About protecting ships, it looks applicable to any situation where a broken big thing has to survive a huge amount of force – like making a building safe after an earthquake, maybe.
The chapter I came across first was Shoring, which includes a treasure trove of information: where to distribute forces, how to distribute forces, what materials to use and which joints to use between the various repair members to transmit force.
And there is plenty of don’t-do-it-this-way.
Wisdom is of the we-tried-it-and-it-went-wrong-this-way kind – for example “While hardwood wedges … …. have a bad tendency to become loose and must be watched carefully,” from section 36-3.
BTW, the correct answer to is softwood wedges – Douglas fir or yellow pine are best – cut with a coarse saw and left rough.
Another gem that has been kindly put on-line – Thanks Navel Historic Ships Association.
Now, where can I buy small plastic folding wedges….
*which now appear to be calls interlocking wedges.