Port of call for the 17 YO boat trip.

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 11-02-2017 05:18 AM 2782 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This article is certainly not going to be a shrinking violet as a closure to my prolonged boat build saga.

To minimise the size of this blog, I tried the adage of one picture is worth 1,000 words but I couldn’t choose a favourite happy-snap, so I tried to sum this project up in 1 word,

Portofcallforthe17YOboattrip.Thisarticleiscertainlynotgoingtbeashrinkingvioletasafinallytotheprolo ngedboatbuild.Itriedtheadageofonepictureisworth1,000wordsbutIcouldn’tchooseafavourite,soItriedtosumthisprojectupin1word,

but then quickly realised that even if you like reading, you may get tired of parsing it so I shall go back to my traditional presentation (in a few more than one word).

To provide a satisfactory defence to the Bounty’s armoury of 4 x 4 pounder cannons and 10 swivel guns, I had to unleash the big guns for the cabinet build in the workshop.

However, as a duck can never waddle in a straight line, let me digress just a tad.
When I began the boat build 17 years ago, this was a picture of my workshop back then…

needless to say, I chose one of the bedrooms for the build (I won’t say which one and any photos may be censored). The only fabrication made in the workshop was the use of the drill press (hidden in the back corner) to turn and sand the masts and spars,

Digression herewith terminated and back in the pond.

All started with the obligatory Sketchup design,

Which provided me with a salvo of dimensions,

A barrage of mitre saw attacks were made on a cargo of 140mm x 19mm and 64mm x 19mm planks, to stop William (Captain Blight to you) using them on the mutineers (ok… it was vicky verka, but this way sounded better). After the smoke settled the flotsam and jetsam was gathered and readied for laminating,

One of the weapons used were my Frontline clamps. Without getting into the intimate relationship between the clamp piece on the bottom and the domineering top partner, they provided sufficient leverage to laminate the boards without aids like dowels or biscuits. The timber was DAR and no further jointing was performed with only one edge being glued.

While the Frontlines have wide clamping pads, I prefer to add a supplementary wooden pad to better distribute the pressure in case I get too carried away and crank the clamping pressure close to the advertised 4 tonne of compressive force… soft pine tends to submit to such brutality.

I used some deck hands (side kicks),

to align the end edges. Those wooden ones sitting on top was what I used to use before. In the past I found that when I started to rush the job before the glue sets and with uncontrolled squeeze out, I had to add another step to the manufacturing process… after the glue dried, separating the end cauls from the main lamination (and often make new replacement ones)… well at least that was the justification for the purchase… didn’t think I could have lined the bottom of the cauls with tape and save a few pieces of eight.

I nearly had to make another panel so I thought I’d make a video of the panel clamps in operation, however, as I’m planning to flock the top panel I didn’t have to remake what I “flocked up” and just had to “patch up”. I routed the wrong side, so I had to plug the screw holes I screwed up, flip the panel 360° (and then another 180° as the 360° flip was just a few °s too much) and mount the lazy susan on the reverse side… phew!

The panels were taken to the work table for glue clean up. I rediscovered my glue plane

and put it to good use in removing the dried squeeze out.
A bit of drum,

belt (2bsure, 2bsure),

and ROS

sanding and the panels were temporarily finished.

One good thing about pine, it dents so easily that you have to commandeer the household iron thus giving you the perfect opportunity to buy the missus that present she doesn’t want but now needs (assuming that in the past, you have burnt her stocking when you ironed them and now she won’t let you near it – the iron I hope, not the stockings).

After the lamination a change of pace was in order and I dug into my arsenal and dragged out the FMT to create some dual in-line m&t (mortise and tenons) for the aprons and vertical dividers and lonely singles for the stretchers.

A premature test fit nearly made me lay an egg from joy (well not really from joy… do you really need an anatomy lesson?),

The drawer cavity was delivered by caesarean section (sliced through the middle) on the router table. A surgical error prevented me from presenting a photo here (or anywhere else).

In the SketchUp design I planned to use m&t for the vertical dividers, but then had a change of heart and chose to use sliding dovetails as the through m&t were no challenge (BS… too bleeding difficult).

Now the part most woodworkers hate… glue up (glue sniffers pardoned). No matter how slow the glue cures or how simple the build is… you (speaking in the 3rd person me) always thinks the glue has already set when I clamp up the last piece. One can rehearse as much as one likes, however, those bloody clamps refuse to cooperate, immediately after the first bit of glue touches wood.

Finally the carcass carked it and stopped fighting back, permitting the glue to dry. Why is it that when the glue has dried and the clamps have to be taken off, there always seem to be twice as many as you thought you put on and you finish up with an unruly pile next to your project that you continue tripping over and re-arranging until you finally get pissed off enough to put them away (or hang up if you’re a neat freak) a day or two later?

Turned it toes up, took some upside-down measurements to centre the bottom panel and doweled it through the three legs… and then I remembered… and did the fourth leg,

Slapped some wheels on it, only to have it run away from me and make me spend the next hour ironing out the resultant dents (I have used the photo of the iron so I won’t bore you with it again),

after it pinged of the surrounding machinery/abutments like a wooden pinball machine… quickly took the wheels of and persevered with moving it around manually.

I’m sure this doesn’t only happen to me, yet people continue to say it was a fun buildHAH!.

Now I had the drawer dimensions dictated to me by the gaping hole. Fortunately the 410mm drawer depth turned out to be approximately 10mm longer than my 400mm slides and 90mm shorter than my 500mm slides. I opted for the 400mm as it was too much of an effort to cut 90mm off the 500mm.

Next weapon of choice was my dovetailer for the drawer. Fortunately I didn’t have to look for it and set it up as I had already gone through the motions for the sliding dovetails.
Configured it up,

and started routing…

Just an FYI for those with good eyesight,

FOP – stands for Front Outside Pins

SIT – stands for Side Inside Tails.

I like to leave about a 1mm pin and tail (no donkey ‘cept me) overhang for safety but I must have used a short tape measure as my drawer dimensions turned out to be 2mm short in both directions on both sides after trimming off the safety overhang. To cut a long story short, this missing 2mm was padded out by a couple of washer either side. Then I had to remove the ones I put on the front and back as the length discrepancy was of little concern… I just had to remember to not push the drawer in that extra 2mm.

After screwing up the measurements of the drawer bottom I decided to use my bar gauge and get a more than approximate size.

Slapped a front on it, a simple pull and the drawer was finished.

Time to size up for the lazy sue. Though maybe an overkill, I opted for the larger aluminium one. No idea why I chose that one as I needed to drill some through holes in one of the rims to replace the rubber pads used for resting glass on… FYI, drinking out of casks, I had no need for glass rests.
The tape was to keep the swarf out of the bearings,

The simplest way to centre a LS is to cut out a circle the size of the inner circumference, pin it with a dowel and use that as a fitting template. I was too lazy to take out my large circle cutter and chose to cut the circle out on my laser from 3mm MDF. The capacity of the laser was 300mm wide and I found it just a little difficult to cut a 400mm circle on it. So I cut a couple of the missing crescents out, however, that was unnecessary as the “oblong” shape would have been sufficient to centre the LS.

Used the same template to position the LS on both the top and bottom panels of the turntable. Cut a hole in the bottom panel so I could screw the LS to the top panel during final assembly,

(picture for the benefit of those that have eaten from but not built using a LS).

Played around with a few router profiles to jaz it up a bit but opted for a round-over with a small step to keep people’s attention on the boat rather than the cabinet.

Ran the router over one of the panels and cursed profoundly for routing in the wrong orientation. After thorough chastisement and self-flagellation, I routed the other one with the intention of making a new panel for the snafuSoly Hhit… I did the same with the second panel. I wanted to see if I could bugger up the 3rd panel as well but it’s orientation didn’t matter so I was disappointed with its success.

Anyway I now had two screwed panels and I thought it’d be cheaper to plug the panels’ blemishes

and flip fit the LS, so you missed out on the panel clamp video… tough.

While upside down I placed the stand on the tabletop to centre it. Created and attached some corner brackets for placement during final assembly (when upright).

Stained and figure 8 attachment hardware fitted,

Created the frame for the glass out of 25mm x 25mm timber (19mm laminated and trimmed). Routed out 5mm channels to silicon and recess the glass panels for the case, based on SketchUp dimensions and design.

Began siliconing and assembling the case in my kitchen as the assembled case would be difficult to get up the stairs and impractical to wheel to the back door. The frame was not glued as the silicon bonded the glass rigid,

Once the silicon had dried I could then use the final dimensions for the flocked MDF… while SketchUp is accurate, drying silicon doesn’t produce pinpoint accuracy. OOPS! Forgot to take happy snaps of the flocking process… one big flock up!

Decided to keep one end of the display case open

and chose to “mount” the boat onto a sheet of green flocked 6mm MDF. Made some support blocks for the boat

and used screws from underneath to keep the boat stable.

It was finally time to launch the boat. Needed the obligatory Champagne bottle before it hit C-water!

I also included a couple of laser engraved “scrolls” depicting,
A brief history of the bounty,

a brief note about the mutiny,

a profile of the antagonists,

PS. Now for all those people that hate reading just a smidge as much as I do, permit me to save you the hassle of reading the above drivel and jump straight to the pictorial presentation I have upload to DropBox. It’s a largish PDF so a one-time download may give better response and let you wade through it in instalments.

PPS. If you think the above was a lot to read, sympathise with me as it took a helluva lot longer to write!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

18 comments so far

View crowie's profile


3708 posts in 2721 days

#1 posted 11-02-2017 05:40 AM

Very fitting home for such a beautiful sailing ship you built Alex…
Thank you for the pictorial walk through your shop and the process to make the cabinet…

PS – You sure got a lot of good toys to play with!!

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Dutchy's profile


3720 posts in 2938 days

#2 posted 11-02-2017 07:42 AM

The ship has got what it deserved. Great story with a nice how to. It’s also nice to have some looks in your shops.



View robscastle's profile


7194 posts in 2974 days

#3 posted 11-02-2017 07:46 AM

OMG I feel tired already, amazing work there LBD
possibly a bit too much duck talk though!

Now a couple of questions

1 What is the white instrument between the frontline clamps?
2 Why have you marked your clamps “up” (is there a difference?)

Flocking.. just what every hot blooded male has in their workshop good stuff..
Another question do you make your own white flocking?

I see at least four Frontline clamps thats a fairly large capital outlay!

I needed some in Sep 2016 but found all available types were beyond my budget so I had to make my own.

An aside.
A1Jim has a post about home made lasers maybe you could add some professional advice?

In closing

A most imrpessive builld!

-- Regards Rob

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


4672 posts in 1591 days

#4 posted 11-02-2017 08:51 AM

rc, will try to answer your questions.

1. That white instrument is a new Churchill invention called a timer. I used to put a piece of wood on the squeeze out and when I couldn’t lift it off, the glue had dried… not a recommended timer. Now my dinners get overcooked but not my glue up.
2. Yes they are significantly different though they could be used upside down. I used to get cheesed off when I set everything up, glued up the boards and found that I had the up clamp down. This way I just have to read and not think.

Agree, every household should have a flocker. This is mine, brought to me as needed,

My flock is usually red but goes green after a few daze.

The Frontlines are a major capital outlay. I initially bought 2 (though that was a furfie as 2 are not enough). Fortunately I had a mate that needed many panels quickly for a well paid contract job. H wanted a minimum clean up (sanding etc…) before cutting to size. He bought 2 to add to my collection and after we finished the project he gave me his two as part payment…

They well and truly pay for themselves and if you include your labour time into projects the payback accelerates like carzy.

I have seen many a great shop made clamps, however, they all seem to lack the two way motion (and force) of the Fontline.

Bottom line… a dowel joint is great, however, a lot of people go down the track of the $$$ Domino…

Couldn’t find any laser reference on A1Jim’s page.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile


7194 posts in 2974 days

#5 posted 11-02-2017 09:16 AM

Agree about the force that can be applied its massive,

Shoulda added the link in the first place

-- Regards Rob

View Redoak49's profile


4725 posts in 2758 days

#6 posted 11-02-2017 11:16 AM

Another outstanding project and a beautiful case. The ship build is just out of the world. The craftsmanship is something to be dreamed about.

Also, always a fun read….thanks

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3636 days

#7 posted 11-02-2017 01:58 PM

Wow! What a beautiful ship model and it’s a wonderful case for showing it off. Both the ship and model case displays a lot of fine details and craftsmanship. The model is fantastic. It shows your dedication and perseverance. It is a beautiful eye catcher.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View GR8HUNTER's profile


7538 posts in 1482 days

#8 posted 11-02-2017 02:32 PM

you blokes down under must have GREEN oceans or is it parked in your yard on the grass LMAO :<))
P.S. #4 asked me to ask you that question LOL :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View pottz's profile


9847 posts in 1754 days

#9 posted 11-02-2017 04:32 PM

wow ducky let me catch my breath buddy,did I say wow!this is a build of epic preportions,i don’t have the words to even begin to compliment something so spectacular.youve really outdone yourself on this project,incredible job!

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


4672 posts in 1591 days

#10 posted 11-02-2017 08:17 PM

Thanks all for your kind comments.

... a build of epic preportions,..

- pottz

pottzy, the build of the display cabinet was quite ordinary, however the time taken to embellish the facts was epic.
Having said that, the manipulation of the glass was a two man job and if I was half my size I could never have managed.

you blokes down under must have GREEN oceans…


The green is from the algae brought to Australia by the visit of the USS Ronald Reagan carrier back in July 2017.

Here in Churchill, our water is black!

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View daiku_padawan's profile


108 posts in 999 days

#11 posted 11-02-2017 10:07 PM

Beautiful work. Love looking at old sailing ships.

-- ~Daniel

View htl's profile


5115 posts in 1929 days

#12 posted 11-02-2017 11:47 PM

The first two zoom pictures show one super nice case but then the third comes up and the lazy susan letting us see all the many details around the back Priceless just Priceless.
You got some awful nice toys you haven’t let us see before. NICE!!!
If I didn’t know better I’d think you work in a TARDIS ???

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


4672 posts in 1591 days

#13 posted 11-03-2017 07:23 AM

You got some awful nice toys you haven t let us see before. NICE!!!
If I didn t know better I d think you work in a TARDIS ???

- htl

Thx #4, appreciate it coming from you!

I do take pride in my toys/tools… more than in my appearance… cheers from a few ex-partners/misusses and a high five from the current (electrocution not implied).

TARDIS? Is this a hint for the next project? Who said that?

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View htl's profile


5115 posts in 1929 days

#14 posted 11-03-2017 04:12 PM

Ducky I thought about a small Tartis but just can’t get myself to build anything that has to be blue, but if it ain’t blue it’s just a wood phone box. LOL

Now an Orville,,, Hmmmmmm!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Grumpy's profile


26427 posts in 4621 days

#15 posted 11-03-2017 11:07 PM

Black Duck , nice job, great blog and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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