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Round-Stern Workboat

November 21, 2017
I am starting a new scratch-build project - a Chesapeake Bay Round-Stern Workboat.

Round-Stern PlansI am using plans from Workboats of Smith Island by Paula J. Johnson. Full-size plans (at 1:16 scale) are available from the Smithsonian.

The lines for these plans were taken off an existing boat, the Louise B. built by George P. Butler in Reedville, Virginia. The original was 41' 6-3/4" length overall, so the model at 3/4" scale (1:16) will be just over 31" long. It is not my intention to make an exact replica of Louise B. I will make modifications to suit myself and consider it a generic work boat.

At the time of starting the model (Nov. 21, 2017) I do not yet have the plans from the Smithsonian, so I am using the table of offsets provided in the book to draw up the molds for each station and scanning and enlarging parts of the plans in the book as needed..

For those who may be interested in acquiring the plans from the Smithsonian, here is the info you will need:

Plan: NMAH-010 Louise B. round-stern workboat, 1966
Sheet 1: Lines, offsets
Sheet 2: Outboard profile, deck plan, and partial construction
Sheet 3: Inboard profile, cabin dek plan, and construction detail
Price: $30 ($10 per sheet) + $5 shipping and handling

You must send your order and check by surface mail to:

Ship Plans
Smithsonian Institution
PO Box 37012
NMAH 5004 / MRC 628
Washington, DC 20013-7012 USA

November 27, 2017
Spent the past couple days drawing out the moulds, beveling them, and gluing them down to the build board. I also have the keelson cut to size. Yesterday and today, I continued working on the keelson, beveling it as best I can for now, and making and attaching the keel. That assembly is drying as I write this. The stem and inner stem are made as well, but I have not yet glued then to the keel & keelson nor have I made the knee to support them. As well, I haven't started on the internal structure of the stern, which is somewhat complicated. So still a ways to go before I can start planking.

Moulds
Moulds
Build Board
Build Board

November 30, 2017
Over the past few days, I constructed the internal structure of the stern, got the stem and inner stem glued on, finished shaping the keelson and got the keel glued on. This evening, I glued on the first chine log and will glue on the second on later tonite once the first one is well set. With that done, planking can start tomorrow!

Progress Pic
Progress Pic
Progress Pic
Progress Pic

December 2, 2017
I now have the first side plank glued on and started planking the bottom today. Once the bottom is done (several days from now) I will remove the hull from the moulds and install the frames so I can finish planking the sides. I spent the entire day working on this bow staving. This is a traditional building technique on many deadrise boats. Normal planks would have to be twisted too much, so these thick planks are installed and then carved, in the old days with and adze, nowadays often with an electric belt sander, to the final shape. From this point aft, regular planks can be installed. Some will require a small amount of twisting.

Bow Chunks
Bow Staving
Bow Chunks
Bow Staving

December 10, 2017
Finished planking the bottom and the stern today. It took about a week to put on all 177 planks. Got the bow staves carved and sanded as well. Next step is to install the vertical battens (aka ribs or frames) so I can finish planking the sides.

Overall
Overall
Overall
Overall
Stern Planking
Stern Planking
Stern Planking
Stern Planking

December 16, 2017
Got the internal frames (battens) installed a few days ago. Finished the exterior planking this afternoon.

Internal Frames
Internal Frames
Planked Hull
Planked Hull

December 21, 2017
I've spent the past few days working on installing the floorboards and the support structure for the decking. Quite a little project but I'm happy with the way it turned out. I also added a fake bulkhead at the back. After I paint the interior, I'll figure out some sort of knobs or something for that access hatch. I expect I'll tackle the covering boards next and then I dont see any reason why I can't plank the deck at that point.

Deck Beams
Deck Beams
Deck Beams
Deck Beams

December 27, 2017
Finished planking the deck this afternoon. Lots and lots of narrow strips to glue down! Of course, it will barely be visible once I paint. I expect a few seam will show up through the paint, so that should give the suggestion that it's multiple planks rather than just a single sheet. Next step will be to make the toe rail and rub rail.

Planked Deck
Planked Deck
Planked Bow
Planked Bow

January 30, 2018
Not a lot of progress in the last month. I was a bit under the weather for a couple weeks and then just didn't feel like modeling at all for a couple weeks after that. Finally got back to it in the past week or so. I have the rub rails, toe rails, and coamings installed and the cabin exterior structure mostly completed. In the pics below, nothing is glued in place so it looks pretty sloppy and ill-fitting. I want to be able to detail the interior of the cabin so I need to be able to take it mostly apart to do that. I promise it will look better when I get it all glued together!

Cabin
Cabin
Cabin
Cabin

February 3, 2018
Today, I made the Captain's Chair. Lots of fun to do!

Captain's Chair
Captain's Chair
Captain's Chair
Captain's Chair

February 16, 2018
Not a lot of progress lately. I am a big fan of the Winter Olympics, so most of my time has been spent in front of the tube rather than working on the boat. I have, however, made the ship's wheel and instrument panel. As can be seen in the 4th image, the inside of the cabin will be quite dark once the upper section is in place, so you won't see a lot of this very clearly.

Wheel
Wheel
Wheel
Wheel
Wheel
Wheel
Wheel
Wheel

February 21, 2018
Most of the main construction work is done now and the hull is painted. Still a ton of detail work to do, so I'm nowhere near done. But at least it's looking like a boat now.

Wheel
Side View
Wheel
Interior

February 23, 2018
Today, I made the exhaust stack. It's made from several parts - some solid rod, some tubing, and parts turned on the lathe (bottom and top of the large section of pipe and the fake flanges around the elbow. All soldered together then colored with Jax Flemish Gray-Black. I think it came out pretty well!

Exhaust Parts
Exhaust Parts
Exhaust
Exhaust

February 27, 2018
Spent yesterday and today making a hasp for the door plus a little screwdriver to keep the door closed. Then I made the aft steering station. The brass parts will be silvered before I attach them to the box permanently. I'm waiting for some materials to do that.

Hasp
Hasp
Aft Steering Station
Aft Steering Station

March 10, 2018
I haven't been in the mood to work in the boatyard for a while, but I did work yesterday and today and got the prop made. I made the rudder a while ago. Nothing is permanently installed in these pics - just wanted to make sure everything fit as planned.

Prop and Rudder
Prop and Rudder
Prop
Prop

March 15, 2018
Spent some time over the past couple of days making the searchlight. The brass parts will get painted with the chrome pen I got a while back. I did the aft steering wheel and engine controls last week and they look pretty good. The pen is called a Molotow Liquid Chrome Marker. It looks very much like real chrome. I'm told it takes at least 7 days to dry and the finish remains quite fragile even then, so I won't touch the chromed parts until I'm ready to do final assembly.

Searchlight
Searchlight
Searchlight
Searchlight

March 16, 2018
Today, I made the running lights for the boat.

Running Lights
Running Lights
Starboard Light
Starboard Light

March 17, 2018
This morning, I decided to make a new nut for the prop shaft. I wasn't happy with the one I'd gotten at the hardware store. It just didn't look realistic. I think the new one (on the right in the picture) looks better. I also made the anchor light for the cabin roof and glued on the grab rails.

Prop Nut
Prop Nut
Cabin Top
Cabin Top

March 19, 2018
When I built my buyboat model, I made the Danforth anchor from styrene. This time, I decided I wanted to try making it from brass. If you need a Danforth anchor for your boat and you get it into your head to make one like this, if you are at all prone to depression, thoughts of suicide, need to take an anger management course, or live with a spouse, for the love of god - DO NOT TRY THIS! Making this thing was the hardest thing I've done so far in my ship modeling career and I doubt I'll ever do another. I'll go back to styrene next time. Cutting out the parts and filing them took a half day but wasn't especially difficult. But figuring out how to hold all the peices together while I attempted to solder them was incredibly frustrating. The first set of parts I made yesterday proved to be too thick and my small butane torch wouldn't get hot enough to melt the silver solder. So I had to remake all the parts today. There were multiple attempts at soldering each day. I finally got it but, as I say, NEVER AGAIN!!!! At least, with styrene, you can glue the thing together. I plan to color it with Jax Flemish Gray-Black.

Anchor
Anchor
Anchor
Anchor

March 22, 2018
Spent the past couple days working on the fire extinguisher and life ring.

Fire Extinguisher
Fire Extinguisher
Life Ring
Life Ring

March 29, 2018
What happened to the last week?? Sometimes, days just slip right by. I spent the past 3 days making a tin bucket and 8 crab pots. The bucket was fun. First time I've made one from tin. In the past, I've used card stock that I painted silver. I think the tin looks better. The crab pots were pretty fiddly. Had to make the orange rope, the 8 floats and, of course, the pots. Although the pots are not 100% accurate because they don't have all the inside parts, I think they at least give a good enough impression of what they are supposed to be.

Bucket
Bucket
Crab Pots
Crab Pots

April 2, 2018
Started making baskets last Friday and finially finished the 13 I intend to make this afternoon. My estimate is it took about 20 hours or so to make these little suckers. VERY time consuming. For anyone who might be interested, I've added a tutorial on making these to my Techniques page.

Basket
Basket
Baskets
Baskets

April 5, 2018
Yesterday, I made some tools for the Captain so he can do a bit of engine maintenance before he leaves the dock. Today, I made the diesel tank, which will certainly be helpful if he plans to go anywhere at all!

Tools
Tools
Diesel Tank
Diesel Tank

April 11, 2018
Finished!! Got everything assembled and glued down, so I'm calling this one done!

Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished
Finished