Baxter Pointe Villa is for sale

by brae  

I'm finally listing a house for sale (here's the listing on eBay).  I doubt I will let go of many, so this is a big step for me.  :]  I'm located in the Chicago area if someone coming to the April shows is interested.  Due to the delicate wind turbine and porch, the house cannot be shipped.  For the full write-up on the build, click here.  :]

The exterior has approximately 1,700 cedar shake shingles, each individually cut and glued in place.  The custom built chimney features egg carton brickwork.

The house has four rooms: kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom.

The 12V lighting is all hard-wired.

The house features one of my custom made aquariums.

There are flameless lighted candles in the fireplace.

The kitchen cabinets are fixed in place and feature working doors and drawers.  The sink is custom made, and a removable half fridge is included.

There are two barstools included for the breakfast bar.

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.  :]

The Persian - 18.25 hrs

by brae  

Continuing work on the Persian rug.  I'm now at 18.25 hours of stitching.  I've had a few sessions of pulling knots back out to get the colors right and have added two more browns to the mix since the darkest brown that worked for the red border was too stark in the lighter areas.  I think it looks very rich, and I'm pleased with it so far.

Here are the needles I'm using, John James embroidery in size 10.  I has helped immensely to have multiple needles in play so I can have many different colors threaded for the small areas without having to stop to change colors.

Stitched in French knots on printed poplin.

Gustav's Mill - introduction

by brae  

One of the reasons I cut new walls to make Watson Mill larger on the inside was to accommodate Gustav's hobby.  Turns out, in addition to avid reading, he's a miniaturist.  :D  In researching mini mills, I found this delightful Archistories Windmill "Marienfehn" in Z scale.

Here's a penny to show the size of the pieces.  There's excellent detailing as well.  The pieces seem to be made from some kind of chipboard material, and they recommend the use of wood glue.  There are 10 pages of illustrated instructions, but it seems fairly straightforward.

There's even a motor for it.  Yep, the sails go roundy roundy.  :D  It's a DC 3V motor, so this should work with a battery holder and switch.  I can build a work table to disguise the switch underneath.

For now, I have four of the parts sheets pressed flat since they curled a bit in the kit envelope.

Watson Mill - sails, part 4

by brae  

Continuing work on the windmill sails.  Just a short update that is long on work hours.  I now have four completed sails and will move on to the hub and shaft next.  I had such a hard time getting motivated to do the last three sails after completing the first.  Yes, I can stand the "tedium" of needlework for hours, but this insanity just pushed me over the edge.  haaaaa!  I am glad to move on now.

I think these are just the right size for the facade.

There was a question about whether these weigh more than the mockup versions and if the motor would be able to handle the extra weight.  Interestingly enough, the wood sails weigh the same as the foam core board mockup sails (1.1 ounces on my postal scale).  Of course, the cloth I add later will increase the weight, but the motor should be able to handle it without issue.

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