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What is your favorite wood to plank the deck?


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I know we all see a lot of holly used. Nice and white.  I've never seen an actual deck on a ship look anything even close to that, though.  I have a branch from high up on a holly tree, and it has a really nice greyish-tan to light brown color.  Still that fine grain, but the color is more similar to aged oak or weathered teak.  Might be my choice on a future build.

 

-John

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I am a big fan of using Maple as decking , with the large scale of my models I can get away with the grain patterns. I have also used Mahogany, Bubinga and Brazilian cherry. So I agree with Gaetan, ( your taste , your choice )

 

Good luck with whichever decking you decide on,

 

                                                                                Keith

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Some of the kits have tanganyika, which looks nice but is a bit splintery.  I used tanganyika on my Caldercraft Badger.

 

I'm using maple on my Pegasus.  It's a really nice wood to work with.  There are some amber waves in the otherwise light color, but I actually like it.

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John,   Holly is a difficult wood to season.  The piece you have has probably been infected with Blue Mold.  It is grey or blue and it discolors the wood. 

The good aspect is that it only discolors, it does not rot. You can use it with no worry.  I was working Holly logs into billets and as the band saw blade approached the end it was pushing water ahead of it,  so communication inside the wood is easy.  Most who want Holly are after the snow white effect.  To preserve that, Holly must be harvested in Winter and rushed to a kiln to stay ahead of the Blue Mold.  For most of our uses,  it does not matter.  In your case, it makes for a more realistic decking color.  Holly takes well to wood dyes and makes for an easier to use Ebony when dyed black and the mold does not matter  It bends like a champ,so is good for hull planking, it just looks better dyed or painted.  The scale effect of the grain is about as good as it gets.

 

BCD,  

Open pore species- such as Oak, Ash, Hickory, Black Walnut - do not scale well, so are maybe not among the better choices. 

 

Basswood in pre-scribed sheets is what kits used to provide for decks.  The wood scales well and will work as individual planks.  It is just too

soft and ready to fuzz for my taste.

Yellow Poplar is light weight and easy to work and stays crisp.  You have to be picky about the planks unless you want a greenish deck.

Soft Maple might get you some grey effect in areas of a board, but mostly it is close to white.  It is soft, and can fuzz or be brittle.  As a horticultural specimen  Soft (Water) Maple is a weed.

 

Hard Maple will make for a good deck if you want something that looks like Rupp Arena.

Sycamore ( American ) is brittle and has a pattern that is too busy ( an alternate name is Lacewood ).

What the English call Sycamore is a species of Maple that is close but not quite as hard as Hard Maple.

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Tough question....  holly, boxwood, pear, silver maple (I've not tried other species of maple) look good depending on the effect you're looking for.  As for finishes... Wipe-on-poly, varnish.. there's a bunch.   I'm a Wipe-on-Poly guy but other finishes look excellent from what I've seen on MSW.

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  • 2 months later...

Nice Bill.  Dave (Doc Blake) has been using yellowheart on some of this builds to real nice effect.  I'm considering using it on my Charles Morgan build to represent the ochre areas.

Good morning Mike!

 

Yellowheart..and Redheart are really nice woods. Their grain is tight and linear. I have ripped down some test planks/decking strips, it is flexible, holds a nice crisp edge. 

Over time they will both fade a bit with a grayish hue. Proper sealing and finishing to really close up the wood's cells can minimize this. The fading is more dramatic if continuously exposed to sun light.

 

 

Bill

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Good morning Mike!

 

Yellowheart..and Redheart are really nice woods. Their grain is tight and linear. I have ripped down some test planks/decking strips, it is flexible, holds a nice crisp edge. 

Over time they will both fade a bit with a grayish hue. Proper sealing and finishing to really close up the wood's cells can minimize this. The fading is more dramatic if continuously exposed to sun light.

 

 

Bill

 

Hey Bill,

 

I've been using redheart on my Pegasus build, and really have enjoyed working with it.  It can be a bit crumbly at times, but unless you're doing detailed carving, it hasn't been an issue for me at least when it comes to using it for planking or creating deck structures like the bitts:

 

http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/7267-hms-pegasus-by-landlubber-mike-amativictory-models-scale-164/?p=441236

 

 

I haven't worked with bloodwood, but I heard that it can be splintery, and the UV aging effects are much more dramatic.  Redheart will age to an orangy-brown color, while bloodwood will turn a very dark brown almost bordering on black.

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The more tannin a wood contains the higher it's propensity to react (oxidize) in the presence of UV light. I've not worked with Bloodwood at such small scale.

 

Managing moisture content of your woods is everything. As I do for furniture, etc.. I maintain color matched pieces together and don't cut them until I'm ready to use them. I think especially for cutting planking/decking, I would cut them 24-48 hours before use. this gives any stress in the grain a chance to relax, but keep them bundled and straight.

I am building a "humidor" for the new shipyard to store my materials while they await to be used in the build ;)  I'll post the construction of the humidor when I start it.

 

Teak, would be interesting. It has a pretty open grain pattern. I would think as with any wood, a careful selection of the pieces chosen would be worth trying on a larger scale model :)

 

 

Bill

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I have used birch to good effect (Betula papyrifera) whose heartwood is creamy white, straight grained with a fine, even texture.  It also bends well, polishes well, takes clear stains, and glues well.  When nailing or screwing, one will need to prebore.   Maple and American sycamore also work quite well.   Duff

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