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Author Topic: New member, old model rpair and restoration  (Read 976 times)

Totara

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New member, old model rpair and restoration
« on: April 24, 2019, 11:26:04 AM »

 Hi Everyone, I'm new to this forum and new to boat modelling.  Hope that won't make everyone's heart sink 'Oh no, another ignorant beginner!'.
Anyway, the very welcoming 'welcome message' said get started and put some info on the chit-chat forum.  So, first test is to see how to post on a forum! If you're reading this it means I have passed the first test. Next challenge is how to put a photo on with the post.
For a bit of background, I come from the UK and still visit there most years to see my son and grandchildren.  In fact, I am in England at the moment, in the Bristol area, leaving again in late July (2019).  Most of the time I live in New Zealand, in the Waikato close by the Kaimai Range.
My interest stems from family history.  Ever since I was a child just after the second World War I remember an old wooden model boat and a steam engine and boiler.  My father told me it came from his father, but it was all a bit vague.
After he died, the boat and bits sat in boxes until about three years ago when I was sorting out stuff and came across it again and thought it would be interesting to try to repair it and get it working again, with a modern electric power plant and radio control.  (The steam plant is much too heavy for the hull, which accounts for why my father said it would never work.  It seems he tried it once and it nose-dived to the bottom of the lake!)
If I can get some photos on here it will be a bit clearer what I've got.  LOA 39.5", beam 7.7".

The hull was quite damaged and had a crazed (shellac?) finish with lots of dents, holes, scratches and dirt. There are burn-marks from when the boiler was used.  The prop shaft and tube were bent, as was the rudder post.
I decided to remove the running gear, which wasn't too difficult once I found it had been assembled by soldering.  I even managed not to singe the hull with the blow torch.
Next was how to make the hull water-tight.  The planks were well dried out after however many decades in the attic, and had long, narrow gaps between them.  I tried caulking with hemp left over from a (full-sized) Folkboat I rebuilt in the '90s.  I now know from experience that you can't scale down caulking cotton, even by un-twisting singe strands.
Next idea was to seal inside and out with liquid epoxy, which I've done, then fill the gaps with something.
It is also clearly quite old, as my father had it before I was born.  I guess maybe 1920s or 1930s.  Any thoughts on age, design, manufacturer/builder? There seem to be at least two different species of wood used in the construction, but I don't have the knowledge to identify them.  So that's why I don't want to use anything that would spoil the appearance.  Also don't want to paint it, as I do like the look of the varnished wood. Sorry to be fussy!
Simultaneously, I am thinking about how to fit a new prop-shaft and propeller, while staying with more-or-less the original look.  The original propeller is some copper alloy and looks ok at first glance, but actually is rather poorly made, with the blades irregular. The keelson and keel are quite narrow, so not much meat to accommodate the shaft and tube.
That's about where I am at the moment with this project.  The hull is in England, so I can only work on it when I'm here.  (The steam plant is in NZ).
If anyone has read this far, thank you.  And I do hope you can offer some hints and tips to an ignorant beginner.

Richard
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derekwarner

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2019, 12:48:01 PM »

Evening and welcome Richard......you certainly have a mixed bag of goods to deal with ....with respect to the hull being 20,000 km away....however could I make a few preliminary comments


1. the age of the wooden planked hull, together with the family ownership is understood
2. you have used an epoxy resin externally which was possibly not a best planned restoration medium, however now completed is permanent but able to be worked with in the future.  Epoxy resin is far harder than any varnish type mediums
3. I fully understand your preference for maintaining the natural timber planking.....and you can be rest assured painting will never be necessary




The hull appears to be fine lined and possibly a racing design. I will leave this for members more experienced in this type of 1920's speed craft especially with your reference that the original may have been steam powered or later planned for electric propulsion


It may be helpful for members to understand the displacement weight needed to bring the hull to the assumed waterline, together with additional hull any other hull dimensions available


Derek


Derek
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Derek Warner

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grendel

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2019, 04:21:22 PM »

if you have already epoxied, you could lay down a very fine fibreglass cloth - 25gsm it turns invisible with the epoxy and would leave that nice wood showing through.
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jaymac

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2019, 06:57:44 PM »

Hi Richard
                   Bristol area   well down Cheddar lake is a  main steam  haunt  we do get a couple on Portishead lake but that is mainly sail and electric. a small bunch of  us (none club type) are down here usually weekdays. If you like I'll PM you when we should be there though its usually short notice
Jay
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2019, 08:51:11 AM »

Wow!  What a lovely crowd of people on here.  Three really helpful comments all within 24 hours of my first posting.  Thank you.I sort of suspected I should have found this source of advice three years ago when I first unpacked the old boat from the dusty boxes!So, after this auspicious start, I expect to be asking a lot more questions, and, of course, updating my progress, however slow it may be.And thanks for the info about Cheddar, I'd certainly like to meet you there to talk to people who really know what they are doing.Anyone know about Portishead or Clevedon?  (Much nearer to where I am).
Thanks again.Richard
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 08:58:32 AM »

Does one always have to answer all those security questions?  I couldn't get past the 'Type of animal that Disney's Pluto is?' question.  Having typed 'No idea" and failed, I had to go and look it up on the internet.  I don't mind, but it does seem a bit cumbersome?  Just a thought.  And maybe my education is missing the 'Disney characters' qualification!
Thanks.Richard
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coch y bonddu

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 10:26:42 AM »

After 8 or 10 posts it dissapears....Pluto is a DOG




Dave
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2019, 10:43:44 AM »

Ah! I see. That's a relief.  Thanks Dave.
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2019, 05:47:30 PM »

Thanks very much Derek and others.
On the displacement question, yes, that's something I need to work out so I can see what limits there are on what I can put in the hull, where, and how much ballast I will need in addition.I'll certainly note the answers when I have them. 

But in order to experiment, I have to make the hull watertight, so I need to fit a prop shaft tube and seal it into the hull, so that the water doesn't get in.  I've been looking at what's available in the way of ready-made prop shaft - tube assemblies, but find the info from some suppliers a bit confusing.  Some don't even say what the tube outside diameter is.
I think a sealed assembly would be a good idea? 

Can't immediately see from the suppliers' websites how manufacturers sort out thrust bearings. 

Seems to be a bit of a 'chicken and egg' thing:  you need to know the length of the tube and shaft in order to mock up where the motor will be, but you also need to know the type, size and position of the motor in order to work out what length and diameter the shaft and tube will be! 
So at the moment I am fiddling about with bits of old 1/8" rod, to see, by eye, roughly what I'm up against.Specific questions, therefore, include:  Are there any proprietary prop shaft-tube assemblies that are people's favourites, or that should be avoided?As I'm starting with no power plant or running gear, would it be a good idea to go for the most modern equipment, such as a brushless motor, or (as my retired person's budget is quite limited) use a brushed motor, which I think would be much cheaper?.  How easy would it be to change to the more sophisticated equipment later, when I've got the boat more-or-less operational?
I have been reading as much as I can round these subjects, but a lot of what's available is many years old, and I see that the technology has leapt ahead somewhat in recent years.  I'm not asking for definitive answers, just any pointers from experienced people, to help my research along.  After all, re-inventing the wheel has always been a bit wasteful!
As ever, thank you in anticipation.Richard

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tonyH

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2019, 07:29:41 PM »

Hi Richard,
Just a couple of thoughts
1. The hull proportions (Not the shape) seem to be about the same as MTB's etc and most of the kits of similar size have a displacement 4-5lbs.2. Batteries should be roughly in the middle, 'cos they're the heavy bit. A 6cell (7.2V) NiMh weighs about 1lb. The placement of the batteries will give an idea of where the motor will sit and hence roughly the length of the shaft.3. The prop size is generally roughly the diameter of the motor so you can see, again roughly, what angle the shaft will take. The flatter the better.4. You can always add weight where you want it later!
Have fun!
Tony
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jaymac

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2019, 10:08:46 PM »

After 8 or 10 posts it dissapears....Pluto is a DOG

Or ''Pipe Line Under The Ocean'' more fitting for this forum


Dave
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derekwarner

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2019, 11:02:54 PM »

Richard...if you wish to run a few things in parallel, just get a tapered round softwood bung & some grease to block off the prop shaft access ...or if worst came to worst, a few layers of good quality PVC insulation tape


This will enable you to conduct or prove the displacement issues/requirements


Derek
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2019, 12:01:12 PM »

Thanks Tony, Jay and Derek.  I'll have a go at plugging the holes and adding up the displacement.The MTB analogy rough values help a lot; at least gives me an idea where to start. Much appreciated.How about 'Plug Leaks Until Tub Overflows'?Richard
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2019, 04:01:35 PM »

Using Derek's duct tape suggestion, 9kg massively overloaded the hull. 

3 kg looked pretty much ok. 

But I have no idea where the designed waterline should sit.
 
The bare hull weighs 1kg. 

The tests also showed that I have a leak somewhere forward, toward the stem. Not surprising, as that is the most inaccessible area, covered by the foredeck. Maybe I can run some moisture-curing sealant inside? 

Any comments would be appreciated. 

Richard
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tonyH

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2019, 05:31:55 PM »

If you sprinkle some talc on the bathwater it will mark the waterline more effectively for you to see when you take it out of the water.Obviously check with any home management first %)
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2019, 07:17:32 PM »

Thanks Tony, neat idea.Richard
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coch y bonddu

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2019, 09:24:34 PM »

Mix up some Grp resin and pour it into the forward section roll the hull in your hands to get it everywhere that should cure it




Dave
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Shipmate60

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2019, 09:42:45 PM »

You will need to seal the outside of the hull to stop water getting in to the old wood.
The suggestion of covering the outside of the hull with fine cloth is a good one.
Treat it like a model aircraft's wings.


Bob
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2019, 10:00:55 PM »

Thanks for that, Bob.  I was wondering about that. 

It's the reason I've treated the outside and the accessible parts of the inside with 'Smith's clear penetrating epoxy sealer', because the wood is so old and fragile. That would be fine if the model was just going to sit on a shelf.  But my plan is for it to be restored to proper working condition, while retaining as much of the original as possible. (I like a challenge!).
Having never done any aircraft modelling (despite my parents being active in that field between the wars), I haven't any experience with tissue or fine glass cloth.
Does it really end up completely transparent?  The appearance of the nice wood is important.
And is the epoxy uv-stable?  Or will it need a further protective coat of something?
Apologies for my ignorance.

Thanks again.
Richard
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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2019, 10:16:04 PM »

Quote
Can't immediately see from the suppliers' websites how manufacturers sort out thrust bearings.
Between prop and tube outer bearing, a couple of brass washers, maybe with a small O ring sandwiched between them to retain a bit of grease. At the inner end, some builders forget (on a forward only boat, it isn't needed), some arrange that the face of the coupler acts as the thrust bearing, some fit a collar.  Again, washers can be involved.
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Shipmate60

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2019, 10:23:44 PM »

Yes it does.
Then do as Dave said and mix some thin epoxy and roll it around and in between the frames.
This will make the hull remarkably strong and watertight as the thin epoxy will enter the wood by osmosis and ensure no bare wood is left.


Bob
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Totara

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Re: New member, old model rpair and restoration
« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2019, 07:35:47 PM »

Thank you again for all the advice, it's really appreciated.On the matter of fine glass cloth to sheath the hull, I contacted a supplier (Easy Composites) and got the following helpful advice:
"Thanks for your question.  Unfortunately you would still see the fabric.  Sure beyond about half a metre no one would see anything but close up, even the 25g fabric would slightly show up. Sure it would be translucent but not invisible".


So, I have decided to do some tests on bits of similar wood to see just how transparent/translucent/invisible it is in practice.  Always a good idea to try things out before burning ones boats (sorry!) with the vintage model itself.
Meanwhile, I'm looking into prop shafts, props, couplings and the like, learning all the time, at least when I'm not confusing myself.
Best wishes to all.


Richard


 
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