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Ok, It is true confessions time. At this point in my modeling experience I have only planked 2 kits. The first was my Bluenose. As many of you know this ship is rather easy to plank. Only 1 stealer and with just a bit of tapering all the planks make the full run. And since it is painted any issues can easily be covered up. The next planking job I did was the first layer of planking on my Harvey kit. Which also is going to be hidden. 

 

So to make a long story short my Achilles heel is planking. I have done lots of things to avoid this but it is time to get past this. I have read just about everything there is written about planking. And I have made about every mistake possible. So I am here to throw myself at all of your collective mercy and help me get past this problem. Let me talk thru some steps below as I understand them and ask for correction or advice.

 

I will use my build of the Harvey as my example here -

 

I will also start with the 1st layer complete.

 

Step 1. I have measured and marked the location of all 14 bulkheads on each side of the Hull from the bulwarks down to the keel.

 

Step 2. Using a tick strip and proportional dividers I have measured the distance from the deck to the keel at the widest point. The widest point is bulkhead #5 & 6. This distance measures almost exactly 4 inches.

 

Step 3. Divide the distance from Deck to keel into 4 bands on each of the bulkheads. Here is where I start to run into trouble. If I take a plank and test lay it on the line that marks the bottom of the first band at bulkheads 5 & 6. The front end of the strip does not even make it to the bow. Because of the curvature it ends at about bulkhead #2. Using simple math I find I have a problem. The width is 4 inches at bulkhead 5 & 6. but it is only 1 inch at bulkhead #1. Since no single plank should be tapered less that 50% of its width How do I get 16 planks each 1/4" wide down to 1" total width? Seems like a lot of drop planks.

 

Also as I understand what I have read in the practicums etc. There are basically 2 ways of doing this. The first is where you spile the planks. This requires wider planking than is supplied with the kit. And the 2nd way is using the wood supplied. So first off I am not sure I completely understand Spiling. But more importantly for now how do I complete the 2nd layer with the wood that I have?

Edited by Floyd Kershner
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Floyd:

First of all, spiling is nothing more than transferring the curve of the edge of the previous plank onto the edge of the next plank so that they make a tight joint along their length. Because of the curves involved, this usually means using wider stock from which to make planks. Once you create that spiled edge, then you measure off the tapers at each bulkhead and create the tapered edge on your plank opposite the spiled edge.

 

To plank with the strips in the kit, you would need to do some careful tapering on each plank and probably use some stealers or drop planks as necessary to get the hull planked.

 

Other than that, just let the planks lay as they want and fill in the area to be planked as best you can with all sorts of pointy ended planks etc.

 

I would buy 5-6 sheets of basswood from the LHS or crafts store and spile, but that is me and what I know best. I planked my current project like that and it cost very little and was very satisfying.

 

Russ

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Druxey - I have read all 3 tutorials several times.

 

Russ - Thanks, what is the width & thickness you use for your sheets? And if I was to use the planks provided I don't worry about not getting the the way to the bow? and I don't worry about pointy ends?

Edited by Floyd Kershner
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Floyd,  do not despair. Planking is a challenge for most people.  The best way is to read the tutorials and practice.  Do not be afraid of making a mistake or redoing a section.  As one of my club members said at a recent planking demonstration.  The easiest way to learn is to just go for it and learn from your mistakes.  Every hull is different but the principals are all the same.

David B

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Floyd:

The basswood sheets usually come 2 or 3 inches wide. I think mine were 3 inches wide. They come in regular thicknesses from 1/32" and up. You will need to decide what thickness you need for your model. I cut just a little fat and then sand down using an emory board.

 

Russ

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I share your agony, Floyd.  Although I'm on my first-ever build, and I haven't yet reached the stage of planning the Viking funeral.
My first (basswood) layer of planking seems to have gone on OK (though not very prettily - see my Mare Nostrum build log).  I shall shortly have to start the second (walnut) layer.
The kit must have assumed I wouldn't be needing a second skin - there's no spare walnut or mahogany 0.6mm x 5mm stock.
So I bought some sheets of 0.6mm walnut veneer.  MUCH more than I'm going to need, even if I have to redo everything five times.
I'm planning to use thin card to make templates for each successive plank, and then (using a craft knife and a steel edge) cut each one  according to the template.
My only previous experience was watching actual shipbuilders (in Wm Wyatt's yard in West Mersea, Essex) planking a new yacht.  It was 1951 and I was 15, and I asked interminable questions!  They were good enough to suffer my presence and answer them! They'll all be long gone now, sad to say, but when I plank my model I'm doing it in memory of them.
I hope I can do them justice.

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Ahoy Floyd :D

 

I looked at your log http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/677-harvey-by-floyd-kershner-al-pof-148-1812-baltimore-clipper/?p=8598

 

Your ship has similar lines to my Rattlesnake build. As I am no expert or have ever finished planking a hull, can only offer what I have found so far. First you can spil the kit supplied planks in the bow where they taper. Just not as much as with a wider piece. Second, your measurement on the first bulkhead of 1" for 16 planks does not sound correct. I used the plans and made a template of the bow section then used this to measure and create the tick marks for each belt to get a reference point.

 

This is how I am now doing my hull. I made strips for each bulkhead and like you, measured them, dividing them into belts. I also did the planks but this was a mistake. I found it easier to first do the belts (you can do every other bulkhead too). Once you have your marks for the belts, use a strip of wood thinner then your planking (batten) that you can easily bend around the hull. The thinner wood acts more like the planking after it has been soaked. Pay attention to how the batten wants to lie. If they are curving up too much check the outline of your hull (another one of my problems) with templates. These battens do not have to follow your tick marks, just be close. Once they are set and there is adequate spacing from bow to stern for all the planks, mark all the bulkheads using the battens. Then transfer these measurements to your tick strips and use them to determine the plank widths for each belt. Next, mark the entire hull so you can see how all the planks will run (another mistake I made). I did not do this on Belt A and paid dearly. I found this way to be a lot of work but worth every minute once I started planking the next belts. Use a hard 4B pencil and make light easy to erase marks at first. Plan on doing some erasing :P

 

If your ship is actually similar to my Ratt, the stem is not the hard part. For me the stern where the planks my go from wide to thin then flare out was the most challenging

 

Hope this helps and happy planking. Remember, this is only what I am doing and I have very little experience so it could be flawed. Maybe someone with more knowledge can review this and comment. It would help me too.

Edited by JPett
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Floyd, I think themadchemist (keith) does a decent job of explaining splying....SWIFT I didn't do mine this way on the jolly boat - wish I had...next time!  If it still doesn't make sense let me know and I'll try to write it out myself.

Edited by slagoon
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