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Spiling Planks with Scotch Tape

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I thought this would be helpfull since there appears to be a number of new "plankers" posting questions


An easy way to mark planks for spiling.

  1. Apply dull finished scotch tape along the edge of the next plank.
  2. Mark the start and finish butt points as well as bulkhead locations on the tape.
  3. Trace the edge of the plank onto the tape with a pencil.
  4. Remove the tape and apply it to a wide plank to be spile cut, this gives you the flat pattern of the curve.
  5. Cut the plank along the marked edge.
  6. Apply your plank width tapering from the cut edge.
  7. Cut the plank to width and cut to legth for the butt joints or taper into the rabbet on the keel.
  8. Clean up and bevel the edges for a clean joint.
  9. Test fit and install using preferred bonding method.





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Gee, another reason I do so love this site.  Thank you BareHook, for showing me, a simple yet effective way to spile my timbers....dang, I have a whole roll of tape just sitting there, and I was using it for all the wrong reasons. This is so much easier than trying to use tracing paper like I have been doing!

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Buck, much further west of you. I am 30 miles east of the Colorado border and 20 miles south of the Nebraska border. I live out in the boonies in an old farmhouse between the tiny towns of Atwood and Ludell. So let's see you should have earned yourself  a snowday or two this week as well? KSN seemed to show the Wichita took the brunt of that snowstorm. We managed to pick up 10 inches or so out here. I teach in Colby, luckily they called off school so I did not have to make the 45 min drive in to work.

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Barehook, ok I am going to show my ignorance here. I tried your technique....it worked soso. I came back here to see what I did wrong, and I realized you said to use a wide plank for the spile. My question is this...where do you get the wide planks? Did your kit include some of these or is this a scratch build? My kit does not have any wider planks provided for this technique.

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Robbyn, you are seeing one of the reasons to convert to the dark side of scratch building (or at a minimum, aggressive kit-bashing).  Kits almost never include the material required for this approach.  We are lucky, however, to have vendors such as HobbyMill or the Lumberyard who can provide sheets of wood to replace the kit supplied materials.  Are you single or double planking?  If double planking, the thickness is typically 0.5-1.0 mm.  Sheet veneer could be used in that case and can be purchased from many sources.  When you purchase wood, be sure to get the right species.  The "walnut" provided in most kits is too brittle and the grain is too coarse.  Check out some of the scratch logs to see the species that are commonly used.  Swiss pear, pear, costello boxwood and pau marfin are all tight grained, easily worked with hand tools and are reasonably flexible. Regardless, considering your location, it is either a long drive or mail order.

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Toni, I am double planking...ordered new strips of basswood for the first, and mahogany for the second. Had I realized how much spiling this bow required, and known in advance what exactly that meant I would have ordered my strips in varying widths as well.

Now that I know better I think it would make sense to have a supply of some strips onhand, before beginning another build.

Don't see myself converting to the dark side, no place, and no money for all the equipment that would be required...but I do see the benefit of kit bashing now, and foresee I will become heavily involved in that side of things :P

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As stated above, you need to order some wider material. I was able to utilize some wider basswood in my AVS kit that was meant for the nibbing strake, as I replaced my Basswood deck planks with Holly from Hobbymill (highly recommended upgrade). I managed the 2nd layer .020 walnut by spiling a 1/4 wide plank as much as possible and doing some lateral bending combined with brute force and adhesive (holding the planks flat in place until adhesive fixture cures, using low tack masking tape and fingers). Next time I plan to order wider planks ahead of time.



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Robbyn, as you start to kitbash you will probably end up purchasing most of the power tools along the way.  The only things that I have bought specifically for scratch building are a scroll saw, a thickness sander and a spindle sander.  The first is necessary, the second is useful and the third is a luxury.  I also do most of my work on the kitchen table, storing everything in the garage or basement until needed.  Enjoy.

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