Sunday, March 2, 2014

Finally, the card and book rack

Thursday night I made the big mistake of checking the library to see how many books needed to be shelved. There were quite a few and although I didn't shelve them, I found a 'must read'. So I took yesterday off and read two books. VBG

DS Shirley came over today for a few minutes to pick up some things I had for her and I showed her the work to date on the miniature shop. I was quite thrilled when she looked at it and asked if the doors opened! The magic of illusion in miniature!

I need a new camera! The pictures look good on the camera screen but too often they're not clear when I download them and usually by then I'm several steps along in the project and can't retake them.

This is the wall piece of matboard where the rack will go.

I cut a piece of 1/16" thick basswood for the back of the rack (slightly smaller than the wall) then cut two side pieces from 1/4" basswood stripwood 3/32" thick. Then I rounded the top ends of the side pieces.
I have these wonderful Microbrush applicators from Lee Valley. They come in four different styles and are under $10 for 10 of each style. Wonderful for miniature use and yet I tend to forget I have them and use something else much less convenient. But tonight I did remember the brushes. They are absolutely perfect for applying wood glue to such narrow areas.

TIP: LEGO blocks are one of the best tools you can have when you're working with right angles. Although I didn't use them for the spacing between the shelves in this particular piece, they are particularly wonderful for that also. They not only keep shelves equidistant, they keep them level. And because they're plastic, dried glue peels away from them.

The sides glues in place on the back.

The bottom shelf glued in place on the back. It's made of the same stripwood as the sides.
Because of the limited space available for this rack, I had to fudge the space between shelves. Normally I would add another 1/4" or so to the height of the tallest book to allow for its removal from the shelf but space constraints don't allow for that here so the shelves are made so the books will just fit on the shelves.

Here I've painted the rack and an additional piece of stripwood (this one is 1/4" x 1/32" thick). Ordinarily I would paint them separately anyway simply for convenience but with this I have to as the books will be added before the 'holding' strip is put in place. You might notice that I only painted enough of the strip for two widths of the rack. Because the top shelf will hold greeting cards, I want to use a strip of clear plastic across the front of this so they are more visible.

In order to try to match the finish on the ready-made pieces, the paint I used is Apple Barrel by Plaid Gloss white acrylic indoor/outdoor paint.

(Pause for a sanding with brown paper and a second coat of paint....)

TIP: I hit the jackpot on our field trip to the Show and Sale in Kelowna a few years ago when we stopped at a $ store and I found several bottles of Americana Duraclear matte, gloss and satin varnishes so I have a good stash of those and when this gloss white runs out (which will be soon), I have a good selection of finishes on hand.

BUT (and here's the tip from my dear friend Cheryl H. in Nova Scotia), if you want a gloss finish to your paint - mix your paint with white glue that dries clear (such as Aleene's Tacky or Weldbond) in proportions of about 1/4  or 1/3 glue to 3/4 or 2/3 paint. The combination will give you a gloss finish from the glue in the paint.

Here the books have been placed on the shelves then the thin strips glued in place. A thin strip of hard plastic (from my stash - could have been from any sort of packaging) was glued across the top shelf.
Once the glue has absolutely dried, I will put the shelving face down, trim off the pieces and paint the ends of the cross pieces.

That done, I added a row of Christmas cards from my stash to the top shelf then glued the rack to the wall cover that will go on the lower left hand wall by the front door.

Glued in place on the wall to the left of the door at the front of the roombox.

The Christmas cards on the top shelf are from various sources. Can't remember where I got the books on the middle shelf. The "Christmas Toys" books on the bottom left was a gift from the late Joy Ann Parker, the Wreath book and Christmas story books were from my stash and the Frosty the Snow Man book was from Elizabeth Blake from BC as part of the Pass It On Challenge on the Yahoo Group Canada Minis.

I LOVE it! In the whole scheme of things, it will be virtually invisible in the room. It certainly will not be easily photographed in the finished room. But I will know it's there.

I still have to cover the back half wall of the left side of the front door....just one of those 'little' things that will take longer than you would think. (And, once again, the 'invisible' thing that I will know is there.)

And when that's done, I think all the 'cover' work will be finished.

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