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Thames Sailing Barge Stuff

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Tim Rowe15/05/2021 07:30:39
547 forum posts
562 photos

I don't keep 1/4" or 6mm ply other than just a few offcuts so Kimberley's frames are cut from 3mm Liteply. Litelply as we all know is rarely very flat but that is quite easy to solve by jigging during assembly. 3mm doesn't give a huge amount of material for the planks to stick to but most of the tension will be at the plank ends at the bow and stern. The ply will take pins which is an advantage and putting the bevels on is a doddle compared with doing the same at 1/4" . It is also much easier to cut and above all I have plenty!


My usual method is to cut out the paper sections direct from the plan and then photo copy them. I then have the originals just in case and if everything is copied then any slight reduction or enlargement will be consistent and will not matter.

The section templates are stuck to the ply using Pritt Stick. I tried branded copies but they never worked quite so well and would leave residues whatever I tried.


Using Ray's method of building upside down on sacrificial "legs" the frame were cut out and the edges sanded back to the line. The centre-pop marks were an idea to give me a reference when the paper is removed but as you can see they slipped a bit and it was easier and more accurate to put a small starter cut either side to pick up on later. I shall follow those cuts when the hull is removed from the biding board.

With the genuine Pritt Stick I find that is the paper is moistened with clean water and a brush it will release from the wood with the glue coming away on the paper. Not enough water or time to soak into the ply and distort it. Sometimes there are a few remnants like in the photo and these sand off easily.




Frames more or less ready and put to one side for the "kit"

Tim R

Chris Fellows15/05/2021 10:58:03
980 forum posts
643 photos

Good stuff Tim. I always enjoy seeing how you go about things.

I must get myself a bench drill at some point.


Eddie Lancaster15/05/2021 11:43:54
807 forum posts
604 photos

Hi.Chris,Tim, I agree Tim always brings engineering skills and techniques into his builds, and I always follow his builds with interest.

I now have three drill presses, four if you count the Proxon mini mill, the 3 morse taper floor standing is from my steam engine building time, but I’d still gets used, I recently acquired a bench mounted drill for my new shed along with an Axminster mini drill and the Proxon that I find invaluable for drilling holes in the IOM masts and booms when you need straight lines of holes spaced at regular intervals.



Tim Rowe15/05/2021 16:41:17
547 forum posts
562 photos

Thank you Chris and Eddie

My Proxxon mini drill was my first significant purchase when I got back into modelling. It will take a 1/4" which is fine in wood but even at the slowest speed it is far to fast for drilling metal. I can just about manage 4mm. Now I am building more boats than aircraft I should probably look out for a less dainty device. I wouldn't be without it though.


Here is my Proxxon cross slide mounted on the drill doing exactly what Eddie describes. These are at 5mm intervals dialled in on the handwheel.


To make this lines of holes in an IOM jib boom

Tim R

Ray Wood 216/05/2021 09:33:40
2357 forum posts
829 photos

Hi All,

What a great morning for the workshop !! April showers in May !!

As we are talking tools, my new bandsaw is a truly amazing bit of kit with its properly adjustable fence, I'm cutting my own planks, my old machine wasn't accurate enough for this. The strip of brass allows me to cut very narrow planks.

I wish I'd splashed out years ago bandsaw may 21.jpg

Regards Ray

Chris Fellows16/05/2021 10:53:11
980 forum posts
643 photos

Yes, the recent run of inclement weather has been good for building!

Great that the new bandsaw is doing the business. I'll probably get some bigger power tools to add to the scroll saw when I've thinned out the motorbikes in the garage and made some room!


Tim Rowe31/05/2021 13:29:04
547 forum posts
562 photos

My version requires some modifications to the internal structure to support the keel which is being housed in a box and capable of being adjusted longitudinally. The idea is to end up with two positions in case I ever go for the big rig.


Here, 3 frames have been left as bulkheads but as yet I have no plan for the winches and rigging below decks to I am just cutting out reasonably sized apertures. The bulkheads are ganged up and taped together so everything lines up for sawing out in one hit. For those familiar with the drawings they are frames 4, 4 1/2 and 5.


These are bulkheads 4 and 5 and form the front and back of the keel box. As there will be inserts inside the box that could move in handling, transport or grounding I have epoxied two strips of 0.8mm epoxy sheet onto the bulkheads to provided a wear surface. Eventually the whole inside of the box will be lined with epoxy sheet meaning the inside of the box will be completely waterproof without having to try and paint as well as resistant to wear when taking the fin in and out.

Tim R

Tim Rowe31/05/2021 20:48:28
547 forum posts
562 photos

Epoxy sheet is quite expensive here and not always available. I have the raw materials so making the keel box sides was very easy.

I have various random weights of woven and non-woven glass. I have no ide what the weights are so they are selected on the basis of the lightest material that I think will do the job. This saves on resin too as there is less to wet out. The sides of the keel box are birch ply as supposed to Liteply and so most of the required strength is in the wood and the epoxy provides the wear surface and the water resistance.

A piece of ply was cut sufficiently large to do the two sides with a bit of a margin and the epoxy and fabric laid up on the wood trying to get the amount of epoxy uniform over the entire surface.

The lay-up was then covered with a piece of waxed glass and then weighted down.


Actually I used all the weights I could find to squash the glass onto the epoxy. The full weight was left on for about an hour to let any excess epoxy flow out of the edges and when the epoxy was just starting to gel, the weights were removed and the work put out in the sun.

Looking like this. The smoked glass absorbs the heat very nicely and I got an excellent cure in about 1 1/2 hours reaching a temperature of about 65 degrees (ie too hot to touch)

The work was then brought inside to slowly come back to room temperature before releasing it. This is important to maintain complete flatness through the temperature change. I sincerely hope it will never get as hot as 65 degrees again!


Here is the finished sheet and the epoxy is rock hard.

It was not quite as good as the bought-in stuff as the weave did not completely fill. It was however fully wetted out so it will perform fine. It would be nice to have vacuum bagging equipment (one day) and then the weave would have filled 100%. It would have been a lot more weights to match atmospheric pressure.

The epoxy faced ply is now ready for cutting out the two side.

Tim R

tomarack02/06/2021 17:47:10
143 forum posts
181 photos


great idea, I have a slightly curved plywood table, which I can't straighten, I'll try as soon as possible !!!.


Ray Wood 210/06/2021 20:07:37
2357 forum posts
829 photos

Hi All,

I'm very pleased to let you know Tiny Mite a 30" Barge Yacht built, owned and raced for many seasons by Peter Simmonds has joined my fleet after a long journey from the Isle of Wight involving Road > Solent crossing > Road to Maidstone, made worse and longer by the current situation, but she is here now, and will be on the water soon.

She joins Peter's Veronica, my Gertrude and the soon to be finished Portlight. SWMBOtm 100621.jpg is not seeing the funny side !! but she will come round

Regards Ray

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