Wood Shipment Received

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

3 thoughts on “Wood Shipment Received

    • Thanks Tim. I’ve collected a pretty large assortment of un-cut boards, but it takes a lot of time and effort to mill it. This wood shipment not only provides me with actual Japanese lumber, it saves me from having to do all that milling work.

      For smaller amounts of specialty wood, I recommend S.H. Goode & Sons. They’re a bit pricey, but the wood it top notch. Only issue I run into is that the wood tends to be of smaller strip and sheet sizes. You can check them out at http://www.shgoode.com. They don’t sell on their website, so you’ll need to call them or mail in an order.


      • Clair, I just came across your reply on wood sources. That you for the info!
        I like your new boat. Typical Japanese lines to the boat. Far different from the
        Chinese line.
        I think my next Japanese boat will be the Woody Joe Hacchoro Kit. I like its
        Have you ever heard of Ship Model kits by Okumoto? I like the model of
        Hannah that he does. But, I think that the wood is not so hot. I question
        spending that much money when I know what I am getting with a Woody-
        Joe kit.
        Best of luck
        Tim Murphy


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