Jump to content

Welcome to Model Ship World
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Woods ranked by ability to bend


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1
Landlocked123

Landlocked123
  • Members
  • 372 posts
  • LocationThe Nutmeg State
Hi All,

Over the years I have read numerous topics and posts regarding many aspects on the differences in the characteristics of different species of wood. I read a lot how different woods cut, finish, the colors and other variables. I don't recall seeing any topics on which species bend the easiest, or which can be bent into the tightest curves. Which can be bent just using heat and which need special handling.

In my next build, the New Bedford Whale Boat, I plan on doing substantial substitution on the kit supplied basswood. I plan on only painting below the wales and to use different woods of contrasting color for other areas. So far I plan to use, cherry, walnut, holly, castillo box, and maple. I would like to use one of the last three for the ribs but I have no idea of which can be bent into the required curve.

I'm sure this is an area in which a lot of folks out there have a great deal to share. Thanks in advance.

Best,
John
  • mtaylor, Canute, donrobinson and 1 other like this
Member:
Connecticut Marine Model Society
Nautical Research Guild

#2
dgbot

dgbot
  • Members
  • 5,077 posts
  • LocationRaymond IA

Holly would probably be the best for the frames.

David B


  • mtaylor, Canute, donrobinson and 1 other like this

Work in progress USS Maine in cardstock.http://modelshipworl...rd/#entry220003

Completed Blockade runner Teazer http://modelshipworl...ck/#entry175967

Completed  The Monitor Lehigh http://modelshipworl...el/#entry203680

Completed Kingston Class MCVD http://modelshipworl...gs-in-progress/

 


#3
Vince P.

Vince P.
  • Members
  • 834 posts
  • LocationCarson City, Nevada USA

Hi John,

Just about any wood can be bent. On the harder woods like walnut and cherry, you can bend thinner strips and laminate them afterwards. It works for me.

 

Vince P. :dancetl6:


  • mtaylor, John Allen, Canute and 2 others like this

#4
Landlocked123

Landlocked123
  • Members
  • 372 posts
  • LocationThe Nutmeg State
Thanks David and Vincent,

I appreciate your input. I hope that over time more builders will add their thoughts. At some point it would be nice to hear about relative characteristics, e.g. which is more bendable for the same sized plank, walnut or cherry? castillo or holly?

I also thought I would share my inspiration for this build. It is in the Gallery of Completed Models and built by "greatgallions". He really fif a great job.

image.jpeg


Best,
John
  • mtaylor, Canute, donrobinson and 3 others like this
Member:
Connecticut Marine Model Society
Nautical Research Guild

#5
druxey

druxey
  • Members
  • 4,764 posts
  • LocationNiagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Holly is much more amenable to bending than Castillo of the same thickness.


  • mtaylor, Canute, donrobinson and 2 others like this

#6
Brian the extraordinaire

Brian the extraordinaire
  • Members
  • 3,396 posts
  • LocationAustralia

Beech is the most flexible for plank bending.  It can be easily bent without steaming it. 


  • Canute, donrobinson, Julie Mo and 1 other like this

#7
daves

daves
  • Members
  • 1,299 posts

Putting a strip on the Test-o-meter for bending, this wood gets a solid 10 it does not get much better than that. Testing for bending, a strip of wood 24 inches long x 1/16 thick and 3/16 wide is bent to see how far up a ruler it can go without breaking.

 

SCN0442.jpg

 

The strips are all the same size and set exactly the same. the blocks at the bottom are one inch from the ruler. each wood is bent dry that is not soaked in water or steamed. 

 

for hull planking you want woods that will bend in the range from 8 to 10 range.

 

i tested a lot of different woods and ranked them by number.

 

top of the list as you can see in the photo is Lemonwood NOT Degame but citrus wood which includes lemon, orange and lime. coming in at a number 9 is Willow a vert pretty wood for hull planking this hull is planked in willow. the wood takes a very clean smooth finish

 

mat2.jpg

 

in the 8 to 10 range is most fruit woods first is pearwood NOT the steamed pearwood the steaming process causes the wood to loose its natural bending and working properties. Natural pearwood looks very close to a fine boxwood which is a creamy yellow color.  Next is applewood and cherry. In the 7 inch range you will find various woods like Beech, holly

 

woods that do not bend from the 1 to 3 inch range are woods like Ebony, Castillo (which is not a boxwood not even in the same family of boxwoods) true boxwood will bend but difficult along with other boxwood like west indian boxwood or Maracaibo boxwood: zapatero boxwood, bloodwood and other exotic hardwoods are far to brittle.

 

i can post my results of a variety of woods with a picture of them in the test-O- bending meter.


Edited by daves, 07 September 2016 - 03:11 PM.

  • mtaylor, michael mott, dgbot and 6 others like this

#8
daves

daves
  • Members
  • 1,299 posts

if you want something that works good and takes bending replace the Castillo with natural pearwood. Hard Maple will bend but soft Maple bends better.  Walnut will bend but you need a good quality piece or it will splinter. cherry and holly are high on the bending list.

 

These woods can all be bent but steaming them you will get a better bend. just soaking in water is not the same a steam bending, steam is much hotter and softens the wood fibers.

 

woods that have interlocking grain like Beech and Sycamore will not splinter as quick making them better at bending. 


Edited by daves, 06 September 2016 - 02:25 PM.

  • mtaylor, michael mott, donfarr and 5 others like this

#9
dgbot

dgbot
  • Members
  • 5,077 posts
  • LocationRaymond IA

Over the years I have seen many open boats. Launches. Lifeboats, Whaleboats etc.  And many of them used holly or beech for the frames. I remember one modeler who used yew that he harvested from near his place.  I have been a fan of beech when I can find it because of it's flexibility and for the look after finishing.

David B


  • mtaylor, Canute and EJ_L like this

Work in progress USS Maine in cardstock.http://modelshipworl...rd/#entry220003

Completed Blockade runner Teazer http://modelshipworl...ck/#entry175967

Completed  The Monitor Lehigh http://modelshipworl...el/#entry203680

Completed Kingston Class MCVD http://modelshipworl...gs-in-progress/

 


#10
daves

daves
  • Members
  • 1,299 posts

oh yes David B

Yew is another one of those top bending woods but it is quite orange in color which in time will change to a duller orange but still orange. 

I too am a big fan of Beech because it is flexable and i love the grain which looks like scale Oak, actually Beech is in the Oak family.

For bending frames if you dont like the stark white of Holly you just can't beat natural pear or Apple.

 

i tend to shy away from woods like Holly or boxwood because they have zero feature to them, they look like plastic. If your going to build a wooden boat model i like the material to actually look like wood.


  • mtaylor, Canute, Seventynet and 3 others like this

#11
vaddoc

vaddoc
  • Members
  • 250 posts
  • LocationCambridge, UK

Ash and birch are also very flexible and should respond superbly to steam bending.


  • mtaylor, Uncle Si, Canute and 2 others like this

#12
michael mott

michael mott
  • Members
  • 3,570 posts
  • LocationLake Wabumun, Alberta, Canada

Daves thank you for your comments, I wonder if a simple chart that could be pinned at the top of this section would be a good thing. with your experience it might save many of us a lot of time.

 

michael


  • mtaylor, donfarr, Canute and 2 others like this

Current builds  Bristol Pilot Cutter 1:8

 

                                Skipjack 19 foot Launch 1:8

 

                               Herreshoff Buzzards Bay 14 1:8

 

Other projects  Pilot Cutter 1:500

 

                         Maria, Sloop 1:2

 

Restoration      A Bassett Lowke steamship Albertic 1:100

 

Anything you can imagine is possible, when you put your mind to it.


#13
Landlocked123

Landlocked123
  • Members
  • 372 posts
  • LocationThe Nutmeg State
Thanks Everyone,

I think Michael has a great idea.

Best,
John

Edited by Landlocked123, 06 September 2016 - 10:43 PM.

  • mtaylor, Canute and donrobinson like this
Member:
Connecticut Marine Model Society
Nautical Research Guild

#14
daves

daves
  • Members
  • 1,299 posts

Daves thank you for your comments, I wonder if a simple chart that could be pinned at the top of this section would be a good thing. with your experience it might save many of us a lot of time.

 

michael

 

well i can do that, take wood all the same size and put them on the bend-0-meter and post the results.  If this is a request from the powers to be of this forum to create a bending chart to be pinned i will take the time to create a chart.

 

 

The way the meter works is a strip is flat on the table and the ends are between 2 blocks. now the blocks are pushed toward one another and the strip will bend upward giving the bending number like the lemonwood at 10. 

the one issue we must consider is all woods are not exactly the same so the number has to be considered an "average"  i took a strip of cherry and the best i could get was a bend of  "4"  then i cut a strip cut from a different piece of cherry and got a bend of  "7" the first piece the grain ran at an angle and broke everytime. So there are other factors at play here.  The way the grain is running is a factor as well as how dry the wood is. As an example break a twig off a tree and you can tie that twig in a knot because the wood is green. now take the same twig and dry it to a moisture content of say 6% that same twig will snap everytime. air seasoned wood has moisture of 8 to 12% and it will bend, kiln dried between 4 and 6% becomes brittle and it is more likely to break. 

To make such a chart usable it will need a short article on wood. i can take a pieces of Cherry and flash dry it to a point it will never bend it will snap everytime. Or i can take a piece of cherry that was slow and easy seasoned for a year and it will bend to the point the ends will touch each other.


Edited by daves, 07 September 2016 - 03:07 PM.

  • mtaylor, davyboy, Mark P and 3 others like this

#15
uss frolick

uss frolick
  • Members
  • 991 posts

If you can find it, Loquat wood is the very best. It is pear colored, it is uniform, it takes a boxwood-like cut, and it bends without complaint. There is no other wood like it. It was planted here in South Florida by retirees over the course of many decades. Sadly, younger people are having them cleared out. It has light grey bark, and small clusters of grape sized fruit.  

 

Roman Barzana, modeler-extraordinaire of Tampa, enlightened me about Loquat. :)


  • mtaylor, Canute and donrobinson like this

#16
daves

daves
  • Members
  • 1,299 posts

If you can find it, Loquat wood is the very best. It is pear colored, it is uniform, it takes a boxwood-like cut, and it bends without complaint. There is no other wood like it. It was planted here in South Florida by retirees over the course of many decades. Sadly, younger people are having them cleared out. It has light grey bark, and small clusters of grape sized fruit.  

 

Roman Barzana, modeler-extraordinaire of Tampa, enlightened me about Loquat. :)

 

i have worked with this wood and it is very nice the problem is if it does not grow where you live it is extremely difficult to get,  Florida or southern California. The wood is heavy and a small log only 16 inches long and maybe 8 inch dia. shipped across country would make the wood very, very expensive around $50.00 shipping. If you want a log like a trunk about 10 in dia and 30 inches long expect to pay around $350.00 plus shipping of maybe $120.00. Because the wood is not used for lumber it is either used for smoking fish and meat or just tossed away. It is like citus wood again if you can get it locally thats great other than that the cost for getting it and shipping it makes the cost far to high.The tree is in the same family as applewood.


Edited by daves, 07 September 2016 - 04:23 PM.

  • mtaylor, donfarr, Canute and 1 other like this

#17
tlevine

tlevine
  • Moderators
  • 859 posts
  • LocationIllinois

Dave, I think a bending chart would be a great addition.  I am surprised so many builders use swiss pear rather than natural pear.  IMHO the color is too pink and the working characteristics are not as nice.


  • mtaylor, Mark P, Canute and 1 other like this

Toni


Director Nautical Research Guild

Member Nautical Research and Model Society

 

Current Build:  HMS Atalanta-1775 - 1:48 scale

Completed Build: Longboat by tlevine - 1:48 scale
Gallery:  Hannah http://modelshipworl...bum/186-hannah/


#18
vaddoc

vaddoc
  • Members
  • 250 posts
  • LocationCambridge, UK

In the UK, unsteamed pear is actually difficult to find. 


  • mtaylor, Canute and donrobinson like this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

Welcome GUEST to the Model Ship World Community.
Please LOGIN or REGISTER to use all of our feautures.