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    Nonsuch
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    Member No.#5226
    RegisteredπŸ“…11th Oct 2018
    Last OnlineπŸ“…15th Apr 2021
    CityπŸ“Formby
    CountryπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§United Kingdom
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    PostsπŸ’¬51
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    Steam tug Lyttelton
    Details of this boat have been moved to a Build Blog.
    Next on the building board.
    I started Fly two years ago. My hobby was (and is) a godsend during lockdown. There was nothing above deck level until the first lockdown. My daily routine was basically looking at the plans to find what bit to do "today". One day last December, I couldn't find a daily task. I made another coffee and checked the drawings again. When I still couldn't find a bit to do, I realised that it was finished! Just a tad over two years.
    HMS Peregrine
    I hadn't built a boat for some years, having been distracted by aerobatic fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. Static sailing ship models keep you busy for years for comparatively small outlay, so ideal retirement projects. HMS Peregrine was my re-intro model.
    Recent Posts
    πŸ“ Sail Making
    1 day ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
    Flag
    For Dacron you can simply cut it with a sharpened soldering iron bit. Do a few temperarure tests first and cut along a curved wooden strip.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: And Even More Planking
    1 day ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    For your first "static" she's looking good.
    I agree on doing the deck first. I even take it a stage further and paint the inside of the bulwark planks before fitting them. Any chips and scratches can easily be touched up later. No masking required.
    I'm very bad at buying a kit and then not using over half of it! I usually use sapele veneer for decks. One edge of the strip is wiped with an artists charcoal block before glueing in place. When "sanded" it gives the finest black caulking line imaginable. Note I say "sanded" as I finish decks with a small cabinet scraper, after first locking the grain down with thinned polyurethane varnish. Don't start scraping until the coats of varnish stop soaking in. Then just go with the grain, adding more coats and scraping each until perfectly smooth.
    If your gun ports are too big, consider lining them with veneer strips.
    ....but well done!
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    πŸ“ Spray Paining problem....
    6 days ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    I suspect a combination of too much paint and too cold. The lower temperature fails to evaporate the solvent as quickly as it should. A thick coat applied at low temperature will result in the lower coats being exposed to fresh solvent. If these first coats were allowed to dry at this low temperature they could still be soft.
    I spray in the shed, allow the paint to dry briefly to pass the dust attracting stage but then move the items into the warmth of the house to properly dry. Solvent smell is minimal this way.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Tow hook
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks for the info.
    As you say, "who's going to know?"
    I'm finding it difficult to not follow the plans and use a reference photo. I got carried away and added all the bollards round the bow and stern hawse eyes but they're Ulises not Lyttelton!
    As they won't come off without leaving scars, they can stay.
    At the end of the day, all I really want is a live steam tug boat that looks pretty. (Purists accept my apologies now!)
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Second Planking
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Perfect. You don't need the precision of Moore and Wright to hold a plank on.
    Be warned though, you'll soon be using them for everything!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Second Planking
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    The tool makers clamp also works while trial fitting a plank. It effectively gives you an extra hand so you can lock a plank in place and still have two hands for manipulating the rest of the plank while adjusting the fit. You can't use CA to test fit.
    Tool makers clamps can be adjusted so the jaws are parallel to the wood, avoiding unsightly compression marks. I have about ten of them in various sizes.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Second Planking
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    I'm not a fan of superglue for planking, prefering more "wet" working time.
    One method of holding planks in place, that I find useful sometimes, is masking tape. Simply place masking tape along the plank being fitted. Press the tape to the adjacent plank and at the other edge, which steps down to the first layer of planking, use your finger nail to make the tape contact as close to the new plank edge as possible. This is OK for planks requiring little force to hold them down, but often not up to holding them at the bow where the curves are tighter. The problem here is keeping the very tip of the new plank from lifting away from the stem. On the full size, there would be a groove in the stem to accept the tip of the new plank. You can add a temporary edge to hold the tip of the plank by fitting a toolmakers clamp onto the stem. Place the end of the clamp parallel to the planking line, leaving a gap equal to the plank thickness. The new plank then "slots" into your temporary planking groove. This method is far more solid than pins and does not inflict any damage to the plank. A pin can be inserted next to the new plank, to hold it against your previous plank.
    I don't have anything at this building stage to photograph for you. If it doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll try and make some illustrations.
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    πŸ“ Tow hook
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    I just spent a couple of days making the tow hook.
    In my photographs, taken twenty years ago, Lyttelton was very much stripped for restoration and I can't see any details of the hook. I was given a photocopy of a photo taken on one of her trips to the Antarctic. Given her role the shot had been thought fully taken looking down the tow rope, showing some very blurred "detail" of the hook. So my creation is almost a total guess, but I think this it looks the part.
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    πŸ“ Fittings details
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Having been asked for more info on my homemade fittings:-
    The photo against the engineers square shows that the original double bit was out of square. Stuck to the square are four single bit tops. These are supposed to be glued to the top of pieces of dowel. You can actually see that some aren't round and that their "diameter" varies.
    My single bits are made up of a turned delrin post and ring, which is tapped in place using a hole in some 1mm ply as a depth guage to get them all the same. This is secured with CA adhesive. The post is then placed in the milling vice (on parallels) using the ring as a position guide and the cross hole made using an end mill.
    The kit supplied double bit weighs in at 14 grams. My delrin item (in black) is 4.1grams. It's fabricated just like the singles.
    Some of the supplied fittings are really nice, like the engine room skylights, but are heavy. The one shown being 13.1 grams. Six are supplied, but I will need eight, so I'll make a whole new set. I'll be using 1.5 mm ply lids, 0.8 mm frames and delrin "pot holes". If I can get mine at about 4 grams each, that will be a total of 32 grams for eight compared to 80 grams for the six supplied. Another 50 grams shed from above the waterline.
    What Occre were thinking of when they selected the rudder and prop, I do not know. They'd be OK on a Vosper, but a tug boat, really?
    The rudder spindle is brass rod with a 2mm groove milled 3mm deep to accept the brass blade. Once the blade was soldered in place 1.25 mm flats were milled from each side of the rudder spindle, below the waterline, to reduce drag.
    Brass prop is courtesy of Cornwall Model Boats.
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    πŸ“ Steam tug Lyttelton
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    The build just had a week off whilst I fixed my lathe.
    Parting off almost needed ear plugs. Using a dial indicator, I narrowed this down to play in the lead screw nut. It was obviously time to make a new one, which of course I did......right?
    No, I compromised and tightened up the jib strip to stop it chattering. This has the effect of stiffening the whole cross slide action, further stressing the worn out threads. The next day, the whole tool post jumped back about 1mm......a whole thread pitch.
    I now had to make a new lead screw nut without a functioning cross slide! I managed to make up a mini screw jack which could advance the tool post by a few thou', then lock the cross slide with the jib locking lever. What should have taken two hours to make, took all week.
    What's that old adage? A stitch in time, saves.....trauma?

    Anyway, we're up and running again.
    The hull is now painted and lacquered. The name lettering is laser cut vinyl lettering, courtesy of the Leeds Model Shop, whose mail order service is a life line at the moment.
    The reason that I needed the lathe running again, is that I am remaking most of the kit fittings. Where a part should be round in section, they are flattened so badly that the mould lines are like knife edges. If you file them back to shape, they are about half the diameter they should be. I am machining them from Delrin, so my fittings weigh approximately 25% of the white metal originals. As all the fittings are above the deck, I should be reducing the rolling moment of the finished model considerably.
    Next step is to redaw the super structure and deck houses to look more like Lyttelton. Again, as I'm not using the kit components, I'm going light and using 0.8mm and 1.5mm ply.
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    πŸ“ Dremel Tools
    1 month ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    I do like my Dremel tools. The new "click fit" system is fabulous for their grinding discs.
    I find the drum sander arbor disappointing. As soon as you generate any heat, it goes soft and the drums fly off.
    I am often tempted by the "flap wheel" type sander, made up of grit coated strings. They look as though they should be useful, but I can't see them lasting long. They're very expensive and in my mind too dear to try for what could be 2 minutes of amazement, followed by utter disappointment. Has anybody tried them?
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    πŸ“ Ten Years on !
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Quite.
    Sadly many of my happy memories of Christchurch must remain only memories. A tragic loss, both material and in lives.
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    πŸ“ boat roll
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Maybe we worry too much these days. I was brought up with single channel R/C. To get right rudder, you had to go full left first. ( could be full right then full left depending on tiller fitting)
    Now that did upset a boats dignity!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    No changes needed for that idea! I could try that for starters and see how it goes.
    Thanks.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Time to get her bottom wet.
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks for the comments. I share your concern over the lubricator and am considering moving it. Currently it feeds back into the regulator valve and then into the inlet T piece (manifold)
    I am thinking of putting a T piece into the main inlet pipe, just ahead of the regulator. This would place the lubricator running transversely, just infront of the engine. Much better access, although it would mean locating the lubricator on the boiler side of the regulator.
    Is there a reason that the lubricator should be on the engine side of the regulator?
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Just spotted that Ebay seller "Galgig" has items listed again. He seems to have changed to model vintage four stroke stationary engines. If you "visit sellers shop" he has a twin cylinder marine steam plant advertised. Consists of engine with reverse, boiler, burner, gas tank and condenser.
    Says it's the last one and is at Β£900 including free postage.
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    πŸ“ Time to get her bottom wet.
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Picking Ulises to house my steam plant was after seeing a live steam version on YouTube. I later realised that his engine was a twin, single acting, oscillating unit. Probably half the weight of my engine. Needless to say I have had my worries since.
    As the priming was done I decided that the time had come to get her bottom wet. She floats well above the waterline, so I may sleep tonight.
    The photo of the prop and rudder is my solution at getting a scale appearance but still being able to remove the rudder. More importantly I will be able to pull the propshaft out from the outside. No doubt someone will tell me that there is a much easier way, but it's done now.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks for raising a doubt. It appears that the "under 3 bar litres" is no longer an exemption. It was dropped in the 2013 UK rule ammendment.
    The rule now only stipulates the working pressure of 3 bar. As the boiler volume is only 0.42 litres it would have been well under the previous regs.
    It's probably best to send it for testing and let the examiner decide whether it needs a certificate, but with the rule change I suspect it does.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Keith Appleton is a YouTuber whose channel deals with model steam engine troubleshooting and repair. He does a review of this exact Microcosm engine and gives it the thumbs up. His only reservation is the brass cylinder block rather than cast iron. But as he points out, a few minutes running round the pond isn't like a 5" loco hauling a carriage full of young children for several hours at a gala.
    Plus if it wears, you just swap out the silicon piston ring.
    They should be quite good enough for the likes of us.
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    πŸ“ Steam tug Lyttelton (steam plant enquiries)
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    She is to be live steam. Atached photo is her propane fired boiler. Safety certificates are dependent on pressure and boiler volume. This boiler is well below requiring a certificate.
    Although I have built two Stuart Turner engines in the past, I only have a micro lathe these days and it isn't up to turning cylinder blocks or crankshafts. This engine is a commercially available unit,
    or was until recently.
    The make is Microcosm, which come from China. Just after China's first lockdown, this complete steam plant came up on Ebay for bidding, starting at Β£400. The units usually retail at Β£950 in this spec'. I assume he was offering this one reserved at cost price, just to get some cashflow. I was the only bidder and got it for Β£438 including postage. Customs charged me VAT plus their handling charge.
    The sellername was "galgig" but although I have him saved as a seller, he is listing no items. I think he manufactured them, so have no idea from where (or if) they are available.
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    πŸ“ The Microcosm twin cylinder
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    By popular request, here is that pretty little engine.
    This is what started the build. I originally wanted to put this engine in a Henley Regatta referee launch, to show off this little gem. On drawing up plans I realised that to get enough displacement for the steam plant, the model would be too long for my car boot!
    I've run her on compressed air so far and performance is excellent.
    She happliy ticks over at about 100 rpm. I think she must be well engineered to do that.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Steam tug Lyttelton
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    That's her, looking smarter than she did in 2000!
    Fortunately the Lyttelton Preservation Society is very active and there are many photographs available from them.
    One of your photos shows some great detail of the anchor winch which will be very useful. Winches are almost like a fingerprint for these old tugs, seldom seeing two alike. Occre's offering is fairly poor, so I'll happily bin it and make a Lyttelton replica.
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    πŸ“ Steam tug Lyttelton
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Here is my latest build. She's based on the Occre Ulises kit. She'll be powered by a Microcosm twin cylinder steam plant with reversing valve gear.
    Since being shown round the original ship in NZ, I always fancied making a model of her. She'll never be true scale as the original had twin engines and twin screws, but I can't get that into a 30" model.
    Now the hull is built, it's over to photographs that I took in 2000 while she was being restored.
    The planking is not as supplied as this was in 400mm strips. Unfortunately this would have meant each adjacent plank having a joint on adjacent bulkheads. To avoid this, three strips would be needed for every alternate plank. As I'm not one for butt joints, that meant 120 scarfe joints. Needless to say I bought 1metre lengths of 7x2mm lime from Cornwall Model Boats.
    The deck is not Occre wood either. That's 4mm Sapele veneer that I keep in stock for my static builds.
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    πŸ“ Steam tug Lyttelton
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Details of this boat have been moved to a Build Blog.
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    πŸ“ Change of Tack
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    It struck me today whilst bending this plank, that if I had a lot to do.....I already have a steam generator, in the form of a wallpaper stripper. A simple steam chamber fed by the steam stripper , which thanks to its long hose, could be sited a safe distance from the bench.
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    πŸ“ Change of Tack
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Apologies Nerys. For the first time in 50 years I have just had to steam the middle of a plank!
    I am currently building a live steam tugboat which has a curved strake running round the stern. An obvious candidate for bending from the centre.
    I used part of that previously cursed plastic tube with an end cap forced on, rather than glued. I stood this up in a jug to catch the leaks this time! Filled with boiling water, dropped in the plank and placed a piece of tape over the top to stop the plank floating out. After 5 minutes most of the 400mm plank was extremely flexible.
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    πŸ“ Change of Tack
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    You can't go far wrong at the price.
    Don't forget that your ship model has two layers of planking. Although manufacturers show a hammer and nails planking job on the first lime layer, there is nothing to stop you doing a very careful planking job as if it were the "show layer". Make your mistakes where they can be hidden. You're also building the same hull as the final layer, so get a trial run of bending those bow planks. A full dress rehearsal for no extra cost.
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    πŸ“ Change of Tack
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Yes, they're by Master Korabel, a Russian manufacturer. When I said "try something smaller" it was rather tongue in cheek. Small is definately not easier. The parts are very thin and fragile. The kits are also not cheap!
    There are some Chinese kits on eBay if you search "wood model boat kit". These are cheaper and a bit bigger in general. The one pictured is about nine inches long.
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    πŸ“ Change of Tack
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    No worries.
    A while ago I ordered some metal rod which came in a 1metre long plastic tube, which I thought would make a full length plank soaker.
    I glued the end cap in place so it wouldn't leak, stood it up in my shed (workshop), filled it with hot water and dropped in a length of lime to try it out. On turning round to check the progress, my foot splashed in something. The tube had softened with the hot water, breaking my waterproof seal at the bottom.
    The floor needed a wash anyway!
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    πŸ“ Change of Tack
    2 months ago by Nonsuch ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Having tried to describd them, I decided to photograph them instead. It truly does save a thousand words.
    This pair are Russian Navy surplus and come in a lovely fitted wooden box.
    The knurled screw is loosened and the pivot block moved to the desired number. This sets the "proportion" between top and bottom points. For example, set at four, the long arms are set to the line to measure and the short arms then indicate one quarter of that length. As you can see, this pair go up to ten, but are a a bit ungainly at this setting and can slip. They're better at at below eight as they lock more firmly.
    Photo now added to appropriate post.
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