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Having an issue with the top of frame thickness for the ship frames.  After cutting the frames down to proper height, the frames need to be reduced to the thickness indicated on the NMM Upper Deck Plan. This seems to be abnormally thin. After conferring with Greg Herbert, he suggested the frames may be only 6" thick at deck level. This will require a lot of sanding to achieve this thickness.





Bow Frame Cut Offs.jpg

frame repair final.jpg

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Hi Richard. I would go with Greg's 6 inches, and on Montague a 74 gun ship she has 6 1/2 inches thick at the top.  On another note your build looks very good  and will be watching you bring her to life.  Just a ideal but you could scrap the insides which would keep down the dust. Gary

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The RN was kind of unique and particular as well as as being more difficult to replicate. 

The frames were sided in the lower hull (floors and futtock 1/crosspiece/half floor) being almost all wood.  The sided dimensions of fut2 / fut 3/ etc. were diminished.  The higher they were, the less thick their sided dimension was.  It was a step function.  The moulded dimension also decreased, but that was a smooth curve.


Modeler's conventions help -  uniform frame sided dimension  until the LWL/main wale.  Plank everything above this and the interior and the frame sides are hidden.  Their actual thickness does not matter.   


NRG member 50 years




HMS Ajax 1767 - 74-gun 3rd rate - 1:192 POF exploration - works but too intense -no margin for error

HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - POF Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - POF Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner - POF framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - POF framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  - POF timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  - POF timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner - POF timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835 packet hull USN ship - POF timbers ready for assembly


Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  - POF timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - POF framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - POF framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers


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 I look at this part of the frame above the deck as a cantilevered column loaded on hull exterior by wind, waves, canon balls etc. This part of the frame extension above the deck is in tension on the exterior and the interior portion is in compression. The depth of this beam-column is the distance from the extreme tension fiber to the extreme compression fiber of the frame (i.e.-the beam column thickness).

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Hi Richard, 

My apologies but I think a few of us (me for sure) have no idea what your post means about extreme tension fiber and extreme compression fiber.  When you say beam column thickness, do me mean the frames,  and regarding thickness is it the sided or moulded dimension?   To make things a little easier, what ship are you building, nationality, name, rate, year, etc?   From the photos and your checking with Greg, it sounds like a Swan class sloop.  If this is not the case,  for British ships,  there are several sources (The Establishments of 1719, 1745 and 1750, Shipbuilder's Repository 1788, and Steel's Elements of naval Architecture (1805) that  give the sided (fore and aft) dimension as well as the moulded (in and out) dimensions of each futtock and  the top timbers at the foot and head of each as well as at the gun ports in the case of Steel.   The moulded dimension also varies  slightly in some cases in the range of the quarter deck and forecastle .


Better information is sometimes available from a contemporary contract for the ship you are building or a sister ship in her class.   If this is of interest you can contact the National Archives in Kew and the RMG in Greenwich.








Edited by allanyed

PLEASE take 30 SECONDS and sign up for the epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series.   Click on http://trafalgar.tv   There is no cost other than the 30 seconds of your time.  THANK YOU


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I'm building the Swan Class Sloop HMS Fly. Using your description nomenclature, the moulded dimension of the top of frame is what is needed The general consensus is 6" is what is to be used. This checks with my NMM plans. 

6" is thin! A lot of sanding is going to be required. I plan to construct a rigid template based on the NMM  Deck Plans to assure the proper location and orientation of the top of frames.

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Actually, for the Swans, the frames at the top of the side are 4½" molded once faired - even thinner!  However, with temporary fillers between the toptimbers the structure should be quite rigid.

Edited by druxey

Be sure to sign up for an epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series  http://trafalgar.tv

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May I also suggest you take a look at the other Swan class builds.  Putting spacers between the toptimbers made the hull quite solid.  In particular, check out Dan Vada's Fly.


Chairman Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

Member Midwest Model Shipwrights


Current Builds:     Utrecht-1742

Completed Builds: Longboat - 1:48 scale       HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale       Half Hull Planking Project      Capstan Project     Swallow 1779 - 1:48 scale      Echo Cross Section   NRG Rigging Project 


Gallery:  Hannah - 1:36 scale.

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