Milo Valley Farm - knob and tube wiring, part 4

by brae  

With the 12V lights wired, I continued the knob and tube system along the side wall.  This was my initial map (I changed the cleats to knobs in the last post).

I started with the lower cord from the back cross beam.  The process is the same as it was for the cross beam knobs...headpin through the upper knob portion, through the cord, into the lower knob portion and glued to the wall.

Once that track was in place, I addressed the upper cord from the back cross beam.  After reaching the front of the barn, I had to splice the cord wires together.  I used masking tape then painted it black.

Those four splices required an unusually high amount of curse words to fall into place.  Anytime the two cords touched, I slipped a cut of plastic tube onto the cord.  One splice is damn close to a knob nail -- likely a scary feature of many a real barn.  :O

As I mentioned before, much of this exposed work would have been done with cleats instead of knobs, but I like the look of the knobs...and perhaps the builder just used whatever he had the most of in the old barn.  :D  Here's an excellent video on knob and tube from Edison Tech Center.

I led the wires down the wall to a key switch (made from a bell push from Sussex Crafts and a wood disc).  I will add the "safety feature" rope to yank in case of disaster closer to the end since it will just be in the way when I attach the exterior electrical wires to the fuse block.

It may seem low, but it's only because there's nothing to show the spatial relation of the barn.  :]

To age all of this madness, I scraped some chalk pastel dust into a bowl and then dusted it onto the cord.  It toned down the true black of the cord material.   I used some grey and brown paint mixed with Americana Staining Medium to dirty the knobs and tubes.


This whole setup is damn scary, so it's a good thing it's just for show.   

A lot of this was guesswork since much of the knob and tube wiring examples I found are modern inspection photos of improper splicing with modern wiring.  But, I think I managed to capture the essence of it, no?  :D


image from Wikipedia

Only a few things are left for the actual barn structure -- barn doors, exterior electrical work, landscaping and roof.  I think I'll leave the roof off until I am done with the car, which will have to wait for spray painting weather.  So, I'll work on the barn doors next.  :]

10 comments

Comment from: Keli [Visitor]
It is indeed, very scary looking! Awesome job :D
02/03/16 @ 05:54
Comment from: Shelleybweb [Visitor]
Very realistic! Thank goodness this is for show. It is fun to watch the barn develop.
02/03/16 @ 06:27
Comment from: BunnyD [Visitor]
Looks amazing Brae! The video was very interesting. You certainly put your tubes and knobs in the right places. what fabulous resource material you find!
02/03/16 @ 08:07
Comment from: Debora [Visitor]
It looks amazingly real! Bzzzzzt! Eeeeek! :D
02/03/16 @ 08:29
Comment from: Blondie [Visitor]
I'm so relieved that the knobs in my basement are just leftovers that are no longer active. *breathes sigh of relief* The mini version looks fantastic!! You did a really great job. :)
02/03/16 @ 09:44
Comment from: Bill [Visitor]
The whole set-up may be damn scary, but it is damn magnificent, too! Actually, all of MVF has been over-the-top, and it isn't even finished. I keep looking forward to seeing each new step.
02/03/16 @ 09:53
Comment from: Jodi Hippler [Visitor]
The best results often require "an unusually high amount of curse words". It's all looking stunning, and will no doubt be a museum worthy exhibit when you're all finished! Great work!
02/03/16 @ 10:25
Comment from: Monique [Visitor]
yes yes, you definitely managed to capture the essence, it looks awesome!! And I can only imagine the fiddliness of the splicing, cursing is allowed in miniatures, well as far as I'm concerned anyway, or I would be a major hypocrite, haha! :D Very well done Brae!
02/03/16 @ 11:26
Comment from: azteclady [Visitor]
Having seen something similar in a couple of very old buildings in central Mexico a couple *coughafewcough* decades ago, I can tell you that it looks remarkably close to how it was. I can't wait to see the rest of the elements you are planning for the barn!
02/03/16 @ 17:07
Comment from: Janine [Visitor]
Hi Brae, Fantastic realism in your reproduction of Milo Valley Farm. Great to see what you are doing. Regards Janine
02/03/16 @ 17:43


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