One of the most popular posts I have ever done in all the years that I have been doing this blog has got to be the post about laying teak decking. One of the things that I did not explain in any great detail in that post was how to mark out the “king plank,” the name given to the plank into which the planks on port and starboard converge along the center-line of the bow.
I’m going to tell you that there are lots of ways that the plank can be marked out, each craftsman will often have his or her own way of doing things, and none of them are necessarily incorrect. In the sketch you will see my way for doing things. The depth of the nibbing is one quarter of the width of the plank. If you click on the picture to make it larger you will see that the plank width is shown as 60mm and the depth of the nib is 15mm. I’ve used these dimensions for illustrative purposes only, so whatever the width of the plank is that you may be using in your particular installation you will need to adjust the nibbing depth to suit the plank width.
Without a doubt, the one thing that you should do is to make a template before you start; 1/16th ply is ideal for this. You can get and an idea of what the finished job will look like, and if you don’t like what you see, you can make adjustments now, because when you cut the teak it will be too late.
I don’t like to try and cut the ends of the planks as I am fitting them, they’ll likely get damaged, and because the margins for the caulking seam is so critical I prefer to cut the ends after the teak have been laid. This is another reason for making an accurate template as this can be used to mark out the end of the planking.
On a traditional teak deck where the planks are think and simply screwed to deck beams I would remove the teak to cut the ends, but as we are talking about a thin teak overlay epoxy glued down to a plywood or fiberglass sub deck then I cut these in situ using a sharp dovetail saw and a super sharp chisel which works perfectly.