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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:10 pm 
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A BRIEF WARNING ABOUT MESSING WITH LIVE STEAM:
1. Live steam can kill or seriously injure you or others
2. Leave boiler making to the experts

Nuff said.

INTRODUCTION

This is my fourth start on Keokuk and I may have a keeper this time. I will limit posting pictures off the internet here so I don't infringe on anyone's copyrights - all construction photos used are my own. There are many artistic interpretations of Keokuk on the internet, some that I feel are more accurate than others. I am not aware of any photographs of the actual ship. My model is based on the C. W. Whitney factory drawings supplemented by the "As Built" engineering drawing done by C. H. Corbett (Keokuk's Assistant Superintendent and obviously an accomplished artist), with far more emphasis on the Corbett drawing than the original factory drawings because of the painstaking detail that he put into his drawing. It is almost certain that his drawing was done "from life" because of his direct involvement in construction of the ship. I purchased the rights to use the Corbett drawing from the New York Historical Society and also purchased a full size (1/48 scale) digital copy in the highest resolution they offered. The details at full size and larger are incredible. I only wish that the inboard profile didn't leave so many unanswered questions!

The current artist who I feel has the most accurate representation is Daniel Dowdey. I have studied this ship for over 10 years and know her about as well as anyone can. There is not a lot of detailed information available, as Keokuk came and went very quickly - in fact she went down the ways at 11th Street in New York to the bottom of Charleston's Main Ship Channel in just over four months. She is still there, and an occasional annoyance to shrimpers when shifting sands expose some of the wreck and it catches nets. I had a chance of getting Keokuk finished for the sesquicentennial of her sinking on April 8 1863, but life got in the way. When finished hopefully by April 8, 2014, I will haul her down to Charleston and sail her past Forts Sumter and Moultrie and over the wreck site, assuming that the sea state is 1 in 1/32 scale, because I don't want to recreate her swamping and sinking as well!

CONSTRUCTION

Let me start by saying that there is nothing scale about the hull construction: the original ship was built of iron with five keelsons and no keel. There were 100 frames made of 3/4" x 4" iron bar with integral deck beams and bracing. Without the plating she would have looked like a giant erector set.

Image

My model's keel is made of two outer 1/16" CNC laser cut ply units with a 1/8" birch ply center keel sandwiched between them. This helps keep everything strong and straight. The keel tapers down to 1/8" at the bow (ram) and stern (rudder guard), so I made the inner section short and can draw the two 1/16" outer ends together. This also left room behind the sternpost to install 1/8" OD brass tubes for the rudder arm. A 48" straightedge is placed in front of the keel. I already had a piece of 48" particle board and angles so I made the keel jig 48" and let 12" hang off the ends. I use particle board for the building board because it tends to lay flat, where wood boards sometimes will warp. The hull can be slid back and forth in the jig to stiffen whatever end I happen to be working on. It can also be easily removed from the jig. I will turn the hull upside down when I install the main deck framing.


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:20 am, edited 23 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:22 pm 
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Keokuk had 100 frames at 18" spacings. I opted to go with every 4th frame for a total of 25. Most everything iron during the Civil War seems to have been spaced to a maximum 36". Probably not coincidentally, 36" was also the maximum width that rolled iron plate was readily available. Keokuk's armor bands were of course 36" wide and coincided with the frame spacing, for a total of ~51 armor bands. (You will see the number of bands all over the map on artwork and commercial models, but the two that match the written instructions are the contemporary steel engraving of Keokuk on the ways and the Corbett drawing.) The 1/16" CNC laser cut frames shown I decided not to use because they are too thin to build on. I used them as patterns instead to cut 1/8" birch ply frames. Nelson Petteys did the CAD work for me and arranged the laser cutting. He told me that 1/16" was a bad choice, and he was right! The iron frames would have scaled out to .060" thick. In this picture on the real hull there would be another three frames between each frame shown and they would all be about the thickness shown but only 1/8" wide except for the three watertight bulkheads. I think it would closely resemble a really fat snake skeleton.

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Here is a closeup of the propulsion "trays" and the twin cylinder oscillating vee steam engines. Each engine/boiler is a discrete unit so they can be "easily" removed for maintenance. Note that this arrangement is NOT scale, except for two boilers powering twin cylinder main engines. I am building a 1/16 version with a scale engine room. The engines are available from PM Reseach as machined kits and are easily one of the best steam deals around. They include foward, reverse and throttle all controlled by one servo. It appears that with a little tinkering I have the engines capable of turning the props at scale speed with 10 lbs of pressure. That will allow decent run times. The boilers and gas tanks are custom made for me by Mike Abbott at MaccSteam. He does really nice work. I am stuffing in as much motive power as possible to get a decent run time without having to add water tanks and pumps.


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:03 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:39 pm 
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I have used the 1/16" CNC frames as templates and recut all 25 frames in 1/8" birch ply. Now the building starts for real. I build my models around the propulsion system, starting at the stern and working forward. Here I am carefully aligning the shaft runs. Aside from ensuring a straight keel, this is probably the most critical step. If you nail this and the keel, you are almost guaranteed a straight hull that will perform well.

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Working my way into the engine room. Note the false bottom stiffeners: boilers are heavy! They also help to keep everything square.

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Note that I have boxed in the areas under the propshaft runs. I will install sponges in the two compartments to catch any water coming in around the prop shafts. Also note the cutouts in the forward frame to get the boilers as low as possible. This was necessary to keep the smokestack trunking below main deck level! I could have gone with smaller diameter boilers but I want to get at least a 30 minute run time without adding water tanks and pumps. The platform behind the stuffing tubes is scale height and was where the officers' quarters were located. Depending on how ambitious I feel, I may add some detail there, at a minimum in the area visible through the aft hatchway, which will be open to help expel boiler heat.

Addendum: I need to box in all four areas shown because of the water leakage coming out of the engines. The leakage is mostly around the mechanism that controls forward/reverse/throttle. It can only be so tight or the servo stalls so you just have to live with the steam escaping there that immediately condenses to water. But it's not a huge amount.


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Fri Oct 04, 2013 4:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Framing Complete
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:48 pm 
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Image

And just like that, the framing is complete!

Image

View from the bow. Note that integral ram: Keokuk's hull was completely iron and the hull plating ran up into the ram.

Image

When I first saw this steel engraving of Keokuk on the ways I deemed it highly suspect because of what I thought were wooden plank runs running up into the ram. That made absolutely no sense. Once I learned that the hull was completely iron, it made a lot of sense. And when I counted the armor bands I became a complete believer. The only thing really odd about the engraving is the "Tin Man's Hat" smokestack, but standing on the ground looking up, I can see where it could be interpreted to look like that.

Per the Corbett cross-sections, Keokuk's lower hull would have looked almost identical to the nine stiffening strakes on the hull of USS Intrepid (1874) shown below. Not only in count, but also in width and thickness. Or more correctly, Intrepid looked like Keokuk, since Keokuk came first! Plus both of them turned out to be operational schnauzers. Keokuk also shipped 8' with the armor bands extending 3' below the waterline. Intrepid was also about the same length and beam as Keokuk, but this is the only photo I know of in existence and I have not found any drawings. It is possible that Intrepid used the same lower hull design as Keokuk. Onondaga used a similar arrangement but on a much grander scale.

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Stern view. Pretty symmetrical if I say so myself! :smallsmile: Now to keep it that way when the planking begins. (Not to worry: the two misaligned pieces at the stern are sitting loose in position. I need to install the rudder mechanisms before they get permanently attached.)


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:45 am, edited 12 times in total.

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 Post subject: Propulsion Trays
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:55 pm 
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Image

Test fitting the trays into the finished frames. Note that one of the smokestack seats has already been cut down for the trunking. This is necessary to keep everything below the main deck. Also note that I needed to move the waste water tanks to the forward end. This was to keep the burners as far away from the forward turret as possible.

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I am using solid couplers so it is critical to get perfect alignment between the engines and prop shafts by shimming between the trays and frames they ride on.

Image

Here is one of the solid couplers roughly in position. In final position the tray will be flush against the bulkhead.


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:05 am, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:09 am 
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I will follow this thread with great interest. While I am more interested in Confederate warships, USS Keokuk is one of those weird crafts that you simply fall in love with.

What you have posted so far is mind-blowing!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:26 am 
Ziga wrote:
I will follow this thread with great interest. While I am more interested in Confederate warships, USS Keokuk is one of those weird crafts that you simply fall in love with.

What you have posted so far is mind-blowing!


Thanks. There is so much more to this ship's story that the casual student misses. It was considerably "Hi Tech" for its time with nine steam engines, twin screws, and flooding compartments at the bow and stern. The downside was that the casemates almost made the weapons seem like an afterthought and were almost totally impractical. Unfortunately it was a purpose-built ship that was used for the wrong purpose on its first outing and got sunk for its trouble. The armor was not attacking elevated forts: it was designed for sticking its ram into a wooden hall and then engaging the same spot with an 11" Dahlgren. The Virginia proved the effectiveness of armored rams against wooden hulls.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:44 am 
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I accidentally posted the above without signing in. This is what I was trying to say:

Thanks. There is so much more to this ship's story that the casual observer misses. Despite being maligned by just about everyone, it was considerably "Hi Tech" for its time with nine steam engines, twin screws, blowers, and flooding compartments at the bow and stern. The downside was that the casemates with fixed gunports made the weapons seem like an afterthought and were almost totally impractical as a floating battery. Provisions were made to rotate the guns by steam power, but were apparently never incorporated. Even then, with the extremely limited elevation and traverse, you would have had to literally position your target in front of the guns.

Unfortunately Keokuk was a purpose-built ship that was used for the wrong purpose on its first outing and got sunk for its trouble. The armor was not designed for attacking elevated forts: it was designed to deflect broadside shot. Plunging shot from Sumter and Moultrie hit the side and deck armor almost perpendicular. Keokuk was designed for engagements against wooden warships; for sticking its ram into a wooden hull below the waterline and then engaging the same area with an 11" Dahlgren at pointblank range. That combination would have proven fatal in most cases. The Virginia proved the effectiveness of armored rams against wooden hulls. Its ram was Keokuk's principal weapon as well. It could have easily outmaneuvered and sunk the Virginia, where the Monitor could not. It was one of the few ships at the time with twin screws (which were huge and powerful at 7'-6" diameter and 13 feet of pitch), which would have enabled it to easily outmaneuver most single-screw opponents.

Also, there is a lot of confusion about Keokuk's armor and I will probably fail at describing it here, but I will try. The inner hull was two layers of overlapping 1/2" iron plate. For the armored areas, alternating 1" x 4" wood and iron stringers were applied edgewise and longitundinally, i.e., running the length of the hull casemates and the circumferences of the turrets. Then there was a 1-1/2" thick outer skin made up of three layers of overlapping 1/2" iron plates. Total armored hull thickness was 5-3/4". The original design called for Keokuk's carriage bolts (often mistaken for rivets) to be ground flat. Whether this expensive and time-consuming task was actually performed on a grossly cost-overrun and late-to-be-delivered ship is open to debate until someone dives on the wreck and looks.

As for criticisms of the armor, Keokuk took over 90 hits in less than 30 minutes with only minor injuries to the crew and no fatalities. This ship would have been a formidable opponent in a surface engagement, but unfortunately never got the chance to prove it.


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:30 am, edited 6 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 10:34 am 
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Wow! Amazing project! I just love those shiny brass bits! :thumbs_up_1: I will be watching closely.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:16 pm 
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Image

Here are the props and struts. The cast bronze props are from Prop Shop and fabricated from the original factory drawings. Prop Shop does fabulous work, but it takes them a while so you need to be patient. The struts are home made. The actual strut was a single piece torsion bar that passed through the hull inside a tube. I made these two piece so I can install a threaded rod and make finite adjustments for the shaft spacing.

Image

There were three different styles of stanchions according to Corbett. Not much out there as far as details so I went with what was commonly used in 1862-63 based on ship photos, which show primarily rectangular pierced iron for warships, since they were removed and stowed for battle. The stanchions were drawn in CAD by Nelson Petteys and laser cut. After several attempts with various materials, It was decided to go with heavy card stock soaked in CA. They appear to be delicate but strong. We will see how they hold up.

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According to the Corbett drawing, Keokuk carried two double-ended 28' Whaleboats. I chose to go with a No. 1 hull pattern off the 1855 drawings for USS Roanoke. I chose a No. 1 because its planform almost perfectly matches the Keokuk's hull shape. Aesthetics Rule!!! I made a master in basswood lifts and carved it to shape, then vacuformed the shell. Wood planking and ribs will be added to this shell along with interior details. I am covering the plastic with wood so I don't have to worry about heat distortion from the sun or boilers, although hanging outboard the latter should not pose a problem. The davits are heavily modified Amati's. Long ones for the boat and short ones for the anchors.

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And speaking of anchors, here they are. Kedge anchors from Amati and studded anchor chain from Krick. Both are extremely nice quality.

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Keokuk carried two 11" Dahlgrens on specially modified wood slide carriages. The carriages were shortened by about a third and rounded on the ends to fit inside the casemates. Another unique feature of the Keokuk Dahlgrens are the shaved muzzles, which you can almost make out in the picture. I believe this was done because the six gun ports were bored for 9" Dahlgrens but then the 11" came available and it was easier to shave a little off the barrel muzzles to get them to fit through the ports than it was to rebore the six ports through 5" thick armor plate. The guns were recovered by the Confederates after Keokuk sank and were used in the defense of Charleston. One of them is still on display in Battery Park (on an iron fortress mount). The gun in front is one of Verlinden's excellent resin kits with modifications to the carriage. The barrels in the rear I had machined by a gunsmith and will use them to fire black powder charges. I was planning to use the resin ones but I don't think they will hold up to the heat of live steam. They will go in the electric version.

Image

RB makes some beautiful functioning blocks and photo etch hooks that are sized about right for 1/32. They are available from Cornwall Model Boats, who I highly recommend.


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:42 am, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:55 am 
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WOW boilers...
very interesting and superb quality of work :thumbs_up_1:


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:16 am 
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WOW wow!!!
It's really fantastic!
song.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:06 am 
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Capitão Norbert wrote:
WOW boilers...
very interesting and superb quality of work :thumbs_up_1:


Thanks Norbert.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:06 am 
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Song Jung Gun wrote:
WOW wow!!!
It's really fantastic!
song.


Thanks Song, I am a big fan of your scratchbuilding techniques.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:37 am 
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Outstanding build . especially in live steam. Question I know that John Hollis when he built both the Victorian turret ship HMS Devestation and the Russian circular Royal yacht Livadia experienced heat problems from enclosing the boilers .he couldn't run for to long other than that they performed exceptionally well . :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :wave_1:
Dave Wooley


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Dave Wooley wrote:
Outstanding build . especially in live steam. Question I know that John Hollis when he built both the Victorian turret ship HMS Devestation and the Russian circular Royal yacht Livadia experienced heat problems from enclosing the boilers .he couldn't run for to long other than that they performed exceptionally well . :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :wave_1:
Dave Wooley


Thanks Dave. The tops of the turrets were open similar to Monitor's turret with alternating iron bars and gaps. The bottoms of them were open to the hull interior. There was a large air intake around the smokestack and I plan to have all three hatchways open. If that doesn't keep the heat under control, I have room for circulating fans and I'm not afraid to use them :eyebrows:


Last edited by Glen the Rotorhead on Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:04 pm 
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Image

Here's the starboard engine and boiler with the completed piping and the exhaust trunking placed roughly in position. I need to relieve three of the frames to get the tray slid outboard enough to line up with the propshaft. I have plenty of room under the smokestack so I am going to try to figure out a way to make black smoke without totally destroying the ozone layer. If someone has come up with a way, I would love to hear about it!

Image

View of the front looking aft. I have not yet installed the gas tank piping as I am still looking for a pair of steam pressure regulators.

Image

Here's a closeup of the engine showing the servo that operates forward/reverse/throttle and the displacement oiler.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Glen,

In my other hobby, Live steam 1:20.3 (Fn3) D&RGW narrow gauge trains, I found a way to make smoke. This C16 class engine was made by Accucraft, it's a 2-8-0 with 'D' valves and Stevenson valve gear, and a displacement Lubricator.

What I did was machine a part to fit the top of the steam exhaust tube (3mm) that is in the stack. The steam and oil (400W) are forced downward. The steam goes up the stack and the oil runs down to a brass tray that is angled back to the burner. Oil is burned and a gray smoke emits from the stack. This works even on the hottest day when one can't see steam.


Bob W

Check these photos:


Attachments:
BOB_5009 (Large).JPG
BOB_5009 (Large).JPG [ 125.59 KiB | Viewed 8870 times ]
BOB_5010 (Medium).JPG
BOB_5010 (Medium).JPG [ 130.93 KiB | Viewed 8870 times ]
BOB_5011 (Medium).JPG
BOB_5011 (Medium).JPG [ 128.51 KiB | Viewed 8870 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:30 am 
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oneslim wrote:
Glen,

In my other hobby, Live steam 1:20.3 (Fn3) D&RGW narrow gauge trains, I found a way to make smoke. This C16 class engine was made by Accucraft, it's a 2-8-0 with 'D' valves and Stevenson valve gear, and a displacement Lubricator.

What I did was machine a part to fit the top of the steam exhaust tube (3mm) that is in the stack. The steam and oil (400W) are forced downward. The steam goes up the stack and the oil runs down to a brass tray that is angled back to the burner. Oil is burned and a gray smoke emits from the stack. This works even on the hottest day when one can't see steam.


Bob W

Check these photos:


Thanks Bob I will give that approach some thought. Your smoke looks really good!
Cheers
Glen


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:32 am 
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Glen
That is truly magnificent.Can't wait for more . :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:

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