experimentation in their R&D groups, knowing full well than 1 success in 10 is fantastic. Well, there are surely folks out there who could have told me that my RR spikes would be trouble, and now they can say "I told you so!"
It's hard to sink the heads under the surface of the 1/16" planks, so at sanding time, they act like so many paper-shredding speedbumps.
I could put on a second layer of planks- balsa perhaps, with just glue and fair that. But I'm lazy and that would make the hull oversize. So I made sure all the planks were nicely edge-glued with CA to keep them from springing around too much, and then slathered on a coat of light weight balsa filler. This stuff spreads easily, dries fast, and sands off easily- much like wall board compound. The idea here was to fill my low spots instead of sanding down the high spots on my already thin planks.

Seems to have worked ok. It's not a perfect job, because I'll come back with glass and resin anyway... just wanted to fix the divots. I did want to sand enough to expose some wood on most all planks, just to make sure the resin has something solid to stick to.

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