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I am very new to model ships and started my first kit, the Corel Half Moon. In many tutorials I read that the planks of the first layer can be placed using the small nails and after gluing remove the nails again. But why remove the nails?


I ask because I have fitted the first two planks and I bent them using the Iron method. So the planks have a nice shape of the hull but I could not bend them as exact as they did not need a little support from nails and clamps. And as the area on the rips where the planks are glued is small I would sleep better knowing that there are nails supporting the glue. Especially as the planks should stay there for hopefully many years.


Or is there a way the planks can be fixed after they are all attached to the hull? I saw an build log where the builder coated the whole first layer with wet white glue to secure and harden the planks. Is that a good idea?


Thanks for the help.

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There's a couple problems with the kit supplied nails in my opinion.


1)  Even cut flush, sanding of the planking becomes an issue as the nails will tend to rip the sandpaper.  Also, they're harder than the wood so the wood gets sanded, the nails don't and you're left with little lumps.


2)  Most kit nails are steel and in wood they will start rusting.  You'll end up with discolored wood at a minimum over time.


The nails are basically used to clamp the plank to the bulkheads or frames until the glue dries and then removed.  (Hint:  Leave them a bit proud.)  On second layer of planking, they shouldn't be put through the plank as this leaves holes in the plank.  Put them next to the plank and at a bit of angle to hold the plank down.


Others will have their opinion which is one of the great things about this hobby.  There's so many ways of getting to the small point.  :)


On kits, if you'll look at the build logs, many builders glue in basswood or balsa wood fillers between the bulkheads and at the bow and stern to help with the planking run and to give a smooth surface.  Do sand things fair before planking.   The glue coating will stiffen things up quite a bit.

"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



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When fitting the first layer of planks, I do not nail them in place. I use planking screws. However, If you are going to nail your planks in place and not remove the nails when the glue is dry, it would make sanding the planks back to an even surface difficult. The main purpose of the first layer of planks on a double planked hull is to provide strength and the correct shape to a hull - through sanding and, if necessary, filling the surface with wood filler or a mix of PVA glue and wood dust. It also gives you practise at correctly shaping planks before fitting the second layer.



Current Build: - OcCre Shackleton’s Endurance. 


Completed Ship Builds:

                                     Caldercraft - HM Bark Endeavour. (in Gallery)

                                    Caldercraft  - HMAV Bounty (in Gallery)

                                     Caldercraft - HM Brig Supply (In Gallery)

                                     Aeropiccola - Golden Hind

                                                        - Constitution

                                     Clipper Seawitch (maker unknown - too long ago to remember!)

                                     Corel - Victory

                                     Modeller's Shipyard - A Schooner of Port Jackson - In Gallery

                                                                      - Brig `Perseverance' - In Gallery

                                                                      - Cutter `Mermaid'- In Gallery

                                                                      - Sirius Longboat (bashed) - In Gallery

                                                                      - Sloop Norfolk - In Gallery

                                      Completed Cannon:   - French 18th Century Naval Cannon

                                                                      - Napoleonic 12 pound field piece

                                                                      - English 18th Century Carronade

                                       Non Ship Builds - Sopwith Camel - Artesania Latina

                                                                   - Fokker DR1 - Artesania Latina


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