Model Building Tools

Does anyone have any tips on helping with holding down the planking on a wooden ship/boat model. The glue I am using both thin CA and thick CA just isn't working well. I put a dab on one end and all is fine until I bend it (slight bend) around the forms and try to glue it to the other stem and either the other end comes off or I can't hold the other end long enough to let it set. Anyone here know of any tricks?

Thanks Steve

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"Steve" schreef in bericht news:aXlYb.204341$U%5.1126527@attbi_s03...

All I can think of is that in real wooden shipbuilding, the wood is soaked in water to make in bendable.

Then, they hammered it down and put pressure on it to conform to the hull-shape.

So I guess that might do the trick. Also, CA thin glue gets absorbed by wood, maybe that too is part of the problem?

Reply to
Herbert Ackermans

A couple, sure:

- Don't use superglue, use wood glue instead, it gives a stronger join in the long run - superglue is quite brittle and may break over time. If you absolutely have to use superglue, use the gel kind.

- Glue each plank to each and every bulkhead, and to the neighbouring plank along the entire edge

- If it is a double-planked kit: Pin the planks in the first layer into position while the glue dries using brass nails (should come with the kit), remove the nails afterwards; later, glue the second layer on with contact cement without pinning. If the kit is single-planked you must use some kind of clamp, there is a variety of clever designs out there.

- and above all: Shape the planks to fit, either before or while you are mounting them to the hull. This is done with a combination of moisture and heat, you may soak them in warm water or you may apply steam from a tea-kettle etc, you may use a candle or a soldering-iron... anything goes; moisture softens the plank and heat forms it. You can soak in houshold ammonia for particulary abrupt bends or hard wood (ie walnut) instead of water, this softens the wood tremendously. The point is that the plank should dry-fit the hull quite nicely without any bending, shearing or other violence being applied to it or the glued joints will be subjected to excessive loads and will probably fail sooner or later.

Staale Sannerud

Reply to
Staale Sannerud

I use very short pins- I think they call them lill pins. They are about a half inch long, available in sewing/fabric stores. If you are planking on model with plywood bulkheads, you will not be able to push these in by hand. I use a small modeling hammer. It does take a bit of practice to learn to hit the pin squarely so it doesn't bend. Don't drive pin in very far- just enough that it holds in bulkhead. Then, there is enough left sticking out to easily remove it when glue is dry.

You can by special clamps that screw >

Reply to
Don Stauffer

You don't want to use CA to glue wood - the wood is too porous for that adhesive. Get a small bottle of carpenter's glue; IMHO, there's nothing better for gluing wood together. Mind you, it doesn't dry as fast as CA does.

Carpenter's glue is available at any decent hardware store. If for some reason you can't find it where you live, there are a number of stores online that sell it. (One that's local to me is . Even if you're not going to buy the glue on-line, you may want to read the "Tech" note linked from that page, just as a matter of general principle.)

Reply to
Rob Kelk

"Rob Kelk" wrote in message news:c0te5f$

Respectfully disagree. Various cyanacrylate glues work wonderfully on wood. Airplane modelers use HOT STUFF a CA glue all the time on balsa parts and there's not many more woods softer and more porous than balsa. Now maybe all my ship models will fall apart in a 100 years, but I doubt it. If you look at the technical literature, it say's that the glue joint is stronger than the wood itself. As for porosity -- that's one of the advantages of CA glues -- especially the very thin stuff. It soaks in to the pores of the wood and makes it much stronger than the original wood was. I depend on the porosity of the wood and ability of thin CA to soak into the wood in order to strengthen very thin, delicate, spars, rails, and other fragile stuff. I also used it to make some small boats out of thin cardboard on a form. Works great. CA is to ship modelers what fiberglass resin is to full-sized boat builders. Carpenter's glue, or yellow glue, e.g., Elmer's, Tightbond, are excellent for wood. I use it all the time, for big pieces. These glues, however, are intended for furniture and granted, there's "nothing better for gluing wood together" as stated above. However, they leave much to be desired for models. They have their uses in models, but in a more limited way. For example, I use thinned wood glues to soak lines in before making them up into coils. When the glue sets, the coil holds it shape. CA doesn't work for that because it soaks right into the string and changes its color. The biggest disadvantage of CA is that it is practically impossible to stain wood after gluing, if the glue has run -- you're practically committed to painting. But that may just be a matter of care and technique.

Now that we've straighened that out. Let's get to the tips.

Steve wrote:

  1. Your planks should be bent close to the final shape before you put them on. Almost all planks must be fitted. Typically, they are tapered at the ends -- about to 1/2 or 1/3 of the broadest width. But you must measure. And have lots of patience.
  2. A flat rubber band can be used to hold the plank down for measuring purposes.
  3. Once the plank fits, it is to be bent. There are several ways -- the traditional way is to use steam, but then you must build a steamer. And it takes a while. Hot water will do but it tends to swell the wood too much. The best method is ammonia water. I have a long plastic tube with a cork at each end, filled with ammonia water. BE SURE TO GET THE KIND THAT DOES NOT HAVE SOAP. Put the plank in ammonia-filled tube for about 5 -10 minutes (max). Then take it out and put it in place on the ship, using some rubber bands around the hull to hold the plank in place. Let it dry there. Once dry, it will spring back a little, but that's okay. You will also probably touch up the fit with sandpaper here and there. Don't expect this to go too fast. If you get a dozen planks (6 on a side) done in one long day, you're a speed demon. I generally do only two planks on a side per day -- that leaves lots of time for them to take shape, to dry, etc. There's no dead time, because when the planks are drying, you work on deck furniture, fittings, sails, spars, sails, etc.
  4. There are about as many good ways to clamp the planks as there are modelers. Don't buy the ready made clamps from model expo or Micro-Mark. Cost you a fortune and the don't work too well. Besides, you need about 12 to 24 clamps per plank. I use the smallest steel spring clamps. They're called "Binder clips" and are available at any decent office supply place. You clip a binder clip to each bulkhead (or frame, or form) and you use a cleverly shaped paper clip to hold the plank down. For some jobs, I use doll-sized clothes pins -- they're cheap and can easily be shaped for the momentary need. Other clamps are the smallest Kant-twist clamps, small alligator clips -- little pins at an angle in the bulkhead or frame or form -- but never in the plank itself ... there's no end to it. I figure I've got several hundred very small clamps of all sizes. The biggest mistake that you are probably making is not using enough clamps. My rule is simple -- as many clamps as I can fit in.
  5. In the rare cases where the bend is so extreme that you really do have to hold it down somehow, use an accelerator. This comes in a spray bottle. You spry it (carefully) on one of the pieces (e.g., the frame) and apply the CA to the other surface. It will stick INSTANTLY -- THERE'S NO GOING BACK (except to debond using a CA debonder spray, or the knife). So exquisite care is required if you're going to use an accelerator. I've never needed to use an accellerator for planking. I do use it where I have to stick a small part on that just can't be conveniently held in place -- e.g., that darn tiny cleat I forgot to put in and only saw it was missing after half the lines were already rigged.
Reply to
Boris Beizer

I mught add that for a wooden plank on frame or plank on bulkhead model, try using a hot glue gun on one side of the frame/bulkhead to make the initial tacks, and then follow up on the other side with a good wood glue to insure strong joins.

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