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Author Topic: "Advanced" planking tips  (Read 4376 times)

ianmcairns

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"Advanced" planking tips
« on: September 08, 2010, 12:39:52 PM »

I'm about to start building the Mantua Anteo tug, a double plank on frame. I built a Mantua Bruma previously and the manufacturers supplied balsa as an (optional) first plank under the lime outer plank. I quite liked the balsa as, although softer, I could get a very tight smooth finish, which I covered in modelling tissue before the second plank. For this kit, Mantua haven't supplied the balsa option but I may buy some and so that way anyway.

Most pictures of the Anteo show it painted, which looks fine.



I've also seen a picture of it unpainted which also looks nice (although not authentic as it would have been a steel hull).







My rather open questions are:
what tips do members have for getting planking to this standard on a working model? It seems potentially difficult finishing it really well at bow and stern and getting it watertight.
Also what darker hardwood would be most suitable - Sapele, Obeche, Black Walnut and Mahogany have been mentioned?
Is it best to cover an unpainted hull with resin? When I built the Bruma I tried covering the outer planking with epoxy resin but it dried rather lumpy with bubbles. Where did I go wrong? Presumably if you get it right you get a hard glass-like finish? I ended up painting it..



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kno3

  • Guest
Re: "Advanced" planking tips
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2010, 12:07:15 PM »

To answer the questions you've sent via PM: for my tug's hull I have used abachi wood for planking and plywood for the ribs. Abachi is really soft and flexible, easy to bend and cut with a sharp knife. However, if I were to do it again, I would choose a more beautiful wood like walnut, mahogany or so. They are harder but not impossible to work with, you just need to bend the strips in water or steam (more effective).
For waterproofing I have used epoxy resin outside and inside. I guess the solution for avoiding bubbles and lumps is to use a thinner epoxy mix and brush it on in many thin layers.

By the way, something I learned the hard way is to wait with the epoxy coating until you have all details glued to the wooden hull (like strips etc). Otherwise it's quite difficult to glue them to the epoxy.

Another thing: be careful what glues you use. Some have the bad habit of showing through a clear finish as whitish spots. So choose one that doesn't stain the wood.

Anteo is a beautiful model, especially with a nice wood showing, good luck with it!
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ianmcairns

  • Guest
Re: "Advanced" planking tips
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2010, 03:24:39 PM »

Thanks for the tips
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des321

  • Guest
Re: "Advanced" planking tips
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2010, 11:35:08 PM »

Hi Ian,
We were building the Bruma about the same time and shared some messages. I'm now restoring a 100 year old pond yacht. The hull was in a poor state but has been fibre glassed inside to give water tightness. Having spent hours on the exterior which was covered in layers of paint I find magnificent mahogany planking which I intend to preserve. Having spoken to a professional restorer I have used Sanding Sealer. It already looks great. I will follow with yacht varnish. The final treatment (after several days) is a rubdown with a T-cut type compound to give a lovely natural looking satin finish. Personally I would not use epoxy on natural wood. Its fine though if you are going to paint it.
Another tip, I have completely eliminated the problem of dust on the surface by wiping the hull with a proper impregnated cloth for the purpose between each rubdown/coat. Makes a huge difference to the final look and feel.
Regards    Des
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kiwi

  • Guest
Re: "Advanced" planking tips
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2010, 03:23:49 AM »

Hi,
If sealing a wood hull with epoxy, you need to finish the job with a final coat of 2-pot polyurethane clear. This renders the epoxy transparent and brings out the natural wood grain. Epoxy on its own is not uv stable and can degrade over time. (a long time for models kept inside), and the polyurethane gives you the hard shiny surface. BUT, it will show up any dust or tiny imperfections in the finished surface of the epoxy. Just get the epoxy right and then prepare and coat.
This is normal "full scale" wooden boating practice. The best reference for finishing wooden boats in natural look is contained in the "West System Manual" available at most good wooden boat builders world wide. Expensive but the 'bible'.
As to gluing to epoxy, use the same epoxy, but before applying the clear finish coat. Not much will adhere to that.
Keep those wooden boats a-building.
cheers
kiwi
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