H.M.S. Fly Deck Gratings/Coamings

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Gratin/combing
Deck Grating/Combing




Again there are two ways of doing the Deck Gratings. The Kit comes with all the pieces that you will need and is extremely fast and easy to fabricate. With a varnish this is the end result.

 

 

 

Our fellow builder Lloyd has been kind enough to take a closer look at the Gratings and has come up with a different method for their fabrication without using the pieces provided.

The choice is yours and once again we like to show two methods that will achieve the same results.

Lloyds Deck Gratings.

Lloyd Matthews – June 2013 ©

This author had no previous experience in the making of deck gratings, so a reference point was found; a model was photographed at the Royal Maritime Museum Greenwich, London, Figure G1.

Example of deck gratings
Figure G1 – Example of deck gratings

The construction of the gratings should be treated as a project in its own right, and when viewing the picture of H.M.S. Fly on the front of the kit box, they would be very noticeable if they were not constructed well.

Additional grating sets (33 x 33 mm) and lengths of 3 x 2 mm Walnut were purchased for experimentation. These were obtained from http://www.jotika-ltd.com/. Speaking to Richard of ‘Jotika’, he advised that the gratings were first assembled and then painted with either a diluted PVA or a varnish, and this would hold all the pieces in place; this was a very good tip.

A further interesting piece of information advised by Richard was that the ‘forward – aft’ sections surrounding the hatch are known as ‘coamings’, and the ‘port – starboard’ sections are known as ‘head ledges’. For the construction of the hatch corners, the ‘coamings’ will sit beneath the ‘head ledges’, Figure G2.

Corner construction of hatches
Figure G2 – Corner construction of hatches

‘Head ledges’ is an interesting term, and can be seen used at http://uvsmgshipmodelguild.wikispaces.com/Hatchways.

A tip that this author has discovered through experimentation, is to give the Walnut strips a coat of ‘Flat Matt’ varnish, which will then prevent the Walnut from splitting and splintering when cutting.

The construction of the ‘head ledges’ and ‘combings’ required a template, jig and tools to be made. This exercise is worthwhile, as a total of 64 individual pieces or 32 joints are required for the hatch gratings. To ensure the corners were all square a template was fixed to a cutting mat, Figure G3.

Corner template made out of brass angle bar
Figure G3 - Corner template made out of brass angle bar

The corner of the hatch ledges / combings required that the 2 X 1.5 mm of Walnut be removed, and a jig was constructed, Figure G4.

Jig for cutting the corners of the ledges/ combings
Figure G4 – Jig for cutting the corners of the ledges/ combings

1 – 2 strips of 6.35 x 0.6mm brass strip (1/4” x 0.025”)
2 – End of a razor blades
3 & 4 – 8 x 8 x 0.8 mm brass angle bar
5 – Space for 2 mm Walnut strip
1 & 2 - The corners are made by removing Walnut from the ends of two separate lengths; the two 0.6 mm brass strips equate to 1.2 mm, and it was found that by adding the ends of the razor blades a depth of approximately 1.35 mm was obtained.
3 & 4 - A razor blade was used to cut the Walnut, and this was kept square by the guides 3 & 4. When sticking these guides in place, a razor blade was inserted between the ends of 3 & 4 to achieve the correct gap. Each razor blade could be used for approximately 6 cuts, depending upon the hardness of the Walnut.

5 – This is the gap which the 2 mm width Walnut is held in place.

Note: Super glue was used to fix the brass pieces to the cutting mat, and ‘Araldite’ epoxy resin was used to glue the two razor blade ends to the brass.

The tool for cutting the deck plank lengths was used. It could be thought that the razor blade would not be rigid enough to cut this thickness of wood, but this author found it to be no problem. The construction of this tool is shown in Figures G5 & G6; the wood used is odd pieces from a wood venetian blind from Ikea!

 

Construction of a tool for safely holding a razor blade
Figure G5 – Construction of a tool for safely holding a razor blade


Assembled tool with razor blade being rigidly held in place
Figure G6 – Assembled tool with razor blade being rigidly held in place

The tool being used in the cutting jig, Figure G7.

A vertical cut of approximately 1.35 mm is being made in the Walnut
Figure G7 – A vertical cut of approximately 1.35 mm is being made in the Walnut


Horizontal cuts being made into the Walnut
Figure G8 - Horizontal cuts being made into the Walnut

Once the vertical cut is made, the Walnut is held firmly in place, (a free stirrer from one of the national chain of coffee shops was used), whilst the horizontal cuts are being made. For this a chisel craft blade was used, and the flat side of the blade is facing downwards as shown in Figure G8. Do not try and cut off one piece, but slowly cut off slivers until the blade is running along the flat razor blade ends (Figure G4 no.2).

It is best to practice a few times to get a feeling for the tools made; the end result is quite satisfactory, Figure G9.

Example of what the cutting jig can easily achieve
Figure G9 – Example of what the cutting jig can easily achieve

The grating in the kit, item no. 262, Figure G10, is made of a white wood; this author considered that the colour was not correct for the Fly, but this is a personal choice; each piece of grating was individually stained prior to assembly, Figure G11

Pieces from the grating pack
Figure G10 – Pieces from the grating pack


Stained grating piece
Figure G11 – Stained grating piece

As the surrounding hatch frame is made of ‘Walnut’, the gratings were stained a shade of ‘Walnut’.

‘Ronseal’ Satin – Walnut was experimented with; undiluted, diluted with water and mixed with ‘Admiralty’ Flat Matt Varnish. This author finally decided to put approximately 10% wood stain into Flat Matt Varnish. Both are water based so mixing was not a problem, and it dried relatively quickly. Experiments were carried out on the best way of applying the stain, and the following sequence is suggested:-

30 pre-cut slotted strips are required to create one grating 33 x 33 mm. Each strip is stained-varnished on one side only, Figure G11. Once the strips are completed on one side, the other side is then immediately stained-varnished.

Whilst the strips may not be dry, the grating is still assembled. First make a square, Figure G12

A square is first made
Figure G12 – A square is first made

Further strips are then added, Figure G13.

Further strips are added
Figure G13 – Further strips are added

All the strips are eventually fitted, Figure G14; should any be a little tight to fit, due to the stain–varnish, place a flat block of wood on the grating and tap gently with a pin hammer.

All 30 strips are slotted together to form a 33 x 33 mm grating
Figure G14 – All 30 strips are slotted together to form a 33 x 33 mm grating

One side of grating is painted with the stain-varnish, which will help to lock all the pieces together. When this is dry, the other side is sanded until the surface is flat. Initially a P80 abrasive paper was used until the surface was almost flat, then a P120 and finally a P400, Figure G15.

One side of the grating is sanded until completely flat
Figure G15 - One side of the grating is sanded until completely flat

This flat surface is painted with the stain-varnish, ensuring that the holes in the grating are not filled. This is allowed to dry and then lightly rubbed on P1200 sandpaper, and a further coat of stain-varnish is applied to achieve the desired shade of Walnut, Figure G15.

Note: - Walnut can vary considerably from light to dark in colour

As a comparison a varnished–stained grating is shown besides one that has not been, Figure G16.

Comparison of grating colours
Figure G16 – Comparison of grating colours

Seven sets of gratings are required and their sizes are shown below using the open square grating hole as the measurement: -

Note: - Do not use the squares as illustrated on the plans and in the instruction booklet as these are not correct!

Fore Deck Grating      ..          ..        4 x 2 squares
Gun Deck Main Hatch (Large)          11 x 13 squares
Gun Deck Hatch (Medium)   ..          11 x 8 squares
Gun Deck Hatch (Small)        ..         7 x 6 squares
Poop Deck Two Small Gratings       3 x 3 squares
Poop Deck 3 Grating Hatch  ..          9 x 4 squares per grating

Note: - This author made an additional main hatch to go below the Gun Deck main hatch.

For the coamings / legers, 3 x 2 Walnut was used for all of the gratings except for the poop Deck ‘3 Grating Hatch’, as these will need to be 3 x 1.5 mm to look correct. To achieve this two sided stick tape was put onto a flat wooden block and the Walnut strips for this hatch were stuck on the block, Figure G17. These were then sanded on P120 paper, Figure G18, until the required thickness was achieved, Figure G19.

Two sided sticky tape is used to fix the Walnut to the wooden block
Figure G17 – Two sided sticky tape is used to fix the Walnut to the wooden block


The Walnut strips are sanded on P120 paper
Figure G18 – The Walnut strips are sanded on P120 paper


Walnut strips reduced to approximately 3 x 1.5 mm
Figure G19 – Walnut strips reduced to approximately 3 x 1.5 mm

The gratings will need to be cut to the correct size, but pay attention to how the strips will run as shown in Figure G20. This author thought of the ledges and the ‘Forward Aft’ grating strip as forming an imaginary “T” shape, although many mistakes were still made in achieving the correct orientation of the ‘Forward – Aft’ strip to the ledges.

Cutting the gratings to the correct size a craft drill was used with a cutting wheel. Ensure that the cutting wheel is going to cut the grating squarely, Figure G21.

The orientation of the grating strips, forming imaginary “T” shape
Figure G20 – The orientation of the grating strips, forming imaginary “T” shape

Cutting wheel and grating are square to each other
Figure G21 – Cutting wheel and grating are square to each other

Once the gratings have all been cut, each of the gratings are checked to ensure that they are ‘square’, Figure G22. The coamings and ledges are made around each of the gratings. Always ensure that the ledges and the ‘Forward – Aft’ strip forms the imaginary “T” shape.

Each of the cut gratings are checked to ensure they are ‘square’
Figure G22.1 – Each of the cut gratings are checked to ensure they are ‘square’

When creating the coamings and ledges, the length that the horizontal cut in the Walnut needs to be reduced is marked with the chisel craft blade, Figure G22.

The length that the horizontal cut needs to be reduced is marked
Figure G22.2 – The length that the horizontal cut needs to be reduced is marked

The position of vertical cuts is marked using the same method, Figure G23.

Marking the vertical cut on the coaming
Figure G23 – Marking the vertical cut on the coaming

The walnut length is reduced to the mark made in Figure G22; this author again adapted his craft drill and fitted a sanding disc. To ensure that the end was reduced squarely, two set squares were taped to the base, which ensured that the Walnut could slide between them, Figure G24 and G25.

Two geometry set squares taped to the base of craft drill
Figure G24 - Two geometry set squares taped to the base of craft drill


Walnut strip is slid between the two set squares
Figure G25 – Walnut strip is slid between the two set squares

A completed grating set with two head ledges, two coamings and a grating is shown in Figure G26, ready to be assembled.

Grating ready to be assembled
Figure G26 – Grating ready to be assembled


Assembled grating ready to be glued
Figure G27 – Assembled grating ready to be glued

Glue is applied at the four ends of the coamings, Figure G28, and then tweezers are used to place the head ledges on the ends of the coamings.

Adhesive is applied to the ends of the coamings
Figure G28 – Adhesive is applied to the ends of the coamings

Once glued, a block of wood is used to push the grating into the corner template, Figure G29, and also to make sure that the grating is perfectly flat. After about 10 minutes, place the two edges of the grating on two lengths of Walnut strip and push the grating through to ensure that it has not stuck. Remove any signs of adhesive; place the same way back in the frame, and once again push the grating into the corner template and make sure it is perfectly flat.

Grating is pushed into the corner template to ensure it is square
Figure G29 – Grating is pushed into the corner template to ensure it is square

When the adhesive is set, mark the position of the grating on the underside of the head ledges or coamings, and remove. The Walnut frame can then be lightly sanded and a slight bevel put on the top edges, but this is all done according to personal choice. The frame is then given a final coat of Flat Matt varnish before fixing the grating within the frame.

For the smaller gratings this author has sanded the four sides of the Walnut frame, so it looks correctly proportioned, Figure G30 and G31.

Poop deck small gratings
Figure G30 – Poop deck small gratings


Fore Deck Grating
Figure G31 – Fore Deck Grating

A special mention should be made regarding the ‘Poop Deck 3 Grating Hatch’, Figure G32.

Poop Deck 3 Grating Hatch
Figure G32 - Poop Deck 3 Grating Hatch

Careful thought needs to be given in constructing this grating, and it is recommended to make a trial frame first to understand how it will need to be constructed. Figure G33 and G34 illustrates the version that this author constructed.

Constructing a trial ‘3 grating set’
Figure G33 – Constructing a trial ‘3 grating set’


Constructing a trial ‘3 grating set’
Figure G34 – Constructing a trial ‘3 grating set’

The head ledges and coaming need to be placed reverse side up so the vertical cuts can be made, as shown in Figure G33 and G34.

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Thank's to Lloyd Matthews for this in depth guide into Deck Gratings.

Need a PDF? Here it is: Deck Gratings



Coamings

Gun to Second Deck Ladder and Hatch Coamings

For those modellers who wish to use the components in the kit we would refer you to the guidance notes for 'General Ladders'. The hatch for the gun to second deck ladder together with the hatch coamings is shown in Figure W1, which is a copy of the picture on the side of the model kit box.

Figure W1 - Gun to second deck ladder hatch
Figure W1 - Gun to second deck ladder hatch

This author will make a ladder according to how it is shown in the original H.M.S. Fly ship plans as shown in Figure W2 and Figure W3.

Figure W2 - From original H.M.S. Fly ships plan
Figure W2 - From original H.M.S. Fly ships plan

Figure W3 - From original H.M.S. Fly ships plan
Figure W3 - From original H.M.S. Fly ships plan

From Figure W2 it can be seen that the ladder only occupies 78% of the forward to aft measurement of the hatch. Whilst in the model plans 'Sheet 5' (Figure W4) they occupy the full distance, and the position of the bottom of the ladder is shown in model plans 'Sheet 6' (Figure W5).

Figure W4 - Ladder and coamings shown on Sheet 5
Figure W4 - Ladder and coamings shown on Sheet 5

Figure W5 - Bottom of the ladder can be seen in Sheet 6
Figure W5 - Bottom of the ladder can be seen in Sheet 6

The coamings are made using the same basic method of construction as the deck grating coamings which can be seen above on this page. There are some differences, which are detailed below.

A square block of wood is cut to fit exactly into the fore hatch as shown in Figure W6 and Figure W7.

Figure W6 - Block of wood to fit exactly into fore hatch
Figure W6 - Block of wood to fit exactly into fore hatch

Figure W7 - Block of wood fits perfectly into the fore hatch
Figure W7 - Block of wood fits perfectly into the fore hatch

The jig that was utilised to make the deck grating coamings will be used, but a small modification will need to be made as shown in Figure W8. Double sided sticky tape is used to fix and additional razor blade end either side ensuring that the corner of the coamings when cut will be 1.5mm, half of the 3mm height of the Walnut.

Figure W8 - Additional razor blade ends are added to jig
Figure W8 - Additional razor blade ends are added to jig

The coamings are fitted around the block of wood on the jig as can be seen in Figure W9 and Figure W10; ensure that all the pieces are clearly identified so they can be glued back into the same positions.

Figure W9 - The coamings are positioned around the block of wood
Figure W9 - The coamings are positioned around the block of wood

Before applying glue to the corner of the coamings the block of wood has Vaseline rubbed into its corners (Figure W10) ensuring that if any glue should touch the wood it will not adhere.

Figure W10 - Vaseline is rubbed into the corners of the block of wood
Figure W10 - Vaseline is rubbed into the corners of the block of wood

The glue is applied sparingly with a pin to the corner of the coamings and they are then assembled with a pair of tweezers around the block of wood (Figure W11 and Figure W12). Once assembled, they are pressed into the corner of the square guide in every combination of directions. This will ensure it is square and any excess glue is removed (Figure W13).

Figure W11 - Glue is applied sparingly with a pin
Figure W11 - Glue is applied sparingly with a pin

Figure W12 - Glue is applied with a pin
Figure W12 - Glue is applied with a pin

Figure W13 - Coamings assembly is pushed into corner from all directions
Figure W13 - Coamings assembly is pushed into corner from all directions

Ideally the insides of the coamings are made from 4mm x 0.75mm Walnut however; this author only had 1mm thick Walnut so this was sanded down to the required thickness by fixing the Walnut onto a block of wood with two sided sticky tape (Figure W1Figure W14).

Figure W14 - 4mm x 1mm Walnut fixed to a block of wood with two sided sticky tape
Figure W14 - 4mm x 1mm Walnut fixed to a block of wood with two sided sticky tape

The Walnut is sanded on P400 abrasive paper to reduce its thickness to approximately 0.75mm. To ensure that there is an even ledge around the inside of the coamings a 1mm thickness piece of ply is cut to sit inside of the downward facing coamings assembly as shown in Figure W15.

Figure W15 - 1mm ply is cut to fit into coamings assembly
Figure W15 - 1mm ply is cut to fit into coamings assembly

Figure W16 - Inside of the coamings assembly
Figure W16 - Inside of the coamings assembly

Sanding each of the pieces of Walnut to fit correctly can be a little awkward, and this author found that holding the small strips of Walnut on P120 abrasive paper prevented the small strips of wood from moving whilst sanding the edges (Figure W17).

Figure W17 - Small strips of Walnut are held onto abrasive paper whilst sanding the edges
Figure W17 - Small strips of Walnut are held onto abrasive paper whilst sanding the edges

Vaseline is rubbed into the top surface of the 1mm ply surface to ensure that it does not stick to the inside coamings side when they are glued. A pin is used to apply the glue ensuring that just sufficient is applied to the inside of the coamings sides. The completed assembly is shown in Figure W18.

Figure W18 - Completed coamings assembly
Figure W18 - Completed coamings assembly

The coamings assembly is adjusted using needle files / abrasive paper so that it will fit into the fore hatch opening in the gun deck as shown in Figure W19. (Do not glue).

Figure W19 - Fore hatch coamings assembly fitted into gun deck
Figure W19 - Fore hatch coamings assembly fitted into gun deck

The forward to aft inside measurement of the hatch coamings assembly is measured as shown in Figure W20; these will vary so the measurements are only for this author's model.

Figure W20 - F'wd to aft inside measurement of the hatch coamings assembly
Figure W20 - F'wd to aft inside measurement of the hatch coamings assembly

There are two options for making the ladder; using the full inside measurement of the coamings assembly and to use either the ladders supplied with the kit as we have described in 'Ladders General'. Alternatively use the method employed in the 'Forecastle Ladders'.

The other option is to follow the original Fly plans where the ladder occupies 78% of the inside forward aft measurement of the coamings assembly. This author will follow the second option and use the same techniques of making a jig for the ladder the only difference being is its width.

As shown in Figure W5, the foot of the ladder is approximately 80% of the port to starboard distance, which on this author's model is about 13.8mm (17.25mm x 80%). The distance from the coamings ledge to the second deck is 23mm and from this the angle of the slope of the ladder can be calculated in the same way as is done for the slope of the forecastle ladders shown in Figure U5 (Forecastle Ladders).

The width of the ladder is 78% of 17.25mm = 13.45mm. The same materials will be used for this ladder so the width of the jig is 11.45mm. Whilst precise measurements are being given the reality is that there is a small margin of +/-.

The author's completed jig is shown in Figure W21 and was made using two 6mm width pieces of pine strip, and after gluing the two together gave a width of 12mm. One side was sanded to achieve the approximate width of 11.45mm.

Figure W21 - Jig for gun to second deck ladder
Figure W21 - Jig for gun to second deck ladder

Using the same method as explained in the 'Forecastle Ladders' the gun to second deck ladder is made in the same way (Figure W22). The ladder from the jig is sanded with P400 abrasive paper and is then ready to fit into the Fly.

Figure W22 - Ladder from jig
Figure W22 - Ladder from jig

As with the forecastle ladders it was found that if the foot could be held in place the fitting of the ladder is easier. As seen in Figure W5 the foot of the ladder is 80% from the starboard side of the inside of the coamings. The inside measurement of the coamings is 17.25mm as shown in Figure W23 so the foot of the ladder is 17.25mm x 0.20 = 3.45mm, see Figure W5.

Figure W23 - Port to starboard inside measurement
Figure W23 - Port to starboard inside measurement

The fitting of the ladder is a little awkward so a jig to locate the foot of it in one position was made using scraps pieces of wood (Figure W24). This will be used when the ladder is permanently glued into position.

Figure W24 - Jig to locate the foot of the ladder
Figure W24 - Jig to locate the foot of the ladder

The finished ladder is shown in Figure W25 and loosely fitted into the Fly in Figure W26.

Figure W25 - Completed ladder
Figure W25 - Completed ladder

Figure W26 - Ladder loosely fitted into H.M.S. Fly
Figure W26 - Ladder loosely fitted into H.M.S. Fly

AUTHORS NOTE: - There was much experimentation in building both the forecastle and the fore hatch ladders. It was this author's first attempt and there is probably an easier way; Figure W27 gives an idea of the number made and not all were successful!

Figure W27 - Assorted ladders made but not used
Figure W27 - Assorted ladders made but not used

Stanchions are required around the hatch coamings, and if the kit plans have been followed four are required. If the original plans for the Fly have been used then five stanchions are needed.

The part number for the stanchions is '178' yet on Plans Sheet 2, what appears to be stanchions is part number '210' for which there are 22 pieces. It is thought that part number '178' are in fact 'lower mast top stanchions' for which there are 12 pieces. Looking at Plans Sheet 7, part number 210 is shown on the 'For Top detail' at the bottom of the plan. This author found it very confusing and considers that there is a mistake. As 5 stanchions will be required for the ladder made, additional ones were purchased so they would look all the same as shown in Figure W28 and Figure W29.

Figure W28 - 10mm Stanchions
Figure W28 - 10mm Stanchions

Figure W29 - Stanchion
Figure W29 - Stanchion

The holes in the coamings for the stanchions are drilled; it is advisable to give the coamings assembly a coat of 'Flat Matt' varnish which will help stop the wood from splitting when being drilled. To ensure that the stanchions are exactly 90 degrees to the coamings assembly, a hobby drill stand was used (Figure W30). It is advisable to experiment with the drill size to ensure the correct size hole is drilled for the stanchions; a 65 wire gauge drill was used for this build.

Figure W30 - Hobby drill stand
Figure W30 - Hobby drill stand

Stanchions will extend approximately 1mm below the coamings. The reverse side of the holes are counter sunk; when the stanchions are permanently fitted into the coamings, a drop of super glue will be applied to the counter sunk hole to fix them permanently in place (Figure W31).

Figure W31 - Stanchions loosely fitted in the coamings assembly
Figure W31 - Stanchions loosely fitted in the coamings assembly

Rather than reducing the length of the stanchion feet, holes are drilled in the gun deck using an AMATI 'Action Cutter' Figure W32 and Figure W33. It is thought that this would make them a little more secure when the model is finally assembled.

Figure W33 - AMATI Action Kit 7383/20 for drilling holes in the deck
Figure W33 - AMATI Action Kit 7383/20 for drilling holes in the deck

Figure W32 - Holes drilled in deck to accommodate the feet of the stanchions
Figure W32 - Holes drilled in deck to accommodate the feet of the stanchions

The coamings assembly is rubbed down with P800 abrasive paper to remove any burrs as a result of drilling, and then given another coat of 'Flat Matt' varnish. The coamings assembly with stanchions are shown in Figure W34. The stanchions have yet to be painted and the rope threaded through, but this will all be done later in the build.

Figure W34 - The coamings assembly and the stanchions all loosely fitted in the gun deck
Figure W34 - The coamings assembly and the stanchions all loosely fitted in the gun deck

Lloyd Matthews – April 2016 ©

Thanks Lloyd, I really like the finish on the coamings!

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