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Top Railing 90 deg. Joints-What type of Joint is used?

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Ahoy Mates


What type of joint should be used or types for 90 deg. corners of top railings along the hull . Would it be a butt joint or should you have a tongue or other type of interlocking shape?


Time period would be 1600-1750 English warships.




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My first thought was snarky- especially for the English shipwrights: Why do a simple butt joint when you can do a scarph? 

Then thinking about it - the structure is subject to constant motion and stress in all 4 dimensions - though the effect of Time is much more gradual.  A straight butt joint would be difficult to fasten in a way that was not subject to early failure.


Quick research answer:  Not a butt joint or a scarph -  a third element : a lateral knee was worked in.   It spanned about 1/2 the width of the rail timbers, each arm would be long enough  to support a couple of horizontal trunnels into each rail segment and the inner surface would be an arc rather than an abrupt meeting of two planes.

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