HMS Warrior 1781

January 8, 2008

Enemy me (update stern cants & hawse timbers)

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 9:08 pm

The stern cant frames are done – have been for a while now – I’ll post on them in a day or two.

I’ve been working on the hawse timbers and I have to say….

The enemy of GOOD is BETTER……..

The port side hawse timbers are finished and glued in place……..  I looked at the starboard timber assembly and thought I can just touch that up a little bit to make it a tighter fit against frame 62, well needless to say……. I screwed it up, over sanded the whole angle of the thing…. went from good to worse in hopes of doing better.

So I’m cutting the starboard hawse timbers out again……. sigh……

I am my own worst enemy sometimes

The following was added to this post on 7 October, 2008.

I am updating this post with pix I never posted, but am finally getting around to.  🙂

Stern Cant Frames

Stern cant frame bearding line:

Installing the stern cant frames took a number of “hacks” to keep everything in place, from clamps to spales to tooth picks and rubber bands:

Frame 52 does not reach all the way to the builing board (as the wing transom sits on top of it), it is a complicated shape but easy to make with the oscillating spindle sander:

Frames 52 are the last stern cant frames, pre-installation:


Hawse Timbers

Rev. Romero recommends making up each hawse timber as alminate of three pieces, I said nuts to that and just bought some 5/16″ stock and milled it down to the correct diameter, just seemed easier to me.

Here are the port side timbers roughly finished and tacked in place with rubber cement, I have marked on the trimming line.

Before gluing up each hawse timber, I fit them together and to the hull using rubber cement to check their angles and fit.  I have to admit that these babies were tough to make, getting the correct angle for fitting up against the stem was the toughest part and I over-sanded them on several occasions. Needless to say I have a box of ruined hawse timbers to show for my efforts.

The bitter remnants of my mistakes, a veritable boneyard of failed hawse timbers:

Once they were roughly shaped and prefitted, I glued the timbers together but not to the hull, I then finished shaping them as a whole unit. To shape the hawse timber assembly I used curved cabinet scrapers primarily, seemed to work better than sandpaper.

Here’re the finished hawse timbers (with the keel taped for sanding):

December 19, 2007

Ironing warped frames, Part 2

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 7:44 pm

Ok, so it worked. They stayed stable. I’m pretty happy about that.

I can now finish installing the stern cant frames.

December 18, 2007

Ironing warped frames

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 9:42 pm

I tried ironing some of the warped frames tonight with the steam turned off, it appears to work. I’m going to let them sit overnight and see how straight they are tomorrow……

Warped stern cant frames

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 9:03 am

As I stated in the previous post I put off beveling the cant frames because of assumed but not real difficulties in creating the bevels. Well the consequence is that winter happened and the humidity in my shop plummeted resulting in warping of my stern cant frames as they sat in a box on the shelf. They warped in a similar fashion with a little twist up of the foot. On all but a few of the frames it’s not that big of a deal and the frames straighten out once installed but there are a few I have had to re-make which is a pain in the ass. I tried to straighten some of them out by steaming or soaking in water and then “pressing” them but this really didn’t work out to well, easier to just glue up some more blanks and cut replacements out.

Only thin frames warped, the thick ones have remained stable.

I think on future models I won’t make the frames so far in advance of installing them so as to avoid warping such as this.

December 17, 2007

Installing Bow cant frames

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 10:32 pm

Shaping (beveling) the cant frames is a little tricky, the bevel twists on the way up some of the forward most frames, it kind of gave me the heeby-jeebies and so I put off finishing this step for a while (with consequences to be detailed in a later post). When I finally got around to doing it I discovered that it was quite easy to do and once I got my head wrapped around the idea of the twist it was relatively intuitive.

The “twist” frames – look simpler than than they really are, it’s hard to see the twist here – I should have taken a picture of one before I installed them:

Installing the frames was a different beast altogether and took longer than I thought and wasn’t as easy as I had anticipated. I made a critical error (of sorts), I went ahead and sanded in the foot angle (that is the angle at which the foot of the cant frame attaches to the deadwood) on all of the frames ahead of time so that I could go ahead and glue in the frames more rapidly (and really because I had my disk sander out and handy). This worked out fine for most of the frames, but what I discovered was that I had over-sanded the foot on the last two (most forward frames) on the right side, leaving a gap. It’s not a hugely critical error, I filled the gap with wood glue and the frames are stable. No one will see these joints as the gar board planks will cover them (thank God) but it bugs me that I did it. When doing the stern cant frames I will sand each foot individually just before fitting to avoid this in the future. Incidentally, the disk sander worked just fine for this step. I bought a variable speed control switch for it so that it turns at a lower speed (otherwise it takes off wood to fast).

The two “gappy” frame foots (feet?) – again a little hard to see in this pic:

Holding everything in place as the glue dried was frequently a little tough and required using the spales at funny angles and places.

A few of the frames were short (I think due to photocopy quality), but not too much and a few shims brought everything up to snuff. you can see the shims just under the spale:

Finished installing the bow cant frames:

and with the boxing pieces installed:

September 22, 2007

Cant frame blanks

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 11:30 am

Since I was in the mood and had everything out for making up the last of the square frame blanks I decided to just go ahead and finish making up all the blanks for the cant frames also to get them out of the way. (See this post for a review of my method of making up blanks)

cutting the billets:

lining them up on the patterns (color coded again to avoid confusion):

assembling the sides:

finished sides:

One thing I found is that when gluing the sides up into the finished frame blanks, I needed much more weight than I did with the square frames (I have no idea why), so I piled on a few more paint cans for about 90lbs total – no pix of this though. At any rate here is the box of finished cant frame blanks.

One thing to remember is that you need to make right and left handed blanks for each of the cant frames. I got into a “factory” mode and wasn’t paying attention before I discovered that I had finished 8 too many right handed blanks and had to go back and cut up some more wood to make up the 8 left handed blanks that I now needed. Oh well, a few extras in case I screw a few up when cutting out the cant frames.

July 12, 2007

New category added

Filed under: misc,screw ups — admin @ 10:26 pm

I added a new category called  “screw ups” tonight.  If you click it, it will take you to all the posts where I clearly show the world what a ham-fisted idiot I can be…….. and hopefully prevent someone else from doing the same.

What’s that quote……..”better to remain quiet and be thought a fool than to speak up and prove it”?

I hate quotes.


and again……..

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 9:48 pm

Ok, page 62 of the practicum very clearly lists the 1/8″ stock for frames 21,22 – man, I completely missed that. However, it may have worked out in my favor (or at least not really have mattered). The reason frames 21 and 22 are thicker is that in the Hahn plans these two frames are thin but are spaced out wider than the other frames – it is an anomaly of how Mr. Hahn drew out the frames in his plans and isn’t very noticeable at the original scale of the plans in 1/8″, but at 3/16″ scale the widened gaps between frames 21,22 and the surrounding frames is glaring – therefore Rev. Romero widened these two to make the spacing less noticeable at 3/16″ scale.

On page 54 he lists the size stock for the boxing pieces as 5/64 wide and 15/128″ wide (the boxing pieces are the “spacer” pieces on the keel for the frames).

Looking at the keel boxing diagram, the spacing of most of the frames is 5/64 (hence the 5/64″ stock), however he uses the 15/128″ stock for spacing frames 21,22 – which is still a little wider apart than the other frames. On my ship I used only 5/64″ stock for all of the boxing pieces – the extra width of my frames 21,22 makes up for the difference in spacing, and all of the spacings of my frames on the keel are of equal width – it’s all a wash, I traded actual width of spacing for width of frame – it’s 6 of one; half a dozen of the other. As I stated in an earlier post, if Mr. Hahn had stuck with a more prototypical framing pattern based on the original framing plans of the Alfred in the NMM originals this wouldn’t be a problem. Don’t get me wrong, these are very nice plans but…………

you can clearly see the difference in spacing of frames 21,22 on the original frame diagram on the framing jig from Hahn’s plans, with the (more or less) even spacing of my frames:

Ok, K-20 is a little wide and 19-20 is a little narrow – that’s just poor cutting technique when I cut the jig, but at the keel side (which is ultimately more important because the last 3 inches or so of the frame ends that go into the jig will end up being cut off anyway), you can see the even spacing of the frames:

I’m not gonna sweat it. I like my way better – even if it was unintentional (and essentially a screw up). As the good book says, ” let he who is without sin cast the first stone, yada, yada, yada”

By the way, if you buy the practicum, check to make sure that no pages are missing – I found 3 missing from mine last night that helped to contribute to my confusion on this point.

Also keep an eye out on eBay – I recently picked up volume 2 and an extra copy of vol. 1 for a grand total of $13 usd – you can’t beat that bargain with a stick.

July 10, 2007

Frames 21 and 22

Filed under: Frames,screw ups,Vol. 1 — admin @ 7:14 pm

Here’s what I did for frames 21,22. Romero never really tells you how thick to make them (at least not that I remember seeing) he just cryptically says they are of “special thickness”. I made them with one “sister” from 3/32″ stock and the other from 3/16″ stock – so they have a thick side and a thin side and the resultant frame is 9/32 thick (as opposed to the 3/8″ or 3/16″ of the “regular” frames). Just make sure that the same sister on each frame is made from the same thickness of wood. I used 3/32 pau marfin stock as the hog “spacer” block for each frame, so that all of the frames are evenly spaced on the keel. I kept the original spacing on the framing jig and shaved off even amounts from each side of the frames 21,22 to fit the jig.

Overall the difference in frames is not noticeable unless you are really paying attention:

Rev. Romero admits that the frames are not exactly prototypical. I bought copies of the original plans (which includes the framing diagram) for the HMS Alfred from the NMM (and from which H. Hahn based his drawings) and all of the frames are of equal thickness on the original plans – I am not quite sure why Mr. Hahn chose to make them of two different thicknesses (every 3rd one thick) for the model unless he did not have access to the original framing plan. If I were to make another Warrior again in the future, I would consider a more prototypical framing pattern.

June 5, 2007

Dumbass of the Year Award goes to……

Filed under: misc,screw ups — admin @ 11:39 pm


I was trying to update the blog software tonight through my web-host, they have a nifty little service so you can do it simply through their interface. I thought I had checked the “upgrade software” box, but in reality I checked the “delete software” box. Then I hit OK. It wasn’t until the server responded, “the software will be deleted from the server in the next 5 minutes” that I realized what I had done. There was no going back, it didn’t take 5 minutes, it took less than one. When I checked the website, the blog was gone, kaput, nada, niente, nothing.

My heart sunk into my colon. I’m sure that if you had stuffed a piece coal up my ass I would have crapped out a diamond.

Heart pounding, I almost cried. I looked at my screen again…… “the software will be deleted from the server in the next 5 minutes” then I read the next line ” Note, we didn’t delete the associated database. You can do that from our MySQL area if you’d like to.” Jaysus! It’s all still there. It only deleted the software and not the database.

I reinstalled the software, making sure to use the current database and Voila! It was back!!!!! Holy crap!!!!! Can you believe it? All posts and all comments. All I had to do was re-upload all the images (which were fortunately all still on my computer) and I was back in business. The site was gone for maybe 30 minutes before I had it back up and running
Disaster averted, but I’m still feeling like a complete idiot.

Classic bit of wisdom here, (because I’ve done similarly stupid things in the past and I should know better):


(or install new drivers or new hardware or anything else that could lay waste to your computer, your work, your files, your website or your life), you will get no sleep until it’s fixed – people often ask me how I know so much about computers. You screw enough of them up late at night and you learn a thing or two about fixing them (or not).

God has a sense of humor and late-night software upgraders are the butt of the joke – guaranteed. I’m sure he had a good laugh tonight.

Nitroglycerin for the old cardio anyone?

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