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HMSV Bagel (Beagle with some bits left out, and some in the wrong places.) ~ Deck Furnishing Phase

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2 hours ago, Tim Reynaga said:

Bertie, that copper sheathing looks great!


And it's really easy to do! Next side I'll be more careful about keeping the overlaps consistent and the pattern stable. This is just learning the basics.


4 minutes ago, Courageous said:





It feels so cold compared to the wood. Very strange after all these weeks of handing it.

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EEK! I've been forgetting to log my hours since re-starting work here. I was at 117:35 a couple of updates ago and I'm estimating that the two sessions of laying copper added up to about 3 hours. It takes me about an hour and a half before my concentration begins to falter so that's what I base my guess on. I therefore declare that my elapsed time up to the start of today is 120.5 hours. I've rounded down five minutes and from now on I'll work in quarter hour increments because it makes the maths a bit easier and because no-one but me cares anyway. 😄






First thing today was to work down from my pencilled waterline and using Tamiya tape, mark the location of the top two strakes of copper.




As you see, they make a neat and tidy 'hem' at the top of the copper plates. The plates that approach it from below at varying angles have to be cut to shape with a straight line at the top because when the hem is smoothed down they will show through My Cunning Plan is to lay the plated overlapping the Tamiya tape and then cut them cleanly along the edge of the tape, removing all of the triangles of waste material in one go when I strip off the tape. This is my own idea and if anyone sees a major fault in the plan, please let me know beforehand!




I went all 'time and motion' on the plate production today. I added a physical stop to my humble jig so that I didn't have to line the scalpel up on the cutting line by eye. This made it at least three times as fast, possibly five times! I had to rebuild the jig in a different place a couple of times because I was cutting in exactly the same place hundreds of times and making a trench in the cutting board, but that was only a minute's work. The matchsticks were simply superglued down.


I also had to replace the scalpel blade once because cutting so much metal had definitely taken the edge off it.




After two hours I'd cut the entire roll of copper into plates. I think this will be enough to finish the coppering, both sides, so I'll be able to get into a productive rhythm of 'peel and stick' when I return to the bench. First though it's lunchtime and then a walk with my dog Tess into Leek. I swear that a stroll through the town centre, sniffing EVERYTHING is more tiring than a ten miler in the countryside. Tess sniffs quite a lot of things too...


122.5 Hours


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  • Bertie McBoatface changed the title to HMSV Beagle (1820) ~ Coppering the Bottom





Three and a half hours of plating took me past this pile of discarded backing paper...




To this! 


I'm so chuffed with it that I had to post big pictures even though they show up all of the faults so much better.




Here's a closer look at the texture (and the errors!). Once it's had the nails embossed, I think it will be good enough to pass muster.




Some parts are better than others of course.




The waterline is a bit wobbly, but I don't find that objectionable. It adds character. It also shows dramatically just how much of these 'coffin brigs' were under the water!




My idea of laying copper over masking tape, cutting it to follow the tape, and then removing it with the tape worked well and will be refined on the other side.


126 hours

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34 minutes ago, S-boat 55 said:

The copper looks fantastic, seems to be going than expected as well which is always good 


Thanks. Yes for a first attempt it's come out ok. I'm happy. 


25 minutes ago, Faraway said:

Will you be ‘weathering’ the copper, to reduce the shine ?



No. It will do that on its own in a few months or years. About as long as it will take to finish the build! 😆


Actually I can see the shine has diminished on the keel already probably from my skin oils. (Ew)

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That is looking very impressive Bertie. The 'errors' really does add to the character of the ship, and shows that it has been individually hand built, and not done by a robot, which I hope you are not!



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4 hours ago, Ray S said:

That is looking very impressive Bertie. The 'errors' really does add to the character of the ship, and shows that it has been individually hand built, and not done by a robot, which I hope you are not!




Cheers Ray. Yes I agree about the errors adding 'soul' to the model. And remember these ships were hand built, well used, and frequently repaired so they would rarely have been pristine, even under a Captain like Fitz Roy. Beagle was bounced off underwater rocks more than once and was careened for repairs several times too. That coppering would not have been perfect, though I'll admit that it was probably perfecter than my version. 😆


3 hours ago, Dmitriy1967 said:

I like the way the process is going. Don't stop.



Thanks Dmitriy. I'll start side two tomorrow.

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6 hours ago, Bertie McBoatface said:

Copper plating the other side is not much different to the above, so I'll do a brief update in a while once it's done.


Well that was the theory anyway. I'd hoped to cruise through the sea of copper in just a couple of sessions but it's not turning out that way.




But first, I experimented on side one with the nail gun. Those plated were nailed with large headed nails every few inches and in particular patterns too. Fortunately this is a training ship and I was able to sketch something in with a riveting tool from Trumpeter. This close it look appalling but it's one of those things that from a foot away, you don't consciously notice but somehow it looks a little better. That's my story anyway.


Note the size of the overlapping on the plates of the first side. They look rather gross to me now and I have resolved to make side two a lot less overlapped and a lot neater. I also have to work in the opposite direction. These factors threatened to slow me down a lot but they weren't the worst things.


I first tackled the working right to left by reversing the whole process but unpeeling the foil from the backing was very slow with my left thumb. I reverted to the system as before but swapped hands when it came to offering the plates up to the ship, holding tweezers in left hand and smoothing down with the right. Surprisingly, that worked very well and I think I made the overlaps a lot smaller and tidier. I've also managed to do a reasonably even three butt shift on the panels, though this will drift as I work forward around the Beagle's belly.




The sternpost is a straight piece of timber so every strake of plates ends with the same angle. First time, I cut each one to fit, holding them against the side and marking individually. Well, I've learned something because this time I measured one and used it as a template to do all of the other ones at once. That was a useful labour saver.




That's the first line started. Look at that awful mess up of the planking. It looks like rotten wood, doesn't it. Well i hope so because that's what I will claim was my deliberate intention.




I got as far as this before the real problem kicked in. I hadn't got far at all because those aren't continuous strakes, I was working in a diagonal line to get things started in a ship-shape fashion. No, the problem, on this cold wet day in November was holding the tweezers firmly with my arthritic left thumb. My, how that smarts!


So it's going to take a little longer than expected. I'll keep you informed.




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The copper is very soft and easily marked. This means that I must fit the hull to its base pretty sharpish. Which means I'd better buy a base. Which means a trip to Exotic Woods of Staffordshire.  A single piece of wood won't be expensive but how do I prevent myself crazy buying ALL of that beautiful timber?

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On your marks...




That's all of the full length strakes done.




The first line of Tamiya tape abuts the waterline and the second one abuts it. They mark the location of the two strakes of 'hem'




This photo explains it better.




Then I sneak up to the tape using progressively shorter lines of Cu.




And Bob's your uncle. The upsweep may not be 'accurate' but I think it looks mighty fine.




Stern. 😠




One day I'll do a copper aeroplane with this stuff.




I broke the 'beak' off AGAIN!





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  • Bertie McBoatface changed the title to HMSV Bagel (Beagle with some bits left out, and some in the wrong places.) ~ Deck Furnishing Phase

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