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Victorianna porch trim

At long last, the Victorianna’s porch is becoming real. (To see how we got to this point, check out my posts about the porch modifications, porch progress, and bay window exteriors.)

I modified the porch to have a flat roof rather than a slanted one. In theory, this would have slipped neatly into a slot I left in the siding, with the crown molding at the tops of the bay windows providing support. Unfortunately, the bay window on the right is slightly too tall, which forces the porch out of the slot. This means the porch will mainly be held in place by the crown molding and posts it rests on.

I wanted to have the porch posts evenly spaced, but the off-center front door threw a wrench in that plan. Instead I decided to do a post in the center (where the two Victorianna kits bashed together meet), plus another one as far to the right of the door as the center post is to the left of it. The railing I’m using is a 1:12 spandrel that comes in a 10″ length, so it’s long enough for the ~7″ span between the left corner and center posts. (Many half scale railings I looked at only come in 5″ lengths.)

Some of the trim I’m using (like the spandrel railing) is from Victorian Dollhouse Wood Works on eBay and some is from Heritage Laserworks. I bought tons of trim for a frilly porch that looked great in my head, but some of those ideas didn’t look as great in practice.

For example: my initial idea was to do grillwork between the posts with brackets underneath, and a fancy arch at the doorway. It looked neat on the table.

On the house, though, I didn’t like how the grillwork got in the way of the bay window embellishments I recently added. Also, part of why I picked out the arch trim was because it was exactly the same height as the running trim + bracket on the opposite side of the post, but it would have made the space around the doorway much too wide.

So I simplified it, removing the grill and planning to use the same brackets on all of the porch posts.

The porch posts are 1/4″ square basswood. I cut half scale baseboard, mitering the corners, to go around the base of each post. (The look is similar to the newel post inside the house, except that’s made with 1:12 baseboard.)

Even with mitered corners, the pieces didn’t fit together perfectly. I filled in the cracks with wood filler and then put masking tape around the white part and carefully touched up the red paint.

Here’s what I’m working toward. Besides giving the posts more surface area to sit on, the bases also give the bottom of the railing something to rest on, which will make the railing easier to glue in place.

Since the porch is a little lopsided (sorry in advance, miniature building inspector), each of the posts is a slightly different height. I numbered them so I knew which went where.

When it came time to glue, I first spread glue on the edge of the porch that (sort of) goes into the slot, and also on the top of the crown molding. The bottom of the balcony door helps wedge the porch in place. The first post I glued was the center one, with paint tubs on top of the porch to weight it down.

I used one of the brackets I’d bought and ended up not using to try to keep the posts at right angles. These are laser cut, and the charred edges were smudging on the white paint, so I covered them with masking tape.

Next I glued in the corner posts. To make sure the posts were in line with each other, I positioned these so the edges of the bases are flush with the edges of the porch. I did a lot of measuring to make sure the spaces between posts were equal at the bottom and at the top, but even so I don’t think they’re perfectly straight. Again, my apologies to the building inspector!

While the glue dried, I added some brackets and corbels. Because the porch doesn’t fit into the slot in the siding, there’s a visible gap at the top of the siding.

I covered this up with quarter round painted the same color as the house.

Added some more brackets and corbels. I love how they look at the corner!

Next I glued in the post to the right of the door. I didn’t glue the ones at the back corners yet, for reasons that will soon be apparent. (The one in this photo is just for fun, no glue yet.)

The next step was to add 1:12 crown molding around the edges of the upstairs porch.

Before I could glue in the two back posts, I had to do something with the exposed edges of the front wall. Normally I’d use corner trim here, but the porch got in the way of that. Instead I used basswood strips to create what looks like corner trim — one long piece runs down the side, and on the front there’s one piece above the porch and another below it.

Then I added one more little piece of crown molding at the back corner.

Finally, I was able to add the back corner posts. I hadn’t anticipated how close together the brackets would be on the ends of the porch. As much as I like the brackets everywhere else, the ones at the ends look funny to me.

This is my stopping point for now — I have to paint another railing piece for the other side and mull over those brackets a bit. Waffler that I am, I just might pull them off and replace them with something else…

3 Comments

  1. The porch looks great. I think the end brackets are fine as is.

    Love,
    Dad

  2. I like how the brackets look on the end. Victorians always have that over the top detail that almost seems like too much but is usually perfect for the style. The whole porch is gorgeous.

    You’re not the only one with uneven issues. I’ve had to number quite a few things to make sure I don’t use the wrong length of trim.

  3. What if you reverse those side brackets, so the corners are in the center? So it forms a half circle?

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