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I am New to this site and I hope you can help me with what I am after.


 I am planning on building a wooden 1/12 Remote Controlled rowboat skiff.


 In stead of painting the wooden hull I would like to have the hull either lightly stained OR clear coated to show off the wood.


 I don`t know what wood I should use that is both strong, flexible and has a small grain pattern for this scale of boat.


 Any suggestions, tips, Canadian Sources of the wood, would be Greatly appreciated.


 Thanks for your Time in reading this and your help.



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Hi George,


Welcome to the forum. I'm new here myself, but it seems to be a great place to hang out and get input from a lot of very knowledgable folks.


As you explore the forum, you'll notice that there is a sub forum for "WOOD" where I bet you can find the answer to your question.




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Here some photos that show what I write: 




This photo shows the hull I made using cheap pine wood as it has visible grains that make the wood look nice. To make the wood used visible requires to work details so that no filler is required.




I did use 5x3 mm pine wood laths. In this picture, you can see that I was able to remove all frames so that I was able to apply fiberglass with epoxy. Up to 100gr per square meter, you will not be able to see the fiberglass, even where patches overlapped.




The result, in my opinion really beautiful, requires sweat, perseverance and exhausting preparation!



The hull in construction!




My son and I did the sanding. We did it beginning with on side and the on the other side. The second side resulted in an improved surface, so we repeated the exercise on the first side. It was an iterative process until we were pleased with the result. 3 mm thickness of the lathes proved to be a good choice. After applying the glass fiber with epoxy and a special wood hardener, polyurethane clear coat. We started using a 5:1 mixture with thinner so that the coating penetrated the wood. We repeated this exercise after it dries and is sanded carefully with the same mixture until the wood felt hardened, 2-3x, it depends on the wood. then we added a coating 3:1 mixture with thinner, also 2x and finally the polyurethane with no thinner. Between application, you have to keep sanding it with always increasing finner sanding paper. Do the same inside the hull.


A lesson I learned: Always work symmetrically. When you have finished the work on the outside, do the same within the wooden hull. An effect of this is that water that will get into the hull will not affect the wood as it is completely sealed by this coating, assuming you did not sand all cat away! Still then, the coating will have penetrated the wood completely sealing it from the water! But when coating it with glass fiber and epoxy this symmetrical coating of the hull from outside and inside. It will prevent those laths to be identifiable when moving your hand over the surface! I did learn in the hard way as I could not believe those wooden laths so thin after sanding that you could see the shadow when moving your fingers over the surface.


Now a principle to get deep into your brain: Every effort that you spend on a phase of the construction saves 10x the effort to fix it later.


The plan that I had was the copy of a copy of a copy! I do not know how often it was copied! So to make the frames my son and me passed the measurements on the plan to a paper with mm-grid. 


I do not have photos showing it. But we used different techniques, one after the other so that all lines did have a smooth curve. We started passing the data into an excel sheet and fixed the dimensions so the resulting curves in the chart were smooth. Then we applied a long wooden lathe with homogeneous grain and forced it to the curves on the millimeter paper without bending it over the length of the hull plan just bending it from its endpoints, about 15 cm over the hull length. The result of this effort is that later the resulting curves are smooth without apparent "elbows"! 





What gets lost when looking on this photo is that each frame picture includes the separation "ears" that place each frame at the correct altitude. The wooden table is a parallel surface to the resulting waterline of the frames. You can see 3 photos earlier that I do use those "ears" to screw the frames onto the wooden table. One last suggestion: I did use 5 mm thick wooden plate to make the frames and I did use a kind of a triplex that is very brittle. The result of doing so is that using a plier I could remove the frames so that I got the inner side of the hull fully accessible without the frames interfering. See the photo of the inner side of the hull. The white marks are the place where the frames used to be. As I did use glue to glue the lathes, on by one and always 1 lathe on one side of the hull, then a lathe on the other side of the hull. Clamps did press each lathe at it was glued to the previous lathe. As the frames just were about 1-2 cm wide I could also use clamps to press the lathe to every frame along the hull.


Here you will appreciate the effort taken to have smooth curves for each lathe and the effort to have precise frames. You will need no filler to get a perfect shape of your hull. What I would also do differently if I had the chance to build a new hull, I would use lathes of the kind of wood that results to have the color you want.




Here you can see how adding toner to the epoxy coating I got the color I wanted. Another advice should you make a hull as heavy as mine will be. Place a steel lathe on the bottom of the hull near the point where the rudder is placed. Wooden lathes cannot with stand the stress of a heavy hull. So in my hull the steel part is not visible from ourside!







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