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1760's Royal Navy deck planking and waterway nibbing patterns?


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Rookie question here-What was the established deck planking patterns for the Royal Navy around 1760? And what type of nibbing pattern was used for the end planks and waterway?

 

Is there a book that has these details for this time period,and maybe others that I could get?

 

Thanks

Keith

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Kieth 

 

Have a look at the images from the NMM website.   The planks werent nibbed at all around this time.  They were "hooked" alongside the margin plank.

 

See this image....also,  the planks were curved and tapered slightly at the bow.  You can see the curve here...

 

The second photo shows a hooked or scarphed end to the plank against the margin.

 

Both models are contemporary....and to the period we are discussing.  These are considered primary sources...any secondary sources written by Roberts,  Goodwin or anyone else is not nearly as weighted.  If I had to choose the more accurate...I would stick with the primary sources from the time period every time.  It is very hard to argue against those.

 

 

 

Chuck

 

F9288-005.jpg

 

scraphjointminerva.gif

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Hi Brian

 

I do not know just what to say other than I nibbed mine like the plans and in the book that I have Modeling an Armed Virginia Sloop of 1768 by Claton A. Feldman. I would say that Chuck is most certainly correct in what he says that they were used later.

 

I am working on a Panart Royal Caroline kit build now along with a 1/80 Jotika Mary Rose and a 1/48 Mary Rose that I had laser cut. I asked about the planks because I had seen it done both ways.

 

You can see photos of my Sloop on our blog at woodenshipclass.blogspot.com . It's back in the blob a ways,but there is a couple of close photos showing the deck and the nibbing I did. On the Sloop,it looks great,even if it is wrong.

 

It's a toss up as to what I would do if I were you now. It was my first nibbing and I considered it a real challange to get the fits close. I did the planking in .040 basswood x .250 wide.

 

Let me know what you end up doing.

 

Keith

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Greetings bear,

 

I agree with Chuck and druxey - no nibbing at that time. In fact no margin plank either because you would be using a waterway up against the bulwark and the planks would be fitted up to it: for this era of warship. Typically, margin planks were not used with waterways. Note that this is my understanding of nibbing, margin planks, and waterways. However, I am sure there are many fine warship models of the 18th century that show nibbing, so I am open to other opinions. I would suggest that you do what feels good.

 

wq3296 

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Hi Chuck

 

Is there a tutorial somewhere on how to do the "hooked" and tapered planking that was used in this time period? Or a book that has the "rules' standards as to how this style of planking was done?

 

The quest for knowledge never ends. Just the hard drive and book collection gets larger.

 

Thanks

Keith

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David Antscherl's  Swan series......Volume two I believe.   I am not sure if there is a how-to but he shows the layout clearly and talks about.  At any rate,  a fantastic reference to have for this period all around.   

 

 

I also showed how I do it in the instructions for the confederacy...

 

http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/Confed/Chapter10.pdf

 

Chuck

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Greetings bear,

 

Still not sure about the need for a margin plank. In your case, according to info I have prepared by Jim Roberts: "On large warships, the deck planking was tapered so that the outside planks ran parallel to and against the edge of the waterway. The extreme forward plank ends were champfered off (cut off at an angle) against the waterway plank around the bows without being nibbed into a margin plank".

 

If you are a newer builder, the above method will be far easier for you and, as it turns out, quite correct for your ship.

 

wq3296 

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Wq3296...interesting but I have never heard of that before or seen any primary sources that show it done that way...without a margin plank that is...

 

Do you have any other sources besides the Jim roberts book.  At this early time I have always seen a margin plank (wide waterway plank) for English Frigates and larger.  For a Bermuda sloop I am not as certain....but I would include it.  Jim just breezed over the topic of deck planking in that book writing about a page and a half.  No illustrations or mention of time periods etc.  Or which decks.  I am also just talking about round bowed weather decks from the period...not a forecastle deck such as shown on ships like Bellona with a beakhead bulkhead.   That was handled slightly different across the flat end on the forward side of the focastle deck.   But the lower decks as far as know would have been scarfed and hooked as I have shown with a wide waterway/margin plank.   Jim Roberts was entirely too brief on the subject...But I would love to see additional sources about it.

 

See this image

 

gallery_492_516_23560.jpg

 

 

There was no reason to use hooked planks on the forecastle deck above....however the lower decks I assumed were done just as described and shown in the earlier post of the frigate Minerva.   But the waterway/margin was very wide.  It is perfectly described in the Fully Framed series...Volume one for the lower decks and Volume two for the weather decks

 

Chuck

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Greetings Chuck,

 

All I have at hand is Jim's book that was provided with a MS kit. However, other kits I have built show the same detail i.e. margin plank with nibbed deck planks or waterway and no nibs. I am not claiming that Jim's book is dogma but, as with so many other modeling issues, you pick a horse and ride it. I think we agree that nibbing was not typical on 18th century warships. I am open to change if there is a definitive right or wrong way that this planking detail should be built. Let me know.

 

wq3296 

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Hi Guys

 

I did not intend to start a spirited discussion on the subject of the planking. Chuck,I will have to get out my Confederacy kit and look up your instructions on the planking.

 

Since I did my Virginia Sloop and completed it a long time ago now,I just was about to strt planking on my Royal Caroline and have found all of this out now.Well back to your plan instructions Chuck for now. Looks like I have a lot of figuring out to do now.

 

Thanks to all. The nibbing and the margin planks were fun to do.Now I have the hooked and taper planks to tame.

 

Keith

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Discussions are good  :)

 

I think Jim simplified it for model builders

 

Keep in mind the use of the term Margin plank in my instructions...it is yet another simplification.  Essentially the waterway at this time was a very wide plank that had a raised lip on its outer edge....one piece

 

To simply it and model it in two pieces,   I refer to it in the Confederacy instructions as two separate parts....the waterway being a thin rounded piece placed over what I describe as "the margin plank".   The thin piece becoming the raised lip.   But essentially they were one piece and properly identified as the waterway...one piece....

 

I hope that makes sense.  I have never seen a rounded bow with deck planking that wasnt hook scarfed  or later nibbed into this waterway because it would create really thin pointy deck planks which are prone to rot very quickly.   If someone can help me explain it better that would be great.

 

A really great explanation and example can be found in Danny's log here

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/topic/230-hms-vulture-by-dan-vadas-1776-148-scale-16-gun-swan-class-sloop-from-tffm-plans/page-5#entry5230

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Greetings Tad...

 

Very informative details. They definitely show what I believe to be the proper deck detailing for an 18th century war ship, as described in Jim Roberts' book. No mention of margin planks in any of the details. Yes, Victory's decks have been rebuilt/replaced several times I am sure. However, with the information available on that ship, and her historical significance, I doubt her decks would have been rebuilt/replaced any other way than historically accurate. In other words, what you see today (deck planks laid up against a waterway) is probably how she looked when originally launched. It would make no sense to do otherwise.

 

wq3296 

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Uh...not exactly

 

From the same Goodwin book.  It just wasnt illustrated.  There is a whole section about the margin plank. The bottom drawing does show and list the margin plank but only the later nibbed variety.  In actual practice this is how it was done back then.

 

Here is an excerpt...

 

"  Parallel to the ships side and fayed to the waterway was a strake of planking known as the margin plank.  The function of this was to prevent the normal straight deck planking from being tapered to a fine angle where it met the curvature of the ship's side at the fore and after ends.  The margin plank was thus fashioned to receive the butts of those planks.  It was stipulated that no plank was to be 'joggled" into the margin plank unless the length of its tapered edge was more than twice the width of the plank, and that the plank was only to be tapered or "snaped" to half its width at the butt end.  The margin plank was the same thickness as the deck plank,  but one and a half times as wide."

 

This describes very late 18th century nibbing practice and early 19th.  Prior to this, 1760's... rather than nib into the margin or waterway,  they hooked the planks as shown in the contemporary models I posted which is as primary a source as you can get.  The "hooked" planks instead sitting against and alongside  the margin.  They were also tapered and curved a bit at the fore and aft ends of the deck.  This was done to keep the margin/waterway in tact among other reasons.  The rules are out there..you just have to find them.  Primary sources are the key.  Secondary sources are all over the map with omissions and simplifications.  Goodwin is an excellent source.  Sadly  Mondfeld is not held in the same way.  Although I wish that it was indeed the way Roberts described..it would be much less hassle. :)

 

To further complicate about actual deck planking practices from this time, other details are rarely illustrated but can be seen on contemporary models and described in primary texts.  Those include the anchor style deck planks that sometimes ran along the bulwarks a couple of strakes inboard. Also from Goodwin..

 

" fitted two strakes of either top and butt or anchor stock 4ft from each side of the ship.  The function of this was to resist any athwartships compression that occurred when the vessel was in heavy seas."

 

One other rule....not often illustrated  "no plank butts between the hatches and comings"   A single length of deck plank was laid between the hatches with no need for butt seams even though this may have disrupted the normal  three or four butt shift pattern.

 

Depending on how historically accurate you want to get with the details,there are many rules like this and no one source really contains them all.  But once again, luckily for us... most have been compiled in the fully framed series.  Makes our lives much easier. This secondary source contains more of these rules in one place than any other.    So unless you want to poke around and gather the many many other resources...both primary and secondary for these individual nuggets,  I highly recommend the series.

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David Antscherl's  Swan series......Volume two I believe.   I am not sure if there is a how-to but he shows the layout clearly and talks about.  At any rate,  a fantastic reference to have for this period all around.   

 

 

I also showed how I do it in the instructions for the confederacy...

 

http://modelshipworldforum.com/resources/Confed/Chapter10.pdf

 

Chuck

Thanks for that link, Chuck.  I've downloaded it for future reference as the hatch work is also very useful.

 

In everything I've read the nibbing etc. was supposed to be no less than 1/2 of the full width at the ends to provide for adequate fastening and caulking.  One supposes the hooked version would have similar requirements.  I've done the nibbing on models, but wasn't aware at the time that the hooked version was more correct for the period of my models.

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Yes I agree with that...Half of its original width at the butt end.  If it was thinner it would defeat the purpose of doing it that way.   

 

Primary sources are key including contemporary models.

 

Its like the outboard planking around the ports...

 

You rarely see it illustrated and talked about in books like Robert's or Mondfeld.   But the methods are shown on contemporary drafts and texts and building contracts....

 

Like this detail outboard of the planking on top of and below the ports...you will never find it in Monfeld  If you want raise the level of accuracy always try and get your hands on some primary sources.

 

treenails.jpg

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  • 4 months later...

I blow the dust from this topic away... :D

 

Here is the link to our gallery with photos of (Royal) George Model, that shows margin plank and nibbed deck planks on lower gun deck:

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/gallery/image/11448-dsc02181/

 

A specially thank to Mark for those photos! They are grat source!

 

Alex

 

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Alex: although the Royal George model in your link is beautifully crafted, it is a modern interpretation. Apart from the nibbed plank ends, the butts on two adjacent stakes would never be placed on adjacent beams. This would be a weak construction technique.

 

When researching "How was it really done?", always study the remaining historical records. Modern interpretations, however well made, can be very misleading. Of course, if accuracy is not an issue for you, ignore what I've written!

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In some simple words - I think the main mistake we mostely do is to consider the deck planking done with parallel planks that  - as far as I remember - came up with the industrial mills around 1800 - correct me if wrong.

 

The nibbing and all the other joints of planking meets waterway and so on looks completely different with the curved planks. So the waterway can be met without nobbing as it is a parallel curve.

 

XXXDAn

Edited by dafi
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  • 3 months later...

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