AL’s Independence – Hull Details

Channels

It was nice to get the channels done. This was much easier and a nice change from having to bend a lot of wood. Nothing too special to note here. I pretty well went with the dimensions shown on the plans, except that in my experience with previous AL kits, the deadeye lanyard often would run against the caprail. So, I made the channels just about 1/16″ wider, which I think actually look pretty good on the model.

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I notched the channels for the deadeye strops, which I’ll probably need to widen later. Once the deadeyes are in place, I’ll then add the outer molding to the edge, locking the strops into place. To reinforce the channels, I used a #76 drill and cut some stainless steel straight pins and fit them in, drilling corresponding holes in the hull. These are extremely strong, but have a little flexibility, so I can trust the channels not to pop loose.

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Catheads

I also decided to go ahead and install the catheads. For this, I cut some boxwood to 3/16″ square cross section and made new ones instead of using the ones in the kit. Unlike the ones in the kit, which stick out of the deck and go over the top of the bulwarks, I decided to make mine more like those shown on Harold Hahn’s plans of the Halifax, which lay flat on the deck, but are tapered on the bottom edge so that they pass through the bulwarks and come out with a bit of upward tilt. Of course, before I installed them, I drilled the sheave holes. I considered drilling them out completely and installing actual sheaves, but I decided to keep it simple here.

The underside of the catheads were drilled out as was the deck. An 1/8″ long piece of wood was inserted into the deck which the catheads fit over. This gives the glue something to bight onto to hold them better and keep them from easily popping loose.

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Note that you can see I’ve been working a bit on the spars too. The lower masts are cut to length and I install them temporarily at times to get a better feel for the model. The bowsprit, is also temporarily installed, but cut to length and the base is shaped to fit into the opening in the deck and to rest nicely against an interior bulkhead.

I’m using simple birch dowels for the spars instead of the kit wood. This allows me to mess something up without having to worry about having mismatched materials or having to try to get replacements from the manufacturer or distributors. The color of the bowsprit is from Dark Maple Wood Dye that I’ve been experimenting with.

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