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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Intermediate Work : The Outside Storage Area, Pergola, Work Table, Fence and Gate - Part 1


Pergola pieces from the DHE kit.
June 10th - July 1st 2014

Ages ago, I purchased a pergola kit from DHE since my idea was to use this for the area outside the kitchen.  I figured this would be a storage and work space as per usual outside kitchens areas.  The plan was to fully stock it with stuff and even make it quite messy (you know, those spaces that Health Services always search first) and used.  So I pulled out the pergola which is really for 1/12 scale and had a good look at it.  I could still use it but it needed to be cut down to size.  It won’t be flush up against the house since it has the top beams which are the traditional gate shape but still, there was quite a bit of cutting to do before we started any installation.  I shortened the length-wise beam, the height of the vertical beams and removed the points from most of the cross beams.  Then I painted the pergola a reddish brown.  I assembled the pieces and let the glue dry for quite a while since I wanted to age the pergola and wanted to be sure it wasn’t going to fall about during that phase.
Once it was glued and dry, I added some of my wood aging concoction: basically a piece of copper sponge dissolved in a mix of water and vinegar.  It creates an acid wash over the entire surface giving it a weathered look.  I left it overnight and the next day the finish looked pretty good.  Water stained and streaky.  My next step was to add some bird poo.  I liked the idea that some birds would have made their nests inside the pergola so I went back to the bird poo explanation from Pat and Noel’s blog.  They have to be the masters of miniature and Pat is nice enough to actually include tips and tricks.  I invite you to read thru Bird Poo 101 and the other postings for info and inspiration.  
Leveling out the shortened beams.
Painting the beams a rusty red.
Aging the beams with the vinegar wash.
Adding the bird poo and sanding areas for aged look.
The next phase was fencing in the pergola and creating an interior storage space.
I started by cutting a cheap sushi mat (it has thicker bamboo posts than a placemat) which took a while since I need to cut each piece twice as the bamboo is quite thick.  Once that was cut, I put it aside as I imagined that would be the last part to be installed.

Cutting the sushi mat down.
Next I started work on the “outdoor” kitchen space.  Basically, I just wanted a combo shelving unit outside where the hibachi could be set up and perhaps some cooking tools hung.  I cut up some pieces from balsa wood (following a little kitchen picture I had found on Pinterest for inspiration):
Inspiration for the kitchen area outside
...and constructed a sort of shelving unit and table.  I added a border to the table edge then painted it muddy brown.  I found part of an old railroad rail from my son’s train project and used that to add a bar to hang utensils from.  I then started on adding some objects.  First was a ceramic tile for sitting the hibachi on.  I used the liquid enamel and then dirtied it up.  That is where bits of charcoal will fall without burning the table.  
Making the outdoor kitchen from scraps.
More scraps and liquid enamel for the hibachi base.
Where the mini kitchen cabinet will be inserted between two pergola beams.
There are lots of pics in this addition so I’m splitting the work into two blog entries.  To be continued...