Gondolas have a rich history and are primarily known for their romantic boat rides through the canals of Venice, Italy. Gondolas have a very unique design that can make it difficult to build a model of a gondola. Gondolas have long sides that curve and taper toward the middle of the boat. If you are looking for a challenging model-building project, making a gondola is right for you.
Use a pencil to sketch the profile, or sides, of the gondola onto a piece of balsa wood. Use a clear, detailed picture of a gondola as a reference. Place another piece of balsa wood under the first piece you drew the sketch on.
Sketch the bottom section of the gondola on a third piece of balsa wood. Take a small hand saw and use it to cut out the side pieces you sketched in step 1. Hold both pieces of balsa wood tightly together to make sure you cut the pieces out evenly. Use the saw to cut the gondola’s bottom piece out as well.
Place small beads of glue along one edge of the bottom piece. Place one of the side panels down on the line of glue in the center of the bottom piece so that the two pieces almost form a right angle. Hold the pieces together until they are dried.
Bend the bottom of the gondola up to meet the side piece as the shape of the gondola begins to taper. Use straight pins to securely hold the bend in place while the glue dries. Begin from the center and continue this process until you get to the bow and then go the opposite direction out to the stern.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other side piece of the gondola. Once this is completed, your gondola will take the familiar tapered shape these boats are known for.
Use the remaining balsa wood to create seats for the gondola. The seats need to be the same width as the center hull of the gondola. Glue one in the stern, the center and the bow of the boat.
- Three sheet balsa (at least 12 by 12 inches)
- Straight pins
- Small, lightweight saw
- Wood glue