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Hi, I am new to model ship building, I recently retired, after being semi retired for 5 years (worked almost as many hours semi retired) but now I have time, I am working on the MS Rattlesnake, and have the MS Morgan on the shelf, I plan to modify or kit bash, also plan for the short term to paint. I can see that it will be necessary to have a supply of wood on hand, looking for suggestions on what thicknesses are the most common and also suggestions on quantities. I have a vintage Inca #159 model table saw, certainly not a Barnes, but it is fairly accurate. Thanks for suggestions and comments. This is a great site, I cannot believe the amount of information available.




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In the United States there are quite a few places you can get 20-24 inch pieces in 1/8, 1/4 and 1/2 thickness. The 1/8 is what I use for planking as it is between 3 and 4 mm. which fits my scale. The thicker pieces I use for things like cap rails. It depends on your scale. Larger pieces can also be ripped down to what you need. There are also a some places that sell wood strips in various thicknesses and widths although the variety of wood types is not as great as buying wood pieces and ripping them. As far as how much to have on hand, the ready availability allows one to just order what you need allowing for waste rather than stockpiling. Ships take months or years to complete so there is plenty of time to order new wood.

Completed scratch build: The armed brig "Badger" 1777

Current scratch build: The 36 gun frigate "Unite" 1796

Completed kits: Mamoli "Alert", Caldercraft "Sherbourne"

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When you consider the planking thickness of the decks, the wales, the diminishing strakes, bottom planking, and rails (not to mention internal planking) there can be many different thicknesses.  No matter how accurate the saw, the best investment I made to be able to have proper thickness of planks is a thickness sander.  A good one such as the Byrnes will allow you to produce planks at a thickness within a few thousandths accuracy.  I don't know that there would be so many different thicknesses for either the Morgan or Rattlesnake, but if there are, a thickness sander is a good solution to getting what you need.


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Gidday Ed and a warm welcome from the Land Downunder.

All of the above comments are relative. If you are "Kit bashing" are you replacing the timber like for like? If so you already know what the dimensions are.

I hope I haven't confused the issue.

Wishing you all the best in your endeavours,


Edited by pontiachedmark
Mend a typo.
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