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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Chapter 96 - Completion of the Beam Decorations, The Underside of the Eaves Framework

August 24th - 27th 2014

This chapter had me mounting the wooden details and corner covers for the underside of the eaves where the roof peaks and the eaves meet up.  I decided to mount those first so I painted them and then glued them in place once they were dry.  Two pieces were to be corner mounted on an inside corner so I had to paint the inside which I hadn’t done.  I also found a section of a roof piece on the outside that was only half painted in the buttermilk beige.  I don’t know how I mixed that one piece up with another - no biggie. I just painted the other half and then mounted the wooden decoration over it. 
Corner and lateral decorations.
Next up was more of the eaves framework.  Also here lots of the junctures were a bit short but I looked ahead and the entire framework will be reenforced with more wood underneath.  So I’m not panicking yet.  I cut out a small square to insert between the two ends and complete the straight edge.  Next was attachment of some other kind of framework.  They were trapezoid shaped frames.  It wasn’t very clear how to mount them so I just had to wing it.  The last four pieces that attach to the front part of the roof frame had to be cut to size as there were the corner beams to take into consideration.  I then let everything sit for a little since the next step would require some sanding and shaping and additional gluing.
Space that resulted after completing the eaves framework.
Adding a little piece to fill the space. 
Weird trapezoid piece.
Trimming to fit between the front beams.
Inserting the trapezoid pieces

Finished trapezoid pieces mounted.
First I had to take stock of how off the framework was to the corner protuberances of the peaks.  Some were pretty far off.  So, I will have to adapt and glue and sand to make them match up.  The kit also had me adjusting the corner pieces by shaving them back into a “V” shape - probably to be sure that the corner beams didn’t interfere with the placement of the lower board covering.  But as I tested each one, I decided if they really needed shaving or not as since they were already mounted, there was no realistic way of shaving them down (not with the tools I had).  But as each one presents itself, I’ll just figure out the best way to make the underside covering fit.  In the meantime, I painted the outside framework.
Painted outside eaves framework.
I had to cut each piece of lightweight laminate wood with 45° angles then fit them into each corner resting on the weird trapezoid pieces.  Nearly all the angles had to be worked with since the corner angle pieces were sitting right on the beams and didn’t allow for insertion space.  So, I just used my exacto knives and carved out a space above each corner piece, then was able to slide the super thin wood board covering.  After matching them up and allowing them to dry, I then trimmed them off.  I looked ahead and it seems that each of the junctures will be covered in another corner beam as well as perpendicular wooden embellishments like on the outside porch awnings.  So matching each seam between the covering didn’t seem to be an issue right now.  At least I am hoping....

Cutting the 45°angle on the board insertions.
Adding the board to the underside of the eaves.

Areas to be trimmed after gluing.

Finished front of the underside eaves.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chapter 94 & 95 - Right Side Part of the Roof Base, Attaching the Right Side to the Center Roof Base, Making the Eaves Framework to the Left Side

August 21st - 22nd 2014

I glued together the roof peaks like the previous chapters and waited for the glue to set. 
Then I painted two pieces that would show up on the roof and waited for those to dry.  In the meantime, I read ahead a bit and saw that the construction was the same as the left side but with a slight difference.  The kit had me attaching the pieces that were switched around now to the right side.  Instead, I decided to finish the right side base first then fit the pieces that attach to the central support base.  Just to be sure they would fit correctly.  To do that, I had to combine these two chapters since the pieces were split between them.  I put together the first section and sanded for around 20 minutes to get the slots a little more opened up.  Painted what needed and then slid it into place no problem.  The second section was a little more complicated as the peak piece just doesn’t match up properly at first look.  In fact, I had glued this piece to it’s front wall base and then had to unglue and reglue again.  It’s an odd puzzle fit so I was pretty frustrated then realized what I did wrong.  But no harm, right?

Painting the areas that will be exposed.
Completion of Chapter 94 partial of the right side roof base.
Inserting the external section of the right side roof base.
I started to mount the pieces together but realized they weren’t fitting in at all.  The front section had to fit in with about 2mm overlapping under (like last time) for the attic flooring. But it wasn’t working.  I went back to the left roof base and did some measuring and low and behold, the pieces were not cut correctly.  The slots for the support beams were short by about 5-7mm.  That’s quite a bit! So I double checked my measurements and I was right.  The reason for my odd fitting before was because in fact the slots were not matching up like last time.  My brain probably realized there was something off then.  But now the pieces were together so I had to break out my trusty jeweler’s saw and was able to cut into the side slots.  I then chiseled out the excess wood, sanded it down and fit the pieces into the slots.  I glued them down and left everything to dry for a bit.  I did a bit of calculating and overall, I found three badly manufactured pieces or mistaken pieces (so far).  But two of which are in the final chapters for the roof.  That’s not bad for such a massive kit I must say.  But maybe they were getting sloppy towards the end (hopefully not like me!!)

Marking out the area to be removed.
Carving out the excess wood.
Using my saw to cut the vertical slice and chisel out the rest.

Fitting the inferior beam section into the new slot.

Completed roof base.
Next up were the eaves framework.  The corner pieces needed shaping and fitting. Then there were some long skinny pieces that needed fitting then gluing on the outside edges of the existing house roof frame.  I had to do lots of sanding for the corner pieces and glued the framework on the outside.  It looks pretty cool.  I have no idea how fragile this will be eventually.  Aaargh!  But the frame work is getting damn heavy!!
The corner supports before shaping.

Shaping the corner supports.
Adding the eaves framework.

Finished left side eaves framework.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chapter 93 - Central Part of the Roof Base

August 20th - 21st 2014

This section had the same slots that needed sanding.  So I taped a few together and sanded open as much as I could without spending too much effort on it.  I figured I’d have to keep dry fitting them and preferred that the pieces slot in tightly than having to glue them all together.  Let’s hope that any heat in the upstairs room doesn’t cause things to bow out of shape over the years.
Sanding open the slots.
I had to paint to pieces (I assume front and back center) buttermilk beige and a few pieces brown like the rest of the external decorative beams.  That done, I let the paint set well enough so I could work on the installation without swollen wood.

Next up was to install two support pieces that had special slotted supports that had to match up on the inside.  I pulled out the left hand one and discovered it was not the right piece! But since I knew the next chapter would have me doing the same to the other side, I peeked inside the Chapter 94 blister pack and found the missing piece! They must have reversed the packaging.  Thank god since I had no idea how I was going to fashion the end bit to sustain the the roof beams.  So, I opened 94 and took the piece from there and switched it off the other one.  Problem solved.
Switched pieces.
Glued in place.  This was a major support piece so it had to fit correctly.
I then attached the two central wall pieces and the roof peaks.  I did do a dry fit first to be sure they would slide in fairly easily and the did so glued them up in slotted them in.  The last step was to add some decorative beams to the left roof base under what would eventually become the eaves.  The kit had two more pieces to put together for the next chapter which would be putting together the right roof base - exact opposite to the left.  So pretty much knew what needed to be done.
Adding the decoration
Completed pieces Chapter 93

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chapter 92 - Left Side Part of the Roof Base

August 18th - 19th 2014

Next chapter was more gluing together the precut pieces.  Since it is like a giant puzzle at this point, I had to be very attentive in matching up the correct pieces as per the illustrations.  I couldn’t really imagine how this roof construction was going to be at this point.  So, just time to match up, glue and wait till the glue sets.
Next was also painting areas that were to be exposed once the roof was built...then waiting for that to dry.  The beauty is my computer is right next to my work table so I can navigate and check my mail while waiting for stuff to dry.
Painting sections.
The next part was inserting slotted front pieces together.  This was a total pain.  The slots were very tight so I had to sand them inside quite a bit.  Just when I thought we were done sanding for a while.  I had to do the same on the other side and hammer in the pieces.  I had a scrap piece of plywood and used that as a base with the 1kg weight (that I found a few days ago!) as a counterweight.  That way I could better hammer in the pieces into their respective slots.
Coaxing into the slots.
More hammering and coaxing...
Once done, I just had to install two “floor” panels.  If things progress this way, it looks like I may have a place to even install the batteries for the LED lighting.  But I won’t get ahead of myself. 
Floor panels.
One floor panel needed painting.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Chapter 90b & 91 - The Step Tansu Chest, The Left Part of the Roof Base

 August 17th - 18th 2014

I decided to put together the first part of the tansu chest because this chapter had the second set of pieces and to avoid mixing them up, I just put the first part together.  It was pretty easy.  The pieces fit well together and I took the time to sand those that didn’t.  I also stained the chest and tried to make the sliding cabinet doors work as well which, as usual, was not easy.  But I did have some success.  Once that was done, I could start work on the roof piece.
Part A of the tansu step chest put together.
This piece also went together quickly.  The fit was a bit tight so I used my hammer and coaxed the pieces to fit.  I am watching carefully that the pieces fit as correctly as possible as I have a feeling the roof is going to be one big piece and I need to be sure it all matches up in the end.  There was some painting involved in these pieces.  I guess they may be visible on one side... we shall see.  After finishing this first part of the left roof base, I went back to the tansu chest.

Gluing the two halves together.

Adding a bit of paint to the parts to be exposed.

Finished roof section. Just the beginning.
The remaining steps to the tansu were a little more complicated because again, there were two sliding doors to install.  The kit had me putting them together in sections but without glue so I could paint them.  It just didn’t seem the best method so I decided to paint the pieces I had assembled then put them together with the glue.  I managed to insert the doors and place the other pieces around them gluing everything into place.  I did the necessary sanding to make the tansu look as clean as possible.  Painted it some more then varnished it.  I think it’s very cute and I can’t believe the doors slide! I guess practice makes perfect!
Finished tansu.
And now...another small disaster I had to fix.  The firepit room floor was my pride and joy making a wonderful reflective surface to place different objects on.  When I was working on adding the firepit, I noticed the back of the floor was bowing.  Both sides.  Crap! The heat had caused the floor to bow! I knew I had just put superficial glue there thinking the weight of the wood and the sides of the walls would keep it in place.  I didn’t count on more than one day of +30°C temps outside which meant that probably the temp up in the attic room reached a good 35°C a few times.  I found my kotatsu table bowed first and now the firepit floor.  I don’t turn on the AC unless I’m working in the room so now I know I will need to turn it on when the temps get that high even if I’m not working.  My husband gets pretty upset considering the costs of the electric bill.  Oh well.... 
So anyway, now with the tansu chest which gets installed in the corner of the room, I had to fix the room’s floor.  I managed to rip out the front part of the room and remove the floor.  I then had to “break” it as a point where the varnish was and then reglue the whole thing into the firepit room.  I had rediscovered (after two years of building!!!) that I had an old scale that had cast iron weights so I used the 1kg weight and a 500gr weight to weigh down the floor while I reglued it into place (I’d be using books and such up until now...what a gumby).  So now I just had to wait until the floor was reattached before completing the room. 
Ripping out the floor.

You can see how warped it got.  I bent it at this point as I didn't dare to do it at another one.

Weights! Why didn't I think of them before?!


While waiting, it did give me the chance to better photograph the irori pit with the roasted fish.  I really wanted to get them in detail to show how I ended up using two normal fish from Angie Scarr to make some bbq’d food! I’d eat them.

Detail of the irori.  Angie Scarr fish made into skewers.
When the floor was glued as flat as possible (without ruining the overall look of the floor) I added the tansu and some little objects and replaced the irori and furniture.  I added a small fern plant too.  I still want to make a lamp for this room and am still debating whether or not to put a LED in it.  Will wait and see.
Tansu in situ. I found a half scale teaset and set it there.