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Know anything about how the steel plates were riveted onto Titanic?

Every time I see a photo of the underside of Titanic, I ponder how they bent the plates to fit that area of the ship.and how they lined up all the holes for rivets.and how they ever got the fit so tight that the water was sealed outObviously it was possible, because Olympic (Titantic's sister ship) sailed for 23 years and never had a problemHow on earth did they accomplish that? How do you get 1-inch thick steel to bend that perfectly?


The plates were plotted out by draftsmen on paperThese drawings were then scaled upward and drawn on a large floor in chalkFlat plates would be cut to fit these outlinesSpecially trained craftsmen would use huge oversized hydraulic presses to bend the plates at the right placesIt took a lot of skill to do this rightThe plates were kept from cracking by bending only a little at a time, relaxing it, bending a little more, relaxingHoles for the rivets would be drilled along the edges at predetermined pointsThen the finished plated would be lifted onto a truck and driven out to the shipOnce there a large crane would lift the plate into position from aboveMen would push the plate up against the side of the ship where holes already drilled into the frames would line up with those on the plateIt was all precision work - and done with slide rules, not computers! A red hot rivet - shaped a lot like a mushroom - would be placed through the holes from the inside until it poked through to the outsideSomeone on the inside would lean an iron mallet against the inside of the rivet while men took turns hammering the outside into another mushroom shapeThis action pulled the plate togetherOnce the rivet was flattened it cooled and contracted, pulling the plate together even moreThe edges were then caulkedIt was demanding, back breaking, precision workMy hat's off to them!

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