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Author Topic: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7  (Read 9319 times)

JimG

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Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« on: December 27, 2015, 09:19:11 PM »

With the Cruiser nearly completed and ready for the water it needs something to pull. I decided to go with the Mountfleet lighter as it looks different to the usual barge used for towing. Delivery was fast and it's been sitting there waiting to be started since before Christmas.
On opening the box I could see that everything was well packed and good quality. The hull is well moulded, the two large rubbing strakes appear to have a wood strip infill. There were two areas where light could be seen through the hull when held up to the light although further investigation showed that there were no weak spots in these areas. The wood strip and ply provided are good quality and there is a good selection of white metal fittings.
The only poor area is the instructions, only just over 3 A4 sheets of text with the only diagram showing the deck beam positions. The parts list is almost as large as the instructions. :D
There is a full size plan although is basically a scale drawing with only a couple of modelling details. I would class this as a model for experienced builders although it is much simpler than most.

Jim
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2015, 09:24:29 PM »

The first step was to tidy up the top of the hull, this was roughly trimmed. A pencil line was marked parallel to the top strake then sanded down to the line.
Another line was marked inside the hull parallel to the top and the inwales were fitted to the line. The centre used 10 x 15 mm wood strips while the ends were made from 2 layers of plastic strip.

Jim
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ballastanksian

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2015, 08:53:02 PM »

Interesting project. I look forward to following this.
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 03:19:23 PM »

Thanks. I hope I don't disappoint, It's not likely to be a long build as no need for motor or radio.

The next step was fitting the deck beams, here is where the instructions and diagrams don't match up. The diagram in the instruction booklet  has no relationship to the actual hull :(( . It shows 3 beams when there should be 4 and the measurements don't fit the actual hatch position. The plan show a small diagram which is not very clear so doesn't help much. I decided to use the deck provided to position the beams. The deck is quite accurately cut with the hatch only needing a few tabs cut to release it. I was able to use this to position the outer deck beams and the two inner ones were fitted between them. The beams were shaped with some camber before fitting. ( The instructions have the beams straight. The deck is glued only to the edges of the hull then some spacers are added at the centre to give camber, leaving the deck unglued to most of the beam.)
Once the beams are fitted then the opening in the deck was used to mark where the cross beams were to be fitted. These could then be cut out and fitted, offcuts of the beams were used to make gussets to strengthen the joints.
As this is to be used for towing the bollards, fairleads and bulls eye in the bow will need to be screwed down to the deck. I therefore added some doublers underneath where these will be mounted. At this point the lighter now has a bow (where the bulls eye will be fitted), up till now both ends were the same as the hull is symmetrical.

Jim
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ballastanksian

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 07:18:15 PM »

That's fair enough Jim, I have seen it advertised over the last year or so and so it is interesting to see how well it goes together, and we are all learning from your adventures in construction (Though as you said, it isn't a complex kit).
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2015, 08:08:08 PM »

The wood was waterproofed by painting with thin epoxy and left to harden overnight. Enough epoxy was mixed to allow the underside of the deck and the deck cutout  to be painted as well. The printed ply for the deckhouse and a small sheet of thin ply was painted with the epoxy mixed with some microballoons. This should sand down to give a smooth surface for final painting.
The hull inside was then sprayed with primer and the deck was then glued on using a slower setting epoxy (1 hour), thus was needed to give plenty time to add it to all of the gluing surfaces.
Once the glue was set I used some P38 filler to fill any gaps between the hull and deck then it was sanded down flush at the edges.
The section cut out of the deck for the hatch was used to make the hatch coamings, with some 10mm square spruce added to the inside corners for strength. The inside of the coamings were then sprayed with primer, this side of the ply had already been sealed with epoxy so needed no preparation before painting.

Jim
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2015, 10:22:18 PM »

The hatch needed to made next. 1.5mm ply was cut to the size of the coamings with an extra 1.5mm added to give clearance. 2 x 2 mm strip was added round the underside of the ply. 18mm wide strips of 1.5mm ply were added to the sides to give the basic hatch.
8mm strips of 2.5mm ply were then added to the top of the hatch sides leaving 2mm above the top of the hatch (scrap 2mm strip was used to set this height). A strip of 4 x 2 mm was glued down the center line of the hatch with more added lying flat on each side. This is for the hatch boards to lie on on the centre. The ends could then be added from more 1.5mm ply with angles cut to suit the raised centre line. The bottom of the hatch was then trimmed to fit to the deck/
At this point one problem showed up. Even though I was careful in cutting the 1.5mm ply provided there was not enough for the hatch boards. Luckily I have some spare ply so will be able to make them.
The wood will now need sealed before painting, unfortunately I have run out of the brushing epoxy I normally use so will nead to come up with some other sealer.

Jim
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2016, 04:14:26 PM »

The next step was to make the deckhouse, this is made from printed ply sheet. The printed side was sealed with epoxy and microballoons while the other side was given several coats of sprayed filler primer. When all had set it was sanded on both sides before cutting out the parts. (I didn't sand down to a perfect smooth finish this time, leaving the surface slightly rough to hopefully give a more weathered final finish.)
The front and rear sections were edged with 2 x 2 strip and a central strip was added to fit a central divider. The sides could then be glued in place and a central dividing wall was cut from some 0.8mm ply. The roof was also cut from 0.8mm ply and glued in place.
After the joints were filled and smoothed off a coat of primer was added then the paint was removed from a strip at the base and metal angle castings were added. (There are two sets of angle castings provided, these only had rivets on the base. The other set have rivets on the upright as well and these are for the hatch.)
The mountings for the navigation lights were then fitted followed by the lifebelt mounts. (these have a pin on the underside to help the joint when glued into a drilled hole in the deckhouse wall)

Jim
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ballastanksian

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2016, 06:43:02 PM »

Excellent progress :-)) I don't know you can keep a tin/pack of resin in stock all the time as it might naturally cure over time if you do  not use the other quickly. It's not like keeping a jar of jam in the cupboard while one is opened in the fridge, or maybe it is???

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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2016, 07:19:14 PM »

Thanks Ballastankian.
I find that the normal fiberglass resin you can buy from Halfords will normally last around a year before it gets too thick to be used. However the brushing epoxy has a much longer life. The epoxy I've just finished must be at least 5 years old and was still good to use.The hardener does tend to go slightly cloudy and it may take a little longer to harden but still works OK.

Jim
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ballastanksian

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2016, 08:32:55 PM »

Useful info thanks.

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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2016, 04:02:19 PM »

The next step for the deckhouse was to fit the doors. These are hinged on brass rod pivots so will open and close. Inside the port side there is the most important seating and the starboard contains a companionway inside the hull.
After painting the deckhouse was placed on to the deck at the rear to check it's position. The ports on the side walls were first glued onto clear sheet before gluing in place. This gives the glazing on the outside of the wall .
The are door handles and catches still to fit but these will need some work as the mouldings are a very loose fit in the doors.

Jim
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 04:12:30 PM »

The hatch was given three coats of filler primer to seal the grain then the paint was removed at the bottom of the hatch sides. This was to give a surface for gluing the moulded angle section, this hides the join between the hatch and deck.
After the angles were glued in place with epoxy the hatch was sprayed with grey primer then the sides and center strip brush painted with Humbrol satin black.

Jim
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 04:28:30 PM »

Time for the hull and deck to be painted. Before painting the hull it was slightly distressed by scoring the rubbing strakes with course sandpaper to hopefully show wear. The first step was spraying the hull with red plastic primer then masking off below the waterline. The spray rail was again scored using a knife blade then sprayed with satin black.
Once this had dried the deck was marked out for plating. This was art paper cut up then glued on with white glue. There is a slight overlap between joints. Here again there was a shortage of material, the two sheets provided were not enough to complete the plating. Luckily I had some suitable paper to complete the job although three of the plates are now pink. After the glue had dried the black paint on the hull was masked off and the deck sprayed with the red primer giving it a couple of coats to make sure that the paper is sealed.
On removing the masking the deck edging showed up as white from the paper so the black was overpainted with the Humbrol satin black, deliberately making the edges of the black rough as the full size would not be expected to have neat paintwork.
The final photo is with the deckhouse sitting in place and not glued down yet.

Jim
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boathound

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2016, 06:06:09 PM »

Nice build and you didn't hang around either! I've got to know, does the kit actually come with a toilet?! Or was that scratch building by yourself?

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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2016, 08:10:23 PM »

Thanks Boathound, I've had the advantage of a couple of weeks holiday although that ends today so things will be slower from now on although its mostly adding fittings from here on. The toilet comes in the kit as a couple of white metal castings, the seat is separate. :}

Jim
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boathound

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2016, 09:06:15 PM »

A model toilet......you have got to be kidding!!


I have to get myself one of these kits!!


I could really loo-se my self in it.......

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ballastanksian

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2016, 10:38:59 PM »

*** Groan %) Brilliant work Jim:O)
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2016, 02:46:17 PM »

Steps are provided in the form of two white metal sides, the horizontals are made from styrene sheet glued with cyano. Once primed they can be glued into the deck aperture already cut out. (Once the deckhouse is added they are hardly visible.
When the deck was first painted it left a patchwork of shades depending on how the paint soaked into the paper. It was then painted with Humbrol matt varnish, this left it with a streaky surface due to the matting agent in the varnish even though it had been well mixed. This will be left as it does give a more weathered effect with the streaks running from bow to stern.
The hatch boards were then cut from 1.5mm ply and fitted to the hatch cover . Most are glued in place with only the last 3 at the rear on the starboard side left removeable. While the kit provides dummy stone as a cargo I will probably use some coal instead. This will give the option of a crew member helping himself to some of the coal for the accommodation stove.

Jim
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Chris G

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2016, 04:07:05 PM »

Hello Jim

Yes it is looking good, I started to build one of these in 2014 and slightly changed the design, made for an interesting project.
In case you are interested the build is shown in 'Working Vessels' under Humber Maintenance Barge around January 2014.
I still have the model but it rarely gets it's bum wet. 

Yours should look great behind the lovely tug although on a windy day it will take some handling.

All the best Chris G
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2016, 08:07:25 PM »

Thanks for the link to your build Chris. A most interesting modification to the kit producing an unusual model.
As for towing in the wind if my lighter is ballasted down to the waterline there is not much above the water for the wind to catch. Only around 20mm above the water and 60mm below and I have the waterline a bit lower than the plan.

Jim
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Chris G

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2016, 10:01:17 PM »

Hello Jim

Should go well and I look forward to seeing the pair on the water, good build.

Regards Chris G
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dodes

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2016, 08:26:44 PM »

Remember those lighters well, the MoDn had several, the only comment I have on them was, that unlike a swim headed and budget stern lighter, they would on their own not tow astern. That particular type were all numbered 11**, where as the smaller type with no accommodation but lifted 150t were numbered 10**.
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JimG

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2016, 09:56:39 PM »

Thanks Dodes for this information.

Jim
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mark w

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Re: Mountfleet Lighter No. 7
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2016, 04:44:04 PM »

Just saw this build; very nice  :-)) .


Mark
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