The Sculpture & Ceramics forum

Miniature 1:12 scale models => Miniature rooms => Topic started by: \\-olff on July 10, 2014, 08:44:11 PM

Title: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on July 10, 2014, 08:44:11 PM
This thread may be a bit disjointed as I copied it over from another forum.

Some time back a few weeks ago  I decided to make a miniature room, something Iíve wanted to do for many years but never got around to it, here was the early progress :


Some more information and photos of the progress follow below.

Title: Re: My Miniature roombox
Post by: \\-olff on July 10, 2014, 09:03:58 PM

I decided to stain the floor, door and wainscot to see how they look using Cabot Walnut stain, the mahogany floor looks very good in person, a bit red in the photos, but the color in person looks nice, as well as aged, the basswood doesnít stain really evenly but gee, in the future thereís no reason I couldnít make the wainscot out of mahogany, ditto for the stairs, the only issue would be the moldings, Iím not thrilled by the design of the Northern scale lumberís baseboard profile I could come up with a much better one if I research what machine it could be cut on and have a custom cutter or router bit made for it (thinking of the possibility of selling them as well)

I would think the baseboard, door case frames and crown molding would not be difficult, the tiny moldings such as the 1/8″ quarter round probably wonít look any different when stained whether they are basswood or mahogany.

I need some more stair tread wood now I ran out, think Iíll make what I need since itís just flat strips anyway.
A couple of photos from today, one with the chair and table set in place to see how they look, I pencil marked the primed wall, down and around to give me some idea where the wainscot or similar will go, above that line will be wallpaper, under the stairs behind the table will be filled in with panelling. The window in the ďdead spaceĒ can be seen through the doorway, it will need interior trim, it is primed and the visible part of that room will have a different treatment on the wall, likely wallpaper to the baseboard.
I find that Iím not as happy with the Houseworks door as I was but itíll do for this, I sanded down the too thick threshhold to about half itís thickness and rounded the two edges. The door itself is only hinged with a couple of pins from the top and bottom, itís hinge side was rounded out in an unrealistic way- done to allow the door to open without hitting the frame, Iíd rather have real hinges and hardware, and squared edge.

Also the face boards of the HouseWorks door frame are somewhat crude- two vertical grooves, but given the bulk of the market these are geared for Ė dollhouses, they are very nice little works of craftsmanship, but for something aimed towards higher quality they are on the crude side.

These certainly could be given a much nicer, realistic profile with an appropriate cutter or router bit.


Title: Re: My Miniature roombox, and forum censorship
Post by: \\-olff on July 11, 2014, 05:01:14 PM
Posted 17 May 2014

I really wanted to make a single room to start with, with a staircase, wood door, classic trim, real wood flooring and a couple of features I decided would be interesting to add.

I had it mostly planned out in my head- a formal 1900-1940-ish era room with hardwood floor, fancy crown molding and ceiling, wallpaper and wainscoting, stained wood stair case going back, and then up left, a door in the wall beneath the stairs, with a carved fancy upholstered chair, little table with lamp and old telephone in the corner by the stairs, and chandelier. An arched doorway in the left wall, and behind that as well as behind the other door- another wall to create a dummy space so that when you open the door and look you see what appears to be a hallway (but you wont be able to see further)
same for the doorway in the left wall, you would see what appears to be another room but only the visible portion in the rear would be finished.
I bought the chair and the door but I'm not real happy with the "wood" floors I've seen- printed paper!

Today I made strips of real  mahogany which would be stunningly rich when stained and fine enough grained that the grain doesn't look "out of scale" as cutting strips of oak or pine would.

Here's a quick poor, cell phone image of just a rough set up of a couple of the plywood pieces with the door, and the strips of flooring I cut and loosely laid out to make sure I have enough before undoing the table saw setting.

I just drew some pencil lines approximating where the stairs will go, and the arched doorway on the left  wall, after seeing some classical wood stairs I only found one site/maker (they are in Hong Kong) that seemed to have good looking banisters , newel posts and spindles, but the quality of the construction was  iffy and their price was almost $100, so I decided I will build my own staircase but look for some nice turned spindles, newel posts and banister, I found a few possibles but I really like that Hong Kong's staircase that has a curved banister at the bottom- real elegant!


A site in Hong Kong I found with the stairs shows this staircase which I really like

I really like that curved handrail and the spindles.

I can easily build the stairs myself, the actual steps in that photo are nothing more than approximately 3/4"x3/4" scraps cut off at a 45 degree angle, the stairs are the easy part, the carved turned spindles, newel posts and banister are the tricky part which I have no tools or equipment that small to make, ditto for those raised panel doors.

The door I bought is from Houseworks #6025, I was amazed to discover it's constructed exactly like a real raised panel door! I have made a number of raised panels on the shaper,  as well as raised panel doors for my house and they are a lot of work, I can't imagine doing this so small!

The wood chair I bought is from that same place in Hong Kong the stair picture is, here's the chair- very fancy, and it will be stunning with the mahogany floor.

Posted 17 May 2014 - 10:28 PM

A previous room box of sorts that I built, I made use of some of the resin ornaments from lawbre, but the rest I made from wood, mostly cherry, all of the bricks are individual bricks cut from strips of cherry:


Mahogany varies a lot depending on the variety, the Honduran variety is not nearly as hard as oak, but harder than pine, but some other mahogany is harder than oak and up around the hardness of cherry, so it really depends. The mahogany boards I can get were originally used for glue-ups to be turned on a lathe and then painted and used for garden planters because this mahogany is very weather and insect resistant, seems like a horrible waste of so nice a wood to paint it and use it on so temporary a thing as a garden planter...

I bought a piece of board large enough for my floor project 5/4" thick, 4" wide and 18" long, I resawed it on the bandsaw into about 5 slabs and then used the thickness planer to take them down to 5 mm thick (we use metric at work) For cutting the strips I used a small carbide smooth cut rip/crosscut blade on the regular tablesaw with a zero clearance insert in the table so there were no gaps around the blade.
I set the fence to about 7.5 mm which gave me strips a little over 1/4" wide, or in 1:12 scale that would make the floorbaords about 3-1/4" wide or thereabouts. It only took about 15 minutes to cut all the strips and there was no waste other than the blade kerf.

I don't like flimsy or "cheap" and I always tend to overbuild, thus you'll find me using 1/2" thick plywood not thin stuff or MDF/hardboard etc., I also don't like resin, plastics, popsicle sticks,  or such things as "wood" flooring made from printed contact paper or the like, so I'm glad you are planning to use real wood flooring!


The cherry bricks I made for that other room box, and the box itself  were scaled 1"= 8" due to using the real size of bricks for the scaling, so the cherry bricks are 1"x 1/2" x 1/4" and they were all cut out on the large commercial Powermatic table saw at work, the key is not so much the size of the machine as it is selecting a good BLADE and a good quality one at that, one with fine teeth, narrow kerf. We use Forrest brand blades, they run about $150-$175 whereas the cheap 10" tablesaw blades you can get for under $20. The Forest blades are extremely balanced, stable, can be resharpened and retoothed many times, cheap blades are thinner and flimsier and tend to wobble, bend and vibrate.

 I don't like flimsy construction! The other build is actually the upper two floors of what was a real building in NYC that was torn down around 1980, I only did the front room and the top two floors, the building was 75 feet deep, so to do a whole floor the model would have had to be made 9 feet deep, and to do all the floors it would have been  about 6 feet tall. I actually started to make that with the full front but the perfect sized and color little "bricks" I found which I salvaged from a floor of a nearby building that was abandoned- suddenly vanished one day and was nothing more than a vacant lot- my supply for the little "bricks" was therefore gone and I only had enough to do one floor. Over the years and with a flood it was discarded.

So this roombox shown above is the second version, and I have not done anything to the interior of it.

The scale is an odd 1" = 8", so nothing standard would fit this, that means the windows which I wanted to be functional would have to be scratch made, and the little carvings the building had over and under the windows I planned to model in clay and cast in plaster for this, but this is a project for another time. I have more than enough cherry strips cut to easily provide the supply of "bricks" needed to finish it.

 I applied a few of the mahogany floor boards to my room box floor, here's a closeup of the 5 strips so far.

I will just cover the whole plywood with the strips and attach the walls on top.

I used a air powered micro pinner to secure the strips down after brushing on a small amount of wood glue to the backs of each strip.

I also gave the top edge corners of the strips a light sanding to accent the spaces between the boards, otherwise they would fit so snug against each other it would look like one board all the way across.

I used compressed air to blow off the sanding dust but when this is all done and sanded I won't blow all the dust out of the little gaps and grain, that way the gaps and grain won't look quite as  deep as they do here, and the stain and top finish will hold the dust in place.

I think the mahogany was a good choice


I bookmarked that site the other day in fact, and yes, I believe those are the same spindles made by Houseworks- they are very nice and geez, for $4.05 for a package of 12 you can't go wrong there!

Blackwells I see has spindles, and the Centurian newel post I've also seen around too on multiple sites (looks good too) You will notice their inventory number for those two items starts with the prefix "HW" which almost certainly stands for "Houseworks" and I'll bet if you google that stock number you'll find them elsewhere.

An old standby for many distributors and stores is to retain the original manufacturer's stock numbers on the products (or at least a part of it) - makes it much easier on the bookkeeping and inventory paperwork to use the same numbers in your own store for keeping track, re-ordering etc.


Once you have the number google will usually, but not always,  find it elsewhere.

I think most of the products Houseworks makes look good, a lot of these types of commercially made components are almost certainly made overseas in China, Taiwan and elsewhere, and by a small number of manufacturers- I see the very same items such as wood windows, doors, lighting, wood moldings and furniture on numerous web sites and almost always at extremely reasonable prices.


My opinon is most of these vary from pretty good, to good, much seemed to be geared for the low to mid range price buyers and people who are willing to kitbash, re-sand, re-work many of the items to get what they want.

Of course there's the low-end stuff geared for children too.


On the other hand I've seen a few items of very nice wood furniture and lighting that is priced quite  a bit higher- no doubt geared more for the collector and buyer who wants and expects quality and doesn't want to have to re-sand, re-work to remove defects or poor workmanship.


    I looked on the micro mark website. They no longer carry that one. They do carry one for 800 and some dollars that made me drool a lot. Here's the URL for their catalog. Just thought you might be interested.

    I have the Dremel lathe. I haven't used it for a while. I might just have to dig it out.


We'll just have to see how it goes. I think I am not very enthusiastic about the quality and durability of what I HAVE seen in the way of the mini table saws and the like, coming from a professional wood shop I'm used to the quality of things like the two $20,000 sliding tablesaws from Germany we have. I know when I did the floors in my house in porcellain tile I had to buy a small  wet table saw to cut the tiles with, it was the kind of machine that is cheap, cheaply made in China,  use for the job and basically throw it away- just sheet metal, about a 5" blade, tiny motor. After it was used and stored away I went to use it to cut a couple of tiles with and the motor had rusted locked, I was able to get it to work again, but it kind of soured me on such items.


$800 is actually pretty high for that by comparison with a commercial/industrial 3 hp 3 phase Powermatic 10" saw as we have, those run around $3000 but they weigh about 600 pounds with a heavy steel deck and all the rest, but I suppose the micromark machines are priced higher than I would expect due to their being marketed to a relatively small,  niche/specialty market.

I'll take a look at what micromark has, they might have some hand tools, clamps, small drill bits, router bits and things that WOULD be helpful.


Sure do appreciate your interest, and suggestions however!


Meanwhile, I had 15 minutes so I tacked on a little more flooring and then I decided to make the box wider after sort of visually fitting things a little more, because the left wall will have I think- a wider arched door opening almost certainly with no door in it, and behind that was to be just a dead space that you would only be able to see a little ways into due to the angle of view from the front, but I started thinking a bout about the outside wall being only about 2-3 inches out, and thought it might not look right to have that wall so close to the doorway, so after this photo I cut a new back wall piece and added about 4 inches. I also moved the door over an inch to get it further away from where the stairs will go.

The rear wall with the door is now 60.0 cm long- just a shade less than 23-1/2 inches, and I can always cut some length off if I decide the dead room behind the open arched doorway doesn't need quite as much  space.

This photo below is before I changed that wall panel to the longer one, the flooring is almost halfway to the wall and the floor behind that wall doesn't need to be completely covered since the door will never open further than shown and you won't be able to see very far to the right inside that space either.


I was going to say that the nice thing about this 1/2" plywood is that if I did have to add more length or something, it's easy to do with a biscuit jointer and glue, we do that all the time, but since I only cut the doorway out I decided to just use that piece for another part and cut a new piece.



By the way, I decided to order the  Houseworks narrow Centurial newel posts- they fit what I consider to be an ideal newel post for that style, not clunky and crude, they look very nice.

I also ordered the Centurianm spindles, these also look very nice as well

    If you are considering a lathe, you might want to check out the ones used by pen turners--my husband has a "Turncrafter Commander" that he likes and it's mostly cast iron.


That's actually pretty decent quality- I looked just now at the 10", nothing like cast-iron for durability and stability and at  $350 it looks good.

What would be interesting to do is make these kinds of spindles out of oak or mahogany, so far I have not seen any and I suspect others have tried it and there's good reasons why Houseworks et al don't seem to make their mini components and doors out of anything other than basswood, pine and so forth.


I suspect the very open grain in oak creates big problems in small scale due to tear-out and weakening, but I bet mahogany would work, maybe maple, or sugar maple.

We also have a supply of sugar maple, hard maple, even ebony boards in the warehouse stored away for occasional use.

Sugar maple might be another wood that could be good to work with but I don't know about turning  at all since I have not done any turning before myself.

I now have more of the floor on almost up to the inner wall as shown in this dry setup with the longer wall panel I previously posted about.

The wall with the archway will go right where the floor ends and I'll have to add a little floor piece for that section by biscuiting in a piece.

The little dead space there will probably get a different floor than the mahogany.

I need to glue and pin down about 3 more strips to the wall and under it, and then some short pieces on the otherside of it where the door is so there's a finished floor there.

As I mentioned earlier, the door will stay open about where it is now and nothing behind it on the left will be visible so that won't need mahogany there.

I cut just enough strips to do the floor.


The wallpaper, spindles and newel posts should be here before the weekend but not the Yes! paste.

I think I might put some of this together this weekend- the floor on the left, the 3 exterior walls, the wall with the door just loose fit for now since it will be easier to work on flat, but I'm hoping to get at least the floor and the 3 exterior walls put together


Posted 24 May 2014 - 09:19 PM

I spent a bit more time on this today, now the exterior walls are glied and pinned to the bottom, the inner rear wall is just secured in place temporarily with 4 small screws, and the left inner wall and it's door frame is just taped in place for the photo. I just went with the door frame facings I had left over from the HW door kit since the back of the door won't need any trim, I made the doorway a little wider than a doorway with a door in it, and made a little basswood piece for the top since the one with the kit was too short since it was for the regular width doorway.

I did a very rough mockup of a wainscot panel with some strips of the basswood left over, laid over the piece of mahogany used for the flooring and decided I didn't like it- the edges of the frame around the enset would need a minute little ogee molding or the like to get rid of that sharp 90 degree edge.


So I think what I'll do is something like the raised panel door's raised panels, that is their faces will be FLUSH with the wainscot frame just like the doors are, and the narrow edge around the panels will be beveled just like the door panels are and that should look good. I just don't like the looks of those wainscot I've seen where the raised panels project out what in real life would be about an inch or more in front of the surfaces of the framework.

As can be seen, there's really not a lot of wall that wainscot can go anyway, a little on the right to the stairs from the front, a little under the stairs to the door frame, and 3 narrow pieces between the doors etc.


That Northern scale lumber place has some already grooved on the edges- strips for doors that should work well to put the little panels into. I need to order some stuff from them next.

Meanwhile, I decided to order the table that matches this carved chair.


As can be seen on the left, that "dead space " I mentioned that will be closed off since the viewer is only supposed to see partly into it through the doorway and what can be seen would be finished, the issue is dealing with the front since the front edge of the box will get a picture frame treatment to cover the plywood and hold glass in place, so I'm thinking that area between the left frame and that wall needs to be filled as glass won't go there, there's only two options- finish that little space to be a hallway, or cover that front area- it's about 4" by 9-1/2" with some exterior house wall treatment, possibly also putting a small window either on the back wall or the left wall near that back corner- visible thru the open doorway.

I think a small window in the back wall (which has a 3" deadspace behind it to the exterior back wall) with some kind of color landscape transparancy with lighting behind it would be very cool, I'll have to give it some more thought.


Meanwhile I set the little chair in place to see how it might look, the table will go next to it and hopefully it will fit okay. The table will have a telephone, lamp, maybe a vase of flowers, I also have a tiny bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey that I'm thinking could go on the table as part of the theme of the scene.





I found the Thorne rooms now after seeing photos of the 68 rooms and ordering the book to look at, I have to wonder if Mrs Thorne had sold any of her rooms or made any on commission, because my late cousin I mentioned who had a large estate on Long Island had two large Victorian roomboxes in wood and glass cases very much like the ones I saw that Thorne made, the quality of them with my cousin's money would have been at least as good or better. I first saw them around 1966 or 1967 so she would have likely had them in the 50s or even earlier.

Title: Re: My Miniature roombox, and forum censorship
Post by: \\-olff on July 11, 2014, 05:02:07 PM
Ok I went to Norm's and ordered these just now, the 3/4"x3/4" brackets should work for my stairs, the picture framing I want to check out for possibly making a framed "painting" for the wall, the ceiling medallion I knew I would need for the ceiling, and the narrow window for that  little dead space off the open doorway- it will go in the inner rear wall and depending on how much can be seen thru the window from the doorway will determine if I place some kind of landscape picture behind it, there will be light behind it at the very least.
So now I kind of have to wait for two orders to get here before I can do much more, the brakets have to come before I cut the step tops because the step tops will need to overhang the brackets a little and I don't know how thick the brackets are, so rather than guess I'll wait.
I could still cut the actual step blocks though today.
3 x Bracket-BRE1 (NE BRE1)  = $12.90
1 x Picture Framing-PFC8 (NE PFC8)  = $1.79
1 x Ceiling Medallion - A3686 (FCA3686)  = $8.00
1 x Narrow Nonworking Window (CLA70118)  = $10.80

Today I worked on the stairs as far as I could;
I first made the stringer strips about 1/2" wide, 2 feet long on the tablesaw, and about 4 mm or 1/8" thick, laid them out this way in a jig that was squared up at the bottom with the chunk of wood held by the clamp so I would have the two rails parallel and squared, a 1/4" thick piece of plywood between the rails is a spacer and helps square the rails more, the first step is glued to the bottom of the 3 step unit.
I had to figure out how I was going to glue the step blocks to the two rails, the quick and dirty little jig I threw together from scraps worked like a charm, and it's based on the larger jigs I use  when I  build vertical ladders with round rungs now and then;


With the 3 step unit drying I did the 11 step unit the same way, and checking to see the steps were lining up 90 degrees to the rail using that square as I added each, I had to lightly sand an edge of 2 of the steps to correct a slight deviation;


The two stair sections are shown taped in place to see how they fit, the landing was made from a solid piece of basswood about an inch thick supported on a couple of strips of 1/2" apple ply 30 mm high, making the top of the platform 52 mm above the floor, that allows me to add on top of each step here- the nicelt shaped Northern stair steps, the tread if you will which has a little overhang and rounded edge. Those will be cut and glued on once the little carved brackets come and I have their actual thickness.
The open side of the 3 step unit will be panelled in as will some of the 11 step unit, the remainder of the 11 step unit's back will be covered over with a panel and wainscot style moldings;


The little scrolled carvings should do a decent job adding some nicety to the stairs, but also to help cover most of the end grain of the basswood steps and disguise that, I may add a little molding to the bottom facing edge of the stringers so it has a fancier look than just a flat board, that wainscot top molding I bought might just be the trick to do that with!
As I described earlier my plans to cut the steps- did in fact work out perfectly, a 20 mm thick board, the saw angle I quickly found with a couple of test cuts needed to be 40 degrees, once I made the first angled cut I set the blade to 90 degrees, flipped the board over and placed the angled edge against the fence and set the fence so the blade would cut just shy of where the angle started and set the fence always to that position for the other two strips.  Doing that ensured each cut off angled strip would be exactly the same 17 mm x 20 mm.
I wanted to do a rounded bottom section and handrail, but since this is the first steps I've made I figured I'd keep it simple!
I decided on a little over 3" for the step width, closer to 3-1/4" and cut all 14 pieces at the same time, I had one piece left over.
I figured this method would be easier and better than zigzag cutting two stringers and gluing individual riser and step tread pieces to it, I think that works ok for "basement" stairs where you want the back open and showing, the method I used was the only one that seemed to make more sense to me, it worked well for the stairs I'm making.

I haven't decided if I will stain or paint the wainscot yet, this little test section I made came out well so far, the right edge of the baseboard needs a 45 degree return since this projects out further than the door frame face board's baseboard.
I used a 1/4" thick backer to glue the four wainscot frame pieces to nice and square, but I need to route the plywood wall so this 1/4" backer sits inside it and doesn't keep the wainscot out further than it should be.
I could go with thinner material but I'd still have to deal with the added thickness anyway.
If I were to paint this, the raised panel could almost be made slightly smaller and the backing behind it colored, and the rest painted white, the result would be an interesting narrow  band of contrasting color around the edge of the panel.
On the other hand, if I stain, I might make the panel slightly wider and taller so the bevel meets the quarter round, right now it's just a little shy of touching since I hand sanded the bevel on with a sanding block for the test and made it just a little small, we'll see!
The little raised panel wound up at 3.75 mm thick, made of  basswood. Our large planer will go down to 5 mm thickness but it would be iffy on soft wood like this due to flexing, oak works fine though, but the widebelt timesaver sander could work if thicker stiff pieces of basswood- like 5/16" was mounted on a piece of 3/4" thick MDF for  a rigid backer board using double sided carpet tape and sanding it down to 3.75 mm.
I might try that this weekend and make up  a few feet of the raw stuff that thickness to have, shouldn't take but a few minutes to do it.
So this weekend I want to route the walls for the wainscot, and prime them, and mess a bit with the stairs, I changed the bottom step to a longer rounded one, but the Centurian newel post I don't see working to do a curve there with the handrail,- too small and tight to do that, but  some photos I saw last night of stairs with curved bottoms seemed to have nixed the newel post there and used several spindles in a tight curve instead.

I tried the cove too but I thought the quarter round looked a little better.
On the contrasted paint, I was referring to the flat under the raised panel between it's edges and the quarter round- there's a small space (which would be made wider if I did this) which is actually the backer board I used which would show. I was thinking of a soft Wedgewood green or blue for the color, and the rest a shade of white.
It would be easy to paint that area of the backer board and then glue the raised panel on and the quarter round strips, the idea is something like this really quick and dirty Gimp coloring:
 Ok, I did some work on my room today, here's how I got the basswood down to the 3.75 mm thickness I wanted for the wainscot's raised panels, once I planed it down to 5.5 mm which is the thinnest our planer will go, I used the wide belt sander with the basswood taped to a piece of 3/4" MDF scrap and ran it through about 4 times;

Next,  I routed the plywood wall 8 mm deep to inset the  wainscot assemblies so they would project out the appropriate amount and slightly lower than the door frame.
One is  shown loosly placed in it's routed pocket since they won't be glued in untill wallpaper is done;

The gap between the left wainscot and the other wall (also not attached yet) is to allow the next section of wainscot's right edge to slide in behind the left edge of the adjacent wainscot neatly.
That means the right stile of that next wainscot will need to be wider and flat, this part of the wainscot won't be seen but will be needed to fill any little gap right in the corner itself.
The wider wainscot's left section is finished and glued on it's backer board, the right section is not finished as I ran out of the quarter round molding and didn't have enough to complete and glue that completely.
The other gap on the right will be covered up by a small enclosure panel under the stairs there, I routed a little wider than I needed to but since I planned to put an enclosure wall there it doesn't matter- that section under the stairs will never be seen.

I think it's coming along well, as soon as I get the quarter round ordered and in I can finish the other panel and  after wall paper is in I can glue both of them in place, then I can make the two wainscot for the other wall and glue them and the door frame in place too.

I did a little test with the lower section of stairs and decided to add the riser board on and miter their visible end and miter the vertical edge of the brackets. I did this because the thickness of the brackets leaves an odd edge that looks funny when viewed from the front of the steps. Overlapping the riser to cover that leaves end grain showing like the treads do, but the risers wouldn't look right with a round-over on that edge,  the miter is more appropriate and looks better than end grain or a strange overlapped butt joint.
I briefly experimented with dealing with the edge of the bracket by using a cove, a quarter round and a wainscot top molding with it's back trimmed off, but none of the three possible ideas using those looked right, the miter is the way to go, though I might still experiment with an "L" shaped corner molding over the miter to add a little visual interest.
I had to notch the bottom of the lowest bracket to avoid the bottom step, and contour the bottom of the other bracket so it's bottom was more flush with the underside of the step below.
The next starts I make I can add a mm or so to each step height to eliminate that issue.
Only two treads are shown and they are not glued on yet, but I like what I'm seeing.
 The molding I ordered arrived today, always nice when stuff arrives Friday
I routed out the dividing wall to accept the wainscot but not thinking I routed all the way across to the doorway when I should have stopped short of it, now I have to remove the 2 vertical casing strips  inside the opening and replace them, no big deal but a step backwards.
I have what I need to finish the 2 pieces of wainscot that wall needs.
I've been thinking about the ceiling, the staircase meets the ceiling and just ends there as there won't be a second floor above, so I came up with  a couple of possible ideas:
1) Rout out a rectangle in the ceiling  the size of the staircase but not all the way through the 1/2" plywoood- leaving 1/8" intact and creating the  rectangular "hole" 3/8" deep, the visible edge of that can be trimmed  nicely as though there was floor above, and the rest can be made dark as though the lights were off upstairs.
I could trim the fore portion of the hole with some hanging down molding, maybe a continuation of the crown molding around, and the extra depth from that would work even better.
2) Rout the hole all the way through and add on top- a small "box" over the hole  to create a deeper illusion, the drawback would be having that odd projection on top of the roombox which I dont think I like.
There is a 3rd one but it would have had to have been done before building this.
I think I'll go with #1 so the stairs has a way to "end" out of sight without looking like it's attached to the ceiling and goes nowhere.

Okay, I spent  acouple of hours on this today and finished up the 3 wainscot sections that needed to be done, I also cut the inner rear wall for the window in the "dead" space on the left, and I routed the ceiling over the stairs.
I had to rout the back of the inner rear wall where the window goes because the Houseworks window case was not deep enough for 1/2" plywood, so I needed to recess it about 1/8" so the trim inside is flush with the wall surface. This window goes in backwards since only the inside of it is visible.
I took this photo before I cut the window hole out and before I primed the two walls, but the wainscot can be seen in it loosely set in place, the stairs are just taped in place and a little short pieve of crown molding with a backing board behind it are taped to the ceiling in front of the stairs to see how I like it.
I think that will work fine and with the routed out area- create the illusion the stairs go into another floor above, I will put the crown molding up around from the left wall, across the back wall and around the stairs, back to the rear wall, over and then along the right wall forward.
For the opning's edge behind the stairs I'll put a flat board to cover the edge of the routed plywood and continue it down a little and either end it with a cove molding, or similar.
There will be some kind of wainscot like panel going up at the angle with the stairs to about banister height, and wall paper for the rest of that resulting triangular wall area left from doing that.
I have the wall paper paste and wallpaper, I might even pop over and put some of the wallpaper on tomorrow, it has to go on before I can glue the wainscot and door frames in etc

 15 June 2014 - 03:59 PM
I decided to stain the floor, door and wainscot to see how they look using Cabot Walnut stain, the mahogany floor looks  very good in person, a bit red in the photos, but the color in person looks nice, as well as aged, the basswood doesn't stain really evenly but gee, in the future there's no reason I couldn't make the wainscot out of mahogany, ditto for the stairs, the only issue would be the moldings, I'm not thrilled by the design of the Northern scale lumber's baseboard profile I could come up with a much better one if I research what machine it could be cut on and have a custom cutter or router bit made for it (thinking of the possibility of selling them as well)
We have custom shaper cutters made frequently at work, but those are very large and run about $800-$900 to have made from drawings.
I would think the baseboard, door case frames and crown molding would not be difficult, the tiny moldings such as the 1/8" quarter round probably won't look any different when stained whether they are basswood or mahogany.
I need some more stair tread wood now I ran out, think I'll make what I need since it's just flat strips anyway.
A couple of photos from today, one with the chair and table set in place to see how they look, I pencil marked the primed wall, down and around to give me some idea where the wainscot or similar will go, above that line will be wallpaper, under the stairs behind the table will be filled in with panelling. The window in the "dead space" can be seen through the doorway, it will need interior trim, it is primed and the visible part of that room will have a different treatment on the wall, likely wallpaper to the baseboard.
I find that I'm not as happy with the Houseworks door as I was but it'll do for this, I sanded down the too thick threshhold to about half it's thickness and rounded the two edges. The door itself is only hinged with a couple of pins from the top and bottom, it's hinge side was rounded out in an unrealistic way- done to allow the door to open without hitting the frame, I'd rather have real hinges and hardware, and squared edge.
Also the face boards of the HouseWorks door frame are somewhat crude- two vertical grooves, but given the bulk of the market these are geared for - dollhouses, they are very nice little works of craftsmanship, but for something aimed towards higher quality they are on the crude side.
These certainly could be given a much nicer, realistic  profile with an appropriate cutter or router bit.
( OKeGmmEa.jpg)
Title: Re: My Miniature roombox, and forum censorship
Post by: \\-olff on July 11, 2014, 05:02:33 PM

21 June 2014 -

Today I applied the wallpaper to the inside of the exterior rear wall, the small portion that will only be visible through the open door. That YES! paste is a lot thicker than I imagined it would be, but I used a 2" wrush to spread a thin coat on the back of the wallpaper and it was easy to apply the paper to the wall with a minimal amount of fuss.
I set the baseboard in front of it for the photo, the baseboard will need to be lacquered yet as will the wainscot and  door etc.
I also lacquered the mahogany floor, on which I used Sherwin WIlliams' medium satin rubbed effect lacquer, but I didn't stir it very much so that the stuff that makes it more satin would be somewhat reduced in the cup of it I put in the spray gun. I did that I would get a slightly shinier finish than the satin,  but not a high gloss- I was pleased how it turned out, both the color of the stain and the level of the sheen.
I want to paper the three walls soon but I need to deal with the wainscot or panelling behind the stairs where that pencil line is so I have any routing done BEFORE putting paper on, I found a restored former mansion in NYC that has a staircase with what I had in mind for the wall behind my stairs, but unlike this which continues to the ceiling, mine will have a molding the height of the bannister, and above that will be wallpaper to the ceiling:

I can make those rectangular frames out of strips of molding once I decide their exact size and what molding I have that would look best, these in the mansion look like their length is about 3 steps wide with the space between them included, and no more than about 50% taller than the height of the steps,  that's a nice scale size and it's topped with a chair rail type molding to complete that lower section of the wall.

An interesting thing  I found recently describes classical moldings well and their use, that lower section of the mansion wall behind the steps is directly related to and taken from the classical pedistals used on columns, the wall would be the column shaft, the cornice or crown molding as the case may be at the top of the wall where it meets the ceiling would be related to the capital, it could be Corinthian, Doric, Composite, Ionic in style reference.
Ditto goes for wainscot itself- it's the pedistal base, and the inset panel relates to the inset panel of the pedistal, the baseboard relates to the pedistal's base plinth, and the chair rail topping the wainscot relates to the top molding of the pedistal.



m tempted to make the wainscot for behind the stairs out of mahogany- just a flat panel with raised half-round molding frames on it, OR if I'm feeling adventureistic I could compile up a molding from the 1/16" cove and the half-round to make a cove and bead molding to use.
I think the under stairs enclosure  wall will be mahogany as well. I might work on that tomorrow so I can route the wall and finish that part so I can paper it soon- for now the wall is removable so I can access the narrow space behind it as wiring for a couple of lights will go up through there, so I'm not ready to make the wall permanent just yet.
A further back overall shot


 28 June 2014 - 03:28 PM
As things go, I didn't do what I was going to work on,  but I did start the backing panel for the clapboard, I still have to make the clapboard and I decided to make the lower 1/4 of the area a stone or brick.
I did cut some oak for the edging and need to finish other things before I can put this in, the glass will slide into a coule of grooves in the oak and there will be some sort of oak strips over the edges yet, but the photo shows the panel and the edging, the panel will want to be removable to allow easier access to the little space behind it since there will be  a light in there too. There will be a corner molding at the wallpaper seam, and I'm waiting for the doorway and window trim as well.

After thinking about how to do the banister rail, I decided having the mill's digital read-out was not going to be of any help, so I made a quick and dirty jig to hold the banister 45 degrees to the other mill bed's vice, this mill is smalelr than the other one and it doesn't have the digital read-out but it was not set up for anyone's project so I was able to use it today.
These machines a great, you can do a lot with them, the company bought both of them used years ago from a used machinery dealer, the larger one was around $2700 which is not really a lot when you consider this is a major piece of heavy machinery, that one weighs around 3,500 pounds, this is below was I think around $1700 and it's smaller, probably around 1500 pounds.

( dNJGXBVa.jpg)
 With the two strips of wood, the banister fits snug but can be slid upwards to each pre-marked hole location, not as accurate as the digital read-out but close enough to do it this way than tilting the mill's head 45 degrees and then having to reset that back again!
I marked the holes for the  banister by laying it against the stair treads and just marking the edges of the treads on the underside of the banister, the banister is over length and as a result I can just move it so the spindles are where ever I want them on the treads then cut the banister to length to fit the newel post.
I am using a #2 centerdrill, which if I needed a little more clearance to drill I could have swopped out the drill chuck and put in one of the collets to hold the centerdrill that is much narrower, but the chuck cleared the work area just fine.
 Why use a centerdrill like this instead of just a drill bit you might ask?
Because of two reasons:
1) Small drill bits tend to wander and also BEND
2) drilling at an angle like this no small drill bit will ever drill straight, as soon as it touches the dood it would start bending over.
That is the nice thing about the centerdrills, they are very stiff, and you only use them to drill a small shallow spotting hole.
The banister's profile is odd and not easy to clamp right, the only FLAT surface is it's bottom, which in the picture faces up, i was holding the banister flat and firmly against the upper strip of wood and against the backing plywood so that the holes would drill 90 degrees to the sides of the banister.
Once I had all 12 holes spotted, I drilled down a little way with a 1/16" bit, then I dry fitted the spindles in and they are all nice and snug and the correct 45 degree angle, then I placed the unglued assembly on the steps to see how it looks:



So actually drilling the holes turned out to be pretty simple, and I really like the fact that the spindles won't just be held in with a minute spot of glue on their tops, that they will have an actual mechancal connection to the banister that for all practical purposes doesn't even really NEED any glue there.

 04 July 2014 - 04:37 PM
Still waiting for a few items ordered, but I did some more work on this.
Hard to see but the ceiling now has the embossed paper on it, the dead space room on the left is done except for the curtains, the ceiling has a cornice and embossed paper in the far corner as that can be seen through the open doorway at a lower angle of view, the doorway itself now has the casing and corner blocks installed along with the wainscot and that wall is now screwed in place.
The stairway is now cut to length and the ceiling above is routed in 3/8 of an inch- that area will get painted dark and the opening will have a little "skirt" molding around it's edge to hide the edge of the plywood and close it in a bit, the stairs are not finished yet and can't go in till the wall paper is put in on the right wall. Under the stairs it will be partially enclosed as will the underside of the stairs itself.
I have the oak frame for the front made but not what it needs to hold the glass in place figured out yet.
The ceiling fixture is just clamped in place and not permanent yet till I finish the ceiling cornices and all that.
I'm going to route the plywood over to the dead space and down into that for it's lamp, and the run the wire to the rear dead space for the lamp behind the door for lighting in there, and then down and out.
I'm thinking it would be nice if the ceiling panel can be made removable for access if needed, but we'll see- the front frame and the stairway stuff might be a little tricky to  put them in in such a way the ceiling can be lifted off without disturbing those. The stairs could be attached to the wall and not to the ceiling at all I guess, we'll see, but that's the idea I had to be able to access the dead spaces, lights and make it easier to do any repair if ever needed if something came loose like wallpaper or whatever.
I need a transparancy of an outdoor scene behind the window glass of some kind, but I don't want to use an inkjet to do it because those inks are crap and start fading rapidly- some faster than others but they all fade, I was thinking of a photo place like Shutterfly or the like that prints on Kodak photo paper using real photo dyes- much more durable, but I was really only able to find what they are calling backlit signs- the plastic signs you see at airports and the like with a light behind a transparent image- very vivid but most seem to be large, printed on plexiglass and the like, but I'm still researching that, I just don't want  a cheap inkjet print in there and having to constantly replacing it due to fade and color shifts, besdies, I no longer have a color inkjet I got sick of the hassles with the damn things so I went to a monchrome lazer printer with toner.
I hooked up a 9 volt battery (all I had on hand)  to the light to see how it looks.



Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on July 12, 2014, 07:00:27 PM
I did about 3 more hours on this today, mostly finishing the stairs and staining them, the bottom banister still needs to be made in a curved shape yet to complete that section.
I lso need to  make the stair surround at the ceiling, the crown moldings and the understairs enclosure.

Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on July 13, 2014, 01:58:10 AM
There is a little radiator under the window in the room on the left under the curtains, I selected that one which looked good in photos and also because it was 1-1/2" tall which fit under the window, but after it arrived I was less than happy with the quality of it. It was made by Heidi Ott in Switzerland but while it looked good in photos it was rather warpy, lumpy and not very well modeled at all, but it was inexpensive and it will do for this room.

It did have me thinking about modeling my own version, I thought about making one end section and one center section which could be combined to make a radiator of any length using two end sections and however many center sections are desired, and using maybe a couple of small threaded rods to hold them together.
Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on July 20, 2014, 04:28:05 PM
I had to build a crate to ship a client's sculpture to them and I spent a few minutes on my room box hooking up the lighting, here's a quick photo but there's some color shift due to the fluorescent lighting where I have this, Gimp can only do so much correction on that.

I carefully cropped  out the front plywood edge, though the ceiling stair recess shows (it gets painted black and partially enclosed soon) to make it look a bit more lifelike.

I am waiting on a couple of ordered items to finish this, the stairs gets a partial enclosure and I need to make the crown molding assembly and lacquer the stairs yet and attach them to the walls.
This is made so the ceiling comes off with screws.
Hard to see but the small table has a telephone with the receiver dangling, there's a newspaper and bottle of Jack Daniels on the table.
I should have ordered a second chair but I wanted to see how it really looked in person, I'm not sure I can get a second one now with the identical cushion color but we'll see.

Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on August 03, 2014, 09:16:19 PM
I managed to do some more work on my room box and now I have it done to the point where it needs only panels under the stairs- one of which will have the wall outlet for the table lamp, the face frame/glass and one small clapboard wall section finished.
Behind the window in the secondary room on the left I plan a lit from behind outdoor scene transparancy that appears as though one is seeing a forest through the glass, I may need to add one more light in that section.
The scene is pretty much set up about as I imagined it, the telephone recevier dangles off the small table, one of the bags of groceries is carelessly dropped on the floor and the door to the hallway we are led to assume goes to the front door is left open. The scene is as if the resident received an emergency phone call and exited the room suddenly, leaving the groceries, phone and door behind in a careless fashion which emphasizes the importance and urgency of the call.

I will still work a bit on the actual make-up and placement of the groceries, the one on the chair was purchased and all of the boxes in in glued-in, the other I made from brown paper but I'm not happy yet with the selection/variety of the groceries themselves because most of them are boxes and there needs to be some fruit, vegetables etc.

Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on August 23, 2014, 06:37:00 PM
I spent about two hours today working on finishing the exterior with oak trim and oil stain, and the panelling under the stairs which involved wiring up the table lamps' wall socket.

Next time I can lacquer the exterior,

Left to do yet is get the glass cut for the frame, and come up with an outdoor scene printed on a transparancy to insert behind the window in the small space to the left, and install a light behind it.
I also need to paint the clapboard section with white paint, at the moment it has only white primer on it,  and run the power cord out the bottom then that pretty much calls it finally finished!

I have an engraved brass plate on order to install on the top with the title, my name and 2014 for the year. It's titled "The Telephone Call" and when all the little accessories are finally set firmly in place with museum wax to keep them  from falling or moving it will look close to how this is quickly set up for the photos.

Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on October 08, 2014, 02:59:04 AM
The box is finished and after displaying it the last week or so in my gallery I brought it home since I don't heat the building and the display windows are in the direct and all which I wouldn't want to expose this box to it's wide temperature/humidity variations.

I'm finding it's the devil to photograph! the lights inside need to be on for effect but they are very bright and I've never heard how professionals take such photos and get rid of the glare and all.
The glass front also creates reflections, so I tried this at night with all the room lights off, the glass vanishes but I'm not getting good photos, still, this should show pretty well how it looks now that it's finished

Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: Scout on February 17, 2015, 08:35:54 AM
This is amazing.  I didn't know you did this kind of stuff.  I have many irons in the fire too. 
Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on February 17, 2015, 09:15:49 PM
This is amazing.  I didn't know you did this kind of stuff.  I have many irons in the fire too.

Thanks Scout, yeah it was a fun little project, it was my first miniature room like this. It was funny how it started, I wanted a miniature staircase I saw because it was so cool, but then I needed something for it to go in, and what you see was what the whole thing eventually evolved into.

I have another I started but it is on the back burner right now.
Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: Sharon on June 25, 2017, 01:27:51 PM
I think there's no limit to your talent, Randall.
I have to check in later today. I have to get to my kid's basketball games.
Bye for now, Family
Title: Re: My Miniature roombox continued
Post by: \\-olff on June 25, 2017, 10:29:08 PM
Thanks Sharon! glad you made it in!