The Dr. Grunge Advanced Wood Clinic



  • Thanks Bill, and I don't think wood color is particularly off topic at all. That wood was stained with AI, maybe 3-4 applications with the wood fully dry between applications with some brown chalk used sparingly here and there. The lower half appears more the actual color as the top half seems to have picked up a bit of glare maybe.
  • edited January 2017
    Back at it. I am now to the point where I begin detailing the ends of the board. The example here will be for boards at the bottom of a wall. I want a board end that is weathered and worn due to years of moisture and the elements lapping at the wood.

    I take my #11 blade a begin picking and slicing slivers of wood off the end. I actually want to remove a bit of the wood going with the grain. I also cut pieces off to simulate missing chunks, etc...once this is done I then lightly hit the end with the wire brush.

    In figure 1., I have demonstrated this to the three pieces of wood photographed earlier in which I showed the edges and board ends sanded. I will continue to use these three pieces throughout the process so you hopefully can follow along the transition.

    Back to figure1. Note the areas where the wood was removed and the board in the middle with a piece cut off the side. This can be done to taste but don't overdo it unless you want a very heavily weathered or damaged wall. With all these type of details, a little goes a long way. Also note this process has created light areas where the wood was removed, this adds to our contrast effect as will be shown later.


    (figure 1) You will notice the frayed wood has returned and the areas where the wood was removed looks sharp and fresh. Enter the sanding wand! The following procedure is important and why I like this sanding wand so much. Each board is sanded with the TIP of the sanding wand going with the grain. The tip allows me to get down in the groves I cut and smooth and age the detail and the rough wood edges the wire brushing created (see figure 2)


    (figure 2) Note the attitude of the sanding wand tip to get down in the grooves and smooth things up and remove the frayed wood.

    So the following picture shows the board ends with sanding of the previous details that were made. Note the old weathered appearance rather than the fresh cuts and frayed wood. This is so important and will look terrific once the final coloring/highlighting is completed.


    I will continue on with all the various board detailing such as knot holes, saw banding, and other subtile details next time...
  • Great update and info Ken!
  • This is the kind of attention to detail that makes your models stand out.
  • edited January 2017
    Thanks Brett, hopefully the info. from here on out will be useful and interesting...

    Thank much Bryan, appreciate that.
  • Hey Ken

    Thanks for taking the time to post this useful info. Its much appreciated. This thread shows why board on board building just cant be beaten.
  • You bet Wes, hope there is some useful material here. Board on board is where it's at. My mother said never end a sentence with "at"...ehh...
  • Great info, Ken!
    Quick question--in the last pic, did you touch-up the areas that you picked at with A/I? Or, is the result we see simply due to the earlier ink applications?
  • All the detailing up to this point was after the initial application of the AI stain. No additional has been added yet. Once all the detailing is complete I come back and stain/highlight these areas individually. I posted the following picture under Carl's thread on Mother Nature....

    This is an image of the partially complete front wall of the Main Barn for my BlueSky build I'm working on. Note the mottled tones, this is what the final highlighting will accomplish after all the final details are imparted in the boards.

  • Ken, thank you for the answer regarding the wood color! This clinic is very informative. Thanks again.

  • I'm back again from my travels. Anchorage was just darn cold!!!! Ken, keep it up. I'm really learning a lot. Phil
  • No problem Bill and thanks for the support.

    Anchorage!...geesh Phil that is off the beaten path.
  • edited January 2017
    Previously I had sanded the detailed board ends with the tip of my sanding stick to smooth and age the rough detail. I then continue with the board detailing by imparting various worn and damaged areas sparingly throughout the boards. I will come back later and feature the board ends that are butted together and the details I concentrate on there. In this segment I will show three different types of detail. The first is a simple worn area along the edges of the board. I utilize just my sanding stick and with tip I sand the edge in various spots creating a "dip" in the wood along the edge (figure 1).


    (figure 1)

    To reiterate, this is prior to the final highlighting with my stain. The worn areas are easily seen and serve to age the wood and give it some character. Always remember these details are done sparingly and not on every board. Less is more...

    In the next example I utilize my #11 blade and at a very oblique angle cut slivers and chunks of wood from the board (figure 2, left image). This creates sharp angles and edges on the lip of the cut areas, we want to age this...This next step is very important and makes all the difference in a detailed aged board. I take my sanding stick and lightly sand the cuts with the tip of my sanding stick to smooth, blend and age the cuts
    (figure 2, right image). Brett was kind enough to assist me in putting side-by-side imaging together here. I felt it imperative to give a better feel for the subtile differences I am referring to. Thanks Brett!


    (figure 2) Note the subtile difference between the right and left image. Once stained and detailed with chalk this will blend nicely and give a great old weathered effect.

    With this example I created, again with my trusty #11 blade, a damaged area on a board where something contacted it at an angle. Again, note the rough and fresh look to the image on the left. I followed with the same sanding with my sanding stick to smooth and blend the area.


    This process can be used throughout your wood work with any variation you choose, from small little imperfections to large damaged areas. The key is to slightly sand and age the area and then provide the coloring and highlights to blend.

    Next time I will go over knot holes and the board end detailing for two boards butted together.
  • When will you be adding the bent-over nails that didn't quite get hammered in all the way? A big ol' thick nail would be about 1/8" so in HO that would be .0014".
  • Hmm...I could do that...
  • Just catching up with this thread. So glad you are doing this. I love the attention to detail and the colouring.
    Looking forward to hearing more.
  • Hey Joel, really nice hearing from you. I'm pacing it out a bit so there is much more to come..
  • Thank you Ken, this is the look I've been trying to accomplish but never achieved. I always enjoy your clinics.
    David C
  • edited January 2017
    I break down board end detail depending on where the board end will end up on my structure. The board end detail I have illustrated thus far is primarily for the boards that are along the bottom of the walls of a structure or where board ends meet doorway or window trim.


    Here is an example of a series of finished boards from my SWSM Loco and Service Shops build. These are individual boards with a faint paint peel. Note the board end detail with the finished staining and color. Once I start my wall I will select specific boards and the ends will be at the bottom of the wall.


    Here is a wall from my Loco and Service Shops with the individually selected boards with the detailed board ends at the bottom.

    The next type of board end detail is where two boards butt together. I like to lightly sand the ends and detail the board ends in a similar manner as the boards for the bottom of my walls. I then impart nail holes. Nail holes are of course a matter of taste and admittingly out of scale as 1:87 nail holes would be virtually invisible. However, if done properly can enhance the wall detail significantly. This is worth repeating...not everything prototypical looks good in 1:87 scale! Subtile is the key to nail holes and as Brett mentions, does not look good uniformly applied to vertical siding. My doesn't look good to have uniformly applied nail holes in anything other than clapboard siding and then should be faint and barely noticeable. I only apply nail holes to siding where boards are butted together.

    I work my nail holes in two main ways. The first is just a straight nail hole. My nail hole tool of choice is a fine pointed scribe end placed in a pin vice. My opinion...never use a pounce wheel to make nail holes. Firstly they are only used for nail holes uniformly applied in a line, the tool makes holes that are not round, and they are much to uniformly spaced.

    My hand model displaying my tool of choice for not only nail holes but also a type of knot hole, which we will discuss later on.


    Back to hole-ology, I make two nail holes per board end. I always have a piece of scrap oak wood as a backing as I detail my boards. This allows the details to be cut and punched into the wood without breaking the wood or injuring myself with a blade or punch. Either just a straight on hole pushed into the wood or, my favorite type, is to push the point of my tool all the way through the wood contact the backing and pull it out through the end of the board. This leaves a hole and a split in the board end which is very prototypical. The nail weakens the board end and over time the board will split where the nail is.


    Here is an example from my SWSM O'Neills fabrication build of a typical butted board end and nail hole application. Note the faint nail holes and how the wood is split where the nail is. In other words, not a single round hole.


    Here is another example from O'Neills. Note the other details here such as the splits and cuts we discussed earlier. Next time we will get into knot holes and variations of same.
  • Great effect on the knots, nail holes and all around.
  • Appreciate your thoughts here Leonard and taking the time to check it out and provide some feedback. Always nice to know you're on the right track..
  • edited January 2017
    So far I have detailed my boards by sanding the edges, followed by detailing my board ends both single boards and butted boards. I continued to further detail the wood with various defects, scrapes, holes, etc...Now I'm ready to put in a few knot holes. My philosophy on knot holes is to use them sparingly, vary how they appear and where on the board and on the structure they appear, and how they are weathered and detailed.

    I primarily use three different types of knot holes; round, oblong, and knot holes without the knot. To start I carve out a shallow oblong depression in the wood, similar to how I did the cut marks described earlier, with my #11 blade.


    Here is a board where I have done just that. Cut out an oblong shallow depression followed by sanding and smoothing with my sanding stick. The bottom will be an oblong knot hole and the one on top a round one. These knots are done with round wood toothpicks. I punch a hole in the shallow depression I just made, put a very small amount of wood glue on the tip of the toothpick and insert the bottom one at an angle (oblong knot) and the one on top straight in (round knot). The further the toothpick is inserted the bigger the knot.


    After a few minutes to let the glue dry I take a rather dull pair of old nippers, as I want the wood to smoosh a little rather than a nice clean cut, and cut the toothpicks off flush with the board. Also, I make sure I'm cutting the toothpick parallel to the long axis of the board. Once I cut the toothpick off I then push the knot further down in the depression if I choose or leave it slightly proud, depending on the look I want. I then snip and sand whatever was protruding from the back of the board.


    Note the snippers are parallel to the board.


    Board with the knots installed. I then back the board so as to not push the knot out the back and detail the knot as well as the surrounding area if needed. I pick out any glue that oozed out around the knot. I also detail the knot by putting split marks, chipped areas all with my #11 blade. I then follow with staining and a dusting of chalk depending.


    End result of an oblong knot. Note the effect the depression gives around the knot and the realistic cracks of the knot itself and the chalk "dirt/grime" around the knot. Also note the saw blade banding on this board. This is simple and easy to do. I just run my #11 blade across the wood with a light touch. I do not want the wood to flake up just some subtile marks.


    Another board, this and the previous board are from my O'Neills Welding Shop, with a highly detailed oblong knot. Note the rot and "insect damage" along the bottom of this board. This was simply done by punching "divots" with my scribe tool, then weather.

    The last tip of knot hole-ology I learned from Brett during my O'Neills build. Brilliant to say the least. This method literally takes 2-3 seconds to accomplish and the results are great! Quote right out of the O'Neills manual..."using the point of a compass" I use my scribe tool "make a depression in the wood" I actually poke mine all the way through to make a knot with the knot missing "Vary the pressure applied for variety. Keep this random" very important "the tool can be pressed straight down to create a round knot or" which is my favorite way "rocked back and forth while pressing to create an elliptical knot".


    Start here and...


    end here...this makes the elliptical knot knot


    A so, so picture to attempt to illustrate the effect.

    Next time I will show some final coloring and weathering and a few other subtile details and then wrap up this clinic and let everyone get to it.
  • edited January 2017
    So wrapping things up here on the wood clinic.


    Referring to the left side picture...the left board is and example of the simple knot hole described by Brett and illustrated in the last segment. The board on the right illustrates one of my favorite quick and easy techniques I developed. I take my #11 blade and slice right through the board that is on a backing. Once the blade is removed, the cut closes right up and is all but invisible until...

    This next step is the key and really is amazing for how simple it is. I take the board and turn it over and rather than apply the stain (AI in this case) or chalk stain (chalk thinned with alcohol) to the front of the board, which would cause the AI to flood the knot hole and the split, I apply the stain sparingly to the back of the board over the detail. The AI leeches through and wicks up the crack giving the subtile but nice effect you see on the left two boards. Notice how the AI is only in the crack on each board.

    The images on the right are the boards with additional AI and chalk weathering to taste. This dulls down the stark contrast of the original AI application.


    This picture is of the three boards I have been using to demonstrate the techniques. All have received final AI and Chalk applied to taste.


    And finally...a wall with all the techniques combined. Hope this has been an informative clinic and time to get back to the bench...Thanks for following along.

    Dr. Grunge
  • Very impressive Ken thank's for taking the time.
  • A first-rate demonstration. Thanks for putting this together.
  • Outstanding! Thank you Ken for taking the time to create such a wonderful clinic. So much useful information that can be immediately applied to any project.
  • Ken, great stuff. Can you hear all the learning going on? Phil
  • Thanks much Brett and appreciate you giving me the opportunity to post my thoughts and suggestions regarding this clinic. Hope the material was useful and informative.

    Thanks Carl for your thoughts.

    Appreciate that Bryan, it was enjoyable to put together and nice to have my thoughts down in one place.

    Glad you were there Phil and thanks for the encouragement along the way. "Wood" I do it again...sure thing!
  • Hi Ken,

    I have been following along on this. Thanks for sharing the Masters techniques with us. It sure will help me improve my models.
  • Brilliant work Ken. Lots of new and unique ideas--all of them simple and effective. Invest the time and the results follow.
    Thanks for sharing!
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