Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Pennsylvania Secretary: The Upper Case

Today we cut all the grooves (0.5mm thick) in the two top shelves and in the two bottom shelves. The top will have 6 shaped dividers fitted into the grooves, you can see them laying next to the case. In the top of the photo you can see the shape they need to be on the plan. Hopefully I will have some time over the weekend to cut the dividers to shape.

Here you can see the grooves better, the two big slots in the bottom shelf are for two candle slides and the three thin spaces on the next shelf will be for one drawer on each side with an open space between.

And thank you so much everyone for the lovely compliments on the Tall Clock, having good teachers and learning so many techniques in making power tools work in this scale is so rewarding.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Castine Tall Clock Finished!!!!!

I finally finished the Tall Clock that I made in Carol Hardy's class at IGMA's Guild School last year.

A close-up of the clock face that consist of 3 layers of steel and brass with the hands that Carol provided with the clock.

I decided to try and make it a working clock, it took a lot of effort and thinking but I got it done. I had to cut away the wood and glue the wrist watch movement directly to the back of the face, the wood was too thick to allow the pin for the hands to stick through to the front.

The hood can come off just like the real antiques so that you can work on the movement if necessary, in my case to replace the battery.

I made hinges for the hood door that looks like real tall clock hinges to allow the door to swing open freely and not hit the turned columns on the sides of the door.

Here are the hinges being made, since the door is too thin too handle any nails being pushed into them, I extended the hinge, bend it and sandwiched the top part between the two wood layers of the door.

A close-up of the hinge.

And finally the hinges that I made in Bill Robertson's class, without this class I wouldn't have had a clue about how to make authentic hinges for the clock. And in case you are wondering the hinges are sawn out by hand with a jewelers saw. The one in the bottom is finished, it was dipped in an ageing fluid and then heated with a torch, I plan on framing them as is in a frame, maybe together with the class description. And these are big enough for Castle doors, I thought making big ones would be easier, haha, it took me the whole 12 hours to make these two, the first day I broke more blades than doing any actual sawing!!!!

I learned so much at Castine last year and am so looking forward to learning more this year!!!!


PS: Dorien asked about jewelers saws, if you google images you will find loads of photos of jewelers saws and items that has been made using the saw.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Updates on various projects

I haven't worked on the sewing tables for the last few weeks, I really just needed a break from them after working on them for the last 6 months, but I have just about finished stitching the petit point for it, just 3 more rows of white to go. The stitching is just a tad wider than 1 inch as the opening in the screen is only an inch wide. I found the chart in Raffaella Serena's book Berlin work Samplers and Embroidery of the 19th century, she charted it from an 1850's sampler that is in the V&A museum in London. I stitched the design with Pipers Silk on 75 count silk gauze.

I also started stitching a cover for the Queen Anne stool that I am making at our mini club over Feb and March. This time I am cross stitching on 60 count silk gauze once again with the Pipers silk. What you see here is the design for the four sides of the cushion, the central part will look different, the chart is part of Geometric patterns, an original Victorian chart that was digitized by Roland Designs in Norway.

On the wood work front I worked yesterday with my friends on our Wednesday project. We cut the dovetails on the top, bottom and sides for the top case of the Pennsylvania Secretary, it was the first time that I made dovetails, we used a jig, I am not quite happy with the fact that they are not symmetrical at the sides, but all the jointing will be covered by moldings in any case. I will check out the jig carefully before cutting dovetails for the drawers which will be visible. I also made a groove in the sides in the wrong place, fortunately that part will be completely covered with face boards and molding, I simply don't have time to do it over again. The five shelves has been cut and are ready to receive grooves for various dividers in the top and bottom of the cupboard. The wood is Imbuia salvaged from an old table, lots of this wood was imported from Brazil in the 1950's and 60's and was used widely for all kinds of furniture in South Africa.

I am also busy turning some more stretchers for the Rhode Island easy chairs that I am busy with. Next week I plan on turning the pad feet on the cabriole legs and starting to put them all together.

Wow, I am feeling tired all of a sudden now ;-)

Monday, February 20, 2012

200 Followers Giveaway!!!!

I have just noticed that I have reached 200 followers over the weekend, so I think it is time for a giveaway!!!!!

This is a Chippendale "House Of Miniatures" kit that I put together a few years ago, the petit point is from the Victorian era and was stitched on 58 count silk gauze.

If you would like to own this chair, you need to be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this post. I will draw a winner on the 1st of March. Good luck!!!!!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Some things were just meant to be!!!!!!

I guess we all sometimes need a break from mini's, today was my turn. I saw this piece of petit point in an antique shop on Sunday and when asking if it was sale the shop owner looked at me as if I were a bit crazy and said "You can have it, dear!' I didn't know what I was going to do with it until I stumbled over this tutorial for a tea cup pin cushion this morning. I knew I had an old chipped saucer less cup somewhere, fortunately I had a good idea of where it was and found it quickly. Here I have already sewed the petit point to a circle of batiste.

Next I pinned some lace to it to help hide the chip.

I then cut a circle out of  Styrofoam and glued some cotton batting to the sides and folding it down onto the bottom, the pins are keeping it in place while the glue dries.

In the cup.

The fabric cut to size and gathered in the bottom, with two pieces of batting for the top of the pin cushion.

The smaller circle of batting goes on first and then the bigger one.

With the fabric wrapped around and gathered tight.

Not too shabby for a quick afternoon job and now I have somewhere to put those extra needles while I do my petit point.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Gothic Chippendale chair: The Back Legs

I started work on my next commission, I have to make 14 of these lovely Chippendale chairs, 6 of them will grace my own dining room, 6 will be made from African Blackwood and 8 from Mopane. I find it the easiest to make the back leg assembly first. When you make so many chairs in matching sets, it is wise to use jigs, you can never cut them the same on a scroll saw and sanding hardwood takes forever, so today I will show you how to make the jigs for the back legs.

Of course you first need a pattern, I simply scanned mine from the book, reduced it to 1/12 scale and printed out a few copies. In this photo you can see the bottom of the jigs and how I mark them for future use.

First of all you need to decide how big your wood blank is going to be, in this case mine is 11mm wide by the length of the leg plus 8mm added to the top and bottom, you need to add a bit to help you keep the blank square in the cutting process, the extra bits will be cut of later. I cut a base a bit bigger than the blank size, glued wood strips on 2 edges, I used one of my wood leg blanks to glue in the third piece of wood strip so that everything fits tight. Lastly I glued in my two paper patterns that was cut exactly identical.

Next I cut out the two curves with a scroll saw and then sanded any uneven edges until they were smooth. I always mark the top of my jigs and wood blanks as it is easy to put the leg in wrong and only realize your mistake after cutting.

There is a lot of wood to remove on this leg, so I always put them in the jigs, mark the waste and cut most of it away with the scroll saw before doing the final cutting to shape on the drill press.

On your drill press you need a base with a pin centered right below your cutter, mine is both 1/8" thick, you can see more on how to do pin routing here, scroll down to the first few posts.

The cutting is done by moving the leg from left to right, shaving off little bits at a time until your jig touches the brass pin.

Here you can see one leg rough cut in the jig and a finished one laying on the pattern, well I have 27 more legs to cut, so of to work I go.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Johannesburg Mini Academy

Last year I joined a mini club in Johannesburg called the Mini Academy, we meet once a month on a Saturday and our club concentrate on teaching furniture making with full joinery in 1/12 scale. Our first project for the year is a Queen Anne Stool.

Yesterday we started on it and built the jigs for cutting the cabriole legs and the four sides on the drill press, I only had time to cut two legs in class, so I finished the rest today. In the next class in March we will cut all the tenons and mortises and put it together. The legs still have a lot of sanding work on them and the square pieces that you see on the top and bottom of the legs will be cut off later when the mortises have been cut, they help to keep everything square while cutting.

Four of the club members (I am one of them) that are so lucky to have the free time will be working on most Wednesdays this year to build this wonderful Secretary, I will try and show you our progress each week.

Have a great week

Friday, February 10, 2012

Making the Casters

Since so many of you were interested in how the casters were made, I decided to show you a few photos of the process. The caster wheel consists of  four parts, from left to right they are the wheel, the cup part where the wooden leg fits in, the caster and lastly the axle. The wheel and cup were turned on the lathe from a 1/8" thick brass dowel, the hole in the wheel and the hole in the cup for the leg was drilled while still on the lathe. The axle was cut from 0.020" thick brass wire. The most tricky part to make was the caster part and my husband Greg put a lot of thought into the process.

The caster part was made from 0.078" (2mm) thick brass sheet, Greg marked out all the rectangles for the casters and drilled the holes for the wheel axle and the pin on the cup before sawing out each rectangle.

Next he made two jigs out of steel for the different curves of the caster, here it is in the first jig ready to be filed, a piece of the axle wire is holding it in place.

The bottom curve has been filed.

In the second jig ready to be filed for the next curve.

Out of the second jig, now the back will be filed nice and round around the hole where the pin from the cup fits through.

Now for the really tricky part and it was difficult to take a photo, marking and cutting the slot for the wheel. The slot was made by sawing out the waste with a jewelers saw and then fine tuning with files.

Next Greg put the cup part and the caster together, cutting off the excess on the pin and peening the pin so that the caster won't fall off.

View from the bottom, here you can see the slot for the wheel.

Putting the wheel into the slot and using that massive hammer head in the back to peen the axle so that the wheel will stay put.

Thank you Greg!!!! You have done a beautiful job!!!!!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Building the Bin Drawer

Today I want to show you how I build the bin drawer, I thought it was going to be difficult with all those angles, but once I figured out the angle it was actually quite easy, making the sliding frame for the bin was a whole lot more difficult with all the rebates that I needed to cut and I totally forgot to take photos of that part. I also forgot to take photos of cutting the bin pieces, so I went back and did that, just imagine the wood in the first 2 photos as card-stock (I have already thrown the template away).

To start with I cut a card-stock template of the bin front and used that to set my angle on the slide of my table saw, the blade is tilted to 45 degrees as I am using miter cuts, so that no end grain will be visible on the bin.

Next I used the card-stock to set the stop on my saw so that all the pieces would be the same size, I first cut a few pieces from scrap to make sure the sizes are correct.

Here the first piece is cut (still scrap wood).

Here the wood is flipped over for the second cut, by just flipping the wood after each cut I could cut all the pieces quickly and easily without wasting any wood. The sides are narrower so after all the fronts and backs were cut I just reset the stop for the smaller sides.

I cut a rebate on the bottom of each piece with the drill press for the bottom of the bin. Looking a bit like puzzle pieces.

Now I turned all the pieces with the outside to the top, lined them up carefully and taped all the pieces together.

Checking that it goes together right and it is!!!! 

Next I cut the bottom and made sure it fitted tightly before I put glue on all the mitered edges and taped the last corner together, the bottom helps to keep it square while the glue dries.

The glue is dry and the bin is ready to be fitted into the sliding frame.

It fits beautifully after a bit of final sanding, all the rebates on the frame was cut on the drill press.

Looking down into the bin.

And here the bin drawer is inserted into the sewing table,now for the last piece, the sliding screen in the back. The sewing table has been a real lesson in how to fit many little parts together. I still have 20 hinges to make and a lot of finishing to do, but the end is in sight. I am also starting on my new project next week, Chippendale chairs, so watch this space as I will show how to make all the details.