Wood it's characteristics and use in model building

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Hi Brian,
That sounds reasonable, however in my limited experience most of it will be turned into saw dust by the time suitable boards are made. Also I have a limited hobby budget per year.
Cheers,
Stephen.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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Thank you for the considerable effort you have put into this blog, you have expanded my limited knowledge of woods considerably.
Living in Australia as far as I am aware we don't have easy access to the species mentioned in Northern Hemisphere country's, and I for one was caught up in the belief you need this or that wood to make a great model.


needing special wood like only Boxwood or Steamed pearwood or Holly for decks etc was a silly trend made up by a group of elitist's in the hobby. Totally rubbish
there are thousands of types of wood you can use.
I think the trend started when a small group tried to emulate the admiralty ship models that used boxwood and Pearwood.
 

zoly99sask

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Thank you for the considerable effort you have put into this blog, you have expanded my limited knowledge of woods considerably.
Living in Australia as far as I am aware we don't have easy access to the species mentioned in Northern Hemisphere country's, and I for one was caught up in the belief you need this or that wood to make a great model.


needing special wood like only Boxwood or Steamed pearwood or Holly for decks etc was a silly trend made up by a group of elitist's in the hobby. Totally rubbish
there are thousands of types of wood you can use.
I think the trend started when a small group tried to emulate the admiralty ship models that used boxwood and Pearwood.
There is a reason they used that,because they look good
 

Jimsky

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needing special wood like only Boxwood or Steamed pearwood or Holly for decks etc was a silly trend made up by a group of elitist's in the hobby. Totally rubbish
there are thousands of types of wood you can use.
I think the trend started when a small group tried to emulate the admiralty ship models that used boxwood and Pearwood.
I wouldn't necessary called it a silly!! The timber they choose, may perfectly dictate by availability on those species, and for the most part by characteristics of this wood. I don't think anyone will argue about finest grain of boxwood, Pear and Holly. They can develop a nice reach color (over the time). And don't forget about the personal taste. Nothing to do with a group of elitist's in the hobby, IMHO.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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ok I agree

that was my error it was a point that those were the ONLY acceptable wood to use and all others were junk.
yes boxwood and pear and others are a fine woods and look really nice and very expensive.

so if you were starting out as your first scratch built model and you were told only boxwood can be used or your wasting you time is not right. Boxwood sells for $36.00 a foot Maple sells for $2.60 a foot and both would make a fine model.
So as a beginner in scratch building your looking at an investment in wood that might scare you off.
 

Jimsky

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so if you were starting out as your first scratch built model and you were told only boxwood can be used or your wasting you time is not right. Boxwood sells for $36.00 a foot Maple sells for $2.60 a foot and both would make a fine model.
So as a beginner in scratch building your looking at an investment in wood that might scare you off.
You have a valid point, Dave. However, I grow in Ukraine (former USSR), where Pearwood, Apple and Cherry tree grows in each household yard. People use this wood for fireplaces and chimney. This was back 40 years ago, and most likely, still freely available.
 

Uwek

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needing special wood like only Boxwood or Steamed pearwood or Holly for decks etc was a silly trend made up by a group of elitist's in the hobby. Totally rubbish
there are thousands of types of wood you can use.
I think the trend started when a small group tried to emulate the admiralty ship models that used boxwood and Pearwood.
You said: "....was a silly trend made up by a group of elitist's in the hobby "

It is not elitism, if you like these kinds of wood - it is often and mainly a question of taste and often effected by the area where you life and from where you can get the timber for a reasonable cost of transport and costs. In Europe it is common to build scratch models in pear, because you can get this type for a reasonable price.
There are modelers out there, saying that you have to use oak, because the original ships were also build in oak - a lengthy discussion, but everytime based on subjective taste.
Everybody should use the timber he likes.
Important is in my opinion only, that everybody understands the physical behavior and the final appearance of the different wood - and this related to the scale of his/her model

So:
Fact finding + subjective taste = > personal decision
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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another point there are many types of wood right in your area you do not have to use some expensive wood that was shipped half way around the world.

But

i thought of using the sapwood of the pink ivory tree just because the wood is very rare, very expensive, and actually a wood that only the leaders of a community were allowed to own.
so in some sense a rare and expensive wood adds value to a model as say apposed to common maple.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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model building as an art form would require one to ponder the materials used

a model with cannons cast in sterling silver or gold rather than cast in pewter
 

Jimsky

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i thought of using the sapwood of the pink ivory tree just because the wood is very rare, very expensive, and actually a wood that only the leaders of a community were allowed to own.
so in some sense a rare and expensive wood adds value to a model as say apposed to common maple.

This is another subject and may nothing to do with the hobby. A model you build to commission (sell) should have a value! Often times. in such cases, you discuss the final price before even start planning for the build. The price may include an exotic\rare wood and even precious metals, gold for example. But this is is business, and not a hobby. If I ask you to cut planks from sapwood and I will accept the price, would you say NO, Jim? ;)
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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I never did build the ivorywood model because the ivory colored sapwood was only a narrow band and I had to buy the entire log, I could not afford the wood.
if I went to sell the model and had 2 of them side by side both identical in craftsmanship one in Maple $800.00 and one in ivorywood $9,000.00 I think the Maple would sell before the Ivorywood one
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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years ago there was the Warrior model project and there was a timbering set in Cherry, Maple, Beech, Red Gum all what we call common woods here in the northeastern part of the states. Cost $600.00 for all the milled wood package. Then someone comes along and wants his wood package in Boxwood, Rosewood, Holly, steamed pearwood planking and the price is $2,300.00
I get a wow I can not afford that! what if I screw it up and have to replace the wood? that is a very expensive mistake I got to get it right the first time. well ok then use Maple or Beech you can build it 4 time over.
 

Jimsky

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I never did build the ivorywood model because the ivory colored sapwood was only a narrow band and I had to buy the entire log, I could not afford the wood.
if I went to sell the model and had 2 of them side by side both identical in craftsmanship one in Maple $800.00 and one in ivorywood $9,000.00 I think the Maple would sell before the Ivorywood one
You will not even start building the model (the one you would sell for 9.000.00), Those type of model build by special ordered by collectibles only. But your 800.00 maple model may have a fiasko as well. I don't think a buyer commonly asking what species of wood this model made from? Who cares as long as the price is right, you like it, and willing to pay.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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If I ask you to cut planks from sapwood and I will accept the price, would you say NO, Jim?

hum if someone asked me to build them a model of the black Pearl in Ebony at $96.00 a board foot for the material I think I would say no because I know any error on my part can be very expensive and at my cost.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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I don't think a buyer commonly asking what species of wood this model made from?

I think you are right about that, but a very high end collector will ask because I see models in galleries that state the wood used and these are $20,000.00 models
 

Jimsky

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This discussion routes in a different direction.

But if you say NO to Jim, there will be others who will help, yes, the price may be higher, much higher, but it is between both the buyer and the producer to make that agreement.
 

Dave Stevens (Lumberyard)

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This discussion routes in a different direction.

But if you say NO to Jim, there will be others who will help, yes, the price may be higher, much higher, but it is between both the buyer and the producer to make that agreement.

commissioned work is a whole different animal price and materials are between the builder and client. There are people out there who will pay 1 million for Dorthey's ruby shoes and people out there who will buy models out of the rarest woods.

but back on the hobby level it is what you want to do and i would mill you any material on earth if you are willing to pay the price.

I think craftsmanship comes before the wood that was used in a model
 
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