The Den of Slack

Half scale at Auntie Em’s Miniatures in Glendale, AZ

Last week Geoff and I took a trip to Arizona. We spent a couple days in Sedona and also visited the Grand Canyon — which is, as you can see below, very big.

On our way back to the airport, I sweet-talked him into taking me to Auntie Em’s Miniatures in Glendale. We got there at 2:15 and needed to leave at 3:30. Plenty of time, right?

I could have spent ALL DAY in this store.

Walking around looking at the houses on display, I noticed a few half scale.

This one is a Bauder-Pine shotgun house. There were plans for this house in the May 1995 Nutshell News. This one was built in a class.

If I hadn’t been about to get on an airplane, it would have come home with me.

And a couple of half scale shells. I don’t recognize either of these.

It was now 2:30 and I was worried about running out of time so I asked if they had a half scale section. The owner led me to this case. The top two shelves and left half of the bottom shelf were all half scale.

There was a good variety ranging from Bespaq to handmade stuff. A lot of kitchen accessories and food, some resin pieces, several of the raw wood Shenandoah Shaker furniture pieces.

There was also a rack of half scale components and accessories.

Most of the furniture was inside its own little plastic box, stuck down with putty, which was perfect for stuffing into my suitcase because I didn’t have to worry about it getting crushed.

I’ll show what I bought farther down in the post. But here’s one piece I didn’t buy.

I liked this southwestern table, but it was $40 and seemed like it wouldn’t be hard to make. I used that tile as the floor in my Orchid kitchen a million years ago and think I have some left.

These 1:12 porches also caught my eye.

I have one of these (not finished yet) in half scale. I’m not really sure what to do with mine — which might have something to do with why it’s unfinished — so I enjoyed seeing two different takes.

And one more shot of some of the vintage dollhouses on display. There was plenty of 1:12 stuff there too, and half of the store is devoted to vintage toys and pedal cars, but I just didn’t have time to see it all. (It’s not a huge store, but there’s a lot crammed in!)

So here’s what I bought. These William Clinger chairs were $35 and $40. I’ve always loved the William Clinger chairs but didn’t want to pay the (usually much higher than this) prices on eBay. Well, now I have a couple!

Continue reading

Bashed Cassidy Creations upper cabinets (part 2)

When I left off with the uppers, I’d built the main part of the cabinet and was ready to add a row of smaller cabinets above.

I assembled the “glass” doors so I could use them to determine how big to make the cabinets. I put these together with super glue, which more or less worked, but then I had to sand them a bit and some of those joints came apart and needed to be re-glued. Looks crunchy here, but nothing that can’t be touched up.

I added a piece to the left side of the cabinet because that side was a bit bowed, and I thought it would help. Also, the right side was thicker than the left side — the right side is made from a piece of the original Cassidy Creations cabinet and I didn’t have any scrap wood the same depth — so the double-wide left side will now be closer to that.

In the lower part of the cabinet, the shelves prevent the doors from swinging inward. The upper cabinets have no shelf, so I need to add something to the inside to force the doors to sit flat.

I found some thin 1/2″ strip wood in my stash.

The inside of the cabinet is 9/16″ deep (5/8″ minus the 1/16″ back), so the 1/2″ piece of wood is exactly the right size to hold make the 1/16″ thick door sit flush in the cabinet.

(Actually, that’s not completely true, as you might be able to tell in the picture. I was scrounging scraps out of the kits I was bashing, and used a slightly thicker piece of wood on the left than on the right, so the strip wood leaves a little less of a gap on the left side. When I build these for the other side of the stove, I’ll make sure the backs are the same depth.)

Oops, but there’s a problem! In spite of using the doors as spacers, I made the cabinets slightly too tall.

More strip wood to the rescue. These pieces are flush with the front, to fill in that gap.

Then I added another piece that goes all the way to the back, to keep the door from swinging inward. I added a piece to the bottom of each cabinet as well.

Now the doors are flush and the gap is filled in. I’ll have to repeat this on the other cabinet, so they match.

In the inspiration photo, I like how the glass cabinets have mullions.

I found some very thin trim in my stash. Before doing this, I didn’t double check to make sure I had enough for the second cabinet — dangerous! — but later I found another piece set it aside. Hopefully I won’t lose track of it before I need it.

Here’s how it’s looking (with some sanding to the front where that vertical crosspiece stuck out slightly).

Continue reading

Bashed Cassidy Creations upper cabinets (part 1)

Just as my idea to bash a changing table into kitchen base cabinets came from staring at the nursery furniture on the Mansard Victorian’s second floor, I got an idea for the uppers when I was staring at the bedroom.

As a reminder, here’s how the cabinets look so far.

I made these out of the bottom portion of Cassidy Creations kitchen cupboard kits, bashed together with parts of a changing table. Here’s what the kitchen cupboard looks like if you build it like you’re supposed to. (This picture is not my cabinet, but one that sold recently on eBay.)

And here’s my inspiration photo.

I like the tall cabinet on the left. Geoff and I are redoing our kitchen right now (mostly him!), and we’re going to have tall cabinets like that in our pantry area. Here’s an early render from the kitchen designer we’re working with.

The inspiration photo and my own kitchen remodel were both on my mind as I thought about how to tackle the Mansard Victorian’s uppers. I can use the upper portion of the Cassidy Creations kitchen cupboard over the larger base cabinets, but I need something else to go at the ends, over the portions made from the changing table parts.

And I just kept staring at this wardrobe…


Is this crazy? We’re about to find out!

This wardrobe is an assembled Cassidy Creations kit I got in a furniture lot on eBay. I have another of these made by Pam Junk and painted by Cheryl Hollis, and yet another that I built myself for the Queen Anne Rowhouse. So I had no qualms about pulling the unbuilt one out of my stash to pilfer it for parts.

Here are the pieces I had to work with.

I used one of the wardrobe’s 3/4″ wide side pieces to create the back of the cabinet, and created two new side pieces by cutting 3/4″ strip wood down to 5/8″ (the same depth as the upper part of the kitchen cupboard kit). I cut the wardrobe’s top piece (which has pre-drilled holes for the doors) in half to create a top and bottom.

Inside the cabinet, I used the two small shelves that came with the wardrobe kit, and half of the wide shelf. Since I had reduced the side pieces from 3/4″ to 5/8″, also had to cut 1/8″ off the back of each shelf.

Continue reading

« Older posts

© 2023 The Den of Slack

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑