Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beacon Hill - OK, we'll do something else.

The plan for today was to assemble the porch base to keep the house from wobbling as I move it around on the worktable. It was a good plan, but for the fact that a couple of pieces are hiding. I know they're here someplace, and as the bajillions of pieces and plastic bags diminish, they will surface.

So, instead, I painted the roof trim and chimney, then assembled the top of the chimney and sanded and stained the front door assembly. I really only dug out the baggie with the front door bits in it to trace around the frame as a guide for the siding I want to put on before the porch is finished. Now that the porch is a project moved down the road, the front door isn't that important, but it will be nice to have it ready when the time comes.

The green of the chimney isn't accurate in this photo. It's a bit darker and more of a sage in real life. The trim has one coat of gesso and one coat of satin-finish Olympic paint. It needs one more coat of paint to achieve the look I want.

The top-of-the-chimney assembly is painted and the front door pieces are stained (Aged Oak by Minwax). They're resting on pieces of dry spaghetti on waxed paper. I'm spending a lot of time sanding. I don't want the grain of the surface wood to show and certainly don't want the edges to look rough. My hands are sore from sanding. Had to stop a couple of times when my fingers seized up.

What saved my fingers from total destruction is this little item, a sanding stick. Click on the picture to make it larger to see the details. I wish I could remember where I got this. I'd like to get more sanding belts. It is a wonderful tool for sanding small pieces, of which the Beacon Hill is generously blessed.

Over the past few days my ideas for painting have gone through a sea change. My initial idea was to use all eight of these colors on the outside, like a San Francisco painted lady. While there are some wildly colorful houses in New Orleans, it's not the house Sophia and the doctor would live in. The outside colors are now Crocodile Tears for the main color and Glazed Pear for the trim. I may use a darker green on the shutters for contrast, but nothing flashy.

I looked at Grazhina's pages on Victorian design and like the idea of stained wood wainscoting in the entrance hall. Above that I'm thinking to paint the wall Siesta and stencil a Georgian Leather pattern border. (By the way, the Crocodile Tears on the color chart is closer to the actual color.) Some of the other colors will be incorporated in other rooms. I like the way the palette works together.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring. :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beacon Hill - Uh-oh

Today I sanded the roof trim and glued it in place. Tonight I put a coat of gesso on it. Although it was sanded, the gesso smooths out the little imperfections and seals up the tiny cracks where pieces join. When I got around to the tower area, the uh-oh in the title hit me. There is a cranny between the base of the tower and the roof that is going to be a real challenge.

I think this is going to be the place for templates.

Beacon Hill Chimney & Roof

Now that the interior wall question is settled, I've turned back to the instruction sheet, which tells me to move on to the roof and chimney assembly. I'm finding out that in my haste to dry-fit and glue the building together, I glued some stuff that should have been left loose. However, reducing the size of some tabs and sanding some tight spots seems to have absolved me of those indiscretions.

The chimney pieces cried out to be covered with something. After I whined about not wanting to add the weight of ceramic bricks nor spend time making egg carton bricks or paperclay stones, Sophia decided it would be okay to pretend the chimney is brick covered with plaster/cement. Some Spackle (polyfilla) and a wet fingertip did the job. It will be painted the same color as the siding and then aged.

While I had the Spackle open, I used it to smooth out the outside ribs. When it is lightly sanded, it will take a nice coat of paint.

I thought ahead a bit and painted the sides of the third floor fireplace black before gluing the chimney pieces. Silly me forgot to paint the back wall, but that can be easily fixed.

I just came inside from sanding the roof trim. The front has moved through and taken with it the rain and the warm temperatures. I know some folks would be pleased with 57F, but it's a bit chilly for a subtropical climate.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Beacon Hill Build Resumes

I don't recall when I last worked on the Beacon Hill. Apparently I didn't photograph the work already done. 

This is what the studio looked like this afternoon. The BH is buried under stuff on the back table. My work table (on the left) is buried with some of Lloyd's building boxes. His table is holding the skeleton of a papier maché sculpture. I spent an hour or so and managed to get surfaces cleared and push Lloyd back into his area.

Once the house was on the worktable, the question of the wall between the foyer/dining area and living room came into play. I've decided that the foyer/entrance will be just that. It's way too small for a dining room for such a fine house. The plan is to make the room to the left a dining room and pretend that the kitchen is in another building behind the main house, an arrangement that would not have been unusual at the time.

The next two photos show the walls the way they are designed. I don't like the way it blocks the view in to the living room.

Here's option No. 1: move the leading part of the wall into the foyer area. This opens up the view into the living room yet keeps the spirit of the wall-jog from the original plan. It adds an inch (one foot) to the living room. The slots in the floor need to be dealt with. Shouldn't be that big a problem. Rugs, maybe.

Option No. 2 takes out the jog and slants the near part of the wall. This really opens up the living room. In an effort to make the moved wall line up with the wall on the floor above, it creates a slanted wall which looks silly, now that I've had a chance to study it. No matter what happens to the wall, I want to move the door into the living room. I'll use the new cut-out to fill in the original doorway.

Option No. 3 occurred to me as I typed the above. Why not just straighten out the wall completely? I slid the staircase into place and realized that if the wall is straightened, it fits precisely.

The living room is now lovely and spacious. So spacious, that I'm thinking maybe to cut the new doorway but leave the original one.

Seen straight on, the new wall placement lines up with the backside of the closet on the floor above. This pleases my need for order.

Next step: Cut out the new doorway and then glue the pieces of the "new" wall together.