Saturday, September 19, 2020

Chateau Planning

 I'm working on painting the inside of the dormers and adding more tapewire on the second floor and making the connections with eyelets.

The kitchen - probably going to wall up/fill that 2nd doorway in the back so only one remains, going into dining room. This wing was originally designed to be 2 rooms (kitchen and eating area) but both would be too small. This will also give me more wall space in the kitchen for cabinets, since the opposite wall has a french door and window.

I want a grand kitchen with the cathedral ceiling, probably arch trusses if I can figure out how to do it. My inspiration is a Whitledge-Burgess kitchen that has this dramatic effect. I was thinking about doing it for the French Country Manor but I would have had to cut out the floors in the wings. This house has that cathedral effect already.

Here's that kitchen idea...

One of the challenges I have with this house is how the second floor(s) were attached. They were supposed to sit on crown molding from the first floor. I want to choose and finish my crown separately and don't want to depend on it to support the second floor. 

In looking at this tonight, I decided I will nail and glue in the floors. Here's how that will work. For the dining room I will nail from the kitchen side and then from the foyer side.  There is a beam in the kitchen lengthwise along the wall that is next to the dining room, and I will either remove the beam or simply nail right through it. You can see the beam just barely in the photo above. Same on the other wing - nail from the study into the living room ceiling and from the foyer into the living room ceiling. The foyer itself will then be pretty sturdy and tight so simply gluing down that partial floor should work.

I feel much better about the flooring attachment. I have tapewire done, and have a plan to secure the flooring. I'm looking at wallpapers that I have from my stash and starting to get a sense of what this house might look like. In each of my other houses, there was a theme or era that guided me through these choices. This will likely be in recent times, don't want to go back in history. But trying to solidify the feel for the house...thinking about what a chateau might look like. Thinking toile, a bit romantic, country french. 

Here's the foyer. It has an opening for stairs on the left by the door. 

Here's an earlier picture with the floors in:

Below is the center part of the house, (not showing the wings on either end of the house) capturing the placement of tapewire. Lower left is dining room then center is foyer of course, right is living room (and to the far right, beyond the photo is the study.

Second floor, may do a bathroom on left, then hallway/stairway, then on the right is the master bedroom. You will notice in the photo above, in the master bedroom there is a partition, almost splitting the room in half. That is supposed to be a bathroom but I just think its taking up too much space in the master bedroom. I can't imagine how I could place a bed in there with the partition! 

This photo  below shows the tapewire up under the peak This is more for my reference so I recall how I did it and where it is. Its up behind the hinge on the third floor. Kind of an awkward angle but that's what I have!

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

French Country Crown Molding

 Since I have these grand tall rooms in this grand house, I knew I wanted a larger and more ornate type of crown molding, at least on the first floor. 

I had some leftover Falcon resin trim, really frieze, from doing the Whitledge-Burgess Patisserie and loved it. I decided I would use that under regular crown molding. Here's the patisserie. 

I was doing this work in fall of 2017 and had to hunt a bit as Falcon was going out of business and I would need a large quantity. Found some stock and bought it all.  (The Whitledge-Burgess workshop was back in 2009). Others have asked me recently how I did this and that led me to post it now. Its also a good way for me to record what I did for reference later.

Painted it all white and began cutting and installing with crown. I love the look! Decided it was a go and planned to do it in the living room, foyer and dining room. 

I will say it was a bit of a challenge when it came to corners and around the chimney breasts but I got through it. 

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Chateau Shingling Complete!

 I am so glad this is now complete. I am not fond of shingling, to put it mildly. I hope to never need to do another. 

It came out nicely, though there were some challenges. Not all the shingles took the stain in the same way so I was picking and choosing. I saved the iffy ones for the sides that face the chimneys. I also got done with the back and knew I wouldn't have enough shingles to complete the one wing I had left. 

Here's where I stopped and bought more shingles.

I ran to Lolly's and got another 500 and stained them. I was much smarter about staining them this time, used quart plastic narrow container. I also laid down plastic first, then the butcher paper...and swapped out the butcher paper for a second piece before I started blotting them. Was a nice cool, slightly windy day so I had some weights down on my surface.

I went back to finishing up my shingling job and am very happy with the results!

I plan on wood strips at the peaks and top of the house. I cut basswood to fit and started painting with the grey that is on the house exterior. They will be one of the very last things I attach - the top roof of the house has electrical tapewire on it and I'm going to have to make that one removable, maybe velcro. The wings have one roof piece that is removable - that will help in finishing those rooms. So until I'm done and ready to permanently attach those roof sections, the flat top will just be removable.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

French Country bath lighting installed

 Finally decided to bite the bullet and direct wire the 2 lights I have for the bath. It was challenging to work in a small space, after having cut the wires shorter and then not having glued on the lights first. Ah well what is life except challenges anyway?? 

These are old discontinued Cir-Kit Concepts lights with rose shades, and they add the perfect rose glow. I'm very pleased with the results. I had previously experimented with LED battery lights and I really hate having to switch each light on. 

Getting into Chateau planning mode

 Now that I've made headway on shinging, its time to turn my sights on what is next with the Chateau. I have primed the interior, and started laying the tapewire for electricity. I will need to continue the tapewire, adding more and then making the eyelet connections for every join. 

My eyelet outlet tool hasn't been working well, and I've broken tips and replaced them a few times. So I ordered another and it should be a week or so before it comes. I also have a BamBam eyelet outlet tool and honestly haven't had much luck with it or I'm just too boneheaded on how to really use it. Here's some photos of the tools and the interior where I have started the tapewire. I did that over a year ago and in looking at it again, I know I stopped because I was unsure how I wanted to handle wiring without the actual 2nd and 3rd floors in place. 

The first is the regular eyelet outlet tool, and then the BamBam tool (it makes a Bam sound when you pull on the spring and release it).

Overview of the beginnings of tapewire.

Here I adhered the tapewire where it will be at about baseboard height on the 3rd floor, and there's some sort of knee wall thing I'm going to have to accommodate.

This house is different than the French Country in that the 2nd and 3rd floors are held in place by the crown molding of the floor below it. I ripped out all that 'crown' because I wasn't sure I wanted that style or size, and so I could prime and do tapewire. So I sort of have to plan this all out again, now that I'm more focused on it. I could potentially glue the floors in place but I can't back up that support with nails from the outside since I have completed the exterior. The 3rd floor is actually one piece, but the 2nd floor is 3 separate pieces. 

Here's a photo before I ripped out the crown molding

I think I can easily continue to tapewire and make my connections with what I have and I will come back later and run tapewire as I install the floors. 

I am reminded that I want to make thin triangle templates for the three 3rd floor windows, for the walls in the dormer. I want to sand and paint those too while I have all the floors out of the way. These triangular pieces will simply fill the space and make the walls flush with the roof cutout surface. Hope that makes sense. There's not much room in there and its really too tight to do anything else with. 

This photo shows the tapewire I adhered to the 3rd floor peak, just behind the hinge of the roof. I try not to put tapewire on walls where they tend to show or are slightly thicker under the wallpaper. While it hides the tapewire it is a challenge to apply, and then to get into those tight spots to do an eyelet connection. 


Shingling is moving along

 The front and dormers are now shingled. I have a sense of accomplishment and have a rhythm down now. I am also using "The Chopper" for rows where I need shorter shingles. This is by far the best way to do that, I'm not great at cutting straight with scissors.  

I also got wise to staining the cut edges with a Guardsman furniture touch-up marker before I apply the angle sections. Then on the very peak of the dormer I run the marker over that and the cut edges now are no longer visible. 

Here's the Chopper, note that the 2 wing nuts are adjustable. Easy to shift one so I can cut the short row for the bottom edge of the dormers, and another shift to cut them for the row at the top of the dormer. Just have to remember to replace the razor blade and keep your fingers away from it. 

Last time I used it was on the Foyer tile - with Tid-Bits that were formica and extremely hard to cut. 

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Finally doing Chateau shingles

 It only took me a year to start applying the shingles that I stained for this Chateau. I started with marking the lines for all roof surfaces. Just doing that made me realize how much shinglind I had to do!

Next was deciding what kind of glue to use. Over the years I've tried multiple adhesives - hot glue, Quick Grip, Liquid Nails. I got a recommendation from a fellow miniaturist for one I hadn't tried - Loctite Power Grab. I got a small tube and found one size larger that had a caulklike applicator. The tube turned out to be really hard to squeeze, to the point of hurting and while I liked the adhesion, I got very disillusioned thinking about how much I had yet to do. 

I switched to the other applicator, and that actually worked much better, so I added more shingles.

I took a break for a few days and while at my local dollhouse shop, the owner gave me a tip on angles and shingling. She told me about doing a template on thin cardstock and applying a row vertically of shingles on that angled piece, and when dry, turn over and cut them on the angle. Then glue this template to the roof and continue shingling. And she mentioned she only now ever does hot glue. That sounded like a more reasonable and faster approach to this daunting task I have before me.

So I proceeded in this manner, did my templates on construction paper, and dug out my hot glue gun and sticks. Seeing that I had 3 dormers which means 6 angles to cut, I was determined to make this task a bit easier and not be frustrated with my lack of ability to get the nice clean angles that I have struggled with on previous houses that I've shingled. I wasn't going to do flashing for this and really just wanted a nice clean look.

What this meant in terms of templates is 12 pieces - 4 for each dormer. Anyway, I started, and the first was more an experiment. I had to decide the order - so the order was to do the roof surfaces first, and then come back around and butt the dormer roof sections to it. I hadn't considered that the roof section would need to extend to the top edge of the roof, and the template I had was for the dormer, just shy of the roof height. That's why you see a taped piece on my black template. 

So I got into the groove and ended up completing that left side. I'm very happy with the results and need to get back to this - do a section at a time.