Building without plans

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by gonzo, Feb 14, 2015.

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  1. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Presumably quality of boats from Haiti or Dominican Republic is therefore similar to those of Gonzo????. No need to answer me, only it's a rhetorical question.
     
  2. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    I built a Thomas the Tank Engine bed for my first born almost 30 years ago. I did not commit the design to paper as I had plotted out every component in my mind. It was a complicated construction, standing 6' tall, with boiler, cab, wheels, connecting rods, buffers etc. My son would climb on board, snuggle down inside the boiler & sleep soundly.

    The original is no more. I could build it again, but unless I do so, or I leave instructions & drawings, the best fun bed in the world for a young boy will remain only a memory. So it is with boats. Plans transmit knowledge to later generations, in the absence of the boat(s) in question. I suspect the Atkins, father & son, designed many more boats than were subsequently built, but it's possible that one day each Atkin design may yet be constructed.

    The Old Wharf Lumber Yard Skiff is only the latest in a line of vernacular designs that go back ages upon ages. Walter Baron acknowledges that he developed his skiff from the Brockway.

    http://www.oldwharf.com/ow_workskiffs.html

    http://www.soundschool.com/Sound School Publications/brockwayfull.pdf

    http://www.soundschool.com/Sound School Publications/Brockwayfinal.pdf

    It's more than feasible to request an artisan or boatwright to construct a boat for which he has the knowledge, but present him with the plans from a naval architect & you'll be asking him questions above his pay grade. Horses for courses.

    http://www.owenclarkedesign.com/NavalArchitecture
     
  3. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    The area where I was born has had great furniture industry, were hundreds of carpentry building furniture. Nobody had paper planes and they worked wonders. But, there is always a but, the shop boss drew some wonderful sketches, including on the wall, to explain to the other workers, what he wanted them to do. That, in my opinion, are plans, better than we do now.
    The same procedure exactly followed in the shipyards, they were not so numerous in my area but there were a lot.
     
  4. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Tansl,

    For that to work, the men would all have been very skilled craftsmen, who seemed to intrinsically know just how cabinets were constructed. It's a form of selective breeding where over a number of generations, talented sons followed talented fathers into the same business. Sons who weren't up to the standard required were probably encouraged to move elsewhere. What happened when the boss died?

    I live in High Wycombe, which once was a centre for chair making, using the beech woods around us. Wycombe's most famous industry, furniture (particularly chairs) took hold in the 19th century, with furniture factories setting up all over the town. Many terraced workers' houses were built to the east and west of town to accommodate those working in the furniture factories. In 1875, it was estimated that there were 4,700 chairs made per day in High Wycombe. When Queen Victoria visited the town in 1877, the council organised an arch of chairs to be erected over the High Street, with the words "Long live the Queen" printed boldly across the arch for the Queen to pass under.

    The town's population grew from 13,000 residents in 1881 to 29,000 in 1928. Wycombe was completely dominated socially and economically by the furniture industry and, consequently, there was considerable unemployment and social problems when the industry declined in the 1960s. In effect, the boss died.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Wycombe#Trade_and_industrial_development

    It has not improved. Based on the 2001 census and the 2007 Indices of Multiple Deprivation data, High Wycombe has the lowest proportion of people from the white ethnic group in Buckinghamshire, representing 76% of the population. The next biggest ethnic group in High Wycombe is the Asian and Asian British group, representing 16% of the population. The Black/Black British ethnic group was represented by 5% and the Mixed ethnic group by 2% of the population. English is the first language spoken by 66% of school pupils living in High Wycombe. Of the 34% of pupils living in the town whose first language is not English, 19% speak Punjabi and just over 6% Urdu as a first language.
     
  5. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    So, what is the point of building anything without plans ? If the dog ate the plans, it is obviously handy to be able to do it, otherwise it is just like riding a bicycle with no hands, "look at me mum ! " ?
     
  6. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Look At Me Mum. No Teeth:p
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Mr Efficiency; one of the points is that drawing plans sometimes takes as much or longer than building something. For example a dory or pram can be built in 5-6 hours; including paint. Also, many designs are based on proportions and how the wood bends. My post is to contact people that have been working on traditional methods and their experience. If you are only able or inclined to work with plans, that's fine. However, you would not be able to work on a shop where plans don't exist.

    SamSam: I built boats in the Outer Banks for many years. That is where I heard of Willie boats.
     
  8. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I had a friend that would build furniture without plans, and he didn't even use a tape measure. He used what I think he called a story stick or something. He'd go "Well, it's got to be about this long" and mark it on the stick, "about this tall" etc. Locations/dimensions of all pertinant pieces were marked on it eventually and it in effect became a set of plans, as he could use that stick to replicate the original peice.
     
  9. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I remember traveling through there in 82 or so and see a number of boats built similar to the Willie Harris, except they were much wider in the back and I don't remember a flat bow. They were almost an equilateral triangle in shape and looked a little goofy at first, but were real popular for clammers or trap fisherman. I think they called it a "Cape" something or other.
     
  10. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    SamSam.

    My youngest son is a bricklayer. He served his apprenticeship & claims his gauging rod was almost more important than his Marshall trowels. Setting out dry before laying is essential with some of the more esoteric bonds he's used, what with openings for doors & windows that need featherwork & corbelling out. The plans, where available, are just a guide. The customer is not always right.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_10070926_make-gauge-rod.html

    Some things cannot be built. :cool::cool:

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=h...=lwjhVKnfD4XvaOOjgZAF&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&dpr=1.5
     
  11. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Everything depends on whether you want to do something good, new, important or you want to work as they do on the beaches of the Dominican Republic. And everyone is entitled to work as he wants (or can, if not capable of more)
     
  12. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    Yep. Freedom is the willingness to accept the results of one's actions & it always comes with responsibilities. Building boats on the beach in the Dominican Republic sounds very romantic, but if the pay & working conditions are abysmal, then how can a country hope to answer the aspirations of its citizens.
     
  13. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    OK, well I am sure you are right, I definitely would be no hope to build a boat without reference to plans, or templates of some kind. I once met a bloke who claimed his aluminium fishing boat was built, by him, with no plans, I simply did not believe him. Even if he had carefully taken dimensions off an existing boat, which would constitute "plans" to some extent, I might have credited it, but he claimed not to have done so. As Dirty Harry said, a man has to know his limitations, and mine do not allow creating complex shapes from nothing more than "eye". I'm sure the people using the "eye" method still refer to definite measurements, even if they are only stored in their head. :D
     
  14. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    If we describe the word "plan" as any information needed to build something, it is clear that it is impossible to build anything without planes. If what refers Gonzo is a drawing on paper or similar hardware, it is clear that many things (especially those that are similar to those of the Dominican Republic) can be built without these planes.
    Anyway, in the hypothetical case that someone told me he was proud to work without plans, I would not trust him as a professional. In my opinion that would not define a good professional but an incompetent or unconscious.
     

  15. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Flat is not information. Also, your insults at shipwrights in the Dominican Republic are unwarranted. If you can't say anything positive or have relevant examples, stay the hell away.
     
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