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planking with basswood

Old 07-18-2012, 10:15 AM
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Default planking with basswood

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. It worked well and I put on two planks each side and I am underwelmed by the balsa. I went on balsausa.com 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 ina capped piece of pvc and ammonia (not the sudsy kind) and let it soak 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?
Old 08-02-2012, 12:52 PM
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Default RE: planking with basswood

Hi mainiac,

I have a lot of experience with basswood and (YES) it takes very well when soaking it in amonia. It will bend just fine. Personally I like basswood more than balsa because it is a stronger material and when soaked in amonia it bends easily.

I hope this helps you.

-Rich.
Old 08-02-2012, 02:37 PM
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Default RE: planking with basswood

What percentage of ammonia do you use, and where are you getting it?
Old 08-02-2012, 02:46 PM
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Default RE: planking with basswood

I soak basswood in pure ammonia. This is the stuff that you can get fromany supermarket.

What I do is fill one end of a whiffle ball bat with amonia and put the wood strips in to soak. I use aluminum foil to seal the end of the bat. The basswood strips will try to float initially but aftera day or two they begin to sink once they soak it in. Then, they are ready to be fished out and used.

-Rich.

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