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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    North Port, FL
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    basswood vs balsa for planking

    Hi all. I'm resuming a boat build I started years ago. I started planking then with clear pine I ripped into 1/8"T x 3/8"W x 5'L lengths. After just beginning and getting about 8 planks on either side of the keel it got shelved. Years later I'm retired in Florida so I dragged it out but I no longer have the shop gear I had then. I went to the local hobby shop and bought a length of 1/8"x3"x36" balsa for about $3.50 and picked up a balsa stripper also.The stripperworked well and I put on two planks each side and I am underwelmed by the balsa compared to the sturdiness of the pine planking. I went on and priced the amount of basswood I would need and it is very reasonable. Will basswood conform to the bends of the hull by soaking in ammonia like pine will? I would put the pine in a capped piece of pvc pipe and cover with ammonia (not the sudsy kind) and let it soak from a few hours to overnight. Then it was soooooo pliable I could clamp and let dry, then glue up. When clamped and glued I drill through the planks into the formers (stations) and glue the hole and drive a peg in. It makes one sturdy hull. Does anyone plank with basswood like this?

  2. #2
    All Day Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002

    RE: basswood vs balsa for planking

    I used both in this build.

    1/16 basswood will not bend as easy as 3/16 balsa. Dan.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Crystal, MN

    RE: basswood vs balsa for planking

    I like basswood a lot. I used it for the toe rail on an old fireboat that I built and rebuilt.

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