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First Time Sub Builder-Robbe U-47

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First Time Sub Builder-Robbe U-47

Postby noney » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:13 pm

I am going to start this thread with a great deal more detail information than I will later on in the build. This is my first build of an RC Submarine, and for that matter, a model as sophisticated as this kit. My thoughts are that by going into a little more detail of where I am in the build it will give you some insights as to what my capabilities are, or are not, thereby allowing for help you may see that I need. This extra detail might also help someone else in the same catagory and/or position that I find myself.

Before I started any of the build, I removed the English assembly instructions, and the assembly photos from the instructions accompaning the kit, and placed each in a separate loose leaf binder. I felt this would make it easier to move from written instructions to photos during the build. I also gathered all the tools and materials I thought I would need and placed them on a separate workbench. One of the materials was the glue, and I took the shotgun approach on this.

I began by assembling the stand which was pretty straight forward. I took advantage of this to use different types of glue, except for the Stabilit-Express, to get an idea how each worked. This was Step 0. I Really could not find much difference between the "CA" type glues.

After assembling the stand I moved on to Step 1 and immediately ran into trouble. I simply could not find the parts. I checked every clear plastic bag containing parts and could not see anything resembling the photos in the plan sheet. I thougth to myself, I am not going to ask for help at only the beginning of Step 1, so I better figure this out! I decided to check the plan drawings against the written instructions description of the parts to see what scale the plan sheet was drawn. I figured that I could then search by measuring the parts to find the ones I was looking for. As it turns out the plan sheet is 1:1 so that was going to make it easier. Nevertheless, I still could not find the parts and I was ready to admit I was indeed an idiot. At the last moment, just before I was going to blame it all on my wife, I turned over the package containing the WTC end caps and there were the parts for which I was searching.

Step 1 involves soldering. I have done very little soldering so I checked on line and read up on the different types of solder and soldering. I then purchased bits and pieces of brass and copper and did some practice soldering before I attempted Step 1. The practice soldering and Step 1 soldering took about 2 hours or so, and then I quit for the day. About 2 hours later I came down with an excruciating headache. It lasted the rest of the day and thru the nite. A little investigation revealed that I should have either worn the respirator that I have, or used a fan to blow the fumes away. I purchased a small fan today.

I am still on Step 1 and have run into another problem for which I need help. I need to drill a 7mm hole in one of the bulkheads, however, I have not been able to find a 7mm drill bit within a 30 mile radius of my home, and the set I purchased on line only goes up to 5mm. I know that a 14mm wrench is more or less equal to a 9/16 wrench so I figured a 9/32 drill bit (one half of 18/32) should be very close to 7mm. Part #1.5 tubular rivet and part #1.10 washer fit thru the 7mm hole in part 1.11 bulkhead. There is no hole in part #1.11 but since the tubular rivet is 7mm in diameter, I must assume that is the diameter of the hole. Since there is no "seal" where Part #1.5 goes thru Part #1.11, and Part #1.5 is simply glued in place, I am assuming the 9/32 drill hole will be okay as it is just slightly larger (I drilled test holes on blank areas of the parts sheet) than the rivet. Is this a good assumption?

The other question I have at this point in the build is what is the best way to remove the parts from the parts sheets? I have tried cutting the pieces out with my exacto knife but to no avail. There has to be a trick to this.....at least I hope there is. I am stuck at this point because I do not want to damage any of the parts, so I need help here.

The photos below are of my shop space and how I have arranged things to this point. This is just to give you and idea of how I am working, and what I have at my disposal for the build. In the future I am sure I will have more detailed photos and less detail in my narrative. Any comments or suggestions for this thread, and/or answers to my questions above will be greatly appreciated.

I just did a "preview" of this post and when I clicked on the photos to enlarge, they downloaded huge, but I found by waiting until they were completely downloaded, they reverted to a correct size. I need some help here on how to not have this happen again. Thanks.

Gene





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Postby TMSmalley » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:32 pm

Excellent! If you have any problems be sure to post them here - Jim Henson (Spongejim) and others have built many of these kits and can pass along their collective tips.

T
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Postby Boss subfixer » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:32 pm

Noney,
I've never built the U-47 so I don't really know how important the size of the hole is that your asking about. But I can give you some food for though till someone that has chimes in.
A 7 mm hole works out to .275", 9/32" works out to .281" or a difference of 6 thousandths. If you have access to a "J" drill it is .277" or 2 thousandths difference. My wife bought me one of those cheap 110 piece drill bit sets for Christmas one year and I almost laughed but since we usually only deal with relatively soft materials I gave them a shot. They are not too bad, you get fractional, letter and number drills. Maybe worth considering for your tool box.
Don
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Postby tsenecal » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:29 pm

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Postby noney » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:41 am

Hi Tim, thanks and I hope those guys read the thread because I do indeed need assistance.

Don, I was not familiar with the term J drill bit so I Googled it and then recognized it when I saw it. Thank you for the information.

Tsenecal - I really appreciate the link. I must have spent nearly an hour looking for a metric drill bit set on-line earlier today. I ordered the set off the link you sent. Thank you.

I still need assistance on the other issue from anyone else relative to my original post. What is the best way to remove the different parts from the parts sheet? Thanks.

Gene
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Postby fgroza » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:23 am

Before you get too far into the build you need to decide if you want a static diver or not. If you go static, there are several choices. Gas, pump, piston, or rcabs. I went with rcabs do to simplicity and cost. Others have used other systems with great sucess..
Something else you may want to do is change out the drive motors, they are very amp hungry. I put Graupner speed 400 size in mine attached to a 3-1 gearbox. Very low amp draw, 3.5 amps unloaded. These motors will propel your boat with ease. I run 6v gel cells and 7.2v nicads/nimh. There are several guys on this site that are expperts on this boat and will help out any way they can.
Good luck
Frank

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Postby noney » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:20 am

Hi Frank. I appreciate the advice and have been thinking about the issues you mention. I do know that I want a static dive boat, but I am not sure just when in the build I need to deal with that issue. I was thinking about a Sub Driver from Caswel. I contacted them off their website about 3 weeks ago asking for particulars relative to a Sub Driver for the Robbe U47 but they never got back to me other than a confirmation they had received my email. If you have other, or more, suggestions etc please share them with me, such as an easy way to cut the parts out of the parts sheet. Thanks again.

Gene
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Postby tsenecal » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:23 pm

noney,

I would recommend that you build it first entirely out-of-the-box, as intended by the instructions, and after you have got it running as the instructions show it, with help from us here, then go back, and upgrade the areas you want to. the U47 was my first sub, and I wish I had done that. It is very difficult to diagnose a problem when you have no knowledge of what "proper" functionality is.

baby steps. one must learn to crawl before one can scuba.
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Postby noney » Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:50 pm

tsenecal wrote:noney,

I would recommend that you build it first entirely out-of-the-box, as intended by the instructions, and after you have got it running as the instructions show it, with help from us here, then go back, and upgrade the areas you want to. the U47 was my first sub, and I wish I had done that. It is very difficult to diagnose a problem when you have no knowledge of what "proper" functionality is.

baby steps. one must learn to crawl before one can scuba.


Hi Tim ( It is Tim is it not?),
I've really been thinking along those lines which is why I was thinking about a Sub Driver or the drive that Big Dave builds. I figured I could always install these after I built the boat as per plans.

I have been having a heck of a time separating the parts from the parts sheet. My method has been to make several passes with a box knife along the stamped cut lines until I can "snap" the parts out. The main problem is in the curved stamped cut lines although none of it is easy. I am afraid I will slip and cut thru one of the parts. How did you do it?

I have my laptop set up in my shop space and check back every once in awhile to see if anyone has comments.

Thank you for your help.

Gene
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Postby noney » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:53 pm

Well, I figured out the trick to cutting out the molded pieces......there isn't any. It is simply a matter of taking time and using whatever tool works for that particular cut. At least that is how I have found it. I have used my fine tooth coping saw, plastic cutting exacto saw, drill press, and box knife. It takes time and care, but I think I'm getting it. I found an old post by Big Dave in the modeling tips catagory that gave me some good ideas. Thanks Big Dave, good ideas never die.

Gene
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Postby fgroza » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:45 pm

rcabs would be the easiest ststic system to install. As mentioned you can upgrade to static after you build the boat. However, if you go with the Engle piston tank-750ml-it would be better to cut up the tech tray while building it thee first time around. Rcabs was installed on mine after most of the building was completed. The bags were tucked into the saddle area and the pump/vent valve were installed in the front section of the tray. A 1/8'' brass tube was installed in the rear pressure dome/bulkhead for the connection to the bladders. As long as the batteries work, so should the rcabs system.
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Postby noney » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:59 pm

fgroza wrote:rcabs would be the easiest ststic system to install. As mentioned you can upgrade to static after you build the boat. However, if you go with the Engle piston tank-750ml-it would be better to cut up the tech tray while building it thee first time around. Rcabs was installed on mine after most of the building was completed. The bags were tucked into the saddle area and the pump/vent valve were installed in the front section of the tray. A 1/8'' brass tube was installed in the rear pressure dome/bulkhead for the connection to the bladders. As long as the batteries work, so should the rcabs system.
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Frank


Frank, I think this is a little advanced for me right now. :) I'm still on step 1 and just figuring out how to separate the molded parts. I think I need to understand just what I am building and how it works before I start thinking too much about serious modifications. I'm saving your thoughts and comments because I plan to be able to understand and implement them in the future, but right now I'm just struggling with making the basic model. Please don't interpet this as not wanting to hear your thoughts and suggestions because I do. I'm just not knowledgable enough yet.

Gene
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Postby noney » Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:02 pm

After cutting out the base plate, I remembered reading something on the Builder Tips catagory where Tim and Big Dave were chatting about some sanding sticks purchased at the Dollar Store. As you can see the base plate cut out is pretty rough so I knew I needed to sand it smooth, but there is no place around the thriving metropolis of Waldport that carries the sanding sticks Big Dave and Tim were talking about. The idea was good tho, so I came up with a variation which is using paint stirring sticks on which I glued sand paper. I decided to glue several grades on the stick in descending order of coarseness, and for smaller openings I ripped one of the sticks in two. ( I just sold my bandsaw so I had to use my tablesaw which to say the least was a delicate operation. ) The sticks worked pretty good and I found if I wrapped the sand paper around the sides of the sticks I could sand the rounded inside corners pretty good.

Below are some photos showing the rough base plate and sanding sticks, and where I am so far, which is not very far, but I am enjoying every minute of it.

Gene

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cutting out the parts

Postby stringfly » Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:13 pm

I built one last year. I found the best way to cut out the parts is to use a electric dremel or similar scroll saw. Worth the investment. Drill holes where you need to to insert the scroll blade. Masking tape over the cut line helps to prevent the blade from melting and rewelding the plastic kerf cut as you go.

Stringfly

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Postby noney » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:18 am

Hi Stringfly (Where is that user name from?), I've considered looking into something like that, but I think I will wait until my next build. I took a look at your Seaview build. Nice boat. What are you using to fill the seams?

Gene
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