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Jan 28, 2018, 10:15 PM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
I found I didn't need much space between the top edge of the planking and the build board.
On ships boats, which I build in a very similar way, a narrow build board allows me to use rubber bands as clamps - but that's not even an option on big hulls.

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Can you post a pic of the plans showing the back end and it's shape, lines, etc?
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Jan 29, 2018, 10:13 AM
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Thread OP

I believe this is what you you requested:

Jan 29, 2018, 01:35 PM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
You're gonna need forms for station 26 and 27. You can let the planking run long past station 27 and trim it back to the inside of the transom. The transom is bowed, but still flat, so it can be planked (like I did Mac) or a sheet of ply, your choice. Use some card, like from a giftbox or poster board, to template out the transom. Some thin wood long enough to span the whole transom can be held in place to mark the side planking for trimming.

Once the planking is trimmed, frame up the edge of it to give the transom something to attach too (I didn't do that w/Mac). Stations 26 and 27 will need to be removed, but you want some structure back here that's permanent. If you do the transom in thin layers, like making plywood in place, there'll be much less stress from it trying to straighten out and pull itself off the boat.

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By-the-way: you need to shave off the thickness of your planking off your stations, as these plans look like they're drawn to the outside of the planking rather than the outside of the frames.
Jan 29, 2018, 02:36 PM
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Thread OP
Man, you are fast!

First question: How did you modify those images? With all of those curves, lines and text? You are obviously using some graphics program? I want one!

I've already got forms 26 and 27. They are on the board, but not very clear in the photos I have posted.

Let me see if I have this correct, you are saying two separate steps? First using all forms including 26 & 27, plank the hull fully extending the planks past the end of the transom to be to crate a "platform". Then trim it back to the proper length when all this is stable, remove frames 26 & 27, which allows space and support for the transom forms, and build up the transom itself over the forms. Then I will have created a mono-cock structure and the transom forms can then be removed.

This is where I was scratching my head. I could see that I needed those last two forms, but I also needed to place the transom forms in the same location. It brings to mind something about two objects occupying the same space at the same time.

Thanks again
Jan 29, 2018, 04:39 PM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
Try it with the foam forms and some card stock.

The outer transom forms are mirrors of each other. If you follow the red-dotted buttline on your plan right through the transom (you may have to draw it in), you should see the marks and be able to get the right profile for them. I drew the center one short of the transom to allow for the thickness of the transom itself, that needs to be done for the short ones on either side as well. Check your measurement to all three views to be sure they jibe.

I just saved the pics you posted and drew right on them in Paint Shop Pro with a line drawing tool. They aren't accurate enough to build from, just a visual aid.
Jan 30, 2018, 12:52 AM
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The best program to use when digitizing drawings is Adobe Illustrator (it is a part of Creative Suite package now). Corel Draw is much the same. There are, probably, others, but these are the best.
Feb 01, 2018, 08:27 PM
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Thread OP
New things to learn!

Based on Jerry's suggestion I am planking the foam board mock-up to study both planking technique and the stern transom building technique. The only change is to use the 1/16th balsa that I already have rather than card stock. These planks are hand cut from a sheet with an xacto knife and metal rule and are a little rough and somewhat less than consistent width. Needless to say, I have some planking gaps showing up. I guess I can always add another layer to seal things up? But I doubt that I will take it that far.

The bow has been interesting so far and gluing the plank rows together is also a bit of a problem. Too much glue, not enough glue, wrong glue? I am using Tightbond II and an acid brush and the balsa flexes pretty easy.

In any event, this will be a slow process as everyone knows.
Feb 02, 2018, 12:05 PM
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JerryTodd's Avatar
You're gluing the planks to each other to make them the structure of the hull, but it doesn't have to be "water-tight." A layer of 3 or 4oz cloth outside with hold everything, and a couple of generous coats of resin inside will get into all the nooks and crannies.

Yon need surface area on the stem to glue to, it's best to add some to either side (knightsheads), I ran the plank on one side right past the stem, and trimmed the other side to butt against it, alternately running the next starboard plank past the stem, and butting it's port side twin to it, and so on up and down the stem. I wish I had put forms forward like the transom forms aft. Mac's full bow isn't as full as it ought to be because the planks want to flatten out between the forms. It would have helped keep the twist in the planks better too. As it was, I got some stair-stepping forward which was sanded out outside, but still exists inside. In the end it made the planking thinner in the bow.
I was doing this in December and I had a wood stove in the shop for heat that I kept a pot of water on. I would dip the planks in the boiling water and clamp them to a bit of wood cut to a curve to pre-bend them. Now I have a half gallon jug of ammonia and I dip sticks in it to make them bend - it actually works better than the boiling water did.
Don't worry about using full length planks, it's not even that important that they butt at a form, with the planks glued to each other, that's not an issue. (normally you'd have "butt-blocks" on the inside, but even that's not necessary)

In the picture, at the bow you should be able to see the plank ends alternating left and right. There was a block bracing the stem that I removed once I had a few planks on either side. Working in balsa, you may want that bracing to stay put throughout the planking. This looks a little rough, but it gets trimmed flat later as a bed for the outer stem and head knee to attach to.

Up top, at the keel, I used some wider planks where I could. Not using full length planks should give you some relatively flat areas where you can get away with sheet planking.

If you click on this pick in the slide show viewer, it'll give it to you full size so you can see details better.
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Note the tick marks on the forward most form and six forms back. On that middle form it divides the surface by the plank width. On the forward form it divides it into that many spaces. You'll note the forward form has one less tick mark. I didn't want to taper any plank more than half it's wide, so one plank will drop off. Here's where that happens. It's cut this way so no plank is less than half it's width and the angles give more gluing surface. You may find you need more planks aft than in the middle, so you might add a plank in the same manner. Technically as you're coming forward from the stern, you're dropping a plank, then dropping another further forward. Where you do this isn't a big deal, you'll sort of see a good spot as you go along and it doesn't have to be in the same line of planks, (strake).

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Spiling is shaping a plank to fit the hull. The plank with be narrower forward and tend to have an S shape. What I did was not true spiling, it's just tapering. Since the planks are narrow enough to bend, I simply tapered them and pushed them against the other planking. You'll need to take care, using balsa, not to crush the plank, and where it twists at the bow and stern, that it doesn't split. A dip in alcohol or ammonia will help that a lot. A bending form will help pre-bend the planks as well.

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Last edited by JerryTodd; Feb 14, 2019 at 03:41 PM. Reason: Was I drunk when I typed this?
Feb 02, 2018, 08:05 PM
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Thread OP

Your Knighthead suggestion took care of my stem planking problem. It also gives me something to put a pin in while gluing. Since I only had a couple of planks in place I cut them all free at the bow and re glued them. Things are going smoother now. Of course I'm getting to the compound curves and twists in the transom area now. I believe I will be wetting some planks there.

I guess I need to set aside some of my perfectionism.

Feb 03, 2018, 07:33 PM
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Thread OP
More progress today, It is starting to resemble a real ship!

I am probably working too fast, I see some errors I will need to repair. I should have started tapering the planks at the bow already, the planks are trying to pull away from the shadow forms there. I am also reaching the curve of the belly of the hull. It's also a bit tricky at the stern where the transom is taking shape. There will need to be a bunch of filler planks underneath there.

With the foam forms and balsa planking it's been pretty easy to do the planking. I'm wondering at the difficulty I will have when I start with the plywood shadow frames and pine planking on the final model? I don't think that pins will cut it?

Jerry, you used small nails. How did you remove the nails when removing the shadow frames? For that matter, how did you drive the nails in?

Questions, questions...

Feb 04, 2018, 12:55 AM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
I have my stepfathers old upholstery hammer from back in the '70's, it's in the pic next to the utility knife. The thin end is magnetic, which helps start the 3/4" wire nails I used. Any light hammer like that will do.

When I did Pride of Baltimore I used these very fine nails that were more like 1/2 length straight pins and bent if you looked at them too hard.
To pull them I have a couple of pairs of flush cutters. I could get under the nail head with those, and they're at an angle, so I could pry the nail right out.

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Description: Pride of Baltimore 1:20
Macedonian 1:36

The problem is you're planking in balsa, and using nails and nippers like I did will crush your planking. I planked in pine and that wasn't so much a problem. Maybe push-pins would be better?
We used these when I worked at the sailmaker to pin sail panels down on the loft floor. We banged them in with the flat of our shears at the pivot point, and could pull them by hand.
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Description: Aluminum headed push pins
Feb 04, 2018, 08:04 PM
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Thread OP
I used pushpins on my schooner "Scalywag". It was all plywood sheet and they worked very well. I think that they would be the best option for me to try first on the final version.
Feb 05, 2018, 11:16 AM
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TBowman's Avatar
Looking good!
Feb 06, 2018, 10:59 AM
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Thread OP
I am running into issues with the bow planking. I have been studying my copy of "Planking the Built-up Ship Model" from Model Shipways and I think I have identified the problem. Keeping in mind that the book is written with the Super Scale Modeler in mind, I think I can still fix it to an acceptable appearance.

The problem is that I planked as far as I can with what the book calls "Normal Planking" as I have reached the area of tapering planks and "stealers" to smooth out the complex curves at the bow. Even with wetting and twisting the full sized planks I can't get it to follow the proper curves. I guess my lack of knowledge and experience is showing?

It's actually a bit of an art form, isn't it?

I think that I will need to remove the last couple of installed planks, at least near the bow, and then start planking at the "Garboard Strake" and work back toward the normal planking already installed. "Very Carefully" and fitting each individual plank and or stealer as needed. The same will apply at the stern.

I have been reviewing Jerry's Macedonian build and that appears to be how he handled it.

Still learning,
Feb 06, 2018, 08:16 PM
SCALE Sailor
JerryTodd's Avatar
You need to shape the stem and it's padding to more of an angle so the planking will lay on a flat surface - remember, that bit is staying in the hull.

You haven't shown the waterlines plan (bottom view), but I'm guessing that hollow that's forming at the first station is supposed to be there. With the stem shaped, it will be less pronounced.

Find the thickness of the outer stem, subtract the thickness of two planks, and shave the angle of the inner stem to that. I'm guessing that'll leave maybe 1/16" along the front edge? With planking it should be as thick as the outer stem so it will cover the ends of the planking.

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When you do this for real, I would, fill, sand, sand, fill, sand the outside and glass it before removing it from the build board or anything from the inside. A balsa hull's gonna be more fragile than a pine one until it's glassed.
Last edited by JerryTodd; Feb 07, 2018 at 11:16 AM.

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