Saturday, June 23, 2012


The easiest way to simulate timber frame construction is to use plywood and apply wood to represent the vertical and horizontal beams. One material that works really nicely for these fake timbers is Bender Board. Bender Boards are usually 1/4” by 4” rough cut lumber that is most often used to bend around the edges of garden beds. Many of these are being replaced with a plastic look-alike material, but actual wood Bender Boards are still available. Coated with a watered down brown paint, applied like a stain, before attaching them to the plywood works best, and makes creating a convincing timber building fairly painless. This allows you to pre-paint the plywood (see Rag Rolling), making your structure complete once the faux timbers are applied.

Use Wood Chipboard with Caution

When choosing plywood for your period structure, it is tempting to use a type of plywood known as Wood Chipboard (although it is called my many names). This is plywood that is created using glue and chunks of waste wood chips and is popular in home construction because it is cheaper then conventional plywood panels.  The very rough surface sounds like it would be a very convenient way to help simulate your plaster or Daub walls. The problem is that even with several coats of paint it still looks like modern Chip Board, and might contradict the period effect you are trying to create. My advice when using Chipboard is to apply many coats of thick paint to the surface, add dirt to the mixture, and even a little plaster, anything to help hide the telltale Chipboard surface.

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