What'd you call me?

by brae  

A dumbwaiter, that's what.  :D  As I mentioned previously, Gustav will have only a ladder leading to the upper room, so it would be cumbersome for him to bring up late night milk and cookies while maintaining safe practices on the ladder.  I rigged up a bucket on a rope for the purpose of mockups, but the final setup needed to be more elegant, like a functional dumbwaiter.

I've had dumbwaiters in my idea file for some time now.  There's a great example of the mechanism here at Old House Online.  The basic premise is relatively straightforward with just a lot of wood construction.  I was planning to put the ladder to the upper room near the open back, so I'll construct the dumbwaiter beside the ladder toward the open back so I can operate it without having to reach in through the house.  Parlor tricks are so much better when there's no fuss.  :]

The problem is, a fully enclosed dumbwaiter would block a significant part of the modest back opening, especially on the upper floor.  So, I shall make a compromise between the bucket on a rope and an enclosed dumbwaiter.  I'll have an open dumbwaiter car running on a track along the wall with a pulley system.  This way, the car will move smoothly up and down to carry milk (or Scotch) upstairs and yet take up less visual space overall.

I started with the car measurements.  To carry milk and cookies, the tray needed to be roughly 1 1/8" deep x 1 1/2" wide.

The car should rest at counter height when on the lower floor, so I bashed a 1 1/2" Houseworks base cabinet by cutting down the depth.  This also gives Gustav some storage in his small home.

I built a fancy car from tiny turnings and basswood.

I added a slider bar to the back of the car.

The track was formed from strip wood to make two channels facing one another.   When I install the tracks after decorating, I plan to leave space enough at the top so I can slide the car off the track for cleaning, repairs or replacement.

The plate doesn't quite fit anymore, so I'll just use a slightly smaller one.

I love the way it looks so far, though.  In fact, it's such a nice element, I will try one more time to move the ladder so the dumbwaiter can be more easily photographed away from the open back edge.

Pulley rigging and final stain finishes to come later, but it's already better than just a bucket on a rope.  :D

Weedwacker Mill

by brae  

Thank you for your suggestions and comments on the windows and interior layouts.  Again, good to sleep on it.  I've put in some shrubbery and the window layout I wanted originally.  I think we have a winner since the landscaping balances it all out and the circular window doesn't compete as expected.

This puts everything back to the circle library on the side wall where I wanted it originally as well.

Watson Mill - layouts, revisited

by brae  

Always good to sleep on things.  I wanted to try out the look of the window options on the front with the sails.  None of them appealed to me at all since they detract from the sails and the shape of the structure.  So, no windows on the frontside.

That means I need to change up the interior since I will still need some light on the main floor.  Here is the layout from yesterday for comparison.

I moved the circle library to the front wall, so I will eliminate the mirror at its center since it will always reflect me when photographing the interior.  That moves the window to the side wall with the ladder and bucket.  Additionally, even though I love the idea of a mill within a mill, I think Gustav's Mill is out for the Watson Mill layout.  It just takes up so much floor space and blocks other items.  Pushing it to the back doesn't help much since that squeezes the circle library.

I took the micro mill out and put in a small desk and painting.  The white shelf is just a stand-in for shelves above the tea trolley.  This layout is much more open.

Upstairs, I think a smaller stand is in order for washing.  It's the plant stand from Arjen Spinhoven, built but not yet stained.  I also tried out a thinner black railing, which is likely the type of railing I'll use.

Now, back to thinking on it. :]

Watson Mill - layouts

by brae  

I tried out some furnishings this evening to figure out the direction of decorating going forward.  It's time to start thinking about lighting and wiring, so I need to determine where things will sit in the end.  After flipping things around and trying different furnishings on the two levels, I think I have what I need to continue.  I'll leave it set up a few days to let it simmer.  :]  Some of the items will stay, and some will be replaced.

I'm going forward with the circle library, and the large window on the front wall will add much needed light to this room once the ceiling is in place.  With the original plan, there would be a ladder to the upper room on the left side of that wall.  Since Gustav will have only a ladder leading to the upper room, it would be cumbersome for him to bring up late night milk and cookies while maintaining safe practices on the ladder.  I've rigged up a bucket on a rope for this purpose.  Gustav could send up the treats in the bucket, and then head up to bed on the ladder.  The final setup will be a bit more elegant.  :]

Looks like it's story time with Uncle Gustav!  That's Daisy, Poppy and Fleur on pillows and Meeko on the divan with Gustav.

On the other side is the cupboard and tea trolley I just made.  I think they work well here, and there is still room for a couple of shelves above the trolley.  I've pushed the door as far to the right as possible while still leaving some wall space toward the open back.  Gustav's Mill does take up a significant amount of room, but I think it will work.  The landscape board for it will be roughly the size of the table shown, but its base will be solid to hide the wiring.

No, I will not be keeping the railing shown.  I will have something to keep Gustav from falling down the hole while retrieving the milk and cookies, but it will be less intrusive.

In the bedroom, I'll likely keep all of these furnishings here.  I will have at least one light in this room, but I've been considering windows as well.  I think a window on the front wall would make sense for the interior, but it would definitely compete visually with the sails.  So, I think long thin side windows on the short walls would work better.  Perhaps some stained glass?

The gorgeous bed will likely end up in another house down the road, and I will make a replacement at that time.  But, for now, I want it where I can admire it.

It's a vintage bed with inlay and naturally aged bedding.  I won't cover up the existing fabric, but a folded sheet set ready to dress the bed might be lovely.

It's by Block House and came with the box.

Watson Mill - corner cupboard and tea trolley

by brae  

It's time to start making furnishings for Watson Mill so I can plan the window and door openings on the lower floor.  The upper room will have a bed, dresser and maybe an accent piece.  I might put in stained glass windows up there, but the first order of business is the main floor.

Gustav will be one to dine out most of the time, so there is only a small area dedicated for at-home refreshments.  In a small house, furnishings need to be modest and multi-functional.  The first two items I'm making are a corner cupboard from Art of Mini and a tea trolley by Daisy House.

The tea trolley was fiddly, but it ended up being rather sturdy for such a delicate piece.  It has casters so it can be wheeled anywhere it is needed on the main floor.  It can be a shelf for storage as well as a table for meals. The spreader bar included in the kit was not in good condition, so I cut a new section from Tiny Turnings.  :]

I sanded the edges of the cupboard pieces prior to assembly.  This softened the overall look and made it seem made from old doors.  I mounted my doors opposite to the kit photo since I liked that aesthetic better.  I painted the it a base coat of Camel by Americana and then followed that with custom mixed color using Turquoise by Anita's and Plantation Pine by Americana.  I sanded the edges to expose the color beneath for a worn look.

I painted the tea cart a mix of Battleship with Staining Medium, both by Americana. Where the glue prevented staining, I touched up with undiluted paint.  I love the sun-bleached look to the color achieved after a very light sanding.  For now, I've just pushed in the brass casters.  I want to try a blackening solution on them before I glue them permanently.  I'll write up the results on that separately.  :]

I finished both pieces with Delta Ceramcoat Satin Varnish.

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