Last time I build a Scamp I experienced some trouble when it came time to bend the carlins and gunwales. I’ve written about this experience here.
This time, I’m hoping for a less dramatic experience. I also decided to try a different species of wood. Last time I used vertical grain Douglas Fir. This wood is known to split, especially if you take a router to it. After thinking through this, I decided to try Poplar. Poplar has 3 characteristics that might lend favorably to carlins and wales:
It’s almost entirely knot free and very smooth grained
It’s light in weight
It’s very soft
It’s very affordable at $2.50/ board foot
Check it out:
Once I had one square and flat edge, I ripped the boards on my table saw. The gunwales will be 1,1/2″ x 7/16″ while the carlins will be 1,1/8″ x 7/16″.
I plan to router the edges every so slightly using an 1/8″ round over bit set at a shallow depth. My theory is that rounding the edges tends to keep the board from splintering when you put a bend on them. And, don’t forget to let the boards vote which way they want to bend. They’ll tell you if you listen carefully to their needs.