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Realistic looking logs

Q: I live on Vancouver Island where logging was, and still is, a big industry. I’ve recently tried my hand at building trucks and have a Peerless logging trailer.
I’m curious as to where I could get realistic looking logs to use on my trailer. I’ve tried the real thing but find they are too heavy.
-Steven C. Reiter
via email

Ken: Good question, Steven. I tried to get in touch with you via e-mail to clarify what you meant by real logs being “too heavy” but it wouldn’t go through, so I’ll just have to wing it with an answer.

I’m pretty sure a search of nearby wooded areas would turn up logs (branches) that would work on your hauler, but if not you can make your own using wood dowels.

To mimic the realistic look of logs, the dowels would need to be tapered somewhat with coarse sandpaper or a rasp, which would tear up the surface enough to give you a real “bark” texture.

If that procedure doesn’t produce a rough enough texture, you can simulate bark by applying modeling putty or, better yet, Durham’s Wood Putty – a powder that’s mixed with water to the consistency you feel is right for the job. When the putty is almost dry (but still workable), carve in the vertical “bark” detail with a dull hobby blade or even a nail.

To further enhance the effect, drill small holes in the dowel and glue in twigs to represent branch stumps. If needed, blend the stumps into the trunk with putty.
Paint the bark color suitable to your area, but make sure you use a flat acrylic paint. I hope this helps! 


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