Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sometimes The Plan Isn't Thoroughly Thought Through...

     As much as I planned and thought through how the various pieces would come together, I forgot to consider the layer build-up of the shingles on the fascia above the ceiling. I could have set the board in that section back another 1/8". Easily. I could even have set it back farther than that if I had wanted. But I didn't. And now I regret it.

     Once I added the shingles, they protruded further to the front than I had thought they might - even though I had cut and sanded them myself! I made them 1/32" thick - really thin. But when overlapped, the overall depth of the shingles came out to about 3/32". I set the fascia board so that it was recessed only 1/16". That doesn't seem like a problem, until you see the top layer of shingles protruding beyond the face of the surrounding boards. It's not very noticeable in the photo at left, but in person, it's noticeable.

     At our last meeting, one of our members was worrying that she might have made a mistake in her work. I told her, "If you think I haven't made any mistakes in doing this project, think again!" (She was thinking mine looked so flawless.) Some mistakes are easier than others to fix or hide. I've hidden most of my errors so far. I'm not sure if I have a good fix for this one, but I'll work on it..

     This brings to mind an article I read recently by a woodworker. He had completed a project and shared it with his friends. None of his friends noticed a tiny flaw that had occurred while he was working on the piece. When they complimented him, though, he couldn't help but point out the flaw, and immediately, they ALL saw it. Most of the time, if we don't point out the flaw, the average person will take in the overall view of the item and will never notice the flaw. If they do, most times common courtesy should generally cause them to withhold a comment in which they point it out.

     If you're making your miniatures for sale, that's a different story. Then the buyer will be scrutinizing the item for every tiny flaw that they might see. Each identified flaw, of course, becomes a new bargaining point for their argument to reduce the asking price. Maybe that's why I don't sell my miniatures! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Porch Continues to Evolve

     The Cedar Rapids Miniature club met last Saturday, and I added a number of finishing touches to the front porch project. When club members tackle a big project like this, we end up with everyone moving at different speeds, and so I'm constantly trying to help members catch up or stay up with the project.

     There are some steps I need to do yet, but it's getting close to being done...for now, at least. I'll need to gather a variety of items for all of the seasons so that I can decorate the porch according to the time of year it is. 

     As you can see from the picture, the siding is completed. Last weekend I finished with gluing up the slats that fit beneath the porch. The week before that, I put together the porch swing, painted it, and then hung it from the porch ceiling. 

     Now, here's a fun and somewhat incredible detail about this. The couple are not mine. They belong to one of our club members. When I brought the porch to miniature club, Linda took out this little couple. We set them in the swing, and their feet and the woman's dress fit just perfectly in relation to the floor! It was amazing. I had tried to set the swing at what I thought would be about 16" in height, and obviously, the sculptor adhered to that standard, too. What fun!

     At right is a photograph of the ceiling of the front porch. I could have ordered pre-cut wood with the individual boards etched into it (like the car siding we so often see in many old Craftsman and Victorian style homes). I decided, instead, to make my own. 

     I used the thinner one of my mini table saw blades, and set it so that it barely peeked out above the table surface. I cut about 1/32" from the 3/32" board - enough to put a noticeable groove into the boards, but not so deep that the overall stability of the boards was endangered. (Sorry about the visual distortion. Taking such a close-up picture apparently caused some curving of the visual lines.)

     In my next post, I will share about the jig I created for gluing up the slats for under the porch. I also will share with you one of the glaring oopsies I encountered with shingling the front of the house in the triangular section above the porch.

     Then I'll need to do a post about the window shades and the roof. The shingles I got from an estate sale were just too thick for my taste, but I loved their texture. So, I ran them through my table saw, one at a time, to make them thinner. I'll tell you all about it, and share some pictures. 

     Next steps: Glue on the roof, paint the railings, and install them, and then start making flowers.
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