The Den of Slack

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Victorianna – rough chimney and skylights

Gorgeous weather today, and Rosy was very happy to lie in the dirt while I worked on the Victorianna.

Having assembled the towers, I moved on to the small peaked roof. Normally the Victorianna’s top floor has two triangular sections, with the roof dipping down to floor level in between them.

I added a piece to fill in the valley between the two peaks, so my Victorianna’s roof slopes slightly and then flattens out. It’s barely a 4-inch (8-foot) ceiling height, but it makes the room more usable.

So I needed to create both the small sloped part of the roof and the flat part. The sloped part descends about 3″. I had a 3″ piece of basswood that I cut to the right width.

This needed to be notched to make room for the chimney.

I haven’t made the flat part yet, but here’s an idea of the roofline.

The notch was easy to cut out with a utility knife.

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Victorianna exterior progress

I’ve been working on the Victorianna’s upstairs bay windows exteriors so I can finish the upstairs porch. This is the same process I did with the downstairs bays, and I finished those in one weekend, but work on the upstairs bays has been dragging out for months. Maybe it’s not as exciting now that I’ve already figured out how to do it.

The second floor is shorter than the first floor, so I don’t have as much space under the window. The embellishments I used downstairs (which are 1:12 corner blocks) barely fit. I shaved the backs off these, so the thicknesses are inconsistent. I didn’t think I could get away with using just the corner block with no trim above it.

This is some trim I bought to for the porch and didn’t end up using. The segments are exactly the right width for the space under the window and the height is slightly shorter than the corner blocks.

I glued on a piece of strip wood to give the trim it a back, and painted it with my Tuscan Beige trim color.

This leaves a little space at the top to add a trim piece. It’s a tad too deep and sticks out slightly, but it won’t once the window casing is added.

In the photo above you can see how much the tabs stuck out over the window. The crown that will go at the top of the bay window pieces will be directly on top of the tabs and they were sticking out enough to interfere with gluing. I used the mouse sander to sand them down.

Here’s a mock-up of the pieces. I orignally planned to put the crown lower, so it ran under the roof eaves, but that wouldn’t have left enough space above the window for casing.

I cut the top/center pieces to size, then removed them to paint. The unpainted quarter round is already glued in here. The downstairs windows needed at least three rounds of touch-up paint, so I figured I could just paint that piece in place.

Fast forward a week or two. Slowly making progress…

By this point I was so bored with these windows that I was putting off working on the house at all, so I moved on to a different but related task: completing assembly of the towers. I started by staining the roof pieces. These will get shingled; the stain is just in case any wood shows through between shingles.

While the stain dried, I prepared the tower wall pieces. (I didn’t take any “before” pictures of the tower so these are out of order. Pretend they’re not painted yet!) The Victorianna’s 8-sided tower has two sides cut away so you can peek inside. (Here’s an example of a finished tower.)

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Half scale windchime tutorial

Another year, another swap with the Half Scale Yahoo Group. This year’s theme was “On the Porch” and I made windchimes.

The swap had nearly 40 participants this year and I made the windchimes in an assembly line over Christmas while watching the Double Fine Adventure documentary. My eyes were crossing by the end!

If you want to make your own half scale windchimes, here’s a tutorial. Of course, you can do this project in 1:12 scale simply by increasing the scale of the materials.

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