February 26, 2017

A hull of a lot of sanding

We are getting a bigger boat
After a good nights sleep and three cups of joe, I headed down to the basement to see if the GENSET still worked. I fired up the DCC and, yes, it did!  Alleluia!

Then I dived into the Soundtraxx decoder manual and technical reference, which I found on-line on Soundtraxx's website. After about 3 hours of arcane reading about bits, indexed configuration variable pages, function mapping, and OpsMode programming I was able to get the GENSET to operate with momentum, braking, and automatic ditch lights. I even did some remapping of the function keys. It now runs very well and sounds great.  The independent brake function is really nice. One push to apply and it makes a nice squeal as it comes to a stop. Push again and it makes an air hiss sound as the brakes release and the loco moves.

 The current keeper makes for stall free operation.   All in all a sweet running loco. It looks good too. Now to add some slight weathering.

The EasyDCC system has a nice control panel that simplifies programming CV values. At one point I was setting individual bits on the ditch light CVs. It's very easy to do with the EasyDCC system. No need to add up binary and hexadecimal numbers to get desired effects. There are thousands of combinations of settings. Seriously folks, this DCC sound stuff is getting out of hand. You could make loco sound programming a hobby all to itself.

Sanding the bow on the deck table. This is going to
get serious....
Just before lunch I began work on shaping the bulk carrier hull. I initially used a table on the back porch to sand the hull. But I decided to get serious and set up my portable saw horses and work table.

I used a belt sander with a very coarse belt for rough shaping, then an orbital palm sander to smooth out the rough surface. Finally, some putty and hand sanding to get the surface almost to the finished smoothness.

Rough sanded bow
I added a quarter inch to the top of the forecastle layer to bring it up to the correct height. For that I used a piece of quarter inch aspen plywood that I cut with my saber saw. That worked out pretty well.

I glued and screwed the parallel mid body pieces to the bow and stern. We had cut rabbets in Rob's shop, but they were off a bit. A few shims were needed to get everything square and level. The reason for the glitch is that we used a router to cut the rabbets, and not the table saw. My brother was concerned the wet glue would trip the safety stop of the table saw. So we used cruder methods to cut the rabbets and we were off just a bit.

Hand sanding around the bulbous bow







Belt sander makes quick work on the stern section
Next I will start sealing and sanding. The deck will be covered with a skin or styrene. I have not decided if i will skin the hull sides, or just seal and paint.

I ordered a bunch of detail parts from Deans Marine in the UK, but they have not yet arrived.


Puttying the holes and gaps
Using a box to mock up the superstructure.  The silos and ship will make a good view block. 

1 comment:

  1. nice 70 degree day in February to get the hull in shape. nice project, thanks for the detailed build.

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