Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tilt-top Table: Making the Table Top with a Drill Press

I have 6 days left before I start on my trip to the USA, so I am very pressed for time, here are a few photos, once I am back I will do a proper tutorial on how to make the tables.

I mounted the table top blanks on a scrap piece of wood with a hole drilled into the center to fit the pin on my drill press.

Dishing out the center, I start in the center and work outwards until the circle is as big as I want.

Cutting the table top free after the inside edge was rounded with a ball cutter.

I use grinding stones with sandpaper stuck to the bottom to sand the table tops by hand, there is quite a few marks left from the cutters that needs removing and the round shapes of the stones are perfect for fitting into the round edge.

The back of the table with the braces glued on, the braces have two holes drilled right through for tiny screws that holds the table top to the birdcage. My hubby made the spring loaded catch that locks the top into place for serving tea. The birdcage can turn 360 degrees around the table post.

View from the front, the table still needs oiling to finish it.

With one of the chairs that also still needs a few finishing touches.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Making Bird Cages....of a different kind

I started making the bird cages for the tilt and turn tables. The Mopane wood one is glued together and one can easily see why they called them bird cages back in the 18th century. The bird cage is made up of a bottom with a hole drilled right through to enable it to turn, 4 tiny spindles and a top with an inverted ball shaped hole. The table tops that I will make this week will rest on top of the cage and tilt forward.

I use a duplicator when I have to turn so many parts that needs to look the same, on the left you can see the brass template with the follower touching it. The follower guides the cutter, with things this small you have to prepare twice the amount of wood you need as they sometimes just suddenly snap off with the grain.

With two of the chairs to show the size of the table.

Have a great week

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I won my first give-away!!!

Two weeks ago I discovered to my delight that I have won a give-away for the first time. Jennifer from A Georgian Dolls House offered this lovely coal scuttle kit as a give-away on her blog, it fits perfectly in my Victorian kitchen.

She even included some pieces of real coal, as soon as I come back from the USA, I will finish and paint the coal scuttle, it has a scoop that fits into the back of the scuttle, I like little details like this.

I wonder when the dog is going to see the mice? And because I know some of you are going to wonder, I made all the furniture, including the stove more than 10 years ago, they were some of my first miniature projects.

Go and have a look at Jennifer's website she sells lovely fireplace kits, marble and wood floor tiles, etc.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Tips on how to get your post to look like YOU want it.

Well, I see there are quite a few people struggling with getting their post to look like they want it and not how Blogger does it automatically. A few months ago my oldest daughter showed me a simple trick while I was getting very FRUSTRATED with blogger. She just highlighted my whole draft, clicked on the "remove formatting" icon, the big T with the red cross, second last on the right. I decided to play a bit and see what I can do, so let the fun begin. Oh, I never click on that icon, so I am not sure if Blogger automatically saved a setting or not and I always click on preview which opens in a new tab and you can see how your post is going to look, you can then go back and change whatever you are not happy with.

 I decided that the bin drawer on my sewing table needs a silk lining.

Ha, I just had to highlight my cursor and click that button because it wanted to start the text right in the middle under the photo. To get line breaks between paragraphs I just use the enter button om my keyboard

like I did right here.


This time the cursor went to the left next to the photo, I just use the enter button to get the cursor below the photo, as I don't like the few drawn out words next to the photo when you use a large photo.

         To start a sentence like this one away from the left, I just use the space bar.

And finally, a photo and wording where I normally put them, all on the left, having used the enter button on the keyboard to get the wording under the photo.

The lining was just a sample to figure out size, I will use one of these two-toned ribbons for my lining.

Have fun playing with your posting!

Friday, May 11, 2012

American Tilt and Turn Table

I have started to put the legs into the turned table post, I am using a dovetailed mortise and tenon for the joinery. You have to cut the dovetail into the post sideways with an inverted cone burr, if you come from the top you will just end up with a straight channel. But the Proxxon can't cut that in hardwood in one go, so I first cut a channel in the normal way little bits at a time with a slightly narrower cutter.

The leg is shaped at the ankle and it is hard to cut these very hard woods with a knife, so once again I made a jig to shape the leg, in the jig is one that still needs to be cut, next to it is a leg that has been cut. On the third leg the hard edges has been rounded with sandpaper wrapped around a dowel. And a fourth leg has been glued in to the table post. After I have cut the 3 grooves as explained above, I file the area where the leg is going to touch the turned post flat, only then do I cut the dovetail in the post with the burr. The dovetail on the leg starts of as a normal tenon cut too big and then hand filed to get the right angle to fit into the dovetail on the post. The slot that you see on the top of the post is for a key made of a flat piece of wood that will fit in the slot and prevent the bird cage from falling of when you turn the table-top, it works like a modern day lazy Susan.

And here is a finished African Blackwood table post with a chair that is finally glued together, the chair still needs arm rests.

Have a wonderful weekend

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lots of progress and some news

First off all I want to apologize for being so quiet on all your blogs, since 23 April my phone line has been crossed with someone else's and my number is not working at all including internet access. At the moment I am reliant on the bit of mobile data available to me which is rather expensive in SA, so I am really just using it for e-mails etc, but today I just decided I have to do a post. I have made so many phone calls to the two companies involved (I can phone, from the person that I am crossed with number, most of the fault reporting numbers are fortunately toll free) that I am really sick and tired of the whole thing, apparently the turn around time in fixing faults are 7 working days and we had two public holidays over the last two weeks as well, so I just hope that it will all be fixed early next week. Well, enough of that, now on to miniatures.

I am busy making the knee brackets for the wing chairs, the chair on the right already has them in place.

The Chippendale chairs still need the front stretcher, the chair on the left has it's side stretchers in place but not glued, I need to take the measurement for the front stretcher directly off the chair, so the rubber band is just there to hold everything together for now.

I have started work on my last commission for now, a tilt and turn table. The central posts have been turned and I am busy with the three legs for each table, as you can see I am using jigs and pin-routing to make the little legs, you can see the original table that I am copying here.

I only have 4 weeks left to finish all my current commissions, today in exactly 4 weeks I will arrive in Amsterdam for 3 days of fun before I go on to the USA to attend Guild School at Castine. On Sunday 3 June I will go to the 1zu12 fair in Rheda, Germany with my friend and host Elly, I am really looking forward to it, as it will be my first international fair ever. And on Monday Elly will take me to visit Josje and see all her wonderful miniatures. Now don't you think I am in for a real treat?!?! And from Amsterdam I am going to New York where I will meet up with one of  IGMA's scholarship students, Mavis from New Zealand that I met on the Yahoo Petitpoimter group for 3 days of fun exploring NY before we go to Castine, so much to look forward too :-)

Have a wonderful weekend

Update: Good news, my phone line has just been fixed, now I have a lot of catching up to do on reading all your blog posts of the last 2 weeks.