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Hello all,

I am doing some research on my next build.  I would like to try a scratch POF of the HMS Leopard.  It will be my first scratch so I have been taking my time and making sure I understand what I am getting into with regards to the plans.  I have the the John McKay plans and it shows a cross section view which is very helpful.  I am thinking about partially showing the inside of the hull just to make things interesting... :)


The only question I have is about the rider (item #6).  I have not found much info on how the riders are are attached to the frame.  From the section view and my engineering background I am thinking the floor and futtock riders are attached directly to the futtock frame itself since they are for extra support.  I have the book The 50 Gun Ship by Rif Winfield and it shows a cross section but not much different than the McKay plan... still have the same question.


I attached a sketch below of how I think the framing should look... is this correct?  I can't see it making much sense to put both the riders and the knees over the inner planking.  You would have to dismantle 1/2 the ship to replace planks and it would lessen the reinforcing power of these items.


I am thinking the sided dimension of the rider to be about half of the futtock assembly.  In my case this leaves about 4" on either side of the rider to tree nail the inner planks to the futtocks.  The knees would then be 4" sided and be flush with the outer sides of the futtock.  Not sure how the inner planks would be attached to the futtocks next to the knees since there is nothing left to nail the planks to.  I am thinking another 4" wide "spacer"  attached to the face of the futtock and that would be used to attach the inner planks next to the knees.


I am also assuming my room and space setup is correct;  32" on centers with 16" sided futtocks ( 2 pieces 8" wide with staggered joints) and then 16" of space.




Sorry for the long post and any help clarifying this for me would be much appreciated.



Edited the word "riser" to rider so it makes sense.  However, the sketch still says "riser".Thanks Druxey.

Edited by toms10
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Interesting question, Tom. The riders (not risers!) are roughly as you have drawn, where the scarphs are staggered relative to the floor/futtock joints. They are, however, bolted over the ceiling planking, which seems counter-intuitive. The internal planking contributes to longitudinal strength and, although it might be a source of rot behind the rider, would considerably weaken the structure if interrupted as you've sketched on the left. Does that answer your question? 


By the way, there was never more than about 3" of air space between frames - certainly not 16". To see contemporary plans of framing, go to the Royal Museums Greenwich Web site, go to 'Collections' and search 'Framing plans'. There you'll see how this was done. For scantlings (dimensions) of all the components in a ship, you should get a copy of Allan Yedlinsky's book from SeaWatchBooks.

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Thank you very much for your explanation.  It helps a lot.  I am not sure why I called them risers instead of riders... could it be because I was working on stairs this weekend???   :D   Would I be correct then in assuming that the RIDERS are the same width as the futtocks and only placed on the futtocks that are perpendicular to the keel?


It seems I need to go back and better understand "room and space".  Was the interpretation I drew just used for model making or did I just "miss the boat" (pun intended) on the explanations I have come across?  I have seen some plans with the spacing very tight as you describe but could not figure out how the room and space idea fit.  It seems that I may have a lot more frames to make than I originally thought; at least in the area I plan to show with the outer planking removed.


I will check out the framing plans at RMG and Yedlinsky's book.



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Hi Tom.

Reading from the Seventy four gun ship volume 1.

"The riders look very much like frames, Since they are shaped, worked and assembled in the same way. There are none at all in the after part of the hold; the width and thickness of the riders is the same as for the frames. They are cut away over the keelson and the thick-stuff at the floor-heads, but while they are being worked as much timber as possible is left in the middle to compensate for the amount cut away to accommodate the keelson.

Filling-pieces are placed in the air-strakes of the ceiling at the point where the riders run. The riders are assembled in the opposite manner to the frames, in the sense that the floor timbers,which is the after"slice" of the floor-riders. The role of the riders is to counteract the tendency of the frames to sag outwards. In out 74 the futtock-riders finish under the planking of the gundeck."


I hope this helps.

Regards Antony.

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Yet more reading from the 74 gun ship.

In the section of fixings.

"Riders- these are fastened in exactly the same way as the bends. Bolts driven through from the hull- planking are forelocked to the upper face of the riders, one through each strake of planking, facetted alternately to the forward and after "Slice" of each rider. It should be noted however that the two lowest strikes (the garboard strake and the first bottom-strake), are merely blind-fastend into the floor-riders, since otherwise through-fastenings would interfere with the bolts of the keelson."


Regards Antony

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I got a chance to see the plans Druxey mentioned above.  There were framing plans for the Jupiter that showed the framing layout as Druxey described with minimal spacing between frames.  I also reviewed the material I previously read about model frame spacing.  In Davis' book The Ship Model Builder's Assistant, on page 21, it illustrates the "room and space" method.  Basically, it seems this is used in model making to represent framing and simplify the model.  I noticed that in the book by Winfield, The 50 Gun Ship, all of the pictures of actual models were done this way.  Am I correct in my thinking?


I was also able to determine from McKay's isometric view of the Leopard's Orlop deck drawing that the riders were spaced approximately 9 feet apart throughout the midship.  It showed only a total of 5 of them.  It makes sense that they would only be applied to the perpendicular frames at midship for strengthening the frames.  I would think the midship area would have the most tendency to flex.


Am I right in assuming the room and space idea is only for simplified model building?  The reason I am interested in the framing and riders is I would like to show one side of the hull partially open to show off the interior makings of the hull.  I was going to use McKay's isometric drawings of each deck to layout the features that would be seen through this opening... at least that is the plan right now.  Before I make any sawdust I want to make sure I understand.

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Framing of English warships was more complicated than what the French, Dutch and North Americans used.   Davis was describing American methods and a simplified derivative at that.  The Room = Space - if used at all - was probably limited to economy built merchantmen.  Non-English tended to be all (mated) paired frames with space probably averaging 20-30% of the width of Room+Space. 


The use of single stack filler frames was mostly English. The English significantly reduced the width of each subsequent futtock as it approached the rail.  Rather than have a lot of space in the top side, often it looks like a pattern of 2 paired frames then one filler frame was used. At the keel there was little space.


French/North American :  futtocks dd not lessen in width near as much- if at all.  The pattern was frame pair- space - frame pair space.  I have plans for a mid 19th C. USN ship where they wanted the ship to be longer than drawn, and the directions on the plans ordered that each space to be 1 inch wider than the plans stipulated.

Edited by Jaager
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Goto the Scratch Area and look at the DaveS topic on "Hahn".  It's pinned at the top.  Basically, the spacing on Admiralty models which seems to be the precedent did not actually follow shipyard practice.  It was stylized and Hahn did a very similar thing.  


There's been more than one discussion of room and space...  :)

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Thanks MSW for the input... and the learning goes on.


I believe simplifying the framing with room and space just makes more sense if nobody is ever going to see the frames because they are covered.  Bulkheads make even more sense to me in that situation.  Around the edges of the breakout area I plan on doing with one side of the hull some of the framework will be seen.  My idea was to "peel away" the outer planking to reveal some of the framework/inner planking (ceiling?) for a bit then remove the frames and inner planking for a clear view inside.  I guess my goal in the end is to build a nice looking model for myself that is somewhat accurate.  It doesn't have to be a museum piece (that would be nice :) ) or something to teach ship building practices.   I can't see spending lots of time on things that are not seen so framing the entire hull as it was done in actual practice is not going to be an option for me here.  I am thinking following the Hahn method and possibly "faking in" the actual framing only around the cutaway edges... or maybe just room and space to simulate the Admiralty style model.  Decisions, decisions.


Thanks again for all the input and help.  I knew I could count on my friends at MSW. :cheers:


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