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Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  11:26:36 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Tree making by Frank Palmer
Frank

Country: USA | Posts: 5413

quartergauger48
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/16/2017 :  11:33:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frank, Standing by to cast off'..



ted :<)

Country: USA | Posts: 5895 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 11/16/2017 :  11:39:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That was so fast I missed it!!!!!

Jerry

"And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 11690 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  11:41:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hey you guys it takes a long time to post all these pictures. Now I'm ready, ta-da.


Remember: safety is always the first rule.

Despite its name, the Ming fern is not a true fern. It is a member of the lily family and one of more than 400 plants in the Asparagus genus. Although known as one of the asparagus ferns, ming ferns are not edible, nor are they a vegetable. The nickname asparagus fern comes from its resemblance as a seedling to asparagus stalks.

Cut wood to form a 4-sided tapered blank using a band saw or table saw. You can use cedar, bass wood or some other semi-soft wood; do not use pine as the grain is too wide. Drill an 1/8” hole 1-1/2” into the bottom of the blank. This has 2 uses insert an ice-pick to be used as a handle while planning. Then insert a 16d finish nail so the tree can be “planted”.



Knock off the corners on the band saw. Please be careful, fingers are hard to replace.



Round the blank with a block plane to form a nice smooth rounded tapered tree trunk.



Using the “nail block” drag the tree trunk across the block to produce very rough gouges. These gouges will represent tree bark in the finished product.



Smooth the trunk with a wire brush to get rid of the excess fuzz. Finish getting rid of the fuzz with a hand held propane torch.



The next step isn’t necessary but if you want a nice wide base to your tree you can add BONDO to the base. Glue a base plate of 1/16” plywood or similar material to the base of the tree and carefully work the BONDO up using a palette knife or similar blade to form to form ridges representing bark. You'll have to experiment with set-up times. I like it to set fairly fast as the Bondo wants to slide down the trunk.







I should add here that as you work the Bondo it will begin to harden at different rates and that's what causes the clumps to form. Accidently creating a gnarly tree trunk. This I noticed all by accident.



Trim the base plate with a Dremel tool with cutting disk.





Paint the trunk with flat black spray paint. This will be the deep shadow color.





Using a fairly heavy “dry-brush” method paint the trunk with a cheap dark brown water based paint. These paints can be found in Michael’s or JoAnn Fabrics craft stores.

Now with those same type paints lightly “dry-brush” the trunk with tan and light gray. If you feel the trunk is too light after application if these colors go over them with a light dry-brushing of the dark brown. Remember you’ve never go so far as to ruin a painted project. It can always be repainted.



Cut the Ming fern into various lengths from 1 inch to 5 or 6 inches long. Look for natural breaks in the plant stem. Make about 5 to 10 cuttings in each size. Group the cuttings into small piles of each varying size. I place the short 1” ones to the left and each progressive length to the right. Ending up with a half-dozen or so different lengths.





Drill holes into the trunk starting at the top rotating around for a couple of inches. Apply a small amount of glue to the end of the one of the shortest branches and insert it into the uppermost hole.





Repeat the above step of drilling and inserting branches until the tree is finished.



Floral paints of light green, paprika or a rusty color can be sprayed on the finished green tree to give it more character and imitating a dying tree.






An alternative to the ming fern is to use small twigs to represent dead growth. This is usually found at the bottom of the foliage. It can also be used to create a diseased or dead tree. Ilex is a nice little shrub that can be used for this purpose. If tree making is your thing I suggest buying a half-dozen of these little plants to keep on hand as a ready supply of small twigs.



An alternative to Ming Fern is Juniper. We started using juniper this year after seeing Ty Brown’s Fn3 modular layout. He’s made some great looking trees using juniper. I must warn you this is a somewhat expensive tree making method but I feel the results are well worth the time, effort and cost.

Absolutely necessary, YOU MUST USE PRESERVED FERN OR JUNIPER. Do not use those products intended for floral displays. They will die within a few days and you’re out of luck.

The following websites were contacted a couple of years ago so some may not be correct.

http://www.silkflowersandmore.com/dried-fern.html

Preserved Ming Fern, order number: drist-04267-12, $54.50 / case of 12

http://teresasplants.com/preserved-ming-fern-asparagus-fern-wedding-floral.aspx

5-6 beautiful 14”-16" tall stems of this preserved fern is included in each order - $18.00

You will definitely want the berryless Juniper variety otherwise you’ll be picking berries off for quite a while.

Call them and ask for the berryless ones and from what I hear they’re only available during certain months. September to December is their peak season and they deal with large orders to wholesalers only so wait till after the new year to give them a call.

http://www.preservedjuniper.com/juniper.htm

Telephone: (303) 644-3763, Fax: (303) 644-3045, email: preservedjuniper@gmail.com



Frank

Edited by - Frank Palmer on 11/17/2017 10:24:28 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5413 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  11:49:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, I need a couple thousand of those, get to it.....nice looking trees, Frank. Thanks for sharing your skills.

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
H.M.F.I.C
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Country: USA | Posts: 10429 Go to Top of Page

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  11:50:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ok, I need a couple thousand of those, get to it.....nice looking trees, Frank. Thanks for sharing your skills.

Karl Scribner
Sunfield Twp. Michigan
H.M.F.I.C
Kentucky Southern Railway
The Spartan Line

Country: USA | Posts: 10429 Go to Top of Page

Dave D
Fireman



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  11:56:12 AM  Show Profile  Click to see Dave D's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Fantastic!

Thanks for doing this one Frank.

Been looking for ming fern forever.



Country: USA | Posts: 1058 Go to Top of Page

Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 11/16/2017 :  12:12:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I thought only God could make a tree?

Alright bad joke. But I heard Frank use it in person first.

Nice tutorial for the larger scales.



Country: USA | Posts: 3466 Go to Top of Page

Tim Hebert
Engine Wiper



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  12:27:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nice work Frank. Good pointers for future reference.

Kind regards,

Tim



Country: USA | Posts: 145 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 11/16/2017 :  4:24:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow Frank. That's a really a outstanding tree. When are you taking orders??

They'll go quick for you O-Scale instead of those F-Scale ones!!


Jerry

"And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 11690 Go to Top of Page

Ensign
Fireman

Posted - 11/16/2017 :  4:38:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Frank, that is Treemendous looking!!
You are definitely barking up the right tree.

Greg Shinnie



Edited by - Ensign on 11/16/2017 4:40:55 PM

Country: Canada | Posts: 8347 Go to Top of Page

Craig H
Fireman

Posted - 11/16/2017 :  5:16:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
WOW...


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desertdrover
Engineer



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  5:29:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great How-to, and fantastic looking trees Frank however, a few here and there, but I don't see myself doing that many for a large layout. It would be a full time job once again.


Louis
Pacific Northwest Logging in the East Coast
Post count: 2000 posts added to below count.

Country: USA | Posts: 17361 Go to Top of Page

Pennman
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 11/16/2017 :  5:46:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Fantastic job on the trees Frank. Thanks for sharing.
Rich



Country: USA | Posts: 4152 Go to Top of Page

Bill Gill
Fireman



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  6:03:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No needling you about this one, Frank, I don't have to go out on a limb at all to say your tree clinic yields nifty results!


Country: USA | Posts: 2683 Go to Top of Page

Frank Palmer
Fireman



Posted - 11/16/2017 :  7:13:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh did I forget to mention, it takes me about 6-8 hours per tree. Sorry that slipped my mind.

Karl, I hear ya‘ bout the thousand. Phew!

Dave, I hope you can get some ming fern with the sites I listed. If not let me know and I’ll send out for help.

Carl, yes I know the joke was used at my clinic. But nay-nay my friend, that style of tree has been used for On30 layouts. That’s where I learned it.

Thanks Tim, hope you can use the idea.

Jerry, the tallest ones I made were 64” and over 2” in diameter at the base. how many do you want?

Greg, I thought I’d branch out in a different direction with this tree thing.

Craig, thanks.

Louis, why not a large layout, the Sundance Central is 45’ x 45’ tee-shaped layout and I’ve probably made 40-50 of those trees. A couple of the other guys made quite a few more.

You’re welcome Rich.

Bill, we need so many of these trees I wish I could just cone more.


Frank

Edited by - Frank Palmer on 11/16/2017 7:15:21 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 5413 Go to Top of Page
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