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Duchess of Kingston by Delf - Vanguard Models - 1:64 - Boxwood version


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On 9/9/2021 at 10:58 AM, DelF said:

In the final shot I've started marking out the hull for second planking:

How do you decide where to put the lines? is this just arbitrary or do you space them a specific distance and use a particular technique to keep the straight?

 

I ask because I noted that you have more lines than there were bulkheads on the model and some of them are clearly not in the same place as the bulkheads.

Edited by Thukydides
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14 hours ago, Thukydides said:

How do you decide where to put the lines?

The lines are fairly arbitrary - I just wanted enough points along each plank to be able to determine its shape. The lines I drew mainly follow the bulkheads, as far as I could tell from the nail holes in the first planking. I suppose I could have spaced them out more evenly but it's really not that important. In fact, when I'm actually planking the hull I sometimes make an extra measurement between two lines if the shape of the hull is changing a lot in that area and I want extra points to determine the shape of the plank as accurately as possible.

 

Hopefully this will make more sense when I describe the method in more detail.

 

 

 

 

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Second Planking

 

In between lots of decorating jobs around the house, I've made a start on the second planking. I was keen to try to do this as well as possible so I had my first go at using battens to divide the hull into manageable areas. I tried using thread and then thin tape - methods that others use successfully - but they didn't work for me so I went old school with thin strips of wood. I used some of the good quality limewood left over from first planking, cut to size:

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I had several goes to try to get this right, and may change the battens again when I take stock after the first band. Technically, I think I should have aimed to use this method to plank the area from the wale down to the keel, but as the wale goes on after the second planking in this kit I felt that trying to do the job 'properly' would be too much effort for too little advantage in terms of historical accuracy. 

 

I decided to start with the garboard strake, using a strip of masking tape pressed into the rabbet to get the shape:

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I wanted to use scale plank lengths, so I drew a planking plan that aimed to follow the various rules designed to strengthen the hull, such as keeping the joins on adjacent strakes at least five feet apart. Not easy, and I'm sure I got it wrong in places! Here's the plan for the first planking band, together with the first two portside planks in the garboard strake.

IMG_4393.thumb.JPG.0f787ad44ee7e8c4941518f28017572f.JPG Unfortunately, despite bending the bow plank as well as I could, I wasn't able to get it to stick properly with the Super 'Phatic glue I'd hope to use as a way of avoiding CA which gives me an adverse reaction. Thinking on the hoof I used some 0.7mm boxwood trennels left over from another job. These held the plank down very firmly while the glue set. 

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I'm hoping the trennels will be virtually invisible when trimmed and sanded as I certainly don't want to replicate every fixing that would have been on the full size ship. At the moment I'm just using them where absolutely necessary.

 

Stop press: the odourless CA from BSI (Bob Smith Industries) that @glbarlow recommended works well and so far without adverse reactions on my part. I've only done the first band on one side with trennels so far, and I'm hoping CA will do the rest.

 

I decided to use wider planks in the stern area in order to minimise the use of stealers, so for the garboard I cut a 6mm plank from my own stock for the bow and midships part of the strake, and an 8mm piece for the stern section. To get the shape of the stern garboard plank I just drew a gentle curve on it so that it gradually narrowed from 8mm to 6mm. Here it is in place:

 

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The middle and stern garboard planks both required a significant twist to get them to lie flat on the hull. In each case I wet the plank, clamped one end in a vice and twisted the other with a clamp whilst using a hot air blower to set the twist:

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After the garboard strake I reverted to the kit supplied 4mm boxwood for the bow and midships planks, using my own 6mm planks for the stern area:

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To keep the log to a reasonable length I'll stop here and leave the rest of the description to the next entry.

 

Derek

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Second Planking #2

 

Many people use tick strips and planking fans to determine the shapes of planks, a method well described in the modelling techniques section of the forum and in many logs. I wanted to try using proportional dividers to simplify the process. I bought a set of model #20594 made by Staedtler of Germany a few years ago, second hand from ebay. 

IMG_4430.thumb.JPG.225e0f8105e5877fe1b965557a13d0d8.JPGIn this shot the dividers are set at 5, meaning that when a distance is measured with the large points, the small points at the other end will be exactly one fifth of that distance apart. 

 

The first step for each plank is to hold it in position on the hull and make a mark against each vertical line:

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As I explained in an earlier reply to Thukydides, these lines are fairly arbitrary. I just wanted them close enough to give me sufficient points to determine the shape of the planks accurately. In practice, I found myself inserting additional measuring points as I went along, for example where curves were particularly severe.

 

Then, I set the dividers to the number of planks I wanted to fill the space (in this case five) then used the large points to measure the distance from the preceding plank to the centre of the next batten. Where the hull was reasonably flat I measured directly, otherwise I bent a thin strip of paper round the hull and took the measurement from that.

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Either way, the next step was to transfer the measurement from the other end of the dividers to the corresponding position on the plank. I just used the point to make a tiny dint in the wood:

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Once the distances had been measured and transferred along the length of the plank (a very quick task with the dividers) I joined the dots and then cut the plank to shape using miniature planes and spokeshaves. Files and sandpaper would do equally well - I just like miniature tools!

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Then, it's back to normal practice - bevelling, edge bending and ordinary bending until the plank fits snuggly. In this case, I've chosen to shape the bottom edge of the plank, although I know people often shape the top edge. I'm not sure it matters (I hope!).

 

Once a whole strake had been completed, there was obviously one fewer needed to fill the remaining gap in the planking band so I reset the ratio on the dividers to four ready for the next planks. This continues until there is just room for one strake. Once the measurements have been made for all the planks in that strake the batten must be removed before the planks are fitted (as measurements are taken to the centre of the batten. Then, it's on to the next band, resetting the dividers as appropriate.

 

Btw, I should have mentioned that I tried to set the battens 24mm apart (centre to centre) at midships so that each band would accommodate 6 of the 4mm planks supplied in the kit. I had to adjust this slightly to allow for the extra wide garboard strake. 

 

I've just completed the first band on the port side and the starboard garboard strake. Progress is slow and steady; slow because I'm doing a lot of work around the house, and steady because I'm mindful of Chuck Passaro's belief that many builders rush through planking to the detriment of the finished model. He reckons to spend several months on the task, so taking his lead I'm in no hurry to finish. I'll probably get on with some deck furniture for a bit of variety, but I suspect my updates will remain relatively infrequent.

 

Derek

 

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3 hours ago, DelF said:

The lines are fairly arbitrary - I just wanted enough points along each plank to be able to determine its shape.

Now that I think about it it seems obvious. I guess it just never occurred to me that the lines I choose don't really matter. I was just using the bulkeads because in all the tutorials that is what people did.

 

I guess really if you want to get your measurements more accurate you use more lines and the only trade-off is the extra time measuring.

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1 hour ago, Thukydides said:

I guess really if you want to get your measurements more accurate you use more lines and the only trade-off is the extra time measuring.

That's exactly right. The only time bulkheads really matter is if you're only doing a single layer of planks. When you've got the whole area of the hull to go at you can put the lines where you like.

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Very interesting approach and your usual thorough description, I don’t think I could manage the tools to taper that way, very skillful. No doubt you’ll end up with a wonderful planking. 
 

I appreciate the description of the garboard, I always struggle with it.  I hope the SI CA continues to work for you. 
 

Well done!

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Excellent explanation of the method of planking that you used, Derek. I've read about using proportional dividers in planking but didn't really understand it but I pretty sure I get it now. Thanks for taking the time to thoroughly explain it.   

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  • 2 weeks later...

I agree, excellent explanation of your technique.  I found it very interesting, and I like the idea of using wood battens.  For some reason I never thought about that.  Seems to me like they would lie on the hull more smoothly and more like a plank than thread or tape (I tried tape and ended up sketching line with pencil based on tape...it was not very precise).

 

Thanks for taking time to write it up!

 

 

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On 9/11/2021 at 3:36 PM, glbarlow said:

Very interesting approach and your usual thorough description,

On 9/11/2021 at 4:43 PM, BobG said:

Thanks for taking the time to thoroughly explain it.   

5 hours ago, desalgu said:

Thanks for taking time to write it up!

Thanks guys, I'm pleased you found the explanation interesting. I actually bought the proportional dividers about eight years ago but never got round to using them. Although I'd read of their use in planking I always suspected there must be some 'dark arts' involved in getting good results. I was wrong. I'm so glad I've eventually got round to trying them out on the Duchess, as in practice they seem much easier and quicker to use than tick strips and planking fans.  And more accurate, I suspect. Of course that depends on the quality of the dividers. I'm not sure I'd trust the cheapo modern ones on Amazon, but neither would I want to spend £150 to £200 on top grade new ones. Fortunately there are plenty of well-engineered sets on the second hand market, such as the £30 Staedtler dividers I got on ebay.

 

5 hours ago, desalgu said:

I like the idea of using wood battens... Seems to me like they would lie on the hull more smoothly and more like a plank than thread or tape

That's what I've found, provided you use good quality timber of the right size to bend into smooth curves but not so fragile it kinks. Of course it still takes quite a while to get the right curves, but the battens do seem to make it easier. I put fine pins part way through the battens to hold them against the hull while I checked the resulting planking bands, which made it comparatively easy to reposition them until I was satisfied. Once I got one side of the hull done I just transferred the measurements (ie where each batten crossed each vertical line on the hull) to replicate the planking bands on the other side.

 

I'm managing about one strake every two days in between work around the property, but I'm delighted to say that the BSI odourless CA Glenn recommended is still doing it's job without the adverse reactions I get from regular CA.

 

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Port side planking

 

Thanks as always for the kind comments and likes, they are much appreciated.

 

I've finished the first side of the hull, with mixed results. I wanted to tackle this planking job as well as I could and I've described how I lined off the hull and used battens and proportional dividers. On balance I'm pleased with the accuracy I achieved, with most planks fitting well. However I made a couple of avoidable errors which will be obvious in the photos.

 

The first was to bring the garboard strake too far up the stem, thereby leaving too little space for the necessary strakes resulting in no fewer than three drop planks in the bows. The second mistake was in failing to sort out the supplied planking material more than I did. I don't mind some variation in shades but I usually do a better job in keeping the darker planks for the less visible areas. I was so engrossed in the marking out process and using the dividers for the first time that I didn't pay sufficient attention. 

 

Anyway, I'd more or less decided to paint the hull as soon as I had to start using trennels during my early abortive attempt to use PVA on the second planking, so these mistakes shouldn't matter. Another real positive is that after the first few strakes I was able to use the odourless CA from BSI that @glbarlow recommended. At first I was careful to limit my exposure, but now I can happily use it for extended periods without the adverse reactions I get from normal CA. 

 

Here's the current state of play, with just a little more sanding required before WOP or shellac (I haven't decided yet).

 

IMG_4496.thumb.JPG.1367715623c2e22d82df302c5b548332.JPGIMG_4492.thumb.JPG.24b7e11a3c29cdce3f4e28b31b771daa.JPG

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Derek

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Of course it’s Derek like in its amazing quality, well done as always. 
 

if I may offer a lesson I learned from Chuck: In lining your belts you went to far up the bow with the curve from midship, meaning the width of the planks at the stem should have been wider starting at the first one. That would have eliminated the drop planks. 
 

As you said it won’t matter once you paint it, it will look beautifully smooth and crisp as it already now does. 

Superb craftsmanship as is your hallmark. 

Edited by glbarlow
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Thank you Gregory, Kevin and Chris, much appreciated.

 

3 hours ago, yvesvidal said:

You have no rights to paint that hull !!! 🙂

Thanks Yves. I'm still in two minds to be honest. I love bare wood, but at the same time I want to decorate the upper parts of the hull and I'm concerned that it won't look balanced unless I also paint her white below the waterline.

 

2 hours ago, glbarlow said:

if I may offer a lesson I learned from Chuck: In lining your belts you went too far up the bow with the curve from midship, meaning the width of the planks at the stem should have been wider

Thanks Glenn. I can see that that's exactly what I did wrong, and I think I made it worse by readjusting the battens after I'd fitted the garboard strake. Trouble is, I'm going to have to repeat the same mistakes on the starboard side because I think it would be worse for the two sides to be asymmetrical. Oh well, I'm learning and hopefully I'll get it right for Sphinx!

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51 minutes ago, DelF said:

hopefully I'll get it right

It is my hope to get it right myself some day. 
 

I agree on the painting. I had the same conclusion on Flirt. It needs the bottom and top to balance out. Besides, who doesn’t love painting waterlines. 🤣

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That is some fantastic planking there Derek and each plank must sit exactly right, especially at the ends of each plank to lie flat with the next one.I always find that very difficult and therefore fit the planks in one complete length. In the past I have used the planking fan but instead of strips have just used a vernier caliper but I am now on the look out for a pair of dividers. I only seem to see them in with complete drawing kits. 

            Hopefully some time in the future I will be able to plank half as good as yourself. Keep up great work and I look forward to watching this build. Best regards Dave

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Thanks Dave. I'm still learning, as you can see from the mistakes like the unnecessary drop planks. However the dividers do make the job a lot easier.

56 minutes ago, DaveBaxt said:

I am now on the look out for a pair of dividers.

Keep your eye on ebay. This one is open for bids now and is similar to mine. There are several others on the site today, but as I said before, I would go for a good vintage one rather than a modern repro.

 

Good luck

 

Derek

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, DelF said:

Thanks Dave. I'm still learning, as you can see from the mistakes like the unnecessary drop planks. However the dividers do make the job a lot easier.

Keep your eye on ebay. This one is open for bids now and is similar to mine. There are several others on the site today, but as I said before, I would go for a good vintage one rather than a modern repro.

 

Good luck

 

Derek

I didn't know dropped planks were a mistake Ha ha. I thought that was part of the normal process. However I didn't drop any on the Endeavour which was more good luck than anything. However there were a few steallers at the stern if that counts as mistakes. Sorry to take your blog off track.Thanks for the ebay link. Best regards Dave

Edited by DaveBaxt
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1 hour ago, DaveBaxt said:

Sorry to take your blog off track.

Not at all - it's all part of sharing tips and ideas.

 

Dropped planks and stealers are OK if you really need them, but you should aim to minimise their use. I took my garboard strake too far up the stem so I ended up having to use three dropped planks whereas I probably should have needed one at most. I managed to avoid stealers at the stern because I used wider planks in the first few strakes above the garboard.

 

Derek

 

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1 hour ago, DelF said:

Not at all - it's all part of sharing tips and ideas.

 

Dropped planks and stealers are OK if you really need them, but you should aim to minimise their use. I took my garboard strake too far up the stem so I ended up having to use three dropped planks whereas I probably should have needed one at most. I managed to avoid stealers at the stern because I used wider planks in the first few strakes above the garboard.

 

Derek

 

Thank you Derek for explaining that to me and I think for my next model I will keep a few wider planks  in stock . What are we looking at .Double the width? Cheers Dave

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1 hour ago, glbarlow said:

isn’t it drop planks

Touché Glenn. 

 

Actually, I just "dropped" that in to check if you'd got your nautical dictionary yet. Honest. :rolleyes:

 

To complicate matters, I've checked some of my references and I think what I called a drop(ped) plank is more properly called a diminishing stealer, ie because you go from two strakes to one as you move towards the bows. The drop plank is where an extra plank is inserted in the stern area to increase the number of strakes by one. Not to be confused with an expanding stealer which achieves the same effect. Differently. 🤪

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My nautical dictionary refers to drop planks just before the bow, as you said to drop a second plank into one to better allow equal planking at the stem. Both Cheerful and Winchelsea have one such plank. 
 

I fully acknowledge most of my maritime knowledge comes from you so what do I know🤪 

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