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Scott's Engel Type VII/C

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Scott's Engel Type VII/C

Postby bos10 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:11 am

This is my first sub, so I'm way over my head. I don't have much finished yet because I have two kids under the age of two and it difficult to find the time. In any event, there seems to be some interest in the kit, but no one has posted any pictures yet so I thought I'd start posting.

Although I don't have anything to compare it to, I have been very impressed with the kit. The hull is very detailed and well built. To my understanding the hull construction is different than most other subs. It arrives in two primary pieces. A very short stern section and a long bow section. Each of these sections is composed of a port and starboard half which have been very carefully fiber glassed together to form a very rigid hull.

The bow section is seemed at the center of the bottom and where the port deck meets the port side. Thus, the two haves are not symmetrical. The stern section is similar except that the seam on the bottom runs down the center until the large recession (not sure what it is) immediately aft the rudders. At this point it turns to port along the edge of the recession which it follows until it returns to the centerline at the very stern. The stern section can be seen in the photos below. Note that I have finished the holes in the hull, but only started on the deck.


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Postby bos10 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 12:55 am

I tried cutting the slots with a hand held Dremel drill and after a couple of mishaps and some seriously cramped hands, I bought a mini mill. This has worked great so far because I have complete control and can mill very close the recessed edge. It is then a simple matter to file to the edge of recession. I don’t want to jinx my self, but there have been no issues with the gel coat chipping.

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to clamp the hull on the very small table. It would be nice to have a full size mill, but I really didn’t want to have to go through finding a used one and figuring out how to move.

The first issue is that x-axis handle sticks above the top of the table. To solve this, I used a piece of 1x6 to cover the table and I then laid a 6 foot 1x6 on top of it. The first piece allows the second piece to clear the x-axis handle. I then laid the hull on its side and used a piece of 1x4 at a right angle to support the flat keel. I just lined it up by eye to get the side of the hall laying flat and I screwed it to the edge of the 6 foot piece. I then used two ratchet straps that I bought at Home Depot to clamp it together using rags to prevent the metal ratchet from damaging the hull. I just snugged it up, not too tight.

I then lined up the slots so that they were parallel to the x-axis and the used four spring clamps to affix the wood to the table. Lastly, I made a wood wedge, put some foam on top of it and placed it on the 6 foot board. I used the wedge to tighten the hull against the straps – that’s why it didn’t need to crank them down.

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Postby silent runner » Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:04 am

:D :D Very nice Scott! Glad to see your buildon the Engel boat.
Keep up the good work.

Nice to see how you set it up in the mill, can't wait to see you start on the deck slots.

Mike
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Postby Mylo » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:12 am

Scott,

I believe that's the nicest work bench I've EVER seen !!

.....don't get me wrong, the boat is great too....but wow, that bench.

Be as particular about that sub as you are your work area and I believe you'll have a winner.

Mylo

Oh, and, that recessed area you mentioned would be the aft torpedo tunnel, the aft tube of course being just ahead of that inside the hull itself.
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Postby bos10 » Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:54 pm

Mylo,

Thanks for the compliment on the bench... I can only hope that the sub turns out as well. I haven’t done any modeling since I was in high school – a long time ago. I now have a much bigger budget, but less time to spend enjoying it. So, I had a fun time putting my garage together. I did a fair amount of research looking for the stuff, so if anyone else is putting their shop together you might find the following useful.

Benches:
I bought one 3’x8’ bench, but once I got the sub I determined that didn’t have nearly enough room to spread out, so I bought two more 2.5’x 6’ benches, one of which is in the picture (I’m actually thinking a about getting one more). The first one was expensive, but I got the second two at a more reasonable price from Global Industrial. They have a massive selection of just about any type of bench (butcher block, laminate, stainless steel, steel etc.) in just about any dimension that you could want. I went for the 1-3/4” maple butcher block because it would be durable and nicer to work on than other materials. The only thing that I was disappointed in was the “penetrating oil finish” which seamed a little lame. I went to CVS bought a bottle of mineral oil. I poured half a bottle on each bench, spread it around with a foam brush, let it soak over night and wiped off the excess in the morning. They look great and are now more durable. If you’re going to order from, Global Industrial, spend the time to figure out what you’re actually ordering. There is such a huge selection that you might not notice that while once series or benches looks like the other, one uses U-shaped steel legs whereas one of the other series uses square steel. I went for the square because it looks better and I assume is more durable.
http://www.globalindustrial.com/gcs/product/expandCategory.web?options.parentCategoryKey=168&index=50#showTopSellers

Part Bins:
You can get a stack of these for about $8 and you can get them in a wide range of sizes. I now open bags with lots of parts inside the bin so that nothing can get lost. If you opt to buy vertical uprights for the benches, you can buy shelves and bin rails. Bin rails allow you to hang the bin so that it doesn’t take up any workbench space.

Peg Board:
Over course every shop needs peg board. I now have 80 square feet of it. It’s only partially full, but I look forward to filling it. I really liked the ones from Diamond Life (http://www.diamondlifegear.com). I selected the brushed aluminum finish because I thought that the diamond plate would be too bright for me. The 4’x8’ will support up to one ton and it installs very quickly because edges are bent around so there is no need for spacers. Be careful of to not tighten the bolts too much because you’ll start to bend the aluminum. That’s exactly what I did on the first bolt. Also make sure that you get the pegs which have the plastic clips to prevent them from popping out the board when you remove tools.

Floor:
My shop is in my garage and its floor was poured in 1928, so it was a real mess. I looked into a lot a ways of fixing the floor and was about to do epoxy, but then decided against it because it is very slippery when wet, is hard to repair when damaged and would be very hard on my back while I’m standing for hours cutting slots. So I decided to go with the diamond plate plastic tiles from Swiss Trax (http://www.swisstrax.com). I have a large garage which is two cars wide by over two cars deep. All 800 square feet were installed in one day with two people. It looks great and is great on my back. We had a very cold winter in Boston (the garage is heated) and my kids and dog love to go down there and play. This is one purchase that my wife couldn’t argue with… it basically added another room to the house.

While doing my research I found that many people put foam underlayment underneath the tiles to reduce noise. When I got my tiles, I laid some on the floor and walked on them. The sounded a little hollow and I could hear some grit on the floor being ground. So I bought some underlayment at Home Depot (the stuff you put under floating wood floors) and it work great. Note that the tiles aren’t solid. That’s why they are soft under foot and don’t become cold like the concrete. They are designed to bow slightly in the middle when there is pressure on them which tightens the seams. Even though they are not solid, they are rated to over 5,000 psi which allows you to not only drive on it but also use a floor jack.

Shelving:
There are a lot of parts for the sub. CostCo has really nice rolling chromed wire shelves for about $80. I have seen much more expensive versions, but these things are a steal.

Rolling Tool Cabinet:
This is more for my automotive tools, cars, but this is where I keep my sockets and wrenches. I got relatively large (42” wide by 5’-3” tall) stainless steel cabinet with full extension ball bearing slides. While not cheap at $600, it’s much less expensive than an equal sized version at Sears or one of the home centers. I also spent a fair amount looking at used ones on Craig’s List, but no mater how hard I tried, I couldn’t beat it. The only thing that I’ve seen that’s nicer is Snap On, but I wasn’t going to drop three or four grand for it and the used ones are still 3x what I paid. It’s made in China and distributed by CostCo, but don’t let that put you off.

Bench Lights:
I looked around for a nice bench light and chose the one in the pictures above. They are made by Woodhead and I got them at local electrical distributor for about $80 a pop. Note that the polycarbonate lens already saved me once. I was moving the hull and wack. Without the lens I would have had glass everywhere.

http://www.woodhead.com/products/electrical/portablelighting/temporarylighting/


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Postby Mylo » Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:32 pm

I.....my friend....am envious.

Really great info on the shop build / parts / suppliers. My shop is more or less built, but.....you never know. I have peg board, but it's just cheap white painted wall board stuff. I LOVE that brushed metal kind you have...terrific. That's REAL man's pegboard. I also have those plastic blue bins, very handy.

One thing you might want to add to your workbench area is a simple piece of flat glass. This is what I use to do my fine modelling on. I have a piece 2' x 4'. It's perfectly flat, you can put diagrams/plans underneath it, but best of all, you can clean any glue/paint spills by just scraping it with a razor scraper, very quick, very easy, and it stays clean and neat. .....just don't go pounding your 3 lb. hammer on it, and you'll be fine.

Again, real cool work area.

Mylo
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Postby Helderluiss » Fri Apr 27, 2007 11:58 pm

Any more photos of your work in this model?
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Postby bos10 » Mon May 21, 2007 6:48 pm

Helderluiss,

My kids and work have prevented me from making much progress. I've since finished the slots in the stern revision cover and most of the slots in the stern keel which is a seperate piece which gets expoxied to a slot which I have cut since the previolsy posted pictures. Both of these pieces are resin.

If there is something in particular that you are interested in, let me know and I'll post some pictures.
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Postby schmitty » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:01 am

Looks fantastic!! I have been cutting slots by dremel which is going good but very slow!!! My Engel build has been going delayed by other projects, I realy need to get back to it.

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A little progess...

Postby bos10 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:34 pm

I finally got a little time to do some work. Nothing exciting, but I’ve finished the bow, center and stern revision covers. Doesn’t sound like much, but that’s 381 filed openings (mostly slots) and 74 holes.

The revision covers are made of 2-2.5mm thick resin. The underside has molded support rails which increase the total thickness to about 5.5mm. The areas which need to be opened have very well defined recessions (perhaps half the depth of the material). I used the mini mill and a 1mm end mill to make the rough openings and filed the rest of the way. The results are pretty good. I’m a perfectionist which doesn’t go well with this being my first sub… I have no idea how you guys gets slots to be perfect with a handmade scribe.

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Postby bos10 » Fri Jul 27, 2007 11:42 pm

Here are some tips targeted at any other rookies building this model. I’m sure that this is all obvious to you experts, but I wish that I knew this before I started…

(1) If you buy this model, you must buy the 4.8 x 1.1 flat diamond file from Engel. At 12€ it’s not cheap, but it’s worth its weight in gold for this model: it’s the perfect width, it’s very high quality and most importantly both ends have the perfect radius for the slots. Their other files are fine, but this one is a must have. In fact, I ordered a second one and used a grinder to reduce it’s length by about 70% so that I could fit it into the short slots.

(2) When using the mini mill, determine which way you want to think about the motion of the handles. I understand that the table is what moves, but I found it much easier to think of the handle movement in terms of how the milling bit moves, rather than the table. This is a Homer “doh!”, but it made a big difference for me. In fact, I have to admit that I wrote a couple of arrow reminders on a block of wood. Since then, no mistakes.

(2) Given that the recessions are deep it makes sense to tilt the file so that you are angled into the slot. This focuses the file on the lower edge which you milled and away from the cast edge. If you file at a 90 degree angle to start with, you might accidentally file the cast edge which is perfect. Only file at 90 degrees or slightly less than that when you are close to finishing.

(3) After milling the slots, use a thin flat file as stated above. Don’t worry about the radius ends. When you think you’re close, attempt to insert the flat file from Engle. If it’s a tight fit, you can often gently rock the file in – keep in mind that the file is a perfect fit to the cast opening, so there should be very little play. Then, file to both ends of the slot using the edges of file which will create a perfect radius for you. As with the flat portions, you can tilt the file in towards the slot so that you slightly undercut the finished edge.

(4) Don’t perfect one side of the opening at a time. I found it better to get all sides equally close and then finish them by going around (in some cases making multiple passes). I found this to be particularly important in areas where a radius meets a flat edge (i.e., the large openings in the side of the hull).

(5) The revision covers are a little difficult to hold while filing. I built a simple bridge out of some 1”x4” scraps. The opening in the middle made it easy to support the revision covers while filing. Keep in mind that the front edge of the center revision cover will be like lattice when you are done, so you want to carefully support it while filing.

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(6) If you’re having an issue seeing the edge during filing or milling, try shinning a light on it at an angle. The recession is deep and it will cast a shadow. My daughter was driving me crazy while I was working one night by flicking the main lights on and off. It was then that I realized that it was actually easier to see the edge with the overhead lights out and the task light on at an angle. The main lights were basically washing out the shadows.
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Postby Helderluiss » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:15 am

Great tutorial Bos10

By the way engel is thinking on making a torpedo system for this boat and also a functional periscope.

Does anyone knows more about this, time to be released, etc?
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Postby pier 72 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 7:22 am

Bos 10, I'd be very interested in how you get on when you get to the stage of fitting the WTC or middle deck. If I'd followed to the letter the instructions and plans of my Engel Type IX I would not have been able to fit the top hull to the main, bottom hull.

BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also test and re-test exactly how much lead ballast you'll need. I'm well over twice the weight that Engel recommend for the Type IX.

I'll be sailing her for the first time in a large indoor pool on Saturday, so I'll let you know how she goes. I've dubbed mine U-861.

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All the very best
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Postby bos10 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:19 pm

Pier72,

To my understanding the models have two completely different approaches. In the VII/C the hull is formed in two asymetrical halves. The factory fiberglasses both halves together and then cuts it into a long bow section and a short stern section. A very nice job I might add.

I still need to fiberglass bulkheads that are used to connect the two halves as well as the brakets for the WTC. I'm a little worried about doing that part as I know that it's critical to get it right and I have put a lot of effort into opening the slots in the hull. In any event, I won't have the same issues that you did because of the differnt design, but I'm going to take my time on that part!
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Postby bos10 » Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:17 am

Pier73, I forgot to mention that your boat looks great! I've never weathered a model before, so that's something that I need to look into. But that's still a long way away.

Helderluiss, as for the torpedoes and moving periscope. When I spoke with Gregory Engel before buying the model he indicated that they would have these options, but there was no firm date. I think that he mentioned that they were experimenting with electric torpoedos which I have a strong preference for. Assuming that they release one, I assume that it will be as well engineered as the rest of the kit appears to be.

I sent him an email a couple of days ago and here's his response:

"Have not thought about periscope mechanism, yet. Torpedoes will still
take quite some time. Cannot give you a time frame at the moment, sorry."

My guess is that he's focused on other things and perhaps waiting for more VII/Cs to be sold...
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