Balsa Wood Models Are Ideal for Kids
Woodworking Is Really Fun With Balsa Wood
Balsa wood is a special wood. It is really light, so it floats very easily. And it is very soft, so you can cut it very easily. However, even though it is very light, it is still quite strong.
This makes it an ideal material for making fun little models, like boats and even model aeroplanes.
Thin pieces of balsa wood can be cut with a model knife of even scissors. Thicker pieces can be easily cut with a junior hacksaw.
Always ask an adult for help when cutting balsa wood.
Things We Need To Make A Balsa Wood Model
- Balsa wood in different sizes and shapes, modelling shops usually sell balsa wood in packs of different shapes
- Sharp craft knife, to be used only by an adult
- Fabric for the sales
- Scissors to cut the fabric
Glue The Balsa Wood Base
Cut seven lengths of balsa wood measuring 1cm x 1cm x 10cm. These pieces will make up the base of our raft boat.
Lay out two of these pieces for the ends and base. Then glue along the top of these base pieces. And carefully add the other pieces on top.
You can lay them all out first to get the distances right and to make sure you know what you are trying to achieve. Glue all the pieces together in the right positions.
Now we need a mast. We need two small blocks of wood at the bottom of the mast. These pieces of wood support the mast and stop it falling over. Cut two little blocks, 1cm x 1cm. Then cut two more pieces 10cm x 0.5cm.
Paint Our Balsa Wood Base
Now we can paint the parts of the boat we have already made. Paint it any colour you like. Also paint the little mast blocks and the long mast supports.
Leave everything you have painted to dry thoroughly.
Making A Sail For A Balsa Wood Boat
Now we can cut the fabric to make a sail. Cut out a triangle of fabric. You can use any fabric you like. Make the fabric triangle about 8cms wide and 8cms tall.
We can use pinking shears to cut the fabric. Pinking shears cut in a zig zag line. This stops the fabric from fraying.
To fix the fabric to the sail. Lay the fabric triangle on your table, with the point up. Now apply a line of glue down the centre of the sail. Press one of the long mast pieces into the glue and press firmly.
Now turn it all over and do the same again. Lay down some glue on the other side of the fabric. And then press the other mast piece into the glue. The two masts must be lined up on either side of the fabric.
We will have a sail sandwich between the two wooden mast pieces.
Let the glue dry.
Attach The Balsa Wood Mast To The Boat
Now we can glue the little blocks of wood to the boat, on either side of the mast sticking up. You can try and line everything up first before gluing, just to get an idea of what you need to do.
Now you have an idea of what you need to do. Glue the blocks of wood on either side of the bottom of the mast. Hold until the glue takes hold.
Then glue the mast onto the centre of the boat. Hold for a little while and wait for the glue to start sticking.
Leave all the glue to dry again. If you have spilled a bit of glue, you can always use the paint again and paint over them.
Now We Can Play With Our Boat
Congratulations, you have made a model boat. Look how brilliant your model boat is. Balsa wood is used by even the most expert of model makers. And all of them started with a fun little model like this.
So start thinking about what your next project could be and start a studio on Society of Makers and share your pictures.
What other things can we make?
Maybe make a fun little doll's table and chair set for dinner. Look at pictures online and just think about what pieces you need to cut to make up the shapes. All furniture is just made up of different shapes of blocks of wood.
And don't forget to make a cute little bed for when you need a nap after a big dinner. Again look at the blocks in the model. Figure out what blocks you need to cut.
Then get an adult to cut them and you can then glue them together and paint your model.