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Art of period shipbuilding


Tadeusz43

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Hi,

Art of shipbuilding.

Due to the lack of scientific methods of calculation and design of ships

ship building in the old days was a kind of art and everything depended on the experience of employee master of shipbuilding.

Gathered here from my archive of photos from various museums showing how ships were built centuries ago.

A few photos from the net is because old shipyards are still in the Navy possession  or a ban on photographing in some museums.

Project.

Construction of a new ship ordered by the King was preceded by a performance of the model to the Admiralty can assess whether the project meets its requirements. Many of such models have survived to our time, they show the details of construction of the hull, we call it The Admiralty Models.

Because in those days there were no scientific method stability calculations all based on the experience of masters of shipbuilding.

 

Admiralty models

 

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Assembly of Admiralty

 

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Tadeusz

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Hi,

This time, something has gone wrong
Often accident occurred when the experience failed as it was in the case of the sinking of the warship Vasa and the Mary Rose and Kronan.

 

http://faculty.up.edu/lulay/failure/vasacasestudy.pdf

http://self.gutenberg.org/article/WHEBN0002187141/Kronan%20%28ship%29

http://www.maryrose.org/discover-our-collection/story-of-the-ship/why-did-the-mary-rose-sink/

 

Kronan sinking

 

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Vasa sinking

 

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Mary Rose sinking

 

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Tadeusz

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Hi,

Art of shipbuilding.

Due to the lack of scientific methods of calculation and design of ships

ship building in the old days was a kind of art and everything depended on the experience of employee master of shipbuilding.

Gathered here from my archive of photos from various museums showing how ships were built centuries ago.

A few photos from the net is because old shipyards are still in the Navy possession  or a ban on photographing in some museums.

Project.

Construction of a new ship ordered by the King was preceded by a performance of the model to the Admiralty can assess whether the project meets its requirements. Many of such models have survived to our time, they show the details of construction of the hull, we call it The Admiralty Models.

Because in those days there were no scientific method stability calculations all based on the experience of masters of shipbuilding.

 

Foto 1-3 Admiralty models

Foto 4-8 Assembly of Admiralty

 

Tadeusz

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Hi,

When a project of new ship has been approved  by Admiralty and King could be start the construction.
If it was not shipyard just meadow on the banks of the river was suitable for
collect logs of wood and start building the ship.
Logs were often supplied by water in the form of rafts.
Over time, next to the construction site grew the colony of workers and eventually arose real shipyard, which could build larger and more technologically advanced ships.
 

Foto 1-9  Martime Museum in Gdańsk

Foto 10 Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth UK

Foto 11-14 Batavia Shipyard in Leystadt, Netherlands ( construction of De Zeven Provinzen replica)

 

Tadeusz

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Hi,

Some of these shipyards have survived and are still working.

Foto 1,2 Arsenale in Venice Italy - still on duty

Foto 3-5 Darsenas i Barcelone - now Martime Museum

Foto 6-7 Karlskrona Sweden

Foto 8-9 Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth UK

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Edited by Tadeusz43
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Hi,

The wood used in the construction of ships in Europe, it was mainly oak.
For the construction of HMS Victory used more than 6000 trees.
In ancient times, the tree trunks were cleaved to the corresponding planks then began to use handsaws a technological breakthrough was the use of sawmill powered by a water wheel or windmills.
Naturally curved tree trunks was used for ship construction elements.
Sometimes, even the deformed growing tree to obtain in the future desired shape (something like bonsai)
Strips on the hull were bent over the open fire.

 

Foto 1-4 Vasa shipyard (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)

Foto 5 Sawmill with wind power (Maritime museum in Karlskrona , Sweden)

Foto 6-10 Viking boats shipyard ( Roskilde, Denmark)

Foto 11 Batavia - sample of  knee shaped bu nature

Foto 12-14 Nature shaped elements of shps (Maritime Museum in Gdańsk)

Foto 15-16 Shipbuilding forest on Baltic coast in Poland

Foto 17-18 Shipwright's tools

Tadeusz
 

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Hi,

When  began to build more and larger ships to set masts
cranes were needed, that were also helpful in loading heavy items of equipment such as guns or ship cargo.
Some of them have survived to our times.

 

Foto 1-6 Old Crane in Gdańsk was built between 1442-1444. Served mainly as a device port for loading goods and ballast

                                                 on ships, and to put up their masts. The device was able to lift the weight of four tons,

                                                 for the height of eleven meters. The mechanism of two drums having a diameter

                                                 of about six meters. Used as a driving force of people with their feet on the inside of the drum.

 

Foto 7 Masting Crane in Copenhagen was built in 1748–51 as part of Royal Naval Shipyard at Holmen.

Foto 8-9 Old crane in Karlskrona ( Sweden) was built in 1803 in brick with a roof covered with sheet copper roof,

                                                                      the building consists of six floors and is 42 meters high. At the heaviest

                                                                      lift is required 96 man to drive once  at the capstans..

                                                                      The machines are still fully intact.

Foto 10 Old crane in Stockholm . Styckekranen crane is a unique construction works in wood, from the mid-1700s .

                                                   A lifting and swiveling crane, used by, among others loading and unloading of pieces

                                                   ie guns to the Navy. The drive mechanism consists of two paddle wheels (treadmill)

                                                   where boatmen or punished walked in the wheels during shifts. A third wheel is available

                                                   in the crane upper part which forms the swivel mechanism in order to get over the cargo

                                                   to and from vessels. It required frequent high accuracy at work to fit into the cannon 

                                                   into place in the vessel with respect to the vessel also were often in motion during

                                                   the task. In each paddle wheel could be up to ten hike, a total of twenty men.

Foto 11 model of early floating crane i Maritime Museum in Karlskrona.

Foto 12 mast lifting in Gdańsk.

 

Tadeusz

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Edited by Tadeusz43
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Hi,

The wood used in the construction of ships in Europe, it was mainly oak.

For the construction of HMS Victory used more than 6000 trees.

In ancient times, the tree trunks were cleaved to the corresponding planks then began to use handsaws a technological breakthrough was the use of sawmill powered by a water wheel or windmills.

Naturally curved tree trunks was used for ship construction elements.

Sometimes, even the deformed growing tree to obtain in the future desired shape (something like bonsai)

Strips on the hull were bent over the open fire.

 

Foto 1-4 Vasa shipyard (Vasa Museum in Stockholm)

Foto 5 Sawmill with wind power (Maritime museum in Karlskrona , Sweden)

Foto 6-10 Viking boats shipyard ( Roskilde, Denmark)

Foto 11 Batavia - sample of  knee shaped bu nature

Foto 12-14 Nature shaped elements of shps (Maritime Museum in Gdańsk)

Foto 15-16 Shipbuilding forest on Baltic coast in Poland

Foto 17-18 Shipwright's tools

Tadeusz

 

  

 

I used to work for a company pruning trees some years back and learned just a few things about different methods.  I want to say those bent trees are grafted at the roots judging by the sharp corner it takes at the base and then they were probably forced into that shape as saplings.  I hadn't heard of wood being bent while the tree was still growing but that would make a lot of sense.  The grain would follow the shape needed and make carving out the piece a lot easier.    

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Tadeusz,

 

Thanks for all the information and pictures. 

 

I wonder if it would be possible to grow Bonsai trees to provide a source of bent timbers?

 

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photo courtesy of Wikipedia

 

Given the slow growth, you might need to lay down a supply for your children or grandchildren (like vintage wines)  :)

 

I'm also curious - is the grain of the wood "to scale"?

 

Richard

 

 

 

 

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Hi,

A very important piece of equipment of ships were ropes.
A large sailing ship rigging require approx. 16 km ropes of different diameters.
Ropes produced mainly from hemp fibers using ropewalk.

 

Foto 1,2 Ropes in HMS Victory hold

Foto 3,4 The Ropewalk in Karlskrona dating from 1692, the rope factory terminated production in 1960.

               With a length of some 300 metres (980 ft), the Ropewalk is Sweden's longest wooden building.

Foto 5-7 Rigging worshop in Maritime Museum in Karlskrona

Foto 8 Rope making tools in Maritime Museum in Gdańsk

Foto 9  Rope making tools in Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth (UK)

Foto 10 Big ropewalk model in Maritime Museum in Karlskrona

Foto 11-15 Rope making tools in Maritime Museum in Gdańsk.

                  Hemp fiber was cleaned by combing with iron hedgehog.

                 Then it were twisted in to the cords using reels.

                  Finaly on ropewalk cords was twisted in to the ropes.

Foto 16 Rigging worshop in Batavia Shipyard in Leystadt

 

Tadeusz

 

 

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Hi,

A very important piece of equipment of ships were ropes.

A large sailing ship rigging require approx. 16 km ropes of different diameters.

Ropes produced mainly from hemp fibers using ropewalk.

 

Foto 1,2 Ropes in HMS Victory hold

Foto 3,4 The Ropewalk in Karlskrona dating from 1692, the rope factory terminated production in 1960.

               With a length of some 300 metres (980 ft), the Ropewalk is Sweden's longest wooden building.

Foto 5-7 Rigging worshop in Maritime Museum in Karlskrona

Foto 8 Rope making tools in Maritime Museum in Gdańsk

Foto 9  Rope making tools in Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth (UK)

Foto 10 Big ropewalk model in Maritime Museum in Karlskrona

Foto 11-15 Rope making tools in Maritime Museum in Gdańsk.

                  Hemp fiber was cleaned by combing with iron hedgehog.

                 Then it were twisted in to the cords using reels.

                  Finaly on ropewalk cords was twisted in to the ropes.

Foto 16 Rigging worshop in Batavia Shipyard in Leystadt

 

Tadeusz

Interesting Tadeusz! Thanks for posting this.  B)

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Hi,

Rigging blocks.

In ancient times and middle ages blocks were handmade by craftsmen using simple tools.

The development of shipbuilding resulted in a significant increase in the number of blocks needed for rigging and their types variety.

A typical ship of the line needed about 1000 blocks of different sizes.

In 1802 Marc Isambard Brunel proposed to the Admiralty a system of making blocks using machinery he had patented and in August 1802 he was authorized by the Admiralty to proceed.

There were 22 types of machines and their total number was 45. The machines were driven by two 22.4 kW (30 hp) steam engines.

The machines included circular saws, pin turning machines and morticing machines.

With these machines 10 men could produce as many blocks as 110 skilled craftsmen.

Production finally stopping in the 1960s.

 

Foto 1-3 Blocks from Ancients wrecks and block making craftsman. Maritime Museum in Gdańsk.

Foto 4  Block making craftsman. Maritime Museum in Karlskrona.

Foto 5 Blocks from Mary Rose . Historic Dockyards Portsmouth.

Foto 6,7 Blocks on replicas of medieval ships.

Drwg. 8-10 Period ship blocks and tools for block making.

Foto 11 Block making . Maritime Museum in Karlskrona.

Foto 12,13 Brunel's factory and machines.  Historic Dockyards Portsmouth.

Foto 14 - 20 Blocks on Batavia replica in Lelystadt .

 

Tadeusz

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  • 3 weeks later...

Iron works and fittings.

Iron works as anchors, chains, chain plates, plate knees, rings, bolts etc. for ships as also tools for shipbuilder was produced in forges powered with water wheels.

The forge in Oliva ( part of Gdańsk), by virtue of its two large hammers called a “hammer forge”, is mentioned in written sources as early as in 1597.

Two large hammers with weight 250 kg are powered by water wheel with diameter of 4 m with 44 blades and oak shaft with section of 0,7x0,7 m and length 8 m  .

 Wheel and stove for iron heating  are separated for each hammer.

Separate wheel with diameter of 3,1m is powering eccentric cutters

able to cut 40 cm of hot iron.

 

Tadeusz

 

Foto 1 Plate knees on HMS Victory

Foto 2 Chain plates on HMS Victory

Foto3 Cutters in old forgery in Oliva

Foto 4,5 Forgery stowe with big bellows

Foto 6-8 Big hammer

Foto 9 Water wheel

Foto 10 Anchors development

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Naval cannons and how it was made.

Naval cannons for age of sails ships was manufactured in foundries.

Cannons was made form bronze or cast-iron and sometimes they were richly ornamented.

 

Tadeusz

 

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Bronze naval cannons in Stockholm Army Museum

 

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Vasa cannons (reconstruction)

 

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Early iron cannon in Gdansk Marine Museum

 

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Mary Rose cannon in Portsmouth Historic Dockyards

 

 

 

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Naval cannons and how it was made.Part 2.

The water-powered ironworks at Finspong in Sweden established in the late 16th  century by the Walloon Wellam de Wijk by permission of Gustav II Adolf King of Sweden.

Factory was  developed up to 19th century and continued to make guns until the last was test-fired in 1912.

The model of early foundry is exhibited in Stockholm Army Museum.

 

Foto 1-8 Early ironworks at Finspong.Central part is iron melting furnace with water wheel powered blowers.

              Mold for cannon casting is situated below ground level for easy fill with melted iron. In adjacent building

              is installed metal working machine powered by water wheel.

Foto 9  Ironworks at Finspong in 19th century.

Foto 10, 12 Molds for casting

Foto 11 Working in a foundry

Foto 13 Iron melting furnace

Foto 14 Metal working machine for cannons ( Arsenal in Copehagen)

 

Tadeusz

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Cannons of coastal defense and the army.

These were the same barrels  as for naval cannons  but supported on other bases
fit for purpose.

 

Foto 1-4 Captured cannons at Gripsholm Castle Sweden

Foto 5 Big cannon in Arsenla in Copehagen

Foto 6-9 Costal defence cannons in Stockholm Army Museum

Foto 10-11 Cannons at Helsingor Castle   (Hamlet Castle) Denmark

Foto 12-13 Cannons at Wisloujście Fortres in Gdańsk

Foto 14-15 Cannons and mortars  in Old PrisonTower in Gdańsk

:pirate41: :pirate41: :pirate41:

 

Tadeusz

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

Vasa Shipyard in Vasa Museum in Stockholm.

In 17th century naval shipyard was situated on Skeppsholmen island

near Stockholm downtown.

In this shipyard was constructed Vasa.

 

Foto 1-4 Shipyard on Skeppsholmen in17th century

Foto 5 Basic tools of shipwright

Foto 6 Planking clamp, similarly we use now but it was bigger

Foto 7 Rivets, clout-nails and treenail

Foto 8,9 Stages of the hul construction

 

Tadeusz

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Hi,

The sails for historic ships sails were made of fabrics from natural fibers
initially with hemp and linen ( flax )  until it was supplanted by cotton during the 19th century. At first cotton was used as a matter of necessity in the United States as it was indigenous and the supply of flax was periodically interrupted by wars such as the War of 1812.

Often sails was impregnated as a protection against rot and there were white but red brown.

The sails were hand sewn from fabric which was hand-woven on a loom.

 

Foto 1 The sail of Vasa. Vasa Museum Stockholm.

Foto.2  The sail of HMS Victory. Historic Dockyards Portsmouth (UK)

Foto.3  The sailmaker glowe used as thimble. National Marine Museum Gdańsk

Foto. 4,6 Sailmaker at work. National Marine Museum Gdańsk

Foto.5 The hand weaving loom. Viking Boats Museum Roskilde Denmark.

 

Tadeusz

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Edited by Tadeusz43
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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

During my visit to Amsterdam for SAIL 2015
I found some time to visit Batavia Werft in Lylestad.
There you can see how in the old days, ships were manufactured fittings
The sails were hand-sewn from fabric woven on hand looms.
Every seam was sewn twice waxed thread.
 
Tadeusz

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi,

Before the invention of the steering wheel.

Steering wheel was introduced on ships in beginning of 18th century.

Earlier for steering was used tiller with whipstaff.

 

 

Tadeusz

 

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Rudder with tiller

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Tiller supported with tiller sweep

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Tiller with whipstaff eye and bearing in the deck

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Helmsman position and whipstaff - on bulhead " course memory"

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Tackles for increase forco for steering on rough sea

 

 

Edited by Tadeusz43
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Thank you for the pictures of sailmaking, Tadeusz.

 

50 years ago I would work my high school summers on the cutting floor at Hood Sailmakers in Tampa. The thread was a Dacron, but it was also heavily waxed. I used exactly the same glove, although we called it a sailmaker’s ‘palm’. It was used in the same way, to drive a big needle through multiple layers of sailcloth, including maybe a leather chafe piece. Even today, there is a need for heavy piece work and sailmakers still use this ‘palm’ along with waxed thread.

 

Funny how some things never change.  John

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi,

I collect photos concerning hull structure and construction from presently
constructed replicas of Dutch ships  De Delft ( in Rotterdam)   and De 7 Provincien ( Batavia werf in Lelystad).

They show details of the construction of the hull

.

Tadeusz

 

De Delft

 

Spring 2003

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Keel and stern post

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Frame details in workshop. On the floor are drawn shapes of frames in scale 1:1.

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Large scale structural model for final checking of frame shapes

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Frame details machining

 

August 2015

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Edited by Tadeusz43
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