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Feb 03, 2007, 10:26 AM
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P. Tritle's Avatar

The Lackawanna -- from Dumas

The first time I saw the finished protorype of the Lackawanna I knew I had to have one! Being a big fan of workboats, this one was right up my alley, and when the oppertunity came up to review the kit, the only thing I could see to do was to clear the bench and get started!
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Feb 03, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Yes, that kit has always interested me
Feb 03, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Opening the Box

The kit contains several laser cut wood sheets a dye cut plastic sheets along with stripwood, wire and vac formed parts. Also included is a large bag of cast fittings and stock wire for the railings plus full size plans and a 47 page step by step instruction manual. And finally, there is a large sheet of vinyl decal sheets and a nice sheet of large flags. The vac formed hull comes in two large halves, and will need to be trimmed from it's carrier sheet before assembly begins.

Whats not included in the kit is the running gear. However, a running gear package is available from Dumas specifically designed for the Lackawanna.

After taking the time to inventory the kit and bundle the wood, wire and plastic, I spent a good couple of hours reading the instruction manual and studying the plans to become familiar with the design. In my experience, the time spent before the build will same lots of time during the build, simply by knowing what comes next and planning accordingly. So, lets' get started.
Feb 03, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Assembling the Hull

The vac-formed plastic hull comes in two halves. Ther are specific instructions for cutting out the hull haves which make assembly very easy. Once the halves are cut off the sheets and trimed, they are clamped together, aligned and glued.

The instructions suggest using Cya along the seam on the inside to glue the halves together. But instead, I used Ambroid Pro-Weld, liquid weld cement to glue the halves together. Then, to reinforce the joint, a .062 or .080 styrene rod can be glued into the valley on the inside where the two halves meet.

Finally, the 1" wide fiberglass tape (included in the kit) was glued in place. To hold the tape in place, it was laid into the hull, aligned, and then secured with the liguid cement. Once the entire tape was secured, it was given a coat of 30 minute epoxy and allowed to cure overnight.
Feb 03, 2007, 10:56 AM
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Fixing the Seam

Once the glue has dried on the inside, the clamps are removed and the plastic lip cut from around the seam. The joint was filed flush , then Bondo was applied to fill and contour the joint.
Feb 03, 2007, 10:58 AM
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Meanwhile, Back to the Inside

While the bondo was curing on the outside, it was back to the inside to lay out the location of the hardwood deck supports. Two small gauges were supplied to get the location just right so the deck would flow nicely with the curve of the hull.
Feb 03, 2007, 11:04 AM
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Securing the Deck Support Rails

The hard wood deck rails have a series of cuts to help conform them to the curve of the hull. Once cut in, the rails into the hull using the reference line for positioning, then secured with thin Cya.

Once dry, the clamps were removed and the cross pieces added. The hull needed pulling in a good bit to accomodate the cross pieces, and was clamped while the glue dried and the reinforcing gussets were added.
Feb 03, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Fitting the Sub-Deck

The next step is to fit and glue the sub-deck in place. Here's where studying the plans before hand really paid off! The plastic deck was prepaired and fitted into the hull, with litterally NO trimming required!

I decided that since the deck would be planked, it would be much easier to plank it outside the hull rather then to have to deal with working inside the bullwarks to fit the edges. Then once all the planks were in place, the edges were trimmed, the deck sanded smooth, and so far, two coats of satin spar varnish have been applied. Two more coats will be applied, then the deck will be glued in place.

Feb 03, 2007, 11:51 AM
Its only a model.
Tregurtha1013's Avatar
Nice choice. Normally I am a scratch builder, but this tug kit is something I have been thinking about to take with me to the ship I work on. Would be a good project for out there.
Feb 03, 2007, 12:15 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
I always enjoy watching your build threads, Pat. I learn so much from your techniques.

So tell us, do you think the 'new' plastic hulls from Dumas are easier/worse to prepare than the 'old' fiberglass hulls?
Feb 03, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Ed Crowell's Avatar
I really enjoy your builds, so I'm excited to see this one since I prefer Tugs. What did you make the clamps out of to bring in the sides of the hull, is it fiberglass rod.

Feb 03, 2007, 05:27 PM
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K, I have mixed feelings about glass vs. plastic hulls. Glass, as Dumas did them was very easy to work with, and tough as nails! The plastic hulls work real well, though they are a bit "flimsy" untill the internal structure and decking goes in, then they're more then stout enough. I guess the part that really counts is that since Dumas got out of the fiberglass business, plastic is the only game in town. Now, if you asked me if I'd pass on a build like this simply because the hull was plastic, I'd say, "no way"!

Ed, The clamps are made from scrap arrowshaft pushrod tubes with the clamping devices being cut from 1/4" ply. The secret to success is that the holes are drilled just a few thousants over the shaft diameter, and, at a 10 degree angle so that they'll bind when put under load.

I'm with you Guys, tugs are great, and this is probably as nice looking a boat as anything I've seen in awhile.

Feb 03, 2007, 06:05 PM
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Welcome back to the "boats" section Pat!
Feb 04, 2007, 10:25 AM
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HEY PAT!!! How goes things in the land of endless sun, at least that we people here in the northeast are lead to believe. Glad to see that you are still with what I like to call, the building fraternity here on the web, but I am going to have to disagree with you, when you mention that with Dumas giving up on the fiberglass, that plastic is the only game in town. How come everyone forgets the original building material WOOD!!!! I think that with a proper set of plans, you could build any type of hull you wished with the strength of fiberglass and the graceful lines of turn of the century steam tug. The time it takes to produce a finished hull is less, (about half), of what it would take to produce a fiberglass hull or for that matter a vacuum formed hull starting from scratch. For those of you that say,” I can’t make a plank on frame hull and have it turn out right”, I say try a kit such as the “JIM WILDRER #2” from Midwest Products, to give yourself the experience and the confidence needed to proceed on your own to the next project. I have to say that the one thing the Midwest kit did for the modeling segment of the boaters, save for the subject modeled, is that they’ve done a bang up job in procedure and instructions to produce a beautiful looking hull. I know I sound like a broken record about the merits of building with wood, but stop and think, How many manufactures are going to produce an ever increasing number of hulls, in either fiberglass or vac-forming, and what if you see a hull that you really like, but there is no already made hull for you to start from? I leave you with the word WOOD!!!
Feb 04, 2007, 03:39 PM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
Hi Rich,

Creating a model boat with wood seems to be almost a lost art these days, and with the exception of Midwest and a few of the imports, most of the kits have vacform or
fiberglass hulls to build around. Personally, I can't remember the last time I did a true wooden model, but it had to be back when I was in my teens, when a wood one was the only kind of model you could buy.

Today, I don't see many wood kits out there that attract my attention, but the new kits from MACK are kinda interesting---.

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