Friday, 23 September 2011

Most boring jigsaw EVER!

I have never in my life worked so hard and so fast on a dollhouse. Mrs B's Georgian/Victorian property is proving to be an oddity that, as a modern miniature lover, I can't quite get to grips with. Mrs B provided me with wallpaper that she liked...a mixture of elegance and girlie pink 0.o I think once finished, I may convince her to come over to the dark side *insert evil laughter here* and I may be commissioned to remove the wallpaper again and recover with something more modern =0)

The tedious jigsaw I refer to in the title of this post is parquet flooring. It is one of the few things I love about traditional English homes. Wood, in it's natural state, is something that in my humble opinion cannot be rivaled by modern surfaces. I decided to do two rooms with parquet because I want Mrs B to really love this house and in time, pass it down to her daughters for them to love. Parquet flooring is extremely simple. Anyone who can follow a knitting pattern (which I most certainly cannot) will find it a breeze. To prove that it isn't beyond anyone who does not own an electric saw, I have made it from wood veneer. Veneer is a very thin (normally 0.7mm thick) slice of wood that can be curved, sanded and cut with a craft knife.


This is Cherry veneer but you can get it in almost any wood. I used a ruler to mark out 5mm wide strips and scored them with a craft knife. Then I made a ruler mark every 20mm lengthwise. This saved me cutting individual pieces. I had a row of around fifteen at a time which made it easier. I won't lie, it is a process that takes a lot of patience. But if you want to give your traditional house the wow factor, then have a go. You will be so pleased that you did it yourself.


I did a template of the room with 1/16th birch ply wood and then marked the board in 15mm vertical stripes. This is herringbone pattern. Once you have the initial pieces set at a 45 degree angle, the rest just follow.


A couple of hundred or so tiles later, this is the floor. I used a 5mm strip of Magnolia to edge the floor. The gap is for the hearth of the fire...I didn't see the point of covering a section that wouldn't be seen *shrugs*



This is the floor 'rough' without any wax or sanding. Oo, a little tip I learned from a joiner many years ago. If you have a small gap between two pieces that you are gluing, sand the surface with a fine grit paper (in a circular motion) and before the glue dries. The dust from the sanding fills the gap and attaches to the glue...sort of like wood mortar. I promise, you won't see the join =0)


...after sanding, two layers of finishing wax and a coat of shellac.


...in it's new home =0). There are literally dozens of parquet patterns on the net for you to copy. I think I'll try a new pattern for the second room.

I wanted to show a distinction between the upper part of the house and the lower, servants quarters. I made flag stones by using 1/16th birch ply again and using a dremmel to score the shape of each individual stone.




This is the template I used






Just lay the pattern over the wood and press a pen/pencil along the lines so that you have an indent underneath. Then use the dremmel to score into the wood. Paint in your chosen flaggy-stone colour and ta-da.


The house lives temporarily at my workplace so that I can concentrate on modern miniatures at home. I have to say, despite my grumbles, that I've enjoyed doing something early 1900's.

Okay, I better get back to my latest project...some swap items for a dear friend =0) Oh and preparation for the three hour journey to the spring Miniatura.

Money, check, camera, check. Just need to set the alarm clock for 5.30am O_O

Have a great weekend all

20 comments:

  1. I much prefer modern dollhouses, but I also have 2 victorian dollhouses and I think they're great to experiment and try new techniques. And this post of yours is a great example of that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great !!. One day I also tried to make parquet floor but I did not complete it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marvelous parquet, though I admit I will be using a premade sheet in the Heritage. :D And, your method for stone flooring is ingenious! Need to file that one away for later.

    ReplyDelete
  4. YOWZERS! Looks fab! Great job Mitchy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The floor was great! The effort was well rewarded! :)
    Hugs

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gyönyörű, precíz munka! Tényleg sok türelem kellett hozzá, de látom megérte!
    Anda

    ReplyDelete
  7. omg perfect timing! thank you so much for showing this! I had something similar in mind for the challenge, as much as i love jigsaw puzzles, i am kinda dreading the process....you're taking part too, RIGHT?? RIGHT?????

    ReplyDelete
  8. When you use the term :"Dremmel" what exactly is it? Its a brand name- but they have so many products......
    Neomi

    ReplyDelete
  9. the parquet floor looks stunning, beautiful work!

    ReplyDelete
  10. what a wonderful blog you have, finally someone from the mini world showing their secrets! More post on chairs please!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is very good post.
    Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fantastically creative !! That hardwood floor is more beautiful than the "real" ones.
    The flagstone idea is perfect! I was wondering which bit you used to carve into the wood? I'm working on a 1/20 scale so need to find a small bit but can't decide which shape is best for doing this job.
    Thanks for sharing your super ideas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pavluv,
      I used a 5/64 diamond wheel ball point bit with a dremel. I tried other shaped bits at first but they caught in the wood whereas the ball point moved easily along the line, in both direction. Hope this helps =0)

      Delete
    2. Thanks a million! Will give it a test run first.

      Delete
  13. Hi Pepper,
    Hope you don't mind me taking advantage of your expertise :-)
    I am using the ball point bit to carve out stones in my plywood base (works great!). I want to fill the areas with some kind of grout. In your opinion, would it be better to grout then paint the wood to simulate stones or vice versa? Will the grout wipe off painted wood? I am so new to this stuff and sometimes I really do get out of my league. Thanks for any suggestions you can give.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pavluv,
      I don't mind at all. When I did the floor I painted the wood first with acrylic and waited for it to dry. Then I rubbed a watered down and darker colour over the whole floor with a cloth. The darker colour seeped into the grooves between the stones and I was able to mop up any excess paint with the cloth. I hope this helps =0)

      x

      Delete
  14. thanks a bunch. Does actually. I think I am going to grout first then paint and touch up. I need an overall smooth surface so probably gotta grout first. It's gonna take soooo long doing the carving tho! I have around 90cm by 30cm area to do. Onwards and upwards!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm sorry if I missed this in the write up; why did you have some of your tiles labeled a,b,c,d in the template; thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lee. The template was copied from a site that sells paving slabs for gardens. The a, b, c and d referred to the dimensions of the four slabs you needed to make that particular pattern. Sorry for the confusion ;0)

      Delete