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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Intermediate Work : Additional detail to Kitchen Table, The Obi Stand, The Ice Box


My Obi stand
 7 June - 13th June 2012

Still putting off starting the second porch area of the first floor...

I had seen some time ago a really nice Obi stand.  I found one (a set with some other little bamboo embellishments) for $37.00 so, thinking it was excessive (and it is), I made one.  Just with leftovers and some black paint and gloss.  I had the fabric from the room to make a sort of Obi belt to hang on the stand.  An Obi is just basically a very long kimono belt that ties around to the back of the kimono and creates a box like shape.  The stand would be a westerner’s version of a butler - the wooden hanger thingy that lots of men use to hang their jackets for work the next day.  Again, the trick is just figuring out the scale then cutting up a few pieces and glueing them together.  Looks great in the bamboo bedroom.

I had made a little table for the kitchen in the last chapter and it was pretty much a slap dash kind of thing.  Then I saw on a Pininterest page a really nice aluminum topped table.  A few nites ago, we got chinese take-out.  Different from American takeout, here it comes in aluminum tray pans with aluminum backed paper covers.  One portion had a double cover which meant clean and pristine.  So I threw it into my “may need for future construction” box and wouldn’t you know, came across the aluminum table pic.  I glued some of the tray top to the wooden table I had made, then added the fish tray and the wooden plate for sushi display and - WOW! made the difference.  Now that table is special.
Aluminum table top

On my never ending quest for an ice box, I had no luck but I did find a few pics showing two door and one door boxes.  I decided to build my own.
Calculations for the obi stand and ice box

After purchasing some balsa wood and glueing it to the aluminum lined paper tray cover (the inside of the box is lined with some kind of metal as are the doors), I had to paint the pieces. I had seen a really lovely “shabby chic” matchbox side table (again thru Pininterest) and decided to make the ice box the same style.  All it takes is some dark paint, applying some candle wax to the object, then painting it white.  Once the white is dry, sanding away the paint (which doesn’t stick to the wax) makes the object look old.  And since our dollhouse is supposed to be late 50’s early 60’s, I figured our ice box would be much older.
Left over take away tray cover
Just some normal wax will do...

Then embarking on the quest for some hinges.  Since 1/20 or even 1/24 are so hard to find, I was considering going with some kind of fabric hinge until I came across something called an “arc hinge”.  Basically, it is a flat piece of rounded metal (which I can glue onto the doors) and insert into the balsa wood using jewelry wire.  Thank the gods I actually did some jewelry work otherwise I wouldn’t have realized the ease of substituting one thing for another.  I ended up buying some frame hanging brackets when, cut in half, could sub for some decent arc hinges.  But then I had an idea - using aluminum trays.  I cut up an aluminum tray into tiny hinges, rolled one end and trimmed the other.  The tray metal was much easier to work with and pretty resistant.  I then cut the nail heads that came with the brackets and managed after much coaxing to hammer in those as hinge heads.  My hands are just not up to the challenge and again, the cut nail head fell on the floor and was lost for a bit.  I did find it after some searching with a flashlight.  At first I thought the balsa was going to be too weak for this ice box but luckily, having to use jewelry wire to insert the hinges, it was perfect.
Aluminum tray to the rescue
Working on the hinges

Milk box and ice block.

In my travels, I also came across a printable page in Japanese.  With of course a milk box.  Ok, it’s a bit big but I still think it looks super in there.
Oh, and the ice is a piece of gardening plastic blocks bought at Ikea.  They are used to fill up a vase for flower arrangement.  But they look just like ice ! What luck I had bought a box of them many years ago! :-)

Finished Ice box... for now...
Seems to fit right in.

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