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

Chrysnbon kitchen hutch to desk, part 2

by brae  

Starting work on the Chrysnbon desk conversion.  The instructions indicate to use the base back piece, but it has some issues with injection marks and you are to remove the ribs with a knife.  These would not be highly visible under the desk, but they would be unsightly enough to bother me.

I could turn the piece around, but then the back would be rather ragged.  Granted, the back the desk isn't visible when in the room, but why bother with these issues at all when there's a large piece in the leftovers that has wood texture on both sides?

I cut the large piece to minimize the injection marks.  Much better.  :]

After gluing the top to the sides and back using Testors plastic cement, I went my own direction using the magazine instructions as a general guide.  Since I didn't care about making the top cabinet, I used the spare parts as needed.  It simplified things for me.  I built a box for the side drawer and door.

I cut the original skirt as meant in the bash, but I made a solid piece for the right side.

Instead of using the remaining small drawers, I cut a new one from the spare parts.

I sanded the back of the door smooth so it would sit more in line with the new drawer.  The one on the left shows what it looked like before the sanding.

That left the holes and imperfections on the left inner panel.

I thought it would be more difficult to fill with putty and get a good result, so I cut a board to cover the entire lower portion.  Once painted, it will be less obvious.  Or, perhaps the desk needed repair at some point, which is why it's being used in a rural post office.

Next up, finishing and hardware.

Chrysnbon kitchen hutch to desk

by brae  

In the large group of magazines gifted to me recently, there are numerous articles on how to make more from a kit than what is presented in the instructions.  I've modified kits before, but some of these are truly remarkable and have opened my eyes to even greater possibilities.

I bought this Chrysnbon kitchen hutch kit at the 3 Blind Mice show from KMWohrstein since I had just discovered a modification perfect for an old post office.

In the November 2000 issue of Dollhouse Miniatures magazine, there are instructions for converting this hutch into a desk (and a shelving unit if you want to use all of the pieces).  I think the vintage style is perfect.

I've sorted the parts and have a nice bunch left over for my stash.  I don't know that I'll make the wall cabinet from the spare parts, but you never know.  It might make a nice addition to the post office.

I'll need to be on the lookout for a Chrysnbon chair to complete the set.  I'm thinking the Victorian or Cane Seat version would work well.

Love letters from the future-past

by brae  

I bought these at the 3 Blind Mice show this weekend from David's Dollhouse with the intention of using them in the Ivy Hollow post office.  The vendor mentioned he thought they were dated to work with my rough 1908 timeframe, but they are actually dated 1977 - way out of range for my era.  However, I might end up using them anyway.

The envelopes were not glued to one another, so I untied them to have 13 individual pieces.  They are identical, but they should work nonetheless.

The envlopes open.

Each one has a letter inside.

The writing on the envelopes and letters is legible.

I do plan to make my own mail for the build, but I will likely use these for the pigeon holes since they are so well made and realistic, regardless of the year discrepancy.  :]

Mail Wagon in real life

by brae  

After discovering the Wesley W. Jung Carriage Museum, I figured I would try to find the real deal within road trip distance.  As luck would have it, there's one at an old post office about 40 minutes south of me.  And, further to my good fortune, a lovely blog reader generously offered me her collection of miniatures magazine and a few books.  Since she was also south of me, I made a morning of it.  I met with her to pick up the magazines and then headed over to the Oak Park post office.  This is a beautiful building, but there is no dedicated parking.  Luckily, it was a nice day and the library parking garage was just across the street.

The mail wagon did not disappoint.  :D

I knew the cabin itself would be skinny, but you can see just how wide the wheel axles are in relation.

It's very shiny, so I had to be mindful of not getting my own reflection.

Now I have detailed pics of the undercarriage and detailing of an actual mail wagon.  As much as I love the idea of the sliding doors on some examples I've seen, I will likely go with the "easier" hinged doors and sliding upper window.

Ivy Hollow - screen door, part 1

by brae  

Before I can build a new frame for my Houseworks door and screen door, I need to build said screen door.  I'll want the screen door to be fairly thin but stable enough for hinges.  I'm using the sandwich method I used on the Otter Cove modern door with a few changes.  In fact, the solid door I'll be using is the leftover part from Otter Cove's door frame.  :D

I started with a new package of Aluminum Micro-Mesh by Scale Scenics. This material is finer and stiffer than the screen material that came with the Greenleaf screen door, though I do like the black a little better.  I have tried painting this mesh before without success, so perhaps I will try some blackening product on it to see if that will work.  If not, I hope the silver metal won't be too much for a darker color door.  If so, I might have to change my planned trim colors.

The package comes with black cardstock to show off the mesh, so I used that for my inner portion.  Nothing goes to waste that can serve a purpose.  :]

I cut a rectangle the size of the Houseworks door.

I cut the mesh to fit as best as possible over the Houseworks door.  I will build an outer frame similar to the solid door.

I marked the rough placement on the black card stock.

I cut out an inner rectangle that would encompass the mesh.

Using the solid door as a guide, I cut a border from 3/8" by 1/16" strip wood for the top and sides, and 1/2" by 1/16" strip wood for the bottom.  I went with wider boards not only because the mesh is limited in size but also because I need the door to be substantial enough to function.  If you look up vintage wood screen doors, you'll find a lot of heavy, substantial doors.  I can hear the bang as it slams shut in the wind.  :D

The cardstock fits over the strip wood, and the piece of mesh fits inside the cardstock.

Another set of matching wood strips completes the other side of the door sandwich.  :]  I'll add some crossbars and supports later during the final assembly.

None of this is glued, because it would never stay together during the painting process.  I'll paint the initial coat on these pieces (and crossbar strips) and attempt to darken the mesh next, then I will assemble and touch up the paint.  Stay tuned....

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