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Aug 04, 2008, 01:43 AM
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Discussion

ATB x 2


Have you seen one of these?
It's the ATB Christian Reinauer from New York. It's one of 3 sister ships that ferry huge fuel barges up and down the US east coast.
As soon as I saw a photo of the Christian on the net I had to build one. It has a unique really muscular look, conventional propeller/rudder arrangement (easy to make) and no winches (I'm always a little disappointed with my winches especially when I see the work of some others).
I began searching for information and that's when the fun began. Several other of this class of tug work around the US but I could only find about a dozen low resolution images of the tugs. Being in New Zealand I couldn't just turn up and take a few photos so I wrote to the designers, builders and owners. The designer is an avid model railroader so I thought he might help no reply from anyone twice. I tried a couple of forums and got a few more images (thanks Umi, Tugs53 and Joe) but that was about it. So I drew up some plans based on the photos I had and began work on the hull.
Just as I finished installing the motors, etc. I had a great idea I wrote to the 'captain of the Christian' care of the owners. He wrote back, intrigued, and was able to send a heap of photos showing various aspects of the boat.
One of his photos showed the boat in dry dock and it highlighted all of the errors I had made on the hull. None of my original images had shown below the waterline so I had based the hull on similar sized tugs I had hull lines for. The new photo showed a deeper, hard chine hull and 5 bladed props.
Back to the drawing board for a rebuild.
While I was psyching myself up for the rebuild I contacted the company again to find out who the Christian had been named after. And guess what Christian Reinauer wrote back. He's a director of the company and in charge of new boat construction. He was very interested in the project and was able to supply full plans. He even talked me into building a second Christian for him, at the same time. Now the project had doubled.
I had a build log in mind this time and began again.
The model is 1/50 at 740mm (125ft L) x 580mm (H) x 230mm (W). I use a 3.6mm ply keel/rib frame method with a 1.8mm ply hull and superstructure. Unfortunately I have managed to delete the photos of the first couple of weeks work making up the hull frames but I'll take some new shots showing the progress and post them after the weekend.
Don't expect too much though. Although I love museum quality models mine never quite turn out that way.
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Aug 04, 2008, 02:16 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Sounds like a fun project.
Construction is always a bit smoother with a good set of plans.
Congratulations on landing a contract build also.
Are you building barges also?

Looking forward to the build up.

Aug 04, 2008, 06:54 AM
River Rat
towboatjoe's Avatar
Steve, you can download the photos of the hull framing from the other forum if you want to post them here. Just click on the file name under the picture and save to your hard drive.

I'll be watching your build with great interest.
Joe
Aug 04, 2008, 08:40 AM
USA'd ex Brit
toesup's Avatar
An interesting build!...

That superstructure had better be light on the model, or it could end up being VERY unstable in turns..

Keep us updated on the build... please.
Aug 04, 2008, 08:56 AM
River Rat
towboatjoe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toesup
An interesting build!...

That superstructure had better be light on the model, or it could end up being VERY unstable in turns..

Keep us updated on the build... please.
Toesup, if you think that one is tall check out the one I'm going to build.
Aug 04, 2008, 02:09 PM
Registered User
SilentHunter's Avatar
Boy i bet it would really be nauseating rolling around up there.
Aug 04, 2008, 03:07 PM
Registered User
Thread OP
Toesup The captain tells me that it is very unstable when not attached to a barge. The model has a very low centre of gravity and a few kilos of ballast but the superstructure may still act like a sail. I live in a very windy town so it will be a calm day boat only.
Umi no immediate plans for the barge. It would be over 5m/15feet long. No where to build or store it or way to transport it. May have to make something smaller just to stabilise the tug.
Aug 04, 2008, 06:58 PM
River Rat
towboatjoe's Avatar
Steve, I designed my barge to be seperated in two pieces since it has an unloader on it. Since yours is a tanker you could make three five foot pieces.
Aug 12, 2008, 03:25 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
Found the photos of the first stages buried in the computer.
So, here we go.
I drew up the parts from the plans so that they could be laser cut from ply. The cutting cost isn't too bad compared with days of hand cutting (I don't have any power tools other than a drill). This method is very accurate and especially useful for the bulwark frames. The parts need to be washed and lightly sanded before use. Unfortunately I used a cheaper grade of 3.6mm pine ply this time and it splintered very easily so it needed a bit more sanding than usual.
The keel luckily fitted into the maximum laser cutting area so it came as one piece. In hindsight I should have formed it from several sections as the cheaper ply warped in one of the hulls after the ribs had been attached and needed some heavy duty remedial work.
The construction process is pretty standard I started at the bow making sure that the ribs were all at the correct angles to the centre line, deck and parallel to each other. Balsa spacers keep the ribs the correct distance apart. This was all glued with epoxy.
When the ribs were all in place the main deck was put in starting at the bow and stern and working toward the middle, gluing to the top of the ribs. This when the keel decided to go its own route.
So far so good this part is very quick and easy. Next step attaching the hull plates.
Aug 12, 2008, 04:31 AM
Registered User

Question for the builder


Steve-
A question if you don't mind. So you have the plan for the boat. How do you transfer the plan on to the wood that is then laser cut? If I tried to do that by cutting through tracing paper or with a pounce wheel-
in way shap or form would itturn out so nice and symetrical as your frames did. The secret? The method?
Aug 12, 2008, 08:53 AM
Registered User
steamboatmodel's Avatar
Hi Steve,
I noticed that all the edges are black from the laser cutting. do you have any problems with glueing? or do you sand the edges down to clean wood?
Regards,
Gerald
Aug 12, 2008, 11:53 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdog46
Steve-
A question if you don't mind. So you have the plan for the boat. How do you transfer the plan on to the wood that is then laser cut? If I tried to do that by cutting through tracing paper or with a pounce wheel-
in way shap or form would itturn out so nice and symetrical as your frames did. The secret? The method?

The computer controls the position of the laser. There is no need to transfer
the pattern to the wood. The wood just needs to be large enough to fit the
layout created using CAD software. The laser cutter can then cut the part
directly out of your stock by following the drawing off the hard drive.

If you are trying to use trace, or photocopies of your lines to cut from, then
use a spray cement like "Super 77" to put cement on the back side of your
paper. Then tack it to your wood.
Aug 12, 2008, 01:24 PM
Registered User
Thanks for that answer; sound very simple not that you have explained. CNC sort of minus the gerber file
Aug 12, 2008, 01:54 PM
master boat slacker
: spray cement like "Super 77" to put cement on the back side of your
paper. Then tack it to your wood.

just pull the template off as soon as possable this stuff is real sticky
my decks are still clinging on to bits of paper
Aug 13, 2008, 02:27 AM
Registered User
Thread OP
cdog,
I've used both ways of transferring the plans into cutting guides as described by Umi.
The simplest method is to copy the plans at correct size, spray glue them onto the ply and then cut through the paper and ply. Using a saw can chew up the paper template and make following the line hard work so I usually use a knife. It's not too difficult on thin ply or plastic but the 3.6mm ply is slow going. It's easy for straight lines but I cut curves with a bit of excess and sand them back. The spray glue residue comes off with lighter fluid.
Because I'm building 2 identical boats I wanted to use laser cutting to save time and increase accuracy.
The method I used here was to scan the plans, import them into a drawing program and draw over them on my computer. I use FreeHand but Corel or any other vector drawing file will do it. It sounds complicated but it's not as hard as you might think. You end up with a file of hull sections that are exactly the same size and shape as the plans. I add a few slots and tabs to make the assembly fit together easily, they also give a bit of structural strength.
The actual laser cutting is done by a local printer who has a small laser cutter. I give him a file on disk and that's it. I went through the phone book checking places out and most are happy to help and do it when they have a bit of downtime. The cost for cutting an 840mm x 470mm sheet is about $40. I can fit all of the frames, decks, bulwark struts and most of the superstructure onto 4 of these sheet plus quite a few extra spares.
The laser is computer controlled and cuts to a tolerance of 0.01mm so the parts are extremely accurate.
The cut parts arrive still in their surrounding ply so it looks like a big jigsaw. The needs to be washed (lightly) to remove the soot left by the laser and then lightly sanded to remove any splinters, etc left by the washing. They will glue without the washing but the soot makes your hands very dirty, very quickly.
Attached is a sample of the files I sent to the laser guy. Just a standard PDF at the correct plan size.
I still manage to make a few errors as you might be able to see on the last of the large hull sections (the angle at the bottom is not correct) but generally it's all good.


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