Tribal Foxes Rug - 63 hours

by brae  

Continuing work on the Tribal Foxes Rug.  I've reached the other side of the center square.  :]

I am now at 63 hours of work.  I am stitching full cross stitch with single thread over 32 count Jobelan.

Milo Valley Farm - barn doors, part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the barn doors.  I brushed Testors black inside the plastic tubes as best I could.  I let it dribble through from each end and soaked up the excess with a paper towel.  It didn't need to be perfect, just to hide most of the white plastic.

I then spray painted the plastic tubes and bracket hardware flat black.  I stippled on dark brown to simulate aged and corroded metal.  It's a subtle finish.

I made door handles from brass tubing and sprayed those and the sewing pins with Rust-Oleum Self Etching Primer to help the paint stick better.  I taped the pin heads (hahaha I said pinheads) to keep them free of paint.  I then sprayed them flat black and added the stippled brown paint.  The etching primer did not matter on the pins -- the metal is too smooth.  So, they will require touch-ups for life.  =shrug=

I drilled holes through the door and glued in black brads to finish the end holes.  I added aging washes to the surrounding wood and painted the brads to look like corroded metal.  I installed the handles at an angle, because I liked the look of it.  :]  Here you can see the back of one door and the front of the other.

I drilled pilot holes in the brackets for tiny nails.  I glued the brackets in place and supplemented the hold with the tiny nails.  The fronts have four nails and the backs have two so they wouldn't interfere with each other.

I used The Ultimate by Crafter's Pick (thanks to Keli for recommending this glue for attaching metal to wood) for the brackets and dipped the nails in super glue gel.

The nail heads varied in size in the packet (noticed after they were glued in place, of course) but once painted to match they weren't noticeable.

I will let all of this dry before installing the doors. #HBSCreatinContest2015

Milo Valley Farm - barn doors, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the barn doors.  I cut new upper reinforcements from basswood since I didn't like the texture of the plywood edges.  I marred the basswood pieces to make them look like old wood.

I added all the nail detailing I needed to finish the overall look and then installed the pieces.

As noted before, I will be making a rail that will extend past the end of the building on either side.  I saw this setup in real life at a wedding locale -- Proven Ground Farm.

The real life version has a round metal pipe that houses the top part of the hardware attached to the barn.  My best guess is there are rollers inside the pipe.

I'm using rectangular plastic tubing to have a larger surface to attach to the barn itself.  The first order of business was to cut a track opening.  I sandwiched the tube between two boards and taped everything together.  I clamped the boards to my cutting table.

Using a sharp X-Acto blade and a metal ruler, I made a tiny channel in the tube.

I left the tube long so I would have enough leverage to hold onto it.  After the channels were in place, I cut the tubes to fit.  Each tube has a channel that is closed on one end and open on the other.

Bill sent me some zinc metal sheet awhile back.  He likes working with it to make interesting minis.  I haven't worked with metal a lot, but this is a fine time to start!  I cut four strips 5/16" wide by 2" long.  I wanted some extra length since I was making things up on the fly.

I bent the zinc over the tops of the barn doors, two per door.  I marked and cut the excess, using nail clippers to smooth the corners.

I marked the brackets for tiny brads on each side.  The nails are on order and I have to paint the hardware anyway, so the slight delay won't be for too long. I drilled a hole in each top center.  This will hold a ball-top sewing pin, cut to fit.

These will serve as the rollers inside the tubing. #HBSCreatinContest2015

Next up, painting the plastic, hardware and installing the doors...

Milo Valley Farm - knob and tube wiring, part 4

by brae  

With the 12V lights wired, I continued the knob and tube system along the side wall.  This was my initial map (I changed the cleats to knobs in the last post).

I started with the lower cord from the back cross beam.  The process is the same as it was for the cross beam knobs...headpin through the upper knob portion, through the cord, into the lower knob portion and glued to the wall.

Once that track was in place, I addressed the upper cord from the back cross beam.  After reaching the front of the barn, I had to splice the cord wires together.  I used masking tape then painted it black.

Those four splices required an unusually high amount of curse words to fall into place.  Anytime the two cords touched, a slipped a cut of plastic tube onto the cord.  One splice is damn close to a knob nail -- likely a scary feature of many a real barn.  :O

As I mentioned before, much of this exposed work would have been done with cleats instead of knobs, but I like the look of the knobs...and perhaps the builder just used whatever he had the most of in the old barn.  :D  Here's an excellent video on knob and tube from Edison Tech Center.

I led the wires down the wall to a key switch (made from a bell push from Sussex Crafts and a wood disc).  I will add the "safety feature" rope to yank in case of disaster closer to the end since it will just be in the way when I attach the exterior electrical wires to the fuse block.

It may seem low, but it's only because there's nothing to show the spatial relation of the barn.  :]

To age all of this madness, I scraped some chalk pastel dust into a bowl and then dusted it onto the cord.  It toned down the true black of the cord material.   I used some grey and brown paint mixed with Americana Staining Medium to dirty the knobs and tubes.

This whole setup is damn scary, so it's a good thing it's just for show.   

A lot of this was guesswork since much of the knob and tube wiring examples I found are modern inspection photos of improper splicing with modern wiring.  But, I think I managed to capture the essence of it, no?  :D   #HBSCreatinContest2015 #HBSCreatinContest2015

image from Wikipedia

Only a few things are left for the actual barn structure -- barn doors, exterior electrical work, landscaping and roof.  I think I'll leave the roof off until I am done with the car, which will have to wait for spray painting weather.  So, I'll work on the barn doors next.  :]

Happy Groundhog Day 2016!

by brae  

It's Groundhog Day, but I think Woodrow is still making up his mind whether there will be an early Spring or six more weeks of Winter.

It's not like I am lacking in mini projects to keep me busy...but it would be nice to have the windows open.  :]  Woodrow is supposed to be impartial, but his surroundings suggest a hankering for gardening.  The Iowa magical corn is from Blondie.  :D

Woodrow looks all scientific with his almanac, charts and graphs.

But, I spy a dart to throw at those winter and spring posters.

No matter what the outcome, I'm all for his plan of having dessert and a cordial.  :D

Woodrow by *reve*.  Yellow pot with succulents and zebra from April.  Pansies and violet plants from Debora.  Jacobean book rest kit from Cynthia Howe Miniatures.  Winter and Spring images from The Graphics Fairy.  Magnifying glass and calipers from Bill.  Dessert from MiniFanaticus.

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