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Carving tools, books and carving woods discussion


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59 replies to this topic

#41
Jaager

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Dogwood I have.  A relative owns a tree farm in Caroline Co. and I have Dogwood and Holly from there.

The Holly has a yellowish tinge so even if there was interest in marketing that difficult species, the available

strain does not seem to be a desired one.  For me, even the billets that have Blue Mold should be usable,

since the pure white version is not really appropriate for any ship timber. 

The Dogwood was about as large as that species gets, so my billets are fairly large.  Not large enough for 

frame timbers at 1:48 or 1:60 scale, but I could use it for most any other part.

 

I am not sure that Crab Apple is all that different from regular Apple wood.  One species that may be surprisingly

useful is Bradford Pear.  It has anything but fine tight grain,  but it is much harder than Black Cherry to carve, 

does not want to split, and has a wax-like nature to it.


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#42
Mike40

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Chuck could well be right about Basswood at very small scales. Most of my figure carvings are larger that 2", but I am using European Linden which some say is tighter grained and a bit harder than U.S. Basswood. I would like to carve a few crew members/officers for my current build and they would be about 1-1/2" high, so it will be interesting to see if the Linden will be suitable for that scale.


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Mike,

an American living in Norway

 

 

Current build:  Galley Washington - 1:48 - Scratch POF - NRG plans

 


#43
Uncle Si

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Jaager......

 

Bradford pear or bartlett pear?  Maybe both? I've been told that both are excellent.

 

Jim


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#44
Jaager

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Barlett pear is a variety of eatable pear.  It is actually a variety of Pyrus communis - the tree that is

the source of what is called Swiss Pear.  Swiss Pear is not a tree name or growth location, it means that the wood

has been steamed.  I believe this oxidizes the polyphenols in the wood - in any case - it turns the wood into

a relatively uniform pinkish color. 

Bradford Pear is a cousin that is a horticultural specimen.  It does not produce significant fruit, but it is urban hardy,

attractive flowers and grows relatively fast.  Was or still is popular as a street tree.  It has one unfortunate characteristic -

 the branches leave the trunk at an acute angle - rather than horizontal.  The more vertical form looks good and is

predictable from design point of view.  The problem is that when the larger trees experience wind storms, the branches 

peal like banana skins.  A good way for us to get a lot of sizable lumber stock.   The other part - if you self harvest it -

because of the branch angle,  it is difficult to get much stock with right angle grain for knees or breast hooks.

 

Actually, I think most any species of Pear would produce excellent wood for our purposes,  the problem is obtaining it.


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#45
Chuck

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I am going to try and carve one of the blanks from Yellow Cedar.  Its beautiful stuff and I just got some from my supplier.  In case you want to try it check out his site.  He also mills boxwood and a whhole bunch of other stuff.  His prices are fantastic.  So far I am more than happy with the quality and respoinsiveness of this guy.   Hopefully once he gets his site up and running it will be even easier to place an order.n  As far as I know, he is the only supplier of milled yellow cedar on the web.  

 

http://www.woodprojectsource.com/

 

Right now he doesnt have any items listed on his site as in stock because he is just finishing it up.  It should be real soon because he never had a website before and I convinced him to build one.  But you can contact him at any time because he is open for business.  But thanks to some prodding from me he is starting off by adding the woods we prefer.  But he mostly caters to local wood carvers which apparantly there are a lot of.

 

Here is an example in Yellow Cedar of a carving and my test build of the barge.  Compare with teh cherry version behind it.  I really like it for what we do.  Its softer than box but harder than basswood yet the color is beautiful and since I took this photo the color has deepened and it looks almost identical to boxwood although a bit more yellowish....but not an obnoxious yellow at all.

 

cedarcarving.jpg

 

AYCparts.jpg

 

Chuck


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#46
dgbot

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Very nice.  How would it work for planking and framing at the scales we work at?

David B


Edited by dgbot, 13 November 2016 - 07:50 PM.

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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/

 


#47
Chuck

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So far so good.  The wood is extremely flexible...I would compare it to holly but softer.   I made a test piece of planking...let me take a photo of it.  Back in a few minutes.  ;)


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#48
Chuck

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Heres a close up of my planking experiment with Yellow cedar.  Very tight almost inconceivable grain.  holds a sharp edge and no need to stain it.  There are two 1/32" sheets below it that I will cut a few carving blanks from and give it a try.  I just have to find some time to do so.  I applied one coat of WOP.  The seams were simulated with a #2 pencil.  I like it.  :)  I havent tried making frames but it is certainly a great replacement for planking....either for boxwood or even holly.   It will darken over time.

 

ALSO....its about half the price of Boxwood and Holly (give or take).  A bit more than Cherry or Maple but I think its a much better wood.  It really does cut like butter with a #11 blade.   Hopefully the same will be true when I carve it.

 

Chuck

 

cedarsample.jpg


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Chuck Passaro - MSW Admin 

 

Current build - HMS Winchelsea - POB scratch build

                            HM Cutter Cheerful - POB scratch build

       Royal Barge - POF scratch

 

www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com

 


#49
dgbot

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You might have found a future wood that will be popular for modeling depending on where it can be found.  

David B


Edited by dgbot, 14 November 2016 - 12:05 AM.

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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/

 


#50
WackoWolf

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You also need to keep us up to date about this guys web site, if you can.


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Wacko
Joe :D

Go MSW :) :)

#51
Uncle Si

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This is very nice looking Alaskan Cedar wood.  Must be a cousin of Port Orford cedar that grows from the Oregon coast to Central Oregon; it also has a fine grain and very easy to work with. I am working with a piece right now for a Robin (bird) carving that looks almost like basswood. I would have included a photo, but it does not pertain to ship building. Really nice stuff.

 

Jim

 

p.s. Michael Mott used Port Orford Cedar to plank one of his model ships and it looked fantastic.


Edited by Uncle Si, 14 November 2016 - 03:24 AM.

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#52
Mike40

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I love that yellow Cedar. Wish I could get it here in Norway. The discussion about pear reminds me that I have a couple of large sacks of it in my shop loft. I got it from my BIL when he cut down his backyard tree about 30 years ago. Unfortunately he cut it into short logs, but I cut it into smaller chunks, stored it and forgot it. It would probably be ideal for carving small figures. It was also interesting to learn what Swiss Pear actually is. Thanks for that info Chuck. Your Cedar deck looks great.


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Mike,

an American living in Norway

 

 

Current build:  Galley Washington - 1:48 - Scratch POF - NRG plans

 


#53
Modeler12

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I love that yellow Cedar. Wish I could get it here in Norway. The discussion about pear reminds me that I have a couple of large sacks of it in my shop loft. I got it from my BIL when he cut down his backyard tree about 30 years ago. Unfortunately he cut it into short logs, but I cut it into smaller chunks, stored it and forgot it. It would probably be ideal for carving small figures. It was also interesting to learn what Swiss Pear actually is. Thanks for that info Chuck. Your Cedar deck looks great.

Mike, I love to help you with those short pieces of cedar, but I cannot figure out where you live. Kleppe Norway is way up north. Are you sure you don't have north and south mixed up B)

What is an American doing in a place like that? Do you mind visitors?


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Jay

 

Current build Cross Section USS Constitution  http://modelshipworl...s-constitution/

Finished USS Constitution:  http://modelshipworl...n-by-modeler12/

 

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#54
Jaager

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Mike,

 

Swiss Pear is not a variety of pear.  Pyrus communis is the common European Pear.

It is used as root stock for fruit pear varieties? The tree itself does not produce desirable 

fruit but is a horticultural specimen?  If the wood is steamed, it turns a uniform pink.

 This treatment is the "Swiss" part.  I believe that the wood from any type of pear -

Asian or European is excellent for any part of a wooden ship model: from keel and

frames to spars.  If your stock did not split and check into useless fragments as it

dried or bark beetles did not mine it out , you may come to regret shortening the pieces.

Most any pear wood has a color that looks good as keel, frames and planking.  It is

hard, tight grained,  does not easily split if you carve against the grain -  and seems

almost ivory-like in consistency.

 

 

When I posted earlier about Bradford Pear not having tight grain, that was the wrong term,

what I meant was that the tree grows rapidly - so the bands of Spring and Summer woods are

wide.  For some parts it is possible to have what shows be grain free - all of one season.  I have a bit of 

Boxwood from an old hedge that had grown very slowly.  The rings are very narrow and very

close together.


Edited by Jaager, 23 November 2016 - 03:21 AM.

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#55
lehmann

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Yellow cedar is actually a cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis).  However, while cypress is usually associated with shrubs, yellow cedar trees can be huge.  

 

http://vancouverisla...low-cedars.html

 

You could probably build a model out of one branch.  (There's a few growing down the street and I keep my eye open after wind storms)

 

These trees can produce large clear timbers and boards.  It's also hard and rot resistant.  As a result it is a very good material for ship building, especially planking.    

 

I've done carving in yellow cedar and it is hard and fine grained, so it holds details very well, and has no pores, as hardwoods have.   Fairly uniform in color, but may get mineral streaks. It is dense, similar to black walnut, so expect your finger tips to get sore when carving.  The grain is generally straight, but can get some swirling.  Can have a quite pungent smell, as are most cypresses and junipers  (Tennessee red cedar is actually a juniper).  

 

Overall, a yellow cedar should be a very good wood for model shipbuilding.  Actually, it's the only wood I've seen that can be used on full size and well as model ships.  Many years ago I stored away a large box of yellow cedar cuttings, and some 2x4's that showed up in a load of Douglas fir boards, with the intention of using it for a plank on frame model.  If I need more, a few local sawmills cut it and it is stocked locally.  Prices for good grade boards are similar to hardwoods, such as red oak.


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Bruce

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#56
reklein

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I lived in Sitka Alaska for 30 years and I been tryin to tell you guys to try Alaskan yellow cedar. You have to select your wood carefully as not all of it is carving quality. It will also stand up to Steaming if you want to bend it. That"s a really nice carving there Chuck.


Edited by reklein, 05 December 2016 - 05:33 PM.

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Bill, in Idaho

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#57
Uncle Si

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Here is some info about Port Orford Cedar trees that are from the same family as yellow cedar (Chamaecyparis) .......

 

https://oregonencycl...r/#.WExO3xSDPFI


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#58
Marcus Botanicus

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The German Nautical Journal, 'Das Logbuch' has a very detailed article on carving a ship's stern. Even if you don't read German, the detailed pictures are worth a look. Several pictures show what tools are used for the type of carving.

If you mouse over the pictures you can click on them to enlarge them.

http://www.arbeitskr.../schnitzkurs-1/

Marcus
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#59
Uncle Si

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Very well presented website, Marcus........ thank you for that.

 

Jim


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#60
Uncle Si

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If anyone needs some inspiration to do some practice in order to improve their carvings, by all means check out the website below.  Alexander is a world class shipbuilder and a very accomplished carver.  Most of the work shown is in the round, but worth a look.........enjoy.

 

http://modelshipworl...belgorod/page-1

 

Jim


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