Thursday, 13 December 2018

Trimwork on the first floor


Chicken and Egg time! :D

Anyone who has built the San Franciscan 557 (milled MDF version) will know that the way the house fits together is not very conducive to decorating from the ground up. The main structure of the house consists of two 2 story milled sidewalls into which the middle floor slots, creating this large heavy "H" shaped structure. You then add wall pieces to the bays that slot onto the same middle floor creating the top of the first floor and the bottom of the second floor bays. There are also first floor bay pieces that attach to the bottom floor piece. The same floor piece that I am actually using as the ceiling/roof of the basement. 

The above mentioned H structure has to be attached to the bottom floor at some point but that will immediately create "rooms", as the ceiling of these first floor rooms is created by the horizontal portion of the H. So annoying! There is no real way to built the walls without having that middle floor/ceiling in place first. I would much prefer to be able to add the walls.. decorate and then add the the next floor. So much easier when it comes to wall paper & trims!

This unusual construction of course means that I need to install the first floor lighting, finish the ceilings and install all the trim (apart from the baseboards. Unfortunately they will have to wait until I have a "room". ) before I can continue on with finishing the kitchen because I need to get as much of the fiddly work done as I can before I turn this into a structure instead of easily decorated pieces.

The last piece of wallpaper in the kitchen wont be able to be applied until all the walls and floors are glued together due to the nature of this construction which is a real POA. But we forge on!

In order to install the trim I had to first finish off the wall coverings in the dining room. I opted to completely "shiplap" this room. Meaning my first job was to finish making the shiplap for the bays and the front door wall.


 I've also had to pad out the bay window side pieces, as for some reason the window slider trim provided is too narrow, so when you put them all together as an assembly they don't fit the window openings. It may be me causing it not to fit, perhaps I'm installing them incorrectly but there is scant information on the placement of the windows within the opening in the instructions. I have tried to look up interior pictures of the San Franciscan online for visual guidance, but there are really only pictures for the 550 and 555, which have a completely different way of installing the windows. . As I want the structure of the windows to be flush on the inside walls I'll continue on with my fix and figure out what to do about the exterior later on. I'll paint it all the same colour as the rest of the window assembly upon installation. I'm not sure the kit calls for it, but I'll be putting some header trim along the tops of the windows to hide my horendously measured cuts.. :D Trim is a bad carpenters best friend. lol.


The interior room dividing wall is not attached yet. But I've propped it in place here to mark it's eventual location on the front wall.


Also, having tested and tested an interior door for the kitchen, I've finally conceded it really doesn't work and will instead trim out the opening as a doorway. I think that, along with the portion of wall above the door that I created (originally open to the ceiling according to the kit) will be an acceptable compromise. 


 After creating the shiplap for the front wall, it became apparent Iwould need to pad out the door box to allow the eventual door trim to sit flush. I added strips of balsa cut to size and painted before installation. The graphite line above the door is where I need to trim the popsicle sticks to accept the intersection of the interior wall.


Once the panel is glued in place this should be sufficient to create a good brace for the trim.


I also added a strip of balsa vertically on the edge of the "shiplap" that would meet the corner of the bay window for a neat finish. In later photos you will also see that I added a vertical popsicle stick edge to the actual wall piece edge. This was needed because the edge of the wall is exposed in the kit design.


Before gluing the "shiplap" to the wall, and attaching the wall to the house, I needed to install the coach light to the exterior. I fed the wire through my predrilled hole and glued the fixture to the wall. I used a piece of scrap balsa to hold it level while it dried. I then glued the "shiplap" to the interior and glued the wall to the ceiling/floor of the "H" assembly, running the wire for the coach light up through a hole I had predrilled at the edge of the ceiling, where trim would cover it.


Then I flipped the whole "H" assembly upside down and glued in my ceiling paper.  (Sorry no pictures of that boring step.)

Once dry it was time to start cutting and installing cornice. :D Fun times!!.... Said no one ever.. lol

I pre-painted all my 2 foot lengths of cornice so I wouldn't have to paint tiny individual pieces and that saved me some time at installation. 

I started in the dining room. I used my miter box, where possible, to make my cuts because my "easy" cutter has a wonderful tendancy (insert sarcastic voice) to crush my trims rather than cut them.. no it's not blunt.. it's hardly been used.. It's just not great for wood with any thickness to it, in my opinion... Having said that, there are some really funky angles in the bay windows so I had to reluctantly resort to the 120 degree option of the easy cutter for these cuts. 




As I haven't attached the interior wall yet. I glued this cornice to the ceiling creating a channel to slide the wall into between the dining room and kitchen trim.
The chimney breast is also removable at this stage. I'll glue it in later in the trimming stage.

Yikes, please ignore the rude & nude doll downstairs..  Thank god he is lying sideways. :s

I have pretty atrocious trim cutting skills even without the "help" of the easy cutter so I've employed Brae of Otterine's Miniatures technique of spackling the joints. 


Mine aren't nearly as professional as Brae's but with a bit of paint and distance :P they'll pass. 


As you can see above, I've also added quarter round where the breast meets the wall to cover the gap.

Next I boxed out the doorway to the kitchen with balsa and installed the interior front door trim. There will be trim around the doorway as well, but I'll get to that once I afix the interior wall permanently. 

The stairs are not installed, just propped up. Obviously I still need to add the spindles and rails. I have them all painted and ready to go but I'm procrastinating because it's a job that I find a little intimidating and I can't decide if the newel post should go on the floor or the first step or half and half.. which I think I'd prefer but it involves carving the newel to fit.. Scary! :o


You can see above the popsicle stick trim for the front wall end (next to the window opening) that I talked about earlier.  I still have quite a bit of spackling to do where the walls intersect, but I'm getting there.

Window sill trim is also in. I know it's strange to install it before the windows, but again, because of the H assembly and the way the bay walls attach to separate parts of the house, I can't install the windows until the floors walls and ceilings are permanently glued, but I didn't like the idea of installing the window sills, with their unusual cuts, after the rooms are formed. I knew I would need copious amounts of spackle and wasn't sure how I would get in there to apply it well in a confined space.

Please ignore my messy work bench veiwed through the window and past the tree.. lol.. I really need to set up my photos better!


 And lastly a sneak peek at the kitchen trim. I added a topper to my hood to allow it to be trimmed around as I discussed in my last post. I'm really liking the contrast of the white trim as a divider between the indigo walls and grey ceiling. You will see more of this trim when I blog part 2 of the kitchen build.


Unfortunately, in my hurry to get the trims and ceiling paper installed I forgot to install the interior lighting (facepalm). Luckily, I did mark on the paper where the lights will go so it should be doable to drill a hole in the right location and install them post glue. Tricky, but doable.. Why do I always have to make things harder for myself than they need to be! lol


















19 comments:

  1. Good Grief!! I’ll have to reread this to really understand .. however I do recognize the dreaded “domino effect” that you are suffering from.
    Cheers Janine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, sorry Janine. Even a second read isn’t going to do it... I don’t really understand what’s going on myself.. hence the confusing post. It’ll get better when I get it all glued I promise. :D

      Delete
  2. Oh boy Sam - upside-down and back to front, huh?? .. not entirely sure what is going where, when and why. All the same, I am sure you will get it all sorted and from these pics it will be beautiful as ever.
    Anna xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup! Completely discombobulated. Haha! This is causing me to forget important steps and then I have to find away around my confusion.. Fun! Thanks for stopping by Anna. :D

      Delete
  3. Hello Sam,
    You are certainly getting a lot done quickly. Trim really is a miniaturist's best friend. I really love the shiplap you have installed. It works great with the room. You also did a great job installing the cornice. It looks great and the spackle really is a terrific way to fix any imperfections. I don't hate putting in crown molding, but like you my easy cutter often crushes rather then cuts my wood pieces. Keep up the terrific work.
    big hug
    Giac

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Giac! Ugh that easy cutter is anything but easy isn't it? lol... I must amend my post to "said no one ever except Giac!" :D :D
      Thank you for your kind comments on my work. I really appreciate the feedback from a master craftsman like yourself. :)

      Delete
  4. Sam you're doing awesome! Trim is so wonderful isn't it? Covers a multitude of sins. Did you ever think that you'd regret not understanding geometry? I do, every time I need to cut angles.

    I love how it look so far and that kitchen sneak peak (patting heart) gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sheila! Yes trim is the difference between an awful result and a great rescue. :D Yeah, I should have paid more attention in Maths class.. I've wasted so much trim with the wrong cuts. lol.

      Delete
  5. This is coming along beautifully. You are taking the time and doing a lot of the fiddly and not-fun work now (padding out doorways, cutting cornice) that will make your house even more wonderful when it is done. I also hate cutting cornice. I can only ever do it with a miter box. I have a chop saw, but I can't fit the cornice in at the right angles for some of the cuts. Sometimes, the old-fashioned way is best. Still loving that stove hood! I like the texture in your ceiling paper, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deborah!.. I've learnt from those who have gone before me and blogged about it that all that fiddly prepwork is what gets you a great result in the end. I'm eternally grateful to the wonderful mini blogging community & the forums for getting me this far into this build without completely messing it up. :D

      Delete
  6. This is a very complicated kit but you have thought it through and made wise decisions in your order of operations. You've also made really wonderful design choices, and your finishing is spectacular! The miter cuts are so hard to get lined up perfectly, as even a fraction of a millimeter in this scale makes a difference. But you've done so well that you deserve a giant pat on the back and an award of some kind! The stove hood is just awesome, and now that you have tackled and won on the complicated parts, nothing will make your knees shake for long! Great job, Sam! Oh and, we've all been naked on the floor from time to time, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Spat my coffee out at that last line... lololol.. Well yes, yes we have.. particularly after a rough night of tequila shots... so I've heard anyway.. haha!:D I'm not sure if it's a complicated kit or I'm the one complicating it.. lol Oh my knees are shaking on the stair rail job.. I really need to tackle that but I'm a master procrastinator about things I don't think I'll be good at.. It's always the starting that is the hardest bit.. I usually find that once I'm into the job it's not as bad as I thought it would be.. but still I procrastinate on the starting blocks.. silly!

      Delete
  7. I'm HORRIBLE at angle cuts too and have never understood how to properly install cornice molding but I must say Sam, that you have done a Bang Up job of yours because it looks Terrific!
    The shiplap in the dining room echos that in the kitchen so it was a great choice. I love the lightness of it all not to forget to mention the lovely reclaimed tin ceiling and your staircase. I know that everything takes time, and that you always have to be thinking 3 steps ahead, but you are making steady progress and it is already looking Spectacular so PLEASE don't stop!!! :D

    elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Elisabeth! I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that struggles with the angles. Selfishly it makes me feel better that a miniaturist of you caliber also has the same angle affliction. :D I'm loving my tin ceiling too.. It's just a point of difference from the usual white ceiling and something that suits both rooms. That was a happy accident but one I'm willing to take!

      Delete
  8. I am so happy to see you Blogging again......nothing you do is bad in my eyes! Just keep swimming my friend, and you will reach your destination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carrie! I'm happy to be blogging again too.. It's a bit time consuming (for me at least :) ) so I had let it slide for the easier instagram route.. But I really wanted a record of this build and instagram is no substitute for the wonderful blogging community. Yes, baby steps and I'll get there. :D

      Delete
  9. It is going to look lovely when you get it all together. Keep up the good work - Troy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Troy. It's slowly, slowly coming together. :)

      Delete
  10. Hello, Sam - Just when I thought that I was caught up with my blog comments, I discovered this post and realized that I skipped it entirely - and it's such an important post, describing so many construction steps! I am filled with admiration for your patience in putting these varied pieces together. I've never built from a kit and have always felt that my skills are too inadequate to even try. Now I'm sure of it! But each of your solutions to each new problem that you encounter makes sense of the puzzle, and I applaud your ingenuity. The San Franciscan is going to be a fabulous house because of your talent and hard work. I'm glad that I discovered this post in time to see so many "behind the scenes" details!
    Marjorie

    ReplyDelete