Beacon Hill: A Gazillion Brackets

3 Comments

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 …

Advertisements

Beacon Hill: Trimming interior and building outer wall.

4 Comments

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

5 Comments

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

img_7568-1

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

img_7569-1

img_7570

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.

img_7576

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.

img_7573

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

img_7571

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.

img_7572

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.

img_7579

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

img_7582-2

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.

img_7584-2

img_7585-2

The “stained glass” panel in place.

img_7586-2

The trim glued in place, clamped until dry.

img_7587-2

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?).

img_7825

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.

img_7822

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

img_7821

img_7824

A square jig keeps everything straight.

img_7826

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

 

 

img_7827

All the pieces constructed.

img_7829

Door panels painted in my colors.

img_7830

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.

img_7831

Doors finished.

img_7833

Glued in place in the house.

img_7835 img_7836

Doors from the interior.

img_7840

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.

img_7837

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

Leave a comment

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!!

img_7553

The jumble of pieces that will be the French door.

img_7554

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.

img_7557

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.

img_7561

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

img_7558

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

img_7560

The trim glued together.

img_7564

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

img_7563

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).

img_7566

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

img_7567

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

img_7574

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.

img_7575

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

Next, the front door.

 

Beacon Hill: Dormer Windows

2 Comments

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.

img_7448

The jumble of parts that will become the dormer window.

img_7465

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.

img_7454

Trim glued on top.

img_7451

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

img_7455

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.

img_7447

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.

img_7475

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).

img_7477

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

img_7478

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.

img_7473

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

img_7483

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

img_7481

What the Ls look like from the top.

img_7485

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.

img_7484

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.)

img_7487

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.

img_7493

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.

img_7494

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

img_7496

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

img_7498

img_7499

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).

img_7502

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.

img_7503

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.

img_7526

Both dormer windows now in place.

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

Beacon Hill: Mansard Roof Trim

3 Comments

The mansard roof trim is pretty straightforward. First it’s best to punch out and label all the pieces according to the schematic sheet. (There is both horizontal and vertical trim.) I used a sharpie to write the names on the back–the backs won’t show once the pieces are glued on.

img_7340 img_7341

Notice the each of the curved mansard trim pieces form a pair, one curved right and one left. (These look like cartoon palm trees to me :-))

img_7347

Also note that there is a definite top and bottom to each pair. The top has a more square angle, the bottom is more angular. The squarer end goes at the top against the top roof trim.

First, the straight pieces go horizontally across the top of the roof on the right side of the house, and vertically on the front against the tower as here:

img_7346

The horizontal top trim piece on the right side of the house and the vertical piece on the back.

img_7351

Now for the curved pieces. Note how the squarer end goes against the horizontal trim from the last step and ends at the bottom trim.

img_7350

I used plenty of tape to hold these pieces in place until the glue set.

img_7348

You’ll see I have an ugly gap. This is because the pieces don’t compensate for the thickness of the shingles. I have a layer of shingles and a layer of thin cardboard beneath it, which has distorted the dimensions of the roof.

I could have 1) compensated and only shingled to where the trim piece would fall; or 2) used sandpaper or paint to simulate shingles instead of using real ones.

Live and learn. I came up with a solution to fill the gap, which I’ll show later.

img_7345

The tower top horizontal pieces. Notice that two are longer–those are the side pieces. The front and back are the shorter ones.

Below you can see the tower top piece in place and the curved pieces.

img_7354

img_7353

The front with the curved pieces in place.

I pondered a lot about how to fill the gaps. Tear the shingles off and do it again? I’m not that diligent. This house is a learning experience more than anything else.

I rifled through my supplies and found some wood veneer strips I’d picked up from Cascade Miniatures (http://www.led-n-minis.com/) I lined them up in the gap and they don’t look too bad. Almost like that’s what I was supposed to do!

img_7397 img_7396

Hopefully others will find a better solution or not screw up like me!

You can see on the last picture that I’ve started putting in the windows. That’s next time!

 

Beacon Hill: Roof and Tower

4 Comments

Mansard Roof

Now that I have most of the lighting done, it’s time to tackle the roof. Looks complicated but is not.

img_7095

I notice that the kitchen side of this dollhouse is rarely photographed, so I’m trying to put out as many pics of it as I can, in case this helps other builders. This is the kitchen side with bay window on, bay window roof temporarily in place (I’m going to cover it with copper). Ready to put on the main roof.

img_7098

The mansard roof pieces are very thin, and bend back into place. The instructions with the kit are pretty good on this. I put glue all over the roof supports (see pic above for the supports), and on the bottom of the mansard piece and the top. Masking tape helps everything stay while the glue dries. (The window sill is there because I had to wire in the lamp before I put on the roof).

img_7099 img_7100

Putting the mansard roof piece on the front. Tacks help a little, but tape is best.

img_7106

Finished mansard roof on the kitchen side (there are only two sides to the roof on the kitchen half of the house). The brown stripe on it is me testing whether the color of stain will work (it’s Early American from Minwax).

img_7151

I’m using shingle strips for this house. Best to stain first.

img_7105

Before I put the roof pieces on, I traced them onto very thin cardboard. I’ll shingle the cardboard then glue the whole thing to the roof. Marked where the shingles strips will fall.

img_7107

Shingling begun. I found out (the hard way) that it’s better to cut the shingle pieces to length first than to try to cut out the hole in the middle for the window after gluing. Live and learn.

img_7149

The finished shingle sheets glued to the mansard roof. The ugly edges will be covered with trim.

Now for the Tower!

The tower is, in the kit, enclosed on four sides, but open on its bottom, so you could hang a chandelier from the very top and have it hang down to the third floor hall. Cool. But, of course, I wanted to change it.

I am interested in astronomy, so decided I’d create a little observatory up there. That means I need a floor for the tower and also to open one of the walls so we can see in. Already found a telescope for it.

img_7114

This is the back wall, which I will cut for the opening into the tower.

img_7115

The piece cut.

img_7119

The four tower walls assembled–the walls each have a large tab on their bottom edge that slide into the large square opening in the tower base (ignore the small slots for the moment).

img_7120

Because I want this to be a room, I had to put a floor back in. I took the piece that I punched out of the middle of the tower base and trimmed it down to slide it back in. You have to take out that piece at first, because the walls fit inside the opening it leaves behind.

 

img_7124

This is the underside of the tower. I have to cover the crease of the fitted-in floor piece and also support it. I cut four strips of 1/2″ wide wood and glued it on the seam of the floor on the underside of the tower (which will be the third-floor ceiling), using the decorative squares to make it look pretty.

img_7131

Here is the underside of the tower painted and ready to go.

img_7122

I went ahead and wallpapered the inside, because I knew I’d never fit the paper after finishing the tower. The floor will be covered with flooring later.

 

img_7136

I also wanted to hang a light in the third floor hall. This is an old light I had in the Big House, in the attic. I worried that it would be too long for the lower ceilings of this house, but the tower pokes up above the ceiling height of the third floor. Perfect!

img_7123

The tower on, ready to be glued in place. The instructions have you finish the roof first, but I wanted to wire in the light, and I couldn’t put the trim piece on until the wiring was done, but you have to put the trim piece on to support the roof sides. Clear? (Took me a while to figure out the sequence–cut wall, glue tower together, insert floor, support floor, put in light, glue tower to house top, run tape wire to tower, wire light, put on trim, do the roof … whew!)

img_7140

Here, I’ve extended the tape wire to the tower room and wired in the lamp. Then I glued on the trim (a solid piece that goes around the four sides), which I painted first.

img_7144

Let there be light! It works! Yay!!!

img_7137

Here’s another departure. I didn’t want to put on the tower roof, because I want to be able to look down into the room–plus the tiny telescope users will want to tilt their refractor high and look at Orion and the Pleiades and find the Andromeda galaxy (I can never see that thing).

I wanted to use the roof trim, but not the roof top. The problem is, though, that the roof sits down on tabs, and if I didn’t use the roof top, the trim didn’t have a smooth surface to rest on. Rather than try to cut off the tabs, which would be difficult at this point, I used 1/8 square strips to even out the edges.

img_7147

Now to put the roof pieces on the tower, which is exactly like putting the mansard pieces on the house. I have lots of tape and clamps to help out.

img_7148

So, now the tower and its roof are on.

img_7150

I am now in the process of putting on the shingles, again gluing them to very thin cardboard pieces, which will then be glued to the mansard roof.

Next time–trimming!! We’re getting there!

 

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: