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Model Ship | Replica Scale Ship Model Builders | Wooden Sailing Ship Models

There are good reasons wood for ship models and model boat building is the number one material of choice. Here are a select few:. Wood for ship models is, in my mind, a clear choice - especially for beginners. There are many species to choose from and they span a model wood ship building range in terms of properties and suitability for any given application or construction method.

The purpose of this page is to give you an idea of popular wood species used for ship models and for which purpose they are best suited. Balsa is sometimes scuffed at by experienced builders as mosel wood for ship models you should eventually "graduate". I tend to disagree. I still use it quite a lot. Balsa is a great place to start if you have never built wood ship models before, regardless of building methods. It carves and bends easily and is inexpensive compared to most other hobby materials.

Balsa creates a light and fine dust when sanded that I don't particularly like. It also has a "grain fuzz" that remain after being sanded and requires extra attention in the sanding and sealing process.

The most common method is the tissue and dope process, although sealing with fiberglass and epoxy is steadily gaining. When using Balsa wood for ship models, you can get by with a minimal tool arsenal. An X-acto knife or single edged razor builsing and some sand paper will get you far.

Next, I'd recommend moddl small model plane one of those that takes a razor blade. Even a Dremel tool is often overkill. The biggest issue wood balsa for wood ship models is that if improperly sealed it will absorb large amounts of water. If that happens it is likely to start rotting and deteriorate from inside. Basswood model wood ship building very popular amongst wood carvers and is one of the classic wood ship modrl used for bread-and-butter museum models.

It has a very fine grain texture which makes finishing relatively easy. Basswood can be bought in the US in craft and hobby stores or on-line in the form of sticks, sheets and blocks. Among model wood ship building plank-on-frame ship model builders it is not seen as a very sophisticated material. Maybe due to it's limited strength and relatively poor bending properties.

I find it pleasant to work with and is a natural next step after balsa. It can be worked with hand tools relatively easily. Lite-ply, as the name implies, is a plywood that is a light weight poplar plywood.

It looks a lot like the bending plywood you may be familiar with if you're a woodworker. It feels a lot lighter than Baltic birch plywood, but not quite as light as Basswood. It also cuts easily - a fresh blade in a utility knife does the trick. While it certainly scores points against Baltic birch plywood as a wood model ships in handling and weight, it looses in mechanical strength. Nevertheless, as with basswood, it is a good alternative if you feel you're 'passed' balsa.

It's biggest downfall is that buildinh rarely comes flat. Poplar is probably the least expensive, readily available hardwood in the USA. I suspect that is true for any place in the world where it grows domestically. This is a good choice for bread-and-butter hulls. It can be bought in FAS grade at most home improvement stores at a very reasonable cost.

It is relatively easy to work, as long as you keep your tools sharp. It is relatively light for a hardwood. One word of caution: the dust may cause allergies in some individuals. Alder is my personal favorite for carving a bread-and-butter hull. It has model wood ship building shio popularity lately, and prices has been steadily increasing.

It looks a lot better than poplar and is easier to work in my opinion. Pine construction lumber is an economical alternative for solid hulls and bread-and-butter model boats. The two biggest issues are yield and stability. Price per board-foot may be less than Poplar, but chances Wooden Model Ship Building Tutorial Web are you have to scrap a lot of wood due to knots, checks, twist and cracks. Construction grade pine is also not vuilding well seasoned as most hardwoods, resulting in boards warping and checking.

I've used pine for bread-and-butter hulls, but in retrospect I think I would have saved money by using Poplar due to poor yield. Spruce is another of my favorite woods. I use it for model wood ship building and spars. It is strong, stiff model wood ship building light weight. It turns nicely on a lathe. Spruce doesn't bend easily so I wouldn't recommend it for hull planking. Baltic birch plywood sometimes Russian birch plywood is close grain, light in color, very strong and relatively inexpensive.

Locally you can find it model wood ship building the hobby and craft stores in smaller pieces 12 by 36 inches max usually. You'll get considerably buildiny for your money if you venture to the local model wood ship building improvement store or lumber yard.

There the sheets usually come wopd five-by-five foot sheets, or sometimes in four-by-eight sheets. Some places are equipped and willing to cut the sheets into smaller pieces for model wood ship building. Typically one or two cuts are 'free'.

Any additional cut is very reasonably priced. Note that plywood comes in different grades depending on quality model wood ship building finish. Best balance model wood ship building quality and price in my opinion is "BB" quality. In this grade some tight knots, mineral streaks and patches in the face veneer are allowed. Both faces are sanded to a nice smooth finish.

I mainly use Baltic birch plywood for inner structure components of the hull and sometimes in the superstructure - components like bulkheads, false keels, decks to be strip planked or painted.

It is also used where extra support is needed, such as motor mounts, servo bridges and rudders. The thinner sizes can also be used favorably for hull planking, model wood ship building for hard chine hulls. Watch the weight. Maple lumber is light in color, with close grain, and is relatively hard.

It finishes nice and holds sharp edges. It is suitable for deck and hull planking and for general details. For instance, it makes beautiful blocks for historic sailing ship model rigging. Mosel is generally too hard and heavy for bread-and-butter hulls. I could Building Wood Ship Models see maple used by experienced builders making small solid hulls and water-line models.

Another wood for ship models Model wood ship building enjoy working with is Cherry. It is close grained, medium reddish brown to almost pink in hue. Carves and turns. Smells fantastic when cut and milled. The color will darken with age as the wood oxidizes and leaves an amazing patina if you give it time. Model wood ship building downsides: it's pricey, have pitch pockets, have a distinct light colored sapwood not nearly as attractive as the darker heartwood.

Still, cherry is well suited wood ship models for frames, keels and planking for plank-on-frame models as well as various details, deck furniture, gunwales, hatches, figure heads.

Walnut is another favorite of. It is one of the most beautiful domestic wood species. It is dark chocolate brown and model wood ship building, turns and bends like a dream. It is open grain, so it needs to be sealed well compared to maple and cherry for example.

The downside is that because of it's favorable properties, it is very desirable for interiors and furniture. High demand makes the price go up. Just like cherry, it can be used for frames, keels and planking for plank-on-frame models as well as various details, deck furniture, model wood ship building, hatches, figure heads.

One area where walnut stands out is in bending, which makes it superior for hull planking. As always, make sure the grain is straight on the planks or else they'll split and crack. Oak is by far the most common wood used for full size ships and boats through the ages. For models it is modek limited use. It's grain is very coarse and it is difficult to work.

It's best use is in large scale boats where the coarse texture is less buildiny. Many experienced woodworkers like it and default to it when they try their hands on model boats for the first time. If you like it and have experience with it, by all means - go for it. Where it does excel is in bending, so for plank-on-bulkhead model ,odel it has its place.

I saw an impressive tug boat planked with oak and painted. It looked great.

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