Sunday, September 2, 2012

Quar 15.2: Basic Timbering

I cut a piece off a sheet of balsa wood that was longer than any side of my boxes. I “painted” the underside with a yellowish marker and the topside with a black marker. As you can see, the marker was almost out of ink so I had to reink them with another marker that had blacker ink after this photo was taken to darken them.
I set my handy dandy stripper to about 1/16” and cut as many strips as I could. You’ll notice that the strips aren’t all EXACTLY the same width but that’s fine with me since I’m going for a rustic look. (You can also see how some of the cut strips have flipped over, showing their yellow underside.)
I used a black marker again and painted the two sides of each strip.

The strips were glued to the top and bottom edges of each box with their yellow part towards the box. The BabeBot (TOOLS) really helped with this since I was able to apply thin amounts of glue quickly.

“So how come for why did you glue them to each the box so weirdly?” asks concerned reader Anne Teeder…

Well, Anne, I’m right handed and it made it easier to trim off the excess, flip the box, trim off the next piece, and so on.

Once the top and bottom edges were done it was time for the side edges. Strips were set into place and trimmed with a single edge razor blade, then glued. The advantage of the blade is it’s thinner than an Xacto: I simply pressed part way down on the strip to jam it into the blade, lifted the blade/strip to the cutting mat, and finished the cut. Easy! I’ll keep all scraps for later.

Basic timbering all done. And you can’t even see where the pieces meet at the corner, which is why I had premarked the corners black earlier.

I made a very small box (which will have a window) and a large box (which will have a door).

The basic timbered boxes.


  1. What is this stripper you used? I would not mind buying one but what are they offically called and where at Hardware store or craft store? What area?

    1. It's called a Master Airscrew Balsa Stripper by Windsor Propeller Co. I bought mine at a model railroad hobby shop in the section where balsa sheets and strips were. I bought two. One I leave at 3/16", my standard Medieval timbering width. It's a great little tool and saves me a LOT of time, uses standard Xacto blades and is adjustable.