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Just looking for some advice here.

I purchased a kit on Ebay that was advertised as "New & Unopened". When I received it the rubber bands holding the wood strips had disintegrated and at some point had melted and were stuck onto the strips. Tracing the serial number with the supplier it turned out the kit was manufactured in 2005.

The question is; Is there a way to tell if the wood in the kit is still good to be used. Can it be dried out in storage to the point it has become unuseable.

Cheers, Peter

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Depends on the wood and the conditions it was stored under.  I have used wood from some 40 year old kits that needed some soaking in warm water to keep it from splintering but was other wise fine.  On the other hand some wood only a few years old can be to dry and brittle to use.

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Thanks grsjax,

I was afraid it was a bit of an open ended question. I was looking for an easy way of testing it out prior to finding out when I get around building it. Or if all dry and brittle wood can be somehow recovered by soaking it.

Although the question probably falls under the "how long is a piece of string" category ;)

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Wood that seems to be too brittle or splinters is probably because an unsuitable species was chosen by the kit company to begin with.

Living in a World of short lived manufactured items and plastics that either oxidize or continue to polymerize to brittleness over a short time span,

it is easy to forget that when harvested, some wood was already several hundred years old on the hoof. The rapid growing species are often too soft, or coarse, 

or contrasty, or easily split to be appropriate.  An exception seems to be various ornamental Pear. But their size and branch habits do not lend them

to commercial interest. They are essentially DIY.

The goal of seasoning is to get wood into a hydrated equilibrium with its ambient atmosphere. It can't get any dryer than that. 

If the kit has been stored in a humid environment, it could have been invaded by fungus and ruined, but the box would have all but disintegrated too.

Some members here have been on builds a lot longer than the 12 years your kit has been around.

Edited by Jaager
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I am building a kit that had an original invoice inside for 1970 and even though the parts list has eaten way almost like it was dissolvable, the wood is excellent and very nice to work with. On the other hand a Jotika kit of HMS Pickle that was only 3 years old required the walnut replacing.


I have a large collection of kits, some from the 1980's and cannot really tell any difference in the wood. 

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Thanks John, Thunder & Jaager,

I have decided to run with it and see how I go when I build it. I don't think the plywood is that critical because there is not much bending involved and the wood for planking can be replaced if needed. The question was more intended to find out if there were any visual indicators that the wood had deteriorated. Bending and breaking is a good test but not a good strategy if the kit was meant to be returned for a full refund.

Everything that was originally sealed was still sealed and the plywood didn't look that bad. Maybe I overreacted a bit when opening the box after expecting a (near) new kit.

Well..., lesson learned and I definitely think twice before jumping too quick onto EBay again....

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Forgot to add the # 1 reply they tend to use I don't  know it was my fathers it was my grandfathers a friend passed and his wife gave it to me but it looks good run away. In the end if you runaway allot you will save big bucks and won't feel like you were scammed which is becoming Americas pastime run run run!;)

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