Watson Mill - lighting plan

by brae  

I can see the end of dry fitting in the not-so-distant future, so I need to address the lighting plan.  One of my weaknesses is new old stock lighting.  I often rewire or use for parts.  I also tend to buy interesting lighting even when I have no firm plans for it.  :D

Outside, there will be a coach lamp.

This is a vintage lamp by Miniaturelite.  I bought a grouping of these, two with posts and two without.  I'll take this apart and rewire with an LED.

A Greenleaf forum member suggested moving the bed to the other side so the ladder opening would be visible.  I hadn't considered it since I liked the bed where it was, but I gave it a shot.  I don't like the dumbwaiter gate blocking the view of the foot board, but the room does make more sense this way.  It also makes it easier for the lighting plan.

The bedroom is limited to table lamps or wall lamps considering the barrel ceiling and the windshaft.  I have a Chrysolite table lamp for the Lisa (Lundby) cabinet.

There's a black double wall sconce with replaceable bulbs for above the bed.  I think these fixtures give enough light right now, though I will be rewiring the Chrysolite lamp with an LED since the current bulb is non-replaceable.  The LED will brighten the room a little.

Downstairs, there doesn't seem to be room for anything besides ceiling lamps, and they have to have a low profile at that.  I have a stash of new old stock ceiling light kits by Illinois Hobbycraft, so it's just a matter of choosing how many.  :]

I wired up three since I thought I would need at least two but wondered if three would make more sense for the space.  The one above the circle library is lovely for showing the detail of the library, but it's not especially cozy.

Here is a photo with all three on.  Often having one light fixture in front of another can cause them to compete visually, which is why I went with three identical fixtures.  This is too much light for a small room.  It looks more like a showroom than a living space.

Switching one off is better, but something is still off about it.

I changed the layout to one in the middle of the room.  There is not a lot of room for a wall sconce, so the best bet is a floor lamp.  This one is by Ray Storey.  The micro mill can't be in the middle then since it makes the centered ceiling light a spotlight.

The floor lamp is cozy, but I like the shot above with the light near the circle library.  So, I'd want to have both the floor lamp and the lamp over the library.

I need to face facts and remove the micro mill as much as I love it.  It's too large a piece for the space.  I can't fit much to the right of it, and what I can fit looks rather hodgepodge compared to the detailed layout on the opposite wall.  The micro mill also blocks the pieces behind it.

So, I need to address the right side of the main floor next...minus the micro mill. I have to figure out what that space will be. Time to dig through my stash of kits! :]

Watson Mill - landscaping base

by brae  

It might seem strange to start the landscaping with the mill in dry fit, but this will help me visualize how the mill will look in the end.  I want a relatively steep landscape for the mill, considering the base board is 20" square.  I built up three layers of 1/2" thick builders foam and marked where the mill will sit on top.  I did use a freshly cut whole piece for the bottom layer, but the middle and top layers were made from scraps to use up the stash.  I used Weldbond glue to attach the layers and then pressed it flat with magazines overnight.

This is the big knife I use to grade the foam.  It's not especially sharp, but it does the job.

In the front, I want a bit of relatively flat land for some fun features to be revealed later.  :]

I took the scraps of foam and added bits here and there to fill in angles and gaps.   This layout is good enough for now since I will fine tune the land later with stucco patch or spackling as needed.

I think this is a good start, very tall and stately.  :D

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.

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