Colchester Smack

D

Danno71

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Colin, Happy belated Birthday!

Sounds like many interests, eating up so little time. Enjoy whatever build you’re working on, whether rolling or floating.

However, standing by for ship build. :)
Regards
 

Colin B

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Mar 15, 2019
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You will hardly believe it but I have started the smack model! The latest car (1937 Singer coupe) DSC_0003 (2).JPGhas had a complete mechanical rebuild and is on the road so I have decided to focus on boats for a while (less oil and mess and the workshop is warmer!). I have visited the forum almost every day and I am staggered by the workmanship on display so you will have to forgive my rough and ready approach!
The keel is made with simplified deadwood, I have not yet cut the rabbet and I also need to cut slots for the frames in line with UK East coast practice. I have also roughly shaped the central frame just to get an idea of the mass of the finished boat. I will make a jig to hold everything in place and I plan to do most of the bevelling once the frames are in place as I haven't got the lines and can't pre-draw the two faces, so I have left bit of 'meat' on the frames to allow for some fairing as I go.
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Colin B

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I have made templates for the middle section from frames 5 to 17 and also notched the keel to accept these frames. I'm gluing up the frame timbers for 15 and 16 and plan to continue steadily until I have all the middle frames cut out. I am toying with the idea of making these into a block using spacers so they are really rigid for sanding the bevels. One tool I am really enjoying is the Proxxon sander as it gives a lovely straight edge at 90 degrees when preparing wood for the glue.
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Colin B

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More frames roughed out today - five more to go before I have the centre section roughed out and I can cut spacers to build them into a block. I haven't cut out the centre of the frames nearer the bow as I need to leave plenty of fat in them to allow for the bevels. I have some work to complete on the keel before I make a building jig.

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Colin B

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I have roughed out the centre frames and loosely stacked them with spacers to see the general impression. I don't think it will be easy to get them all glued up in line so I'll need to think about the next steps for a little while.

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Colin B

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I have glued the spacers into position on each frame and tried to get them all along the same waterline so when I glue them all into a block I can check they are all lined up correctly. I have also glued a cross piece at the top of each one with the centre line marked as a further guide. All a bit rough and ready but there is plenty of meat on (most of) my frames so I hope the sanding will take out the lumps and bumps without compromising the strength. They are not glued together yet, just stacked to see the general effect.

I have also looked out a bread-and-butter hull of a steam drifter I made a few years ago. I put it on a shelf when car mania hit me but seeing some of the great POB projects on here has made me think about restarting it.
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Colin B

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Frames glued up into a block and the long business of sanding the external bevels has begun. I have deliberately left plenty of wood on most of the frames, and as I'm building a typical vessel rather than a named one, I have quite a lot of licence in what I end up with!

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Colin B

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I have generally bevelled the frames and I can start to split them and attach them to the keel. I'm not sure how closely they will resemble the original templates I made but I'm not too bothered about that so long as I get a reasonable boaty shape which looks a bit like an Essex smack! I am a bit worried about my keel as I made it out of obeche which takes an edge really well but which is quite soft so I may re-make it in something else if the frames look OK when installed without any glue. I used a Japanese saw rasp from Toolnut to take off most of the wood plus 80 grit sand paper which all seemed to work pretty well..

I'm enjoying getting back into boat building and especially looking at all the superb work on this site. If this attempt doesn't work out I'll build another boat where I have access to better drawings, but I'm still hopeful that this will emerge as a viable model.
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NMBROOK

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An interesting construction technique Colin,not miles apart from how I am assembling the frames of Saint Philippe.I am inclined to agree regarding the Obechi,it is a nice timber to work with,but it may get marred later in the construction process unless you protect the keel somehow.

Kind Regards

Nigel
 

Colin B

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Messages
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I have roughly cut out the centre section of the frames so I have the central section ready for trial fitting on the keel. I have however decided to re-make the keel in harder wood than the original obeche so that will slow me down a bit. I have an old piece of sycamore from which I have cut a new main piece and there is enough wood left over to make the rest. I don't know if this build will work out but I'm enjoying the process. I'm still working on a wreck of a 1930 saloon car in parallel so the two projects make an interesting contrast!

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Colin B

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New keel under way in a nice piece of sycamore I had in the scrap box. I'm much happier with this and its a good lesson not to carry on with something when it isn't good enough. I still need to finalise the shape of the deadwood and cut the slots for the frames and also the rabbet before making a building board.

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Colin B

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Mar 15, 2019
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Frames loose fitted into the new keel just to see if there is a future in this model. I think its worth persevering with it. My biggest problem as always is cutting a neat rabbet as I haven't got any power tools suitable for the job. I have got it started but I think I will need to make a scraper from a hacksaw blade to complete it.

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