The Lumberyard
As Harold’s method of building a plank on frame hull spread it became known as the “upside down method” a term Harold at first thought was kind of belittling the technique, although it was not meant that way.  The basis for the technique was to use a jig to provide a solid base and a reference point to take measurements, while keeping the frames square and in place. The idea first appeared in print in the spring of 1972. The first use of the jig was during the construction of the shipyard diorama. The ship hulls were only about seven inches long and Harold needed a way to hold the tiny framing in place while the hull were being worked on.  At the completion of the diorama Harold did wonder if the jig idea could be applied to larger scale hulls so he borrowed a set of plans for the Confederacy and tested out the idea. It worked out, and from that time on all his ships were built upside down in a jig.

With all the frames cut, the keel assembly and jig ready, the first step is to set up the first and last whole frames into the jig.

It is important these two frames are set level in the jig with the keel temporarily in place.  Once all the frames are in place they are pulled tight to the keel assembly.

To begin, framing material is cut one inch wide and the required thickness of half the frame.

A jig is used to cut the framing stock to the individual pieces that will make up each frame.

The next step is to assemble the two halves of the frames to the frame blank patterns.  Then the two halves are laminated together to form a frame blank.  A frame pattern is then rubber cemented to the frame blank and cut out.

Another jig is used to insure the distance from the keel notch to the top of the leg extensions on every frame is exactly the same. Each frame is set against a peg set into the boars and the legs adjusted until they rest against the top piece.

The jig system is also used to take off measurements for the wales, deck, gun ports etc.

Go to PART 5 - Building a Colonial Shipyard Diorama

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