OT Making a model ship with a 5 year old

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wrote:

My suggestion would actually be to use "1 inch" white pine. Build up a stack of cross-sections glued together, and then shape on a belt sander. Part of the reason for this is that the result is durable - it can take years of sailing the living room floor, enduring bombardment with 3/8" ball bearings from older brother's pen-spring- loaded shore battery, etc.
It is true there's more use of power tools involved than ideal, but you can have your son heavily involved in the design and "supervision" of the work, which goes pretty quickly. It's also a great way to introduce the idea of filling a need by desining the solution and then building it. You can either do full-scale design drawings, or simply draw directly on the wood - place the crew and cargo on the board and draw the hull around them. Place the cannon and draw its ports, etc. Then while you are cutting out each additional layer, he can either watch you, or play with stack of those cut so far. Glue-up is just before bed time - the next day he has the unsmoothed hull, that evening you sand it with a combination of power and hand tools.
You can also make it a two part project - either do a prototype as a suprise gift to introduce the idea, and then a nicer one as a joint project with his design input. Or do one together, and then an even bigger/better taking those ideas further. After all, with no upkeep costs, what owner wouldn't want two boats?
I think my brother and I did a lot more with the never-really finished ship of this sort than we ever did when he finally received the commercial "pirate ship" it was intended as a substitute for. Sure, all that rigging and detail looked cool on the packaging, but the decks were just too crowded for much activity.
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On Fri, 09 Feb 2007 10:32:34 -0600, Ignoramus8098

Foam insulation - the rigid kind.
Cuts with a sharp knife (good lessons there for the kid) or a hot wire. You can get nichrome from a hobby shop and make a simple wooden U-shaped frame with a hook and spring to tension the wire. It's _fun_ to carve with this setup, and foam is cheap, & will float.
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On 10 Feb, 11:14, snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.hfx.andara.com wrote:

Don't carve foam insulation with a hot wire. The old polystyrene insulation was unpleasant for fumes, the modern isocyanate foams cut much better (no beads) but the fumes from those are really pretty toxic. As they don't break down into loose beads anyway, they can sand to shape very quickly.
A bread knife with a wiggly edge, not fine serrations, is the best tool for slabbing out blanks.
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wrote:

Hm, didn't know that.
I've been using the blue foam that comes in 2x8 sheets - will have to check if it is isocyanate. It cuts really nice with the wire (I built a regulated V and A power supply to get the wire just right) so if it is maybe I'll cut outside with me upwind...
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wrote:

Cheap electric carving knife from the Goodwill/thrift stores work very well
Gunner
Political Correctness
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On Feb 10, 5:14 am, snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.hfx.andara.com wrote:

see http://www.pnjresources.com/Nichrome_page.htm for nichrome wire.
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message

A chunk of 2 x 6 he can use a small back saw to cut a bow on. Add a couple of staggered decks using 1 x 4, 1 x 3, and 1 x 2. A couple of 3" lengths of 1/2" dowel for smoke stacks, and your son has the start of a fleet that floats. Let him bang in nails to fasten things together (predrilling starter holes will make it easier for him to keep them straight), and use the exterior colors of his choice to paint it up.
I remember building one of these with my Dad when I was about that age, and being so proud when it was done I could bust. I was also the envy of the neighbor kids, because I had a "Navy" to carry my toy soldiers around.
If you want to keep it simpler, use a quart or half gallon waxed milk or juice container. Lay it on it's side so the spout is up. Starting just below the spout, mark a line all the way around the carton. Use a sharp knife, or heavy shears, to cut the spout side of the carton away. Assist your son in using a small saw to cut a piece of 1/2" - 3/4" thick balsa wood to fit inside the carton hull. This is to poke dowels into for making masts that can be glued in place and smaller dowel "yard arms" fastened to with twine and glue.
With a 5 year old, keep it simple and have fun.
Len
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I would suggest a kit like this
http://tinyurl.com/yvsj6j
it makes a nice display, or if you leave the stands off, would probably float pretty well.
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For a 5 year old?! I buggered up that one when I was 35.
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Ignoramus8098 wrote:

I vaguely recall an interview with a chap who ran a cabinet-making shop (might have been viscount Lindley) and talking about some formative memories. He described building a submarine with his dad (ok, not exactly a ship) - it sounded simple but stimulating - cut out basic shape from a lump of wood, some kind of open hook on the bottom with an iron ring - it'd "dive" to the bottom, the ring would land on the bottom & fall off and the sub would rise again. Lots of scope for keeping it very simple or getting fancy, & sounds like fun. Though I suppose you could only use it in one of those special boat ponds you see around from time to time, where it's not going to get tangled up in weed or a shopping trolley.
g.
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Try to use those small flat wood ice cream sticks they sell by bags (use strait short ones). Put them flat building the shape as by long flat bricks. White glue will do very well. Lay out the skull profiles and may be build some simple staple. Some supervision will help to maintain the shape (white glue easy to fix for quite a time). As the last touch for ready scull some sandpaper or even sand belt will do.
Arcady
Ignoramus8098 wrote:

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Talk to the family doctor. He buys bags of them to mash down on tongues!
I bet his supplier would love to peak his delivery for the month!
Perhaps a medical supply in town ? Or large pharmacy that deals with everything...
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
Arcady wrote:

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Martin H. Eastburn wrote:

Ask the Dr. to save the used items.
Ewwwwwwwwww! <G>
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Get Un used ones. One doesn't want to play with unknown danger !!
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
B A R R Y wrote:

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