Jump to content

To spile or not to spile...


Recommended Posts

In David Antscherl's primer on planking, on page three he states the following: "By now you will realise that virtually all the planking will need to be cut to shape, as you cannot edge set a plank.".

 

It would seem to me that based on the method he describes it would be beneficial to spile every plank on the hull...is this correct? On the previous page he describes how to create a stealer plank, shouldn't that be unnecessary if you are spiling? Are there instances of planks common to the every model that do not require spiling?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ideally one would at least check each plank for width along its edge.  Even those not particularly needing to be cut on a curve still will need a bit of tapering, which is what spiling is, matching the width and shape of each plank to its place on the hull.

You can bend a plank in or out, twist it, or bend it up and down (edge set) but not more than two of those at a time.  Since you have to bend in or out and twist in most places, that leaves cutting on the curve for the up and down.

Stealers and drop planks are used when the difference in width of the hull at that point becomes either impossible or difficult to account for merely by changing the width of the plank, in other words, when spiling will no longer work with the plank stock available, or when the plank would diminish to near nothing.

Remember, the plank should set onto the hull with no stress, totally relaxed, as smoothly as a baby's butt.  Stealers, drop planks and spiling help you achieve that.

Edited by jbshan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

With all due respect, Nigel, while one can edge-bend a plank to a degree, the ideal is as Joel states; "The plank should set onto the hull with no stress, totally relaxed". It imparts a good deal of stress to edge set a plank more than a few degrees. Heat and moisture can help, for sure, but I wouldn't want to attempt edge-setting planks around a bluff bow. I tried that on an early model of mine and, after a few days, the result looked like clinker planking, except it was supposed to be carvel!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't experimented with off-model edge-bending, Nigel. I've seen Chuck's results and they do look very good. I wonder if there will be a tendency for them to 'spring' later on, after a year or two? Similarly, how easy would it be to edge-bend a complex 'S' shaped wale plank accurately, such as shown here?

post-635-0-49588700-1453063463_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Druxey,

 

In my "scrap" and "misc" piles, I have pieces that I soaked and bent with a curling iron set to "MAX".  The pieces are still bent after several years.  

 

I did do some steambending way back on my Constellation but the parts on the ship and I'm not finding any scrap... so that's inconclusive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I just finished planking my Victory I will wade in with my 2 cents on spiling. When I second planked the starboard side I spiled about 6 planks at the bow. The planks were very happy and a perfect fit was obtained (IMHO). The trouble was that to effectively spile I had to start with a wider piece of wood than the kit supplied. In my case I used some wider planks that didn't quite match the rest of the planks. So on the port side I edge bent the supplied planks. More effort, more strain, but with steaming and prefitting it ended up looking just as good (I show some examples on my log). The edge bending was also facilitated by spiling standard planks to the extent the existing width would allow - not insignificant at the bow where you are typically tapering to a narrower width anyway. 

 

Anyway, if I was to do it again I would have ensured I had wider planks of the same stock to begin with. Even though the end result was the same I enjoyed spiling and it is the correct way to do it.

 

Best,

Ian

Edited by Seventynet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, Ian, you sometimes need wider plank stock than comes with a kit.  Even the old timers didn't have easy access to say, 48 inch wide plank.  This is one reason to use stealers, to get the distance covered with narrow plank stock.  A garboard might have a section at the aft end that notches up wider, to the width of two or more 'normal' planks, to allow you to use regular stock farther up.

Spiling, the process of measuring each plank to the one previous, is the way you find out how wide and what the shape is of that next plank.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can taper to a fine point, but that's just not realistic.  In the real world, you would need at least one nail/trunnel/whatever there to hold the end down.  The usual rule of thumb (rules are made to be broken...) is to not taper more than half the plank width...   but see about rules made to be broken.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the risk of stating the obvious, a drop plank is used to reduce the number of planks running forward (e.g., at the bow). In other words if the tapering is making the plank too thin (like Mark says, less than 1/2 the plank width), you may need to reduce the number of planks by dropping one out - a drop plank facilitates that. A stealer is used to fill out a space that cannot otherwise be filled by the normal plank width (e.g., typically at the stern). 

Edited by Seventynet
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Timely topic for me, thanks Fish

 

I have just started 2nd planking my Endeavour and have been pondering the correct way to do it.

What is the proper way? Do I need to make all the planks go forward?

Or do it as the replica has been done.

 

Another question, What would be the max width plank used for spiling?

 

The Jarrah I am using will only side bend a tiny bit, but the pine I used for the 1st planking

could nearly be tied in knots after soaking.

Which has me thinking that if a plank will side bend then do it. If not then spile.

Thanks Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chris,

 

I think the only thing that will tell you how wide the plank needs to be is the curve itself and the length of the plank - revealed through the many techniques used to define the spile. I use transparent tape. Anyway, the wood I used (mansonia aka African walnut) became more conducive to edge bending through two approaches - tapering (and there's where you can do a semi-spile by cutting/sanding part of the curve into the plank you are tapering) - and steaming/soaking the plank, then prebending and clamping it into the actual bend (let it dry, refine the fit and then glue in place). I do not think you risk a plank popping later on if you follow that method. However, there is a limit to how far you can edge bend and the wood will tell you that (it will fold in on itself). Again, IMHO, spiling is the preferred way if you can get the stock.

Best, Ian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Ian Stock is no problem as I am cutting planks myself.

What I want to know is, what is the max width of planks that would have been used

back in the past when these ships were built.

On my Endeavour i would need planks that would have 900mm plus in width

I don't think that would have been done.

Thanks Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry Chris, that's way out of my knowledge base. However I wonder if it would be logical to assume that the maximum width of the real stock would be controlled by the length of the plank. IOW if the curve for a 20 foot plank required a plank wider than they possessed, the plank length would be limited to something less than that. Maybe a serious spile would be addressed by a less wide 10 foot plank. Does that make sense?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On spiling.. if you line off the hull per the tutorials at bow, the planks will need a taper.  If it gets too 'thin' on the taper, a drop plank will be needed.  At the stern, if the needed planks get too wide, stealer time.   The tutorials are a big help and about the only difference is the method in laying out the runs of the planks.

 

On plank width... shoot for a plank length around 28-32 feet or so...  It's going to vary from place to place depending on what was available at time.  Width could be 6" to 12" wide... again, depending on what was available.

 

Crackers... microwaving works but you'd best move it to the workshop as the planks cool down fast, in my experience.  I've been using the curling iron method which works for me. I'm trying the Chuck heat gun method but so far, I don't have the hang of it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's like" to be or not to be,that is the question" Well I have done all of the methods of plank bending. I prefer to use a combination on mt building. Spliing is an art that you have to practice,and yes it does take wider material than is what is supplied in a kit.

 

But as one who doesn't use the kit wood for other than first planking if at all,it's not what dictates how I build or plank. 99% of kit supplied planking wood is crap IMHO.

 

I have spent more time trying to get a great fit by bending in the different ways listed than by spiling a plank. As to wasted wood,a lot of times I make up a pattern out of folder paper to begin with,and that way I reduce my waste by 90%. I can layout and trace the paper plank onto the sheet and then cut it out leaving enough to fit it into place. The next spilied plank is about the same shape, so it nests into place next to where the last one was.

 

Just how many planks do you break using the heat and bend and other methods? And if it's short,what do you grab onto when bending?

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you are on the right track Ian,

Make a plank out of more segments for which you might be able to a wider one for bigger curves.

Still i think that 400mm to 500mm planks would be near the max width to get any sort of length if that.

so i think that I will work out my planking based on this idea.

Cheers Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

---Keith wrote:

if it's short,what do you grab onto when bending?

end of quote---

I always leave a tail or handle that extends past the ultimate end of the plank I'm working on.  I first cut or sand or taper, whatever, the top edge and give it a rough bevel.  I then trim the end going to mate to the previous plank or into the rabbet, going back to the top edge if needed to get the top and end to a snug fit.  I then do the bottom edge to the correct width from previous calculations, at 90 degs. to the outer face.  Lastly, I mark and cut the tail end to fall on the frame I want.  This 'tail' has been my handle for all the previous processes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just been dealing with this issue and the planks that I am using 5/32 thick by 5/8th at the widest cannot be edge bent successfully I have to spile them.

 

post-202-0-38923300-1453141265_thumb.jpg

 

post-202-0-40902800-1453141266_thumb.jpg

 

after steaming for 25 minutes they lay on the frames like a cloth....Thanks Chuck and Druxey for the tutorials

 

post-202-0-62389600-1453141267_thumb.jpg

 

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is so good to see these posts from those that have tried spiling and have become converts.  There are a lot of posts on clamps for planking but a properly spiled plank can be soaked and pre-bent and, once dried by whatever means is chosen, it can be held in place with finger pressure for a minute or less using an aliphatic (carpenter's) glue.   Druxey converted me years ago and I have been happy that he did so.  No pin holes and no clamp dings, especially when using softer species of wood.  I do use clamps for many things, but rarely for planking. 

 

Allan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took my Philadelphia model to the local club meeting when I was doing the outside planking.  Using merely some manila file folder stock, I measured, marked and cut out with scissors a pattern for the next plank.  Holding it up to the hull, it easily, with no wrinkles, bends, kinks, slipped 'magically' in place.  Philadelphia is 1/2" scale, so big enough to do the demonstration for a largish group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First pair of spiled planks, took about 1/2 an hour to make. If not less than that, maybe 20mins.

Currently they are soaking in hot water, I am not game to bend around the hull

and glue in one go.

Without the soaking it would have been a lot quicker than normally soaking and

pinning to the hull until dry.

post-18136-0-99924600-1453615188_thumb.jpg

 

In real life they would have been made from a plank 600mm wide,

and they are in real life a plank 240mm wide.

Cheers Chris

Edited by Cabbie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...