Sunday, 8 May 2016

Gad, it's hot!....

So damned hot that I had to find something I could do in the shade outside my shed.  I had previously got the primer on the Marblehead and felt that should stay at that level while all the moving home went on.
I noticed a deck stringer, cut ages ago, slopping around on the framed hull of a Greavette gentleman's racer I made from Gary Griswold plans.  My dear friend, Rich Redfern of Forida, he of the much missed Model Boat Wizard website, had sent me a huge pile of plans, all of which I will get round to eventually, but oh dear, Mr. Griswold, you didn't build the Greavette, sir, did you, to check your drawings!

Ye gods!  I'd quickly traced the frames onto 3mm ply and bandsawed them out, glued them to the keel and put a bit of chine stringer on.  Then it got put aside ages ago in preference to some other designs intended for the Vintage Boat Company, but he got busy with re-launching laser cut versions of the old Aerokits range, so my ideas became my hobby boats!  One of those was a Darby One-design hydro, from Oulton Broad, where a need was felt for a 1500 cc inboard stepped hydro class.
I happened to have the design and even a build article for a real one in Motor Boat and Yachting Annual for around 1951, I think. Here's a real one racing in the day:-
Here's the model so far:-
As you can see it's further on than the Greavette.
It has a rare offset rudder as evinced by the slot on the right of the divided transom.

Here we have the Greavette as at today's effort to get a bit of strength into it.
The diagonal is to put some opposite twist in the hull.  My hope being that after the glue sets, the nasty twist will be gone or very nearly so.
And once that's done, I will go round filling the gaps where the notches were also badly drawn and then I'll add some ply to the frame edges to bring the frames out to the correct width and shape.  It all sounds mighty long winded, but it isn't, because you do a bit and then go away and do something else while it sets. And I'm quick anyway, so I can do this kind of thing in a flash.  That and the fact that I am notoriously tight-fisted and waste nothing.  I have almost no 3mm ply left, just scraps, so a re-frame is out of the question.
One day it really will look like this:-
Did you ever see a more elegant ventilator?

Now the dilemma.....
I have a set of four mahogany dining chairs.  They were made by my Grandfather in the 20s or 30s.  They came with a table which my daughter and family still use, but the chairs fell apart years ago because of glue fatigue.  OK, I have a pack of pearl (hide) glue, I have a cast iron glue pot to melt it in, I even have a butcher's thermometer to make sure all is correct, BUT.  I really don't have the time to scrape the joints meticulously clean, for, if you don't, hide glue will never stick a damned thing.  Ask me how I know! I have a very nice supply of Cuban mahogany.  Not Philipino, not West African Redwood, but real, solid Cuban.  Red as a cheap whore's lips, dense, beautifully figured, so long seasoned you can measure it in generations, not just years.
Suitably ripped on Bazz's saw, it would supply a good load of materials for the model boats.
Yes, I KNOW I always sing the virtues of steamed pear, but it would be a real nod to old Grandad Field if his (I'm sure he'd admit) knackered chairs had a new life.  And I promise not to use hide glue!


  1. Steamed pear? I bought some pear planks years ago, what's the advantage? I just thought of them as a cheap and interestingly different wood at the time. Did I buy well?

    Nice looking boat at the top by the way. I'm guessing the offset rudder is something to do with counteracting the turning action of a powerful fast spinning prop. How manouverable will she be?

  2. Steamed, as opposed to common or garden) pear ain't cheap, Phil. Also known as Swiss Pear (it tends to come from Germany and Switzerland), it is considered exotic. I use it because it looks like mahogany in scale. I used it for my Riva models and for my miniature furniture years ago, of which, I'm afraid, I never got photos.

    I've no idea whether the Darby One-Design will be manoueverable, Phil. Never seen a model of anything like it running, but I'm assuming it'll handle in a scale like way, though I won't be putting a stupidly powerful motor in it, as long as it planes a bit I'll be happy. I am not a huge fan of playing with model boats, I find it tedious! Model yachts are more involving. I discovered that with a rudder only 575 plastic jobby years ago. Building them is my main pleasure. Especially the old "Woodies".

  3. After Martin mentioned the use of pear wood to me the other day I thought it rang a bell. Then it came back to me that Gerald Wingrove used it

  4. Yes, ol' Gerry loved it for its lack of grain and figure. It works nicely with metalworking tools.

  5. Hi Martin, whill you show us that Bassett Lowke motor?
    I achieve a long ambition at christmas with the gift of a Bassett Lowke Flotilla Leader which contains the odd single cylinder pison valve engine that intreagued me for so long. not fired her up yet, but she look fairly sea worthy.


  6. Let's see that Bassett Lowke motor Martin.
    I'd like to show you the BL Flotilla Leader I received at Christmas, it has that rare single cylindr piston valve engine and she look fairly seaworthy.

  7. OK, maybe there's a blog entry coming up worthy of my recent Bassett-Lowkery, though how you already know is a mystery!

  8. Aha! The message I thought I'd lost and tried to retype wasn't lost😊 you can delete the bad one.
    I read about your BL motor on the mamod forum.

  9. Ah! well now there's a new blog post with pictures, Miles. Just done it.