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Thread: Garboard plank question

  1. #1
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    Default Garboard plank question

    Hi all, I have a question about the garboard plank. Should I use anything behind it where it touches the keel? Bedding compound or anything? I'm happy with the fit, it appears nice and snug/tight, but I still wonder if it is a good idea to place anything between that plank and the keel. The books I have read didn't seem to indicate so, but this is all new to me so thought I'd ask.

    Thanks,
    Dave

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Back when it was legal keels were painted with red lead. No bedding is required just paint the keel.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Back when it was legal keels were painted with red lead. No bedding is required just paint the keel.
    Thick old goopy paint or varnish is favourite, and fix the garboard whilst it is still wet.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

    The power of the web: Anyone can post anything on the web
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Is there a rabbet in the keel for the garboard to land on? Sounds like that's the real question?

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh MacD View Post
    Is there a rabbet in the keel for the garboard to land on? Sounds like that's the real question?
    Yes, here is the plank temporarily clamped in place just to see how it sits. I forget when I took this picture... I think it might not have been planed down to its final thickness in this picture, but I'm not entirely sure.

    garboard_plank.jpg

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Thick old goopy paint or varnish is favourite, and fix the garboard whilst it is still wet.
    There may or may not already be a mixture of red lead + cuprinol + BLO on the keel, but I have plenty of goopy oil-based paint I can slosh in the rabbet before mating it up:

    rabbet.jpg

    BTW, just because I'm anxious about planking.... how long is the planking job relative to frames + floor timbers? I'm sort of planning for planking to take a long time, like 3-4x as long as it took me to bend frames and put in floor timbers, but any ideas on how big a job planking is overall (relative to other steps)?

    Thanks for the help all!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Assuming your boat is 36' or so, you should be able to shape and hang a carvel plank a day I would have thought.

    Do you have a thread on your build yet?

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Herreshoff used thick shellac.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Thanks. This is a Maid of Endor... 20ft. I don't have a thread but I've been thinking about it. Problem is that up to this point, I have been TOTALLY copying off of

    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...ding-the-Maid/

    I'm not sure I've done much of interest except follow Mr. Madison's excellent lead. I did build the rudder and mast and a few other miscellaneous parts which I guess he did not. Thing is that now I'm almost at the point where I'm ready to pass up his progress so it might be of interest to start a thread especially for my sake since I can no longer just read through what he did for each step. Another problem is that I'm not nearly as charismatic and interesting a writer as Mr. Madison, but I may. Right now I just have a Pinterest page I've been tracking pictures:

    https://www.pinterest.com/davesolt/maid-of-endor/

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    As Jay pointed out, shellac had been a standby for (literally) millenia. check out:
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-boat-building
    http://www.shellacshack.com/2008/03/...shellac-a.html
    And if you have back issues of Wooden Boat, check out Feb 2008's article on Shellac.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Cool! Where are you located?

    It would certainly not be a bad idea to bed the garboard in some dolphinite or similar, but thick paint will work as well. Many boats have nothing at all.

    Planking is a big job. Before I got thoroughly distracted I think I was getting about 1 plank/week working evenings. It will probably go slow at first and then pick up pace as you go.

    I wouldn't be surprised at all if planking took a year. I also wouldn't be surprised if it took half that depending on your amount of free time.

    Keep us posted!

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Seems like you couldnt go wrong Pickeling the joint between the frames and the keel, and all the contact surfaces around the garbard with some sort of anti-fungal solution. Then painting with shellac or oil base after it dries. I would think you will want maximum protection in this area, for longevity. I recently found a copper based antifungal treatment in Home Depot. Very surprised to find it, but snapped it up and used it on some timbers.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mfdgs View Post
    There may or may not already be a mixture of red lead + cuprinol + BLO on the keel, but I have plenty of goopy oil-based paint I can slosh in the rabbet before mating it up:

    rabbet.jpg

    BTW, just because I'm anxious about planking.... how long is the planking job relative to frames + floor timbers? I'm sort of planning for planking to take a long time, like 3-4x as long as it took me to bend frames and put in floor timbers, but any ideas on how big a job planking is overall (relative to other steps)?

    Thanks for the help all!
    Planking is very tedious even on small boats. I have a little experience in spiling but I probably forgot more than I learned.
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Cool! Where are you located?
    I'm in Frisco, TX (North Dallas area). One issue around here is getting access to appropriate lumber. I had my keel beam shipped from AK. Our trees here are like 15' high, so pretty much nothing is going to be local, though I did get some local Bodark I used on the stem. I got an amazing collection of Cyprus boards (also shipped in from AK) I am planing to use for planking. My understanding is that Cyprus is a bit heavier and soaks up water more than the traditional Eastern White Cedar, but I also understand that Cyprus has been used for boat building for millennia. The Cyprus I got is clear as can be and wide. As you know, plans call for a fair amount of Sitka Spruce. I can get Douglas Fir here. Not sure if I should bite the bullet and have a large order shipped here (I might be able to convince a local lumber yard to do that, but they normally want very large orders) or if I should just use Douglas Fir for deck beams, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by J.Madison View Post
    Planking is a big job.
    Ok, that's good to know just to emotionally plan for what lies ahead. Everyone probably has some assets and some detriments to boat building... things like finances to support the build, time availability, experience, skills, space, help available, health (I'm assuming here that raw determination is not an asset, but a requirement). I don't have a lot of time, but I do have consistent time. I have my 3 young children with me 50% of the time, so no boat work gets done those days. The other 50% of the time I have some non-work obligations, but I can consistently average about 3 full days (10+ hours) + 6 weeknights (5 hours each) of work a month, so lets say about 60 hours a month.

    I think my biggest issue is location... while the Maid of Endor is not huge, using 2 bays of a 3 car garage in an HOA subdivision in the suburbs is pushing the limits. Things are really crowded in the garage and it is sometimes a bit challenging to work. I already know I can't put the cabin top on until after I get it out of the garage. Cutting up a 1600# lead keel in the driveway and then melting it down for my own keel while praying, "Please don't let me get reported to the HOA" is also a bit nerve wracking.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Looks great! That's about all I have to offer. But if you started a thread I could post that picture of the young lady and her friends drinking beer. On planking, I hope you have a good collection of big clamps and don't mind too much if a few get twisted out of shape. Out here in Oz spruce is rare, doug fir is frequently used as a substitute.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Looks great! That's about all I have to offer. But if you started a thread I could post that picture of the young lady and her friends drinking beer. On planking, I hope you have a good collection of big clamps and don't mind too much if a few get twisted out of shape. Out here in Oz spruce is rare, doug fir is frequently used as a substitute.
    Lol, I do seem to remember studying that picture a little more carefully than even those beautiful boat pictures. It sure would attract some attetion. I may have to start a thread... I've been lurking in the shadows too long. There are such top quality youtube series these days like Talyho and Arabella and Louie and many others, but I guess building a small boat that still has all the elements of large boat construction in a garage in the suburbs in Texas has its own unique challenges that someone might find helpful or interesting. And God knows I need the help.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    mfdgs ,

    Have you worked out the number of planks you will be using and laid them out on the stem, transom and center of the boat?

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    If you aren't familiar with Doug fir, be aware that there's Doug fir and there's Doug fir, as the saying goes. If it is grown "naturally," which some call "old growth," but the age is of little consequence, except that after the timber industry started farming trees, they planted them and nurtured them so they wouldn't have to compete in the forest with other trees and so they grew very quickly. This makes for wide rings with a lot of soft wood between the hard grain. "Ring count" is an important factor in the strength and utility of Doug fir for boatbuilding.

    You want this for boatbuilding:



    This is for house building:



    Both are Douglas fir.

    Here's a thread from Sawmill Creek woodworker's forum by Bob Smalser, a fellow who knows about forestry, logging, milling, and using Douglas Fir. (Bob also knows a lot about boat building and was once one of the assets of this forum, but was "run off" by somebody who ticked him off for reasons lost in the mists of time.)

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by mfdgs View Post

    I think my biggest issue is location... while the Maid of Endor is not huge, using 2 bays of a 3 car garage in an HOA subdivision in the suburbs is pushing the limits. Things are really crowded in the garage and it is sometimes a bit challenging to work. I already know I can't put the cabin top on until after I get it out of the garage. Cutting up a 1600# lead keel in the driveway and then melting it down for my own keel while praying, "Please don't let me get reported to the HOA" is also a bit nerve wracking.
    The closeness is going to make you struggle a bit in terms of lining planks off and other items that require line of sight. Unfortunately I don't have a solution for you either.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Cleek View Post
    I
    Here's a thread from Sawmill Creek woodworker's forum by Bob Smalser, a fellow who knows about forestry, logging, milling, and using Douglas Fir. (Bob also knows a lot about boat building and was once one of the assets of this forum, but was "run off" by somebody who ticked him off for reasons lost in the mists of time.)
    Thanks Bob. I didn't see the link, but your information is very helpful. Here is a piece I acquired locally. I did use it on my rudder and hopefully its not too bad for that, but in general it seems to be more the rapid growth type than slow growth?

    fir_goodend.jpgfir_all.jpg

    One one end there seems to be maybe 15 growth rings per inch and on the other end it drops to about 10. Not as bad as your "house construction" example, but also not anywhere close to your "boat-worthy" example.

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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by navydog View Post
    Have you worked out the number of planks you will be using and laid them out on the stem, transom and center of the boat?
    The plans call for 16 planks per side and with insufficient knowledge to even know why or how to deviate from that I was planning to stick with it. I did do a measurement of the length of each rib (frame?) using a flexible batten (so that I have the full length as if the rib were laying flat), so I have some idea that the planks will need to be wider at some places than others. Also not all planks touch all frames, so I guess I really need to figure out how many planks will touch a given frame before deciding the width of the plank on that frame? I know that in the center of the boat (frame 7 for example), the planks will average 4 3/8" in width. Is the overall strategy to try to use slightly wider planks where there is very little curve (for me that would be the garboard plank and possibly the one or two above it and again those near the sheer plank) and thinner planks where you know there is lots of curvature vertically? Or do you just divide the whole length up evenly between the planks that will hit that frame (for example all planks are 4 3/8" thick at station 7)? I haven't exactly laid out every single plank yet. In fact, I was thinking about laying maybe the bottom 3 planks first, keeping the aft portion of each plank quite wide since that area of the boat is relatively flat and also has the most surface area to cover. Then after those were laid I was going to see where things stood and come up with a plan for how to divide everything up from that point. Feel free to tell me I'm crazy though... I will certainly reconsider. I'm also not sure about the overall strategy of planking from the bottom up and top down and having a "shutter plank". It really seems easier to plank the whole thing bottom to top. I am also still stuck on screws vs copper nails/roves. I know Herreshoff swore by screws but these 7/8" frames are so thin that I feel like nails/roves (i.e. rivets?) would be best for maintaining the integrity of such a thin frame.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    That's a big subject, it's as much an art as it is a science.

    I haven't watched this, it's time for bed, but it may help.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by mfdgs View Post
    The plans call for 16 planks per side and with insufficient knowledge to even know why or how to deviate from that I was planning to stick with it. I did do a measurement of the length of each rib (frame?) using a flexible batten (so that I have the full length as if the rib were laying flat), so I have some idea that the planks will need to be wider at some places than others. Also not all planks touch all frames, so I guess I really need to figure out how many planks will touch a given frame before deciding the width of the plank on that frame? I know that in the center of the boat (frame 7 for example), the planks will average 4 3/8" in width. Is the overall strategy to try to use slightly wider planks where there is very little curve (for me that would be the garboard plank and possibly the one or two above it and again those near the sheer plank) and thinner planks where you know there is lots of curvature vertically? Or do you just divide the whole length up evenly between the planks that will hit that frame (for example all planks are 4 3/8" thick at station 7)? I haven't exactly laid out every single plank yet. In fact, I was thinking about laying maybe the bottom 3 planks first, keeping the aft portion of each plank quite wide since that area of the boat is relatively flat and also has the most surface area to cover. Then after those were laid I was going to see where things stood and come up with a plan for how to divide everything up from that point. Feel free to tell me I'm crazy though... I will certainly reconsider. I'm also not sure about the overall strategy of planking from the bottom up and top down and having a "shutter plank". It really seems easier to plank the whole thing bottom to top. I am also still stuck on screws vs copper nails/roves. I know Herreshoff swore by screws but these 7/8" frames are so thin that I feel like nails/roves (i.e. rivets?) would be best for maintaining the integrity of such a thin frame.
    Hi!
    You should to read Larry Pardeys Details of classic boat construction the hull, or similar !
    I read it many times, only way to me, first timer, understand how to line the planking.
    You have to divide planking to three,keel to "deepest valley" of frames, from there to "top of mountains" and there to up, on my english language. You cant go over "the valley" with one plank, it just dont twist!
    Example my boat;
    http://www.freewebs.com/maryii/apps/...otoid=26582662
    Top of clamp handle is 4th planks upper edge, it runs on "valley" all the way, first plank aft is about 8" and goes to nothing middle of the boat.
    Planking time; maybe it takes you less than a year.
    Picture text in English; Work of august- up to clamp handle, totally 11 planks, that is more than half.
    That means than I made seven planks on one month, full time job.
    The first four was very time consuming because all was new, never done and they need backing.
    You have done well job! Keep posting!
    Matti

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    You've likely already looked it over, but post #63 in the Hvalsoe 13 thread shows a nice pictorial representation of the shapes planks can take as they transition from garboard to sheer. I can't recall exactly but I believe it was Yeadon in his Hvalsoe 18 build thread who showed a way to use battens to line off planks, tweaking here or there to get the desired shape before committing to planking. I'd read about this technique previously but seeing it so nicely represented visually made it "click" for me. Good luck!

    Edit to add: I had a search - on Yeadon's thread, Rich Jones shows a picture of lining off his Hvalsoe 13 (#168, page 5) and Yeadon starts lining off in #193 on page 6.
    Last edited by schoonerjay; 02-07-2018 at 10:46 AM.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by mfdgs View Post
    The plans call for 16 planks per side and with insufficient knowledge to even know why or how to deviate from that I was planning to stick with it.
    If the plan calls for 16 use that number.




    I did do a measurement of the length of each rib (frame?) using a flexible batten (so that I have the full length as if the rib were laying flat), so I have some idea that the planks will need to be wider at some places than others.
    Planks are wider in the center of the boat then they are at the stem and transom. The same number of planks must cover a grater linear distance. If you measure the vertical distance of the stem and divide it by 16 it will give you a starting point on how wide each plank must be at the stem. It isn't a fixed thing because as you mention the sheer strake and other flatter areas can and need wider planks.

    Lining them off now will help prevent extremes both to wide and to narrow. Each plank needs to run fair to look right. It's a common problem to make the forward plank ends approaching the stem to wide. Eventually it creates a hump or arc in the planking.


    Also not all planks touch all frames, so I guess I really need to figure out how many planks will touch a given frame before deciding the width of the plank on that frame?
    Why is this? I never have seen a boat constructed in a manner that only some frames contacted the planking. What do they do if they don't touch? It sounds like the molds were not faired or the battens were not stiff enough.


    I know that in the center of the boat (frame 7 for example), the planks will average 4 3/8" in width. Is the overall strategy to try to use slightly wider planks where there is very little curve (for me that would be the garboard plank and possibly the one or two above it and again those near the sheer plank) and thinner planks where you know there is lots of curvature vertically? Or do you just divide the whole length up evenly between the planks that will hit that frame (for example all planks are 4 3/8" thick at station 7)? I haven't exactly laid out every single plank yet.

    Narrow planks are required on the tighter radius to maintain the thickness of the planks. You should use thicker stock in these areas if you can.


    In fact, I was thinking about laying maybe the bottom 3 planks first, keeping the aft portion of each plank quite wide since that area of the boat is relatively flat and also has the most surface area to cover. Then after those were laid I was going to see where things stood and come up with a plan for how to divide everything up from that point. Feel free to tell me I'm crazy though... I will certainly reconsider. I'm also not sure about the overall strategy of planking from the bottom up and top down and having a "shutter plank". It really seems easier to plank the whole thing bottom to top.

    Installing the sheer plank helps maintain the desired (planned) shape of the boat. Additionally it allows you to hit the sheer exactly where it belongs. If you wait and plank from the bottom up you might not leave enough room to lay it out correctly.

    I am also still stuck on screws vs copper nails/roves. I know Herreshoff swore by screws but these 7/8" frames are so thin that I feel like nails/roves (i.e. rivets?) would be best for maintaining the integrity of such a thin frame.

    One inch frames are a little on the light side and will require that you drill your countersinks to the proper depth and not go to deep. Rivets would be stronger but take at least 4 times longer to use because of setting the rove and peening the shank heads. It's a lot easier with 2 people as well.


    See above.
    Last edited by navydog; 02-07-2018 at 01:56 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Sorry, when I said, "Also not all planks touch all frames, so I guess I really need to figure out how many planks will touch a given frame before deciding the width of the plank on that frame?", I should have said that not all planks cross all frames (for example):

    aplank.jpg

    Not all planks cross frame 1 for example in this case the garboard is not crossing frame 1. I guess if you had a very plumb stem, then perhaps that wouldn't be the case. So I am just thinking that I have to get some idea of how the planks will even lay. As I think about it, I think bud MacIntosh's description is starting to make sense to me. I think he says to find the lowest spot that will cross "all" of the frames (maybe ignore frame 0 since that one is really tiny) and lay out a temporary plank (ribband?) there so you can more easily cut up the section above and below that line. I think based on what you said and the videos others have pointed me at, that it is starting to come together in my head. My stock is a little over an inch thick and plans call for 5/8" planking, so I should have some room to go thick on those tighter radius areas. What you said about the sheer does make a lot of sense. I can envision what you mean about getting to the top and realizing you are already out of space at the stem or transom and still have a bit of room to cover in the middle. If your going to have some ugly planks, you don't want them to be the sheer plank or those close to it and by setting that early you can see it coming and make sure you don't run yourself out of room somewhere? Thanks, I find this all very helpful.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Oh my bad, I didn't understand what you meant about the frames. Basically you want the plank to end on one side or the other of the frames. Other than that as long as everything is fair the frames shouldn't be an issue.

    However; use a stiff batten across the lower part of the frames to check their fairness. The batten should lay across them and be in contact without gaps or frames that are out of line. You can check the run into the rabbit with a board scrap oriented the same as a plank will come into it.
    Occasionally you might need to flatten out the back of the rabbet the width of the plank, so the plank can rest against the stem 100%. Remember to measure the stem and transom 90* to the plank edges and not on the angled run of the stem.
    Last edited by navydog; 02-07-2018 at 02:23 PM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Don't make your garboard as wide aft as I did. It was quite difficult to install, and I overshot the ideal amount. The principle is solid, but I went too far.

    Run a batten more or less along the apex of the tuck, and another around the turn of the bilge. Try to keep the battens more or less the same distance apart at the ends. These will be two plank lines, flush out between them and to the rabbet and sheer and you are done. You want to limit the max width to about 5 inches and the minimum width to maybe 2.5 inches.

    Say you decided on 8 topside planks from the turn of the bilge to the shear. Divide the area between the batten and the shear into 8 even plank widths at each hood end and amidships. This will give you an idea if you are within the max/min width range. Then it is simple to divide each station into even increments for each plank mark. The lines struck through all these marks will be fair.

    You're fir looks fine. More than 7-10 rings per inch is nice stuff. Unless it was grown east of the coast range, or on Mt St Helens, or is actually Hemlock, or..... These are the joys of fir.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Before you go too much further I suggest you get your hands on two books; Pardey's "Classic Boat Construction" and McIntosh's "How to Build a Wooden Boat". This will give you two well written and illustrated ways of planking from two very different perspectives. Pardey is very mathematical, McIntosh a bit more free-wheeling.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Garboard plank question

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    Before you go too much further I suggest you get your hands on two books; Pardey's "Classic Boat Construction" and McIntosh's "How to Build a Wooden Boat". This will give you two well written and illustrated ways of planking from two very different perspectives. Pardey is very mathematical, McIntosh a bit more free-wheeling.
    I have (and have read) McIntosh's book. Pardey's I have not, though I was aware of its existence. I will add it to my library. Being a computer scientist I do tend to take comfort in the structured, mathematical approach .

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