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

Realife Country Store fixtures - part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the Realife Country Store fixtures. After getting the parts stained and sealed, it was time for main assembly. I'm still holding off on the countertop until I get ready to set the furnishings in place. The brass rod supplied with the kit was smaller in diameter than the fiber guide holes. I didn't know how this was supposed to work with that much give.

Instead, I replaced the guides with strip wood, measured the placement for the brass bars and drilled holes with a pin vise. The window bars were fiddly, to say the least, but this worked better. It might seem silly to have an open counter and easily thwarted gate then have bars on the post teller window, but I love the look of this piece.

I added numbers to the 15 pigeon holes in the mail sorter. Yep, on the back, too, so the postmaster and the customer can see which box is which.

These are 3.5 point type. :O

I cut a piece of thin acrylic sheet for the sorter window and then glued trim to hold it in place. I opted to lightly frost the glass to cut down on the glare that would prevent good pictures. I used Testors Dullcote.

This piece took a lot of work to get a good result, but I'm very pleased with the results.

The brass letter slot is a wonderful detail. I had to smooth the edges and carve away some excess metal from the slot, so I touched up the paint overall with bronze acrylic.

I added a few larger letters just to see. I have some smaller mail planned as well.

Realife Country Store fixtures - part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the Realife Country Store fixtures. I cut more away from the window opening and cut new sides to replace the warped kit pieces. I was mistaken about the window shelf - there was a ledge included in the kit. I just hadn't cut that piece out or gotten that far in the instructions. It's a usable piece as is, as long as I don't break it. :] I trimmed the window since I had used plywood for the front (for stability). This covers the striated edges.

I added trims to finish the postal teller window side, revamping some of the design with trims from my stash. Just a little pizzazz. The sorter side will need to wait until I finish and install the pigeon holes.

For finishing, I've opted for Bittersweet Chocolate mixed with Staining Medium, both by Americana. Actual stains can be harder to work with in small spaces, and the Staining Medium makes paint behave like a stain without the fumes or the long drying time. There's the benefit of stained wood grain without as much mess. Acrylic paint also helps bind the wood fibers to make sanding between coats more effective.

I sanded after the first application and then reapplied to complete the staining portion. For any glue mishaps or large grain, I added undiluted paint. I then sealed the pieces with satin varnish, making the finish less than perfect to add some character.

Painting the pigeon holes was the worst part. Tiny brush, 15 compartments, four sides each, from the front, then the back - two coats of paint, one coat of varnish. And, they still need touching up. Oy. Good thing the tiny mail will distract. :D

I did paint the first coat on the countertop followed by sanding, though I have work to do on that before I can finish it. It won't be a contrasting lighter tone in the end.

Ivy Hollow - wallpaper decisions

by brae  

Between the blog and Instagram, there were clear audience preferences to the wallpaper options. :D Now that I have the flooring stained (though not completely finished), I will give them a further look. This is the flooring, the paper printout of the rug that is much lighter in color here than in real life, the stove, the exterior window trim color (the interior trim surround has not been painted) and an approximation of the darker furniture stain.

Graphic 45 - Cityscapes Collection - Crossroads. I love this one truly, but it's probably too fancy-pants for a rural post office. This won't be the last time I consider this paper but not for this build.

Kaiser Craft - Provincial Collections - Chaise. Many liked the green for its tie-in with the green doors. I find it a little busy and overwhelming.

Brodnax Prints - 1VT321 - Hospitality. A vertical stripe pattern is what I had in the back of my mind all along, and a lighter toned paper might work better for a small interior.

I have one more to introduce. Brodnax Prints - 1VT344 - Gathering Stripe Green. Another vertical stripe, more in line with my original vision and a bit more subtle than the dots and lines. This is the one I'll likely choose in the end.

Realife Country Store fixtures - part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the Realife Country Store fixtures. Due to the old, warped wood in the kit, I had to cut a few new parts for the counter, including an added bottom, which was not part of the original construction. Adding a bottom gives the piece more stability. I reduced the depth overall by 3/8" to give myself more floor space. It's still a usable depth in scale but gives a little breathing room for my small interior. I made some adjustments to the trim for proper proportion to the final look. The trim around the base will be added after I install the flooring and baseboards.

I'm thinking of adding a routed edge to the countertop, so I'll leave that unattached for now while I brush up on my drill press class notes. Plus, I will need to have some flexibility with the placement along the window and the gate.

I needed to make new parts for the pigeon holes for the post box teller, because die cuts are splintery and uneven. Die cutting doesn't work well for tiny details, and the wood was fragile beyond that.

First, I cut new strips the size of the originals and marked the location of the notches. I taped the like pieces together and used the scroll saw to make the cuts. Taping the pieces together helps keep the pieces close to being the same.

Just a little clean up, and we're ready to go.  :D

This is nowhere near perfect, but it is better than what could have been achieved with the original pieces. A laser cut version might better, though I think the pieces would still be fragile.

The original facade for the post box teller was split in the kit, before removing it from the die cut sheet. (The instructions even indicate this piece is prone to breakage and suggest repair.) I was originally going to repair it, until I set the dry fit on the counter just to see. Well, this low window will give our postmaster some back issues, won't it? :\

I cut a new facade from 1/8" thick plywood, making the window in line with the top of the sorting window and leaving the letter slot in its original location. The top and sides are too warped to keep, but they work well enough for a dry fit. I might have gone a little higher than needed with the window, but it's much better. I'll probably cut more from the bottom portion to make the window longer and add a shelf.

Mail Wagon - part 10

by brae  

Just a quick note that another miniaturist is making the doctor's buggy - but she is making it right out of the box. Be sure to check out Farmors miniature!

Continuing work on the mail wagon. As you saw last time, I had primed the wagon wheels. On the hubs, I used Rust-Oleum Aluminum Primer, which is light grey. It bonds specifically to aluminum, and an aluminum primer was recommended in the instructions for the doctor's buggy.

I then used plain flat grey Rust-Oleum primer. As you can see, the wheels are rather fuzzy.

Sanding after priming a first coat always helps smooth the fibers away. Then a second quick spray of the same grey primer and they are now ready for final color when I get there....

Back to the cabin. I made a drawing for the front based on my built walls, not the previously drawing of the sides. My final measurements for the sides ended up being different from how I had drawn them.

Before continuing, I cut the front and back from cardboard to get a feel for the final size. Easier to adjust here than after I started building the front hinged window.

I checked the width against the rear axle assembly, which can be adjusted to fit, but I think the cabin size is good for proportion.

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