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    Plank-on-Frame Construction

 

Plank-on-frame construction is the most difficult process and a nightmare to inexperienced builders.  Builders have to bend individual planks  according to the curves of the hull and then nail them one by one onto the frame.  This is the way real ships are built and ship models should be the same.  

To save the tremendous cost associated with plank-on-frame method, most commercial builders now machine carve ship hulls from a solid piece of dried wood (extremely heavy) or cheap balsa wood.  The superstructures are also cuts of wood pieces and given dark decal for portholes and windows, etc...  The result is very heavy boats (that's why you rarely see them in large sizes.)  The models also feel like toys and look like toys at close range. 

A good way to measure the value of a boat model is to question whether it can be carried by high-end shops in a wealthy neighborhood  or, in time, a nautical antique dealer who values evidences of superior materials as well as articulate woodworking talent.   Another way is to ask whether you would incline to pass the model boat to the next generation.



                                                   




Why will we never abandon the traditional woodworking method?  Please click on the photos below in sequence for a pictorial story.

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