Category: "Watson Mill"

Watson Mill - layouts

by brae  

I tried out some furnishings this evening to figure out the direction of decorating going forward.  It's time to start thinking about lighting and wiring, so I need to determine where things will sit in the end.  After flipping things around and trying different furnishings on the two levels, I think I have what I need to continue.  I'll leave it set up a few days to let it simmer.  :]  Some of the items will stay, and some will be replaced.

I'm going forward with the circle library, and the large window on the front wall will add much needed light to this room once the ceiling is in place.  With the original plan, there would be a ladder to the upper room on the left side of that wall.  Since Gustav will have only a ladder leading to the upper room, it would be cumbersome for him to bring up late night milk and cookies while maintaining safe practices on the ladder.  I've rigged up a bucket on a rope for this purpose.  Gustav could send up the treats in the bucket, and then head up to bed on the ladder.  The final setup will be a bit more elegant.  :]

Looks like it's story time with Uncle Gustav!  That's Daisy, Poppy and Fleur on pillows and Meeko on the divan with Gustav.

On the other side is the cupboard and tea trolley I just made.  I think they work well here, and there is still room for a couple of shelves above the trolley.  I've pushed the door as far to the right as possible while still leaving some wall space toward the open back.  Gustav's Mill does take up a significant amount of room, but I think it will work.  The landscape board for it will be roughly the size of the table shown, but its base will be solid to hide the wiring.

No, I will not be keeping the railing shown.  I will have something to keep Gustav from falling down the hole while retrieving the milk and cookies, but it will be less intrusive.

In the bedroom, I'll likely keep all of these furnishings here.  I will have at least one light in this room, but I've been considering windows as well.  I think a window on the front wall would make sense for the interior, but it would definitely compete visually with the sails.  So, I think long thin side windows on the short walls would work better.  Perhaps some stained glass?

The gorgeous bed will likely end up in another house down the road, and I will make a replacement at that time.  But, for now, I want it where I can admire it.

It's a vintage bed with inlay and naturally aged bedding.  I won't cover up the existing fabric, but a folded sheet set ready to dress the bed might be lovely.

It's by Block House and came with the box.

Gustav's Mill - part 1

by brae  

I have the week off from work, and yesterday I built Gustav's Mill -- the Archistories Windmill 'Marienfehn' in Z scale.

I bought some 21-gauge tipped glue syringes since the portions to be glued are so small.  Elmer's wood glue worked well with them.

The kit goes together easily since the parts are so accurate.  The instructions are clear with good drawings.

The motor does work with a 3V battery holder.  There are two diodes included to slow down the revolutions per minute (from 33rpm to 15 rpm according to the instructions).  Those will be added later once I get the display table built for it.  The motor has a quiet wind-up toy sound that's rather satisfying.  :D

I got out my soldering materials to attach long wires to the motor.  I left a lot of length so I can have more to work with later.

The X brace has been left unglued.  I plan to make a modest landscape for the display, so I'll add it once I get that in place.

I didn't take many photos during the building process since the tiny dabs of glue dry too fast.  :]  The sails are also just lightly glued right now.  I'll add a stronger adhesive once I'm done.  I want to be able to remove the sails during the landscaping process.

The tiny doors can be displayed open, but I like them closed.  There was no breathing when handling those tiny hinge accents.

The hub looks so big and solid, but the centers are thin black paper circles applied with needle tip tweezers.

I love the wee windows.  Yes, they have "glass" in them.

One of my favorite parts are the red stone slabs.  Just a pop of color in the mix.  You can also see the fine siding texture here.

Of course, I know you want a movie.  :D  This was taken with the two diodes taped in place, so this is the final speed of the sails.

Watson Mill - arched door, part 1

by brae  

I wanted an arched door for Watson mill to keep with the curved aspect of the facade, and as mentioned before the door opening had to be moved to the side to avoid the sails.  There's a relatively low ceiling on the first floor at 7 3/4" tall, which knocks out the ability to use the lovely Palladian door that stands just under 9" tall.  I also didn't want to overpower Gustav's modest stature with an enormous door.  Enter the Designer Home Hogarth window with shutters.  I bought this new old stock window at a local miniature show.  I have only the one, but if I am meant to find more in the future then it will happen.  :D

Using the trim as a guide, I measured the future door against the wall for comfortable otter accessibility.  Check!

I cut the inside bits on the scroll saw.

Pieces of strip wood were added to fill in as needed.

I filled, filed and sanded (and sanded).  More sanding will be required during painting as well.  These types of routed trims are not forgiving.  :\

The tools of the trade: a needle file set, a homemade sanding block and Minwax Wood Putty in natural pine.

Since doors open in, the frame will be reversed with the fancy trim on the inside.  I'll look for some fancy long hinges and an interesting door latch.  An oval side window might look good here as well.

On the outside, there will be a nice deep entryway.

Of course, with all the filler and residual tabs, the frame will need to be painted instead of stained, but I'll choose natural colors to blend and perhaps do a bit of faux finishing.  I won't cut the opening until much later, after I've built a few things for the interior and tried out some layouts.  These sorts of choices and trials are why I keep my houses in dry fit for so long.  :]

Watson Mill - circle library, part 1

by brae  

I've taken the plunge and purchased a crafting machine.  :]  I opted for the Cricut Explore One, even though there are more advanced models out there.  I wanted to keep costs down, and I don't foresee needing to speed through projects or having the ability to write and cut in one step.  They were running excellent sales at the end of the year as well, so I was able to pick up a starter set with a deep cutting blade, mats, tools and sample materials for a good price.  The Bluetooth capability was not a necessity for me, but if I change my mind, there is an adapter for the machine I have.

I have not explored the creating software very much, but I did have a look at some of the included projects and I can see a lot of value here.  I'm looking forward to trying out some ready-made projects as well as developing my own.  :]

I fired it up today to help cut some consistent 5/8" wide cardboard strips.

So much faster and easier than measuring and cutting by hand.  Plus, no variation in widths.  :]

What did I need all these strips of cardboard for?  To make the starting base for a circular bookshelf.  I moved the circles down and over after my first dry run, so my lines are a little off.  I've marked tall shelves so I can make large books, which take up more room and will require me to make fewer of them.  There will also be room for knick-knacks.  Gustav seems to approve.

Here's my inspiration photo (no discernible source, unfortunately).

While I can't put in a bay window due to the rotating sails, I can put in a sliding window to let in more light and a spring breeze.  This is a new old stock Houseworks window.

Watson Mill - sails, part 5

by brae  

Continuing work on the windmill sails.  It's time to figure out the hub and shaft portion for the sails.  I've developed a hub inspired by the 1:30 scale mill kit by Amati and this windmill build by Penterbak.

I decided to build my hub from styrene (plastic) instead of wood because I worried about longevity and solidity during operation.  I used square tubing from Evergreen, glued in a cross formation using Testors cement.

I will likely add further detailing before painting.  I'm giving some thought to a few ideas. I cut the excess wood from the ends of the whips.  Shims were required to make the whips square where they entered the hub as was sanding to fit, my least favorite phrase in mini making.  :D  However, a tight fit in the hub means no glue or pins are required to keep it all in place.  If I need to replace anything, just pull it apart at the hub.  On the back, I glued a cap cut from round tubing to connect to the shaft.  This is the only place it's a little loose, but I have a couple of ideas for a solution.

The shaft is a 5/16" diameter wood dowel with a hole drilled in the center on one end.

The motor has a threaded shaft, so my friend and I went to the hardware store to find a suitable screw to fit.

Another friend cut the heads from a few of the screws so I could attach one end to the wood shaft, and now I have a few spares for the future (or for the other motor in my stash).

Right now, nothing is glued or taped or pinned, and it works well.  I might add a bit of adhesive later as needed, but I do want the parts easy to separate for transport or replacement.  Interestingly, the inner portion of the square tubing was angled a bit, so the sails are now tipped slightly.  Works in my favor since they are like this in real life.  :]

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