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Watertight doors and hatches on RN capital ships - dimensions?


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Hi everybody,

 

I am slowly, very slowly, :tired: teaching myself CAD design with the intention of producing my own printed parts for my Ark Royal build.  As such, I have reached the stage where I want to draw some watertight doors and hatches.  Here is a view of some typical W/T doors but I do not know the dimensions, although I've probably been through them thousands of times and never thought to check! :doh:

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Can anyone please help by providing dimension of these?  I think the actual openings were about 5ft high and 2ft 6in wide (in old money) but could do with some confirmation.  Also, deck hatches; the ones that had a 1 to 2ft high side all around and either a side or top hinged opening.

 

cheers,

Mike

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On page 95 of Alistair Roach's The Life and Ship Models of Norman Ough (purchased only yesterday in sure and certain expectation of your question) is reproduced a sheet of drawings by the great man himself devoted to watertight doors and hatches.  There is a drawing of a door very similar to the one you show (differs only in details) but neither the scale of the original drawing or the scale to which it has been reduced for inclusion in the book are given.  I can only say that, as reproduced, external dimensions are 26.5mm x 13.5mm: that at least gives you the ratio of height to width.

 

There are also drawings of several hatches, mostly variations of one type.  This has 2 reinforcing bars over the hatch cover and 4 screws with butterfly nuts around the edges.  A dimension of 2' 3" x 3'6" is given for the "internal clearance" though it appears to correlate to the external dimensions of the hatchway on the drawing.  In the text Ough says the hatch cover extends "about 2" beyond the coaming all round".  As reproduced the dimensions of the hatch cover are 19.5mm x 13.5mm.

 

If you can get it cheap, I recommend this book not only for its drawings but its detailed explanations of how all the components in a warship are used, including the small stuff like this.  Fascinating insight into the Royal Navy of the mid 20th century if you are a serious anorak.

 

Edited by Seahawk
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Mike, speaking purely from memory I'd say 5' high is too small.  I am 5'10", and though it was safer to stoop a little when running through doors like that, I don't think I had to make myself THAT much smaller!  Sorry not to be more specific.

 

P.S. I have just measured an Atlantic Models brass door of the type in your left-hand drawing, & it's 5.57mm tall by 2.27mm wide (discounting the clips)

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Thanks Crisp,

That would make the opening 6.4ft high by 2.6ft wide.  Add that height to the lower cross-bulkhead section (about 10 inches?) and that would be over 7ft, if my calculations are correct?

 

Mike

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I'm just a bit taller than Crisp and I had to duck very slightly so I doubt the 6 ft 4 in.  I would say the top of the door opening was about 5 ft 11 in/6 ft from the deck and with about 8-10 inches for the dwarf bulkhead at the bottom, I reckon your original estimate of the actual opening being close to 5 ft isn't far short of the mark.

 

But I do also recall that the single action doors that we had in the T22s (your right hand image) seemed slightly larger than the multi-clip doors that were in Leanders and 42s.  Of course with ARK having been laid down towards the end of WW2, would she have had the even earlier design of WT doors which were probably a different size again?  I know I have to duck when going through them onboard BELFAST or CAVALIER.  Sorry, more questions than answers.

 

I'll be interested to see how you get on with the CAD and 3D printing.  I've dropped a very big hint for a printer for Christmas and my son studied engineering at university and is a whizz with CAD so he can teach me how to do that aspect of it.

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Thanks for this real life additional info, every little helps.  I shall have a go at a drawing today and hope to post something later.

 

cheers,

Mike

:poppy:  For veterans everywhere, past and present.  :poppy:

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On 03/11/2020 at 13:54, Seahawk said:

On page 95 of Alistair Roach's The Life and Ship Models of Norman Ough (purchased only yesterday in sure and certain expectation of your question) is reproduced a sheet of drawings by the great man himself devoted to watertight doors and hatches. 

That's interesting Nick.  I cannot afford that book; however, I see that there is a Kindle version on Amazon for only a tenner.  Does anyone know if I can read a Kindle book on a PC?

There appears to be a fair amount of other design details on ship fittings, possibly even machinery, so it might be worth getting if I can view it on my desktop.

 

Thanks for the heads up on this.

Mike

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But I only paid £6.99 for the book!  Remaindered at Trago Mills, Newton Abbot - sorry only the one copy!  I'd scan you the page but don't have access to a scanner at the mo.  It is a mine of information though, eg the procedure of berthing a warship.  The drawings in the General Details chapter cover Anchors & Cables, Warship Funnels, Cowls & Vent Trunks, Decks & Deck Coverings, Davits, The Lower Boom, The Main Derrick, Forebridge & Spotting Top, Anchors  and Watertight Doors & Hatches.  The text is largely commentary on the drawings.  Other chapters cover whole ships and various items of ordnance.  The only down side is that, even in hard copy, some of the drawings are reproduced too small to read the captions. 

 

But, if you can read it on a PC, I don't think you'll be disappointed.  

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Thanks Nick and Dave.  I have just found a hardback copy at Abebooks for £15 plus postage and have ordered it.  It says delivery will be between 17 and 20 November, so I shall have to hang on until then.  I will keep practicing on drawing in 3D in the interim.

cheers,

Mike

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Hi Dave,

 

no, it is the Ark of 1970's being s/b to 1:144 scale.

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I have found some photo's of a tour onboard Belfast and seen a couple of w/t doors there.  As I mentioned earlier, I have the shape but not confirmed dimensions.  If it was an aircraft that didn't have dimensions, I would be pillaried, tarred and feathered and possibly burned at the stake for guessing dimensions!  :analintruder:

 

Mike

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Hi Mike,

 

Have you seen this website - https://www.ajmarine.org.uk/index.php/4/

 

Apparently, their naval standard doors fit bulkhead openings of approx. 5.5', 4.75', & 4.5' in height, & 3', 2.5', & 2' in width.

 

10 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

... I would say the top of the door opening was about 5 ft 11 in/6 ft from the deck and with about 8-10 inches for the dwarf bulkhead at the bottom, I reckon your original estimate of the actual opening being close to 5 ft isn't far short of the mark. ...

 

 I agree with Chewbacca.  A 5.5' door opening would be my guess.  I'm 6'-2" and remember the top of the door opening taking my cap off once or twice.  :doh:

 

John

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Hi John,

 

yes, I am currently referring to that site; however, the photo of the door looks a little modern compared to my memory. I'm sure that the hinges were more robust than that. I have been using the sketch drawing though, but I cannot get it to enlarge and so am having to guesstimate here and there.

 

I have been having a bash at hatch openings and doors and this is what I have achieved so far.

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No dimensions, just having a play to see what can be done.  Only one of the four concave sections done and I need to fill that before copying three more.

 

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That's it for tonight though.

 

cheers,

Mike

 

 

 

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16 hours ago, bootneck said:

Thanks Nick and Dave.  I have just found a hardback copy at Abebooks for £15 plus postage and have ordered it.  It says delivery will be between 17 and 20 November, so I shall have to hang on until then.  I will keep practicing on drawing in 3D in the interim.

cheers,

Mike

You won't regret the investment.  Brilliant book.

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Hello fellow modellers, from Practical Construction of Warships by R.N.Newton published in 1941. The opening dimension is 5 feet 6 inches tall by 2 feet 6 inches wide, corner rads are 9 inches. 

Very comprehensive drawings including clip and hinge details are given from page 112 to 120. 

My copy was ex Birkenhead Central Library withdrawn stock and cost me £10, suspect that given that Ark Royal was laid down in May 43 the 1941 details would almost certainly apply.

Happy modelling

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13 hours ago, Chewbacca said:

You won't regret the investment.  Brilliant book.

That's funny. Somehow a copy of the book fell into my Abe Books shopping basket yesterday as well.

 

As for the doors, I am six foot and always had a fear of cracking my head on the top of the coaming if I went through a door too fast. As a result, as the speed went up, so did the crouching attitude akin to a hurdler.

 

Dave

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49 minutes ago, KORVETTE said:

Hello fellow modellers, from Practical Construction of Warships by R.N.Newton published in 1941. The opening dimension is 5 feet 6 inches tall by 2 feet 6 inches wide, corner rads are 9 inches. 

Very comprehensive drawings including clip and hinge details are given from page 112 to 120. 

My copy was ex Birkenhead Central Library withdrawn stock and cost me £10, suspect that given that Ark Royal was laid down in May 43 the 1941 details would almost certainly apply.

Happy modelling

I have just done a search for that book but can only find later editions, 1966 and 1970.  As you say, the Ark was laid down 1943 and these books might show modified hatches and screen doors.  Thank you for the heads up, I shall keep an eye out for a copy.

cheers,
Mike

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Hello fellow modellers, using Fusion 360 I've made a preliminary full size model of the watertight door using details from aformentioned book. Still need to add fine details such as clips and hinges but from this link you will be able to check some  basic dimensions.

https://a360.co/38wdbDL

 

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Hi Korvette,

that is just the sort of information that I have been looking for.  Thank you very much for posting this.   I am using Fusion 360 and plan to do the same and your details will be of immense help.

 

I notice that you are also a 1:1250 scale ship modeller, I have been building and collecting 1:1200 and 1:1250, mostly merchant, ships for over 40 years.  It's a lovely scale for ships isn't it?

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cheers,

 

Mike

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yes its a great scale, I recently did some "small navies" The Irish Naval Service and the RNZN Protector programme ships, both navies each fit into a Ferror Roche box.

If you need any more information on the doors / Fusion modelling feel free to contact me.

Safe modelling

Gary

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Hi Mike, how about this?    Def Stan 02-127  ftp://ftp.iks-jena.de/pub/mitarb/lutz/standards/dstan/02/127/00000100.pdf  .  If Air requirements are anything to go by, the basics of Human/Machine Interfaces (ie how do we fit the people in) don't change much. 

 

Cheers,

 

Tim 

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