Making a 2 Inch Ship From Balsa and Basswood




About: I'm an artist, designer and high school teacher. I teach digital media and graphic design. I love to create. I love working with wood, paper, clay, pen and ink, photography, videography and beyond. There is...

I am creating things all the time, it's my job. But it's also in my blood, through and through.
This is my very first instructable, so please forgive me if it is a little simplistic.

All of the following is shown in the video below:

I use to make these all the time when younger. It's been over 25 years and am back into making them once again. Such a fun project.

I begin with a pack of balsa wood from the local hobby shop and some basswood thin sheets to make the finer detailed items that require strength. I did not use any graphic references for this particular model as i know Galleons pretty well, so this will not be a historically correct representation. For some of the finer detail where I am afraid the material might break when sanding or filing down to such small measurements, I lay some 20-second drying glue on one flat surface of the sheet then turn another piece I place on top at 90 degrees so the grains are crossed and support each other.

I begin by using a fine x-acto knife to cut the rough shape of the hull, made from 2 pieces of basswood glued together. Then I sand to create a more final shape of the hull itself. The deck is cut out to create a raised bow and stern.

The rest of the details would be better to watch than for me to explain, but should you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer below.

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    10 Discussions

    The nice thing when I create something like this is I have the t.v. on in the background or music playing. That way it never gets monotenous.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    As a kid I loved to make galleon's using match sticks, popsicle sticks, or just about anything that was available, so you'll understand why I'm definitely liking this.

    1 reply