Best wood for models?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by stonedpirate, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. stonedpirate
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    stonedpirate Senior Member

    Hello,

    I am trying to make a scale model of my design and am wondering if balsa wood is the way to go?

    What other kinds of materials do model builders use?

    ANd what glue/epoxy/water proofing etc to use?

    Thanks
     
  2. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    Location: finland

    kerosene Senior Member

    check rc-groups or other rc sailing resources. Wealth of information there.

    I would recommend (for round bodied boat)
    -balsa - buy wide and strip it think (check link) its cheaper this way and stripping is easy
    -Use some quick glue (not epoxy as mixing small batches is a pain) some people use Zap/CA/super glue. But semi fast carpenter glues work too. The glued seam is not really structural so no worries.
    -once hull is ready and sanded you put thin (very thin) fibeglass cloth over it and wet it with epoxy. You might want to add another layer of epoxy too to even it out.


    this is my build thread - there are better ones around probably - it has some links too

    http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=749703
     
  3. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    oh and ignore my idea of doing a plug and cold molding from veneers. Screw that - that's the reason why the build thread dies.. Basically build your hull like I built the plug
     
  4. stonedpirate
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    stonedpirate Senior Member

    Thanks Kerosene.

    I am building a 10ft stich and glue hull and am wondering whether doing a 1/3 stitch and glue model is the way to go.

    Would using 1ml ply and epoxy give me similar results to the finished hull?

    It would also give me some practice working with ply and epoxy.

    Also, do they make rc rudder servos strong enough to operate a largish rudder on a 1 meter boat?
     
  5. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kerosene Senior Member

    ah yeah - I have done a small test hull of stitch and glue with aircraft ply. Worked out fine with epoxy. I Used some fine micro balloon filler from model shop to fillet the seams.

    Was very easy. Drilled holes with dremel (less tham 1mm drill) for the stitches before hand and used yarn or fishing line for stitching.

    Gives you an idea but full size boat is a little different and different fillers used etc.
     
  6. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Balsa is not the best wood for models. Its light but requires sharper tools to cut than harder woods. My favorite woods are tupelo, pine and white cedar for solid models. For built up (lift) models, aircraft plywood in 1/32" and 1/16" or thicker is very good.
     
  7. troy2000
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    troy2000 Senior Member

    I don't know what you have available in Australia. Here in the states, a lot of places that sell balsa also sell basswood. It's also called linden here, and lime in England. It's a little stiffer and a lot stronger than balsa.

    I have a 1"=1'-0" model going right now that I'm doing in balsa, and I really wish I had used the basswood instead.

    The best wood I've ever used for model boats is sugar pine, found mostly in the mountains of Oregon and California. Back when I was a contractor and had a wood shop set up, I'd buy a plank and cut it up into scale lumber myself. Unfortunately, it was hit hard by an accidentally-introduced European fungus back in the early 1900's. So it's relatively scarce compared to the other pines (such as ponderosa), and most of it gets used for commercial applications such as foundry patterns. But if you can find a chunk of it where you live, and you have a table saw with a good finish blade to rip your own scale lumber, I think you'd be very happy with it.

    It's also a very nice-smelling wood, by the way. Makes you think of stuff like ice cream and maple syrup when you start cutting it....
     
  8. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Balsa, poplar
     
  9. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    Atlantic white cedar or red cedar works well. It is light easy to work and takes paint and adhesives well. You may have something similar in your location.

    Yes you can get servos plenty strong enough for your rudder, even if the rudder is big as a barn door. If you use a partially balanced rudder you will not need a brutal servo, however. For sail control servos you have the builder of one of the best in the world there in Oz. Check out the RMG servo systems. They're pricey but excellent.
     
  10. stonedpirate
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    stonedpirate Senior Member

    Cheers guys :)
     

  11. jwboatdesigns
    Joined: Apr 2010
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    Location: Hamilton New Zealand

    jwboatdesigns John Welsford

    For quick and dirty concept models, balsa and superglue.
    John Welsford

     
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