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radio controlled model boats, R/C, scale, BaD, Dumas, Crockett, Monterey, Warship, ship, model, 1/96, wood, balsa, plank, strip, craftsmanship

How to install your stern tubes
by Roger Harper

(Click to enlarge pictures)
This article was taken from the building of the BaD Ship Models kit, USS Bunker Hill. You may need to alter the setup for your application.

Now after all the work you put into your hull, we have to make some holes in it. ;-)  Two are needed for the stern tubes (stuffing boxes), four for the struts and two for the rudder tubes. 

You must first determine if you are happy with the support struts if you purchased them from BaD.  I was not happy with mine and decided to modify them to look more scale.  This decision is yours.

Locate the exact center of your hull as a reference, then draw a line down the center stern area.  Now, locate the distance where the main support is located and draw a line 90 to your reference line.  This line will now be your reference line to determine the elevation of your shafts. Using your center reference line, mark your reference line for your propeller shafts.   This information is provided on the plans.

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Roger's Notes:  I used the plans that I got from the Floating Drydock for the placement of my props, shafts and supports.  I had to modify the measurements a bit to compensate for the differences in the BaD hull.  For this reason, I will not give exact measurements. :-(

I made a jig out of plywood to support the shafts at the right height.  The hull was marked where the ends of the shafts rested.   I enlarged the holes to accept the stuffing boxes.

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Roger's Notes:  I did NOT use the stuffing boxes supplied with the kit.  I made my own.

Lightly sand your stuffing boxes and fit them into the hull.  Now slide the shafts into the stuffing boxes and support the end of the shafts at the transom with the jig.  Leave the shafts and jig in place.  I used tape to secure the shafts in alignment. Now add epoxy around the stuffing boxes.  I used 5 min. for this step.  Then, mix some more epoxy and micro balloons.  Add this around the outside of the hull where the stuffing boxes exit.  Trim, and sand to contour when dry.

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After the epoxy has dried on the outside, add epoxy around the stuffing boxes on the inside of the hull.  Don't skimp on the epoxy in this step.  You want to make sure there are no holes and the joint is water tight.   I tend to add a pool of epoxy in my boats to add support to the stuffing box and surrounding balsa (hull).

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Locate the items you will need to make your support struts.  I used streamlined brass tubing for the struts and used the hubs supplied with the kit.  With the shafts inserted into the stuffing boxes, support the other end with the jig.  Use your source (my source was the plans from the Floating Drydock, yours may be the instruction manual), and locate reference lines for your support legs.  Then take an measurement from each reference line to the shaft.  Make sure to subtract the thickness of your hub.  This will give you the length of each leg.  The legs on each support have different length for the inboard and outboard legs!  The kit support legs were the same size.

I used a home made jig to solder some tabs on the hubs to accept my supports.  The system you use is up to you.  I also had to mill a slot to accept my tab in the smaller hubs.  BaD ships these with only one support leg. 

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Roger's Notes:  Awe, now it's starting to look like I'm getting something done.  As for the props, they have 5 flat blades set at about 45.  I plan to replace them, I'll make new blades.   Nuff said.
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