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A couple of questions. Firstly CA glues for modellers seems to come in three grades. Very thin and fast setting which I associate with fixing broken China through an intermediate grade to the thickest and slowest setting. I don’t think I want to order the thin fast stuff for planking but am undecided about ordering the intermediate or slow CA. Suggestions please. 

Secondly I want to simulate the effect of deck planking nails. Presumably I need a technique that will allow me to accurately place a minute quantity of ink(?) on the chosen spot which will not get smudged later when I brush on poly to protect that deck planks. Again suggestions please.

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I am eager to read what others might say regarding CA so I am following this thread.


regarding deck planking nails.  What era/type build are you working on as some nails were in countersunk holes and wood plugs driven in above them.


I've read some people simply use a sharp pencil to leave a graphite dot... as an old draughtsman I always smugged my lines so I wouldn't do this.  You might try it on a piece of scrap then test with a layer of poly.


I've also seen black monofilament fishing line glued into drilled pockets to simulate the bolt.  I am doing this on my frames and I draw the fishing line through sand paper to rough it up so the glue will grip.  This is a lot more work than a pencil dot.


Alan O'Neill
"only dead fish go with the flow"   :dancetl6:

Ongoing Build (31 Dec 2013) - HMS BELLEROPHON (1786), POF scratch build, scale 1:64, 74 gun 3rd rate Man of War, Arrogant Class

Member of the Model Shipwrights of Niagara, Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada (2016), and the Nautical Research Guild (since 2014)

Associate member of the Nautical Research and Model Ship Society (2021)

Offshore member of The Society of Model Shipwrights (2021)

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I'd like to read some ideas on what grade of CA to use on wood. My past experience makes me not want to use it as a glue.


The black monofilament fishing line is a technique Chuck Passaro used in his 1/24 scale longboat, here on the site. His kit include 10 pound and 25 pound line for simulating bolts. The light line simulates bolts thru hull planking; the heavier line is used for the bolts in the boat's keel.

I think it all comes down to the scale you are working in and how visible nail heads are in the scale. And too much of a color difference could make it look like a case of the measles.



Started: MS Bounty Longboat,

On Hold:  Heinkel USS Choctaw paper

Down the road: Shipyard HMC Alert 1/96 paper, Mamoli Constitution Cross, MS USN Picket Boat #1

Scratchbuild: Echo Cross Section


Member Nautical Research Guild

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I only have used 2 types of CA once the hobby shop explained it.  The super thin is for metal to metal.  Then there's the "gap filling medium" which for wood.  I only use it for small bits, metal to wood, etc.  For just wood... Elmer's Wood Glue.  But different strokes for different folks and "your mileage may vary" so test first and figure out what works best for you.

"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)         



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What scale is your model?  What ship is it?  This could be useful in determining if trennals, spikes, or dumps were used.  If smaller than 1:48, you do not need to show anything as it could easily be out of scale.  Even using a sharp pencil point could have different size dots as the graphite wears down.   

If you are building at 1:48, the diameter of the nails would likely be about 3/4" or smaller, thus 0.015" diameter.  Not difficult to make from brass rod for spikes or dumps or bamboo if for treenails.  If 1:96, the diameter would be less than 0.007"  


I am not a fan CA, but admittedly have recently begun using it for styrene on styrene and styrene on metal with no issues.  For metal on metal, silver solder or even soft solder at times.  But for wood, why go to the expense, fumes, etc. of CA when carpenters glue is  really better suited for wood.  I have been recently told that many folks use CA because it makes the build go quicker.  I never really thought of ship modeling as a speed event so CA never had any appeal for me.    Just my own personal thoughts and I am probably in the minority, but you asked.


No matter what you decide to try, Mark has given great advice.  Do a test drive of each method on scrap material.





Edited by allanyed

PLEASE take 30 SECONDS and sign up for the epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series.   Click on http://trafalgar.tv   There is no cost other than the 30 seconds of your time.  THANK YOU


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The model scale is 1:35 and is one of the standard beginners kits - Mare Nostrum. I have a lot to learn!


The fishing line solution for deck nails sounds exotic but, being a total beginner, I’m looking for something a little simpler. The kit instructions are generally excellent but on this topic they do little more than hint at showing deck nails. See red dots on attachments!


Looks like medium CA would meet my needs if I decide not to use wood glue. Thanks everyone. 


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Hi Neil,

I totally agree with Spyglass for Mare Nostrum. 


BUT, if you feel you need to install some kind of fastening that shows, there would be many more beams than on your model.  Just putting in spikes on the bulkheads would not look correct.  Also, per Spyglass's comment, if you want to go ahead with this, it would be better to make and use wooden trennals as they would appear more like wooden plugs that would be used to cover the spikes or dumps.   There would likely be two through each plank at each beam, not four on every other plank and they would lie at an angle, not be in line similar to the attached.    Hope this helps!  Allan



PLEASE take 30 SECONDS and sign up for the epic Nelson/Trafalgar project if you would like to see it made into a TV series.   Click on http://trafalgar.tv   There is no cost other than the 30 seconds of your time.  THANK YOU


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