Category: "Watson Mill"

Watson Mill - cutting holes

by brae  

Time to cut the window, door and ceiling openings.  I started with the simplest of the openings -- straight cuts.  I centered the lower front window under the windshaft and positioned it relative to the circle library for balance.   I cut the opening with the Dremel Multi-Max using a 3" wood/drywall blade.  I like that it's a straight blade so the cuts are relatively straight, but you have to watch you aren't cutting at an angle.  The vibration is heavy, though, so it can be hard to hold a long time as it makes your hands numb.

I cut holes in the ceiling board for the dumbwaiter and ladder with the Dremel Multi-Max.  These edges will be lined with wood trim during finishing.

I positioned the arched door far to the back to leave as much space forward as possible while still having some room toward the back.  I cut the straight sides with the Dremel Multi-Max and then cut the arch with the scroll saw.   I made it larger than necessary to have some room to move it slightly.  I also decided to put a tiny round window next to the door so Gustav can see who's-a-knockin' at the door.  :D  This the 1 1/8" Simplicity Window from Heritage Laser Works.

For this hole, I used a 1" spade bit.

I've cut circular openings with the standard Dremel before, so that's what I've used for the bedroom window - a 2 1/4" Simplicity Window from Heritage Laser Works.  In my class with Tom Walden, I learned to make multiple passes with the Dremel to get a clean cut. That was my issue the first time I tried cutting circles -- cutting too much thickness at once.  My issue this time was not checking the knob holding the pivot point in place after the first cut.  The vibration loosened it, so it was cutting a larger circle than I wanted.  I didn't notice this until it was full on traveling outside the circle.  :\


This is a fairly simple fix, though, so I just shrugged.  I still swore, mind you.  :D  I filled the wayward hole with wood putty.  I'll wrap some cardboard circles to fill in some of the diameter of the hole.  It will all be covered by interior and exterior finishes in the end.

There will be interior lighting, but I wanted to see how these openings effect the natural flow of light inside the mill.  Back into dry fit.  While another front window would be lovely, it would cut down on wall space, which is at a premium as is. I'm planning some shelves above the trolley, which may be replaced since it is a rather wide piece for the space.

Since the white paper I was using for the roof allowed light in, I tested the dry fit with black paper this time around.  The bedroom is dark, but I think it's cozy.  With some added lamps, I think it will be just fine.  Plus, the ceiling won't be black in the end.  I'll skip adding side windows here.

Watson Mill - circle library, part 5

by brae  

Continuing work on the circle library.  Since the plywood wall would stain different from the basswood and veneer, I needed to cover it.  That's why I wasn't especially careful in marking it up during the rest of the construction.  To make custom templates, I taped drawing paper between the shelves.

During my class with Bill Studebaker, I learned to work on the longest portions first, because you can always cut shorter sections from those long pieces if you mess them up.  Yep, it took me five times to get that long bottom liner right, so I cut the smaller shelf liners from those incorrect pieces.  Less waste.  :]  I cut the liners from 1/32" thick basswood.  This thickness of wood barely reduces the shelf depth, and I did take that into consideration when I cut the horizontal boards.

The curved edges sit under the circle, so the joins are not visible when the circle is in place.   I cut two curved shapes for behind the shelves of the circle.  The curves didn't need to be precise, so I cut them with an X-Acto by hand.

I cut Darice mirror sheet for the center section.  I will have to line the back of the mirror to bring it up to the matching 1/32" thickness.  I'll use layers of paper when I get to that part.  For now, I've left the protective film on it.

The original has what appears to be a light in the center, but I am skipping that part, too.

no discernible source

I will cut the vertical support under the circle after assembly just in case things shift in the process.  I'll also decide whether to add the long curved trim after assembly.  In the meantime, I plan to stain and finish these pieces separately in case of disaster.  :]  I can always recut, remake, redo, etc.  But, it would be a right proper pain to tear out once installed.  Besides, I have window/door/floor holes to cut and walls to prime.  Best to install the library later after the mess.

I also have books to make behind the scenes.  If I display full shelves of books with only spines facing the room, I would need roughly 30 inches worth of books.  I have two inches worth of books currently made and a whole bunch in progress.  There are a number of covers I like, so I will make a handful of book display stands so some covers face outward.  I also would like to add some bookends and perhaps some knickknacks.  This decreases the number of books needed, so I'll finish what I have in progress and see if I need more.  I have plenty of covers cut and insert strips ready.  :]

Watson Mill - circle library, part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the circle library.  With the ladder moved to the front wall, I now have 8 3/4" of library wall space not including the two vertical end boards that will close it on the sides.  I marked the final position of the center circle.  This gives me a bit of shelf space to the right but allows me more room on the left to play.  The left will be more visible anyway.   To build the shelves, I cut 1/8" wide channels in the plywood wall using the Dremel Trio.

Since I didn't trust the wall edges to be straight, I used a fence board clamped in place.

You can plunge cut with the Trio, which is a great feature.  You can start anywhere along your line.

The bit made a channel slightly too narrow, so I tapped the fence board with a rubber mallet for a second run, widening the final channel to the proper width needed to fit the 1/8" shelves.

The top channel is rough because there was something catching the bit in the wood and it was close to the edge.  Once the ceiling is in, I will add trim to enclose the top space to keep it from being a dust-catcher space that's difficult to clean, so the rough cut didn't matter much.  These might not be square to the floor or ceiling after the build is in place, but they are reasonably parallel to one another.

The channels provide a sturdy hold for each shelf cut from 1/8" basswood.  I started with 1" wide basswood strips and cut them down to end up with a roughly 3/4" deep shelf.   I hand cut the angles around the circle supports.  Not easy.  :\

The two end boards are slightly deeper than the shelves.  For the top, I cut a piece of 1/4" strip wood for stability for the eventual final trim. I still need to cut the support piece for the bottom of the circle, but I am tapped out for the night. :D

The space under the bottom shelf will be enclosed by trim or baseboard in the end, and I left a bit of clearance on the bottom for flooring thickness.

Next up, covering the plywood back between the shelves and cutting the mirror for the center.

Watson Mill - circle library, part 3

by brae  

Continuing work on the circle library.  The wood veneer buckled on the outer surfaces of the circle supports.  I didn't have enough to redo both circles, so I redid only the smaller one.  I hope once the books are in place it won't show.  I also will have straight shelves abutting the large circle, so that might help, too.

The original inspiration had 18 dividers, but my version has only eight for balance and fit.  I used scrap wood to try out the look first.

I made angled dividers to match the original. I covered the sides of the angled inserts with peel and stick wood that I had left over from the Model T Van build.  I used additional adhesive just to make sure the bonds will hold over time.  I again used the Elmer's stainable wood glue.  To finish the front edges, I cut shapes from 1/32" basswood to match the laser cut circles.

I think this is a good approximation of the original.  :]

Next up, the long straight shelves.

Watson Mill - circle library, part 2

by brae  

Continuing work on the circle library.   I added more cardboard around the circle supports to increase the depth to 3/4" since I determined my 5/8" depth was too narrow for the books I've been making.  I was able to use the existing supports since they were shallower than the new depth and will be fully enclosed by the new outer strips.  I then covered the cardboard with peel and stick wood that I had leftover from the Model T Van build.  I used additional adhesive just to make sure the bonds will hold over time.

I put the joins at the bottom, covering the upper one that will be seen with a piece of peel and stick wood.

Cyd helped me out by cutting laser cut circles for finishing.  I sanded away the charred edges and then glued it to the support structure.

My supports are not uniform circles, so the laser cut trims help disguise any imperfections.

Books will help, too.  :]

I know I've gotten glue on the wood, but I was smarter later and used Elmer's wood glue that's supposed to be stainable.  We'll see.

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