Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Building on the Cape Dutch House has begun

I have started to build on the Cape Dutch house over the last two weeks or so, I started with the back wall of the entrance hall. Before I go any further, I should say here that when hubby and I carried in the base for the house, I realized that I would have to build the house in two halves, otherwise it would never be able to come out of our house again as it would be too wide to fit through the door, with a bit of thinking I figured out how to do that and you will see the details of that as the build unfolds.

Here is a scan of the real wall with it's beautiful screen door.

And the beginning of my wall, these houses had very thick walls and I didn't want to lose it in the miniature house, so I decided to use plywood with pine strips for the walls.

The walls are a bit thinner in the attic part of the house, so on the one face of the wall I only took it up to ceiling height.

The first wall almost completed, the small cutouts that you see in the top of the wall is where the ceiling beams will slot in after painting the room. The side walls will slot onto the pine that isn't covered by plywood. That door opening is big enough for a real cat to fit through, mine already went through it, I will have to watch him.

When you look at the door and window opening thicknesses in this real house, you can see why I want to keep that in the miniature build, it adds so much character and charm to the house.

This is the scale drawing for the screen door and it's molding.

Making such a big molding on a small drill press are no joke, it took me days to slowly cut away the excess wood in thin little layers.

The shape is emerging nicely.

The finished molding.

I also made the door panels last week, I wanted to be sure that I would get the curved top right before I made the door stiles. I am using Rhodesian Teak for all the woodwork in the house, Burmese Teak was used in some of the real houses of the time but the wood is scarce and very expensive and I just happened to have quite a bit of the Rhodesian Teak on hand, we bought it about ten years ago to make a book rack with it but that never happened.

I am still busy doing research as to how the houses were decorated in the late 1700's, the real house was built in the early 1700's, but underwent quite a few changes by the end of the century, by that time the British were in control of the Cape, I found a nice book with letters and extracts from a journal that were written by the wife of the secretary to the Governor of the Cape, she mentions quite a bit of the domestic arrangements of the time. The book starts off with a bit of her history, I found it very interesting, she was about 47 when she arrived here with her much younger husband (15 years in fact), she came of a good Scottish family, knew the Prince Regent personally as well as Sir Walter Scott, a famous English writer of the time.



Helma said...

What a beautiful work, Elga !!!!


Catherine said...

It is looking great Elga. I love how you are trying to stay as close to the real house as you possibly can. I love the routing you are doing for the doors. It is going to be great fun to watch the building stages.

elly in amsterdam said...

Breathtaking, Elga ! Hope to check in again to see it develop. You have such great skills and patience!


Jackshouse said...

A good start. Excellent work with the wood! Will the heavy house because they used plywood?

Ilona said...

What a great start of the New Year, Elga :D!
I wish your family and you good health, love, much creativity and joy for 2014!
Groete, Ilona

Isabel Ruiz Alonso said...

Que tengas un feliz año 2014.

Dorien Litjes said...

Dear Elga,
What a great project! I don't know what is the most exciting. Try to imagine how life was during that area or building the house.
I love both but it's a lot of work.
Hugs Dorien

Elizabeth S said...

Hello Elga and Happy 2014! What a Fantastic way to begin the New Year and what wonderful Woodwork you do! Never in my wildest dreams would I be able to have the degree of Perfection that you have been able to achieve! This is going to be one Spectacular Doll's house! :D


miraclechicken said...

Nice work! A really exciting inspiring project!

Margaret said...

I am amazed at your workmanship, the house is destined for great things. I really enjoy seeing your progress.

Caseymini said...

The house is already beautiful and you have barely started! I will be watching every step of your journey. It is indeed a happy start to the new year.

Sanschichis said...

Très bonne année 2014!
What a beautiful work! I enjoy seeing your progress.

otterine said...

Oh, wow!!! Such beautiful work as always!!! :D Happy New Year!

Steinworks said...

thank you for sharing your research and your wood working talent Im very impressed and can't wait to see how this house turns out.

Marisa :)

BLANCHE said...

Wow! È davvero un progetto grandioso! Sarà bello seguirti, ma per quanto mi riguarda, potrò solo inchinarmi davanti alla tua bravura. Buon anno e buon lavoro! :-)

Debora said...

you go at it thoroughly, love it already! Your house, it's history and inhabitants, and your build of the scale model will make a great sequence of posts to follow. I look forward to read and see all about your progress. Great start of 2014 :D