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Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:34 am
by polarisman14

I'm pretty much ready to start building the frames for my Flying Saucer build. I'm stretching it from 12'3" to 13'6" long. I hit a bit of a snafu on the building form which luckily ended up going my way anyway (many people say raising the height of the building form makes it much more comfortable to work). Instead of having the uprights for the setup members be 15" apart, they were 18" apart and 24" tall. The plans for the flying saucer recommend the setup members are 24" tall at the top and 18" outside to outside. While they are 18" outside to outside, the top surface of the longitudinals is 29.5-29.75" tall (from the floor, not from the bottom form member) since the 2x6 setup member is now blocked on top of the 24" tall verticals rather than alongside it.

I'm having an issue finding what the Set-Up Level for the Flying Saucer is anyway, and I don't know how this change to the form will affect it--will it just move it the height of the 2x6 further up? Same with the blocking for the stem/breasthook--will that be moved approx. 5.5" up as well?

Thanks in advance for your help. Here's a picture of my building form, for reference.



Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:10 am
by polarisman14
So you're telling me out of 63 views, nobody has built a boat? :lol:

Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:21 am
by Bob Perkins
I have not built your boat, but I had trouble following your description.

I will say that as long as the backbone is the correct length and distance apart - the height from the floor does not matter.
Also - you want to mark your frame spacing on the longitudinal runners before moving much further. If your form is in the way - then obviously you need to make changes.

Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:28 am
Take a look at my 1/4 scale build. May help,but I do not remember a bace line other than the building form. Plans are at the house will look.

Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:29 am
by thudpucker
They probably didn't understand your question. :lol:

If your talking about leveling your form, get 20' of clear plastic tubing. 1/4" is good enough.
Put one end of the tubing near your starting point or reference point.
Take the tubing to the destination or point about to be leveled with the reference point.
Pour some water into the tubing. :?

Hold the water levels in both ends of the tubing so the Reference water level is correct, and the other end of the tubing will hold the same level. Adjust your form to that "other end" point. :o

Repeat that till every part of your form is level. :mrgreen:
You can thank some Long Dead Greek for this process. :lol:

Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:30 am
by mrintense
I am at a similar stage in constructing my building form and I raised mine 8 inches. I don't believe that height makes any difference as long as it's consistent. I do think that you need to establish a horizontal reference line somewhere and insure that all of the frame mounting points are at their correct vertical distance in relation to each other.

Double check the measurements on the longitudinals to insure they are both measured correctly. I accidentally measured from the first mark on one side rather than measuring from the end and ended up mounting all the legs on that one 3/4 inch off. I had to go back and re-measure and re-mount the legs. I also found that I had to mount the legs on the inside even though the plan shows them on the outside. Otherwise they were too far apart

Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:32 am
by Bill Edmundson
Just make sure the top is level. It's your floor that is probably not level.


Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:06 pm
by polarisman14
Thank you. I'm an engineer by education so I'm guilty of sometimes being a bit convoluted in my explanations or giving too much detail. I have a 4' drywall/framing level so I already made sure that the longitudinals were level in relation to one another and lengthwise. I also have a large framing square that was able to span the gap between the longitudinals and allow me to verify that one wasn't "pulling ahead" of the other. From my measurements it was only off by about 1/4" but it's now dead even.

What I was asking was whether or not you did need a reference point to measure vertical distances from IE how far certain members were above a given line. If so, where that was supposed to be--marked on the building form? On top of the form base board that's anchored to the ground?

Hope that clears things up and doesn't make it more confusing :lol:


Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:16 pm
by Bill Edmundson
I'm an engineer also, Civil/Structural. Just pick a spot/benchmark that you know won't change. You can always go back to it. I try to keep up with my waterline, frames & battens at each step. Just do the best you can. Wood moves. enjoy your build. Don't get caught up in very small details. (I have a wife for that!)


Re: Determining the Set-Up Level

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:15 pm
by polarisman14
Thanks Bill,

At this point I'm just nit-picking because I haven't heard back from the lumber company just yet on my order and want to make sure everything is taken care of. I'm rearranging the basement a bit more tonight to free up every last ounce of workspace before the lumber comes in. I also have my buddy lined up to help me cut the battens, chines, etc to length and plane them down to the appropriate thickness. Need to finish up his mini-hawk project first, but that's very close to being done.