Saturday, 9 January 2016

This and that

I have been working hard all day, but have very little to show. That's because I have been doing small trimmings that an untrained eye wouldn't even notice. For instance, this:

I don't know about other people, but my floors never fit perfectly, because they are handmade, and handmade things aren't perfect. Some defects can be hidden behind mouldings; here, for instance, a gap is covered by skirting boards. But around the threshold it still needs to be trimmed, and I have now done it with several doors. Please say that this looks better:


I know it does. Bit it takes quite a lot of time, cutting, fitting, staining, gluing, sanding, varnishing. Just a tiny strip of wood. There are zillions of such tiny details all over the house, and I have now spent hours dealing with them. Also adding more mouldings where necessary, and filling and then painting tiny gaps, and painting moulding edges that I had forgotten to paint before I attached them. Boring things and really nothing to show.

As a reward, I have started making some Chippendale miniatures from my most recent bargain.  They are great fun to make, and if you haven't seen my previous pieces, I have collected them in two posts, here and here

I started with a bench because I had never made a bench, and it was relatively easy apart from endless sanding. I wasn't sure what kind of fabric to use because I don't know yet which room the bench will be in, but I can change it later.

Right now the bench is in the music room, and the fabric is the same as the curtain. I am going to replace all chairs in this room, and I can use the same fabric.

Then I made a side table, which was also straightforward. It goes well with the dinner table. But of course I have two problems now. There is no space for it in the dining room. And the old side table suddenly feels crude. So it is possible that the old side table will have to go. I am not particularly attached to it. I bought it cheap at Maple Street. There is nothing wrong with it, and it would look good in another room, but a Hepplewhite dining table demands a Hepplewhite side table.


I guess this happens in 1:1 scale too - once you've started buying period furniture everything else feels wrong.

Finally, I have started making chairs. I now have kits for seven pairs of chairs, almost all of different models. I am going to have new chairs in the dining room, to go with the table. Chairs are a challenge to make because it is precision job more than any other.

Most of my old chairs have sides cut from a single piece of plywood. In any case, they aren't as elegant as Chippendale chairs, which you can clearly see if you put them beside:


The chair on the left is from the very first pair I bought on ebay three weeks into my miniature hobby. I replaced the original fabric. I don't remember where the chair on the right comes from, but until today I liked it. Interestingly, the Chippendale chair is slightly smaller. 

I have two more of the same lyre-back chairs so there will be four of these around the table and two or four of a different model. The dining room will look great with a proper set of chairs. Come back soon.

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