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Howdy folks .  I'm new to this website but not to modeling .  Have built models since the 1960's with a hiatus form serious building while married .  Am now getting back into the hobby due to a divorce a while ago and I'm getting myself ready to keep occupied in retirement .

My Question is : Is it mandatory to spile hull planks when attaching them to the hull of a model or is it a practice that has developed in the model ship building hobby in order to make it look nice and orderly ?

I haven't found out if it is done in the real world of building a real boat other than say on building a small rowboat or sail boat . It only seems to be practiced in model ship building and there is no one tried true blue way of doing it . 


Am I right or wrong here with this assumption ?      :huh: 


Cheers  !            :cheers: 

Charlie CTS       :dancetl6: 


  

Memphis , and yes Elvis has left the building .




 

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Charlie:

Welcome aboard.

 

Spiling is not mandatory. It simply follows, to some degree, how ships were actually planked. Ship's planking was actually spiled on one edge and tapered on the other. The extent to which this was done would depend on the kind of hull being planked. Some hull's required different methods depending on its shape.

 

In most kits, the supplied planking strips are not wide enough to allow for proper spiling and tapering so modelers have developed alternative methods for hull planking. It gets the job done and can be made to look very neat.

 

How one planks a model hull is up to the modeler. Some will want to spile and taper their planking and others will prefer to use other methods.

 

Russ

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For wooden hull ships of old days, planks were cut so that they butt into each other following the shape of the hull. Sometimes these planks had to be bent to follow the curvature. In certain part of the hull such as the bow the plank had to follow curvatures in both longitudinal and lateral directions because the hull is a 3-D object. The shipwright would then choose from a stock of planks with built in curvature in the longitudinal direction best fitted for the purpose because it is much easier to bend a plank in the lateral direction. In ship modelling, we tried our best to plank the hull so that the stracks lay comfortably without twist following the profile of the hull. Spilling gives the strack the correct curvature in the longitudinal direction, then soak in water and heat bend it to follow the lateral curvature is the most effective way to achieve the objective.

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Apprentice:

I am not sure what time period or nationality you are talking about, but I have always read that planks were spiled and tapered, at least in British and American shipyards. For framing they would look for timbers that had naturally curved grain, but in planks, that would be very difficult to find in most cases. It is far more likely that they would use what they had an spile the mating edge and taper the other edge from a wider plank. If it was just a minor bit of edge bending, they would do it, especially on the ceiling plank, but for any significant curve, that almost certainly had to come out of a wider plank.

 

Certainly in the mid to late 19th century in American merchant shipyards, they were spiling and tapering. There is plenty of evidence for that and the same is known of British merchant shipyards of the period. Maybe you are referring to an earlier period or larger ships?

 

Russ

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Replica of the schooner 'Enterprize' under construction in Melbourne some years ago.  In this view the spiling of the planks is very obvious.

 

John

 

post-5-0-41684100-1368652605_thumb.jpg

 

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Hi Russ

 

Sorry I did not make the point clearly.

 

I was referring to ships of the 17th century era with 14" wide stracks. If the longitudinal curvature is not severe, the shipwright would spill the plank to follow the curvature because that will be the easiest way. But the size of the planks is limited by the size of the tree where the timber is harvested. At the bow where the curvature is too large for the timber available, the shipwright will have to use timber with a natural curvature. See:

http://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol03/tnm_3_1_1-43.pdf

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I see he is talking about early 18th century ships in the article. It was interesting, though.

 

Russ

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Thank you to all who responded . 

By your responses I guess that there is no real set in stone rule of spiling .  It seems to be more of a personal choice based on one's own likes and dislikes .  I understand the reason of doing it for the visual effects on models and that's a good thing .  As to it being used on real ships building it's not done too often other than for the reason that it's easier to do it than some other ways . 

Cheers .     B) 


CharlieCTS


 

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Charlie:

I think it was quite prevalent in real shipbuilding. Certainly in the last two centuries in Britain and the US. Go to any shipyard along the US coast over the last 200 years, and they did a lot of spiling and tapering of hull planking.

 

Russ

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In practical terms it depends how much material you have, I was spiling my Royal Louis but had to change to a different method to cover the hull as material would've run out without covering the entire hull.

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