Monday, April 30, 2018

Tower Window

You all know I've been toying with the idea of a little offshoot tower on the third floor. Nothing huge, just a spot to set up a telescope.

So it isn't exact, and mine definitely won't look just like this.  But this is similar to what I want to do with the third floor of the tower.  Just to give you all an idea.

I got the picture off Pinterest but there wasn't any link I could go to to credit this incredible piece.  If anyone knows who it belongs to I'd love to visit their site. And credit the picture here of course.

Update: Tiny New World tells me this wonderful piece belongs to Peter over on DeviantArt.

This differs a bit in that I want the supports to rest against the brick of the tower rather than plaster for the extended third floor, but third floor being larger than the staircase 'base' is something I'm going for.

I probably won't have the elaborate beam work on the body of the tower, though it would be very cool if I could manage it.  Maybe echo it on the second floor of the house?  I won't need the chimney or the squared off bay windows.  I want to use a Houseworks Casement window that I made Tudor on one part of the third floor.  If I get really ambitious I might do another.

I love the steep slope of the roof but its a little too 'fantasy' for me so I'll probably go for something slightly more shallow.  But that little offshoot tower...

Which I still have no clue what that's called.  Does anyone know the technical name of that little tower?

That's what I want to do with the window I got.  The small Victorian bay window.

I think I'll end up microwaving it and taking it apart to make casement windows for it.  And making it a bit shorter.  But window's roof angle is similar to what I want for the main part of the tower. The inspiration picture has the type of roof I want to do on the WQ Retirement cottage, that slate look.  I'm collecting cereal boxes in order to get varying thicknesses of cardboard.

I think it's doable.

What do all of you think?

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Tower Stairs and Interior Walls

So last week I showed you the beginning of my put the stairs into the tower process.  Which was painting the stairs their base coat.

This weekend I gave them a few more coats of grey, using the same colors I had for the stone floor of the tower.  I used a wash of darker grey to give them some shadows and then dry brushed a bit of it in strategic spots.  And of course I forgot to take a picture of them drying.

I glued them to the center post, which I decided to leave wood because I like the warmth and I think it makes the tower more interesting visually.

I started with the lower stairs because I could move the post around as I choose and did a quick fit to make sure I hadn't goofed something up in between building, painting and gluing.  Knowing me that's entirely possible.

But they worked!  Yay!

So I let them dry inside the tower since it would keep them where they needed to be.  Then I started on the window and door trim.  I used egg carton stone and got all the windows and the two doors done and painted.

I mixed up some of the all purpose texture to use as grout and since I had mixed a bit too much decided to plaster the tower walls, at least in part.  I didn't do all of them because again, I think it makes the tower look interesting inside.

There are a few bubbles in the brick paper due to the moisture but they've flattened some overnight as all the texture dried.  And then I could glue in the window and door surrounds.

Which again, I forgot to take a picture of at the time.

But since I was using the wood post as my center support column the stairs needed some wood supports to tie everything together.  I used some of my 1/4 x 1/16 bass wood from Hobby Lobby and some 3/16 x 3/16 wood from as supports, stained Dark Walnut.

Obviously my glue is still drying.

I made a landing for the stairs out of balsa, carved to look like wide boards and stained with some Ebony to darken the 'space' between the planks and Dark Walnut on the bulk of the wood.

Then I figured out where I needed to put the upper stairs and did the same thing all over again for them.

There will be some touch up painting on the stairs once the glue dries but so far everything seems to be working.  I've used rubber bands to hold the tower closed while everything dries so it'll keep its shape and the stairs will adhere to the places they're supposed to instead of moving around.

And so I took pictures from the doorways to show you the view of anyone walking into the tower.

Again, glue still drying but so far I like how it looks.

What do all of you think?  How was your weekend?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Shutters and Stairs

This was one of the weekends when I didn't feel like I got much done.  What I was doing seemed to take forever and I'm still not completely done.

You'll recall I wanted to make shutters and get them attached to the interior window frames.  I had gotten them cut and glued last week.

So this weekend I worked on getting them stained and the hinges on them.  The hinges were very fiddly work.  The screws that come with the hinges don't have a flat or phillips head, they're just blank, so I couldn't use any of my little tools to screw them in.

While drilling holes two of my mini finger drills broke.  So now I need to order a new set.

But after a lot of frustration I got the first one done.

I wanted them to fold back in half and then away from the window, to take up less wall space when they're open.

I wish I could say that after establishing a process for the first the other three were easy but that would be a lie.  I did eventually get them done.

Since I was making myself crazy anyway I decided to put the handles on the windows while I was at it.  Fewer holes to drill but putting the handles on the Houseworks casement windows and the bay window was not easy.

I did however triumph in the end.

I also sanded down, glued, reinforced with some strategic toothpicks and re-spackled my stairs.  I painted them with a base coat of Folk Art's Thunder Grey.

Since I had more waiting (drying) time I stained the center post for the stairs.  I used ebony and mahogany and then put dark walnut over it.

I'm still a bit undecided on this.  Part of me wonders if I ought to wrap it in wide strips of egg carton so it looks like stacked stone cylinders.  Suggestions?

And I put the stone floor to the tower in.

Then grouted it.

Lots more to do obviously.  But this is as far as I got this weekend.

How are the rest of you doing?

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tower Progress

So I've been having a little trouble figuring out how to make the third floor of the tower.

I wanted to have it extend outward over the main stairway tower, by about an inch on all sides, just like the cottage second floor.  But hinging that part was stumping me.

Then I figured out that I could hinge the third story by itself.  Keep the third floor stationary, which would add stability.  The lower part would hinge on one joint and the third floor on its own.  If that makes sense?  I still need to work on the roof, which I think I might make similar to the floor, just the walls hinged.

So with that in mind I made a mockup of the floor, and figured where I'd need to cut the hole for the stairs.  I had to tape my stairs into place before I could do that.  Styrofoam is slippery and kept moving around on me.  But I finally got it.

The third floor will have a casement window, one of the Houseworks ones.  I'm debating if I want to add a little offset window, like this.

I'm not sure.  I'd like to have one if only because it would be such a nice place to put a telescope.  And it would be very pretty and fairytale like.  Have to think about it.   If I bought two and cut one so joined together they made three quarters of circle it could work.

What do you think?

I also got a couple of light fixtures to go in the tower.  Figured out where to put them today.  I marked the outside of the tower with black dots so I wouldn't forget.

They're pretty looking candle sconces which will give off a decent amount of light inside the tower I think.

Since I got that figured out I decided I was safe putting up some of the finishing for inside the tower.  I got some brick paper a while back that has a good texture to it.  Since we won't be looking too hard at the inside of the tower I thought it would be perfect for the walls.

I got some cardboard cut out for the window and door frames and started making the egg carton stone to cover them.

I'm also covering the Styrofoam stairs with spackle and waiting for it to dry.  Lots of waiting for things to dry.

I'm really glad that stuff turns white when its dry or I'd be messing with it forever.  Mine is old and isn't bright pink anymore but it still works pretty well.

I got the center post for the stairs and my dremel and used a sanding head to rough it up so it would look like a tree had been cut down to use as the center post for the stairs.  It's not easy to see but here it is.

That was as far as I got on the tower.

The other think I did took up a lot of Saturday but it was worth it.

I used the Dark Walnut stain and then went over the knotwork with Ebony to make it show up a bit better.  I have a few pieces that I'll add to give it a half roof while the other half will be covered by the second floor extension.

I also cut down the balsa in the side windows so they would fit the windows properly.

I also got out my jigsaw and made more dust.  Otherwise known as cutting the MDF walls for casement window openings.

They're a bit deeper than the walls so I'll have to add some wood to the sides to level everything out but that's very doable.

The balsa filler isn't glued into place its just wedged in to the old opening while the glue holding its pieces together sets.

The last thing I did was start on the shutters.  I want to get them hinged and on the frames before I put the frames in the house.  I had to order more hinges and pulls for the windows so that they'll have some handles on the inside.

I need to make shutters for the Houseworks Casement windows too but I haven't figured out just how I want them to look yet.

It feels like I got a lot done, despite waiting for things like spackle and glue to dry.  That could just be because I've been working on it constantly the whole weekend and I feel like I've got something to show for it.

How is everyone else doing?

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tudor Casement Windows

You guys are going to be sick of hearing about windows by the time this build is done.

I did what I rarely do and I actually worked on the dollhouse on a couple of weeknights.  Usually I'm too tired from work to do anything with my hands but for some reason I felt up to it this week.  Maybe I was just impatient to finish.

I bought three casement windows from and fitted them with the blackened mesh as well.  I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.  One will go in the third level of the tower and the other two will go on the large gables on the second floor.  So I need to do more cutting of the MDF this weekend.

Anyway.  After the glaze dried on the front of the windows I decided I did want mesh on the inside as well.  So I got more of it blackened and fitted to the back of the flat glass.  And added glaze once the glue had dried.

I got glue in my hair but it was worth it.

I also made the window openings smaller.  Too small as it turns out but that's what I get for not paying enough attention.  It's only balsa wood so it should be easy to sand down or cut out.

Once the glaze had dried I then began my process of getting the windows fitted into the casements and the pin hinges working properly.  I ended up using pieces of paperclip cut up because they were thicker than pins and fit the holes I'd drilled.

All in all I'm fairly pleased with how the windows have turned out.

I braced the side wall windows in the openings to give you an idea of how they'll look once they're in place.  I like the effect.  I think once the stone is up and there's some contrast of the dark with the grey/taupe stone it'll look even better.

I can't show you much of how the tower windows will look at the moment.  But I'm hoping to do some more work on the tower this weekend after I finish the bay window.

The other thing I really want to do is fit the inside trim with shutters to close in bad weather.  I might try to figure that out this weekend if I can't get my mind around how to do the tower.

How's everyone else's week going?