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Author Topic: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'  (Read 15048 times)

Glen Howard

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Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« on: March 09, 2008, 11:46:33 AM »

Hi all,

Well I've been swanning about on various different threads getting advice, I think it's time I put my money where my mouth is and started my own build thread. Here goes.

I am scratch-building the Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'. These vessels where once a very common sight on the Hobart docks, carrying timber up from the pine forests of the Tasmanian South West, and providing the wheels for all manner of commerce along the coastline. There is only one of these ships till around, the magnificent May Queen. Recently restored to museum condition (though sadly not sail-worthy), she sits tied alongside Constitution Dock under the care of the Maritime Museum.  Pic attached from a recent visit.

LIaleeta (built in 1919) was the second of three 'leeta' ships built by Wilson's of Port Cygnet, south of Hobart. The other two were Leeta May and Eva Leeta. Lialeeta traded in Tasmania, then along the Victorian and South Australian Coasts before being lost with all hands in April 1925 on a trip from South Australia to Melbourne. The choice of ship is really a matter of pragmatism - plans for Lialeeta were easily obtainable.

My own interest in this subject comes from the fact that my Great Grandfather used to own and / or act as master on several of these ketches, including the lovely Lenna (whose rotting hulk is currently the subject of a restoration). I was also keen to have a crack at scale sail, after a couple of powered scale vessels of mixed success.

To follow my journey into scale sail, soar with my highs and weep with my lows, and (hopefully) be there when I launch in the indeterminate future - read on! 

 
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 12:03:35 PM »

Ok, well now we can get down to brass tacks. I started this build late in 2007 when I bought the set of plans. Which is to say I started thinking about the build in late 2007. My experience of model boating is that for every hour I spend at the workbench, I've devoted at least 7 hours to thinking things through. I have a fear of getting a long way through a build and realising I missed a crucial step on the way through. And yes, I have done this to myself - more than once!

I decided to build Lialeeta plank on frame. The plans tell me the ship did have an engine, though I have decided (for reasons of economy, among others) to build her as a straight sailer. I guess I'll take you briefly through the steps that have got me where I am now. I will attach pics as I go, hopefully they'll work ok.

First things first - the plan was drawn in 1:48 scale, and as my finders don't cope well with things so small, I had the print shop enlarge her to 1:36. Much better!

The next task was to trace the hull sections onto tracing paper, make some cardboard templates, and transfer the pattern onto the timber. For the framing I am using 12mm ply. Whilst this is working splendidly, it turns out that my original idea - to build some weight into the hull to reduce the amount of ballast required later - was based on false pemise, and that in fact I should have been building the hull as light as possible. Oh well, live and learn. I cut the hull sections out with a jigsaw (my kingdom for a bandsaw...), which went tolerably well.

Once the hull sections were cut out I started haunting a local ship chandler for a piece of marine ply for the keel. By a great stroke of luck I found a very nice, straight piece of ply offcut for only AUS$7. Happy with my bargain, I went home, transferred the pattern onto a template, marked and cut out the keel.

I fitted the hull sections onto the keel, working on a board to keep things square (ish). Then I ran stringers along the sections to add more stability while I worked.

For more exciting instalments, read on!

       
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 12:35:57 PM »

Ok, it was at this stage of the build that I struck my first real challenge. Having read the excellent 'Intro to Radio Controlled Scale Sailing Models' by Phillip Vaughan Williams, I learned about what he calls 'the scale problem'. That is, you can scale the ship and sails down, but the water and the wind remain 'full scale', therefore demanding some sort of solution that will keep the vessel in sailing trim, and not flat out (and presumably under).

Having considered a number of options, I decided that a drop keel and lead bulb would do the job on Lialeeta. This is all the more suitable, as the original vessel had a drop keel.

But how to go about this? In particular, how to fit the drop keel into the hull? It is no exaggeration to say that I whiled away many hot summer nights staring into the dark and pondering this problem. The solution I eventually hit upon seems to work - though 'real' modellers beware, some of the steps I have taken will horrify you, I'm sure!

Let's get this out of the way. I cut away a section of the keel between the 5th and 7th hull sections. There, I've said it. I don't need to read any marine engineering books to know this is not a smart thing to do, and that I have doubtless fatally compromised the hull structure. Time will tell, but I honestly couldn't come up with another way to fit a removable keel (with a substantial lead weight) without having it fitted right into the hull itself.

So - I cut away the keel (wince), and made a drop-keel out of brass plate that fits snugly into the gap. Then I fixed two wooden blocks into the gap on the inside of the hull to receive the keel - my hope is that these blocks will serve to maintain the integrity of the keel after sectioning it. I made a cut into the blocks on the lower side to recieve the brass plate, and then drilled holes across-ways so that the keel slides into the wooden blocks and is snugly bolted home. The photo I am attaching will tell this story much better thanI am doing!

You will see that having fitted the keel, I fitted two pieces of ply either side to fill in the gap that had been cut away. Effectively what I've done is make a box into which the keel can be easily fitted and removed.

I then cast a lead bulb (process: make the desired half-bulb shape from my daughter's Play Do: wrap in cling film and cast in plaster: allow cast to go off, and finish in the oven for good measure: melt lead sinkers, pour into mold and voila!). Attached pic shows the keel and bulb ready for fitting.

In the next instalment I'll be taking Lialeeta right up to the point where I'm ready to start planking - and as someone new to planking (no rhyming slang please), I am equal parts excited and nervous.

See you again soon!   
 

 

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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2008, 07:05:54 AM »

Right then - this update may be a bit brief, as I've already written it once and managed to lose it during the posting phase. As you can imagine, it wasn't a very funny moment...

The next job was to make a build board that will hold the hull steady (and inverted) for planking. Mine is a very simple affair - I've attached a picture to show how it works. Basically it consists of cross supports designed to recieve the top side of several hull sections mounted on a base that holds the whole thing off the bench top. I completely failed to describe it succesfully on the original post either - that's whay there's a picture there now!

I then cut out a piece of ply the same shape as the stern, and mounted this above the transom at deck level. As you will see from the plans, the hull planks sweep all the way up to the deck level at the transom, The idea of the piece of ply was to allow me to make something substantial to glue the stern end of the planking onto. To this end, I glued some blasa blocks under the ply, and fared these off - as you can see from the picture, they make a sturdy base for gluing the plank ends. YOu can also see on that photo where I've glued some blocks in around the keel where the rudder post will eventually go. I repeated the process at the stem too - again, picture refers.

Next step was to fare the hull sections so the planking runs smoothly. Here another disadvantage of using 12mm ply for hull sections emerged, as it was the work of several hours with chisels, modelling knife and a file to bring the faring into line. All the way through I was fantasizing about how easy this task must be with 3 mm ply... It would be easy to start obsessing over this task and over-do it - as I read elsewhere, be fussy, but don't aim for perfection.

The way I fared was to lay a length of planking lenghtwise along the hull - this clearly shows up high spots that need to be shaved back. In one case (I can't believe I'm sharing this, it does not reflect well on my skills) I actually had a low spot which needed to packed up a bit!

Having fared the hull, and prepared the plank termination points, I am ready to begin the process of planking. I will be spending some time reading up on the process before I take this next step. As it happens I have now brought this blog up to date, so it may be a little while before I get back with an update.

Hope to see you here when I do!
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tigertiger

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2008, 11:01:38 AM »

I will follow this build with great interest.
Thanks for posting Glen.


TT
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2008, 12:44:43 PM »

Glen,

Thanks for sharing the process with us - nice pictures and commentary too.

Who is Wince, and why is he worried about the integrity of your keel?

It all seems to be working out well - your keel solution is well thought and should be fine - since our boats don't stay in the water they dont suffer like the real size ones.  What glues are you using?  Have you discovered PU glue in  the antipodes?

You may need a longer keel - to get the lead lower - as she seems to carry a good press of sail.  Can you unbolt the brass keel from inside the hull?

The framework is certainly robust enough - and the formers have plenty of gluing area ;D .  When you are planked the surrounding planks and your keel doublers will be quite strong enough.

What do you aim to plank with?

It is a little bit frustrating to lose an entire post as you finish it, isn't it? 
If it were to happen again you are hereby authorised to exclaim (reasonably loudly)  "BOTHER"

We look forward to seeing your skills as a planker

andrew
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Brooks

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2008, 02:39:43 PM »

Looking good :-)

We've all lost a long post, bah humbug. My solution is to now either a or b:

a) write the post before I log on using Notepad, save it as a .txt file on my computer as a backup, then paste the post into the forum's reply box (note, convert the Notepad file to non-wordwrap before copying it for pasting, otherwise you'll llikely get extraneous carriage returns in the forum version). I name all my backups "junk.txt", overwriting them as I go.
 
b) copy all the text from my post to a new .txt file and save that before hitting the "post" or "send" or whatever button w/in the forum posting program.
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2008, 10:04:32 PM »

Thanks all for your support!

Andrew: yes the drop-keel is easy to fit and remove. As an inexperienced sailor, and with precisely no scientific method going into keel design beyond hefting a handful of lead sinkers and thinking 'that'll do', I have to allow for the fact  that the keel may be insufficient in length /weight. It is essential therefore that I am easily able to remove it and replace it - which is very straightforward on this ship. Re planking, I've just read your reply to my post under 'hull planking', and am now thinking of taking up your idea to plank a layer in balsa, and overlay with the sapelle. I think that would give me the width needed for corrective sanding. Glue-wise, still undecided...the hardware shop yesterday sold me Liquid Nails, but when I got home I read that is not waterproof! Don't know PU glue, but  that's not to say it's not around. Will follow up! (btw, how is Volante prgressing?)

Brooks: excellent advice. Let me tell you a tale of woe. Last night I was doing some uni work on a blog forum (I'm doing my teaching qualifications) and EXACTLY THE SAME THING HAPPENED!! I couldn't believe it. 'Oh Bother!' I cried, before putting an axe through the monitor (well, thinking about it anyway). I hereby vow and pledge to write all future blogs on a word doc and then cut and paste, eminently sensible suggestion Brooks. (incidentally, I note that it didn't really end up being a short post after all - can't stop once I start!

see you all again soon. A-planking I will go.
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2008, 01:15:49 PM »

Glen,
Ola, Senor Plankista!
Glad you roped in the planking ramble too.  Dont worry overmuch about "waterproof" glues. 
A) We dont soak the boats continuously
B) all the joints are covered in paint/varnish/goop so the glue joints are protected
and much the best c) the water can only get at the thin end of the glue line!

Lots of people plank with white glue (not heavily waterproof).  Balsa cenent has not become any less effective, cascamite (or equivalent) is prefectly waterproof, if inconvenient.  lots of people use cyano.  For the second layer there is a school of thought who use contact adhesive - but I can't  bring myself to do that, i would carry on with the same glue as the first layer.

I think thare is a lot of assembled wisdom in the forum in glues for double planking and deck-laying (which is virtually the same duty)

If you used the Authorised "BOTHER" we regret to say that it cannot be re-issued or renewed - so as I believe I said to you when the world was young; - read my view,chuckle, but DO what Brooks suggests.

andrew
While failing to type the inverted ! for the spanish phrase I wondered if it is added as a Spanish courtesy to the Australians, to make them feel at home in the sentence?
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 06:26:43 AM »

Muchos Gracias Senor. Wish I read your post earlier. I spoke to my model shop about the glue thing, and they recommended that I use two-part epoxy, which I subsequently bought and am using no matter what. I knew in my heart that the liquid nails wouild probably be fine, but the thought of Lialeeta springing planks and heading south to DJs locker before an adoring crowd of thousands on launch day drove me on.
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 01:10:42 PM »

De nada, Glen

Well, with epoxy all issues of strength, rigidity, durability and waterproofing are kicked firmly into touch!

Most planking is done little by little, and indeed the books reccommend this - working away from the keel and laying 3 or 4 planks each side in a session.  So mixing a little batch of epoxy and doing a session will be reasonably convenient. 

Has anyone said to you in the past 10 minutes that you CANNOT have too many clamps?  No?
Well you CANNOT have too many clamps!

Your frames are nice and wide so you will be able to get a good fit of a clamp on a plank and the frame with a spring clamp or whatever - dont forget you can wrap round the hull with  with rubber bands or string and use blocks of anything suitable to apply force where you need it.

Sorry to lecture
If your epoxy is slow (1 hr to 24 hour) you can afford to warm it before mixing
If it is fast-set type  - don't - probably mix one plank's worth at a time
Consider adding a little filler - microbaloons or woodflour or whatever to help with gap-filling and sandability
Clean up all the planks at the end of a session  - scrape and use alcohol (on the planks  :)) to take off uncured epoxy

Happy planking!
andrew
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2008, 01:19:31 PM »

Hi, Glen

Just found this - interesting (if you havn't already finished)

http://www.joliebrisemodels.co.uk/french/hull.html
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2008, 06:41:22 AM »

Time for a quick update on progress.

I have started working my way through the first planking in 1.5mm balsa. I'm finding there is quite a significant twist required at the prow. The upshot of that is I am having to soak the front end of the plank in Windex in order to get enough required twist without a not-required 'snap', pin and glue the rest of the plank down, then clamp off the prow end until the Windex dries (you can't glue wet timber).  Once dried, the twisted end holds its shape nicely and is easily glued. This rigamarole means I can only really do two planks at a time (one either side of the keel), so this will be a slow process.

I am learning as I go about trimming the width of each plank at either end. As this is my first real crack at planking, I won't be too surprised if my judgement is not right and I have to use stealers. But I suppose that's one advantage of double planking - like a doctor I can bury my mistakes.

Two pics attached. See you again soon.

 
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2008, 08:49:39 AM »

Glen,

Good progress - don't worry about slowness, progress, or twisting planks - this one is the very worst (inevitably)!

The garboard strake (the plank that meets the keel has a full 90 degrees of twist, as you have discovered, and has a LOT of shaping to fit the keel, too

It it will be faster from now on!

andrew
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roycv

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2008, 09:28:30 PM »

Hi GH, I am intrigued with the use of WINDEX.  I looked it up and it is for cleaning glass.  The formula does not suggest there is enough ammonia in it to do the wood bending!
How did you come across it for this use?
Enjoying the build, Roy
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2008, 11:14:48 AM »

I got it from Google - repository of all the world's useful information (and much that is not so useful). On my previous project I had to work a significant bend into a balsa sheet (the alternative was to carve the solid shape out of a solid block, and my carving is not up to that). So I Googled 'bending balsa', worked my way through a few forum discussions it threw up, and came across the suggestion to use Windex. It is wonderfully effective - just soak the plank, leave it for a few minutes, and it will be very very forgiving on the bend. As to ammonia content, well I wouldn't know about that, but the results speak very clearly. I'll attach a pic of the prow I mentioned earlier so you can see what an amazing amount of bend I was able to achieve.

No progress on Lialeeta lately, life is a bit too busy just now.
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roycv

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2008, 10:09:48 PM »

Hi GH it looks like its bending properties come from the ammonia.  The U.K. equivalent appears to be Windolene.
Ammonia; and you have to be very careful with it; will bend very large section wood.  Thanks for the information I will try it out next time I am planking.
good luck with the build.
regards Roy
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2008, 03:50:46 AM »

Well it's been a while since I was able to update this blog - you know how it is, life gets busy and model boat time seems to be the time that suffers from prioritising. Anyway, the good news is that I'm finally only a few weeks away from being a qualified teacher. More relevant, perhaps, I've managed to work my way through the first balsa planking. Pics attached. Please bear in mind it is only a first planking, so it's not too pretty to look at. There are a few unwelcome ridges along the line too, particularly toward the stern end. I can't sand anymore away from the planking, and it's too late to file the hull section back further, so Lialeeta will have a bump. It's really not too bad, so I'll try not to lose too much sleep over it.

I could have commenced the second planking before now, but I've been weighing up in my mind whether to take a different approach from the one planned and just fibreglass the balsa planking and save myself the bother. After much deliberation I've decided to proceed with the second planking because, firstly, the balsa planking is a bit rough here and there, and that might show throw the fibreglass; secondly, my planking skills need more work, so it won't hurt to practice some more; and lastly because you always have to have three things in a list or it doesn't sound right.

I'll be drilling 1mm holes in the planking (Sapelle [sp?] 4mm x 1mm) before gluing as the pins won't push easily through. These holes wil be easy to fill when I'm done.

Here are the things on my mind as I prepare to push ahead:
- should I cut scupper holes along the deck line, or leave a half-plank break all along the length of the deck between the top of the deck and the start of the bulwarks? I think both options are available to me on this boat type.
- will my drop keel be deep / heavy enough for the job, or do I have to redesign it?
- how much longer can I put off the purchase of below decks servo winch and running gear? Not long I suspect...
- how will I fit the rudder servo so that the push rod can't be seen above the deck? Tricky, as the stern end is shallow and solid.

Stay tuned for answers to these and other as-yet-unseen exciting challenges!
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2008, 12:45:40 PM »

Glen,
G'day
Congratulations on upcoming teacherhood ;D

I don't know if the title has to be awarded by Martin - but I would vote you a Great Antipodean Planker (GAP)!

Also the first planking looks very neat - don't beat yourself up over ridges, etc so long as they don't throw the second planking
If you need to sand  - even right through  - it isn't a big problem - just add patches on the inside (balsa planks or sheet) and carry on to the second planking.

Your drilling idea is good - can I add a suggestion that goes with it?  (Nicked for Harold Underhill)
Instead of pinning - use bamboo treenails to hold it all together (he dips them in "knotting" as a glue - I would suggest PVA or balsa cement)  Then cut off ends when dry with nail clippers or sidecutters and they will look like the treenails they are!  Super scale!
(I can offer a fast way to reduce barbie skewers to 1mm bamboo dowel fast if it would help)

Drainage of deck - both your plans would work well - but scale water is not available - and the larger the freeing area the better to
clear the decks.
<<will my drop keel be deep / heavy enough for the job, or do I have to redesign it>>  Suck it and see!  It will certainly work for (up to) some wind speed.  If you need more righting moment  - drill a couple of holes in the bottom of the keel and bolt on a lead "stormweight"  >.
<<how much longer can I put off the purchase of below decks servo winch and running gear? Not long I suspect...>> True
<<how will I fit the rudder servo so that the push rod can't be seen above the deck? Tricky, as the stern end is shallow and solid.>>
 I believe that your rudder post is angled - use ballljoints for connecting to the servo.  Move the rudder servo forward till you can (just) reach it and the linkage through your deck access.  Make the pushrod stiff enough to avoid bending when its pushing - bit of arrow shaft or 10mm dowel from the hardware store.   
You could, if necessary operate the tiller above deck (it does have a tiller, dunnit?) with cables in scale fashion using the servo as a winch with a drum.
Best idea might be to fit a small double ended tiller under the deck (even if you have to recess the solid a bit) and use two cables in pull/pull format to operate the rudder - this only needs a sliver of space.  If you do this make sure that the servo horn is exactly the same width and the rudder arm and use nonsrtetch cable

Keep up the good work, collect your scroll, keep us posted and enjoy!

andrew





 
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2008, 07:11:21 AM »

Just in case you all thought I'd given up and treated Lialeeta to a viking's funeral, a quick update.

Planking is easily the most tedious aspect of this project. I am busting to get on with interesting things like masts, electronics, sails, fittings and rigging. But I am enslaved to the planks, 4mm at a time. But I soldier on. As you will see from the pics I am just about there. I've been using Sapelle 4mm x 1 mm for the second planking. Think twice if you are considering it for your project, it is very brittle and has proven less than willing to be drilled and pinned without splitting and snapping. Much of the roughness you will see is the result of this timber's propensity to break apart. I will be filling all the gaps you can see, and of course painting the hull so hopeully she won't look as rough out the other end as she does now!

Quick tip that may be of use to someone out there - note the cork and rubber band configuration. This has been a very successful method for bringing downward pressure onto planks which proved difficult to pin and inaccessible to clamps. The cork doesn't seem to get glued to the plank by mistake, which is just as well.

all for now.

Glen

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barryfoote

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2008, 08:07:41 AM »

Glen,

I like that cork idea. I have plank built quite a few models and never heard of it before...She is coming along nicely....Keep it up..

Barry
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2008, 04:50:56 PM »

Glen,

Good planking, creative use of corks, but don't you miss it from yer hat?

Looking very nice, and your decision to do another layer has evidently been a good one.  What glue are you doing the second layer with?  Still the epoxy?

She has lovely lines - and they are appearing as you get the hull nearer to final shape.
Please keep us regaled with pics

Depending on the glue you are using, planks can be made pliable by soaking in hot water (not with epoxy), warming them up dry or in extreme cases sticking them to sticky tape (on the outside) so that they are held together and persuaded not to split
Wisdom of hindsight - lime (bass to americans), cedar and balsa are "friendly" woods to plank in. 

andrew

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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2008, 12:53:57 AM »

"don't you miss it from yer hat?" ;D

Glue-wise, after all my agonising early on in the build, I ended up using white glue / PVA for the whole thing so far. No apparent probs I can see, nice and easy to work with.

Re planking timber, I wanted something harder than balsa. Unfortunately model boating is not as popular here as it is in the UK, so model shops don't keep much in the way of useful bits and pieces for us, including timber. That's really why I'm using the Sapelle, it was in plentiful, cheap, local supply. But you live and learn I suppose - plenty of suppliers on the internet.

Anyway, why am I sitting here when there's planking to be done?
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andrewh

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2008, 02:15:52 PM »

Glen,

Ping!  Howsit down under, Teach?

My daughter has just returned to the profession - we shall have to see how that goes

How goes the planking?  How goes the whole boat?

I'm just about to embark on planking my PT boat - you have taught me all I need to know ;D
(3/8 x 1/8 balsa)
andrew
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Glen Howard

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Re: Tasmanian Trading Ketch 'Lialeeta'
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2008, 12:48:16 AM »

Yes, hello shipwrights all, it has been a while hasn't it?

In fact I have been picking away Lialeeta, though progress feels measurable in micrometers rather than meters. The trouble is I did my usual trick of putting her aside and picking up one of my other boats and doing some major repairs (in this case I re-built the entire steering apparatus on my Loyal Moderator to stop the very troubling amount of leakage I was getting. Happy to report this was successful).

When we last saw our hero,  he was preparing for the final assault on the planking. I am now delighted to report that the planking on the hull is complete (pause for cheers and whistles). I have filled the pin holes and gaps with car body filler, and sanded the whole lot back now, and she's looking good for the next stage. Which is bulwarks. I lied about finishing the planking, these will still have to be done.

At this stage of the build, I am being teased by the thought that what I have in my hands, if I want it, is a perfect plug to make a fibreglass hull from. I am slightly tempted, as it would give me reduced hull weight (which is potentially a problem) and extra space for bits and pieces 'neath decks.  On the down side I've never done it before, and if I stuff it up then I potentially have nothing to show for my labours. Hmm - on reflection I am leaning toward soldiering on as is, but may read up on the mold building process meantime. I would welcome any thoughts...

I have also put together the rudder gear, which you can see in attached pic. I would dearly love to be able to solder my own brasswork, but in this case I had it done for me at an engineering works. It is so important that the join on the rudder is strong and true, so best not left up to me. Anyway, that all seems to bolt on as planned. I have also bought a rudder servo and a drum winch servo, which I'll be mounting after I fit the bulwarks, prior to fitting the deck.

Hey, a quick question on the electronics (being a complete dolt with all things electronic) - the literature that came with both the servos describe their performance "at 4.8 Volts". Is it logical to deduce that I need a 4.8 Volt battery to run them...? 

So it's full steam (sail) ahead!

Next time you hear from me I will likely have a new shipmate on deck (our second baby is due in a few weeks), and will have to change my forum photo. If I remember correctly, babies are less than generous with the time they allow for boat-building, so best have a productive turn in the meantime.

bye for now,
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