Well, I now have no more excuses on not having enough wood to work with. I just picked up a 12 pound box from the post office, shipped from Japan. I had no idea my wood order was going to be this big and heavy. The whole thing cost me about $100 in wood and another $100 in shipping.
When I got home to open it up, my suspicions were correct that Tanimura-san, my wood supplier, had thrown in a bunch of extra stuff he didn’t need.
So, now, I’ve got plenty of wood in the 3mm and 4mm sizes I need. Plus, a whole bunch in 2mm and even down to 1mm veneer. Not quite sure how I’ll make use of the smallest stuff, but it seems like there ought to be some way I can use it.
The wood is mostly sugi, or Japanese cedar and it’s pretty different from anything that is available in the U.S. It is not actually an ideal wood for model building, because of its grain structure. However, I’m using it to build models as a boatbuilder would. And, I’ve found that the majority of Japanese boat builders tend to use the same wood they use to build there boats. It’s a lot like the way some people like to use real teak for the deck of a sailboat model.
The other wood that is commonly used in Japanese boat models is hinoki, or Japanese cypress. This is the wood you find in all Woody Joe kits, whether ships or temples. In fact, I managed to make a special order from Woody Joe for some standard sized wood that they produce. It’s not something they sell through the hobby channels. I think they produce the wood for Japanese craft suppliers, but I’m not positive about that. But, I was able to get it from them in 2mm, 3mm, and 4mm sheets. They’re not very wide sheets, but for the smaller scale models I would use this for, they should be fine.
For the largest projects I’m considering, I’m going to have to rely on domestically available wood. I should have that covered with a supply of Port Orford cedar I picked up in Oregon a few months ago. I’m going to have to dig into this supply if I’m going to build that 42″ 1/10-scale Japanese whaleboat model I’ve been thinking about(!). Ω