A novel method for the construction of an electrically heated, smooth, convective heat-transfer test surface is presented. The basis of the plate is a composite sandwich construction made up of a base material (wood, aluminium or araldite), araldite (epoxy-resin base) and heating foil or ribbon (stainless steel, nichrome, etc.). The fabrication technique is explained with respect to a flat constant heat-flux test plate, which is to be used for unsteady, convective boundary-layer heat-transfer research. Results showing the performance of this typical heat-transfer test surface are presented. The use of this novel fabrication technique for geometrically complex, yet smooth, heat-transfer surfaces is discussed, and results illustrating the performance of the test surface are presented.