Monday, 11 May 2015

Indispensable tool

I don't know why I was so resistant to mitre shears. Six years ago when I was making my very first parquet floor and swearing over cutting lolly sticks with scissors, a clever Facebook friend told me to get mitre shears. I guess at the time I was pretty sure it was a one-off enterprise, but of course I have made many floors since then, all the time using scissors and swearing, and I have also made picture frames and other things where mitre is essential. I do have a mitre box - one of the first tools I bought when I started miniature-making. But you cannot use a mitre box and saw for tiny parquet pieces.

Now the time has come to make some fancy floors for the dining room and the grand reception room, and I have found fancy floor patterns, which all require 45 degree cuts. Therefore I have finally got mitre shears. They come in various shapes and a huge price range. I bought the simplest and cheapest, after reading customer reviews on amazon very, very carefully.


When I shared my joy on Facebook most people said, yes, of course, have had it for years. Some said, yes, must get too. And some asked: What is it and what do you use it for? For the benefits of the latter, I will explain. Now that I have this tool, I cannot imagine being without it. A true revolution in miniature-making, as important as inventing the wheel.

So: I am going to make a fancy floor. Like this:


Looks easy? Anyone can do it? Go ahead and try!

I am using coffee stirrers, plain and oak-stained. For each aquare, I need sixteen mitred strips and one tiny central square. The strips must be cut at 45 degress and they must all be the right length. Then I build the square. It takes about 30 minutes. I will need forty-two squares.

When I finished the first row I sanded it fiercely and then tested in the room.

Right now it looks dull, but I will varnish it.

Two days later:

I cannot work on this for more than a couple of hours at a time because my eyes get tired, and my bad shoulder starts complaining. And although in a way peaceful, it is, frankly, quite boring after a while, so I must alternate it with something else.

I love my mitre shears. I may want to replace all my old floors. But not until I finish this one. Come back soon.

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