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Bending Deck Planks

Best wood to use?

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Colin Bishop20/01/2018 12:59:52
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Can anyone suggest which is the best type of wood to use for deck planking when you want to bend the planks in a curve to follow the deck plan?

The plank width will be about 3mm at the scale I am looking at (sorry to be mysterious like Ashley!).

Square section might be one option to avoid distortion when you try to bend a flat plank sideways but it would be nice to use something like 3mm wide by 1.5mm thick.

Depending on the curvature, some soaking or even steaming might be needed, around the bow for example but if the wood is pliable in the first place it will make the job easier.

Colour isn't really a problem as I can stain to the shade I want.

Colin

Paul T20/01/2018 14:09:45
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Colin

It is virtually impossible to steam flat section timber of those dimensions without using excessively large amounts of vertical pressure to prevent the planks from twisting.

My usual trick is to cut the curve planks from a large sheet of 1mm veneer.

Paul

Colin Bishop20/01/2018 14:38:43
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Paul, that's rather what I was afraid of and why I asked for advice Cutting from veneer is an option but the grain would be running incorrectly if you show it. Maybe square section is the way to go, it might be possible to disguise the thickness with the gunwhale toe rail.

Thanks for the input

Colin

Banjoman20/01/2018 14:52:39
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Colin,

Another option would be to laminate the wood and then cut a thin slices of ready-patterned veneer on a bandsaw – see Ron Rees' articles Away With Fairies (**LINK**) and Messing About With Diana (**LINK**) for more details ...

Mattias

Colin Bishop20/01/2018 14:56:40
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An additional thought - perhaps use square section and then rub down the finished deck to give a camber which would improve the realism as the actual deck will be flat..

That might work OK, I have a Proxxon finishing sander to keep things even.

Colin

Paul T20/01/2018 15:11:01
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Colin

Which timber are you thinking of using?

Colin Bishop20/01/2018 15:16:33
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That's what I'm asking Paul. I would think maybe lime or obeche - something pliable compared with hardwood strip like walnut or mahogany.

Colin

Gareth Jones20/01/2018 16:25:09
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Colin,

Coincidentally we are attempting something similar to your decking request this very afternoon. Elizabeth is restoring a Marblehead yacht with a rather scruffy deck and decided she wanted to have a go at curved deck planks notched into a kingplank. She has done straight deck planks in the past and we have jointly done inked curved planks on a couple of painted decks.

We started with a mahogany edge plank 5 mm wide and 2 mm thick. This was stuck on with superglue. We were able to fit a few clamps across the deck from the mast hole and centre hatch which gave us an edge to work to. Using 2 pairs of hands we were able to get the edge plank glued down flush with the edge of the deck.

The main deck planks are 8 mm x 2 mm lime. We have managed to get the first one on each side at the front of the hull using battens held down on the deck with large rubber bands to stop the planks lifting and twisting. The lime planks have been lightly clamped up against the mahogany edge using some clamps as shown below. We are using aliphatic resin to glue the lime down.

plank bending 2.jpg

For subsequent planks we are attempting to pre-bend them by clamping them up overnight on the bench using some magnetic blocks and a piece of steel sheet we bought at the Blackpool show. How effective in creating a permanent bend this will be remains to be seen but the magnetic blocks work well on what is their first outing in the workshop. I will let you know more as it progresses.

plank bending 1.jpg

The kingplank is 15 mm mahogany and has been temporarily stuck down with small sections of double sided tape. We hope to do the notching by adapting Banjoman's method as used on his Moonbeam, where he had straight planks notched into the curved edge plank. I suspect that will be a real b****r of a job to do neatly without breaking or splitting the planks but time will tell.

Gareth

Colin Bishop20/01/2018 17:49:35
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Thanks to all so far!

Gareth, that's interesting but I agree you probably have a job and a half on there! I can get away with a simplified kingplank for my project which is near scale so not so much joggling. At the moment, as I said earlier, I am inclining to using 3mmx3mm strip and feathering it off at the sides once firmly glued. What could possibly go wrong?!

Colin

John W E20/01/2018 19:29:17
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hi there Colin

the deck planks I used for HMS Exeter build and a few of the fishing boats, I obtained from Jotika - they can supply a variety of materials/timber in varying sizes. I used 0.5 thick x 3mm (I think it was lime) for the decks of the warship. For the decks of the fishing boats I used a wider plank 5mm wide x 0.5 mm thick. I made a simple jig up out of scrap plywood half inch thick for the base of the jig and for the actual piece that was to form the actual bend of the plank I used a thinner piece of plywood roughly quarter of an inch. This was glued and screwed on top of the base plywood towards the edge. I wet the plank in warm water and moulded it around the radius of the template and then held it in place with clamps until dry. I am attempting to attach a bit of a sketch but no so successful at the moment due to the fact this old modeller has just purchased a new computer with the new Windows 10 on. My computer doesn't like me anymore hek.jpg

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