Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Advanced cabinet making

Happy New Year! I believe there are many miniature makers all over the world playing with their Christmas presents today, the last day of the holiday season. I got a lovely present from my children, a kit from a collection that I hadn't known much about - frankly, hadn't known anything about. But this is one of the many joys of miniature hobby: you learn so much. The piece they gave me is a top cabinet, that is, a cabinet to place on top of either a chest or a desk.

Now if anyone had told me five years ago that I would venture on a sophisticated project like this, I'd say no way. Yet here I am.

I must say first of all that the instruction is perfect, which is not always the case with kits. The layout sheet to sort the pieces worked very well. So the first thing I did was stain. There seems to be an ongoing controversy whether you should stain first or glue first, and in passing I learned how how tint glue if you want to glue first, but I didn't do it this time. I stained first, which was yesterday since it takes 24 hours to dry.

The most remarkable technique I learned for this project is Pinning Pattern. I was first genuinely puzzled, but finally figured it out, and the person who invented this should have a Nobel Prize in engineering. I suppose this is a technique cabinet makers have been using ever since the first cabinet was made through trial and error. This is so clever! I wish I had known it before. I am sure all miniature makers are familiar with it, but I have never made anything as advanced as this.

I used a coat of varnish on the surfaces after I had assembed the cabinet and the doors. Then I glued in "glass" panels. Glueing on the door handles was quite a job. Not to do in a hurry. Putting in the door hinges was also hard. In the end, your own fingers are better tools than tweezers. At least for me. But all the tiny pre-drilled holes worked fine.

Isn't it a beauty? But now I will have to get a chest or a desk to put it on, and, really, I take back everything I have ever said about how boring it is to make furniture from kit.

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