Simplifying Construction

Discussion in 'Construction' started by GeekSpeed, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. GeekSpeed

    GeekSpeed Active Member

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    Hi all.
    I am done framing out the hull of my first ship, the HMAS Australia (Indefatigable class BC). It was not the easiest process and I am not all that happy with the results. I had a lot of trouble with getting the notches to fit together properly, so the fit and finish is not what I would like. I built it with the vertial keel design an then did a 1/4" subdeck and 1/8" capdeck. Again, notches on everything but the capdeck. Can you tell I don't like notches? :p Anyway, I have decided to start looking around at some other, easier ways to build a boat. I noticed that some folks like to use the baseboard method where the keel is a horizontal piece of 1/8" ply and the ribs and vertical keel pieces are simply glued to it. That seems like a pretty good way to go. Of course, since the ribs are now sitting on the 1/8" keel piece, how do you account for the extra 1/8"?
    Also, there has to be a better way to do decks. The way I did it seems to be too difficult. I cut out the subdeck and then notched it for each rib. It was made from 1/4" ply and I made it 1/2" wide. Then I cut out an identically shaped 1/8" thick cap deck. This, however, was only 1/4" wide so that I would have a place for the removable deck pieces. The problem with this technique is lining up the notches and making sure that each rib's notch is exaclty the same height. I have a couple of high and low spots on the deck because I was not able to do this.
    So what do you guys suggest? I am thinking that the baseboard keel is a good way to go, but the decking still has me stuped. What has worked for you?

    Capt. OCD
     
  2. Bob

    Bob Well-Known Member

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    I buy fiberglass hulls. I hate wood working.
     
  3. GeekSpeed

    GeekSpeed Active Member

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    I hear you, Bob. I seem to be a bit of a masochist, though.... :)
     
  4. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    A bit late for your current build, but the notches are not mandatory. The ribs can be trimmed down the thickness of the subdeck and joined together with a butt joint. If the subdeck is 1/4" thick, then an additional 1/8" thick wood can be added between the ribs to the bottom of the 1/4" deck as joint reinforcement.
     
  5. GeekSpeed

    GeekSpeed Active Member

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    Mike, what, exactly, is a butt joint?
     
  6. dietzer

    dietzer Admiral (Supporter)

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    Think of a capital 'T'. The horizontal part of the T is the subdeck and the vertical part of the T is the rib. When two pieces of wood meet at 90 degrees w/o dovetails, notches, rabbits, etc it is called a butt joint. The two pieces are just connected by abuttment.

    Have you looked at some of RCENGR's wood hull kits? He has the notched ribs and subdecks down to a science. He uses a CAD program to design the hull and then sends it out for lasercutting. The hulls are beautifully straight and very solid.

    Carl
     
  7. GeekSpeed

    GeekSpeed Active Member

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    Ahhhh... Ok, that makes sense. So basically you just lop, say, 1/4" off the top of the ribs? Then how do you do the removable deck pieces? Sorry to sound so dense, I just want to make sure I visualize this correctly.
    I saw RCENGR's kit. It is really sweet. I was wondering how you get someone to laser cut wood for you. i
     
  8. Tugboat

    Tugboat Facilitator RCWC Staff Admiral (Supporter)

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    You get someone who knows how to use a CAD program to 'build' the ship in his/her computer, generate the file for the lasercutting company of your choice, and pay your money :)
     
  9. GeekSpeed

    GeekSpeed Active Member

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    Sorry Tug, I should have been more specific. How do you FIND a lasercutting company? I don't even know where to begin. When I try to look them up, all I get are companies that produce lasercutting equipment.
     
  10. rcengr

    rcengr Vendor

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    I'm not really sure how you find a laser cutting company, but I would be glad to share the company I use. I use Fox lite, and you can read about their laser cutting here http://www.foxlitemodels.com/laserrqmnts.pdf . They will cut for anyone and one-off kits are not a problem. The prices for laser cutting are also reasonable, I think in part because their 500 watt laser cuts very fast, minimizing laser time. I have not used their CAD services, so I'm not sure what that work would cost if you decided not to do it yourself.
    If you check the thread on laser cut cannons I believe there is another company referenced that will do custom laser cutting.
     
  11. dietzer

    dietzer Admiral (Supporter)

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    The one comment I'll make on laser-cutting is make sure the company will cut the thicknesses you want -- it all depends on the type of laser they are using. Most laser-cutting places I've seen won't cut aircraft plywood thicker than 1/4", and some will only cut thinner ply than that. The local laser-cutting service I found in Ft Wayne will only cut aircraft ply up to 3/32" thick.
    The one RCENGR uses will cut thicker stuff. I have a 1/96 Baltimore hull that RCENGR made, and it was cut from 3/8" aircraft ply.

    Carl