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What is wrong with steelers and drop planks?


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I just finished the first and only layer of planking on my Fair American.  This being my first attempt at hull planking, I am very happy with the outcome.  I used the 3/16" x 1/16"  basswood strips supplied with the kit. The results can be seen here:

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10334-fair-american-by-captainjerry-model-shipways/page-3

 

This hull has a lot of sheer and a fair amount of drag.  The distance from the keel to the wales is much greater at the stern than it is at the stem so it is clear that the planking will need to taper toward the bow,  There are a few rules to follow. Too my eye, one of the most important is that a plank should not taper to less than half of it's maximum width. Pointy little planks at the bow look funny.  My personal opinion is that while a plank may taper towards both ends, it should not then flair out at the end.  To do so seems to indicate a narrowing of the hull in a kind of wasp waist shape.  That might be done in modern high speed vessels but not on an 18th century vessel.  Such a recurve line might also indicate an improperly tapered adjoining plank.

 

I used steelers ( 2 at the stern ), and drop planks ( 2 at the bow ).  I have always admired a well fitted steeler or drop plank and while my efforts are just that, a first effort, and not an example of the best, I don't understand the may posts that seem to indicate that a steeler is evidence of poor planning.  Were steelers and drops not used on real ships? Was it a sign of poor design or a sloppy shipyard?

 

Jerry

 

(edit note) Link corrected, Try again if you got redirected to the wrong thread.

Edited by captain.jerry
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Greetings Cap...

 

Nothing at all is wrong with stealers. To me, it looks as though you have generally crafted them properly. Further, your overall planking job is pretty damned good. As you know, stealers insure that planks will not terminate in a point, which would prevent the plank ends from being properly fastened to the framing. I think, you use them as appropriate for the application, and I don't believe there are hard and fast rules for their usage. I can't imagine anyone using stealers unless they were necessary. Nice job.

 

wq3296 

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Hi Jerry,

 

I like the way steelers and drop planks look. B)

Have you seen this picture?

http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/Framing_and_Planking/bluff_bow_planking_primer.pdf

   

 

 

Now that is a great picture.  A great view of a real plank job.  It also shows a number of planks that are dropped into hooked planks that ate then let into the wales before reaching the stem post.  I have never seen that detail before.  It will be a long time before I am ready to attempt a bluff bowed hull.

Edited by captain.jerry
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The example you cite, Captain Jerry, is a rather excessive one. It is the result of allowing the garboard strake run too high up the stem, forcing the other strakes to be too crowded into the stem. This could easily have been avoided by an experienced shipwright. Take a look at the example in 'A primer on planking' by David Antscherl pinned on this site. The bow is just as bluff as the one in your photo, but compare the run of planking in both examples.

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The example you cite, Captain Jerry, is a rather excessive one. It is the result of allowing the garboard strake run too high up the stem, forcing the other strakes to be too crowded into the stem. This could easily have been avoided by an experienced shipwright. Take a look at the example in 'A primer on planking' by David Antscherl pinned on this site. The bow is just as bluff as the one in your photo, but compare the run of planking in both examples.

 

Druxey

 

It is indeed an extreme example but that sometimes helps by eliminating the subtleties that may be overlooked.  Four normal drop planks and ten more hooked or tapered into the wales is certainly extreme.  If I understand your analysis,  all but four planks hooked into the wales could have been avoided if only the rise of the garboard into the stem had been eliminated and a more qualified builder would have done better.

 

Oh! If only the designer and builder of this full size replica had only taken a little time to understand the complexities of wooden ship building before investing the several hundred thousand dollars needed to complete their project, a disaster could have been easily avoided.  And to think, that all of the answers were there in the planking tutorial of an experienced model builder.

 

By the way, the example is not mine but was reference to me by another forum member and is in fact a link to another tutorial on this forum.

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Druxey

 

It is indeed an extreme example but that sometimes helps by eliminating the subtleties that may be overlooked.  Four normal drop planks and ten more hooked or tapered into the wales is certainly extreme.  If I understand your analysis,  all but four planks hooked into the wales could have been avoided if only the rise of the garboard into the stem had been eliminated and a more qualified builder would have done better.

 

Oh! If only the designer and builder of this full size replica had only taken a little time to understand the complexities of wooden ship building before investing the several hundred thousand dollars needed to complete their project, a disaster could have been easily avoided.  And to think, that all of the answers were there in the planking tutorial of an experienced model builder.

 

By the way, the example is not mine but was reference to me by another forum member and is in fact a link to another tutorial on this forum.

 

My tongue was firmly in my cheek.

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  • 1 month later...

If and when a ship received any damage to the hull in which they had to make repairs. It was cheaper and faster to insert a stealer or drop plank, and on occasion simply adding a scarf would mean less time in the shipyard.

 

Much in the same way autos use bondo to make it lookgood and get it out of the shop faster and cheaper, compareD to replacing a whole fender or such.

 

Time is money, even in those days.

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