View Full Version : Fastening cross planking into chines

Bill Mercer
01-16-2008, 10:30 PM
So--has anybody had any trouble with cross planking splitting when fastening it to the chines of a skiff? I'm getting ready to plank a skiff bottom, and I'm worried that the conical heads of wood screws would make perfect wedges, there at the ends of my planks, to split them. Is this a valid concern? Nails would be significantly cheaper, but of course removal of ring nails is more challenging than pulling screws.

01-16-2008, 10:43 PM
Yes, I have experienced screws splitting wood at the end
So I take this route, pre-drill with countersunk bit.. then don't drive the screws in too tightly... Those bugle head screw holds better than cone headed screws.. http://www.manasquanfasteners.com/decking_screws_bugle302

Paul Scheuer
01-16-2008, 11:14 PM
Ring nails, pre-drilled. Didn't lose any.

Bob Smalser
01-16-2008, 11:20 PM
... removal of ring nails is more challenging than pulling screws.

Bronze nails combined with a Sawzall and a bimetal blade. Prybar the plank edge high enuf to insert the blade, use the saw only on the nails, and it can be done faster than screws with zero damage.

Otherwise I set screws close to the inside edge of the chine, use countersinks that fit, red lead and wax the holes, and seat the last turn by hand.

Bill Mercer
01-17-2008, 02:14 AM
Yeah, I'm kind of inclined towards nails. It is an old-fashioned skiff.

I was thinking I could always center-punch then drill the heads and just pull the planks off, if I had to remove any, but levering them up and slicing the nails is probably better for the cedar.

01-17-2008, 02:32 AM
As far as using a sawzall, fit a standard hacksaw blade, any length you choose (18tpi) into the airsaw set with the teeth to cut on the pull stroke and you have a one handed sawzall that will make very quick work of any nails, with a narrow kerf and the ability to cut flush as well.

Standard hacksaw blades fit most, if not all air saws like this one. The little scrap of aluminum in the picture was a rough out of a wire chase fitting. It was cut out of the side of a section of 1" sched 40 aluminum pipe if that gives an indication of how much one can finesse a cut with one.


Here's the chase fitting after the hole that the scab in the above photo came from. You can do serious surgery with one of these tools. Any boat builder with a compressor should have one. One of the most used tools in my minor arsenal. It was left friction free with some dressing with the die grinder/sandpaper but the saw removed all but 5 minutes of the work.


If you want to cut the nail heads off, get a roto-broach. They are used to cut spot welds for some. All you need is a 1/16th" drill bit or a center punch to make the pilot divot which is much easier to find and stay on center of something such as a nail head. They are very sharp and cut flush so there will be minimal damage to the wood.