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. 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