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Jan 17, 2018, 07:32 PM
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Build Log

Royal Navy 12 gun Brig of 1840


And The Adventure Begins! I’ve Never done this before!

I have always, since about age 8, wanted to build a full rigged ship model and sail it. Now age 8 for me was the middle of the last century so I guess I need to hurry up! I have built one RC controlled two masted schooner from a kit about two years ago. The hull was slab sided flat bottomed plywood and the kit came with everything except varnish and batteries. My first RC experience.

This one will be a scratch built, bulkhead and planked hull. All new to me! I have had a Discussion Thread going for a month or so to help me figure out how to get there from here.

I have been researching off and on for several years. I started to build a model of the USS Lexington of the Revolutionary War period. I scaled it up from a book called “The Built-up Ship Model”, by Charles G. Davis. As an experiment I built a mock-up of the frame and bulkheads and keel from foam filled poster board using hot glue, But I never got any further. The hull would have been about 3 feet. I was corresponding with a Brit named Mike Taylor from the Scale Sail Assn. at the time, but I lost contact him at the end of 1998. I still have all that correspondence and some notes. I also still have my scaled up hull plan somewhere. The mock-up got destroyed and lost since then. Life gets in the way.

This time I have a full set of modeling plans from Model Dockyard. The plan drawing is for about a 30 inch hull at the waterline, and about 40 or so to the end of the bowsprit. I am going to go with the full size as drawn.

I decided to try out another mock-up with my foam board technique except I am going to build it on a ¼” plywood keel. I am going to attempt to plank it with balsa planks if it turns out OK. At worst I will have a full set of patterns.

That’s the Plan,
Rod
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Jan 17, 2018, 08:11 PM
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To Begin...

I made enough copies of the body plan to make the shadow frame outlines and cut them out. I made up about every third frame trying to get enough for a good hull shape. I ended up with about 14.

Then I made a trip to Hobby Lobby to get the foam board and a piece ¼”of aircraft plywood for the keel. In the art section I found some sheets of 3/16” foam board with a peel off back covering adhesive. Hmm, I thought, this might work out. It would easy to mount the outlines to that. It turned out that it worked pretty well, if it will stay attached while cutting out the shadows. To be determined?

I used glue stick to attach the bow and stern profile to the keel plywood, and drew the lines in between to establish the full keel outline. I am having some trouble figuring out the correct stern deadwood though. In the picture below I have it sketched in in red.

Feel free to comment, I am not sure I have it right?

I also dusted off my building board from the schooner and got it ready.

Next the cutting out.
Rod
Jan 17, 2018, 10:37 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
I found that making an "inner keel" that stops flush with the planking makes life very much simpler. The stem, head, sternpost, keel, etc, are added later. The inner keel doesn't need to be much of anything as the planking itself becomes the structure, like an Albatros scout.

Macedonian was built on 3/8" plywood forms, 1/4" plywood inner keel, and eventually a 1/2" outer keel.



Aft end of outer keel and stern post.



Half the forms were cut out and epoxied back in after the inside was coated with resin.

Jan 18, 2018, 01:48 PM
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Jerry, thanks for you reply.

I have studying your Macedonia build thread, again, and again, and again... but this time reading all of the associated text. Your inner keel idea is a whole lot simpler than what I had in mind. I am going to give it a try, at least on this foam board mock-up I'm working on.

About how deep did you make the 1/4" Plywood inner keel and the associated slots in the shadow frames? It looks like maybe a 1/2" ?

Some more progress:

The foam board sticky backing has worked out very well. I spent the morning cutting out the shadow frames from the foam board with my small band saw. I had no issues with the adhesion, no peeling at all. I still need to dress the edges smooth and on the outlines, I will cut the keel notches next and proceed to make the inner keel to size. Next to cut the shadow mounting blocks for the building board, and get them mounted.

I am a little doubtful that the foam shadows will hold the pins for the planking secure, another to be determined. If it works I will try planking it with balsa wood. If not the mock-up will have served it's purpose, I will have learned a lot and I will have some nice patterns to remake the shadows from plywood.

To be continued:
Rod
Jan 18, 2018, 04:33 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
The inner keel is 1 inch. It's bottom is flush with the edge of the planking making a 1/2" surface to attach the outer keel. The frames after being cut out and epoxied back in, have a flat surface about 1/4" above the inner keel for a deck to sit on that holds the servos, etc.

If you plank her in balsa I would think pins should do.
Jan 19, 2018, 05:46 PM
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So, I cleaned up the shadow frames today and cut the slots for the inner keel.

(Note to self: Next time use the bigger band saw with the wider blade to cut the slots. The thin blade on the smaller one tends to wobble a bit. This is also where the foam board idea breaks down they get a little weak on those real pointy aft frames. I will have to shim out a couple of shadow frames to keep things properly aligned.)

I also cut the straight bottom edge of the keel, I still need to cut a stern post and the stem post and glue them to the inner keel straight section. I also need to cut the mounting blocks for the shadows and mount them to the building board.

Another Question for Jerry:
The three forms for the transom that you made, port and starboard are the same, it appears that the center one is a bit deeper, further aft, to put a slight curve in the transom I assume?
You laid these out from the hull profile, right?

Muddling on,
Rod
Jan 19, 2018, 07:34 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
Yes, the center one was a bit deeper to put a bow in the transom. I had some difficulty figuring out the transom cross-section, so I basically left the planking long and trimmed it back to the profile - then I made the forms as something to attach the transom planking to.
Jan 21, 2018, 02:59 PM
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I got the building board set up and mounted all of the shadow frames to it.

Well, I thought I had it right, until I slipped the keel in place!

It appears that I failed to take into account the fact that stern is a bit deeper in the water than the bow when I cut the inner keel slots. I measured each of them from the water line to the bottom of the planking, But, I only took that measurement from one shadow, selected about midships, and used that one distance on all of the shadows.

Fortunately, not hard to fix. Another good reason for the foam board mock-up! I'm learning a lot.

Stumbling along,
Rod
Jan 21, 2018, 05:27 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
Your stations are perpendicular to the waterlines not the keel and so they should be to the build-board. Assuming the keel's a straight stick, the keel notch in each form should come to the same point relative to any waterline (the horizontal lines in the plan). You want the waterlines parallel to the build-board fore-n-aft AND side-to-side, whether the build-board is level is immaterial.

There's a middle form usually marked with a symbol that looks like a tick, that's the "dead flat" frame. That is the planking lays flat on it without any shaping of the form. All the forms fore and aft of it need to have their edged angle so the planks will lay flat on them, and not just on a corner. (the red colored portion in the sketch) If your forms are very thin and will not become part of the model, it's not so critical except maybe at the ends where the curves are harder.
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Either way, forms forward of the dead-flat ought to sit with their aft side ON the station lines; forms aft of the dead-flat ought to sit with their forward sides ON the station lines; while the dead flat sits centered on it's station line. Lay a plank along the hull where the diagonals end on the forms and not the gaps between plank and form on one side - that is how much needs to come of the side the plank is touching. That gap will change in size from the sheer to the keel on the same form.
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On actual frames which are sort of square timbers shaped to the hull, shaping them as above could chop off more than half the wood of the frame leaving hardly anything behind for structure, so the frames at the ends were angled to the keel like a fan to put them as flat to the planking as possible. They're called Cant Frames because they are canted to the keel.
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Jan 21, 2018, 07:52 PM
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Thanks Jerry,

I may not have been clear enough on that last post. I was trying to show what I had done wrong. As it stands now, the deck (more or less since it is not flat), the water line, and the keel line are all parallel. This is Not as it should be. The aft end of the keel should be deeper than forward end. Also, the keel is just slipped in place and I have not trued up all of the frames to the vertical a couple are leaning a bit.

I will need to run a line on the plan an inch above the keel/hull line and measure that dimension for each individual frame I used and re cut the keel slot for each one to fix it.

I think I got most of your explanations, but I need to warn you. I'm not up on all of the nautical terminology . I am not nor ever have been a sailor. So be easy on me.

Thanks
Rod
Jan 21, 2018, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
I think I got most of your explanations, but I need to warn you. I'm not up on all of the nautical terminology . I am not nor ever have been a sailor. So be easy on me.
haha.....sound just like me
Jan 22, 2018, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkildu
I will need to run a line on the plan an inch above the keel/hull line and measure that dimension for each individual frame I used and re cut the keel slot for each one to fix it.
Sounds right
Jan 23, 2018, 01:35 PM
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I think that I have the inner keel slots for the shadow frames just about correct now, and I have the stem and keel glued together. This arrangement appears correct to my untrained and optically corrected mark one eye ball. A careful measurement shows that the stern end of the lower keel is just about 1/4" too high from the building board surface. As in slightly too deep when right side up. One more small correction required for that.

Now I need to work on the stern post and transom. Jerry's Macedonian build has provided me with a lot of help.

I think I may have made my shadow frames to mount too high above the building board, I will need to drop them about 1". I wanted to leave plenty of finger room underneath, but seems to be too much.

Still Learning
Rod
Jan 25, 2018, 12:53 PM
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OK, I have the inner keel cut to length, and the stern post attached. I have double checked the measurements from the plan and it seems to be right on.

Working on the stern and transom forms. It is not quite there yet. Something is a bit out of square. I tried to eyeball it, but that isn't working. I am going to trace it out from the plan and align it out with the last frame, Hopefully that will work better.

Still Muddling,
Rod
Jan 28, 2018, 03:28 PM
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Back Again,

I have been out of the shop, fighting the flu, for a few days. Dr. said that if I hadn't gotten a Flu shot I would probably be bedridden now. So Apparently the flu shot doesn't prevent it, but it does lessen the severity. In my case a lot!

I played with the transom forms today. Still not really happy, but closer.

I have decided that I have taken the foam board mock-up idea as far as practical. It did teach me a lot and helped me to see what I am really getting into. It is just a bit too flimsy. I should be able to use the foam shadow forms as stencils to trace out the outlines onto the plywood, hopefully? If not I will just start them over. There are a couple that may require that anyway.

Rod


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