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I am brand new to model ship building. I have been reading a lot of things on planking but don't really understand battens.

 

I am hoping to get a better understanding of what a batten is (is it a plank or something different), how to make them and how to use the properly.

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A batten is a temporary plank.

In one era - in prep for a storm, hatch gratings were covered with canvas which was held down with

wooden battens lashed to ring bolts on deck.  "Batten down the hatches".

 

When framing a hull, widely spaced bends (a pair of overlapping frames- measured and cut)  had framing battens

which ran horizontally from stem to stern and were used to both support the bends and act as a jig to help to

shaping of intermediate bends and (mostly English) the filling frames. 

In models similar battens are used to find the sweet zones for smooth and attractive planking runs.

 

A spilling batten is a thin flexible "stick" to connect the dots to get the full curve to cut to when spilling a plank.

Spilling probably is a slang conversion of spoiling.  Because a hull is a complex compound curve - rectangular planks

will not properly cover.  The width constantly changes.  An expensive wider board is trimmed - usually on one side only

- to fit the space.  The waste wood is "spoilled" or later spilled.

For the last plank to fill a run, if lucky, a rubbing on a piece of card or paper can define the needed shape.  For runs of

9-7-6-5-...  a fan gauge is useful to provide the points to use the spilling batten on.

 

Edited by Jaager

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48 minutes ago, Jaager said:

For runs of 9-7-6-5-...  a fan gauge is useful to provide the points to use the spilling batten on.

You lost me on the last sentence. What does 9-7-6-5 mean, what is a fan gauge and how would you use it to find the points to use the spilling batten on?

 

Also, I understand the concept that the width of the plank is going to be different at the stern and bow, and that you taper the plank only on the top. So is that spilling? I thought it was cutting the plank so it is curved on the edge and not straight.

48 minutes ago, Jaager said:

 

 

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It was a typo -  8-7-6-5...

What I mean is that - say that you have defined 3 regions (using battens) between the bottom of the mail wale and the 

top of the garboard plank to totally plank the hull.  In one of the regions - you decide that a run of 8 planks meets the max/min

plank width ideal.  You measure the opening at each frame (or mould/buulkhead if POB) Use the fan to determine the 1/8 of the total

for a single plank.  Spill the strake and mount it.  Now measure the opening and use the fan to determine 1/7 - spill - mount . measure -fan 1/6.

...  You do not make up all 8 plank strakes at the beginning.  It just does not work well to do that-  there are too many variables.

 

The fan as well as directions for planking- infinitely superior to mine - NRG home page to data  to resources to database to planking and framing.

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Hi Zack

 

The following is a simple description of how to plank a hull. Hope it helps.

 

First thing is to locate the wale line. This is the the strongest part of the the hull with reinforcement. The position of the wale line should be given in the plan of the kit. From the wale line upwards, the planks (technically known as strakes) are uniform width. You can use the stipes supplied and plank the portion from the wale all the way upwards.

 

Next measure the parametric length of each frame from the wale line down towards the keel and record the figures.

 

Using the frame in midship (the largest one) as a reference to decide how many planks are required to cover the enitre side of the hull. For example, if the parametric length is 100 mm and you are using 5mm width strips, then theoretically you will need 20 strakes to cover the hull. But that means that in the midship section, there is no room for error because the strake is exactly the width of your stripe. It is best to allow some room for adjustment. Let's say if we decide that at the mid ship the strake should be 4.0mm then there should be 25 strakes along the hull.

 

If you start planking 25 strakes in one go, accumulated error will build up and by the time you reach the end, the strakes will not fit. To overcome this problem, divide the hull into along the parameter of the frames into belts. Using the example of 100 mm mid frame to fit 25 strakes, the hull can be divided into 5 belts with 5 strakes in each belt.

 

Now that you have decided on 5 belts, divide the parametric length of each frame by 5 and mark the position on each frame with a marker pen (photo 1). One point to bear in mind is that the narrowest portion should not be less than half the strake width. Battens are guides to define the belts and give you an idea how the hull looks like before the strikes are in place. 2x2 mm strips is a good choice for battens. Soak the battens in water over night so that they can bend easily over the shape of the hull and installed them on the hull following the markers (photo 2). If you want to work from the wale line downwards, the battens should be installed ABOVE the makers. If you want to work from the keel upwards, the battens should be installed BELOW the makers. The idea is that the first belt you will be working on should have the width of that you have worked out before hand. In this example, the space between the batten and the wale line should be 20 mm measured from the wale line if you work from the wale towards the keel.

 

Measure the distances between the batten and the wale line for each frame and record them on a piece of paper or a spread sheet programme. Divide each distance by 5 to give you the width of the strake at each frame. Mark the distance between the frames on a stripe. At each position where the frame should be, mark the corresponding width. Join these marks with a smooth curve and shave off the extra material to give you the first stake that should sit on the hull next to the wale. Pin the strake onto the frame. Now that you have installed the first strake, measure the distances between the first strake and the batten for each frame again and divide it by 4 to give you the dimensions of the next strake and cut it to the width required. When you have completed the 5 strakes required, remove the first batten and proceed to the next belt. By constantly adjusting the width we will prevent accumulated error from building up

 

As a first attempt on ship modelling, I think it is best to work on a clipper style of hull where the strakes run straight along the entire hull. The example shown in the photo is for a 17th century ship (the Endeavour) with a curved bow that requires different treatment at the bow. If you are interested in how to do it, send me a PM and we can discuss it further.

 

All the best

 

Wing Chau

aka Apprentice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20170724_124417.jpg

20170604_152038.jpg

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Wow, Apprentice . Your process description is the best I ever read either on the forums or in the published books! Excellent. If I was a moderator I would pin this to the board in section dedicated to planking.

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11 hours ago, Y.T. said:

Wow, Apprentice . Your process description is the best I ever read either on the forums or in the published books! Excellent. If I was a moderator I would pin this to the board in section dedicated to planking.

Thank you for your kind words. I am only a temporary assistant apprentice shipwright , on probation  :)

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Just a note on spilling. They say a picture is a thousand words. 

In my current boat I went a bit crazy with spilling. Zack, note the shape the plank (the cardboard template) needs to have, to actually lie straight on the frames. This is spilling. You cannot bend a plank laterally.

 

2.thumb.jpg.bc1cc3d3569c40f40e8c657bf2e4a775.jpg

 

1.thumb.jpg.a7bb68cead92dcf96484806bcbf0f1e8.jpg

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I have a LOT better understanding of planking than I did when I posted this. Thank you all.

 

@vaddoc One question about spiling. Even with a strake split into multiple planks, it seems some of them will be wider than the plank stock provided in the kits. How do you deal with this? Do you order additional material in a wider width?

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I have never built a kit, only scratch build! I am sure someone else will be able to answer this one.

The boat on the pictures I must admit is maybe a touch extreme, some planks were 80 cm long and were cut out of 1000 x 100 mm sheets of 2 mm maple. The planks nearest to the keel and sheer were very heavily spilled. But a spilled plank will always sit much better than one forced to bend sideways into position.

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The way I read this (substituting “perimeter” for “parameter”) when the first belt is almost planked, after the 4th plank, the batten (2mm) will need to be removed in order for the last strake (plank) to fit from its neighbor to the mark previously made on the bulkhead, because the instruction was to place the batten above the mark when working toward the keel. That 2mm batten must be accounted for else there will be a 2mm gap above the mark after the last strake is installed and then the batten removed. 

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Let's say you want to work from the wale towards the keel.  From the measurements we made on the perimetric length of the frames, we have decided there are 5 belts, the widest in mid ship is 20mm and we need 5 strakes to fill up the belt.

If we install the battens above the marks on each frame in the direction of the keel, then the distance from the wale line to the 1st batten will be 20mm at the midship frame. What we need to do now is to fill up the belt with 5 strakes. Once we have done that, there is no space between the 5th strakes and the batten. Now we can remove the 1st batten, the distance between the edge of the 5th strake of the 1st belt and the 2nd batten will again be 20 mm. We can repeat the process. When we reached the last belt the distance between the edge of the strake and the keel will be 20mm once the last batten is removed

Alternatively if we prefer to work from the keel towards the wale. We install the battens below the marks in the direction of the wale. The distance between the midship frame and the keel for the 1st belt will be 20mm. When we eventually remove the last batten, the distance between the edge of the strake and the wale in the midship frame will again be 20 mm.

Only remove the batten after you have spilled the 5 strakes for the belt you are working on.

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Thanks. That is what I assumed you meant. It was the “above” the mark that led me to think initially that the batten was placed between the mark and the wale. In my terminology that would have been “below”, or more precisely, on the mark placed between the mark and the keel. 

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