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Sterling 48

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Old 04-30-2012, 07:01 AM
  #51
All Day Dan
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Tom, Getting old is great compared to the alternative. I'm real lucky. I am old. And yes, retired too. The kit build is straight forward once you can figure out what's right and replace the parts that don't fit and the wood that's terrible. I'm going to plank the top of the cabin next. The instructions say to use some 5/32 sheet. The top of the cabin is a compound curve. I wonder how they did it. I'll use the good old strip planking technique. I run the boats at Lake Balboa. That lake water is so disgusting I make sure I don't go there with a full stomach. Is there a nicer lake nearby? I live in Manhattan Beach so it's quite a drive. Dan.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:33 AM
  #52
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Dan,

Was busy over the week end so have just caught up on your construction.  Amazing redesign of the superstructure.  Looks great!  Who'd ever thought of planking a compound curve?    Revolutionary!

Bob
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:38 AM
  #53
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Dan, Lake Balboa is what we call the "toilet lake".

I may have seen one of your 48" PT boats a few years ago. Green camo, Astro motors, ping pong balls for flotation?

In fairness to Lake Balboa I was there yesterday to show a friend who goes there, one of my boats so he could take some measurements. And he made a point of telling me you could see the bottom. I looked. Sure enough, the water was clean and you could see down about 4'. Maybe they installed a clean filter? But the dang ducks and flies and poop are still everywhere!

As for an alternative, YES! There is an alternative that I and many others have been using for years and that is Hansen Dam Lake. Us old guys go on Thursday's. The young bucks with the fast electric speed machines go there on Saturday's.

http://www.laparks.org/dos/aquatic/f...ansendamAQ.htm

From your place you have two ways you could go:
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:24 PM
  #54
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Bob, I've been planking since the late forties. In fact the early Berkeley kits were all planked. The trick is to use wood that is thin enough and very narrow to get around those difficult curves.

Tom, "Toilet Lake". I like that. It is very appropriate and may be indicative of the source of that water. I had heard that it is street runoff, spread in the area east of Woodley, filtered through the ground and pumped back up. It's still disgusting no matter what the source is. I have never been able to see the bottom of the lake. If it is visible now, they must have enhanced the reclamation process. I did notice that there were fewer birds around since the "Do Not Feed the Birds" signs have been posted but there was still plenty of stuff on the ground. I haven't slipped in that..........er stuff yet but have come close since it is so slippery on that slope. Yes, I am the person with the camouflaged PT boat. You have blown my cover. I knew about Hansom Dam but it's just a little too far for me. Dan.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:37 PM
  #55
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Wow, small world!

I actually video taped your PT boat at Balboa and made a video of it, back in 2003! I had a VHS-C camcorder back then, and it did not make the best quality video. And also, producing and uploading video back then meant the video had to be small in size. But it was what we had back then. I am going to upload it again and then post the link here.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:44 PM
  #56
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Default RE: Sterling 48

When it finishes processing you can watch the video here at this link:

http://vimeo.com/41335848

Click on the little X by the volume bar to watch the video in its true size.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:38 PM
  #57
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Tom, Thanks for the video. I don't remember you taping it. It is my boat. Since I am in so close I must have been hamming it up for you. I'm usually cruising way out in the lake. That is why I have the antenna sticking up so high. I need the range. I hope all the guys watching this thread enjoy it as much as I am. Dan.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:52 PM
  #58
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Default RE: Sterling 48

You did not know I taped it because I did it covertly. And the zoom of the lens is what makes it look close, you went completely across the lake and back.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:01 PM
  #59
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Default RE: Sterling 48

I'm busted. You're not supposed to go beyond the buoys. Dan.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:30 PM
  #60
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Got a chance to plank the cabin roof. Dan.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:01 AM
  #61
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Dan, are you using regular wood glue or that polyester stuff (Gorilla Glue)?
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:15 PM
  #62
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Tom, here’s the list. The keel, frames, chines and sheers were all assembled with Zap-A-Gap. Gorilla glue was used for all the hull planking. The hardwoods are assembled with 30 minute epoxy from Hobby People. I used Sig Bond for the cabin roof strips. Every piece of wood gets a liberal coat of Z-poxy Finishing Resin. If it is not accessible after it is installed, it is coated prior to the installation.

I could not find the cabin roof side moldings so I made my own from some planks of balsa. The top profile of the cabin sides were cut in to the bottom and the edge profile of the roof in to their sides. Gorilla glue made up the differences. The cabin sides were protected from the glue by masking tape since they will be stained. A dry fit of the windshields was tried. They look promising but will take some work to get it right. It may be time to start some staining. Dan
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:07 AM
  #63
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Thanks for the list Dan.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:24 PM
  #64
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Default RE: Sterling 48

I had to trace the windshield parts on to birch plywood because they did not stain the same color and texture as the birch did. You can see that the bottom birch part is different than the kit supplied part. There are some places where this can not be avoided but I had a choice here. I have a couple of questions for those of you tuned in.

I need a clear sealer that will not raise the grain. I tried an oil based and a lacquer based one but the grain had to be sanded. How about latex?

Is there a brushless power system with a Kv rating around 800 available? I will also need a matching speed control, preferably with reverse. I’ll be using a 14 cell NiMh battery pack.
Dan
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:08 PM
  #65
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Default RE: Sterling 48

How about epoxy resin thinned 50% with denatured alcohol?

Or, seal and sand the raw wood first, and then stain it.
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:23 PM
  #66
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Thanks Tom. The Z-poxy raises the grain like crazy. I'll try something else. Sealing before staining? I'll have to try that.

The front windshield frames were stained and held in place. A strip of aluminum foil was placed under the joints to protect the deck. A bead of Zap-a-Gap was applied at the joints and given a squirt of accelerator. This held the three pieces together well enough to be removed and have the joints reinforced with a small strip of 1/64 plywood and epoxy. When cured, the assembly was epoxied to the cabin sides. Blocks of balsa were glued to the top of the windshield. They were awkward in shape and it took a lot of sanding to get them close. Even then, Gorilla glue came to the rescue. The fit against the deck was good but not good enough. A mixture of finishing resin and micro-balloons was used to get a perfect fit against the deck that was protected with wax paper. Blue painter’s tape was used throughout to protect the stained wood. Still, some touch up will have to be done. Dan

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Old 05-05-2012, 08:37 AM
  #67
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Default RE: Sterling 48

You do amazingly neat and tidy work Dan. I'm learning a lot of good technique watching your build here.

BTW, how much do those bottles of lead shot and glue weigh?
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:46 AM
  #68
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Default RE: Sterling 48

At what point in the cure time did you remove the tape?
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:33 AM
  #69
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Tom, Thanks for the compliment. I've been at it since the 40s. The bottles are all bird shot. They weigh a pound.

Bob, I leave the tape on until the epoxy cures. I then used a curved blade to remove any residue that is on it and then sand it a little, finally, the tape comes off and then, maybe, a little more sanding.

I started on the flying bridge sides. Luckily, they fit with only some minor trimming. I would hate to have had to duplicate those cuts. The kit had pieces for the side molding but it was in three layers. I used some more of my one inch balsa planks. Gorilla glue came to the rescue, again. The sides are made removable for finishing and are not permanently installed until the painting is completed. While the sides were on, I started on the rear cabin roof. I used some 3/16 balsa sheet. It too is removable for finishing. Dan.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:15 PM
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Default RE: Sterling 48

The flying bridge sides and windshield frames were cut from 1/16 plywood. After a couple of tries at a dry assembly it became apparent that the structure was much too flimsy. I cut duplicates of the frames from some 3/32 plywood and doubled up the forward portion of the sides with some 1/16 plywood. After I got a good dry fit of the assembly, I ran a bead of zap-a-gap down the windshield joints. I then reinforced the joints at the on the rear surface and used a mixture of finishing resin and balloons to get a better fit to the cabin roof. The sides and the windshield are not assembled at this time. They have to be removed to paint the cabin roof and sides. Dan.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:01 PM
  #71
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Default RE: Sterling 48

I'm almost done with the wood work for the boat and I can not proceed any further until I get a motor and speed control system together for a dual drive. I had planned on using the Astro Flight motor that I have in my PT boats but they are no longer being made and the replacement is $400 each. I paid $125 each for the ones I have in 2002-2003. That's no problem because with the AF motor mount they are easily removable. Now AF doesn't make them now also. I sent a letter to AF to get two of the motor mounts or send me the drawing and I'll get a local machine shop to make me two. I got no response. I will now have to reverse engineer the mounts and make my own drawing. I'll try that first. If that does not work out I'll have to some experimenting with a brushless motor and control that has the same Kv value as the motors I have. I know very little about brushless motors so if I don't hit it the first time, it will take a while. In the mean time, I'll go as far as I can with the boat and stop when I have to. In the mean time, stay subscribed. Dan.
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:44 AM
  #72
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Hi Dan,

That motor mount in the photo? Piece of cake. Go to Lowes/Home Depot whatevef and get a piece of flat aluminum in the width you need. Measure the holes in the motor, transfer to the sheet and drill them out. Cut sheet to length, put in vise, and bend 90°. Motor mount done!

Or, you could purchase the machined aluminum, water cooled, black anodized mounts from Astro since they are back in production:

http://www.astroflight.com/index.php...3jhqn8olutohvv

I have a few AstroFlight motors in my stock, if you are interested.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:05 PM
  #73
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Default RE: Sterling 48

The rear cabin roof was glued on. I had to put some balsa strips along the top of the bulkheads to get some more contact area for the roof. Pins did the rest.

Tom, I removed the motor from the mount. The mount looks like it's .090 aluminum and it has some substantial holes in it. I can drill .25 or even .375 holes but not that big one in the center. The only ones that need to be accurate are the two #6 holes for the mounting screws. I'll wait for Astro Flight to send me a drawing and if I don't get it in a few days, I'll go out and buy a decent vernier and make my own using the dimensions I get from the motor. It would be great if you have two of the AF 425s in your stash. Dan
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Old 05-12-2012, 07:46 PM
  #74
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Default RE: Sterling 48

That big hole in the center can be easily done, even with an electric hand drill.

Here's how:

http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-Titanium...6880667&sr=1-1



I needed to drill some huge holes in copper when I made a boiler. I had never used the step drills before, so I gave it a try. Man, it was super easy, and cut clean and precise.

Are you looking for 25's or 40's? I got some 40's.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:57 AM
  #75
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Default RE: Sterling 48

Tom, thanks for the tip about the step drill. I'll go and get one. I can use two Super Ferrite 440s. What are their condition? Dan.
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