Before I go into how to draw a framing diagram, I have to inform you that in order to do any kind of drafting you will need a simple light table. Mine is shown in the picture below. It consists of a wide board with two by fours nailed along the edges. Plexiglass that is strong enough to form a writing surface is secured to the top of the two by fours. Then a simple flourescent shop lamp is put upside-down under the plexiglass. This comes in handy with other parts of model ship building, such as in making tracings for carvings.  

I first noticed that my plans contained a sheer plan that showed the inside of the ship. It included locations of top timbers and floor timbers. (click on the below image to make it bigger and show more detail)

 It should be noted here that these plans presented in this practicum were last revised in the 1980's and that new plans and a series of volumes are coming out within the next few years. These new plans and books will be much more detailed and allow a person, if it is desired, to actually build an exact replica of the ship in full scale down to every hull timber and fastening. The old plans are good enough to build a model from, however.


 Image Courtesy of Statens Maritima Museer and drawn by Eva Marie Stolt.

I was soon to find out that the locations of at least the floors did not line up in any form or fashion with the locations of the top timbers.  Remember the first framing diagram that I showed? This was done on the plan in order to approximate the non-linear correlation between floor and top timbers.

I was also aware, however, that the top timbers are exposed on the real ship since the inside of the upper part of the inside of the rail is not planked over.

When you start drawing your framing diagram, you will need to take this kind of plan, if you have one, and tape it down to your light table. Over the top of the plan you will need to tape down a large piece of paper that is big enough to cover the entirety of the plan.

If you don't have a cut away view of the inside of your ship, just lay down your sheer plan and put a large piece of paper on that.

Then, trace things that are definate details such as the position of the keel, stem, sternpost, vertical positions of decks, and vertical and horizontal reference lines. From your research, or as in my case, from your plan, record or trace in any parts of the framing members that you can. The below picture shows a close up of the forward part of my drawing with reference or station lines, keel, stem, vertical positions of decks, and tenative positions of floor and top timbers drawn in.  


You will also notice that I have a few frames drawn as well. Since the floor timbers and the top timbers didn't correlate in the plan and since the top timbers are exposed on the real ship, I put much more weight on the top timbers and didn't move them at all. Most of the floor timbers that you see drawn in eventually got erased.

Notice that in the above picture and at each frame section, there is a floor timber going from the garboard to the turn of the bilge (the general vertical position of the turn was taken from the cross section drawings that will be shown later on), a first futtock that goes from the garboard to a little above the orlop deck, a second futtock that goes from the head of the floor timber, or runghead, to the level of the upper gundeck ports, and a top timber from the upper gundeck to the rail. This picture was taken for the sole purpose of sending it in to Fred at the museum to see if I was on the right track. It turned out that I was a little off when it came to the top timbers. There should have been more overlap between the second futtocks and the top timbers. So I simply made them longer on their lower end. At any rate, however, I followed what Fred of the Wasa museum had told me.

The above diagram shows the completed framing diagram. Click on it to see a larger view with more detail. Notice that I used the same rules that were explained to me throught and it gave me a simplified, repeating framing pattern. I did send this picture in as well and learned that it could be improved further by redrawing the fashion piece (the last frame at the stern) in a different manner. Fred told me, however, that what I had drawn was a good representation of the framing to use in a model.

Notice there are no cant frames as was Dutch practice of this time period like Fred from the Wasa museum stated. (The Swedes hired Dutch master shipbuilders to oversee the work on the Wasa) The frames also incline slightly toward the middle of the ship, especially at the stern. Notice also that the hull is solid wood due to framing member overlaps from the keel to a little above the turn of the bilge, and again from the lower ends of the top timbers to the underside of the weather deck. The tops and bottom of framing members are also very uneven. Known practices such as these on a ship of the size, period, and nationality that you are building are invaluable facts that you can use to come up with your framing diagram.