Watson Mill - I've got the shakes again

by brae  

It apparently takes six years to forget what a right proper pain it is to wood shake an entire house.  :\

It's a lovely finish though, and very forgiving especially on an old mill.  Instead of dark cedar, this time I will be using light wood shakes that I can stain to look weathered. These are from the defunct and partial Tudor Queen Anne kit.  No sense in buying supplies when I have some languishing in the stash.  They are thin and rather uniform, which makes life easier.

First was determining the size of the individual shingles.  True to scale shingles looked out of place for Baxter Pointe Villa, so I hand cut the 1,700 shingles by length and width to work best for proportion.  Considering the mill structure is even smaller, I figured I would have to do the same.  The 1/2" by 3/4" measurements used for Baxter Pointe Villa seemed like they would work for the mill as well.

I did a rough calculation and will need approximately 1,635 shakes.  Not that far off from the amount needed for Baxter Pointe Villa, but there are fewer windows and no chimney for Watson Mill.  After counting the bag, I discovered I have only 1,617 shakes.  :O  No margin for error.  But, if need be, I will use other shakes for the small back wall.  Houseworks makes nice light wood shakes that will work well enough to finish out the set.  I will start here, though.

Cut, cut, cut.  Once this bear of a task is done, I'll stain the shingles before application. I'll also have to finish the windows and door so I can get those installed prior to shingling.

August Online Show 2017

by brae  

I am participating in The August Miniature Show online this week.  Early bird shopping begins August 9th at 10AM MST and ends August 10th at 10AM MST.  After that, it will be open to the public through August 13th.  As usual, I am offering free shipping to U.S. addresses and $4 off international shipping for early bird orders.  There might be a slight delay in my replying to messages and orders during the show, but I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Watson Mill - circle library, part 7

by brae  

Continuing work on the circle library.  I finished gluing the circle library boards and backing sheets, cut some paper shims for behind the mirror, removed the protective covering and pushed the circle in place.

The circle can be taken out to clean or replace the mirror as needed.

After getting the walls up and the wallpaper in, I could address the final trims.  I added a fancy routed trim for the top to cover the plain brace there.  I added a piece of baseboard I believe I got from Debora when she was cleaning out some full scale supplies.  I sanded the ends to curve toward the side trims since the baseboard was a little too thick for the space.  After adding the final side trim, it was all done!  Just need to fill it.

And, for final reference, here is the original again.  I skipped the long curved trim for lack of space.  Besides, I like mine as is.  :]


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And, now for your dose of cute.  Here's Jasper in his new kitty bed.  :D  As many of you with cats know, they tend to like the box more than what comes in it.  As I was unpacking the plush house, he was all eager to hop in the big cardboard box.  He was just about to when I set the plush house on the ground off to the side.  He made a beeline right into the plush house.  Success!  I even had to carry him upstairs in it (it has a handle), because he refused to come out.

Watson Mill - more decorating

by brae  

To add stability to the side walls, I glued strips of Tyvek in place.  I love this material since it is strong but thin enough not to interfere with most wallpapers and flooring.

I liked the appearance of the aged plaster wallpaper design joining directly with the flooring in the mockup photos I've been using, so that's what I tried to accomplish in the finished room. Even with careful measuring, the front wallpaper ended up a little short.  I glued a cardboard underlayment to make up the difference.  It's like a real life floor!  :D

Since the structure is nearly a square, I could install the flooring either direction.  It would need to be pieced either way since the width/depth is more than 11 inches.  The bedroom is a long skinny room, so I let that determine the direction of the floor boards. Front to back seemed best, so I did the first floor to match.

Time to install the wood flooring on the first floor. I had previously stained the red oak flooring with Minwax Dark Walnut. I burnished the surface with a scrap of paper bag and then sealed with two coats of Delta Ceramcoat Matte Varnish. It's an old floor, but perhaps it was refinished during the renovations. I put the pieced seam toward the door wall since it would be mostly covered there.  I painted the underlayment in the couple of spaces where there was a slight gap.

Before I can glue the bedroom floor in place, I need to finish the ceiling board.  I lined the two ceiling openings with strip wood and spackled any gaps.

I painted the board, finishing the ceiling for the first floor in crisp white to reflect light.  I stippled the paint to create a delicate texture I thought would go better with the aged appearance of the wallpaper.  The texture also hides the wood grain.  Since there's still work to be done on the main floor, I will leave the ceiling board loose for now.

I checked the fit of the library wallpaper and then installed that as well.  I still need to determine what finish I want in the bedroom, but even if I piece the same blue paper, there will be a railing around the dumbwaiter opening to disguise any seams.

Then I glued the remaining piece on the door side.  Exactly the look I wanted.  :]

Watson Mill - the end of the dry fit

by brae  

Since I had left the original door and window in place on the kit front, I had to even out the raised portions of the die cuts.  I used 60 grit sandpaper taped to a scrap of wood to flat sand the raised areas away.  I touched up the gesso primer afterwards.

I finished gluing the circle library, cut some shims for behind the mirror, removed the protective covering and pushed the circle in place.

The circle can be taken out to clean or replace the mirror as needed.

I marked the dumbwaiter opening on the side wall between the floors and filled in the open portion of the channel.

I cut a piece of wallpaper to fit (Happenstance Fluke by The Paper Loft).  This will be glued after the walls are in place, but it is easier to measure and cut while flat.

The front wallpaper needed to be installed before gluing the walls in place since there's a side board for the circle library that abuts that wall.  Installing beforehand means I don't have to guess at the clearance needed for the wallpaper.  There is a tab on the right side to hide the seam in that corner.

I was dealing with a warp in the front board, so I added steel rod spikes at the corners to help hold the wall straight.  I still used wood glue, but the pins kept the wall straight while the glue set and will provide stability to the join.

Ready?  It was scary, but I glued the library wall and front wall in place, letting the join set before adding the remaining side wall.  I added a strip of Tyvek to the exterior join for stability.

For the side wall, I applied glue for the wall and then applied some wallpaper mucilage to the tab.  Saves me the hassle of trying to apply glue to the tab in place after the fact. No photo since I had to work fast here.

I had drilled pilot holes into the front board for nails.  I continued the pilot holes and then added finishing nails.  Earlier, I had decided it was easier to run the floor lamp wire into the attic space, so you can see the new channel I hand cut on the outside to join with the interior upper channel in the bedroom.

I taped the upper back wall in place just to hold the structure.  There is more work to be done on this wall, so it will stay loose for now.  The ceiling board is also loose for now but used to hold the structure square for gluing.

We're getting there!  :D

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