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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chapter 102 & 103 - Arm rests, Tiling

A kyōsoku for inspiration.
September 19th - 30th 2014

Chapter 101 was done previously when I needed to construct and install lamps.  So now I am at chapters 102 and 103.  These both had parts to the little arm rests - the kyōsoku - that accompany the chairs without legs.  At first I thought they were overkill but checking some materials that came with the kit and looking on line, I guess these little arm rests were used even during the the 20th century.  Some even had little drawers in them so you could have a place to store things - like a bedside table.  Today they make them still but obviously with a more modern tilt. 
The kit had the armrest pieces split between the base and the “cushion” which is basically a piece of wood that would be sanded down and rounded.  I didn’t like the fabric that was included so I pulled out some fabric from my scrap box.  It says that the armrest is usually decorated to not take away from the design of the flat pillows of the seats.  But I couldn’t really find any fabric that I liked.  I had lots of different cushions.  So in the end, I opted for the kimono “fabric” I had made for my doll.  This is actually paper and I hoped that it would be easier to fold and attach to the “cushion”.  In fact, it was.  I then attached the bottom piece to the cushion and clamped it together for a bit.  Once that was dried, I attached the cushion to the base and painted a bit of varnish overall.  I think the final effect is more than sufficient.  I placed some in the music room and the other two in the firepit room.
Arm "cushion" before on left, after sanding on right
Using double sided tape on top and bottom to add the "fabric"
Attaching the "cushion" to its base.
Finished arm rests.
Back to the tiling.  I finished adding tiles to the side of the roof and now started on the center front section.  I used the same method as before, measuring from the bottom and using a 1cm piece to find the straight edge.  Once I finished that, I started on the back center.  Just like before, some of the tiles were either very bowed or a little “off” in not matching up.  I put aside the ones that were really off and left them to be used on the lateral sections.  I had to reglue areas where the bowing caused the tiles to lift up even after holding them for a while.  Those little weights came into use again to set some of the tiles since they were being so stubborn.  While those set, I started looking at the installation of the back left lateral tiling.
Right side tiling completed.

First row of middle section tiling.
Center section completed.

Back tiling section completed. Using the weights to fix the bowed tiles in place.
Even if I had measured the straight edge at the bottom, the tiles, being straight, really didn’t match up with the eave’s edges or with the tile I had installed previously.  So I had to come up with a solution to make them fit a little better.  And that was pretty much lining things up with the eave edge and dealing with the fact that the tiles will not be perfect.  But, that was ok.  I don’t suppose any roof tiles anywhere are prefect.
Adding the right side back tiles.

Thrid row of tiles. Very bowed.
Final tiling to complete the chapter.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chapter 100 - Two External Hanging Lanterns, Finishing for the Underside of the Eaves, More Tiling

September 15 - 18th 2014

I put aside the pieces for the lanterns as I would do them last (since I had the other four to put together at the same time). 

Next was to finish adding the wooden strips to the underside of the eaves.  I checked the instructions and as suspected, the strips get attached even if they are not actually seen from the outside of the eave.  That’s what I like about this kit.  The detail for even things that are not easily (or will never be easily) visible.  So, I cut up some of the strips into the usual 55mm pieces, then cut them into even smaller ones to fit into the angles and edges of the underside.  I did my best to have the angles meet at 90° at the corners but not all matched up.  But it is fine for me.  I then repainted the tips white again and moved on to the tiling.
Measuring out the placement - even for pieces not visible.
Completed underside.
I glued on the next bunch of tiles again trying my best to match up the irregular ones.  I hope this works out later! What’s done is done and I’ll have to figure things out if the tiles end up being so badly off.  But not going to worry now.  I guess sometimes we need to trust the instructions and make a leap of faith.
More tiling.
Inspiration for color and grillwork.
Now I could finally get on with the lanterns.  These are called tsuridōrō and are usually made of bronze.  They hang on the outside of buildings and in temples giving some light to the buildings.  Sort of an ancient idea of a spot light.  I did some research and found a few pics I could use for coloring the lanterns.  But what I liked most was that some of them have intricate grillwork. 
The kit had me just gluing in some intersecting cross in the middle but I found a Japanese circle design which I figured I could glue or tape onto the lantern block.  The block was around 14mm square so after a few test runs on the printer, I settled with the dimensions and then put the strips on double sided tape.  The strips just wrapped around the little lantern block. 
All the lantern pieces.

Cutting out the lantern grillwork and applying double sided tape.
Taping the grillwork onto the lantern base.

I thought they looked good so continued with the construction of the lantern - up next painting. 
Following the pictures of the lanterns I found on the net,  I decided to go with the bronze green.  So I mixed some Bluegrass Green and Venetian Gold Metallic.  This acrylic metallic has some flecks of gold running through it so by mixing it with the green, it showed a little metallic sparkle on the surface.  I thought it was pretty cool.  I painted everything then cut the pieces to size and glued them as per the instructions. 
Green paint with gold flecks.
Adding the top knob for hanging the lamp.
Next I attached the jump rings and chain pieces and then used some eye shadow to age and darken the edges of the lanterns.  I tried using a brush for applying the shadow but it just didn’t work well enough.  So I resorted to using my finger.  I suppose just like applying eye makeup, sometimes fingers are the best option. 
Adding the hanging chain.
Penning in the "grillwork" using a 0.05 pen.
The lanterns obviously won’t be attached until the roof is completed so I packaged them away into a zip-lock bag till then end of the build.  I think they look quite cute.
Finished lanterns.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chapter 99 - Two External Hanging Lanterns, Finishing for the Underside of the Eaves, Adding Shingles

September 8th - 14th 2014

Again I put aside the lantern pieces as I am waiting till I have all of them to paint at the same time.  I thought there were only four but actually there are six so the next chapter I will be making some lanterns finally. 

Next was working again on more eave decorating - cutting up the 10 strips into 55mm pieces to be placed 18mm apart.  As I worked on gluing these pieces on, I realized that it would have been smarter to apply these pieces before putting on the black paper roof covering simply because the underside wood was so thin and flexible, it didn’t allow some of the strips to lie flat against it.  I used little clamps but with the black paper on the other side interfered with trying to flatten out the sticks onto the underside of the eaves.  There was really not much I could do at this point.  So since this would be the back underside of the roof (so far the most obvious gaps were there) I’d just have to be happy with the way it looked. 
The bowing of the underside of the eaves.
I proceeded in attaching all the little strips just as I had done last time.  I then sanded down the lengths that seemed to overlap the lip too much and sanded the rough edges with the tiny file.  Then, again, I painted the tips with a bit of white paint.  The only thing left to do on the underside of the eaves is cut to fit the final strips to the corner pieces.  But that is in another chapter further along.
Next up was back to the tiling.
Adding more strips and painting the tips white.
I tiled only as per the instructions even if the top row didn’t reach the top part of the black paper (as per the instructions).  Since they mentioned there would be extra tiles in the kit later, instead of risking improper coverage, I left the last four tiles to be mounted on the opposite roof side.  I also imagined that there would be fitting of the top edge so, instead of gluing the final row of tiles now, I’d leave this row to be adjusted and fitted in the final stages.  I did have to sand down one of the pieces to straighten out the last row somewhat.  It sanded down easily even if it made quite a bit of dust.  I may have to wear a mask or something as even the kit warns agains inhaling the dust. 
Gluing the rows on the left roof peak.
Just the last few rows will be fitted later.
Last step in this chapter was gluing in the four tile pieces onto the right side peak.  Done and onto the next chapter.
Left side tiles in place.  Starting on the right side tiles.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chapter 98 - Two External Hanging Lanterns, Finishing for the Underside of the Eaves, Adding Shingles

September 4 - 8th 2014

First thing I did was to take out all the little pieces for the hanging lanterns.  I wanted to paint them a green that mimics bronzed green so instead of mixing colors now, I’d decided to wait till I got to the chapter with the other two lanterns then paint them all in one go. 

So, I started on the finishing touches to the underside of the eaves.  First I had to cut the 10 wooden strips into 54mm pieces.  I sanded the outer edges of each one since that would be the edge which shows under the eaves.  I then positioned them as per the instructions starting out from the center and measuring 18mm between each one.  I noticed that the length varied a little so I adapted and cut the strips at 55mm to allow for extra shaping on the ends.  Then I just had to slowly work all around the underside eaves.  Once they were positioned, I sanded down the ones that seemed to overhang too much.  I cleaned them up and painted the tips white.  It seemed strange that this underside eaves were going to remain unpainted so I skipped ahead just to confirm it.  In fact, they would remain unpainted.  So I just white tipped the ones I installed thus far.
Cutting the strips down to 55mm lengths.
Decoration the underside eaves and adding white tips.
Next was the placement of the tiles.  They are supplied in 13cm lengths and they have a tapered shape - slightly thinning down towards the top.  But the first row was to overextend the roof edge by 0,5mm which is really not a lot.  Since the first row is the most important, I had to find a way to give myself a straight edge to work with.  I found a 1cm wooden beam (that is for the back of the house once the lighting is installed) and used that to make a straight edge measuring up from the gutter lip.  I then placed the first two strips and glued them in place.  The next row had to be matched up a bit as each strip is not exactly the same as the others.  The kit does give instructions to sand down where needed but I figured I’d just sort till I found ones that fit rather well between rows.  It was pretty clear that the tile strips are by no means consistent in length, width or height. So probably there will be lots of fitting going on later.  I tried to see the strength of the strips by bending one a bit and it broke in two.  That means I will probably just have to use heat to bend the ones that will go on the sloping areas.  There are instructions for that but right now I just want to start tiling. 
Penciling in some guidelines.  The plastic tile.

Positioning the tiles and gluing in place.
First set of tiles installed.  You can see diffeerences in tiles.

Another milestone in any case today because it's the last chapter in the second giant book I created for the instructions.  Basically, I put all the instructions into book form.  I suppose since I have all the parts lists and the instructions, if someone wanted to build this house using just those to build from scratch, they could in theory do it.  
Starting the final of three books.  Wow....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chapter 97 - Underside of the Eaves Framework, Roof Covering

August 28th - 3rd September 2014

The first thing was to sand down the usual imperfections and then paint the beam pieces and embellishments brown.  I then attached the two remaining long pieces and two short pieces to the front and back. 
Adding the two long decorative woodwork.
Next was adding the remaining wooden covering on the underside.  This took a while since I had to cut each to size, then glue while straightening the external framework.  I sanded some of the peak tips to accommodate where needed.  I also had to refit the space that had developed in the eaves framework as it got bigger (somehow) but that wasn’t the biggest problem.  I had mistakenly cut one of the covering pieces a cm short (distraction! I had a gecko running around in my attic and I was chasing mosquitoes too - they bite me while I work!) so now I had to be extra careful not to ruin the last three pieces of covering.  I ended up having to attach a smaller piece which would float in the middle but still covered the entire underside.  Once that was done, I just had to turn the whole thing over and trim the edges like last time.  So again, I had to wait till glue was dry.
Once I turned it over, I trimmed the edges and then sanded them down a bit to clean them up.  I then did some retouching with the brown paint to cover any gouges.
Finished eaves (gutter) covering.
Next up were some small square pieces (14 total) that needed to be inserted between the lower beam decoration and the underside framework covering.  Each one had to be fit to size.  I also decided to cover each of the underside junctions with masking tape (it looked cleaner) also because I had 1/4” masking tape that would work perfectly.  In an upcoming chapter, the underside will have more beam decorations so it made sense.  I omitted the corners because there were larger beam pieces there that really made the masking tape unnecessary.
Small middle decorations (14 total) and masking tape.
Once that was done, I began attaching the corner beams.  Obviously they did not lay as flat to the corners as I would have liked but that was ok as I could sand down the beams a bit and using clamps get them to lie flat against the wooden covering.  Overall they covered enough.  I then flipped the roof over and touched up more of the external woodwork and painted the tips of the beams white.
Adding the corner beams.
Next was starting on the roof covering which is made of heavy black paper.  First I had four support sections which fit between the front of the roof peaks.  These would serve as a superior edge for glueing the roof covering and tiles. Once fixed, I started to measure and mount the roof covering.  The kit gave me three standard pieces that would be used to cut out all the fitted pieces.  I found that the paper was so rigid that it was easier to make some paper templates which not only would fit the angles better but fit into the curve of the roof peaks and gutters as well.   Not only that, by making one, all I had to do was flip over the template and it would suffice later for the other half of the roof.
Adding the support sections.

Beginning installation of the black paper covering.
Making a template.
Another template section.

Fitting the cut pieces.
The roof covering in fact would be the eventual support for the tiles.  Even so, I wanted the covering to be as closely fitted as possible otherwise I’d have to cover the underlying wooden framework with tiles instead of paper.  This took quite a few days overall.  The templates did shorten the fitting time somewhat but each section needed to fit at various points and, most importantly, the gutter framework.  That meant I had to coax it into the slot in some places.  I also had to cut into the extra inserted piece of wood on the gutter frame to create the slot which would accommodate the covering.  I then sanded that down and repainted it.  
Making the added piece slotted and sanding it down.
After all of that, I made a template for the angles and did those in around an hour in the afternoon (although it was a bit longer - I had an allergy issue and sneezed around 50 times while trying to work - frustrating!).  And with that, this chapter is complete.   I can’t believe I still have 20 more chapters to do.  That’s a lot of tiling....

Corner pieces fitted.

Finished roof covering, beams and eaves framework.