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What wood looks like White Oak - in scale?

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I am planning a 1/2" = 1' cross section model of a boat that had White Oak planking and frames.  What would like more like White Oak at 1/2" scale Beech or Maple?  I have misplaced my reference for which woods look like others at scale.



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My money is on Beech. I recall Dr. Feldman had good things to say about its scale resemblance to oak. 






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The attached photo is of a Great Lakes Batteau, c1763. Scale 1:48.


The POF hull was made from American Sycamore that at your large scale might work well.  It has a distinctive but fine grain that resembles oak.  I might have a piece left over.  Tomorrow i’ll Look through my stash.


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Thanks Roger.  I looked through my stash and found a piece of Sycamore.  I think the figuring may be too much.  The photo is of a 13/16 inch piece marked as "S".  The other piece "B" in the photo is Beech.  Between the two I am leaning to the Beech.



I cut a piece off a billet of Black Birch that I like.  I am going to the hardwood store tomorrow or Wednesday and check out some White Birch as I am told it has less figure than the Black Birch.



I have Red Oak galore in my full size shop but not a stick of White Oak, so I am going to compare the pieces I cut against the White Oak as well as comparing the White Birch to the White Oak.


I plan to use Chuck's Alaskan Yellow Cedar in place of the Yellow Pine that was used for ceiling planks, cabin framing and planking and a few other places.  White Pine was the primary wood used as it's the hardest and best wood for boats that is native to IL.



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Giving your question some thought, I don't think any species will

scale the grain,  going down usually at a minimum of a factor of 50.

The species with no obvious grain would work best even with White Oak.

I am thinking that it is the color that you are focusing on.  I am no artist and

I do not know their rules, but I bet there is a scale effect on col;or - I just do not

know what it is.

I scored some Beech from Yukon Lumber last week, and it is a shade darker than

Hard Maple-  My Maple tends to vary a bit in color but Beech is a fudge darker.

I find American Sycamore to be generally awful.  What I have has a busy grain, is brittle, can get fuzzy, and

splits easily.  The only really satisfactory use I have had with it is using it to duplicate a 1 x 1 x 6 inch

Xacto sanding block - round at one end, wedge at the other. 

If the rule on scaling is things get lighter, Hard Maple may work for you,  If you want even lighter,

Soft Maple.  I found Silver Maple to be too soft, too fuzzy for my taste.

If you want aged and weather beaten,  Poplar - 

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Went to the hardwood store and took various woods over to hold next to some White Oak planks.  After a bunch of back and forth I decided on Birch.  Looks perfect.  Steve Wheeler had suggested using Birch and he was right.  A piece of 1 x 4 and a piece of 1 x 2 each about 5' long will be a lot more than I need for this project but these were the shortest lengths w/o any streaks of darker wood.  Less than $20 and I am all set. 

Have already ripped a bunch and cut all the frame pieces I need.

Thanks for the input guys.


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