Jump to content

Question about cutting planks from wood sheets

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,


This might seem like a silly question, but I was wondering how people approach cutting planks from wood sheets.  I ordered a bunch of sheets from Jeff at Hobbymill, which are 3" wide and I think 18-24" long.  When cutting planks from those sheets, is it better to cross cut the sheet to the length of the planks I will need, and then cut the individual planks from that piece?  Or should I cut planking strips from the full sheet, and then cut them individually to size?  I can see the benefits of both approaches, but wasn't sure which would be the most efficient use of the wood.


Thanks in advance!

Link to comment
Share on other sites



I really don't think there is a 'right' way to cut your sheet.  It all depends on the sizes of your planks.  You'll have different lengths of planks as you work around the hull, so whichever way you cut you'll have at least some waste.  it's just a matter of watching your lengths and making the best use of it as you go along.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Brian.  I've cut some pieces for the keel of my Lyme build on the saw, but I need a lot more practice.  That thing scares the crap out of me, especially having some kickback when I first started using it (which went away after I pushed out the back end of the fence a tad).  I bought one of these with the 1/8" leg attachment to see if it makes things a little safer and easier.  I'll post my experience with it after some trial runs.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

    I agree with John.  I do both.  I try and go with a standard length plank and cut the sheet accordingly.  However, life is not perfect and I often have to trim here and cut some that are longer there.  The other thing I find is that the narrower the sheet becomes, the harder it is to cut the loooong strip.


   Another issue is that if you are spiling correctly, some of your planks are not going to be straight.  You will have to use a 1/4" wide piece (for instance) to get a curved 1/8" wide plank.  The next one, because of the curve, might need to be 3/8" wide to start.  I have not done alot of this yet, but I find I will cut out just enough (and a scosh more) than I need.  It makes for a real patchwork of the sheet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I cut all my planks by hand from sheet wood. I have an assorted set of brass squares and use these for marking the plank width while held in a vise. I mark the width of the plank slightly oversize and cut it from the sheet, full length. Then I cross cut the plank to slightly longer than the finished size and plane it to final width. Place, mark to final length, glue and done.

You get used to it. I can do several dozen in an evening.

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...