Wood mimicking 12th scale pine
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Josje Veenenbos

Hello everyone,

For a project I am working on I need to make baltic pine (Pinus) or spruce (Picea) flooring.  The real thing is rather too out of scale for the project so I have been looking for a good 12th scale substitute.  So far without success. 

Would any of you have a suggestion which wood I could use for this?  I would appreciate any help!  

Thank you.

Josje.

baltic pine.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist

Josje, my experience of finding in scale miniature pine or spruce is to always be on the hunt and have a stash.  I found some at a local store that specializes in re-selling reclaimed / recycled building materials... you can look at old pieces of furniture at private sales, or even at the wood store... but just like silk, a stash is the way I've been accumulated in-scale miniature wood.  The alternative is to contact someone who specializes in selling wood to miniaturists.  Here in the USA, or for our international buyers if you want to import, I really recommend Steve & Mary Goode.

http://shgoode.com/

Do tell all your friends locally, especially those in the wood working, furniture building business... they can be a great resource... just take a project with you and wow them... it never hurts to ask!  I am lucky to have my own contact at a local cabinet shop, as my husband is a pro, and  is always on the lookout for fine quartersawn wood for me.  I even have a 1 piece of pine that he brought home has a few miniature knots... they look like tiny birdseye to me, and I know it isn't maple!   I'm saving this piece for a very special project!

if you cannot find suitable in-scale wood grain, you can alway faux paint the grain to get the effect you wish.

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Josje Veenenbos

Thank you!

I do have a stash of wood which I have saved or which was given to me, just not pine.  I have a contact in luxury yacht building, but they never use pine for their cabinets.  Plus it is not a popular wood here at all at the moment.  

Unfortunately I don't have too much time to search for the right piece of wood.  So I rather hoped there would be some other sort of wood which could be passed off as scale pine.  

Yes, faux painting is possible although I have tried that before and didn't like my results very much.  

I'll keep searching!

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Josje Veenenbos

PS:  Wonderful wood supplier!  Thank you for that link.  

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WeekendMiniaturist

Oh, I am learning new details about wood... Also try searching for vertical grain or clear vertical grain...  I think any evergreen tree that grows in your area would work... wood is very regional specific... Species that I would consider include Cedar, Fir, Cypress.  Redwood and Cedar maybe too red in color.  I believe Cedar is used for outdoor projects and lining clothing closets here in the US.

Of course Decidous trees lose their leaves, and evergreens do not...and Pine of course is in the Evergreen family... so that is why I would try Cedar, Fir or  Cypress.... I don't have a real Christmas Tree, but I can imagine me trying to save the tree trunk each year.  I have what I think I planted is a very slow growing dawn redwood that I have been nurturing for a couple of decades, that didn't grow but inches,  but it seems the last two years it is growing; I was wondering if it was related to Bamboo family.  Since it is sooooo slow growing, should the tree not survive, I am planning to keep its trunk to see how it would turn or resaw on a band saw.

To send you on a treasure hunt, somewhere on the forum, member Collie Feathers sawed a branch and it looks like a witch in the bark... I can't find it right now, but it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

 

 

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Bill Hudson

I would suggest looking at vertical grain Douglas fir. If you can get closer to the sapwood the grain is finer and the color varies.

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Gail Geiger

I would also use fine grain fir cut vertically with the grain for the floorboards. The flooring in your photo looks like it has been burn-stained. 

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Catherine Ronan

I think it partly depends on where you are in the world and the piece you happen to get. Colin Bird made beautiful tables long ago out of some pear he had with tiny knots in it. It was very much in scale with gorgeous wood grain.

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WeekendMiniaturist

Catherine, you are absolutely correct on region... but I think the wood treasure hunt is the same as my silk fabric hunt...  If I lived in the Northeast or Northwest, I know I would have a serious wood stash... We have great access here locally native wood for life size projects, just not a lot of options for imported woods, so we visit the local woodworking store through the year for fine grain boards.  I did keep a cherry tree that fell in our sons yard - and this past year, I finally found someone with a saw locally that can cut it for me so I can dry it properly; I am hoping that it was a slow growing tree... our son talked me (us) into working and cleaning up the mess and I got the tree... seemed like a good deal at the time for one of us...  If it is fine grain, though I probably got enough cherry for a lot of mini projects.

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karincorbin
On 2/12/2018 at 12:31 PM, Josje Veenenbos said:

Hello everyone,

For a project I am working on I need to make baltic pine (Pinus) or spruce (Picea) flooring.  The real thing is rather too out of scale for the project so I have been looking for a good 12th scale substitute.  So far without success. 

Would any of you have a suggestion which wood I could use for this?  I would appreciate any help!  

Thank you.

Josje.

baltic pine.jpg

I have the real thing...it actually is spruce and it has in-scale knots.  It is spruce from Canada, found some boards of it at a local Seattle, USA lumber supply.  Here is an image of the wood with a ruler next to it along with a 1:12 scale window and door. I was cutting it up into wide plank flooring which was suitable for the era of the project. So basically you can find spruce planks with tiny knots but I had to sort through a stack of boards to find them. Most of the boards had larger knots and grain. The trees from the cold, far northern climates grow much more slowly and have these tight growth rings with very small knots.  So where the trees are sourced from does matter a lot. Wood from Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada, Norway, the European alps, etc are more likely to be suitable for in-scale projects. For sourcing some in Europe try the keywords "alpine spruce", "German Spruce", "Austrian Spruce", Russian Spruce". It is pretty easy to find very tight grained spruce wood from luthier sources where it is called Tonewood but typically tonewood is sold as clear lumber with no knots in it because they would interfere with the acoustic property of the timber. But the nice thing about tonewood, it comes in wide but thin planks! I have a lot of those planks on hand and some are even quarter sawn. I did some 3D CAD work for a specialty lumber mill that makes tonewoods for the guitar industry so I got to take as much as I wanted from their "seconds" piles. All that wood was sourced from Alaska.

 

 

 

aged door.jpg

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Josje Veenenbos

Thank you everyone for helping in my search.  As some of you have said it does depend greatly on the region.  I don't have good wood suppliers in my area so it makes the search somewhat more difficult.  I have looked at vertical grain which does come a lot closer to what I had in mind.  

WeekendMiniaturist, I have saved the stems of a pear and a plum tree cut down in my garden for just that purpose, hoping I will eventually be able to use it.  

Karin, your wood looks perfect, just what I hope to find.  I am going to follow up on your tips on sourcing the wood, especially the tonewood even though that doesn't have the knots.    

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Bill Hudson

Josje, where are you located?

 

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Idske H

Hi Josje,

I have bought most of my miniature wood from www.wood-supplies.com (in England, a bit closer to The Netherlands).  They have many different kinds and most have a detailed description of their possible uses. They have pine with miniature knots specifically for flooring. 

Hope you find what you need, Idske

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Mesouth

Josje, I needed old cypress or heart pine for flooring in an 1850 plantation room.  I worked with the Goodes (Tamra's recommendation) and he found the perfect species of yew. I asked him to give me as many knots as he could and he delivered! I just love it! I'm not home now, but can post a picture tomorrow.

Martha in Louisiana

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Mesouth

Josje, as promised. I finished mine with a couple of coats of Watco Danish Oil, but other finishes could certainly give a more rustic look. I just love the patina and the tiny knots!

Martha in Louisiana, USA

DF7DAB43-BF62-43EB-B208-B894ADD52554.thumb.jpeg.c430cc7889f0e101375ef7da3935df8a.jpeg

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WeekendMiniaturist

The mini knots are perfect; and the color of the floors has warmth and great visual appeal!  The floors look lifesize!  This is a great example of beautiful floors.

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Josje Veenenbos
On 25-2-2018 at 4:24 PM, Bill Hudson said:

Josje, where are you located?

 

Bill, sorry for my late reply.  I thought I would receive notifications in my mail... I am located in the Netherlands, about 35 miles north of Amsterdam.  

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Josje Veenenbos
On 27-2-2018 at 1:04 PM, Idske H said:

Hi Josje,

I have bought most of my miniature wood from www.wood-supplies.com (in England, a bit closer to The Netherlands).  They have many different kinds and most have a detailed description of their possible uses. They have pine with miniature knots specifically for flooring. 

Hope you find what you need, Idske

Hi Idske,  yes I have bought wood from wood-supplies before, but only at the fair in London.  Beautiful wood!  
With the help of the advice here I did eventually find wood with tiny knots and a fine grain which worked for my project.  I will post a photo here later.  

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Josje Veenenbos
On 8-3-2018 at 12:27 AM, WeekendMiniaturist said:

The mini knots are perfect; and the color of the floors has warmth and great visual appeal!  The floors look lifesize!  This is a great example of beautiful floors.

 

On 7-3-2018 at 3:13 PM, Mesouth said:

Josje, as promised. I finished mine with a couple of coats of Watco Danish Oil, but other finishes could certainly give a more rustic look. I just love the patina and the tiny knots!

Martha in Louisiana, USA

DF7DAB43-BF62-43EB-B208-B894ADD52554.thumb.jpeg.c430cc7889f0e101375ef7da3935df8a.jpeg

Thank you for your photo Martha.  I agree with weekendminiaturist, the floor does look life-size! Very beautiful.  I will post a photo of my (very different looking) floor soon.  

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WeekendMiniaturist

(Me bad forum participant getting off topic... ) I have to ask!  Josje do you attend the Tune miniature event?  I love seeing the photos each year online from the event and I always check out the classes, just in case...

 

 

 

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Josje Veenenbos

Ha!  Now I did get an email...  Yes I have been to Tune twice.  This year I am not going unfortunately.  It is a wonderful week of classes.  Great venue, great food and a lovely atmosphere.  It's so much fun.  I hope you'll be able to get there one year.  
I have written a post about in on my blog a few years ago (have a look when you're not busy http://josje-bouwt.blogspot.nl/2014/08/a-little-tune.html ).

 

 

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Josje Veenenbos

After a long search I managed to find fir wood with tiny knots.  Although it doesn't show the cathedral grain (it would have been too much out of scale) because I cut it on the vertical grain, it is perfect for my project (a drying attic).  

Thank you all for your help!

5ad9fac92b468_Dryingattic7.thumb.jpg.42411021f5f09d0616aecae1c3035a6a.jpg

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WeekendMiniaturist

These are beautiful floors; the knots look perfect. You did a great job.

Your turnings looked great and I enjoyed the blog post about Tune!  The private class bone chest project was a great class; those were my chicken years, where I was scared to try to attend those classes...

 

 

 

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Josje Veenenbos

Thank you WM.  

Ah yes the bone chest was such fun and interesting to make.  Your chicken years, :-D  I hope you have let go of those fears and are joining some classes now?!

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WeekendMiniaturist

Josje, Yes!  I did get over my fears and now have bonded with my Taig lathe.  Thanks to Mr. Robertson's classes (2015-2017) and Pete Boorum helping me get set up with the WW collet accessory; I have had fun experiences as a beginner.   I never dreamt that I would work with metal... Metal & Wood; is really a lot of fun!  It is amazing what you accomplish at miniature workshops.

It was the Needlework stand and Threadholder class posted on this forum that got me past my chicken stage... I love petitpoint, this class was the perfect introduction and it got me out of my comfort zone and knocking on the door to the next level of my modeling journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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