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Thread: Building a J-Class Sailboat

  1. #46
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    Julie,not being familiar with this class of sailboat,is there another layer of planking going over the diagonal one? By the way,the word is "reversible" amongst the museum weenies ( The conservation techs).

    Vinegar is good for getting hide glue loose. But,it sounds like you need to resort to a chisel to remove the offending planks. But,remember vinegar , if you ever have to loosen an acoustic guitar neck. Vinegar and steam. You have to drill a small hole down each side of the neck dovetail, and insert a steam pipe made of model airplane brass tubing. Inject vinegar first and re supply it for a few days. Then steam. There are different ways to remove necks. I made my steam "boiler" from a 1 gallon size powder holder from a tank gun (as in war!). Apparently some do not use FIXED shells (those with brass casings), and the powder is loaded separately. I'm not sure how that works. I had thought that only larger caliber cannon aboard ships used separate powder in bags. Anyway, I sit it on a hot plate. It has a thick,black rubber hose with a brass nozzle I turned on a lathe. I only had one powder can,though. They are VERY heavy duty!! And GREAT for storing things.
    Last edited by george wilson; 09-23-2016 at 9:37 AM.

  2. #47
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    No, George, this is the final planking. If this was a real sailboat and the cold molding process was used, it would be done very differently than what I am doing with the model. But what I am doing with the model probably could never be done with cold molding without great difficulty. The original Endeavour was built out of aluminum and the entire hull is painted. For some reason the model manufacturer chose to show the completed model with wood planks. Being appreciative of the beauty of wood, I decided to create something aesthetically pleasing to the woodworker's eye rather than staying true to the original boat.

    Thanks for the tip with vinegar. I had no idea removing a neck was that difficult. Ol' Dan Erelwine talks like it's just another day in the shop.

    I ran into the inevitable buckling of the planks (known in ship building terms as the "clinker effect"). I was able to pin down the planks for a few rows but it was getting to the point a correction had to be made. So I inserted a "spile" (another ship building term). This one had to be wide in the middle and tapered to a point at both ends. This put the planks back to laying flat but altered the angle of the planking. As I make more adjustments down the line I will have to make sure to adjust the angle so it looks the same throughout.

    The spile in place and a few rows of full planks added


    A closeup. The spile is about 9 planks to the left of the last plank laid.


    And again from the bow


    The spile is barely noticeable but if you look you can see the diagonal angle has changed a bit. Gotta keep an eye on that.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  3. #48
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    Julie,beautiful planking job! I finally managed to make out the spile. As you say,it is barely noticeable. But,you made the model,and your eye will go right to it when you look at it when finished,just as my eye will go to something I did on a project.

    In Williamsburg,we have a pond behind the "Governor's mansion". In it is a small planked row boat of 18th. C. style. I saw it in the millwork shop for a repair years ago. Usually it is not viewable closeup in the pond. That little boat is such a beautiful piece of woodworking! It must have been made in the millwork shop many years ago. They even made a few fine carriages back in the 50's in that shop. They must have had some really fine woodworkers!! Even today,they do great work that very few appreciate. Some of their fine paneled doors are so nice! They make many things there. I think they always deserved more credit than they ever seem to get. My Toolmaker's Shop was just a few yards from them,and I saw some great work come out of there over the years I was nearby. Their machines are mostly quite old,and I think I must have repaired or made new parts for most of them. They bought a $1400.00+ special kind of fence for their old shaper. It wasn't quite SQUARE!!!! At that price,I'd have expected better from the Germans,especially!! I took the thing apart and re milled all of the out of kilter places on the fence. Good thing I was there,or they
    d have been forever shimming that fence with pieces of paper.

    But,I have again gotten way off topic. You are doing beautiful work!

  4. #49
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    Thanks for the kind words, George.

    Since starting this little project, I have learned a lot about boat building. Internet searches to help me along the way often turn up results for full size boats. Curious, I usually go to them and that takes me on a trail of interesting boat building websites. I find it fascinating and I soak it up like a sponge.

    I agree with you about the skill of craftsmen in the pre power tools era. I'm sure there were apprentice programs and, since you couldn't go to the Internet, you had go to the boat builder if you wanted to learn something. Instead of one person sitting on a computer trying to learn something, you had people gathering together in one place to watch a master. Certainly a much better option to the Internet.

    You never realize just how difficult it can be to even plank a boat until you see it done. And when it's done to perfection, it is a sight to behold. I've always had a love of the water and boats. I started drawing boats in grade school and continued to do so for many years afterward. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would have gone into sailboat design and build, in some fashion or another. I guess this model satisfies a little of the desire that has burned in me for so long.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  5. #50
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    Julie,after building and planking the sailboat,you would be primed and ready to build a lute. If you want info on how to make the staves,I'd be glad to help. Over the years,we figured out how to build lutes WITHOUT a mold. The mold is a considerable amount of trouble to make.

    If I recall correctly,in the sailing era,war ships had 3 or 4 layers of planking.Maybe more? I think the "Constitution" had a hull about 2 feet thick,of oak,which is why a cannon ball was seen to bounce off. Hence the name "Old Ironsides". I think it took 2000 oak trees to build the HMS "Victory",which I visited in Portsmouth,England. It is sitting dry in a dry dock. But,disappointingly,the hull appeared to have been replanked with pine. On the other hand,the Tower on London was just full of English brown oak. The stairs were made of oak 2" thick. The ceilings were all oak,with great big beams. They must have used up all the available oak when they restored it. The Tower was gutted by a fire long ago. Somehow,they still had a LOT of armor. Henry VIII's armor was seen there. One outfit was an elaborate,fluted suit that Maximillian of Australia sent him. It even had a pair of fake eye glasses on it! A true masterpiece of armor making. It was sent to mock the fact that there were no armor makers in England ! Just to aggravate Henry! After this,Henry got a bunch of Flemish armor makers and set them up in Greenwich. Greenwich was pretty run down when I was there. At least the part I saw. In History it had been a very important place. Greenwich mean time was set there. The Royal College of Astronomers and other things were there. They don't have the money to do much in England these days though. There was only ONE working flintlock cannon firing mechanism on the Victory. By that date,cannon were fired by flintlock locks. They fire a salute every day at noon,and use that flintlock to do so. If I were there,I'd make or repair their flintlocks for them. Surprising that no English hobbiest with a few machine tools has not already done so.

    There was a long row of "Kings" sitting astride full size wooden horses,all in full armor. One horse was carved by Grinling Gibbons,the greatest 17th. C. English wood carver. His horse made the others look bland. His horse's neck was sassily curved to one side,the nostrils flared and mouth open,as if letting out a loud whinny . The mane was tossed about. The horse was very spirited looking. A front foot held up as if to stamp impatiently. A remarkable job indeed. Gibbons was a true artist. He had a good size group of carvers working for him,doing large jobs,like outfitting St. Paul's in London. Gibbons made many of his own tools like I do. He forged them out rough,only making the cutting end to the shape he needed for some special job. He carved a delicate wooden "cravat",or neck tie,of white wood. It was as delicate as Dutch lace,which it imitated. The customer wore it to a party,where everyone was amazed by it!! Fortunately,it survived the party intact,and can be seen today.
    Last edited by george wilson; 09-26-2016 at 10:10 AM.

  6. #51
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    A lute? George, you have great faith in me! I'll have to think about that. I still need to figure out how to build an acoustic.

    The planking was becoming a race against time with the hide glue drying before I could finish laying the plank. The problem was trying to secure it at the bottom of the keel. It's almost all plywood there and that makes using push pins difficult. Then I remembered I saw Rockler had come up with band clamps. So I fashioned up a couple of clamps with rubber bands and ty-wraps.





    They solved the push pin in the plywood problem.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  7. #52
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    Final pics for the day




    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  8. #53
    By George, I think she's got it! She's laid out the spiling lines directly on the hull! Very nice; they will help a LOT, since you plan to stay with the diagonal planking.

    It's a lot easier with (most) longitudinal planking. The lining out can be done directly on the frames for single planked hulls. The spiling lines are normally very gentle curves and easy to cut into planking. With normal beam, extra spiles aren't generally needed. Diagonals can sometimes have tighter curves and challenge the boatwright. You are fortunate to have such a favorable length/beam ration to ease your task.

    Enjoying your build and your thread quite a bit. Keep up the good work.
    Last edited by James Waldron; 10-01-2016 at 6:31 PM.
    Fair winds and following seas,
    Jim Waldron

  9. #54
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    I've gotten this far...


    But then I had to get back to the house. Painting, new flooring and cleaning up the construction site.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  10. #55
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    Julie,you are an amazing woman! My wife is very spirited too. But she doesn't have your various carpentry skills. She is good at ripping out baseboards that I later found out I could not buy replacements for!! 6" high,beaded top.

  11. #56
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    I've been passed by one of the J-s outside Newport in Narragansett Bay. In my 30 foot sailboat the J boat was a gorgeous, impressive monster.

  12. #57
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    I guess you could say I've finally turned the corner

    A little mineral spirits to highlight the definition at the transom.
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  13. #58
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    I've been following along, fascinated. I do wish you'd hurry this along 'tho ... so you can start on my 1:1 scale version.
    Molann an obair an saor.

  14. #59
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    When you start on that 1:1 scale model, build one for me too.

    I wish I'd hurry up and get moving on this, too. I started building the thing 11/15/15. It's been over a year and I'm not even done with the planking!
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  15. #60
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    The cool weather has made working on the house so pleasant I often forget about the model. But one day it got back into the 80s so I got back on the model.



    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

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