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Make Beadboard and Other Kerfed Trims in Miniature Scales Using a Mat Knife

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Make Beadboard and Other Kerfed Trims in Miniature Scales Using a Mat Knife
Beadboard in dollhouse scale, kerfed in craftwood using a framer's mat knife or mat cutter.

A section of craft basswood has been kerfed into a series of V cuts using a hand helf mat knife to mimic beadboard for dollhouse scale projects.

Photo © 2012 Lesley Shepherd

Bead board or beadboard is a traditional tongue and groove panelling used for porch roofs and wainscoting in period homes. You can easily recreate the look of traditional beadboard in miniature and dollhouse scales using bookboard or illustration board, or craftwood like basswood using an artist's mat knife, which is commonly used to cut angled cuts in illustration board for picture framing mats.

Inexpensive hand held mat knifes hold standard craft knife blades at an angle to allow cutting neat lines in illustration board. As craftwoods are not particularly hard, you can use a mat knife with a few adjustments to cut beadboard or kerfed fine lines in wood to allow bending of thin sections of craft wood, or the creation of special effects like beadboard or kerfed tambours for rolling doors.

If you don't have a mat knife, you can create the same effect by taping a sharp craft knife to a scrap of wood angled to hold the blade at 45 degrees. The objective of using a blade consistently at this angle is that you can cut shallow "V" cuts to emulate the look of joined beadboard in miniature.

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