Category: "Ivy Hollow, RFD Post Office - HBS Creatin' Contest 2019"

Ivy Hollow - concrete foundation

by brae  

I sanded the foundation just enough to remove the roughness and excess spackling from the base.

After wiping it down with a damp cloth, I patted on some matte gel medium. This added texture that was more in scale than the original spackling roughness.

I then painted a base coat of neutral grey. This sealed the finish and gave me a good base for turning the mdf into concrete (see previous post on my technique).

After some washes, the finish is now varied and has more depth.  I sprayed the base with Testors Frosted Glass spray to move the acrylic paint sheen. I'll add dust and dirt during the landscaping phase.

Now it will sit until I put the building on it.

Ivy Hollow - new foundation

by brae  

With the rough idea of layout chosen, I'm starting on the actual structure. The first order of business is building up the foundation. The cat food cans are 1 15/32" tall. I had some square lengths of mdf from a former HBS Creatin' Contest kit foundation that measure 1 17/32" tall when double stacked. I don't think I can get closer than that. :]

I taped four lengths together to cut at the same time.

While the scroll saw is not the best tool for the job, it gives a reasonably straight cut with some patience. There will be a final finish on these, so close is good enough.

I glued two lengths together...

...and then to the floor board.

I continued with the rest of the cuts to fit the altered floor board. Since the scraps from the angle cuts fit reasonably well, I decided to use them as is instead of cutting "full" lengths for the space. This portion will be covered by the front step anyway. I also added an inner set of supports for stability.

After looking up the history of concrete to make sure it would be appropriate for 1917, I coated the edges with spackling. I put it on thick so I can work with it after it dries.

After the last post, Sheila asked if I had named the horse yet. I have! I did awhile ago, actually. I'm waiting for the next horse post to introduce him properly. I think you'll like the name. :D

Ivy Hollow - what's in and what's out

by brae  

I've run into a snag with the buggy kit, but all is not lost. More on that to come.

I am realizing just how little room I have to work with inside. Instead of changing the game plan and altering the building to be larger, I will forge ahead with what I've started. I originally wanted a postal teller, a desk, a gate to separate the public from the postmaster, a potbelly stove, and a bench or chair for waiting customers. It's just too small inside for all that without having the customer practically standing outside to conduct business let alone sit inside, and the postmaster has no room to work in the back area. I don't think the door would be able to open inward with this setup.

It doesn't have a lot of pizzazz looking in, either. Boooorrrring.

So, the Chrysnbon desk is out (as if you could really see it anyway). :[ Instead, I would have one gate, a smaller desk, a countertop for sorting mail (shelves on the wall above as well), the postal teller and a stove. I could make a built in counter all the way across in the back and have a stool to serve as a desk. That would likely be cleaner and more efficient for the postmaster. If the customer wants to sit, they'll still have to go elsewhere. haaaaaaaaaa

It's a more dynamic view looking in as well. Hi, peeps! :D

I'm also realizing how long the mail wagon and horse are going to be on the board, especially compared to the post office. This might all end up looking ridiculous. After staring at it awhile, I turned the building on an angle on the landscaping board. Why do structures have to be square on the base? They don't! :D This looks like it might work better, but it was still off to me. The horse is ignoring us.

So, I flipped the whole shebang. Since the horse faces a direction that looks better photographed from a certain angle, this might be the best layout in the end. Hi, horsie.

Let's hope the wagon issue is fixed soon so I can keep on with it.

Mail Wagon - part 5

by brae  

Continuing work on the Mail Wagon. I put together the rear axle assembly.

The front assembly required drilling a hole using the provided jig.  I was able to use my hand tools - a pin vise - to make this hole.  For the rear assembly, the metal was thicker and the pinvise was no match.  I got a blister and two shallow pilot holes for my efforts.  :\

To finish drilling the holes, I bought the Dremel chuck #4486, which holds bits with 1/32" to 1/8" shanks.  The buggy kit provides a 1/32" drill bit (shown here in the pin vise).

Since the metal parts are delicate and easily marred by pliers, I had to figure out a way to safely hold the assembly while also not breaking any of the parts already assembled.  I folded a small hand towel to protect and brace the assembly.  I attempted to drill, and the metal wagon spring heated up fast, so I added a tipped clamp to hold and protect my fingers from the heat.

The first hole worked great since I had been able to get further into the metal with the pin vise.  The other hole wanted to wander, so I had to work more with the pin vise to get the pilot hole deeper and in the right line.  The excess hole will not be visible after assembly.

I reapplied the epoxy to the wood piece that sits on top of the wagon spring.  I added the brass rods right away to make sure everything lined up properly while the epoxy set.

I added the square nuts and trimmed the brass rod to complete the rear axle assembly.  It's not very level or straight, but that is a limitation of the cast metal spring.  It's somewhat pliable, so it doesn't want to hold the proper shape.  I think it will be barely noticeable once the parts are painted a uniform color and the wagon cabin is added.

There is a spring for the front axle assembly, but that will have to be added later since I'm not using the reach (the rod that connects the front and rear axle assemblies).  I'll be making my own reach once I have the wagon cabin built, so the front spring will have to wait for now.  Next up will be working on the wheels, which seems like it will labor intensive.  If all turns out, they should be beautiful.  :]

Mail Wagon - part 4

by brae  

Continuing to swear at work on the Mail Wagon.  To make it easier to work on the next part, I took closeup photos of the large schematics and printed the sections I needed.  This eliminated the need to keep walking into the kitchen to look at the blueprint sized papers.  I could sit and work in one area.

The laser etched brass pieces add fantastic detail, but they are tiny and challenging to work with.

They fit well once you wrangle them into submission.  I do worry about the longevity, even with using super glue.  I think that's because of how delicate the parts seem.

The bolts are made from another type of laser cut material.  Fiddly, but again the detailing is wonderful.

I clipped the excess brass as recommended, and they do now look like tiny bolts.  :]

The front axle assembly is done.

Next up, the rear axle assembly and wheels.

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