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Thread: Wood movement

  1. #1

    Wood movement

    I have what is probably an out-of-the-box question. I am a woodworker but not a boat builder. For years I have thought about building what would actually be a sculptural piece for over the couch in my living room. Think of a large sculpted half hull. I'm thinking it would be 5 to 6 feet in length. For both economy of wood and weight I would like to use thin strips and attached them to ribs/panels. My concern is that the grain direction of the strips to the ribs/panels will be at right angles. If I use non-grain material such as particleboard, plywood, plastic, etc. how will I allow for movement (expansion and contraction across the grain) of the strips. Will they not buckle or warp. I live in Michigan where there are extreme differences in humidity between winter and summer. I plan on using cherry. I hope this explanation is clear. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions you can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    South West Ontario
    If the strips are just secured with just one stylish rivet in the middle of the board at the ribs it will let it move across the grain. The strips would need tapered overlap on the edges to allow for movement. Clearly this is cosmetic not water tight!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  3. #3
    I built the hull for a 1:35 model J class. From bow to stern is about 42" long. The kit came with "frames" made from plywood. To that I glued thin strips running bow to stern. Over that I glued thinner strips at about a 45 degree angle. The hull was completed about 2 years and and so far there has been no problem with wood movement. We have the house open all winter and under AC all summer and it gets very dry inside.

    I filled the space between the frames with balsa to make it easier to tack glue the first planking.

    For the second layer I used light mahogany veneer I cut into strips. I didn't like the wood the kit supplied.

    FWIW, I used hot hide glue for the second planking. It bonds quickly, cleans up easily and doesn't leave any reside behind to ruin the finish.
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