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Dec 21, 2018, 04:40 PM
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Build Log

Legend boats Miss Severn

Hi All
Yes this will be another Miss Severn build log. But get a comfy chair because this will be a nice long slow build. I'm not a fast builder partly because I just like taking my time with things and partly because this build is part of my recovery from cancer and heart surgery so I really do have to take it slow at the moment.

I'm conscious that there are several other build logs for Miss Severn especially Rich's amazing instructions when the boat was released many years ago so I'll try and post some photos from different angles and highlight places where I managed to get confused or where the kit has changed a little since release.

So the kit arrived two days after I got out of hospital which was great timing, it would have been faster except New Zealand customs wanted to check it out and charge me duty. I'd spent the time while waiting for the kit buying some tools I absolutely needed (can never have too many clamps).

The instructions are long and detailed.
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Dec 21, 2018, 07:23 PM
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Despite those long and detailed instructions I still had some questions for Rich, which he answered really quickly. It is amazing to have access to the designer when something doesn't make sense.

However I still made a mistake on the first bit of gluing which I've only figured out later. It isn't a big deal and the nice thing about wood is mistakes are fixable.
Dec 21, 2018, 07:29 PM
californiakid's Avatar

Comfy Chair, Check

Cool, this is like an early Christmas present. I love build logs of early pleasurecraft(speedboats). Rich’s kits are so nice. Take your time. I will be following for sure. Building is definitely therapy and a way to destress. Thank you for doing a build log. Might there be any modifications to the kit that you will be doing? I always like to put a personal spin on my builds. I don’t go too far with mods, maybe I just run down to the local sign shop and have a custom name made for the transom or something like that. Anyway, Happy Holidays!
Dec 23, 2018, 07:27 PM
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A little confusion

As I started to test fit the keel and frames on the build board I got a bit confused. While the instructions said to ensure the keel was inserted all the way into the frame slots, for frames 7 to 10, that meant the frame couldn't be attached to the build board. A quick e-mail to Rich set me right and the frames get attached to the build board and then for a few of the frames the keel doesn't go all the way into the slot on the frame.

If you look closely at the pictures in the instructions and in Rich's build log you can also see that he cut out the section of the keel that the motor will be mounted on before assembling - again checking with Rich clarified that the keel section should only get cut out later.

Assembly was interesting at this point since it appears as though you need three hands to hold the keel and frames and sheers in place without something falling over, but eventually with some kind words of persuasion everything stayed put long enough for me to get it all glued to the build board and the keel and sheers glued in place.

@Californiakid I hadn't really considered personalising the boat yet. I agree giving her a more personal name would be nice since I'm not really trying to make a replica. I'm not sure about modifying her more than that - but I'll think about it.
Dec 26, 2018, 02:03 PM
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Ribs for Christmas dinner

No really, I did cook ribs for dinner.

But mostly progress has been fitting the ribs and getting ready to start sanding. As you can see I used a few clamps and the smallest spokeshave ever.

Next step is sanding and subplanking the transom.

I hope you all have a great holiday break.
Dec 27, 2018, 08:28 AM
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Lookin' good .

Dec 28, 2018, 06:17 PM
californiakid's Avatar


Keep chipping away at it. I will be watching. Happy Holidays.
Jan 02, 2019, 02:08 PM
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Tale of the tail

Happy New Year all

A little slow going over the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Not much time to play

First, remember I mentioned a mistake early on. When I splinted the sheers sections I couldn't see a picture that showed which side of the sheer the splint should be on. I spent far too long trying to find and angle on any of the pictures that showed which side to place the splint. So long that I forgot to actually think it through. Obviously the splint should be on the inside of the boat not on the upper deck - guess which side I chose. Fortunately it was a reasonably easy fix but a good lesson in just thinking about it rather than struggling to find a picture.

Next step was shaping and sub-planking the tail end of the boat. These parts have changed a little from the original instructions but the blocking was just fine. I probably shaped the blocking into too sharp a curve at the deck side (bottom in the photo) which led to issues fitting the sub-planking. The blocking and inside of the sub-planking was coated with dilute epoxy and then the sub-planking fitted.

Again the sub-planking is slightly different from the instructions with two pieces fitted horizontally rather than three pieces fitted vertically. The hull side piece went on easily but the deck side piece became a trial. Because I had made the blocking a tight curve the sub-planking just wouldn't fit even after trying to bend the moistened piece overnight. I ended up gluing the sheet on in five stages - centre, left and right middle and then finally left and right edge at the deck surface. In hindsight I should have cut this piece into two horizontal strips and steam-bent the deckmost section properly. But I got it in place eventually and trimmed flush with hull and sides.

Next the side sub-planking.
Jan 09, 2019, 04:59 PM
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What we need is a montage

In movies they have this technique where instead of showing the hero spending 5 years learning to become a martial arts expert etc they just show a montage of moments along the long (boring) process.

Because I'm a bit slow and I made some choices that are making the process slower this is a time for a montage. The major choice I made that is making things slower is to use tightbond 2 to join all the subplanks together. I'm still using medium CA to bind the planks to the frame but that choice means I need to wait 30 minutes or so between planks for the tightbond to initially set. It's meant also that I've been clamping the planks in place. What I have done though is work on both sides at once and in both directions.

As slow as I am I have completed the side sub-planking and have just started the hull sub-planking, so I am making progress and it's starting to look like a boat.
Jan 09, 2019, 10:55 PM
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The slower I go the better the end result.

There is no rush. I usually build 2 boats at a time so I can stay busy.
Feb 22, 2019, 03:11 PM
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Holidays and stuff

So I did say this would be slow . It's been a while since an update partly because progress has been so slow. It's summer here and we've been having holidays. Also my feet have been hurting from neuropathy which makes standing in the garage less appealing. And finally we had a grant deadline that occupied most of my energy for the last month.
But I've been building again and here's the progress. The sub-planking for the hull is complete!
Starting in the middle as per instructions and working first to the stern and then to the bow. It felt pretty easy for most of it, partly from practice on the sides.
However, as you get close to the stempost the curves become quite sharp. Initially, I could get away with some creative clamping but for some of the pieves I really needed to bend the balsa before trying to fit them. I discovered this by breaking a couple of pieces of course .
Mar 25, 2019, 11:59 PM
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I'm an airplane builder and am thinking about a change. The Miss Severn kit looks like an interesting boat to build for a break from airplanes. I built a Midwest boat years ago so it will be my second boat. Hows your progress on this going, I like your detailed build thread. Are you using Titebond II for the majority of the build or CA? I was wondering about the best glue for the sub planking. Actually, I will probably be building this on the side while I work on airplanes too, I love building and flying.
Apr 16, 2019, 01:33 AM
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I'm trying to use titebondII for most of the wood joints. But there are places where clamping is really tough so I've used some CA as a "clamp" to hold the joint in place while the titebondII makes a really strong joint. For the subplanking it was almost all titebondII but for the mahogany there is a lot of CA used.
Apr 16, 2019, 02:20 AM
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He's baaaack

OK I've been really slack with posting so over the next couple of days I'll post the progress over the last couple of months. As expected it's been slow mostly because I can't stand for very long periods without my feet swelling up (chemo is great because it's kills the cancer but it has some annoying side effects).
So when I last posted I'd just finished the subplanking, now it was time to start the mahogany.
The first couple of boards were a learning curve, mostly figuring out how long to hold the board in place before the CA "caught". But really they went pretty much as described in the instructions.
I staggered the next boards as described in the instructions and while I used CA to hold the boards down I used a bead of titebondII on the edges with the thought that it would form a good seal joining the boards to each other.
As you can see I reached the chine line one row earlier than expected. I decided to assume that my mahogany was a little wider than in the instructions.
Fitting the extra "cheat" piece between the last two boards was just a case of being patient and slowly filing the piece to a perfect fit.
I have to say I kind of enjoyed this process of planking, it's a bit slow but you really feel like you are boat building.
Apr 16, 2019, 10:17 AM
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Looks great! one thing I learned while building planes is with woodworking there is always something a little off, even with kits as wood is never perfect. But that's part of the hobby, figuring out how to make it fit, work, and look good, I like your method with the Titebond and CA.
I just ordered my Miss Severn kit, but their out of stock so I need to wait a while. It will be for next winter anyway...

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