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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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let me jump ahead in this topic and show you the engine frame of a steam engine a work of art
this is a simple drawing the finer detail is magnificent

steam engine.jpg
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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a few of us were talking about cross section models and we could not come up with anything really unique.
But then again we were only looking at certain ships of a certain period but if you expand into the early wooden passenger ships it is not the same old story just look at the interiors of these ships. Ya! that would take a little modeling skill to build a cross section.
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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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At the meeting in Washington It was decided to build two sister ships with identical hulls. The task of designing the first steam powered frigates went to Samuel Humphreys a noted American naval architect and shipbuilder. He supervised the construction of the frigate USS Philadelphia, which was laid down at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1798. He later constructed ships at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and supervised the construction of the ship-of-the-line USS Franklin, the first ship to be laid down at the yard, he also designed America's first first-rate ship-of-the-line, USS Pennsylvania, which was laid down in 1821.

Samuel Humphreys father was Joshua Humphreys the naval architect for the first six frigates of the U.S. Navy and is considered the father of the US Navy.

Joshua Humphreys was the first United States Naval Constructor, who has left us the Constitution and United States, the finest ships that grace the ocean, as monuments of his skill. These vessels were planned by him and built in the year 1797 and what is remarkable, as showing the cast and character of his mind, he had never seen a frigate when he planned them and yet he built frigates which to this day have never been surpassed and which are the pride of the nation. Indeed, the father of Samuel Humphreys, by his skill, may be said to have effected a complete revolution in the whole science of Naval Architecture, causing the old wooden walls of England to be replaced with vessels quite of another sort. Great Britain, finding that her ships could not compete with those modeled by him, has, since the war, made the United States and Constitution the guide for her architects. Her old frigates have been broken up and she is at this day razing her old 74’s, building larger frigates and modeling her whole navy upon the Humphreys plan, which is set forth in his official reports and letters, made and written half a century ago.

Samuel Humphreys was educated by his father as a naval constructor also, of which he was a master. Some of the most beautiful ships in the navy are of his models. He was appointed Naval Constructor for the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1813 and Chief Naval Constructor in 1826, which post he filled with advantage to his country and honor to himself; the latter till the day of his death.

With the building of these first two steam frigates nothing is left to chance, every detail is considered the US Navy has the very best naval architects and engineers heading the building. So lets take a look at what they designed.

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Sea Steamer.jpg
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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The first to be noted is the fully rigged sailing ship.

think of it this way when electric cars were being designed and introduced to the auto market they were not totally electric because of a few details that had to be worked out. Same applied to the first steam powered war ships, Both steam and sail had their advantages and disadvantages, to design a hybrid you can use the best of both.

Notice the sidewheels these were something the navy did not really care for because they took up to much space midship and because they were easy targets. But, because the navy really had no other alternative and sidewheels paddles were a proven method. The only other option was the underwater screw propeller, at the time this was just a theory and it had a couple big problems one was giving the old saying "shiver me timbers" a new meaning. The vibrations from the engine and shaft literally shook apart the stern structure and secondly where the shaft went through the hull it leaked, a lot because the technology and materials were not yet discovered.
 
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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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the two sisters the Mississippi and the Missouri were wooden built hulls. The wood used to build the hulls was Live Oak. These are Oak trees that grow down south and are called live Oak because they keep their green leaves all year round. These trees can grow to massive size and the heavy twisted branches were perfect for curved hull timbers and knees.
live oak1.jpg

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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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size of these hulls plus the weight they had to support created engineering and design problems. The average size 32 gun frigate had and average length of around 140 feet the heavy 50 gun frigates designed by Joshua Humphreys were around 175 feet in length. The ships of the line designed and built by Samuel Humphreys like the 120 gun ship of the line Pennsylvania was 209 feet. These two sisters were 220 feet in length, the biggest wooden hulls ever built to date.
This required a little extra in design which we will get into later as we design and build the model.

These ships at the time were considered massive and pushing the possibilities of wood hulls to the max.
Less than a 100 years later in 1917 the Mississippi grew a bit in size.

mississippi size.jpg
 

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building of the sisters were described as sublime engineering, state of the art for it's time.

the Missouri proceeded to the Mediterranean, arriving at Gibraltar on the 25th of August after a voyage of nineteen days from the Capes of the Ghesapeake. The next day, August 26, 1843, the engineer's yeoman broke a demijohn of spirits of turpentine in the store-room, which ignited and started a fire that spread so rapidly that all hope of saving the vessel had to be abandoned, and the crew barely escaped with their lives. In a few hours this splendid vessel was reduced to a blackened and sinking hulk. Her commander, Captain J. T. Newton, and Chief Engineer John Faron, Jr. , were tried by court-martial upon their return home and were sentenced to suspension from duty, the former for a period of two years, and the latter for one year, which sentences were remitted after the captain had served four months and the chief engineer eight months. Congress appropriated sixty thousand dollars later to be expended in removing the sunken wreck from Gibraltar harbor. When chief engineer of the Missouri the year before she burned, Mr. Haswell had asked for a leaden tank in which to keep the spirits of turpentine, but the requisition was refused.

The Mississippi had a long and famous career, but eventually met a far more tragic fate than did her sister ship. She is said to have been a beautiful vessel, and from having had a succession of able commanders and common-sense officers in full accord with each other, she won the enviable reputation of being a "happy ship," and with this reputation was the most popular and best known of all the steamers of the old navy. She was the flagship of Commodore M. C. Perry in the Mexican War, and also his flagship in the expedition to Japan • she carried the famous Hungarian exile, Kossuth, from Turkey to France, and brought a number of his fellow-exiles to the United States. As the flagship of Flag Officer Josiah Tatnall in 1859 she was present at the engagement in the Pei lio river, where the " blood is thicker than water," sentiment is said to have originated, and at the outbreak of the Civil War was one of the first vessels to go to the front. She had twice circumnavigated the globe, and it was said of her, probably truly, that she had cruised more miles under steam than any war vessel of her time. Eventually a combination of circumstances, so strange that their suggestion during her days would have been scouted as the climax of absurdity, brought this noble frigate with hostile intent into the great river whose name she had so long and so worthily carried about the world, and there one dark night in a storm of shot and shell, in fire and smoke, and a spectacular explosion she sank to her long rest, a coffin for many of her crew, on the bottom of the Great Mississippi river.
 
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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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To reconstruct the first Steam powered frigate Mississippi as a model as close to timber for timber bolt for bolt as possible requires the collection of research material from many sources. The material has to be interpreted, combined and reconstructed into model engineering. Step one is to obtain all the drawings available trace these drawings into a CAD program where they become an active live drawing. Then these drawings are redrawn as a 3D model, guns, engines and all the iron work is then 3D printed.
The proposed project will be a model at a scale of 1:32 measuring 80.625 inches between perpendiculars and from stem to stern about 7 feet long OR 2,133.6 millimeters. The larger scale will allow for the smallest of details to be reproduces and also the idea of X sections, gun stations, cabins, bow and stern sections and moving engines to be made.
 
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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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first thing I came across were 4 bodyplan drawings

Body 1 of 3,.jpg

body 2 of 3.jpg


I wondered WHY! are there 4 drawings did four different people draw their versions? Laying one on the other that was not the answer because they were all just about the same. Then I did a little photoshop magic and zoomed way in. The answer revealed itself each version is a correction of the one before it. The lines did not show up in the original digital copy but enhancing the images faint lines began to show up where the hull lines were being changed.

Body 3 of 3 close.jpg

Body 1 of 3 close.jpg

Finally in this bodyplan it says at the top "the Mississippi & Missouri were built from frames cut by this plan"

well ok this is the final bodyplan that will be used to base the modeling plans on.

body 4 final.jpg
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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the start of the CAD work is a tracing of the bodyplan. Because research information is coming in from all around North America as well as England and Germany it will take time so while I am waiting to fill in the research blanks I will prep up the modeling plans. This tracing of the bodyplan is every other frame so all the missing frames have to be filled in.

tracing1.JPG

tracing2.JPG
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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oops! now I am confusing myself

should I say

THE END

what comes next is more fitting in the topic of CAD drafting and not in maritime history

once construction begins then I guess I should move again and create a build log so it can be indexed and found in the future
 

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Dave is this to be a kit, and are X Sections to be done in more then one location, I do not understand the 80 in and 7 feet for a model. Don PS AS ALWAYS GREAT INFORMATION FROM YOU continue it. Don
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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Dave is this to be a kit, and are X Sections to be done in more then one location, I do not understand the 80 in and 7 feet for a model. Don PS AS ALWAYS GREAT INFORMATION FROM YOU continue it. Don

I will take the project to a point of a kit but it is up in the air if I will actually produce one. the 80 inches or 7 foot model is what I am personally building. Once the model has been drawn in CAD it can be printed at any scale. so say you wanted to build a model at 1:48 or 1:96 scale plans can be printed out.

As far as X sections go you as a builder can select any X section along the hull you want. The cabin at the stern was paneled in Mahogany so if you just want to do the cabin or maybe you just want to do the 100lb cannon at the bow or just a gun station along the side.

The idea here is to provide all the information from stem to stern and you as a model builder can select any section or part to model in any scale.
 

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Dave is this to be a kit, and are X Sections to be done in more then one location, I do not understand the 80 in and 7 feet for a model. Don PS AS ALWAYS GREAT INFORMATION FROM YOU continue it. Don

I will take the project to a point of a kit but it is up in the air if I will actually produce one. the 80 inches or 7 foot model is what I am personally building. Once the model has been drawn in CAD it can be printed at any scale. so say you wanted to build a model at 1:48 or 1:96 scale plans can be printed out.

As far as X sections go you as a builder can select any X section along the hull you want. The cabin at the stern was paneled in Mahogany so if you just want to do the cabin or maybe you just want to do the 100lb cannon at the bow or just a gun station along the side.

The idea here is to provide all the information from stem to stern and you as a model builder can select any section or part to model in any scale.
This sounds great - wonderful effort :cool:
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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the model of the Mississippi will be set in a diorama at the shipyard under construction.
When planning such a project a lot of research has to be done.

one question that came to mind was how were these large and heavy engine parts moved from the foundry to the shipyard? so the first thing to do is find out exactly where the foundry was located in relation to the shipyard.
it took some time but I found an old city map. In the upper left corner Merrick & sons was where the engine parts were cast in the lower right corner is the naval shipyard where the Mississippi was built.
Now notice there is a rail line running along the foundry property to the river where the yard is. So the engine could have been loaded on flat cars and then unloaded and moved a block to the yard. OR the engine parts could have been taken to the river, loaded on a barge and floated right to the hull of the Mississippi.

philly map10 1862.JPG


The piece of land that cast the engine for the first steam war ship built by the navy is today a baseball field and play ground.

foundry1.JPGfoundry2.JPG
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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it is a long involved project to reengineer an engine built almost 150 years ago then doing CAD design work, take those CAD drawings and turn them into 3D models and assemble the engines.

but bolt by bolt part by part the engines are coming together.

it took a lot of research and time but finally the boilers are being modeled right down to the rivets that hold it together


e705a.JPGengine792.JPGas5E.JPG
 

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AGAIN WHAT A CONCEPT AND WHAT A HISTORY LESSON. THANKS DAVE. Don
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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the boilers were made of copper and there were 4 of them.
the CAD drawings and modeling of the boilers are done right down to the rivets and hinges on the fire doors.
The boilers were made up of first the boiler itself, the duct that connected them together and the steam dome that was piped to the engine.
 

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Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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the modeling of just the engine and boilers for the Mississippi model has now been a year in the making and yet to 3d print the first part.

once the engine and boilers are done I will move on to the guns first draw them then create a 3D model.

in all my years of ship modeling i have never come across a model of a steam ship in such detail down to the rivets that hold it together.
We are coming into a new age of ship modeling with CAD and 3D modeling and CNC milling and carving. This is exciting and quite exhilarating to be able to create such detailed models and state of the art kits.
I say out with the old and in with the new.

i find this forum show cases the new wave of modeling and what is being done with CAD, 3D printing, 3D instructions, and 3D carving just wondeful!
 
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