Roland’s Rules for Planking

  1. Planks should never be tapered to more than ½ of width of the Plank. If the Plank is 5mm Wide, then the narrowest you can taper it down to is 2.5mm.
  2. Batten goes from where Transom meets the Deadwood and runs along the turn of the bilge to the Bow where the wood naturally wants to fall.
  3. Divide Hull into 2 Bands. The Upper Band and the Lower Band… from the turn of the Bilge to the Keel.
  4. Calculate the required number of Planks from the Sheer Plank to the Batten at the Widest Bulkhead. Then calculate how small to taper it at the smallest Bulkhead at the Bow and the Transom for the Upper Band. You calculate it by dividing the distance of the Bulkhead from the Sheer Plank to the Batten, then divide it by the number of Planks that fit into that space.
  5. Begin Taper from the point of the Widest Bulkhead onwards to the Smallest Bulkhead. For example, if you have a 17 Bulkhead Ship and your widest Bulkheads are 6 thru 11… then begin tapering from 6 to 1 and 11 to Transom. The lower band usually never requires tapering because they’ll end up fanning out and you will need Stealers.
  6. Never bring a Plank to a Point going towards the Bow. This was done because a pointed piece of Lumber is very difficult to secure to the Bow. This is with exception of Bluff Bow Ships, i.e. HMS Victory.
  7. First Plank around the Deck is called the Sheer Plank. This is the most important Plank to get right. Because every other Plank will be in relation to where this one is placed.
  8. The Plank that goes against the Keel is called the Garboard Plank. The first 3 Planks coming up from the Garboard Plank (including Garboard) are not Tapered. Garboard Plank Stock can also be a little wider than the rest of the Planks. Like around 7mm
  9. Leave enough room between Planks in the Deadwood for Stealers that are the same width as the Planks. In the case of 5mm Planks, it would be 5mm.
  10. Deadwood – Make sure and take down the thickness of the Deadwood by around ½. This is because the thickness of the Planks and the Veneer is going to make it too thick and it won’t match the thickness of the Rudder. Once the Planks are on, take that down another ½ before applying Veneer.
  11. Tapered Edge always points down towards Keel.
  12. Use ½ Cup Ammonia for approximately 1 cup of boiling hot water for soaking the Planks for bending.
  13. Work down from the Sheer Plank. Work up from the Keel. Meet at the turn of the Bilge. Tapered Edge always points down.
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