Hull Ramblings 5/12
Hull construction is laborious. Using epoxy causes delays while the glue sets. I don’t use fast set 5 minute epoxy as I need more working time. So I will only work on the project when I think I have a large enough window of time to get something accomplished.
Still, it has been a whole lot longer than I expected. It’s a hobby so it doesn’t get top billing with all the other things competing for my time. No problem. I am still loving the project.
This kind of project does conflict with my personal intent to spend my time creating lasting items that will survive the test of time. It is my decision to build heirlooms and collectible artsy items rather than disposable personal toys. I think a large well constructed boat like this will have many years to live on. Perhaps just not in my family. It is much the same as the live steam locomotive I have started.
So I make exceptions to my “rules” so I can still enjoy projects with only personal enjoyment. I don’t make hard rules for myself, but I do like to set guidelines for the course of travel and then make adjustments as required to enjoy life’s many options.
So building model boats is enjoyable and is also one hull of a learning process. I have built wood Dumas Deep V hulls (2) in the past. So I knew what I was getting into. The deep V’s were nothing compared to this monster.
I am barely started as I don’t have the sides attached at this point. A LOT more to do just on the hull. I have been thinking, “Would I do a wood hull again?” The answer is, “Absolutely!” I am thinking of how I will prepare for the next one.
I am using this one as a learning experience. I know I need a lot more clamps of the correct style and size. A builder can never have enough clamps. I need a razor mini plane for shaping the hull planking. Each one is a custom fit and sanding is way too slow except for ultra fine fitting. I had one for those planes years ago but that was also many moves ago. It’s definitely in hiding, so I will have to acquire a new one. I am struggling a bit with a larger (but small) woodworkers plane. Xacto made a suitable one but I don’t see it listed any longer. There are many others of all qualities and prices. Here is a link to the high quality Veritas planes. Lower cost planes would certainly work as well for just edge trimming.
Fitting hull planks is an art and the more I do the better I get and I am developing an understanding of what works and what does not. There is definitely some force bending of the wood but the “art” is managing how much and in what direction. I don’t see any way of writing directions on what to do as it is mostly a hands on acquired skill. The builder can either hate the process or learn how to manage.
The door flat board has proved excellent. It can also be a great wing building board for model aircraft. I have built dozens of balsa wings on a door about this length but much narrower. The other difference was I glued on a soft flat insulation board called Homasote so I could stick push pins into the surface. That would also be no problem for building straight hulls.
Time to get out in the shop rather than writing on the computer!