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Thread: "ALMA" a 1891 scow schooner

  1. #91
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    7 miles north of Phelan, CA
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    Skipjack was in the tank today.
    Everything works as it is suppose to.
    Like the slower RPM control.

    After removing weight by modifying motor to a smaller physical size and removing 2 servos and steel shafts, I think I have the new additional ballast, correct.
    I do still have an issue.
    But before I start chasing it, I need to get the boat in a bigger tank or pond.
    With my tank full of water, the boat touches the bottom with about 1/4" of the sail above the water surface.

    The issue I need to chase is a balance issue.
    Surfaces, the boat is stern heavy. . . not very much. Maybe 3/8" from level waterline.
    Submerges, the boat is stern light. . . again, not very much. Maybe 1/2" but this is hard to tell as I think the bow is sitting on the bottom of the tank.

    I am not going to try and fix this for this Saturdays gathering.
    I will open up the boat tomorrow and charge the battery.
    I am going to move the batter forward about 1/2" and the ballast tank back 1/2" if I can.
    Test it again.

    After Saturday, I plan to modify the electronics tray.
    With the smaller motor and two servos gone, I can cut the electronic tray just behind the motor and remove 3/4" to 1".
    Shorting the tray will give me about 1" to move the ballast tank and battery back from the front.
    More weight location adjustment will be possible.

    I also think the auto leveler will correct the stern position with a little forward motion.
    In the tank, I can see the rear planes moving to push the stern to level.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  2. #92
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    Jun 2007
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    Skipjack status report. . . . .

    Batteries all charged.
    New ballast tank balloons. (replace before every run.. at about 10 cents a piece, why not)
    Gathered up a small assortment of tools, nylon ties, silicone grease jar and a rag for water cleanup.
    Skipjack is now in it's transport box and buttoned up for the trip.
    Tx and tools in 2 gallon bucket sitting by front door so I don't forget it in the morning.
    Gassed up the truck while in town earlier today.
    Even washed the dust off the truck.
    (I live on a dirt road and the truck usually gets washed when it rains)
    Had to. The front window was bug splattered to the point I would not be able to see if I had to use the window wipes.

    I think I am ready to go.
    Still got time to think about it in case I am forgetting something.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  3. #93
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    After the run report.
    I put new ballast balloons in as always.
    Forgot to blow them up to expand the rubber.
    By not doing this, the water pump has to fight the balloon to inflate.

    Brought the boat in and opened up the cylinder.
    Put air in the balloon and squeezed to to stretch the balloon out some.
    This help a lot.

    As I expected, I had trim issues.
    Stern down on surface and stern up submerged.
    The night before the run, I was thinking about what I needed to take and what I might have forgotten.
    Then a thought hit me.

    In my rush to trim the boat, I was working on the ballast Effect instead of the Cause.
    This resulted i my putting ballast weight farther stern and moving the ballast tank aft.

    The result of doing this caused the surface Center of Gravity to move aft and the submerged Center of Gravity to move forward.
    This made the distance between the two CG farther apart.
    Just the opposite of what it should be.
    I did get the new ballast weight correct.
    After removing the original main motor and two servos and through cap shafts, I calculated the weigh difference to be 800 grains.
    It was close as it turned out to be about 825 grains.

    I have some more changes to make.
    The new motor is smaller and lighter.
    It also has a slower RPM.
    I can see the propeller turns at slow speed. (still running about 40% fromt he Tx.

    Also the changes will include rebuilding the electronics tray.
    The new motor is about 1" shorter and I can shorten the tray that much allowing me to move the ballast tank towards the rear. (more to the center of the boat)
    The extra weigh I added was put in as a temporary fix and will come out easily to be moved.

    It will have to wait.
    I have another sub project on the bench.
    Should be completed in a few days.
    Currently doing the electronics wiring.

    Still making small standing rig parts for the ALMA.
    These are the metal parts on the mast and booms that all the lines go to, plus the blocks. (double and triple blocks)
    These things are crazy small so I make one or two at a time.

    I tried the small wooden parts made by the company in Spain.
    Problem is the Spanish blocks are for looks and will not take a load.
    So, I of course am making them out of plastic sheet.

    Just this morning, I had to make a special bolt for my small drill press table vise.
    I took an Allen screw and put in the drill press and used my Dremel to grind the middle of the screw down.
    Then cut the end off.
    This screw goes in the vice moving jaw and hold the jack screw from coming out of the jaw.
    The threaded part of the screw is about 1/4" long and the tip is about 3/16" long which goes in to a groove on the end of the jack screw in the jaw.
    If I think of it, I will take a photo of this part.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  4. #94
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    Photo of the drill press vise screw holding screw.
    New screw is on Allen wrench end.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  5. #95
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    I have been busy working on my Skipjack and building a new Akula II kit.
    Both are ready for a run at the pond.
    So now, I have the Alma back on the bench.

    Where to start?
    How about with the rigging.
    I left off making deck eyes and I see the jig is still on the end of the bench.
    I will start by making the eyes needed on the booms.

    Here are the booms before I start.
    Top to bottom.
    Main lower boom.
    Main upper boom.

    Staysail bottom boom.
    Staysail upper boom.

    Jib boom.


    I made the eyes form .020" wire and the bent them around a steel rod of about 3/32".
    I twisted the wire just below the eye and left one leg longer that would go all the way through the boom so it can be bent over on the other side of the boom.
    These eyes need to carry the weigh and pressure of the sails.

    Top to bottom.
    Staysail bottom boon. (no eyes yet)

    Staysail upper boom.
    Main upper boom.
    Main bottom boom.

    The booms where drilled using a piece of the wire. The the eye side was drilled with a small drill bit to accommodate the twisted wire section.
    After test fitting, I put a couple of CA glue in the hole and on the twisted wire.
    Pushed through with pliers and tapped with small hammer to get the eye down in the groove I cut with Exacto.
    (Yes, I measured the drawing to ge the correct placement.)
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  6. #96
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    So many eyes to make.
    Bending this small gauge wire is not fun at all.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  7. #97
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    Jun 2007
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    Still bending eyes.

    Need to figure out something to the yoke lift.
    Got a feeling these parts will not be scale or anything like the real thing.
    Here is a photo of the Staysail yoke and hardware.
    Looks like 2 small eyes and 3 rings.
    Now consider the yoke is 1/8" thick.
    I am not making those rings or the small eye bolts.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  8. #98
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    Jun 2007
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    Had some time, so out to the shop I went.

    Found all 5 booms and gaffs.
    Dusted them off and looked them over to see where I stopped.

    Bending wire eyes.
    Well, I needed 5 more on the main and stay sail booms and gaffs.
    Bent them, drilled the booms and gaffs, fitted the eyes in to each hole.
    Removed 1 at a time as I applied CA glue and reinstalled them.
    After they cure, I will grind off the wires that stick out the other side.

    Looking closely at the yoke joints, I see I need to apply glaze to fill the very small gaps where the wood was inlet to the plastic yokes.
    5 minutes with a small piece of sheet plastic as a squeegee, and that is done.

    Now that my fingers hurt, I will let it all sit until tomorrow.

    I see where I had glazed the hand rails on the haul and they could be sanded as well.
    I had been trying to scribe grooves in the hand rail boards but it did not look good.
    I think I may fill the current grooves and sand flat.

    I have a test piece of wood that I painted white and let sit for ..say months.
    I make a wood block for guide for the scribe but, I also used a pencil for a scribe.
    The pincel line looks much better than the cut line.
    The pencil dug in to the paint just a little and left the pencil gray in the line.
    I am going to clear coat it and see if it stays as it is.
    If it does, then that is how I will put the lines and grooves in the hand rail boards.

    Got to look for my sail cloth.
    Bought it back in 2008.
    Got a piece of white and a piece of very lite tan to represent old canvas. (I like the tan)
    But I have to find it.
    I know where it was but I am not sure it is still there.

    I am a the point I could make patterns and cut the sails out.
    A friend who makes cloths for a living said I should try this fabric glue instead of sewing.
    The sewing stitches would be too big.
    Months ago, I go a small bottle of that fabric glue.
    Used it to bond the SubRonLA patch on a new hat.
    That patch is there to stay and it is flexible.
    The sails will be mounted on cables and hooked to the mast rings.

    The best news is, progress on the ALMA again.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  9. #99
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    No much to report today.
    The booms have been glazed, sanded and readied for paint.
    4 of the 5 have a new white coat on them.
    1 is still being worked on.
    The yoke needed to be rebuilt.
    The main boom rolled off the work bench and landed on 1 of the yoke ends and it broke.

    I took out the razor saw and Exacto knife and surgery went well.
    Splices a new end piece on.
    It is currently in the small vise and will stay there over night.
    I will reshape the piece tomorrow and finish the painting.

    Way back in the beginning, I was going to make the hardware pieces as close as I could.
    All these eyes are on the boom using metal straps.

    I make a total of 1.
    Decided right there that this was not going to happen.

    Thought about it over time as I was not in a place to need the eyes and straps.
    While working on other projects, I saw a solution.

    Make the eyes out of wire.
    Drill very small holes through the booms using a piece of the wire as the drill bit.
    Test the fit by pushing the eye base through the hole while twisting it.
    Once I got it through and could do it again using pliers and pressure, I covered the twisted part of the wire with CA and installed them.
    The wire sticks through enough that I could bend it over after cutting a groove in the boom.
    Grounds and filed the wires flush and smooth to the boom.
    Glazed it all and sanded smooth.

    Now the solution to the metal straps.
    Just put tape around the booms where the eyes are and build up black paint.
    I have some old black paint in a Testors bottle that is thick.
    I will just brush it on between the tape pieces.
    I think 3 coats will give me an edge on the paint to replicate the metal bands.

    I did some looking and have not found my sail material.
    .
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

  10. #100
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    Eyes have been installed and glazing has started.


    Sanding is complete and 2 coats of white paint applied.
    1 more coat to go.

    --------------------------
    Before starting this morning, I went looking for the sail fabric.
    Was not in the shop where I thought I had brought it a couple of years ago. (yep, that long ago)

    Went to the building I lived in when I started this project.
    An old 1958 trailer house.

    Sitting right in the middle of the empty living room floor was a blue plastic bag with the sail fabric in it.
    Mystery solved.
    I can start laying out the patterns on the fabric to figure out how to put the cable with the eyes and mast loops on before gluing the fabric.
    I also want to do some testing on how to put the seam lines on.
    I was thinking using a brown permanent marker and see it I can do it with a straight edge.
    So far I have not been able to find a light brown marker.

    Second possible idea is to tape off each line and spray paint a light brown misted line.
    This will be lots of work.
    I will do testing first because I only have enough fabric to make 1 set of white sails and 1 set of tan sails.

    Time to get back to the shop and get that last coat of white on the booms.
    SSBN 598 - blue/nuke trained IC/forward

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