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Author Topic: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit  (Read 7090 times)

Jim72

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Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« on: January 23, 2013, 07:30:28 AM »

I've always admired Colin Archer's sailing rescue ships that he designed and built for the Norwegian Society for Shipwreck and Salvage so when I found a local hobby shop had the Billings Kit version of the Colin Archer, I couldn't resist. %)
Reviews of the kit were critical of the poor quality of the instructions and I'd have to agree. The instruction booklet consists of a list of materials and and a series of drawings with numbers that refer back to the list of materials. For a kit described as a beginners kit the lack of information would I think, be pretty off putting especially when tackling the planking.

The photos show progress to date:

Initial setting up of the frames.




The two halves of the hull clamped together with the location of the cockpit cut out. This step wasn't indicated on the plans but it needed to be done as it would be impossible once the hull was assembled.



Planking underway, it's hard to see but fillers have been added to the bow and stern to give the ends of the planks a firm land.



Despite the lack of detailed instructions I'm really enjoying the project and getting back to a hobby I last touched as a teenager a long time ago. ;)

Jim


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Neil

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2013, 07:49:58 AM »

great work, jim........I too have always admired the boat, especially as it is a lifeboat.
Sadly the exact job that you are doing, the plank on frame work has always put me off from making one.
being a sufferer in the early days from the awfull quality of the timber that Biling used to supply, it has put me off making anything other than in grp ever again.
But keep at it......I have seen the large version sail at fleetwood and she sails beautifully.
neil.
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heritorasphodel

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2013, 09:30:29 AM »

True story about the Colin Archer... It was part of the RNLI's 175th anniversary fleet as a guest, and had 'a bit of a coming together' with 44-001, snapping off one of 001's stanchions and damaging the belting. I think there were a few pints bought over that...


She is a very pretty boat, Dad has one of the Billings kits but he never finished it.
Andrew
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2013, 10:21:47 AM »

I always fancied building one of those.
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 10:40:49 AM »

When I built my Will Everard (the same vertically split hull configuration) i glued some small wooden blocks to the keel section and then screwed some countersunk screws from the back of the build board through into the keel section and wooden blocks.  Makes life a lot easier when trying to get it off the baseboard
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Jim72

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2013, 10:54:00 AM »

Thanks Neil,

Sad to say the quality of the planks hasn't improved over time,they are still very coarse grained and prone to splitting. For the more difficult areas I've got some nice fine grained planks from our local hobby shop.

Jim.
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2013, 11:56:55 AM »

You could try steaming the planks first.


I know for balsa people soak in window cleaner (must contain amonia), I don't think you can easily buy amonian now. The  balsa wood goes rubbery, but firms up again as the amonia evaporates. I have used this to put twist in softwood with some success.
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2013, 12:30:36 PM »

And thanks to the "Compewker", supplies previously available as "Used" developing fluid from Diazo plan printers has now dried up, ink jet printers don't use Ammonia.
  Regards  Ian.
 
 
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Jim72

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2013, 11:16:46 PM »

I do soak the planks in boiling water before setting, which makes them more pliable but I haven't tried the water/ammonia combination as yet. I'll check our local shop which used to stock cloudy ammonia.

Jim

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2013, 12:12:17 AM »

Nice work Jim, tks for sharing.  Great sea-going hull design.  Will the hull be single or double planked?  Interesting how its done one half at a time.  Always found planking to be a very rewarding task.  I've used steam from a tea kettle to help bend tight radius.  I'll be following with interest.
Regards,
Dennis
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2013, 02:58:39 AM »

I do soak the planks in boiling water before setting, which makes them more pliable but I haven't tried the water/ammonia combination as yet. I'll check our local shop which used to stock cloudy ammonia.

Jim


The amonia needs to be diluted, I don't know the ratios. I used window cleaner.
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2013, 05:34:17 AM »


The amonia needs to be diluted, I don't know the ratios. I used window cleaner.

I'm sure I saw elsewhere on this site that the ammonia mix was 50/50 with water. If I can get the ammonia I'll try it and post the results here.

Jim
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 05:37:35 AM »

I have been known to take wood into the sauna with me  :embarrassed: It's great for straightening twisted ply lol. Sauna for an hour or then place between 2 sheets and weight with a couple of batteries until cooled. Im not sure the wife would approve of me planking a boat in the sauna tho

I do have a plank steamer made of an old stove top pressure cooker and some plastic plumbing pipe with end caps I'll drag it out the shed an post some pics over the weekend
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Jim72

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 05:46:19 AM »

Nice work Jim, tks for sharing.  Great sea-going hull design.  Will the hull be single or double planked?  Interesting how its done one half at a time.  Always found planking to be a very rewarding task.  I've used steam from a tea kettle to help bend tight radius.  I'll be following with interest.
Regards,
Dennis

G'day Dennis,

I must say I don't have enough information at present to say if the 'Collin Archers' were single or double planked. In model form it is single planked.

They are a lovely design with a long deep keel and canoe stern for a following sea. From what I've read they were very powerful boats too and well suited to the rescue and salvage role for which they were designed.

I hope you don't mind but I've passed on a link to your Frigate build to a good friend of mine who is building a model of HMS Mars.

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 01:17:01 AM »

I'm sure I saw elsewhere on this site that the ammonia mix was 50/50 with water. If I can get the ammonia I'll try it and post the results here.

Jim


I had a number bouncing around in my head, of 10%.
But there are different grades of ammonia
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Jim72

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2013, 06:05:43 AM »

Boat building inside with a cooling ale handy  :-)) sure beats trying to silver solder up a model boiler outside in this current heatwave. %)

Some more work has been done with the port side of the hull which is now complete and work has started on the starboard side.

The first photo shows the port side planking well advanced.



and the completed hull after fairing with Pollyfilla and spray putty



The final photo shows the planking underway on the starboard side. The Billings planks tend to stand out with their coarse grain compared to the fine grained planks bought at our local hobby shop.



Now I'm keen to see the two hull halves together.

Jim.
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2013, 12:50:58 PM »

Ammonia mix.
 In the days of "Diazo" plan printing, the activating media for the exposed paper was an Ammonia vapour generated by passing the liquid over a low temperature heater. The feed bottle was a gallon plastic container and excess was fed out to another gallon bottle. Cant remember the strength of the "New" stuff supplied by the drawing office supplies shops but the "Waste" was returned to them for reprocessing. The waste product was ideal for wood softening.
 
  Regards  Ian
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Jim72

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2013, 01:10:43 PM »

Thanks Ian for the tip,

I think I'll have to do a bit of experimenting. I'm sure I saw cloudy ammonia in the cleaning section of Woolies at some stage recently.
If it was there I'll get some and let folks know how I go. Might be a bit late for the current project but would be handy non the less.

Jim
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2013, 11:46:06 PM »

Since the last post I found the local supermarket did in fact stock Cloudy Ammonia in their cleaning section, so I got a bottle and tried a mix of 1 part ammonia to 5 parts boiling water for soaking the rubbing strakes it certainly worked though the first mate made it pretty clear that the kitchen was not the place to do it...something to do with the smell. >>:-(

With the hulls faired I decided the time had come to glue them together, the pencil lines mark the location of the frames.



Once the glue had cured I then overlaid the deck with a piece of very thin 2ply a mate had given me just to give a nice uniform surface.



The foot well and hatches are not fixed yet while I decided on the deck planking.

Jim.
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 02:49:35 PM »

Very nice Jim.  I love that hull design.... timeless.  You did a nice job at fairing it out as well.  Following with interest, keep up the good work! O0
Dennis
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2013, 06:37:58 AM »

Things have been moving along slowly but the hull is now painted in the colours that Billings recommend. The satin brown anti fouling didn't seem right at first but now it's done I quite like it. The next job is to do the deck planking and paint and fix the various structures, then to the rigging.

I agree Dennis the hull shape is timeless.

Jim

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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2013, 12:25:41 PM »

It's been a cold windy day so what better way to spend the day than inside happily model boat building.  :-))



The pencil line along on the left hand edge of planks was done with a 2B pencil to create the the tarred seams. It was an idea suggested by another modeller and worked well.



This photo shows the line of white wood glue ready for the next plank. The planks were as supplied with the kit.

The next job will be to varnish the deck and place the various deck structures and bulwarks.

Jim



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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #22 on: March 02, 2013, 12:39:37 PM »

Coming along a treat Jim, she looks good, well done.
Si:)
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2013, 09:16:32 PM »

Thanks for the kind words Si.
As the old saying goes,  'Don't count your chickens before they're hatched. ' I've just realised, now I have completed the decking, that I've taken it out to the outer edge of the red rubbing strake. :embarrassed: Now I'll have to carefully trim it back to the inner edge of the strake...all the way round otherwise the toe rail/bulwark wont fit.  <:(
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Re: Colin Archer "606" Billings Kit
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2013, 06:09:34 AM »

Things are a bit slow at present.

I managed to trim the deck back to where it should have been and have now fixed the bases for the bulwarks to the deck.

As is always the case the two beautifully pre-cut shapes didn't quite conform to the hull shape so pins were used to hold the correct shape while the glue set. Once painted they should be pretty well invisible.

I think the kit is beginning to reflect the same sturdy working boat looks of the original, I certainly hope so.

Jim


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