For most models the planks will be glued back to back.
Before you start gluing, be sure to check the backs of your planks. If the backs are recessed and have a raised edge all around, you will want to lightly sand the backs to remove this high edge.
Since most models will have a lot of structure supported by 1/2" square posts, removing this high edge will ensure that the glue on the back of the planks bonds well.
Another thing that will strengthen the structure is to alternate the lengths of beams when glued back to back.
Also, when gluing any corners be sure to use a right angle of some kind to keep your corners square. Here I'm using a right angle made of Legos.
This photo shows the variety of pieces on this mold. Click on the photo for a larger view.
All of the photos in this section are taken using 1/4" graph paper as a background.
This mold is meant to make large open wooden structures such as stables, docks, workshops and sheds. It can also be used for large bracing on house additions.
This photo shows several options for bracing large corners. Using the small wedges allows you to adjust the size of the brace depending on what length of beam you use with it.
This shows a couple of other uses for the large brace.
You can use it to finish the sides of small stairs and fill in square angles with some decoration.
This photo shows several uses of the 45 degree beam. These are mostly needed for 45 degree roof angles. You can also put two together to make a 1.5"" plank.
This shows a couple of other uses for the low slope blocks. They allow you to make a roof with a lower angle.
You can also put two of these blocks together to form a 3/4" long block.
The decorative pieces are the post, strap and pull ring.
The strap and pull ring can be painted the same color as the wood.
Afterwards, give them a quick dry brush of a metallic color to make them stand out.
Building and Painting the Timber Frame
To build the Blacksmith Shop shown here, you will need: 14 castings of mold #226 (wooden beam mold) 8 castings of mold #263 (rubble block mold) 7 castings of mold #245 (slate roof mold)
If you choose not to make the wooden floor and set the shop directly on grass,
you will only need 10 castings of mold #226 and 6 castings of mold #263.
These pieces form one side of the structure.
When possible, switch the lengths of planks when gluing beams back to back for a stronger beam.
On the lower rail, recess the bottom plank slightly. The back side of this lower rail will be smooth but it will face inside of the shop.
Once each of these separate pieces are dry, glue them all together to form the side shown below.
This second wall section assembles a lot like the first. However, the doorway is made of 3 single planks instead of gluing planks back to back. Once each of these separate pieces have dried, glue them all together to form the other side shown below.
On the railing piece, recess the bottom plank slightly.
The two braces on the right have the exact same pieces glued back to back.
All planks for this piece are a single layer. Nothing is glued back to back here.
You'll notice that the floor is made of odd pieces. I used up the odd angle pieces here to keep the total number of castings down.
To assemble the shed, place the floor down first with the 2" plank as the threshold. Then place the back of the shed against the floor so the bottom of the back wall rests on the table surface. Finally, glue the walls onto the sides of the back and floor.
Be sure that all of the walls have the textured side facing outward.
The final photo shows the assembled shed. You will notice that there is no texture on the inside of the shed.
You really won't notice this once the shop is assembled and painted because the inside of the shed with the roof on it will be very dark.
This is the upper brace for the peak of the roof.
The two vertical long beams use up some of the odd pieces on the top but the backside of these beams are made from two 2" long planks.
The two angle braces in the upper left are assembled separately and then glued on each end of the long center beam to complete this piece.
The final pieces are two wedge shapes, each glued back to back.
Now that you have completed all of the main pieces, feel free to add the steel strap and pull ring to any surfaces that are not going to be glued onto something else.
To determine which surfaces you should not glue straps and rings onto, refer to the assembly guide below. You don't want to glue these items onto areas that will get in the way of gluing the main parts together.
Do not glue these main parts together yet! The separate pieces will need to be painted first before the structure is assembled.
Painting the Timber Frame
The first coat I am spray painting it flat black. Be sure to do this outside or in a well-ventilated area.
Be sure to spray from all angles so that you get the sides of every beam.
If you are using house paint, thin the paint slightly and make the brush as dry as possible. If you are using acrylic craft paint then you may not have to thin it.
If the paint is too thick, you will get solid brown on the top of your planks. If you thin the paint but put too much on, the paint will run into the cracks.
The trick here is to thin the paint slightly, dip your brush in and brush almost all of it off on a paper towel (even more than usual for dry brushing).
What you want are lots of thin coats of paint. When first brushing over the planks, it will not look like anything is happening. This is exactly what you want. Don't go back for more paint but instead keep brushing over the planks.
If the coat of pumpkin pie color is thin enough, the black transmutes through the brown and changes the color completely. Pumpkin pie turns into a dark oak. Remember to brush lightly, keep the paint thin and keep the brush really dry.
Texturing the fire bed. Click on the video on the right to watch it.
This video shows how to texture the fire bed of the forge by using plaster (or dental stone). The written instructions for this are shown below.
Here is how to assemble the bed of the forge. Glue together the two layers of blocks shown here and let them dry completely.
Next we will add the texture of coals to the bed. Start by mixing up a little plaster very thickly. You want it the consistency of a thick milkshake.
Wet the plaster completely with water using a spray bottle (photo below).
Immediately drip some thick plaster onto the surface and work it around using a toothpick.
Try to heap up the plaster in the center and make lumps. The longer you leave the plaster on the surface, the thicker it will become.
While this plaster is still wet, lightly sprinkle some dry plaster on top of it.
Using a spray bottle, mist the dry plaster until all the particles are completely wet.
If you spray it too much, the dry plaster will liquefy and loose its rough texture.
If you spray it too little, the plaster will not set. Spray it until parts are barely shiny but still rough.
Here is the front of the forge. Do not glue the blocks shown in red. These are to help keep the width correct.
The first two photos show the front panel. The front trough is shown on the third and fourth photos. Below is the completed front. Glue the small slopes into place to complete it.
For the back of the forge, the back wall is assembled in two layers.
On the second layer, you will need to sand down the large arches in order for them to fit on the inside as shown.
I did this because I ran out of castings of the step piece shown in step 5 above.
Glue the 2" pieces onto the back side of this wall.
Make two copies of the stepped walls and then glue them on each side of the back as shown.
For the chimney you will need mostly 1" blocks and square blocks. It's probably best to let the main column of blocks dry before you add the 3/4" blocks on the top (photo directly below on the right). Be sure that all of the texture is facing outward.
For the base, the outside ring of blocks have the sand blasted texture. Assemble the chimney on the base to complete the top of the forge.
Here are all of the pieces to the blacksmith's forge.
Do not glue these together yet! The pieces should be painted separately before assembling.
The instructions further below will show how to paint the hot coals that go on the bed of the forge.
This floor is optional. I would suggest building it because it gives you something to anchor all the pieces down onto. However, you may want your shop to set directly on the ground or natural terrain that you have made. Without the floor, you would only need 10 castings of mold #226 and 6 castings of mold #263.
You will need to glue these planks down to something fairly stiff, such as chip board, mat board or a piece of foam core board. You might want to set a couple of heavy books on top to help keep the floor flat. After the floor is dry use a hobby knife to trim the excess paper around the outside.
Click on the photos to see a larger view. The front of the roof unhooks so you have easy access to the inside.
You will also notice that I did not put a horizontal support beam across the front of the shop. I left this out to have a clear view of the inside of the shop. In my opinion, seeing and reaching into the shop was more important than having the shop structurally correct.
I glued the shed roof in place, but you could also glue a plank on the lower roof's underside to hold it in place if you wanted it removable