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General / organisation of wood

wood supplier material

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41 replies to this topic

#1
merchen

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Hi there,

 

I went through the topics of the board and saw that there are general issues in getting the right wood for building your ship model. My recommendation is to go to your local carpenter and see what kind of wood he is using in his daily work and which comes from the area you life. You can spend a lot of money in ordering wood via a retailer and get a glossy and nicely wrapped material. I believe that the beauty lie's in a non perfect wood.

 

All of the woods I use are mainly out of the area where I live: Swiss pear, cubed pear, walnut, plum, boxwood (mainly from old graveyards) and many more. On the pictures which are attached you can see three different kinds of wood: Swiss pear, boxwood (approx. 450 years old) and Argentina Lapacho which I got from a turist who visited my Museum (e.g. the Lion is made from this wood).

 

What are your suggestions?

 

Best regards,

Ivan

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#2
grsjax

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nice work.  In many areas pear and fruit woods in general are hard to come by.  However I have found that many woods that a woodworker would reject can be great for model building.  I read an article years ago by a gentleman that regularly visits the green waste facility at his local trash dump.  He wrote that he finds many pieces of wood that work very well but are not in general use.  Pyracantha was one he mentioned and star fruit was another.  Star fruit is a tropical species so I assume he was down in south Florida or some other warm place.  The point of his article is to not rely on the conventional wisdom and experiment with what ever you can find.  From personal experiance I can say that gardenia and dogwood are both good sources for hard, close grained wood.  Neither gets very big but you don't usually need large pieces for model building.


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My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.


#3
merchen

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Following my last post attached some pictures of the wood I will use for my next project. My experience regarding the box tree is that there exist only a white and a black box tree (colored bark). Sometimes they sell lemon tree or wild orange tree as box tree. In the attached pictures you can see the box tree which I will use. The pictures of the woods have been made here locally at the Lake Constance. If someone have specific questions he can contact me directly.

Best regards. Ivan

 

Box tree 160 years old.JPG

Box tree which is over 160 years old
 
Box tree 2.JPG
Part of the Box tree
 
Box tree black.JPG
A black Box tree
 
Box tree white.JPG
A white Box tree
 
Box tree prepared.JPG
Prepared Box tree
 
Box tree prepared 2.JPG
Prepared Box tree

 

 

Box tree prepared 3.JPG

Prepared Box tree

 

 

Box tree prepared 4.JPG

Prepared Box tree
 

Box tree.JPG

Prepared Box tree

 

 
Box tree and Elder.JPG

Prepared Box tree and Elder

 

Elder.JPG

Elder

 

Hawthorn 1.JPG

Prepared Hawthorn

 

Hawthorn 2.JPG

Prepared Hawthorn

 

Hawthorn 3.JPG

Prepared Hawthorn

 

Box tree white.JPG

White Box tree

 

Hawthorn bark.JPG

Hawthorn bark

 

Red beech.JPG

Red beech

 

Swiss pear.JPG

Swiss pear
 

Plan 1.JPG

Original plan as basis for the model ship 

 

Plan 2.JPG

Original plan as basis for the model ship 

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Edited by merchen, 22 August 2015 - 09:03 AM.

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#4
daves

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  The point of his article is to not rely on the conventional wisdom and experiment with what ever you can find.  From personal experiance I can say that gardenia and dogwood are both good sources for hard, close grained wood.  Neither gets very big but you don't usually need large pieces for model building.

 

this is a growing trend in model building which is to look around in your area for usable wood. What set this into motion is the fact wood importers and dealers keep jacking up the price, it is the supply in demand thing, oh ship model builders want south american boxwood and steamed pearwood great! a market and they will pay an arm and leg for it. Question is why? there are 10,000 other types of wood to use.

 

You will be surprised at what you will find. i saw a carving at a local woodworkers club meeting and the wood used was really nice and i thought wow that would make a good wood for model building, could not identify it so i asked, what a surprise it was Syringa (olive family of wood) common is the Lilac which grown everywhere.


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#5
merchen

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Ich bin etwas enttäuscht über die Interesse von den Schiffsmodellbauern!

Ich habe erwartet, dass mehr Anfragen und Diskussionen über die Holzarten, über die Werkzeuge und über die Technik wie das Holz bearbeitet werden soll, kommen wird?!

 

Zu den Bildern:

Der schwarze Puttenkopf ist aus Bruerée-Holz geschnizt, das Schild mit dem Löwen ist aus einem Buchsbaum geschnitzt, das 450 Jahre alt war. Und dieser Buchsbaum ist nicht weit weg von meinem Hause gewachsen.

 

Ich freue mich über jegliche Kommentare und Anfragen!

 

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#6
Duffer

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Vielen Dank fuer die Bilder!

Bitte schreiben Sie auf Englisch, als meisten Personnen nicht Deutsch verstehen.

 

Thank you for the pictures.

Please write in English as most people do not understand German.

 

The carvings are extraordinary, almost beyond belief.  WOW~!

 

Duff


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#7
daves

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Ich bin etwas enttäuscht über die Interesse von den Schiffsmodellbauern!
Ich habe erwartet, dass mehr Anfragen und Diskussionen über die Holzarten, über die Werkzeuge und über die Technik wie das Holz bearbeitet werden soll, kommen wird?!

Zu den Bildern:
Der schwarze Puttenkopf ist aus Bruerée-Holz geschnizt, das Schild mit dem Löwen ist aus einem Buchsbaum geschnitzt, das 450 Jahre alt war. Und dieser Buchsbaum ist nicht weit weg von meinem Hause gewachsen.

Ich freue mich über jegliche Kommentare und Anfragen!

 

 

 

 

I am somewhat disappointed about the interest in the ship modelers!
I was expecting that more requests and discussions about the types of wood, the tools and the technology as the wood to be processed, will come?

To the images: The black cherubs head is made of Bruerée wood geschnizt, the shield with the lion is carved out of a tree, which was 450 years old. And this boxwood has grown not far away from my home.

I appreciate any comments and requests!


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#8
daves

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if the translation is correct your disappointment could be because most of the model ship builders are kit builders. i do not know exactly what the % is of scratch builders but i think it is very low.  With that in mind few if any kit builders will go out and harvest and process their own wood.  In order to collect your own wood first you have to be able to identify trees to know what to look for. Then you need the tools such as a chain saw and a bandsaw to process the logs. Once you have the wood cut down there is the long and slow process of seasoning it. Some may call it lazy it is far more convenient to click on a web site select your wood and size and it arrives at your door.  Some may say they don't have the tools, most model builders by little tiny tools like a table saw and realize they are far to small and under powered to do anything but cut thin pre sawn sheet stock, you will never cut a 6 foot long one inch thick plank of lumber with a little table saw. The wisdom is big tools can cut big stuff all the way down to tiny stuff as apposed to tiny tools your stuck with cutting tiny things. Then there are the trends in the hobby and when you keep hearing the same song over and over you begin to believe that is how it should be. How many time do you hear Swiss Pear, boxwood and Holly are the woods preferred by the top model ship builders? so you think if you want to play with the big boys then that is what you use.  What will turn the tide to get model builders to start thinking out side the traditional box is when the price for this pre cut trendy wood gets so high model builders will begin to look for alternatives. When the point of critical mass is reached and model builders realize it is way cheaper to buy a 10 inch band saw and an ax and go get the wood yourself than it is to buy into the wood trend. i can come up with 15 types of wood well suited for model work all growing within 20 miles of my house. One of these is  flowering pear it grows on tree lawns, everywhere in parks and in yards. i see it piled on the curb free for the taking. Build a model out of pearwood or boxwood the wood looks very close to one another sometimes you can't tell the difference in looks and working properties. What is exotic to me is common to someone else. Example citrus wood is white with a pale yellow tint build a model out of it and in time it will look like a model built out of the finest ivory or bone. Living in the north it does not exist. If you live in southern California it is firewood free for the taking or a really cheap common wood.
I would love to see the day when i view a model that has the wow factor and i have to ask what kind of wood is that made out of?


Edited by daves, 05 October 2015 - 06:11 PM.

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#9
Mike Y

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Because you do need hell lot of big, expensive and otherwise useless tools (big bandsaw, big tablesaw, thickness sander). Not everybody have a workshop ;)

What is the use for that tools after you finally cut your very local tree into pieces? They will just collect dust.

 

While a perfect quality wood is just a few clicks away. It is smooth, has no defects and do not require any tools to start using it.  You only need a small tools that you need for actual modelling. 

Actual wood selection is frequently done by reading others build logs, and thinking "wow, I also want a wood like that". 

So instead of saying "swiss pear" or "holly" one can say "that white crisp wood I saw in Remco's buildlog", but it will cause some confusion, isn't it?

 

If a lot of people are willing to pay for "pear,box and holly" instead of buying big tools to cut the wood themselves - that only means that they are not smart enough, and not making a rational choices, of course. And not a real builders, obviously. It is just like building a lego bricks, if you do not cut your own wood out of the log.


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#10
daves

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Because you do need hell lot of big, expensive and otherwise useless tools (big bandsaw, big tablesaw, thickness sander). Not everybody have a workshop 
What is the use for that tools after you finally cut your very local tree into pieces? They will just collect dust.

 

 a small table saw cost about the same as a table top bandsaw. a small table saw cuts thin sheet stock and thats it, a 10 inch bandsaw will resaw straight cuts and also cut out frames and curves etc and it can also rip down smaller size logs. For the money which tool is a better investment?

 

While a perfect quality wood is just a few clicks away. It is smooth, has no defects and do not require any tools to start using it.  You only need a small tools that you need for actual modelling.

 

This is the point i was trying to get across to our German friend. Why bother doing it yourself just pay someone else to do it for you.  The only draw back is you are limited to what that dealer has in his stock. Ivan was saying it is the thrill of finding a unique wood or a wood that is 450 years old, or wood you personally selected for color and charactor. i think Ivan has that old world craftsmanship idea we do not, we want it now, want it fast, we want it free of defects and nice and smooth because we do not want to take the time and effort.

 

If a lot of people are willing to pay for "pear,box and holly" instead of buying big tools to cut the wood themselves - that only means that they are not smart enough, and not making a rational choices, of course. And not a real builders, obviously. It is just like building a lego bricks, if you do not cut your own wood out of the log.

 

i may be misinterpreting what your saying. but i think you are saying if you do not harvest your own wood, cut it and dry it yourself you are not a real model builder and someone like a person who builds using pre made Lego blocks. That is way off the point. In my yard at any day i will have about 20 tons of wood. I belong to the wood carvers and wood turners clubs. Members come to my place to look for pieces for their projects. i watch some of these guys as they will spend a hour looking for the perfect piece of wood they will stare at it, touch it, lay it down and pick it up again and again like they are waiting for the spirit in the wood to move them. Years ago i would send wood to Lloyd McCaffery you can see his work in the book Ships In miniature. anyhow i would send sample after sample and 7 out of 10 are rejected because Lloyd has a vision in his head exactly what he wanted. Perfect character and color, perfect texture. There is something beyond taking sticks and sheets out of a box or a bundle of wood someone took off a shelf and cut up then sent you as good enough. What Ivan and Lloyd, Hahn and Crabtree felt in their wood working might be just a bit more than your average guy. It is that something extra and not because if you don't cut your own your wood your a lego builder.
Can it be said building from the run of the mill wood taken off a pile, cut for you by someone and sent to your door good enough and those who really have a deep understanding of the art are better than us? maybe got to admit their work does inspire and there must be a reason for that. Hahn use to ask me for wood and i would say ok i will bring some to the next meeting. He said oh no i will come to you and select it.

I do not think this topic has anything to do with builders who buy pre milled wood VS those who collect, process and mill their own or the idea one builder is better than the other. 


Edited by daves, 06 October 2015 - 05:53 PM.

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#11
donrobinson

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Hi Merchen: I have just recently found this topic and I can say I am really impressed with your wood supply. I would like to ask what the history is on that boat and even the table it is sitting on. The boat is absolutely beautiful and the carvings are fantastic are these something you have made? 



#12
Duffer

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Daves makes the critical point: harvesting one's own wood does not mean one is a better builder or carver.   It does increase one's control of the medium, and increases one's option by getting non commercial wood.

 

I harvest dogwood here in Connecticut because it is a very good wood for model ships and other objects, it is common here, non woodworkers use it for firewood or throw it away so it is free for the asking, and it is very difficult to buy from the usual suppliers.  Since some else already cut it, I do not need a chain saw.  I hand saw the logs into 18" pieces, coat the ends with parafin, stack them in my shop for 3 or 4 years, then saw them into billets with my 14" band saw. I like doing this.  

 

Some day my building skill may increase to the level of Hahn, Ronnberg, Froelich,  Anrscherl/Herbert, Tossti, McArdle, Hoving, Napier and many others.  I doubt I will attain the level of McNarry or McCafery.  But all these Gentlemen have taken the time to share their knowledge by writing books that outline what and how they created their beautiful works of art.  They and others have given me inspiration, hope and a drive to at least try.  

 

The point is not how we get our wood, but how we create our master pieces.  There are many paths to this and as artists we choose the paths.  

 

Keep building, and above all, have fun~!                     Duff


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#13
GuntherMT

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I live in the middle of a city, in the middle of a desert.  I think I'll just order my wood from suppliers, since cactus probably wouldn't make a very attractive model.


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#14
Jaager

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For city dwellers, a possible source of stock lumber = your local tree service companies.  I think the wood is mostly junk to them, something they have to dispose of.  You may be able to get some interesting stock for little or no cost.


Edited by Jaager, 07 October 2015 - 08:04 AM.

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#15
DanO

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The concept of harvesting, curing and shaping of ones own wood is very admirable for those who have this ability and there are many rewards for doing so. First there is the knowledge which is gained concerning the different woods as to properties such as grain and other attraibutes. Second is the total start to end story which can be related to the finished product. As for the tools they are the  choice of the modeler based on ones budget.

 

There are those who order, receive, and create models and those who truly start from scratch.

 

I feel that both approaches should be applauded for they  have a basic goal and that is to produce a finished product which represents their labor of love.

 

Dan



#16
daves

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very well said Dan this is not about someone going out and starting from a hunk of wood they collected and someone buying a bunch of pre milled sticks. Like a kit builder vs a scratch builder neither one is better than the other it is just different facets of the same hobby.

 

Like Duff said about collecting dogwood is simply "because i like doing this"

 

i can not begin to count the woodworking shows i have gone to over the years but i can say the artists who stand out are those who left the beaten path and did not buy their wood from a woodworking store, they found it some place.

 

this topic sat idle then one comment and another now finally the essence is starting to rise to the top. An artist will see a complete work in a flash like a fleeing vision. Then the artist sets out on a path to accomplish it. I have a model in mind and am still searching for the right wood. Starting with the off the shelf woods like Holly which is stark white and i find to be ugly, boxwood is to flat in color and texture so the search goes on like the sapwood of Ebony to much feature to the wood, Ivorywood very close but the sapwood is very narrow, South American Ivorywood, Indonesian Laurel, bone is to white i want a aged look. My personal feeling is model ship building got itself stuck in a rut. timbering packages mass produced from something resembling boxwood. Line them up in a model show and it looks like mass produces clones. Do a small delicate model out of something the judges have to wonder humm now that is different what is it made from? or a comment like interesting selection of wood or woods. Looking for something sort of, kind of like this done in wood. 

 

 

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#17
GuntherMT

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So I'll go one step further for those that still seem to think that I should 'collect my own wood' rather than purchasing what I need. 

 

I have exactly zero interest in doing that.  I like building models.  I have no interest in acquiring the large tools needed to break down the parts of a tree into piles of wood that have to sit in storage for years before I can use it for modeling ships.  

This is a hobby that I enjoy, and wood harvesting, cutting, and aging is not a hobby that I have an interest in.

 

For some people those are two facets of the same hobby.  For me, that's like telling someone who makes plastic models that they need to make their own plastic and pour their own molds.  It's two completely separate hobbies that just happen to flow one into the other, and in my case (and I'm sure the vast majority of ship modelers) that first hobby just isn't an interest for me.

 

If you think that my models are 'flat' or not 'artistic' or whatever because of that, well, that's perfectly fine, because I'm not building my models for you, I'm building my models for me, and I'm perfectly fine with buying my 'fake' boxwood or whatever else I deem to look nice for the model that I'm building.


Edited by GuntherMT, 07 October 2015 - 03:32 PM.

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#18
daves

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that is very well said Brian and like others have said this is another facet of this hobby. I understand your point so this topic is of no interest to you it is not a debate on how a model is built from collected wood or pre milled wood. This is a topic for those interested in collecting wood and processing it. Thank you for your input and your point of view,  but it does not apply here.

 

 

we just read Brians reasons why he has no interest in wood collecting. All valid reasons and i will not argue with that.
My personal reasons are as i have posted i like to try different things work with different wood and build something different from the norm, thats just me. Also, I love hiking through the wood collecting wood samples, fresh air, exercise and finding something i bring home, cut up and find a gem of a piece of wood. i like having fun with it. Like Brian said it is a different hobby that cross over into woodworking and enhancing model ship building, for me anywhy.


Edited by daves, 07 October 2015 - 06:00 PM.

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#19
GuntherMT

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I understand your point so this topic is of no interest to you it is not a debate on how a model is built from collected wood or pre milled wood. This is a topic for those interested in collecting wood and processing it. Thank you for your input and your point of view,  but it does not apply here.

 

 

I'm glad you know what topics are of interest to me on an internet forum.  

 

You might also notice that I did not add anything to this thread until it left the topic as you list it above, and went into the "why doesn't everyone else do it this way" area, with more than a little bit of derision implied for those who are foolish enough to simply buy their wood to build a model, and the implication that their work will never "stand out", or they aren't an "artist".

 

I was simply providing some input from the (apparently) non-artistic side.  I'll go back to building my ugly boats out of lego bricks now.


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#20
DanO

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Wood is such a precious commodity which comes in all shapes sizes and species from the simpilest bounty of pine to the rare Huanghuali.

 

What is done with these woods is in the eyes and mind of the beholder.

 

To look at something in its raw state and see the beauty of a finished piece is truly a God given talent for which we are not all blessed, I included, but it does not mean that I am incapable of appreciating the their artistry. 

 

Every piece of wood which I have for modeling has come from a kit or supplier but this does not mean that i have to defend my source of aquisition nor will I do so.

 

Dan


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