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 discernable 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.

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.

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