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Friday, March 27, 2015

Scarf Joints for Model Ship Builders

Technique for Joining Timbers Important in Shipbuilding

Scarf Joints Create Ship-length Timbers from Shorter Lengths

An Important Technique for Ship Model Builders, Too

ship building techniques, scarf, joint, scarph
In building full-size wooden ships, it is impossible to get wood timbers long enough to make some of the structural members.
In these cases, several pieces are joined together lengthwise by "scarfing": tapering the ends, lapping them and then fastening the two together.

An illustration from Charles G. Davis's The Building of a Wooden Ship shows the details of creating different types of scarf joints, which are useful to the model shipbuilder as well.

Often, the model shipbuilder must join several pieces of wood around a curve to make sure the wood grain is aligned to its strongest direction at each point of the piece.

Some examples of this include the stem, which curves through the gripe to join the keel; log rails that curve around the bow or stern, or transom pieces with complex curves.

Scarf joints are the strongest way to join these different pieces to ensure a joint that will not fail.

Our page Scarf Joints gives Davis's rules of thumb for creating strong scarph joints. TMS_ad_wooden_ship

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