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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > Constellation
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mdlbt.com/30390
Constellation Print Booklet
Author: Jerry Todd   Posts: 25   Photos: 419   Subscribers: 3   Views: 2883   Responses: 29   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

Showing page 1 of 3   |   Jump to page: 1   2   3  

mdlbt.com/42607
Fairlead Bar - Posted: 11th Jun 2018
As the braces go on and off the winch drum, the go through a fairlead plate that's attached to, and moves with the winch, and guides the braces onto the correct drum so they don't get crossed. When the braces leave the fairlead they go off in various directions and angles which would actually prevent the winch servo from being able to slide fore-and-aft to maintain tension. A fairlead bar aft of the winches guides the braces straight to the winch fairleads to alleviate that problem.

Originally this bar mounted on two knees and looking like a riding bit (or a hitching post for us horse folks) was wood with screw-eyes on top. These small eyes were to be replaced with larger ones when I found some.

This was replaced with a metal bar with holes instead of eyes. This worked fine, but I was worried that it would unduly wear the brace lines over time and added too much friction to the system.

Today I replaced the metal bar with a strip of plastic cut from a cutting board. This stuff looks like Teflon, but I don't think it actually is. My concern now is the line with saw into this thing. I think I will make one with sheaves instead of just holes that will cut the friction and ease my concerns about it damaging the lines or the lines damaging it. First I'll see how this one works out, and any wear that appears will tell me at what angle to install the sheaves in the new bar.

If you're wondering why the new bar has so many fewer holes than the old one, it's because I reduced the braces from 5 pairs to 3 pairs. Only the tops'l yards are actively braced now.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large


mdlbt.com/42427
Brace Blocks - Posted: 5th Jun 2018
I've been using some 6mm brass framed blocks (shown with some other brass items in one of the pics below) for brace blocks on the yards, they aren't the correct style for the ship, but I needed functional blocks on the braces. I also only have so many of them, so to free a few up for duty below deck, I made up 6 functional wood-shell blocks for the braces. They're ok, and they work, but I don't care for how they turned out. I used some white cedar for the shell, which is too soft and open-grained. I have some branches from a fruit tree, though I don't know what fruit, and I'm going to try and mill some of it to use for blocks. Till then, these will do.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large


mdlbt.com/42353
More trusses - Posted: 2nd Jun 2018
Made the parrel to go with the truss for the mizzen, which makes all three done, but for painting the fore and main.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large


mdlbt.com/42254
Yard Trusses - Posted: 29th May 2018
I spent a couple of hours making a yoke or bow, for the fore tops'l yard. This is the thing that attaches to the yard and connects to the parrell. The main tops'l yard's and all three lower's were made from aluminum, but the last one took three tries to get and came out, well meh.

I tried a different idea in their construction this time, since my soldering has gotten better. I cut some brass rod and hammered it square, or mostly square; then bent it to the right shape as my pattern. I hammered the ends a bit more to widen them and used files to shape them. I cut a notch down the middle of some rod about double the diameter of the first one, then cut off about an 1/8" giving me two half-round pieces. These got soldiered top and bottom to the center of the bow, forming the swell that the parrell pin goes through. After some filing and cleaning up, I drilled the hole in the swell and 1/16" holes in the ends.
Then something happened with the drill press that startled me, I jumped, and the part flew off somewhere. I spent the day "cleaning" the shop trying to find it with no luck.

So tonight I did it all again, but with some hope of finding the errant part eventually, I went about making the mizzen bow instead. when it came time to drill, I dug out the 2-direction sliding vice thing for the drill press, instead of holding it by hand with pliers, and everything came out fine with no unscheduled flights.


The parrell shown is for the fore tops'l yard which is why I was making that bow, I haven't made the mizzen tops'l yard parrell yet. I do need to enlarge the hole slightly because the bow is supposed to go all the way on the post more than shown.

Mounted on it's yard, the chain is the tye for the tops;l halyard, and the bit of line is the end of one of the main tops'l yard braces. The little nuts and bolts are 0-80 x 1" hex head bolts I bought 100 of years ago with some matching nuts, and some "scale nuts."

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by kmbcsecretary on the 29th May 2018
Stunning craftsmanship there Jerry excellent.

mdlbt.com/42114
Capstan - Posted: 26th May 2018
I got tired of looking at that stump of a dowel sticking out of the deck and decided to put a proper capstan there.
It's built on a 3/4" maple dowel drum, and the base, drum-head, and whelps are from scrap mahogany from that used to make the restored ship's hatch combings.

The pawls, bar holes, and base plate are done.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large


mdlbt.com/41975
All work and no sail - Posted: 22nd May 2018
A week of rain made CBMM cancel their outdoor activities and though I'm not adverse to sailing in a drizzle, it was forecast to pour off-and-on all day Saturday and it did. So I cancelled the trailer rental and didn't go to St Michaels.

I planned on going to Baltimore, rain or shine, because I didn't plan to sail the model there anyway. Sunday turned out very nice and the White Rocks boys ran their boats, one of which got some special attention.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large


mdlbt.com/41710
A little video - Posted: 12th May 2018
I put this together to try to demo how I'll reduce sail on the model, and the act of taking off and putting the model on it's ballast.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVUWRTnBJ2g&feature=youtu.be

mdlbt.com/41390
Getting ready - Posted: 29th Apr 2018
The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum moved their Model Boat Expo back to May and I'm getting Constellation ready to sail.
It's a tradition now that I have some progress to show each time she sails, so this time I want to set the courses. Since her last sail the aft bulwark was added and new winch drums made, and a wedge added to the cart to keep her from sliding back.
Putting her on and off her ballast was a pain by myself, so I ground off the threads on the rods for about a centimeter so they act like pins and hold the boat in place while I thread in the other rod. That little hack was much simpler than figuring out some sort of cradle to fit on the cart.

I looked at all sorts of ways to control the courses, and the simplest method was sort of a yard at the bottom, but one that wasn't obvious. I used a length of vinyl coated clothes hanger and sew pocket onto the clews on the backside of the sails. In the center of the foot, I sewed a sleeve. The rod goes through the sleeve and onto the pockets. If I need to reduce sail, I can easily pull out the rods and bunt up the sail.
I also figured I'll set the two gaff-headed Spencer sails. So far I sewed hoops on the forward one. Their a line on it to brail it up if I need to lose it.
The t'gallants and royals will get hooks on the halyards, and some sort of easy release on their sheets, so I can take them off, yard and all, if it's too windy. If need be, I should be able to brail up the spencers, bunt up the courses, and remove the t'gallants and royals all in just a few minutes, and have her down to just tops'ls, spanker, and jibs. If THAT's too much sail, well, then it's just too windy to sail.
Hopefully I'll get to sail her with all 17 sails set!
The other bit of "progress" for this sail will be to use both winches. Previously I used one winch to control the main corse yard, and the fore and mizzen were slaved to it. Last time I controlled the fore tops'l yard and slaved the main and mizzen to the fore. This time the main and mizzen tops'l yard will be controlled together on their own winch, and the fore tops'l yard will be controlled separately on it's own winch. This way, when I come-about or tack, I can back the fore against the wind to push the bow across.
So, I was looking at images of the real ship to refresh my memory of how the main and mizzen brace were led when I noticed the main tops'l brace was anchored in the rig in one place when sail was set, and another place without sails.
Looking around I found there was some sort of ring or band that slide up and down the mizzen topmast pushed by the tops'l yard parrel when it was raised and lowered to set or take in sail.
I'd never noticed that sort of thing before, but looking at images of ship contemporary to Constellation, I found it was actually pretty common place, and I even saw it done on a few British ships of the 1850's and later. Always learning something new.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 29th Apr 2018
Wonderful! Only understood the half of it 😲 but was fascinated none the less. Super job 👍
Many years ago I renovated a 15" model of the Parmir for a friend, his Grandad had built it. Even with dozens of photos (pre-digital!🤔) it was a nightmare for me to get all the rigging back on in the right place.
Bravo Zulu that man! cheers Doug 😎
Response by Jerry Todd on the 30th Apr 2018
I've done a lot of renovation, reconstruction, and repair work on models for antique shops and such, and much of that experience went into Constellation and other models. As a working model, thing wear, need to be adjusted, repaired, and replaced much more often than a static model, and she's built with that in mind from access to how things are put together. The parrell bands from a post or two ago are a prime example. The real ones are hinged, but mine needed to also hinge not only to be authentic, but at some point I might need them to come off, and unless they hinge, I'd need to take half the rig apart to get them off.

That ring-thing I mention in the last post is much the same, It won't really be a closed ring, but may be more like a hinged key-ring, like in this picture.

For me, making a working model is 40% "how will I get it there and back," and 70% "how will I fix that if it breaks?"
Response by RNinMunich on the 30th Apr 2018
Agree 110% 👍😉

mdlbt.com/31021
The Launch - Posted: 7th Jul 2017
As soon as the cutter was off the build-board, I started on the launch. The launch is the largest of the ship's boats and the only one of them that's carvel planked. The build board was cut narrower for the reason spoken of earlier. Since the frame spacing was the same, I could reuse most of the marks. The stem, keel, sternpost, and transom plus a sternpost knee, were assembled. The forms were cut from balsa again, sanded to the line and rough beveled, then glued to the board.
The ribs are 1/16" thick x 1/8" wide bass again. This time I didn't glue them to the forms at all, they're only helg by the rubber bands. Once they were on the forms, the keel assembly was glued to the ribs and the build board and planking commenced.

When the planking was done, the stem and transome were cut free and hull lifted off the forms. The ribs between the ribs were added.

The drawings of Constellation's boat didn't show anything more than their lines. I had little information as to their interior and hardware details. For the launch, I did know she carried a 12 pound boat howitzer and some information on that which gave me a little more about the boat's interior.

Using Ivan as a guide (He's a 1:35 scale WWII Russian sailor and the model's first of some 30-40 eventual crewmen) I determined there needed to be a deck in the boat so that went in, but first I painted the bilges of the boat as I'd never be able to get in there after the deck went on.

The launch was coppered. I used peel-and-stick aluminum duct tape to "copper" the bottom, and painted it copper. I have a 1:36 scale British frigate in the works, and this is how I intend to "copper" her as it's less than 1/4 the cost of Constellation's real copper.

The launch has special tracks and rails in her for handling the gun. The gun can be shifted fore and aft, and the field carriage can be tossed in the sheets, and rolled forward on tracks of it's own for taking ashore. We're still a long way from Higgins boats here folks. 😉

There's more details to add, to boat boats; hardware, water casks, thole pins, oars, sails, etc etc etc. There's also 4 more boats to build; the 2nd cutter, whaleboat, and two quarter-boats just alike.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 7th Jul 2017
Wow II ! 👍👍😎
Response by John on the 9th Jul 2017
I agree wow! Well done.
Response by mturpin013 on the 1st May 2018
That's really cleaver idea and looks so realistic, I happen to look at the posts in reverse and at first didn't realise how small the boat was ou must has good eyesight. or big specs

mdlbt.com/30976
Ship's Boats - Posted: 5th Jul 2017
Building a model ship often means actually building several models because most ships have boats. Constellation had six.

My method for building boats is nearly the same as for building larger hulls and real boats - planks over forms.

I have a 1:12th scale drawing of Constellation's boats in particular, from the National Archives. They not only printed me a paper copy, but gave me a .tif image which I could easily re-scale to 1:36.

I reproduced the lines as forms extended to a baseline so the boat could be built upside down. I drew each boat's patterns and arranged each to fit on a sheet of copy paper. I printed this on full sheet label paper so I can rough cut them, stick them on the form material, and then cut the forms.

I had a few sheets of 1/8" balsa that I cut the forms from. A pine plank was used for the building-board, and marked where each station would go, then the forms were glued on making sure each was 90° to the base and square to the center-line. A note on the build-board, it doesn't have to be as wide as the boat, and should, in fact, be narrower. Then you can access inside the sheer and planking, and later, removing the boat from the forms will be much easier. A small plank of 3/4" stock will let you get rubber bands completely around the model, and it will also fit in a vice which is very convenient.

The edges of the forms are shaped so the planks will lie flat on the surface, and not teeter on the edges. Using balsa makes this easy work, though you have to be careful not to snap them off the build board. I sanded them nearly to shape before mounting them on the build board, then fine tuned them with a plank laid on the forms as a guide.

The first boat I started with was the ship's 1st cutter, which is a lap-strake, or clinker-built boat. (Only the launch is carvel planked) It's frames are 1/16" thick bass strips 3/32" wide. Each frame is dipped in ammonia and bent over it's form. I put a dab of glue at the ends that would eventually be cut off to hold it to the form, but for the frames on the wine-glass and hollow forms at the ends I used rubber bands to pull them into shape. Once the ammonia dries, they will hold this shape. Part of the reasoning behind using balsa for the forms is if anything gets glued that shouldn't, it's the form and not the model that will give-way. So far, the forms used on both boats came through the process in usable condition, which is encouraging as I need to make two quarter boats just alike and will need to reuse the forms then.

The stem, stern-post, and keel are 1/16" bass, assembled together while flat. First the top corners of the keel were planed off to make a sort of rabbet. The transom is also bass as it stays in the boat. The transom is cut taller to reach the build-board, and partially cut at what will be it's top to make it easier when it's time to detach the boat. It's glued to the stern post and the build-board, the keel is glued to each frame, and the stem is glued to the build-board. This pretty much forms the rigid skeleton of the boat.

There's two ways to represent lapstrake planking on so small a model. One way is to sand each plank so it's half as thick at it's top edge as its bottom edge. The planks are butted on the boat, carvel style, thick against thin, giving the impression of overlapped planks. I chose to actually overlap the planks because the inside of the boat is open to view, and it's actually easier when dealing with wood only 1/32" thick.

Since each plank of a lapstrake boat overlaps the one below it, each plank has to be spieled, or shaped to fit, and the boat must be planked from the keel to the sheer. I divide the length of the widest frame from the keel to the sheer into the number of planks I want, then divide the lengths of the stem and the stern by this number. You'll find the planks will get narrow forward, and flare wider back aft. You may have to experiment a bit with the number of planks to maintain at least 2 scale inches forward and not more than 5 scale inches aft, or the planking will look nonsensical and out-of-scale.
I planked the cutter in 1/32" thick bass. The first planks are the garboards, next to the keel. For the next plank I placed a strip of card along side and used a piece of plank against the edge of the wood plank to mark the card. The marks are actually the bottom edge of the plank. Each plank is shaped on it's bottom edge to the plank before, and it's top edge is straight. Then I dip it in ammonia and clamp it in place, where the "clamps" are rubber bands, blocks of wood, pins, clothes pins, whatever works. Again, a narrow build-board allows the rubber bands to pull in as you reach the sheer rather than pulling them away from the boat.
Once your brain gets wrapped around spieling, the planking will move along. But don't try to do too much too fast or you'll just get frustrated and ruin everything. Take lots of breaks.

The planks need to be sanded thinner at their ends, almost to nothing, depending how much of a rabet was cut into the stem. At the stern they run right off the transom and are cut flush. You can notch the transom into steps for each plank to fit into, of fill the little gaps where they overlap with putty later. Since they're getting painted, I used putty.

When the planking is done up to the sheer, it's best to add rub rails and strakes while the boat's still on the forms.

I then finished the cut in the transom, cut off the stem near the build-board, and nipped off each frame where it was glued to the form. Then carefully lifted the boat off the forms. Some form may have come off with it, and some spots may need to be reglued.

I installed frames in between each of the ones the boat was built on, putting a frame about every scale foot. Seat clamps, floor boards, seats, oar notches, lifting eyes, mast steps, etc, are all added bit-by-bit, before you know it, you've got another model boat.

I'll get into the launch next.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by marky on the 30th Apr 2018
should hide the instructions from she who must be obeyed seemingly its something to do with sanitising the drum ??? your guess is as good as mine ,they got some wood coloured pla at the work so may try a bigger one then square off one end so it looks more dingyish ,or else print a full size one boil it and shrink to fit.Cheers Marky
Response by marky on the 30th Apr 2018
I think digitalizing the drawings would be the time consuming bit ,if you had a 3D scan of the hull it could be scaled to the desired scale then depending on the printer build dimensions broken down into printable size parts a.Cheers Marky
Response by RNinMunich on the 30th Apr 2018
Shucks Marky, I had hoped this was a new 'surface finishing' technique for printed parts 😁😉

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