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Building a 3-D Sailboat

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image Our designer, Jon Deck, was so impressed with George's sailboat that he set out to make one himself. Jon used redwood for the hull and poplar for the sails.

Use shaping techniques and dowels to create this impressive wooden boat

This 3-D sailboat makes a spectacular centerpiece for your mantel. It is a perfect gift for the special sailor in your life. I have crafted two sailboats and four clipper ships as gifts for family members. While you don't normally think of wood when you envision billowing sails, careful shaping can create a dramatic effect.

This is not a beginner project and will require an investment of your time. I use several tools the average scroll sawyer may not have, such as a woodcarving disc in an angle grinder and a band saw. In nearly every case, you can use a different tool to achieve the same result, but it may take a bit longer.

See Summer 2009 Issue #35 for full step-by-step instructions for completing this project.

***Correction: In Step 1, use three ¾" x 4" x 22" pieces of wood not three 1 ¼" x 4" x 22" pieces of wood.

Click on the image gallery to scroll through full size reference images.

Scroll Saw by Land, Sea, and Air   How to Build Wooden Boats

Image gallery
Deck Detail Deck Detail Deck Detail Deck Detail Top side Top side Mast Detail Mast Detail Mast Detail Sail Detail Sail Detail Sail Detail Railing Detail Bow View Stern View Starboard View Port View
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Comments (17 posted):

Janette on 04/01/2009 13:38:50
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I thought that the boat was a beautiful piece and a good article - however - the only thing that involves the scroll saw is cutting out the sails.
Pajaro on 04/01/2009 15:23:01
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I would like to discuss this article but " I don't have my issue yet":eek_old_old: sorry I get a little dis-con-bob-a-lated when I don't have the latest issue.
Janette on 04/01/2009 15:28:12
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Don't feel bad...I just got mine yesterday!
wood-n-things on 04/01/2009 15:29:15
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I don't have my yet either but I'm sure it is en route!
Wood Dog on 04/01/2009 20:04:54
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Think the boat is going to sail without us........patiently waiting for our magazine.
Haggard3230 on 04/01/2009 20:48:11
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Ditto, no mag. yet and I think it is on the news stands now.
BobD on 04/02/2009 08:28:42
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It shouldn't be on newsstand yet! My schedule says it just mailed out Mar. 24 and it shouldn't hit newsstands until April 14. Bob
Fran1942 on 04/03/2009 15:35:25
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Guess my issue is on a slow sail boat to Texas. Fran
HAMMER on 04/04/2009 13:29:33
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Got Mine Yesterday . (tex.) Janette Here Is A Ship My Daughter And I Built Last Year. (it Was Posted Under The Bragging Section) Only The Hull Was Cut With A Bansaw Due To The Thickness. The Rest Is All Srcollsaw From The Life Boats, Tot He Moving Turrets, Conning Towers, Ect. She Is Four Foot Long And As You Can See Floats.
minowevie on 04/04/2009 17:07:49
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Got Mine Yesterday . (tex.) Janette Here Is A Ship My Daughter And I Built Last Year. (it Was Posted Under The Bragging Section) Only The Hull Was Cut With A Bansaw Due To The Thickness. The Rest Is All Srcollsaw From The Life Boats, Tot He Moving Turrets, Conning Towers, Ect. She Is Four Foot Long And As You Can See Floats. Shazammmmm. that is great. your friend Evie
HAMMER on 04/07/2009 14:47:29
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Thanks Ms. Minowevie..... Didn't Mean To Step On Any Toes. Just Proud Of My Daughter.:013[1]:
BobD on 04/09/2009 10:40:02
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Hi Gang, We just identified a correction to the article. In Step 1, you need three 3/4" x 4" x 22" pieces of wood NOT three 11/4"-thick pieces of wood.
m_r_dxn on 04/12/2009 00:40:31
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I saw this project on the website previews. First response was that it is a beautiful piece! Immediately wanted it in my house. Picked out a spot on the dresser. Couldn't wait to get my copy. Even showed the woman I love and bragged that I was gonna make one. Was disappointed to see that I'd have to wait till I can afford a bandsaw. Oh, the shame! :( Oh well:D Not like I don't have plenty of other patterns in the stack to do. :D
greatdane2 on 04/12/2009 01:17:05
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Hi Matt, why not cut the 3 hull pieces out on your scroll saw and then glue them up. If you cut each piece a bit big and then sand them down it should work out ok. Or if this is a great excuse for a bandsaw just ignore what I just said.hehe... Last fall I bought a 9" delta bandsaw to use rough cutting intarsia pieces out. Point being I have cut wood up to 3 inches thick with this saw. I have a 14 and 18" bandsaw and yet I find myself using the toy one a lot. I think it was around $100.
Ramjet on 04/12/2009 09:42:05
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I was watching a show the other day and there is a club which builds ship models . They have mini sea battles . The models will sink. Nice model. Roger
m_r_dxn on 04/12/2009 10:46:20
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Greatdane, good idea. I'll think on that whilst I'm away on MY boat. May give it a shot when I get back home.
m_r_dxn on 04/13/2009 14:13:21
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Just was looking back at the magazine, and had another thought. If I did cut the hull in layers. I know I'd place the above view pattern on each layer and cut to shape. But how would be the best way to do the side view profile? Any ideas? The only thing I could think of is to maybe clamp the pieces together after cutting the top view profile and transfer the line to the sides. Then cut most of the waste off, then glue up and sand down to the lines with a power sander or rasp. Would this work or can someone else think of a much better way?
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George North
George North lives in Chamblee, Ga. more