Help support TMP


"How many oak trees to make a ship?" Topic


6 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Remember that you can Stifle members so that you don't have to read their posts.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the Age of Sail Message Board


Areas of Interest

Renaissance
18th Century
Napoleonic
19th Century

Featured Hobby News Article


Featured Link


Top-Rated Ruleset

One-Hour Skirmish Wargames


Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 


Featured Showcase Article

The Amazing Worlds of Grenadier

The fascinating history of one of the hobby's major manufacturers.


Featured Workbench Article

Homemade Palm Trees

Dervel Fezian returns from Mexico with a new vision for making palm trees from scratch.


Featured Profile Article

15mm Battlefield in a Box: Bridges

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian finds bridges to match the river sets.


Current Poll


Featured Book Review


10,994 hits since 6 Sep 2008
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Patrice Vittesse Fezian06 Sep 2008 4:29 a.m. PST

I know this is a pretty vague question, but i think its a pretty hard question.
How many oak trees would it take to make a ship? (presuming ships were made principally of oak?)
If we presume a "Ship" to mean a typical 74 ship of the line…

Repiqueone06 Sep 2008 5:03 a.m. PST

The Victory took 6000 Oaks. USS Constitution took 2000. So 3000-4000 for a 74 would seem likely.

Dan Cyr06 Sep 2008 7:40 a.m. PST

Somewhere I've read actually listed out the acres needed to build various sized ships (and they were huge, like 20-70 acres a ship). Sorry I cannot recall the name of it.

Dan

NorthWealdPilot06 Sep 2008 11:29 a.m. PST

A large warship would have required about 2,000 oak trees for its construction. The Royal George, a 100-gun ship, launched in 1756, used 2,309 loads (a load being 50 cubic feet) of straight oak and 2,306 loads of compass oak (curved grain). But this was not the whole story.

In his book "The London Hanged", historian Peter Linebaugh cites the jealously-guarded perks allowed to Royal Dockyard workers in the 18th century, which were called "chips". These were pieces of waste wood no more than 3 feet long, which the workers were allowed to remove for their own use.

They were partly used as firewood, but, as Samuel Bentham discovered in 1795 while lodging in Portsmouth, the wood was also used for building staircases, doors, cupboards and furniture in their houses. Some bundles were also sold as a way of supplementing very low wages.

Yeoman Lott also conducted research into wastage involved in taking chips between 1768 and 1770. He found that for a third rate ship of 74 guns, the ratio of waste wood to that actually used to build the ship should have been 4:11. I n actual fact, 60 percent of the timber ordered found its way back outside the dockyard as chips rather than being incorporated into one of His Majesty's warships!

Nails, brass, rope and sailcloth also disappeared in large quantities…

Personal logo Nashville Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2008 6:27 p.m. PST

thus the term: "chip off the old block."

pigbear07 Sep 2008 4:41 a.m. PST

Wouldn't that be 25 percent?

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.