- Required minimum tools
- How to choose wood
- Making templates and stencils
- Sampling of through holes
- Blind thread: apply relief
- Wood processing and installation of platbands
For buildings from a log frame, carved platbands simply suggest themselves for decorating window openings. Their independent production is not at all a whim or an attempt to save money, because there are very few really good wood carving masters now.
Required minimum tools
The manufacture of platbands, in contrast to artistic woodcarving, implies multiple performance of the same type of operations, resulting in a rather primitive repeating pattern. Therefore, most of the work is done with an electric tool: this not only increases the processing speed, but also achieves its uniform quality in different areas..
1 – jigsaw; 2 – drill; 3 – belt grinder; 4 – vibration grinder; 5 – manual router
The main work is done with a jigsaw and a drill. The tool must be reliable and of high quality, capable of being in continuous use for a long time. For cleaning and grinding products, it is better to use an electric grinder, at least the simplest belt one. Rapid finishing of the relief is possible with the use of vibration-type machines.
If you intend to add additional small details to the edges of your product, you cannot do without a router. Slopes, chamfers and curly edges can also be made manually, but only if you have a variety of chisels, cutters and specific skills in working with wood.
Wood cutter set
How to choose wood
For platbands, hardwoods are best suited: oak, birch, ash, maple, alder. Since the thickness of the finished product is relatively small (30–45 mm), hard rocks will be less susceptible to rotting and drying out, therefore, they will retain their appearance longer.
If you plan to decorate the carved platbands with flat-relief elements with many small details, you should give preference to softer rocks with a small texture pattern. Linden, poplar, aspen, walnut and spruce are suitable.
Wood for platbands should be selected and, preferably, chamber drying, moisture content not higher than 12%. The presence of traces of warpage or other pronounced defects, large branches is not allowed. Ideally, you should immediately order calibrated boards with a width of 100-150 mm and a thickness of 30-40 mm..
The length of the blanks should be sufficient to completely cover the window opening horizontally and vertically with an overlap in each direction by 1.5 times the width of the board. It is important that you initially calculate the number of necessary blanks and, in addition to them, purchase several more boards of the cheapest breed for training and practicing carving skills..
Making templates and stencils
Almost any wood carving begins with drawing on the workpiece using a pre-made template or stencil. There are plenty of thread schemes in the network, the main difficulty comes down to transferring the lines to the part exactly and without distortion. Let us warn you right away: do not pursue the high complexity of the drawing. A set of even the most primitive elements in the correct sequence and with well-chosen indents takes its modesty and quality of processing.
Templates of the upper and lower planks for the window
Example of a platband ornament template
The first option for marking is the production of a small piece of plastic or hard sheet material, on which a single element of a repeating pattern is applied. Such a template is sequentially applied to the workpiece and outlined with a pencil..
It is also possible to make a solid template. You need to take a strip of paper of the appropriate width, fold it with an accordion several times, and then cut out the pattern according to the principle of a Christmas tree garland. The resulting tape must be glued to cardboard or LMDF, and then cut out the desired shapes. This method is welcomed with a significant amount of work..
The resulting stencil is subsequently simply superimposed on the board and outlined with a soft pencil. Ideally, rich, but precise cut lines and boundaries for further processing should remain. When marking out the details, it is necessary to take into account the pattern of the pattern so that the platbands form an integral and complete contour, and the repeating pattern does not interrupt inappropriately.
Sampling of through holes
The first step is to trim the edges of the workpiece and select holes in the center. Everything is simple with the edges: we cut out the excess with a jigsaw, retreating from the marking line 1-1.5 mm outward for subsequent processing. To cut shapes in the center of the plane, drill the part at the very line of each cutout, then select the inner contour with a jigsaw.
For large holes, it is wise to use core drills. In this case, it is necessary to mark on the template not the contours, but the centers of the circles in which the centering drill of the crown will be installed. A similar technique can also be used when making oval holes or elements with small rounding radii: a complex bend is drilled with an appropriate radius, and everything else is cut with a jigsaw..
When the excess parts of the workpiece have been cut, the cut edges must be carefully processed with a rasp and then with sandpaper. It is recommended to use square, round and rounded profiles with sandpaper stuffed on them. This way you are less likely to “rock” the edges and be able to get right angles on each edge..
Rectangular edges look quite rough, so they are smoothed with chamfers and slopes of different profiles. The easiest way to diversify the product is to walk along the outer and inner contours of the casing with a curly cutter. But manual processing options are also possible:
- for chamfering, walk along the straight edges with chips, keeping the angle of inclination of the handle to the part constant;
- a semicircular convex descent can also be performed with chips, changing the inclination of the blade, or use a concave cutter for this;
- concave semicircular mating is performed with a chisel or a cutter with a rounded edge. Such elements need to be cut out in stages, removing small chips layer by layer and carefully controlling the depth of the tool and the inclination of the handle;
- if the descent has a profile of a complex shape with several convex, concave and straight elements, this profile is divided into several stages and cut in a strict sequence, starting with the widest outer part and ending with the deepest and shallowest tier.
Blind thread: apply relief
Once you’ve finished shaping, it might be a good idea to diversify the remaining flat elements with simple ornamentation or floral designs. Here are the simplest ways to work:
- A groove (branch, groove) is made with a narrow chisel or a cutter with a square, triangular or concave blade shape. Carving is carried out strictly along the line, the relief is selected with small chips and then grinded.
- Sheet – several small grooves imitating veins cut with a circular knife. From the center between the veins, small notches are made to each of them with a semicircular chisel, imitating the body of the sheet, then the outer contour is induced with a thin incisor.
- The flat areas adjacent to the slope can be diversified with dull carvings of small ornaments. For example, cut two grooves from the edge, forming a triangle with it, and in the center, pierce an asterisk with a notch.
Wood processing and installation of platbands
Due to the carved elements, the wooden product has a large surface shape, due to which it is more susceptible to aging. Therefore, wood must be treated in a special way..
First of all, carved products for placement on the facade should be soaked in an antiseptic composition for 5–8 hours, for which you can dig a small trench in the ground and put a plastic wrap there for temporary arrangement of the bath. After soaking, the parts are dried in a stack with lining for several days after 30-40 cm.
When the wood is dry, it must be carefully sanded, achieving smoothness and finally eliminating all traces of sawing and carving. The protective composition is selected in accordance with the type of facade finish, it can be either alkyd enamel or polyurethane varnish, tinted or transparent.
Finally, for the correct installation of the platbands, the window opening should be framed with a flat strip 10–15 mm thick and of such a width that its outer edge cannot be seen through the carved pattern along the contour of the platband. The purpose of this plank is to eliminate any remaining unevenness in the wall and to provide a solid base for anchoring the carved element. Often this strip is painted in a color that contrasts with the coating of the casing itself for greater expressiveness of the pattern..
Platbands can be attached with straight and oblique trimming, which depends on the type and density of the pattern. Oblique trimming is performed by sawing each side at 45 °, while the cutting line must pass through identical sections of the pattern and not intersect the figures cut out inside.
With straight clipping, a horizontal element is positioned between two vertical ones. Their top edge should be 1–2 cm higher than the crossbar if the cut edge is straight. It is also possible to manufacture on the edge of the thread according to the general scheme, if during the manufacturing process the fitting and precise adjustment of the platbands are carried out. The fastening of the platbands itself is elementary – for it they use ordinary brushed nails without a cap. It is only important that the nail stitches the platband and strip, protruding at least 5 mm from the wrong side.