Beacon Hill: A Gazillion Brackets

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Final step is to do the brackets around the tower and mansard roof and the decorative roof brackets.

The instructions call this “exterior trim.” I say, “a ton o’ brackets.”

First, the brackets that go around the bottom of the tower and mansard roof.

These are sandwiched, large between two small. You need four complete brackets for each side of the tower, four on the front wall right and five on the right wall. That’s 25 total, and that’s just this half of the house … (you need 12 for the other half if you’re building the whole thing like a normal person). That’s a lotta brackets.

Ready for more sanding and painting.

You end up with a bunch of these.

Glue them bird-head up around the base of the tower, all four sides.

Back of the tower.

This is the right side walls–four in front, five in back.

Note that the end brackets on each wall are right at the edge, over the vertical trim. I glued those brackets on first, then spaced the others according to those.

The tower brackets were spaced about 2.5 inches from one another, the front wall 2 inches, the side wall 2.5 inches.

Last are the pointy and curly brackets that go around the edges of the roofs. Four complete ones on the tower, three on the porch, two on the right side (and three on the left). The look  like this on the sheets.

We have standalone posts, posts with curls, and curls alone. Again, you glue these brackets together in sandwiches.

You make a sandwich of two standalone posts around one post with curly. The unattached curl gets glued to the post depending on which direction you need to go on the roof. Those are glued on as you place them on the rooftops.

When they’re glued in place, they’ll look like this.

Don’t glue the last curly part in place! I’m holding it here as a demo.

Starting with the porch: The posts are all glued with the flat side of the post facing front (*except* the one on the back of the porch which faces the side–got it?)

Here are the post sandwiches glued in place.

The lone curly is then glued to the other side. For the porch post in the back, it’s done. It doesn’t get a second curly.

The porch roof done. Note that the brackets are on the *inner* edge of the roof trim.

On the tower–the four post sandwiches in place. Again, the flat side of the picket faces front (and rear), and they’re glued on the inner edge of the trim.

The curlys all glued in place to complete the brackets.

Brackets done on the side roof.

And … that’s it!! That is the last bit of the kit for the right side of the house.

I still have to finish the wall I knocked out, do a lot of touch-up paint, and trim more raw edges. Plus I did not use the foundation trim–I will be putting stone or brick paper around the bottom.

But hey, there we have it! Almost ready to move in!

I’ll probably take another break and build a different kit or smaller project, then come back and completely finish this half of the house before I start on the other half …

Beacon Hill: Porch final trimming

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I’ve come to the point where I’m putting the finishing touches on the Beacon Hill. First, on my own, I’m adding some horizontal and vertical boards (not part of the kit) to trim the raw edges and gaps between walls. I think it makes everything look more polished.

Back to the kit. The instructions have you start at the top of the house with all the trim and brackets, but I wanted to see the porch finished, so I worked from bottom up.

First, the post brackets, which go at the top of each porch post. They are in three pieces–you sandwich the large piece between two smaller and thinner pieces.

Like so.

I decided to glue, then paint, but you can do it the other way around. There are so many tiny pieces in this step that spray paint might be the best way to go. (I don’t like spray paint because of the fumes but I can imagine it would save time!)

I glued these on upside down the first time, but they go this way, with the curved end up, like a bird with its head up.

Next are the 50 million brackets that go between the porch posts. These again are sandwiched, two smalls around a large.

They need lots of sanding.

 

Two brackets go between each post with three on the right end. There are no measurements for centering them exactly, so eyeball it or measure and calculate.

The porch is finished with the long curved pieces between the posts.

The pieces are found in the middle of sheet 9 (where you punch out the large left side wall), so don’t lose track of it when you are putting the main pieces of the house together.

The pieces are in three sizes: one long one (seen at bottom), which goes on the side of the porch.

The small one (at the top in the photo) goes between the posts in front of the front door.

The medium sized ones go on the center and right front of the porch.

These are a pain to glue in (mine kept falling off) so tape helps until the glue is dry. Give it a day.

There we go–the porch trim done.

Staying on the ground floor, we have the bay roof brackets. They’re on sheet 23, the one that fell apart on me. Amazingly, I have not lost one piece (so far …)

These brackets are single thickness.

They go under the overhang on the kitchen bay (more will go on the bay windows on the other side of the house when I build it). For now, you need 10 for the kitchen bay window.

Eight go across the top of the window. Mine are spaces about 1.25 inches apart.  There’s supposed to be one facing the porch and one facing rear, but I couldn’t get them to fit right, so I eliminated them.

That’s it for the ground floor. Next time, a ton of brackets for the top of the house and tower.

Beacon Hill: Trimming interior and building outer wall.

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I did go back to the Beacon Hill and finish trimming the last room on the top floor, and the secret tower room.

This space will continue the bedroom–be a sitting area.

I had to do a ton of trimming here: Around the corners of the tower ceiling, the corners of the back wall, plus picture rail-like trim to cover slots, the raw edge of the divider wall, plus the usual baseboards and cornices.

This photo shows more how it will be one big room.

I trimmed up the tower room as well, including the window–which the kit has no interior trim for as this room is not supposed to be seen from the inside. The floor is scrapbooking paper–I was feeling whimsical. Maybe it’s an interesting floor cloth. I’ll do more with this room later.

All right–now that the interior is trimmed, time to build the outer wall for the side I cut away and trim the exterior.

I realized that before I could build the wall, I needed to build another wall sconce. The rear of the front hall is dark (chandelier is pretty but doesn’t generate much light). I need a matching one to the first one I built.

Out came my findings and paint. This sconce will go with the chandelier and other sconce already done. Painting the finding.

Gluing together the back, mirror, and arm with candle socket.

Finished sconce (which does light–I checked!)

The base wall. From this I will build a two-story bay window. The sconce had to be installed before the wall went up.

The base wall glued in place. Now I need to build the floors, sides, roof, and outer wall that will hold the windows.

By the way, I did finish the Creekside Studio, one of my interim projects. I’ll post those photos in the next post.

Beacon Hill: Front Door

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The front door is quite lovely–it’s too bad it’s usually hidden in most photos I see of the Beacon Hill.

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The pieces for the front door are on sheet 23, my infamous sheet that disintegrated. I managed to find all the parts!

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All the parts punched out and ready. We have two door trims which are sandwiched together, and three parts to the doors (outer, middle, inner), which are also sandwiched together.

The interesting thing is, the front door trim has a big fanlight, but there is none in the house wall itself.

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This gives you some interesting possibilities. You could leave it so the painted wall shows through, you could put a louvred fan up there, paint it a different color, or try out stained glass.

I thought about it, and decided to look through an adult coloring book type box of cards I bought myself (“art therapy”), and see if I could find a good pattern that looks like stained glass.

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Found this one, so I’m going to go with it.

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The doors are in 3 parts: The front, middle, and back (interior). The front and back are exactly the same. The middle parts have the solid panel in the bottom.

The middle gets sandwiched between the front and back, with the plastic window between the middle and back.

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When the door panels are put together, the middle will show through the frame of the front (and back). Here is what the front will look like with the trim.

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What it will look like from the back (which is amazingly the same).

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Everything painted with my colors. I’ve glued the front panels (red) onto the middle, which I’ve painted white.

The plastic pane gets glued to the back of the middle panel, sandwiched between middle and back panels.

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The “stained glass” panel in place.

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The trim glued in place, clamped until dry.

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Trim and stained glass window in place.

Now, my doors, when I put together, were so warped that I couldn’t make them stay in straight inside the door opening. They’re almost twisted, and the frames keep falling apart (see?).

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So, I’m reconstructing them from scratch, using 1/4″ wood strips, plus a couple 1/2″ strips, and a some basswood for the middle panels.

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Outer doors made of 1/4″ strips, with 1/2″ strip for bottom piece.

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A square jig keeps everything straight.

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The inner panels are 1/4″ strips with a basswood insert of about 2 3/4″ high.

 

 

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All the pieces constructed.

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Door panels painted in my colors.

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Middle panels with plastic window inserts glued to them. I had to trim the plastic a little, but there’s enough around the edges to allow that.

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Doors finished.

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Glued in place in the house.

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Doors from the interior.

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House so far. Much more trimming to be done!

The only thing left on this side of the house is for the trims to the porch and the curlicue pieces that go all over the place to be painted on glued on. I’m going to hold off on that while I design and build the missing wall of the house.

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I’m going to do a wall with big bay windows on both floors so I’ll have more space to put furniture. I’ll show what happens in another post.

 

 

Beacon Hill: French Door

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To me, one of the most distinctive features of the Beacon Hill is the French door in the middle of the tower. It’s elegant and I think one of the reasons many of us buy it.

It’s also one of the easiest parts to construct! Yay!!

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The jumble of pieces that will be the French door.

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The pieces cut out. There will be lots of stacking. On the left are the three sashes from the left and right windows and the door itself. On the right are the trim pieces how they’ll be stacked.

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The parts painted in my color scheme. The sashes of the left and right windows will be mostly covered with trim. I do paint both sides, though, in case anything shows.

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The first step is to sandwich the plastic windows between the sashes. There is a front and back sash for each window.

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The trim will be stacked one on top of the other. The thinner one is on top.

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The trim glued together.

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More trim goes on top–this is called the side window trim (or something like that).

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The first step to putting the window into the house is to glue the right and left window sashes into the opening. It should fit right in the opening, flush with front and interior walls.img_7565

The trim goes over the opening. The half-circle trim also was glued on in this step (you could glue the half-circle piece on before you glue everything to the opening).

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Because the door is a separate piece, you have some options with it, a feature I like.

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You could hinge it or glue it so it’s open (and looks hinged).

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I went ahead and glued it shut, but I used only dots of glue so if I change my mind I can take it out without much problem.

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There we have it! The house is looking better all the time.

Next, the front door.

 

Beacon Hill: Tower Window

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The tower window is much like the dormer windows but put in in a little different sequence.

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All the parts of the tower window are on sheet 21.

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The parts punched out. Looks like a lot but many of them stack on top of each other.

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I’m saving the circles that come out of the windows–these would make great table tops or backs for round mirrors. Pre-cut for us!

Anyway, this is how it will all go together.

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The window sill and base (good side down).

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Medium sill goes underneath the base.

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Small sill goes over medium sill. This whole structure will be flipped over to insert through the window opening.

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The two half-circles of the trim get glued one on top of the other, outside edges flush.

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This is the outside trim–the piece with the decorative cutouts goes over the piece without.

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The Ls will be glued smaller on larger, as in the dormer windows.

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The window sash (piece with smallest hole) will go behind the outside trim. Here’s how it will all look when the window is put together, including the half-circle trim on top.

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But first, to paint to my color scheme. The small rectangular pieces will become the arched roof of the window (like the dormers). The larger rectangles are the sides.

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The base and sill inserted into the tower window opening. The stacked sill pieces go underneath.

Now…

The instructions have you glue the sides to the sash and then put in the arched roof before sliding it all into the window opening. I knew if I did that I’d be sanding like crazy to make it fit, so I built the window inside the opening like I did the dormers.

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Here I’ve glued the sides to the sash (sorry forgot to snap a shot of that), then started building the arch with the small rectangles. As you can see, the last has to be massively trimmed and sanded.

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All the pieces in place. The instructions also tell you to put the window plastic onto the sash (on the inside) before you glue this in, but I feared getting glue, spackel, and sanding dust on it, so I saved it for last.

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The window arch pieces spackled.

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The front trim glued on.

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The Ls added, both facing inward, small on bottom. Here I’ve also added the half-circle trim, which rests on the Ls.

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Another shot.

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Added the window plastic from inside (a little tricky!). But it’s done!

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It’s getting there!

The next items in the instructions are the shutters and cellar window, but I decided to leap over those and go on to the French door. Could not wait! The French door / window will be the subject of my next post.

 

Beacon Hill: Dormer Windows

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The first tip I have for the dormer windows is to put them in before you shingle or otherwise finish the roof. They won’t fit otherwise.

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The jumble of parts that will become the dormer window.

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The front (left) and front trim (right). The trim has the thicker arch. Above those are the half-circle trims (which will be glued one on top of the other), and the window sash.

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Trim glued on top.

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This is the back. The window sash will fit exactly in the little groove.

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Like so. (This is what it will look like from the front.) Don’t glue in the sash yet! This is just an example of what it will look like. The sash will be the very last piece glued into the window.

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Sill / base. The two sill / base pieces are glued one on top of the other. The piece with the tabs on its sides is the bottom (I’d show you, but this sill was already glued in place, which I did beforehand so I could wire the lamp through it).

The sill goes all the way through the opening, with the narrower sill on the inside wall, the larger sill on the outside.

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The side slides down beside the sill, the notch at bottom hooking up to the tab on the bottom of the sill (which you can’t see, but it’s down there).

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The side in place–it will be flush against the inside wall.

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With both sides in place, I added the front. The feet of the window front fits (in theory) into the notches of the window sill. Notice I had to take off shingles to get everything to fit.

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The L-shaped pieces. They’re glued together so the inside edge is flush.

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I’ve added the L shaped pieces to the tops of the front. The short sides of the Ls face inward.

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What the Ls look like from the top.

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Now for the arch. There are eight pieces that will be glued in around the window’s arch. The first piece is in position here.

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What the first piece of the arch looks like from inside. The end is flush with the inside wall. (The piece should be more on top of the side, but it slipped.)

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Put the pieces in on alternating sides. Here you can see I’ve done the first pieces on both right and left sides, and the second piece on the left side. Note that the end of each piece rests on the window’s top. The edges will be covered by the half-round trim.

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As you go, you’ll see that the pieces start to angle. That’s ok. The last piece will be trimmed to fit. Note that I’ve put the “good” side on the inside. That is because I knew I’d be sanding and repainting the outside once done, but it will be much too hard (and messy) to repaint the inside. So the other side of these boards are finished and varnished already.

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The last piece, sanded to fit. These sand down easily with coarse sandpaper (say 100) on a sanding block.

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Once I had all the pieces in place, I sanded then spackled the whole arch to smooth out the edges and make it rounder.

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Next, I glued on the top trim (which I sandwiched together earlier–the feet should be flush and the smaller piece centered on the larger).

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I glued the plastic window to the sash (I’m using Alene’s clear tacky–little dots around the window sash). Now the sash can be glued, from the inside, to the grove in the frame.

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And there you have it. I’ll have to put in the shingles and add trim around the window a bit, but it’s done.

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Both dormer windows now in place.

Next, the tower window! Good. I’m getting tired of windows! 🙂

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