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Small blocks which wood?


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Thank you for the kind words.....it is best to use a hard wood.  Any wood that is too soft will get very fragile for blocks that size.  The harder the wood the better.  Hard maple for example would work...yellowheart...boxwood of course or most fruitwoods.   Although some fruitwood is pretty soft.



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The cheapest piece of boxwood that I have found in the UK is from old boxwood rules/rulers that you can find on eBay. The cheapest old ones (generally labelled 'vintage') go for about £3.50 inc p&p for a 3 foot folding rule and slightly less for the 2ft versions -- although you have to be patient and keep a good eye out for them at this price.


Occasionally a brand new version crops up even cheaper when the seller is not aware how much more they can get if they brand their rule as 'vintage' -- I bought a new unopened 3ft boxwood rule for £2.70 inc p&p from eBay in January.


You have to search both 'rule' and 'ruler'. This means longer sets of results than if you combine with 'boxwood', but you then catch the sellers that omit the word. I had a search follower set up on eBay that would email me whenever new rulers came up for auction. That way you don't have to keep searching yourself.


These rulers are a good size (about 4.6mm x 25mm) for such small blocks and you can make enough for several models out of even a 2ft rule. It is also useful for making deck fittings and other small pieces such as boom crutches, cannon barrels, cleats etc.


An advantage of the rulers is that they are made from pure boxwood which has no defects and is not going to warp.


I've also bought a 1ft 2"x2" length of Castello Boxwood from Exotic Hardwoods UK (http://www.exotichardwoodsukltd.com) for £7.50. They also do nice pear cuts. Their postage was £6.50 for that as well as two 2ft x 2" x 2" pieces of pear. These pieces were only lumber cut, not milled, so I have had to finish them myself. I have yet to try the Castello Boxwood for making blocks, but I am told its qualities are very similar to boxwood.


You can get milled strips of boxwood at a very reasonable price (especially as the Euro is now so low against the pound) from Arkowood online shop in Germany. You can see an example at http://www.arkowood-shop.de/product_info.php?info=p4763_holzbrettchen-buchsbaum-8-x-50-x-500-mm.html for €16.50 for a 8mm x 50mm x 500mm of boxwood. Their shipping to the UK is a standard €16.50, so it helps to buy as many strips as possible to make it more economical. They also sell milled castello boxwood and pear.



Edited by tkay11
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One of the problems of ordering stuff from the USA for the UK is that the import and duty charges on both purchase and shipping costs are so high -- in addition to the handling charges levied by the post office. So with the shipping costs being high for the passage to the UK, it makes it an expensive option.



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