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Apr 26, 2006, 09:16 PM
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Build Log

My first towboat

Hey every one.
Here is my first attempt ever at building a towboat, actually building any boat.
This is the Joey Carol from towboatjoe's. I'm building in 1/48, so model is 21" long. Eventually, 2 barges will accompany this vessel.
Please don't be shy on suggestions, remember this is my first boat, and you only learn by experience.
Last edited by mitchlandry; Oct 24, 2006 at 11:47 PM.
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Apr 26, 2006, 09:18 PM
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Here are the stern rudders , flanking rudders, wheels and propshaft support-strut layed out to be cut
Apr 28, 2006, 02:39 AM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
Looks good so far.
Apr 28, 2006, 07:45 AM
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wingnut163's Avatar
Apr 28, 2006, 08:56 AM
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Looks like you're doing as well (if not better) as any new builder usually does. You've gotten the design from someplace that does know what they (he's) are doing, so guess that's to be expected.
The only 'hints' I can offer are;
Buy sandpaper by the ton, it's cheaper.
Don't glue more than one hand to your forehead at a time. Really hard to get to your car keys with both hands tied up.
Do the thinking part ~before~ doing the gluing!

- 'Doc

PS - Wonder what would happen if you made the main and flanking rudders into 'Becker' rudders? Forget it, probably twist the boat in half...
Apr 28, 2006, 09:55 AM
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It looks like a first rate job to me. You are doing great, keep up the good work. And by all means please keep those pics coming. What are you using to power the boat?
Apr 28, 2006, 09:28 PM
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I haven't decided on power yet. I'm thinking 2 540 size motors. Not sure if i am going to direct drive (low rpm motors) or gear reduce (higher rpm motors)
I have an extra 7.2 NiCd laying around, i thought 2 of those would be great for the power source
I will most likely set the boat up with 2 ESC's so i can control each motor independently.

Question, I was thinking of fiberglassing the hull for extra strength and durability. Do you think resin only will be enough, or should i put mat down as well.
Apr 28, 2006, 11:38 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
If you only use resin in time it will crack due to the expansion and contraction of the wood. Use cloth not mat, cloth is much easier to work with and doesn't soak up as much resin. For strength use 2 layers of cloth.
Apr 29, 2006, 09:18 AM
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towboatjoe's Avatar
Mmitch, on the Joey Carol I built I used a layer 3/4 ounce mat. For fibergalssing go with Epoxy Finishing Resin. It's a 50/50 mix, doesn't have a strong smell, amd is not affected by humidity changes as bad as Polyester Resin. If you're not experienced with Polyester it can get very messy, plus it has to be done outside, unless you got a good ventilatiion system, and it's hard to estimate how many drops of catalist to add to each ounce of resin because of it being so sensitive to the humidity. Rember Epoxy Finishing Resin, not the same stuff as Epoxy Adhesive.
May 04, 2006, 11:44 PM
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Mitch, what did you use to cut the props and rudders from the brass sheet in such a way that they appear to be flat, and didn't try to curl as they were cut? Thanks.
May 05, 2006, 12:05 AM
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Actually, i had more problem with the brass trying to curl when trying to grind the edges smooth.
Anyhow, the 1st rudder i tried, i used a dremel, what a pain. The brass sheet i'm using is a little thick at 1/16".
After that i use a scroll saw, still troubling, was dulling the blade after 2 sides of rudder. Managed to finish rudders with the scroll saw anyway.
The props, i finally thought about it, i have a shopsmith w/ bandsaw attachment. Turned the RPMs down to lowest (i think about 700 RPM), using a fairly fine tooth blade, the band saw went through the brass like a hot knife in butter. I was totally in awe that is was this easy. I wish i would have thought about the band saw first.

As far as curling with a grinder, i would take the matching sets. Wether it be the 2 steering rudders, 4 flankers or props. I would clamp them together with a c-clamp and grind them smooth on all sides. I guess with the heat that generated and the pressure i was applying the bottom piece in the clamped set it would always bite the grinding wheel (using bench grinder) and curl downward. I was able to elimate most of the bent pieces that i did have by placeing on concrete floor and tapping with rubber mallet. the only grinding i have left to do is the props. the rudders are pretty much done. Not sure i might put a polish on them.
May 05, 2006, 02:07 AM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
The props, i finally thought about it, i have a shopsmith w/ bandsaw attachment. Turned the RPMs down to lowest (i think about 700 RPM), using a fairly fine tooth blade, the band saw went through the brass like a hot knife in butter. - mitch
That is sure the way to go, unfortunately most bandsaws dont allow turning down the speed. On some you could switch out the pulleys I guess.
May 12, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Sloooow progress
About finished with stuffing boxes and props
Made small stuffing boxes for rudders, but i'm not sure if i even need them.
The top of the rudder tube will be at about water line.
Still need to pitch my homemade props.
May 13, 2006, 07:45 AM
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wingnut163's Avatar
Please Guys Do Not Grind Grass On The Bench Grinder Unless You Have The Right Wheel For Nonfress Metal. The Wheel Will Load Up And Can Blow Up In Your Face.
I Am A Machinest Ad I Have Seen It Happen. You Would Not Want To See It.

They Make Wheels For Brass And Such, Please Use Them.

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