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Yupp.   That is pretty much how I plank a hull below the wales.  If there a few planks....maybe the garboard and or the first two planks next to the garboard which are spiled and shaped from wider pieces.  But thats it.   The drop plank at the bow was made by using a card template first.   But everything else was as I did it in that video.

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Its all spiling......basically instead of cutting it from a wider sheet, I am achieving the same spiled curve with bending alone.   Either way would work.  I did it a bit of both on the Winnie.   Its all the same thing.  The part you should not get stuck on is how to achieve the proper curve and shape.  Either cutting it or bending it will work.  The important thing to get from this is that you will require a curved and tapered plank in the end before you adhere it to your hull.   Thats the important part.  No force fitting will ensue.   You can try and find any method to achieve that shape you find comfortable.

 

If you line off your hull first and have a plan,  and then have your planks properly curved and shaped before you glue them into position.  You are good to go.   If you also start with just one drop plank at the bow (just under the wale)....you have a really good chance of making a nicely planked hull with some planning and pre shaping.  Its usually what I see on contemporary models.  I just try and copy that.    No steelers at the stern.

 

Once you get past the habit of using a straight plank, all the same width, and trying to glue it onto the hull, forcing it into position,   it will naturally result in a hull with fewer steelers and drop planks.   It just goes a lot easier.   Rather than use steelers at the stern,   just use planks that gradually get wider than they are at mid ship.

 

The only way to try this when I was breaking my bad habits,  was to plan it all out ahead of time.  Copying the layouts on contemporary models.

 

You can use the compass method to find that correct curve,   You can use the tape method to find that curve.  Or you can eyeball it based on the gap as I did in the video.   Once you have the curve...you could cut it from a wider sheet, or just bend it.  You could heat it with a hair dryer or use one of those bending irons.   You could use water or you could use ammonia.  There are many methods and I have used them all.  But in the end they all achieve the same pre-shaped plank before it gets glued on the hull.   Having that "light bulb" moment and realizing what shape you need is the important part in my opinion.

 

Just to let you know,  I prefer the method shown in the video.  That is pretty much what I do for all my planking now.  No water...just heat.  Bending and not cutting it from a wider sheet.

 

 

 

Chuck

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Thanks Greg,

 

Our club has a great bunch of guys.  Every month one of our members puts on a tech session on various subjects.   There is really no substitute for up-close collaboration.  I know we have many members here on MSW who are from New Jersey but who are not members of the local club.  I think they are missing out on a great experience.   I would highly recommend coming to at least one meeting just to check it out.

 

Next month I believe the tech session is on seizing and splicing and some rigging techniques.  I am not sure.

 

Chuck

Chuck, thank you for the videos! It really helps to better understand what we may have read numerous times. I hope next months session on seizing & splicing is also taped. 

 

Regards,

Larry

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Hey Chuck,

 

Fantastic video tutorial! Thanks so much for posting these. I don't know if you've considered it, but if you re-made these videos with a "proper" view over your shoulder, I'm sure they would sell like hot cakes through your Syren shop. Your commentary is great and really explains both what and why you're doing each step in a way that is very easy to follow. You're a natural teacher! You could do a whole series of these videos that folks could choose from as their needs arise. Reading about it is one thing - seeing it done adds a whole new level of understanding.

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I am fortunate to be a member of SMSNJ and was at the tech session.  And I thought the the whole key to planking the lower hull was the plan.  Take enough time to get the plan right.  The size of each plank at each bulkhead is critical.  After that, Chuch makes it look easy.

Cheers.

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The same thing at the stern as at the bow.  Basically you hold the straight plank in place without bending it.   Because the one on the hull already is curved,  there will be a gap between the two.   You find the widest point of that gap or the apex of the curve you will need and mark its location on the new plank.   That will reference the center or top of the bend you must create.  I hope that makes sense.  Then you bend it as I did.   Bend it a bit more to allow for spring-back.

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fortunately I havent had time to finish those last five strakes so I just took some pictures.

 

Here is a staight plank as if I were going to place it on the hull.  It could be at the bow or at the stern.   Most beginners would try to force this into place and the top edge of the plank would lift off the hull and not sit flush against the bulkheads.  Some fight with it using pins and clamps and it gets messy.   Holding it without bending like shown reveals the gap .  Note the widest point of that gap.

 

plankgap.jpg

 

Mark this location as the center of the gradual curve you will need.

 

 

In the next picture,  after bending,    you can see how nice it fits and how it is flush against the bulkheads.  No forcing needed.  Its a perfect fit.    Note the dot I marked on the plank for the apex of the curve or the widest part of the gap..You could use the compass method or the tape method to find the exact curve,  but I prefer to eyeball it like this.   Visually its easy to see the curve after a little practice.   I always over bend slightly.

 

plankgap1.jpg

 

Now all I have to do is bevel it a bit and darken the seem as I did in the video and glue it on.

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Chuck , by bending this plank ,I assume that it is edge bending to produce a final shape equivalent to that which would result from the process of spiling and cutting the plank from wider stock. Do you employ wetting,boiling or steaming,or do you find that necessary? I have found that by holding a strip just in the palms of my hands and applying gentle pressure over time I can get an edge bend that will hold shape,but still have a tendency to lift off at the edge at the apex. How do you avoid that,and get the plank to lay flat as well as curve against the previous plank.

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In my opinion Chucks planking instructions should raise an interesting debate, namely what we want our model to look like. Chuck finds his inspiration in contemporary models, I asked him yesterday, he explained to me that his method is a model planking technique in the strictest sense and has nothing to do with actual "real world" planking techniques. In the real world there are no planks wide enough to allow for the amount of spiling required in his method.

 

Of course, Chucks models look absolutely great, but in my eyes more than perfect, where at least my - beginners - strife is for real world authenticity, I mean, whats the point of making everything above the waterline look absolutely real up to the smallest detail, while the other half the ship (the under water section) is a fiction?

 

Thanks,

 

Jan

 

[Edit Jan B.,  8 March 2015: following Chuck's and others remarks hereunder I have been searching the Internet again to check real life planking pictures and my conclusion is that Chuck is - of course - very right, so Chuch and other responders: thanks for this lesson in planking and modesty!]

Edited by Jan B.
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Actually not Jan...The results are pretty accurate, and its not fiction at all.   Its just the method I am using is one that is for modeling.   Those contemporary models are very accurate to what the ship's really  looked like.   What I meant was that I have no idea how the original ship builders achieved the results.   Its not really important to me.   Its the end results that I am trying to replicate.  

 

Notice the crazy bending below.   I am sure they started with wider planks....then they applied some crazy bending as well.   but the results are the same....no crazy pie-shaped steelers.   

 

shipwright-works-the-outer-planks.jpg

 

Chuck

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Chuck, thanks for sharing this great info.--your 'visuals' are both excellent and very helpful! Want to also ask the same question that Chuck S. asked 2 posts above. I also struggle with getting the garboard strake the right length. Definitely appreciate tips or suggestions on getting the garboard right!

 

Cheers,

Jay

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Actually not Jan...The results are pretty accurate.   Its just the method I am using is one that is for modeling.   Those contemporary models are very accurate to what the ship's really  looked like.   What I meant was that I have no idea how the original ship builders achieved the results.   Its not really important to me.   Its the end results that I am trying to replicate.  

 

Notice the crazy bending below.   I am sure they started with wider planks....then they applied some crazy bending as well.   but the results are the same....no crazy pie-shaped steelers.   

 

attachicon.gifshipwright-works-the-outer-planks.jpg

 

Chuck

Chuck, check out this page where the shipwright himself explains how the planking on that particular vessel (Charles W Morgan) was done ( http://daviddanielsdesigns.com/morganblog/?p=26).

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The Garboard is almost always in the same approximate area.   Once you line off the hull you will see if you have it in the wrong place.  I dont have any hard and fast rule or even know if there is one.   But after lining out the hull with belts I can isolate the lower belt and its not that hard to determine how many planks and if I have to move the garboard back a bit.   Thats why it is so important to plan it all up front.

 

As far as the planking fan goes...I pretty much spell out how I line off the hull and use the planking fan in this tutorial here.

 

http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/Framing_and_Planking/Lining%20Off%20your%20hull%20for%20planking.pdf

 

It shows everything and also describes the Tape method for finding the curve of the plank instead of the gap method I used above.

 

Chuck

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Jan wrote:

 

has nothing to do with actual "real world" planking techniques. In the real world there are no planks wide enough to allow for the amount of spiling required in his method.

 

Of course, Chucks models look absolutely great, but in my eyes more than perfect, where at least my - beginners - strife is for real world authenticity, I mean, whats the point of making everything above the waterline look absolutely real up to the smallest detail, while the other half the ship (the under water section) is a fiction?

 

 

Jan...Not fiction at all.     

 

But I know folks say that steelers and drop planks are just fine and were used historically.   That is true....but the huge number of them you see on model ships and explained as the proper way to do it in many books and instruction manuals and practicums.   Its just a crutch.    So whatever the method.....a hull that looks like this is not something I find attractive or even historically accurate.  So I prefer to go for fewer and replicate the way its done on a similar contemporary model or shown in a contemporary draft from the same era.  Its just my preference.  

 

I have no intention on picking on the fellow who planked this hull below.   But its extreme steelers gone wild and if this is the way he (or you) wants to go its OK.  But I find many people using them and only because they find an example where one or two were used historically, and  it is just a short rationalization further to go ahead and use  5 or six  or even more at the bow and as many at the stern.  I disagree entirely.  Its just an easy fix and a crutch.    I just dont think its accurate or aesthetically pleasing.  This is in terms of what we were discussing earlier.  I will say this.   To plank the hull like this fellow did would probably take longer and be more frustrating than it would to just give lining out a hull a chance.  Cutting all of those weird shapes randomly etc.

 

bowplanking.jpg

 

One drop plank at the bow at most...and no stealers at the stern.   That is what I will always shoot for.    I think its more accurate and looks better.  Not that you wouldnt be able to scour the web for an example or two that is contrary to my opinion.   I just think its an excuse to continue to use them willy nilly and in huge numbers rather than learn how to spile and plan a hull's planking.   Again,  just my opinion.  And its Ok.   If folks are happy with that, fine,  But I just dont buy the argument that this image above is accurate in any way...even if you could find one example that might look a bit like it.

 

I would rather not get into a lengthy debate about it either because its one of those circular debates.  Its just a matter of choosing what you are willing to live with on your project...without trying to force the idea that it must be accurate because one image exists showing something maybe a little similar so...... Then they feel better about using them and wont bother trying to figure it out beyond that.   I have had countless discussions on the matter actually.  Its more complex than this because it depends on the country of origin,  the year,  the shape of the bow and hull etc.   There is no one size fits all, what kind of ship.........  An apple bowed whaler will certainly be planked differently than a sharper cutter or frigate built 75 years earlier and from different countries.   Dutch practice vs. English practice.  There is just too much to consider for a simple answer..

 

But I am so lucky because I have this below.   Its the planking expansion...just a portion of it so I dont violate any copyright rules...and its for the Cheerful.  So I am very comfortable saying its reasonably accurate and the actual ship was closely replicated.  :)  Its not fiction at all.  The draft shows exactly 20 strakes below the wales.   One drop plank only,  no steelers.  I have no idea how they would have done this in actual practice but there are plenty modeling techniques that can achieve this result.   That is if its something you would have fun learning how to do.

 

planking.jpg

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