Wooden Boat Model Hull Under $10




Introduction: Wooden Boat Model Hull Under $10

This is the first boat I've ever made. This boat is supposed to represent a small cutter. I wanted to make this project complete but for showing people, I only wanted to show how to make the hull because after all its going to be your boat, put your twist on it. No boat is ever the same.


Wooden Board: 1"x4"x6 ft for 5 dollars
Wood Glue: Titebond for 3 dollars


Pencil (for drawing and putting on the profiles)

Paper and cardstock (for drawing the profiles)

Some type of saw (for cutting)

Chisel (for pairing)

Clamps (for clamping)(many, you can never have too many clamps)

Ruler (for measuring and marking straight lines)

Hammer/ mallet (to work with chisel for those knots)

Spokeshave/ hand plane (shaving and getting the wood smoother)

Sandpaper (for making the wood very smooth)

table vice (holding it in place)

File Raspe (for smoothing and for finding high spots)

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Step 1: Cut Your Plank

Get your plank of wood and measure cut out 4 10" pieces.

Step 2: Gluing

Glue your 4 10" pieces together one on top of the other.

Step 3: Clamp

Clamp your wooden pieces together in different places and on both sides, no need to clamp the edges with glue seeming out. Follow glue instructions for preparation, time and clean up.

Step 4: Make Profiles

Find a ship online that you like (I choose a cutter) and make profile cards for the hull for every inch. You should have 10 cards done.

Step 5: Profiling Top Down

Make a profile for the top part of your boat, again this is your boat, do as you please. And then cut the center of it out so you have the outline.

Step 6: Cutting Out the Profile

To do this you need to put your half profile on top and make sure that the width can fit in one size (half of the block). To do this simply measure your block and mark the center line down the entire thing. Then put your profile up to it and mark the profile using a marking device. Flip the profile over and mark the other side next to it so it lines up.

To make the next step easier all you need to do is do the exact same thing but on the bottom.

Step 7: Clamp and Cut

You will then want to Clamp the block to make sure it doesn't slip when cutting.

You will then want to follow the line and cut a little bit away from the line using a saw. This way you can edit your boat easier.

Also when cutting, it's very IMPORTANT to check the bottom periodically and make you haven't gone over the line.

Step 8: Clean Up

Now its time to just smooth the edges down by using a chisel. When doing this, you want to just smooth out the lines not get down to the line.

Don't get to carried away as this is just to make it cleaner and not rough to hold.

Step 9: Shaping

Now you want to draw the hull out, the easiest way, in my opinion, is to shape the bow. So you need to draw you bow on both sides and make sure they are the same shape.

I recommend making a curved line similar to mine, easiest curve.

This is your boat, so your design is up to you.

Step 10: Cutting

Using a saw, cut along the lines and make sure you don't get too close to the lines.

Step 11: Shaping

Using a chisel, shape the bow down to a flat surface then starting from the sides, chisel down until its a finer blade. Using your profile cards you made earlier, shape the bow.

IMPORTANT: If you happened to stumble across a knot, use your chisel carefully as it could pop out or crack. If needed, use your mallet to cut it use the chisel if you cant pair it out.

Step 12: Shaping the Hull

Using all your profiles shape the hull . down using a chisel, try not to use long strokes and try to cut with the grain. The reason, why you want smaller cuts, is to reduce the chance of messing up. Never cut against the grain, because you could cut deeper then you wanted due to the flaking (flaking is when it doesn't cut it brakes).

When shaping the keel mark it out how thick you want it to be and cut it very carefully using a saw until you're desired length.

REMEMBER to always check your hull with profile cards.

IMPORTANT: If you happened to stumble across a knot, use your chisel carefully as it could pop out or crack. If needed, use your mallet to cut it use the chisel if you cant pair it out.

Step 13: Planing and Sanding

Now you should have your hull shape, its time to smooth it out and get the chisel's leftover hills out.

Using a plane or a spokeshave start shaving everywhere. Get rid of pencil marks, and clamp indents by shaving it down. When you hit think you're done start sanding out the boat, when sanding try to start with higher grit and slowly get into the finer sandpaper. If you don't have multiple types then just use what you have to finish off any unsmooth surfaces.

Step 14: Cutting Down the Boat's Depth

If you want to cut down your boat's depth then do this step, if you are fine with what you have then skip it, but read this step first.

Look at your boat and determine how deep you want to cut it. For me, it was 3/16 of an inch.

When doing this step you want to make sure that you have a curve on the boat. SO when drawing, start at the back with your desired length. As you go down the sides make it lower than the stern and come up towards the bow, making a curved effect. The bow should be the highest part. Do this on both sides.

When cutting, use a saw and make sure to cut away from the line.

Step 15: Planing and Sanding

Chisel down the rough lines by pairing it. You should chisel down to the line and make sure there aren't any high spots. What I mean by that is if you look at your stern, it should be flat.

If you hit a knot, carefully use a chisel and if needed the mallet and chisel it very carefully.

Afterwards, sand it all using sandpaper and a block. wrap the paper around the block and hold it tight. then run the block up and down the top until its smooth.

Step 16: After

Afterwards, it's your imagination. You could have as many masts as you want, you can add a railing, a captains quarters, a bowsprit, paint it or stain, and maybe even add trim to the side.

I decided to add a mast and a bowsprit and maybe later I'll add railings with rigging and sails.

As a cutter, I only need a single mast to which I added by drill a hole about the quarter of an inch deep and for the bowsprit, I just dug out the bottom half of the dowel out from the ship hull.

The drawing above is what I wanted it to look like, and the image is what it turned out to be.

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    4 Discussions

    Brokk Hrafnsson
    Brokk Hrafnsson

    2 years ago

    Really neat project, I liked the outcome.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for the compliment!


    2 years ago

    That's a cute homemade toy! I really like how the sail turned out :)


    Reply 2 years ago