Jump to content

Recommended Posts


  My name is George and I am from Ontario, Canada. I am a new member here so please excuse me if this is in the wrong section.

 I am planning on building a 1/12 scale rowboat skiff that will be remote controllable. It will be in the water BUT I would like to not paint the outside of the hull but rather either stain the wood or just seal the wood with a clear epoxy.

 What would be a Good wood to choose for a lighter finish BUT be able to bend to the hull shape and have a tighter grain pattern?

 I have No band saw just a standard table saw BUT with winter approaching, that is stored and I would need to buy cut and partially sanded pieces to work with.


 Can anyone suggest a affordable type of wood to use and from where in my area to get it?

 I don`t plan on making museum quality model rowboat.

 Thanks for your Time in reading this and your help.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

1:12 is a fairly large scale, but even so Oak, Ash, Hickory will not scale all that well. And Red Oak is full of open channels,

so it would leak. 

Hard Maple would be an excellent choice for a light color,  very similar is Birch and Beech.

Black Cherry gives a red color and is also a good choice.  Not sure what you have up there, but here it is a light red.

Years past, in KY, I got some that was dark enough to stand for true Mahogany  - the early 20thC Chris Craft type.

Even if you could get it, that Mahogany would not scale well and what stands in for it now is even less suitable.

Yellow Poplar would work. 

Dimension cut wood that you want is pretty much limited to Balsa, which is a very poor choice, and Basswood (a slightly softer brother to Lime in Europe).

Now, Bass has the sort of grain that you want and is a light color. It is also a soft wood, easy to dent and difficult to keep sharp edges.  Easy to work.

Midwest Products is a major producer and a quick search has it at WalMart Canada, who also has Birch plywood in small thicknesses.  It is not marine ply,

so water will unglue the layers.  At 1:12 Bass may do,  but inexpensive it is not.  But anymore, not much about wood is inexpensive.


I you want something other than Basswood

Start with a Web search in your area for

1)  hardwood lumber mills

2) a local woodworkers guild, or trade school teaching woodworking - because you will want to have use of a band saw and thickness sander.

NRG member 45 years



HMS Centurion 1732 - 60-gun 4th rate - Navall Timber framing

HMS Beagle 1831 refiit  10-gun brig with a small mizzen - Navall (ish) Timber framing

The U.S. Ex. Ex. 1838-1842
Flying Fish 1838  pilot schooner -  framed - ready for stern timbers
Porpose II  1836  brigantine/brig - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers
Vincennes  1825  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers assembled, need shaping
Peacock  1828  Sloop-of -War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Sea Gull  1838  pilot schooner -  timbers ready for assembly
Relief  1835  ship - timbers ready for assembly


Portsmouth  1843  Sloop-of-War  -  timbers ready for assembly
Le Commerce de Marseilles  1788   118 cannons - framed

La Renommee 1744 Frigate - framed - ready for hawse and stern timbers


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gidday George and a warm and hearty welcome from the Land Downunder.

Unfortunately geography makes my suggestions on wood redundant. Aside from that you are sure to find encouragement and support here. Just a suggestion ,look into some scratch build logs from your fellow Canadians and see what wood they are using and possible suppliers. 

All the best with your build.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have a look at Crown Timberyard (https://www.crowntimberyard.com/)  boxwood, maple.


Syren (https://www.syrenshipmodelcompany.com/milled-lumber.php#!/Precision-Milled-Wood-Sheets-from-the-Syren-Woodshed/c/28580533/offset=21&sort=normal) for yellow cedar and boxwood.


There's also this link which may help (the top 3 pinned posts:  

https://modelshipworld.com/index.php?/forum/20-wood-discussion/   I don't know who among these would have pre-milled wood, though.  Plus the woods that are available change regularly.




"The shipwright is slow, but the wood is patient." - me

Current Build:                                                                                             
Past Builds:
 La Belle Poule 1765 - French Frigate from ANCRE plans                             Triton Cross-Section   

                                                                                                                       USS Constellaton (kit bashed to 1854 Sloop of War  _(Gallery) Build Log

                                                                                Wasa (Gallery)

                                                                                                                        HMS Sphinx 1775 - Vanguard Models - 1:64               


Non-Ship Model:                                                                                         On hold, maybe forever:           

CH-53 Sikorsky - 1:48 - Revell - Completed                                                   Licorne - 1755 from Hahn Plans (Scratch) Version 2.0 (Abandoned)         



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would go along with the suggestion of using poplar.  It is usually available from the big box stores, is fairly cheap,  harder than bass wood but still works easily and looks good.  As for slicing up the wood you might want to invest in a hollow ground planer blade for your table saw.  With care you can get very thin sections using a planer blade.

My advice and comments are always worth what you paid for them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...