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Dumas Chris Craft help!

Old 08-27-2018, 01:59 AM
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Fleece3
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Default Dumas Chris Craft help!

I am building a Dumas Chris-Craft Mahogany Runabout. I am at the point where I am ready to start placing the mahogany planks. Anyone have any tips for me? I can't believe I have to install them one by one. Any tips are appreciated. Photos and/or video is a bonus!!
Thanks
Old 08-27-2018, 08:26 AM
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Take your time. Do one on each side at a time. It's just like planking a hull. Real Chris Crafts are expensive because the craftsmen took their time building them.
Old 08-27-2018, 08:31 AM
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On that other RC forum which I will not name there is a thread on the Emma C Berry that includes a builder who covered a perfectly good deck with strips, one at a time. The original deck is one solid piece of mahogany with pinstripes and looks like it is individual pieces but he chose to cover it all anyway. I does look beautiful.
Old 08-27-2018, 09:59 AM
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The only additional advice I can give is to take your time when fitting your planks. Giving the edges a bit of a bevel might be a good idea as well since it will give you more area to glue adjoining planks to. I have to agree with the planking both sides evenly. To plank one side and then the other CAN lead to a warped hull. Just had a thought, and yes, this is something that won't be an issue until much later in your build. Most will give a planked hull a coating of fiberglass and resin to seal the wood. While this is an accepted and proven way to seal the hull, you need to be very cautious on materials used. You will want to use the very lightest fiberglass cloth you can find. The reasons for this are:
1) so the wood will look like it's only varnished rather than the cloth showing
2) thinner cloth will drape and follow the curves in the hull better
3) it will require less resin to hold the cloth to the hull, making runs and drips easier to deal with and the hull lighter, meaning that adding details won't make the hull overweight

Last edited by Hydro Junkie; 08-27-2018 at 10:17 AM.
Old 08-27-2018, 10:12 AM
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Couple of pics of a sailboat deck I did. Hull is a glass 6 meter so it's 50 inches long to give some perspective. The planks are White Oak, 1/8" by 3/8" by 12 inches long. Outer frame is Mahogany which was placed first. Then staring at the bow I ran one course down each side and let it dry. Then repeat. Took around 10 days but as you can see, was worth it. Last shot is on the paint stand showing off the cabins.



Old 08-27-2018, 10:22 AM
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How are you going to trim out the deck edge? I can't see having a deck that nice without something to frame it. Are you going to use another strip of wood or maybe a metal edge?
Old 08-27-2018, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
How are you going to trim out the deck edge? I can't see having a deck that nice without something to frame it. Are you going to use another strip of wood or maybe a metal edge?
Finished it off with sand paper, epoxy, etc and painted it white. Not unlike you find on some of the full size boats where it has a slight step down from the wood deck.

Here's a pic. Close up on the bow showing the trim of the edge. The very front is solid JB Weld. Pity the hull that gets in the way of that.

This is my first planked deck. Would like to scratch build one of the big 'J's. But at 100 inches plus or minus and 85 to 100 pounds, not sure if I'll ever make it. This one is only 60 inches and has been under construction for way too long. Health issues and moving didn't help either.

Old 08-27-2018, 02:52 PM
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What actually happened is I picked up the hull many years ago at an estate sale. It's not legal for the 6M class since there is no Manufacturer info inside the hull and that class basically is non-existent here in the US. So I've been building it as I would like a real one. Super long project with maybe 10 years of on and off work so far. 10 years interrupted by career, health issues, retiring and moving to another state. I have what I need to complete it I just have to get off my duff and do it.

The cabin and dog house are my own design based on looking at many, many pictures. Sail plan and all is also my own. 75 inch carbon mast and over 2000 square inches of sail.

The deck planks sit on an underlayment consisting of 1/32 ply topped with 3 ounce glass and finishing resin. And of course there's framing under that. The dowel pins you see in the mahogany trim are functional. Did a pilot hole down the strip of wood. Then did a temporary attachment to the hull while I used the pilots in the wood to guide a pilot in the top of the hull. Then I epoxied things down using the dowel pins and clamps to hold it all in place. Gave it 3 days to set. Then went to work on the deck White Oak planks. The Oak is nice once finished but a bear to deal with. It does not want to bend. And once I had all the planks down, I spent 3 days with an orbital sander making everything smooth as silk. Not sure I have enough years left to do a bigger boat.

Anyway, I hope the OP is encouraged by all this. Simply put, quality work takes time. But it is worth it. I smile with pride every time I look at this boat.

Last edited by Appowner; 08-27-2018 at 02:57 PM.
Old 08-29-2018, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rgburrill View Post
Take your time. Do one on each side at a time. It's just like planking a hull. Real Chris Crafts are expensive because the craftsmen took their time building them.
As I lay each plank, should I let it fall into its natural contour (then fill gaps with slivers later) or do I do something like soak it and force a contour?
Old 08-30-2018, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Fleece3 View Post
As I lay each plank, should I let it fall into its natural contour (then fill gaps with slivers later) or do I do something like soak it and force a contour?
The "Proper" way is to soak followed by some forcing and some trimming of each plank to fit. So there is no need to fill in later. Do a Google search for "planking model ship hull". It will lead you to a number of articles, videos, etc.

There's also a book (or two) out there about it. Here's the one I reference. Book
Old 08-30-2018, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Fleece3 View Post
As I lay each plank, should I let it fall into its natural contour (then fill gaps with slivers later) or do I do something like soak it and force a contour?
Trust me, Appowner is correct on how to plank the hull. Trying to snugly fit slivers is an almost hopeless endeavor. It will also show up on your finished hull and seriously degrade the look of your boat, that is unless you plan on painting the hull, in which case it won't matter anyway
Old 08-31-2018, 04:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Fleece3 View Post
I am building a Dumas Chris-Craft Mahogany Runabout. I am at the point where I am ready to start placing the mahogany planks. Anyone have any tips for me? I can't believe I have to install them one by one. Any tips are appreciated. Photos and/or video is a bonus!!
Thanks
Just to be clear, are these Mahogany planks going on the bare frames of the hull? Or do they go on an underlayment of balsa, bass or some other wood that's been applied and sanded smooth?

And while I think of it, the shape/type of hull dictates where the first plank goes and the order in which you lay them. Your hull I believe has four sections to it. Looking at it from the side you have from the keel up to the chine. And then you have from the chine up to the deck. And it repeats on the other side for a total of four sections. Each section will be treated or planked individually. Remembering to do the side to side matched parts at the same time. And without looking at it more closely, I'd start at the chine and plank down to the keel first. Then I'd go from the deck down to the chine. Once the planking contacts the chine at the bow, you will have to start trimming the planks to get them to fit properly. This trimming will be at the bow end of the planks where they contact the chine. Use complete planks as much as possible. Trimming and shaping only to make the plank fit easily. And doing the exact same thing on each side. So if you trim a plank on one side, it's counter part on the other side should require trimming also. And during all this, it's easiest if the hull is somehow tied down to the building board upside down. Having it tied down holds the structure straight and prevents warps being induced by the planks.

Last but not least, you will need clamps. Lots of clamps. The bigger the boat the more clamps you will need. I prefer the good old fashioned wood cloths pins with the spring. Inexpensive and last forever.

Last edited by Appowner; 08-31-2018 at 04:56 AM.
Old 08-31-2018, 05:08 AM
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Dumas has two Runabouts listed but from the pictures it looks like they planked from the chine to the deck and from the chine to the keel. The bottom half is no big deal since it gets painted. The top half is finished Mahogany and I'm sure that's the look you're after. Just take it slow and easy and DO NOT use CA or super glue for the Mahogany planks. CA tends to soak completely through the thin Mahogany and makes a mess. I myself like Elmers Carpenters wood glue for planking but a good 30 minute epoxy works too. The key is to have enough working time to make any adjustments and/or install ALL of the clamps and pins.
Old 08-31-2018, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Appowner View Post
Just to be clear, are these Mahogany planks going on the bare frames of the hull? Or do they go on an underlayment of balsa, bass or some other wood that's been applied and sanded smooth?
This Chris Craft is a double planked hull. The narrower planks (strips) are place over wider (about 3/4 planks) that are placed at about a 45 degrees angle to the top planks
Old 08-31-2018, 10:26 PM
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Sounds like how they planked the PT boats back during WWII, the exceptions being the outer planks were also installed at an angle and there was a fabric layer in between the two layers of planking
Old 09-01-2018, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Hydro Junkie View Post
Sounds like how they planked the PT boats back during WWII, the exceptions being the outer planks were also installed at an angle and there was a fabric layer in between the two layers of planking
Yep! One of my dream models is a PT planked like the real thing.
Old 12-05-2019, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Appowner View Post
The "Proper" way is to soak followed by some forcing and some trimming of each plank to fit. So there is no need to fill in later. Do a Google search for "planking model ship hull". It will lead you to a number of articles, videos, etc.
OK. we are getting somewhere. Next question, what should I soak the plank in, and for how long? I know with planes (balsa wood) we would spray it with ammonia, (it breaks down the wood fibers). But not Windex, as it would stain the wood.

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