Friday, January 11, 2013

A Good Source of Hull Planking from Plywood

Below is a good way to make up your own hull planking material from plywood usually available from most hardware stores. Plywood is a good source of thin timber depending on the type of ply one chooses to use, some plywood is made up of very thin layers of veneer others are thicker.
The inner veneer layers are usualy thicker and good for first layer planking, this veneer is also a bit rough.

The first step is to choose the type of veneer you need, this is also dependant on the type of plywood available. Hardwood timber plywood is usually only available from more specialised timber merchants. Another source of good plywood is from older furniture ie wardroabs etc (I have removed the backing plywood from a number of old cabinets and replaced with masonite for my supply of plywood)

Step two is to soak the ply in water to delaminate the layers, depending on the glue used in the manufacturing process this can take a while. Avoid letting the plywood dry out before delaminating this must be done when the ply is still wet. Once delaminated lay the veneer out on old newspaper and alow to dry.

Step three is to cut the delaminated veneer into the required sizes to be cut into strips (the lenth of the strips required) and to coat the back of the veneer with white wood glue. The glue coating on the back makes the strip cutting process much easier and allows for straight cuts. Allow the glue to dry overnight.

Step four is to cut the veneer into strips of the correct width.

Step five is to apply  the cut strips to the hull of the ship as required.

I see plywood as a ship and not just a board, if you have old furniture in your garage have a look at the backing and in some cases the chipboard veneer, this is usually very thin but can be used. You may have what you need right under your nose.