Tag Archives: Philosophy


Rubber band Vise

I had to add some lumber to the Transom to bring the entire thing out in a Curve.

Shaped upper portion

I had to include this Filler Blocks because the Fillers for the aft section didn’t go out far enough.

Rubber Band Vise
Look at that gap… 🤔🙄

I’m not sure if I’m going about this the hard way…

I suppose I could have simply shaved the Poop Deck down a bit… 🙄🤔🫢

I am just thinking ahead… I’m sure the Planking will hide a lot of flaws. These ships were constantly being modified anyway, especially this one. It was supposed to have a beefed up hull to better withstand any ice that they encountered. 😲

Had to put fillers on sides
Cutting out Piece 22a
These Windows are a Monster to get out

Currently I’m using a Scribe to puncture miniature Holes in the Wood. I’m hoping to scrape the wood from the other side!

Had to use Punch and Dremel in that order
Gluing Stern Balcony

Shrouds Progress

I wish I had somebody to talk “Ship-Talk” with. Preferably an Old Timer who has been doing this awhile and who I can watch work.

Anyway… Lacking that… I do this blogging. I know… It’s not the same thing. But I also follow some really talented Model Makers in the Groups I belong to.

So, I’m looking at these Shrouds and I am beginning to suffer the “Modeler’s Regret”… You know… When you think that you should have done something a certain way???… I guess that’s the nature of it. I’m not going to redo it all. Definitely not. But I’ve seen guys who do it.

A prime example are the Seizing on Shrouds that wrap around the Deadeyes.

I started off like this…

Deadeyes on Fore Mast, which I started off on…
Deadeyes on Main Mast

I especially love the one all the way to the left. I wish they were all like that and uniform. Hmmm… 🤔🙄🧐

Main Mast Shrouds

Mast Hole – Foremast

One of the things I really like about having a blog is that I can really get into the minutiae of whatever I have going on. Making Posts on Facebook or Instagram or whatever, I always feel like I’m being a braggart or whatever. When in fact, the only thing I really want to accomplish with the blog is to have a record of my work. That being said…

Mast Hole – Foremast

While laying the planks down, I always wonder how I’m going to work around the Mast Hole. Of course everybody finds the solution best for them. Here’s mine…

Mast Hole and Mini Rat-tail File I have to be careful because this is my only one… 🤭

While laying down the Planks, I like to take and file down the Planks as they overlap into the Mast Hole. Not to wait until after they’re planked over and drill through it.

Drills tend to dig into and splinter the wood that is this light. Files work a lot better for this work.

Sanding and finishing Hull

As I’m into my 2nd day of sanding and making micro adjustments here and there, I was thinking to myself how I never rush this process.

I find that it helps to put it down and pick it up every once in awhile over the course of a few days before proceeding to the next step.

During that time, I’ve come to realize some of the shortcomings and disadvantages of Dap Weldwood Contact Cement. I’ll cover this more in a Post dedicated to it.

In the meantime, suffice it to say that I’ve made perhaps about a dozen or so repairs of Planks that didn’t retain their glue holds, which I’ve had since to repair with SuperGlue. Not to mention those annoying little Glue sprues.

One thing that I’ve found out from previous models is the danger of over sanding. You always need to stay aware of how much wood you have left under what you’re working on. Which is not to say that you can’t take it down to almost paper thin… But you want to avoid doing that just for the sake of preserving it’s structural strength.

Between now and when you’re done, the model will get handled quite a bit. Once it’s displayed though, there’s not much to worry about unless you have kids or cats.

Making the 2nd Layer Walnut Planks

I’ve been trying to figure out a method of making these Planks.

Everytime I build a new model… I go through the same thing. Trying to figure out another way / better way of making these things.

Alas… I think I’m stuck with my one at a time labor intensive method

It’s times like these that I with I had one of those Computer controlled cutters.

It’s not that I mind the labor, mind you. After all, that’s what it’s all about. I’m not trying to mass produce these Model Ships so why am I complaining?

I suppose it’s not complaining that I’m doing, because half the fun is the discovering of other ways of doing things.

Anyway… I’ve settled on a system and I’m finally going to write it down here for future reference… And for anybody else that might want to use it.

I figure out the template that I’m going to use. Basically, around 180mm from the end, I put a Pencil Mark at the 1/2 point in the width on the end. Because that’s how far it has to taper.

Mark at 1/2 way point

Then, I put a Clip on this Mark and use it as a stop when I stick it into my specially made Vise that I made for this work.

Put Clip right on Mark

I then use my Mini-Plane, holding it an angle… around 30° or so, I plane it down to that Mark. Then I also use some Sandpaper to make sure that I reached it.

I hold the Mini-Plane at right around 30° Angle to take off excess wood to Mark

After I take it out of the Vise, I use Sandpaper to get it down to the 2mm Mark.

Sand it down until you get down to Mark

One thing that I want to say as well… Make sure that you Mark off which way to the front and which way points down. Because I’ve found that these things are really easy to get confused… Really easy!!!… You don’t even want to know how many times I’ve mistaken up from down in these things and bent them the wrong way!!!

Make sure and Mark the direction to the Bow and also a Down Arrow
Pre-Bent Planks waiting while Contact Cement dries


Looking at the HMS Surprise this morning, I am just thinking that it’s almost ready for these Wales… Although I did make a few micro-adjustments here and there and a few areas of Puttying, which I have to wait until it’s hard before continuing. Of course they were around the Gun Ports. Besides I have to wait until morning to turn my compressor on to blow this ship before using the Contact Cement as to not disturb the neighbors.

Just waiting until the Sun is shining.
Bending Walnut around Jig
Pre-Bent Wales ready to go
Cracked Walnut Stock

The above two 2mm x 2mm were the ones that cracked on me last go around. What I did was to re-soak them for 2 more hours in 1/2 cup Ammonia to 1 cup Water in my Plank Soaker.

Then, I turned the wood 90° so that the wood would perhaps take the bend in that direction a bit better… I’ll tell you in a moment.

The 2 pieces I cracked… I turned it 90° to attempt the bend in that direction instead.
The one on the right cracked very slightly but it wasn’t too bad
Bending… I put that 2nd board on it to stop cracking on the one on the right.
Yeah… This bend came out clean!!!

Walnut Wales Bending

My first experiment produced a couple of Wales that were bend nicely however there were a few cracks in them…

Wales with cracks

I mean… They’re perfectly usuable, but I think that I’ll use them on the Lower Wales so that the cracks aren’t as visible.

That process was simply soaking for 1 hour in 1/2 cup Ammonia + 1 Cup Water in my Plank Soaker. Then bending it around my Jig.

This next experiment, I soaked the Wales for 2 hours or more. Then I carefully inserted the 2 Planks into the Jig and clamped them together with my little Clamp I made to keep them from turning like they did last time.

Then, I used some Clips to weigh them down and stress them gently into a bend… Instead of rapidly like I did last time.

I then used my Iron, set to Max with Steam… I gently went back and forth across it to make it bend.

Well… It bent pretty nicely I must say…

Gently bending with weight
Getting ready to bend 4 – 2mm x 2mm and 2 1mm x 4mm Walnut stock
Slow bending with my Jig
Walnut without cracks or breaks

Yeah… It seems like taking your time is the key with bending these Walnut stock.

I did manage to crack 2 of them… But I think that was just a matter of me sticking it in to get bend in the wrong direction. The wood didn’t like it.

You have to determine what the wood wants to do. Or else it will end up cracking on you.

First Layer Planking Finished

I was just going over everything with my 320 Grit Sandpaper and feeling for any irregularities to smooth down.

One thing that I’ve found over the years is that you shouldn’t be overly enthusiastic about sanding. You can easily over sand… Which is what happened on the Port side Forecastle Bollard, in which I sanded to thin paper!!!… Ugh Ugh and more Ugh!!!

Paper thin Bollard

So, what I had to do was to add another piece of Planking over it and Clamp it down in order to repair it…

Gluing Plank to outside of Bollard

I then Puttied and sanded it down to where it looks like this…

Repaired Bollard

Looks pretty good.

Then, I’ve gone through and sanded the entire Hull until smooth… Repairing little bits here and there.

I’ve often found that you need to take your time and really wait and feel around to make sure everything is right…

This was a hard lesson I learned recently with the distancing of the Gun Ports.

Well, the only thing I can do is to keep going. I was even thinking to myself that perhaps this little mistake will make me even bolder and more adventurous.

Perhaps it will?!!!… Who knows? 🤔🤭🤣

Walnut Wales

Here I’m trying to bend these 2mm x 2mm Walnut Wales after I had it soaking in hot water with Ammonia for about an hour.

Bending Walnut Wales

I’m not too happy about how it cracked the outside of it… Perhaps for the next ones I’ll soak them for a lot longer maybe.

I submitted a question to my Model Shipbuilding Group which went –

You should see all the answers. One of them did make sense… which I’ll try next.

I’m soaking the Walnut 2mm x 2mm stock for extra long. Then, I’m going to slowly bend it, but this time I’m going to use a couple of clamps across the Walnut and bend it extra slowly while applying heat to it using an Iron. I was thinking about using my Plank Bender Heater… I’ll try that next.

That’s one thing that I love about this hobby is going through these different types of experiments to see what works…

Main Deck Bollards

I’m beginning the Bollards on the Main Deck. It does break up in the middle between Bulkheads 5 and 9.

Planking Main Deck Bollard Port Side

I kind of forgot about not gluing the Bollard Supports that come up the sides as guides. These are always meant to come off before Planking the Deck.

Shouldn’t glue in to these
Port Side Bollards done
Starboard side pre sanding down Fore and Aft Bollards