Upon the Fastenings of the Planking (Plate 6).

162. The fastenings that connect the planking with the frame (45) of the ship are distinguished by treenail and metal; treenail when the fastenings consist chiefly of treenails, and metal when the planking is fastened wholly with copper or iron bolts, screws, or nails.

163. When the planking is treenail fastened, the strakes are either double, double and single, or single fastened; that is, so as to have in each strake, when double, two treenails in every timber; when double and single, to have two in every other timber, and one in the intermediate; and when single, to have only one in each timber (fig. 17).

164. Formerly, large frigates and all upwards were double fastened, and smaller ships double and single from the black strake (108) down. Above, the large ships were double and single, and the smaller ships single; though sometimes, when the timbers were of little scantling, the smallest class of vessels were single fastened only; and the larger class frequently double fastened throughout. As all ships now have thick waterways, shelf, and iron plates, the strakes are single fastened, as the bolts that pass through them become fastenings for the planks, and it is often found that this number of treenails is more than are required, as the timbers of the frame and planking become unnecessarily injured.*

165. The treenails that fasten the exterior planking pass through, and form the principal fastenings of the interior also; but as the exterior and interior planking cannot be placed on the timbers at the same time, the exterior is brought on the first, and the holes for the treenails bored through it and the timbers; but to secure it to the frame till the treenails can be driven through both, there was formerly one bolt placed in every fourth timber in each strake, called hanging or fastening bolts; but now the outside planking is held to the frame by a temporary fastening, consisting of crew eyebolts; these bolts are in length, from a shoulder left just beyond the eye, about their ends about 6½ inches. When the planking is properly placed upon the timbers, or what is technically called set to, or well timbered, the holes are bored through, to a proper size for the screw bolts, at the sections of the treenails, and at such places as is necessary to bring or keep the plank to; and to prevent the shoulder of the bolt making an indent in the plank, an iron plate is put behind it to receive the pressure. When the interior planking is brought on, the holes for the treenails are bored through it, and the screw-bolts are removed as it becomes necessary to drive the treenails. If after the treenails and the whole of the fastenings of the internal works are driven, it is found there is not sufficient security for the planking, then other bolts are added; if to the outside planking, the bolts pass all through from the outside, and are clenched; and if for the inside planking, in the thick strakes, short bolts, called dump bolts, are driven three quarters through the timbers; but if the planking is thin, nails are then used instead of bolts.

166. To fasten the butts, the butts were formerly brought upon the middle of the timber upon which they were placed, and had one treenail and one short bolt in the butt of each plank in the butt timber, and one through-bolt, called the butt end bolt, in the timber next the butt; this bolt has a ring under the head, or what is technically called, was driven upon a ring, and was clenched on the inside; but now the butt is brought, to timbers of small siding, about two inches from one edge of the timber, and has one treenail and the bitt end bolt in the butt timber, in the plank that is furthest on it; and one treenail and the butt end bolt in the timber next the butt, in the plank that is the least upon the butt timber; and in many cases the butt is brought to the middle of the timber and fastened with two bolts in each butt. The hooding-ends forward (fig. 18) have one bolt driven about five inches, and another about ten inches, from the rabbet of the stem. Abaft (Fig. 19), where the planks fan and butt against the rabbet of the post there are two bolts in each butt; and as high up as the acuteness of the body will allow, the bolts pass through, and are fastenings to the planks on both sides. When they came upon the transom and butted against the tuck-rail (plate 8, fig. 20, u), there were sometimes one bolt and one treenail in each, and at other times two bolts in each butt, which is the case now in the after ends that abut against the lower knuckle, as treenails are bad fastenings near the butt.

167. The treenails have both their ends caulked, to form a resistance to separation in the direction of their length. The large treenails are caulked fourways, as ¨o □; the middling, three ways, as Δ and the small twice, as ⊕. In the garboard strake (114), and one or two strakes above, according to the form of the body, the treenails do not pass through, but are driven about three times the thickness of the plank into the timber. In the transoms the holes were bored through, but sometimes the treenails were driven short. This should not be the case; for if the hole is left, there is a receptacle for substances that soon produce decay.

* The number of bolts that necessarily pass through in the wake of the decks, cut the timbers considerably in some parts without the treenails, and it frequently occurs that a bolt and treenail pass close to each other, or that the treenail is cut partly by the bolt.

To plank, from 3 to 6 inches in thickness, the diameter of the bolts is 1 inch, and to all thicknesses above, 1½ inch.

John Fincham: Outline of Ship-Building in Four Parts.
Whittaker and Co., London, 1952. Part II, pp 40-42.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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