Although it could still be argued that for frame raising it would have been useful to have all the design marks and labels on one face, in some cases could the open faces of the floor timbers simply have been the design faces? In Figure 49i the floor timber design faces are the open faces oriented toward the midship frame. With this framing timber placement and arrangement, the design faces of the floor timber and first futtocks do not lie in the same plane. This would not necessarily pose a problem in actual construction. One of the features of Mediterranean moulding is that all the frame shapes are derived from the same transverse shape. Therefore, as long as the surmarks of the first futtocks are positioned along the curves defined by the surmarks of the floor timbers, the separation of the design planes by a single sided dimension would have a minimal impact on the overall fairness of the hull shape. This is particularly true if the tail frames are set fairly far from the ends of the vessel; the bevel angles on all the design frames would be relatively small. One of the benefits of this framing arrangement, in terms of ease of construction, would be the underbeveling of all the frame components. Underbeveling itself would give the shipwrights a margin of flexibility in fairing out the frames. However, it would still be critical to assure that the overlaps of the floors and first futtocks aligned properly at the surmarks. The frame drawing in Lavanha's treatise (Figure 4b) depicts lines on the inboard faces of the frames that were certainly used to transfer the surmark locations from the design face of the floor timber across to the opposite face. Unfortunately, the direction of transfer is not specified along with the mechanism of transfer.
Once the surmark alignment was assured, it would have been imperative to secure and maintain each floor timber and its two futtocks in this orientation when being raised into position as an integral unit or during sequential assembly on the keel. It seems this was accomplished by the use of the hook or dovetail scarfs that distinguish some or all the design frames in the Mediterranean moulding method. Combined with their fastenings, such scarfs would keep the floor timbers and first futtocks from slipping out of alignment. Almost certainly during actual construction temporary beams (cross-spalls) and braces would have also been used to help maintain the shapes and positions of the design frames. It seems that on at least some "Iberian/Atlantic" archaeological hull remains, preassembled frames with dovetail scarfs may represent only the central portion of the frames with predetermined design (see Loewen 1998).
Thus far no consistent correlation has been established between any supplementary marks or scarf features on the adjoining faces of design frames and surmark locations on the open faces of the floor timbers (Figure 49j) (in relation to dovetail mortices, see Barker 2001:221). If the adjoining faces of the floor timbers were widely used as design faces, one would expect such a correlation to be prominent. NEXT
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