The Deck

by brae  

The Artist's Studio is a relatively straightforward build, though the window wall will certainly pose some challenges.  The biggest challenge I've set for myself is replicating in miniature this beautiful deck from Trex.

Of course, the real life version is larger in proportion than what I can build in miniature and still keep a reasonable base size.  To that end, my deck will be more an "inspired by" build than a replica.

I started with a paper and foam mockup to get the general feel of the layout and size.

My baseboard needed to be around 24" x 28" to accommodate what I wanted.

I then used the leftover builders foam from The Aero Squadron Lounge to build up the ground under the Studio and deck.  The arrows on the right indicate steps that will follow the slope of the landscape.

This initial layout had the lead edge of the deck 1 1/2" off the ground.  I have the option of cutting away one of the two foam boards in the front to make it a 2" elevation instead.  I now just need a wood base to hold it all.

There will be a small area on either side of the Studio for landscaping but the building itself will sit on the back edge of the landscaping base.

I consulted with Elga since she knows woodworking.  She helped me figure out the best way to cut the various curves and suggested some types of wood.  Looks like that jeweler's saw class might come in handy after all...though I hear a few of you telling me I need a scroll saw.  :D

29 comments

Comment from: Eliana [Visitor]
Oh, Brae! How much inspiration! Your project is getting fantastic!
11/27/12 @ 09:41
Comment from: Jane S [Visitor]
The idea really fits that this artist would pick a home with a wonderfully crafted deck. This is going to look amaaaaaazing &#58;&#41; < taps fingers &#59;&#41;
11/27/12 @ 09:43
Comment from: idske [Visitor]
That is so fantastic! If I had the space and I didn't live in an English cottage in a mainly 16-17th century village, I'd want just that deck! It is so right for the artist's studio and yes, you really could do with a scroll saw or a friend with one...
11/27/12 @ 10:17
Comment from: Elga [Visitor]
It is going to look great, Brae! I can't wait to see your mini interpretation in the wood. A scroll saw is great for cutting foam too ;-)
11/27/12 @ 10:37
Comment from: April [Visitor]
I have not tried a scroll saw on foam, but I have been using hotwire tools. I will say they are much less noise. I wonder if you could cut the foam with a dremel rather than invest in an entire saw. Might be worth investigating or testing. I have a few cutting tools, I'll gladly take a hack at some scraps and let you know what happens vs. the scroll saw.
11/27/12 @ 11:11
Comment from: April [Visitor]
Whoops, also - This is flippin' awesome and I can't wait to see it develop further &#58;&#68;
11/27/12 @ 11:12
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thanks so much, everyone! &#58;&#68; I can hack away at the foam with tools I have, but I am considering the scroll saw for the wood deck...lots of curved pieces. I will give my hand tools a try first and see how it goes. &#58;&#121;&#101;&#115;&#58;
11/27/12 @ 11:15
Comment from: Mona [Visitor]
Great idea. It will be wonderful. Mona
11/27/12 @ 12:28
Comment from: Greg [Visitor]
Brae -- as always, this looks great. I think you would be in good shape with the scroll saw investment. I have used one in my RL woodworking for a while. I have been experimenting a little with minis. I just need to get used to the smaller detail. Plus...you can get a size that will not only be compatible with the work you are doing, but will also have a small footprint in your limited work space. Keep up the great work. You are an inspiration to many of us.
11/27/12 @ 14:22
Comment from: Terry [Visitor]
I agree, with Greg; you are an inspiration to many of us. I don't see how you do these projects, and post almost every day! Don't get burned out ... please.
11/27/12 @ 16:06
Comment from: Q [Visitor]
Wow that is the most fantastic deck idea ever! I love it! It is going to look amazing can't wait to see it. I got a scrollsaw off the australian equivalent of craigslist but haven't used it much just yet. There is a circular saw attachment you can get for a dremel that I imagine would make that kind of cutting much easier (it's not just a bit it's an add on if that makes sense) I also have a rotary tool, but I have not made many minis yet - I am still in shopping mode LOL
11/27/12 @ 17:04
Comment from: Lucille [Visitor]
With all the work you do, if you decide a scroll saw would make your work easier, why not go for it. You'll probably use it over and over again. I love that deck. It will add such a touch of ingenuity to your project!
11/27/12 @ 18:46
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you all so much! &#58;&#68; I have a few mini obligations to finish up this year, and then I am going to change my way of doing things going forward. It should afford me less stress over what is supposed to be an outlet for me. I'm nowhere near burned out on it...I have a lot I want to do. But, I have been scattering my energy this past year and plan to cut that out! &#58;&#41;&#41; As for the scroll saw, I don't know. I can see myself learning and using the Dremel, but other than that I always come back to hand tools. I don't mind the work or the time it takes to do things by hand. And, I really just don't have a place to work on it, small or not.
11/27/12 @ 18:50
Comment from: Lyssa [Visitor]
Eep! You know I love this. &#58;&#41; Scroll saw, yes, but I think (knowing your house) that you would do just as well if you worked with the Dremel, any one of them really, and just got the flex adapter. It's great for detail work and much cheaper than a full on saw... Although... I did just get my holiday MicroMark catalog in the mail and they have a mini scroll saw for a pretty decent price. &#58;&#41;
11/28/12 @ 06:21
Comment from: Sean White [Visitor]
I still have that extra scroll saw if you are interested. If nothing else you can give it a try and see if you want to invest in a better/smaller one. And/or you can 'borrow' it indefinitely, or until I need parts for mine, lol. Also I have used mine to cut the same 1/2" foam and it works great and leaves a fairly clean edge.
11/28/12 @ 08:14
Comment from: brae [Member]
Lyssa - you've got me thinking again!!! &#58;&#41;&#41; Thanks, Sean! I'll send you an email. &#58;&#68;
11/28/12 @ 08:20
Comment from: Jaz [Visitor]
Wow oh wow! I don't think there are words to say enough how fantastic and clever this is Brae!
11/28/12 @ 17:39
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!!! &#58;&#68;
11/28/12 @ 20:09
Comment from: Kathi [Visitor]
Oh my goodness! This is your best idea yet! LOVE LOVE LOVE your deck design! This is going to be amazing!!!!!
11/29/12 @ 03:16
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!!! &#58;&#62;&#62;
11/29/12 @ 08:25
Comment from: Irene [Visitor]
What can I say that hasn't been said already? What a brilliant idea for a deck - you caught us all out with that idea!
11/29/12 @ 08:42
Comment from: Jennifer | JS Miniatures [Visitor]
The only downside to a scrollsaw is the amount of dust they produce and they vibrate all over the place so you need to stick it against a wall or bolt it down or it'll be forever jumping away from you! One possibility would be to use a coping saw - they can cut round curves and being a hand saw might be more up your street? Love the idea. It'll be fantastic.
11/29/12 @ 11:55
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thanks! I have a jeweler's saw, but it would be a lot of sawing to do by hand.
11/30/12 @ 18:25
Comment from: Wee Cute Treasures [Visitor]
I bought a mini scroll saw in the summer (made by Proxxon, German company). I don't know how I ever managed without it. I absolutely love this project. I can't wait to see it finished. Best wishes, Carol &#58;&#41;
12/01/12 @ 08:32
Comment from: MiniDork [Visitor]  
Brae, you never cease to impress. That deck is going to be fantastic. However you make it, it's going to be absolutely stunning. Looking forward to the progress. Thanks for the inspiration!
12/02/12 @ 01:16
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!!! I put the Proxxon scroll saw on my wish list, so we'll see if Santa comes through. &#59;&#68;
12/03/12 @ 13:06
Comment from: Janice [Visitor]
I can't keep up with the pace of your work Brae. This is another fabulous project ready to be unfolded before our very eyes. The variety of what you produce is truly inspiring. I adore the deck!
12/06/12 @ 15:22
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thank you!! &#58;&#68;
12/06/12 @ 16:20
Comment from: idske [Visitor]
I replace my very very old scrollsaw, that did vibrate a lot and even 'walked' a bit and made even more of a racket, with the Proxxon scrollsaw (I got it as a birthday present!). It doesn't vibrate, doesn't walk and you can hear yourself think, even though it's not without some noise. It also doesn't need any more space than the kitchen worktop. It has a dust extraction thingy that really works. I wish I had thrown out the old one years ago... Good luck with the deck and the artist's studio, I think it is a superb project!
12/15/12 @ 03:07


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