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I am about to plan and start a scratch build of the double hull Polyenesian canoe Holukea. I am gathering input from any of you master wood carvers on which would look better & be the easiest to carve?

 

I have a lot of 100 year old Cypress that was dragged up from a local bayou and may be to soft??, and also have some beautiful Red Mahogany (which is hard as a rock. I waffled between Pine and Fir and was going to paint the hull. After much consideration felt a truer representation of a natural look would be better since they were carved from Koa logs.

 

All suggestions welcome Hope I don't get demerits for posting under wood instead of builds.

 

Thanks John

 

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Koa is a beautiful strongly figured wood that is mostly brown.  However the color can vary between light brown to deep red/brown.  Cypress and mahogany are probably to coarse grained to give the right look at a smaller scale.  You might want to consider a finer grained wood and use a dilute mahogany stain to get the color right.  the harder types of basswood or poplar might be good choices or possibly birch.  Another way would be to use koa (it is available mail order from Kamuela Woods in Waimea, Hawaii).  The grain would still be to coarse but the use of the original wood would look really cool.

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Reference to a "local bayou"  -  if you are in the US Gulf Coast region -  there are 2 local species that are excellent for carving - low weight, fine grain,  closed pore,  take well to aniline dyes and glue =  Tupelo and Yellow Poplar.   If you have a local saw mill that mills it, perhaps you can purchase end cuttings  or raw planks at a low cost - if you have the tools to work it.  Black Cherry also carves well and is usually a low end domestic as far as cost,

 

The Red Mahogany and  Cypress are better suited for building the display case for the model.

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grsjx,

 

Thanks for the reply this is what is great about MSW its like model building DIY encyclopedia for dummies (no inference to users I include myself in that group) except its on the internet. Someone always has an  answer. 

 

I appreciate the link for Koa wood, and advice. 

 

Thanks John

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