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Member postings for Gareth Jones

Here is a list of all the postings Gareth Jones has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Exciting development!
22/07/2011 21:19:31
During the war my father worked as a boiler maker in Cammell Lairds shipyard in Birkenhead. In the 1950s when I was a very small boy we used to go back there to visit the family he stayed with at the time. We often used to go on to New Brighton afterwards and the boating lake there was the start of my interest in model boats. Admittedly there was a fifty year gap afterwards when I did other things. My first model was a little Star yacht and after several months saving my pocket money I bought a small electric powered launch, possibly a Police launch, called Thames. I can remember quite clearly looking at it in the model shop window in Atherton for weeks and saying one day I am going to buy that Thames boat. I was convinced it's name was pronounced as it was spelt and when people kept telling me it was called 'Temms' I thought they were daft.
Thread: Shemarah II
07/07/2011 21:20:06
Back on the hull for a few days now, heres the final standard prior to the first coat of resin being applied.

And here she is, taking in the rays in the back garden while the smell of the resin evapourates. The cut out area in each side where the steps are has been temporarily blanked off with a bit of scrap ply.

Thread: Pond Princess
06/07/2011 15:01:07
Hi Geoff
I think it is quite fitting that your yacht is now radio controlled. It has been sailed using the various steering methods of its day (self-steering, Braine and Vane) and different rigs, so now it is quite right that it should be radio controlled. It is a lovely looking yacht with plenty of history and a future on the water. What more could a yacht want?
Thread: Shemarah II
05/07/2011 22:21:38
Heres a picture of the rudder and Kort nozzle fitted to the skeg. The bottom bearing was made from a short length of brass rod cannibalised from a stopcock and soldered on to the brass strip. The rudder pivot tube is made from 1/4 brass tube but the extension below the hull was again made from a piece of the stop cock. Since I don't have a lathe, drilling concentric holes in brass tubing is pretty hit and miss but the end result was OK after throwing away a few failed attempts.

The real rudder has a number of stiffening ribs and these are going to be made from 1.5 mm thick styrene strip superglued on to the rudder. Here's the first attempt cut out prior to sticking it on.

05/07/2011 22:10:51
Thanks for that John, I have decided to go with the tissue rather than the glass cloth, which I have put back into my might come in useful one day cupboard.
The last couple of weeks has seen the tops of most of the frames cut off at deck level just leaving 4 pairs to attach the hull back on the building board at the fibreglassing stage. The next task was to complete the hull skin up to the level of the bulwarks. I started by making a paper pattern of the bow section.

I then cut out a cardboard replica and finally a piece of 1/16 ply. I soaked this in near boiling water and then microwaved it for a few minutes before bending it around the bow section. I did eventually get it to fit reasonably well but it was going to be impossible to clamp it in position. The other drawback was the shape was not quite right. The stem of the real vessel has a slight curve, leaning further forwards at the top. However it was impossible to get this shape in the piece of ply as the curve around the stem was so tight, it was too stiff to bend in the other plane as well. I decided that it would be best to fix the side pieces of the upper hull skin which would give me more scope to clamp the bow piece afterwards.

Again paper and cardboard patterns were made first and a piece of 1/16 ply cut to form each side. The front and rear edges were scarfed over a distance of about 15 mm to allow an overlap of the adjoining pieces. After the two forward pieces were fitted and glued the two side pieces were made and fitted the same way, again with a scarf on the leading edge to overlap the ajoining section.

I decided to start again with the bow section and this time cut three pieces of 1/32 ply instead of one piece of /16, and these overlapped and were staggered so there are three layers over the top section, two over the mid section and one at the bottom. Each was glued on and allowed to dry before adding the next. Finally they were sanded to get a smooth finish with a slight curve to the stem as required.
The top of the bulwark was trimmed to give the final height plus a couple of mm spare. When the deck has been fitted I will trim it back to the correct height all round.

There is still a lot of sanding and profiling required in the bow area but its not far off ready for fibreglassing now, I have also added the top part of the transom with two holes cut for the doors. I have also cut away several of the aft deck beams and fitted the edges for a panel which will give me access to the rudder controls and servo.

As a change from woodwork I have also started construction of the rudder. This is made from a piece of brass sheet, in fact its a door push plate from B and Q. Its a suitable thickness, just needs a bit of rubbing down to get the laquer off before soldering. A pice of rectangular brass strip 7 mm wide and about 2 mm thick was soldered on to each side of the rudder plate, after it had been cut out from the sheet.

The top and bottom were drilled on my pillar drill to accept the rudder bottom pivot shaft and the top torque shaft.

These were then cut from 7/32 brass rod and soldered in place with a couple of big G clamps to act as heat sinks.

A piece of rectangular brass strip was attached to the skeg with two brass screws. This will support the bottom bearing of the rudder and the bottom of the Kort nozzle. I find this piece usually has to be removed and refitted lots of times which can result in the screw threads stripping in the wood. I initially use smaller screws to attach it to the skeg and fit longer ones when it is ready for the final fit.
26/06/2011 16:27:04
Hi Tony
Its a case of if you can't beat 'em then join 'em. Only now I am starting to beat 'em as well which gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Husband and wife having the same hobby does have its drawbacks though. We have had to move out of the R/C shed and into a newly converted R/C garage/workshop but often there is conflict over bench space and tools.
You just can't have it all ways.
26/06/2011 16:23:01
Hi Geoff,
Thanks for your appreciative comments about my yacht Pond Princess. She is a dream to sail, although on R/C she is often difficult to turn in a confined space. I took her to a Vintage Model Yacht Group meet in Hull today and sailed her with vane gear for the first time. Don't think I am ready to compete against the chaps at Fleetwood yet but am grateful for their advice about restoring the vane gear and how to use it.
Your restoration project looks lovely. Have you kept it a free sailer or converted it to radio control? It seems to have been sailed with every type of rig and steering mechanism in its life. I have a Sharpie which appears to be of similar size to your yacht and I sail that with Braine gear. In a gusty, changeable wind it is possible to have hours of fun and exercise whilst the radio guys look on and avoid!
Thread: WW2 naval figures for RN MTB 1/24 scale
26/06/2011 16:05:28
Grorge Turner Models do a set of three 1:24 scale MTB crew which I used on my PT boat as shown in the photos below.

Thread: Shemarah II
13/06/2011 21:04:59
Thanks for that John. I think I will try it that way. The only possible variation at the moment is that I have a suitably sized piece of woven glass cloth which I bought years ago to cover an aircraft wing. I might try draping that over the hull to see how it follows the shapes and use that in place of tissue if it seems OK,
Shemarah had a few days out this weekend on the Goole MBC stand at the CADMA show. It attracted a lot of interest, so much so that on the second day it was moved to the corner of the stand so it was more accessible to the visitors. If I had a pound for every person that fondled its bulbous bow and bottom I would be a rich man now,

08/06/2011 21:15:04
Hi John,
Thanks for that advice. I am planning to leave the extensions on four of the frames, one at each end and two either side of the middle section, so that I can re-attach the hull to the board when it comes to rubbing down and fibreglassing the hull. However I wanted to remove most of them at this stage so that I can build up the side skins to the top of the bulwark level without worrying about how I would be able cut off all the frames at deck level afterwards, when they would be butting up against the bulwarks. I am going to cut partially through the outer area of the 4 remaining frames so they can be removed more easily at the end with the bulwarks in place
The motor and Kort nozzle were only fitted for show at the weekend to give people an idea how they look. Similarly the rudder will not be installed permanantly at this stage, just fabricated as an assembly and trial fitted.
I am planning to fill and smooth the hull with Isopon before fibre-glassing. I did toy with the idea of fibre-glassing first as I thought it might bond better to the bare wood than filler but I have subsequently changed my mind. What's your expert opinion? I have never done this before.
One idea that did work quite well at the weekend was the built in provision for a carrying handle (see photo below). It was quite easy to carry around but the hull only weighs 5.4kg at the moment, it will be a bit different when its finished and weighs about 20 kg. Still, I think it will be more manageable than trying to get my arms around the hull and carry it that way.

08/06/2011 18:26:04
Planking has continued with some slightly thicker pins which have proved more reliable. It is quite challenging to try and fit the planks in the best line where they will lie straightest. Provided that the planks are only bent in one plane, the edges stay straight and the next plank will butt up against it neatly. However if a plank is twisted as many inevitably are, the next plank has to be pulled or pushed sideways over part of its length to stay up against the first. I have mainly been using 8 mm wide planks and usually after three or four twisted planks it is necessary to insert a 'stealer' i.e. a plank which does not have parallel sides, in order to get the next plank edge to lie reasonably straight. It is impossible to plank the full length of the hull in continuous planks so I also had to try and work out the best places to start and finish groups of planks. All in all quite challenging but somehow satisfying. How well it will all look when its finished is a bit of a guess at present. Hopefully I won't sand through the full thickness of any planks when it comes to rubbing the whole thing down.

Lots of clamps of all shapes and sizes were used. As the gap between planks gets smaller it becomes more difficult to fit the clamps in place. The brass pins hold the planks in place laterally but its often necessary to try and fit a g clamp or bulldog clip to hold adjacent planks level between the frames.

I had a go with a couple of ply planks at the front, which were 15 mm wide but it was very difficult to get the parallel edges to meet so I gave that up and went back to lime planks.

To try and get the right profile at the bow I decided to fill the volume with balsa and then sand it down to the right profile. I included a couple of additional horizontal ply diaphragms to make it easier to hold the profile as it was sanded.

I plan to cover the bow in two layers of 0.75 mm ply and heres a picture of my first attempt at making a template.

The back end is now finished and looks pretty neat, a shame to cover it all in fibreglass really.
Heres the final state with just the bow and the bulwarks area to skin over.

The next few pictures show the hull after removal from the building board at last. Its much lighter to move around now,

A look inside gives a good impression now of how much space there is and where the working systems and ballast will be able to be fitted. To my relief there were no big gaps visible between the planks and very little glue dribbled through to the inside. I wonder where it all went?

I have spent an hour or so sanding down the hull but I then decided to fit the motor and Kort nozzle so the hull could go on display at the Goole MBC open day on 5th June and at the CADMA show the following weekend. As a bit of a change I have decided to start on the rudder next so I will be putting away the woodworking tools and getting my blowtorch out soon.

23/05/2011 08:33:46
The two largest areas of ply sheet are on the sides of the hull whre there is a large flat area. I found it easier to make up the cardboard template in two pieces and tape them together before cutting out the ply sheet.

I have attached this to the frames but left a gap of about 30 mm between the top of the sheet and the stringer which is at deck level. My theory is that this will enable me to cut off the surplus top of each frame easily when the hull is removed from the building board, but leave a reasonable area of the hull framework to attach the top part of the skin which will extend to the top of the bulwarks. I have had to add an additional stringer at this level but because it was difficult to slot the frames to insert it. I have just used short lengths of 6 mm square stripwood between each frame. A Colin Bishop has said in another area of the forum, B and Q now have quite a good selection of pine strips in small cross sections which are good quality and much cheaper than most model shop prices.

The next step has been to start planking 'properly' i.e. with planks rather than sheets of ply. I am using lime strips 1.5 mm thick and in various widths of 10, 8 and 6 mm. I have started on the back end working in several areas at once, adding planks on alternate sides to allow the glue to dry and even out the stresses on the hull. I have a bit of an assortment of pins to hold the planks while gluing. However I decided to buy some more andd chose Amati 10 mm long fine brass pins which are only 0.5 mm thick. These have proved to be a bit too thin and sometime buckle when they are being pressed into a particularly tough bit of the ply frame. It is really annoying when the pin pusher slips off sideways at this point as you are pressing hard and then snaps the plank you are trying to fix into place. This usually happens right at the end when you have glue everywhere and have already attached it to about 10 frames - a good example of sods law I guess.
15/05/2011 21:48:57
Here's the next area being sheeted under the aft end, plently of clamps and a few pins holding it in place till the glue dries.

The next step is what I think of as one of the key steps in building a hull, where the propshaft is finally glued in position. It has to be done at this stage as the next area to be sheeted will restrict access to it. This is the first time I have used a Roboesch maintenance free sealed and ballraced propshaft and I did not find the instructions all that clear. The picture below shows the forward end where the bearing and seal housing sits. As supplied this is free to float on the shaft giving about 10 mm tolerance on the overall length of the tube. It has to be glued to the tube on or before installation to seal the prop shaft. However once glued, in this installation, there is no way of moving the propshaft assembly in or out of the model by more than an inch or so..

I fitted the propeller and Kort nozzle and determined the correct axial position for the shaft and then glued the bearing housing to the outer tube using Araldite. The bearing housing is a close fit to the tube so not much glue is needed and the whole assembly stays in line. I then rotated the tube to ensure the glue sealed the whole perifery before leaving it to dry. When it was set I could then slide the assembly about an inch aft to put some glue on the outer part of the bearing housing which sits in the locating plate shown above, and at the stern where the tube enters the hull before sliding it back in and rotating it a few times to make sure the glue made a good seal with the hull. When the Araldite had set, I have to say the shaft does not feel as free as the type I am used to with brass or bronze bushes. This has a Delrin plastic bearing at the aft end and a ball race and seal at the forward end so maybe it should feel slightly stiffer or maybe more viscous would be a better description. However it rotates smoothly with no rough spots so hopefully its OK and with a bit of water in it to lubricate the bush and seal, it should free up a bit. Time will tell but it will be a real ****** of a job if it ever has to come out.

Edited By Gareth Jones on 15/05/2011 21:52:12

13/05/2011 21:25:09
The last couple of days have resulted in a bit more progress and a few minor setbacks. I have made up and installed the ladders which are set into the side of the hull. The rungs are 3/64 brass rod and the sides and back are 3 mm ply. When I did the first one I glued the two sides to the back before drilling the holes for the rungs. This did not work out very well as the drill tends to wander and the holes are neatly in a line on one side but not the other. For the second attempt I clamped both sides together before drilling them, then glued them on to the back with a few rungs in place to make sure the sides lined up - this worked out much better..

The second mistake was to glue the assembled ladder to the side of the frame above the deck line (the stringer in the above picture). This bit of the frame will need to be cut off and discarded when the hull is removed from the building jig. Hopefully the top of the ladder will come unstuck without too much damage.
The next job was to start sheeting the hull. I have been making up cardboard templates for the large relatively flat areas which will be covered in 1.5 mm ply. All the edges of each piece end in the middle of a frame or stringer or up against the keel.
The first two pieces of ply sheet were pinned to the hull sides using 10 mm brass pins, pushed in about half way so they can be extracted afterwards. They have now been glued using aliphatic resin, as was the rest of the hull structure. I am working symmetrically gluing matching pieces on each side of the hull to balance the loads as it all dries out and hopefully does not distort.

The triangular shaped area needs to be cut away from the frame and stringer as the top of the transom slopes forward. Exactly how much was a bit of a guess as the side elevation of the lines drawing and arrangement drawing did not match. The next few days will be spent progressively adding the rest of the ply sheets and then moving on to the individual 1.5 mm lime planks for the more tightly curved areas.

01/05/2011 20:34:52
After a short break for Sunday tea here is the rest of todays progress. My eyesight is not very good. With my glasses on I can see from about 2 feet to infinity and with my glasses off I can see from about 4 inches to 8 inches. In between it gets a bit hazy. However the ruler helped me line up the prop shaft and motor to the best of my judgement..

I measured from the baseboard to the motor mount at the front and back, both sides and took an average at each end. Having allowed for the thickness of the 6 mm floor and the 10 mm supports I marked lines across the frames where the supports would be glued on. I tried to set the mount about 1 mm too low. If its too low you can easily pack up the mount using shims or washers but if its too high you are pretty well stuffed and have to start again. Using a horizontal piece of wood as a guide, the same way as for the battery mount, I attached the suports for the floor.

I then fitted the floor which has to be in two pieces because the gearbox layshaft runs through the middle. The two floor panels are each attached to the support beams using four countersunk screws and fit closely between the frames which means they can be removed and refitted repeatably in the same position.

I refitted the motor and lined it up again, now with the metal mount sitting on the floor panels. I drew through the four mounting holes with a sharp pencil to mark where the mounting studs should pass through the floor. I then drilled these four holes, slightly undersize, and fitted 2 countersunk screws in each side to give me four studs on which the motor mount will sit. These will eventually be glued in to prevent them turning when the nuts are removed some time in the future when the threads may be dirty and rusty. Then I drilled out the holes in the motor mount, slightly oversize to give a bit of final adjustment. The whole lot was then refitted and I found I just needed a washer under each of the front studs to give the best lineup of the motor and propshaft. It might need a bit of tweaking when it comes to the final assembly but its fine now, the motor is easily accessible and removable.

The outer part of each mount floor panel will be fitted with another stud in the centre and used to retain the ballast plates to the floor. These will be cut from a roll of lead flashing which I have stashed away under the bench in my workshop, having been left over from a long finished porch built on the front of out house about 20 years ago. I knew it would come in useful one day.

01/05/2011 18:01:34
I have now completed the stringers and added the diaphragms to make up the shape of the bow to which the planking can be attached. The model now requires some serious sanding to chamfer the edges of all the curved frames so there is the maximum area on which to bond the skin.

However sanding did not appeal to me today so I have installed the battery mount and motor mount while there is still reasonable access from the sides and bottom. A thin wooden strip was clamped to the side of frame 7 to locate the first battery floor bearing strip. A strip of 10 mm square timber was then glued and clamped to the frame to form the front support.

This was repeated on frame 6 and the battery mount floor was cut from a piece of 6 mm ply. The floor will be attached to the supports using brass woodscrews to allow access underneath if any repairs are required at a later date. In any event the floor will need to be removed when the inside of the hull is varnished or coated with resin.
A couple of pieces of 6 mm square timber were glued to the floor to locate the battery laterally. However a few minutes later, after taking the pictures I decided to remove the lateral restraints as I might need to slide the battery sideways, offset from the centreline to help correct any list in the model when it is complete. I remember when I built my first model, a TID tug, I was surprised how sensitive it was in roll, when I came to ballast it. I guess its not just the disposition of the internal components and their weight but also the shape of the hull and any discrepancies between the two sides. Being able to move the battery sideways and to a degree fore and aft gives me some scope for final adjustments.
The next job was to install the motor mount and this needs a bit of carefull planning to get it in the right place. I attached the motor and gearbox to the prop shaft using a standard universal coupling and then hung the motor from the keel using a cable tie I adjusted the cable tie to get what I judged to be the best alignment of motor and propshaft, using a steel rule as a guide. All this is done with the model upside down on the building board.
29/04/2011 21:13:20
No skiving today to watch the royal wedding, its been a Shemarah day from morning till night. Most of the stringers are now in place, with just one left to do at mid height either side of the bow. The front ones are 6 mm x 3 mm to give a bit more flexibility on the curvy section of the hull.

Most of the bow has now been built up with diaphragms in the bulbous section and the upper part.

Just a few more diaphragms to add between the horizontal pieces which make up the shape of the bow. When you look at the full size vessel it has quite a tubby, pugnacious look about it but now with all the curvy frames and stringers on view its quite a sexy shape underneath.
I plan to build up the bow section with balsa before planking it. The spaces between the most forward five frames will be filled with polystyrene foam for emergency buoyancy. However I need to decide if I am going to fit a working anchor winch, in which case I will have to allow space for the mechanism and chain. I have a busy day tomorrow so not much more will be done till Sunday.
27/04/2011 20:06:19
I have decided where to put the slots for the stringers and spent the last few days cutting them in the frames. This morning i made the final adjustments to the location of the frames to get them lined up. I then spent an anxious hour or so trying to work out if there was anything else I should have done before I start gluing in the keel and stringers. Hopefully not as the first few are now in place starting with the shelter deck level and tomorrow I should get the rest in place.

Thread: Walbut Dream, a 1:12 scale narrowboat
18/04/2011 20:21:06
Hi Larry.
I like the look of your working narrow boat. Have you scratch built the hull or is it a moulded one?
When I was a lad I went to Leigh Boys Grammar School and the Bridgewater canal went right past our school playing fields. I was never very keen on rough sports like rugby so I used to go cross country running during our outdoor PE sessions. We could run along the canal bank towards Astley and then off to the coal spoil heaps, locally known as rucks. We could play around there for half an hour or so, experimenting with the parts of the rucks that were partially alight due to spontaneous combustion or poking about in all the weird coloured bits where the water was washing out all the toxic chemicals. On the way back, if we were lucky there would be a coal barge heading towards Leigh and we could scrounge a lift back to Hall House Bridge and then run back into school looking sufficiently tired to impress the teacher. I am sure it would not be allowed these days but it never did me any harm.
Regards, Gareth

Thread: Shemarah II
16/04/2011 21:27:54
Having just about finished my narrow boat, Walbut Dream I have now been able to devote a bit more time to Shemarah again.
I spent a little time fettling the frames and realised attaching them to the base board with countersunk screws was not a good idea as its gives no scope for minor adjustment. Consequently I have added washers under their heads to give me a bit of scope to edge the frames backwards, forwards or sideways as required.

I realised after my first trial installations of the motor that I would have to cut away a lot of the centre frames to get the motor low enough and close enough to the keel. I therefore decided to make two new frames with a slightly different internal profile and made them from 6 mm ply rather than 3 mm. I did try adding a 3 mm doubler to the existing frames but they tended to twist and would not lie flat after glueing.

The prop shaft is a Raboesch sealed/self lubricating type but the large diameter end with the bearing and seal was difficult to locate accurately in the frame and just a bit too far aft for comfort. I therefore drilled a larger clearance hole in the frame and made a doubler to which the bearing housing can be glued. The doubler is bolted to the frame with clearance holes in the frame to give a bit of scope for adjustment.

The next job was to mount the Kort nozzle which again has been done with a doubler bolted to the aft side of the frame.

The nozzle will be fixed and is not steerable. I will attach a section of brass strip, inset into the bottom of the keel, which will provide the bottom attachment for the nozzle and the bottom bearing for the rudder. The nozzle and propeller are both 3 inch/75 mm Prop Shop units and were delivered only a couple of days after they were ordered, pretty good if they are made to order, although being a common size maybe they were already in stock.
The next step is to start cutting slots in the frames to take the 6 mm square stringers (or is it longerons - I am not sure - I was an aircraft engineer not a marine one) at deck level and several other locations lower down (still to be worked out) .
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