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    By training I am a mathematician but my interests are reasonably varied and specifically include philosophy, history and music. I also enjoy cooking/entertaining particularly when a good debate is involved!

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  1. Thank you all for your replies. In the photo of the Sikta Spruce the colour and lack of figure looked very appealing but it sounds like its softness is an issue. For that reason I'll give it a miss. It caught my eye initially as in the photo it very closely resembled my very limited supplies of Swiss pear (photo attached) which I will use for my hull planking (under the waterline) very shortly. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find an Australian species of wood that very closely resembles pear.
  2. Hi all, Does anyone have any experience with the use of Sitka Spruce for ship modelling? I have the opportunity to buy the attached pieces but according to the Janka Hardness Scale it appears to be only slightly harder than Pine and possibly too soft for ship modelling: https://www.wood-database.com/sitka-spruce/ I have not been able to see the pieces in person as they are interstate.
  3. Thanks for the reply. I am trying to visualise this: I can see long chains of plastics coming off of each surface of timber and intertwining with one another which forms the bond.....
  4. He he he, well noticed with the pogo stick! I'm looking forward to cutting down some planks to see what they look like. I'll try some waxes. I don't have a large saw so a friend of mine has kindly allowed me to use hers.
  5. Thank you both for your replies. Yes, I am familiar with Swiss Pear and I do have some. I intend to build deck furniture from this. Unfortunately Swiss Pear seems to be impossible to find in Australia. I purchased some from my friends in Russia some years ago. The closest I have found in Australia to Swiss Pear is Myrtle and I managed to buy a long piece today (photo attached).
  6. Perhaps this is best addressed to our American friends: I have a timber source in Adelaide (Australia) that stocks American Cherry (among other rare woods) but I notice that all of their pieces of Cherry tend to have noticeable figure in them. Given that I have very limited experience with Cherry, what is your opinion of the attached piece (which was the best one I could see in their shop)? Would this piece be considered too figured or would it actually be considered a good quality piece? I'd be very interested to know what it would look like cut down in to planks.
  7. Hi all, I was not sure where exactly to post this as there wasn't a category that seemed to fit so please feel free to move this post as needed. I am wanting to understand exactly how aliphatic resins actually work at an atomic level - that is, how do they result in a force of attraction between two pieces of wood? My neighbour (who happens to be a retried biology/chemistry teacher) told me he thought it had something to do with electron clouds but really wasn't sure and couldn't go any further. Surprisingly, I have Googled around and can't find a suitable explanation. Perhaps there is a chemist (or other) on board who understands this at an atomic level and would be happy to give an overview?
  8. Thanks for your comments. My apologies for a slow reply - I have had a few very stressful and busy weeks at work. Unfortunately, I don't have the ability to do multiple things at once 🙂 @Louie da fly: Yes, the pear in your photos looks like the pear I recall seeing many years ago (Australian grown) that had more of a grey colour than a red colour. There is no doubt this might even be more suitable for certain applications. I have also been stalling because I have been looking and looking for a suitable wood to use under the waterline. I managed to buy the attached Myrtle today in Adelaide which is similar to the Pear I have from Europe. It is actually an extremely clean piece with little to no blemishes or fiddleback. It is a little pinker than I would ideally like, but I will experiment with a few different waxes. I'll use this under the waterline.
  9. Thanks and yes, I like my work to finish as if the ship has just come out of the ship yard. I pay very careful attention to every join, nail and fine detail and the techniques used. I work slowly and not as often as I'd like (I have 3 very young children and a job often involving long hours). This is my first model (aside from half finishing a kit when I was in my early 20's - which isn't actually all that long ago) so I am getting familiar with my own style of building. Now my attention will turn to the hull planking and I need to decide on what timber to use below the waterline. I am giving serious thought to using Myrtle but welcome suggestions. I don't want a wood that is too dark so that excludes Walnut. My inclination is not to stain. I would like to use Daru (which I used as the edge planking on my deck) but unfortunately I don't have enough left. I can visualise my ideal coloured wood but unfortunately that wood doesn't exist 🙂 I am keen to know about your neighbour's Pear. Is it red/pink like European pear? The couple of samples I have had of Australian Pear were very grey. Are you able to share a photo?
  10. Thank you for your kind comments. @captain_hook: Yes, I use a syringe that has had its tip cut to a specific profile and is then polished. A syringe out of the packet won't work effectively. I have experimented with syringes of various gauges and for my scale I use a g20 sized syringe. I find that a 0.7mm drill hole accommodates this nail size perfectly. The Birmingham Gauge provides your requested information about the internal diameter of syringes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham_gauge The photos were taken with a 2 or 3 x zoom. In reality, standing back from the deck and at eye height, the nails are only very subtly visible which is the effect I was trying to achieve. My nails are made from Pear. I have experimented with various timbers and I like the effect of Pear on Castello.
  11. All the nails have been inserted in the main deck which is now more or less finished (aside from a sand with very fine paper and a waxing prior to insertion in to the model). The waterway is missing. This will be inserted only after the main deck goes in to the model which is unlikely to happen very soon. The photos I attach are zoomed in 2x and make the nails a little more noticeable than they actually are. Standing back from the model, at eye height the nails are only very subtly visible which was the effect I was trying to achieve. After a waxing they will get slightly darker. You will notice double nails on some planks. Hatches will be cut at these locations shortly. The irony is, the majority of this deck will be covered up. Only about 1/3 of it will be visible on the final model.
  12. More progress on one side of my main deck with the nails being inserted with tweezers and a touch of aliphatic resin. My jeweller's drill has a pedal similar to a sewing machine which makes drilling holes very easy.
  13. I attach photos of the completed centre deck with nails inserted. The deck has been sanded and scraped. It is not 100% finished as I have not sanded it with a finer grade sandpaper nor waxed it. This will occur much later when it is inserted in to the model. Now I must turn my attention to drilling the holes on the left and right parts of the main deck and inserting nails in to those. I do this manually with my jewellers drill.
  14. Nails being inserted in to the centre deck. Tomorrow I will cut them flush with the deck and then sand the deck using 250 grit sand paper which will leave a perfectly round nail hole.

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