As I have thirteen windows still to do, and I am not really enjoying it, I decided the best approach was do do one floor at a time and then take a break and make up one of the kits that I have waiting for the house. Well, I managed to do three out of the ten parts needed to complete the top floor of the house before getting fed up and turning to a kit.
Make paper template for half a window
Cut out (at least) ten for the top floor windows.
Dry fit... one will go on outside window at the top.....
one will go on inside window at the bottom
This is the glue I use for fixing windows. You need very little, it is super strong and dries absolutely clear if some does 'escape'.
I managed to complete three half (inner) windows before I got hugely bored. Pretty ugly right now but they will have window sills added. I did buy a ton of trims to go around the windows and the realised I would cover them all with curtains so it seems a bit pointless. Every time I come up with one of these brain waves I discover it has a knock on effect which then creates more jobs.
Here is the delightful House of Miniatures Hepplewhite cellarette
Check all the parts are there
I have discovered a jolly good glue for any wood that will have a dark finish. If you stain parts and then glue it doesn't always make for a good strong joint. If you glue and then stain (my preferred method) you have to be super careful with the glue as the stain will not cover any areas that have the slightest bit of glue on it. As you can see this is a tinted glue which purports to solve that problem in that the glue will be brown and so not show as a bare patch.
There was a momentary panic when I realised the glue was a silly wishy washy pale colour when it left the pot (see top right blob). This was soon allayed; as you can see it dries pretty much mahogany coloured.
I had a real issue with the stupid hinges for the lid. They are teeny tiny and the screws almost microscopic so I realised I was on a challenge with them.
It began with being instructed to cut out 1/32th inch (!!!!) grooves to take the hinges in the lid and in the back edge of the box. Much fiddling around with a couple of different shaped Xacto knives and it was done - not a work of art - but done. The instructions also stated that the hinges were to be flush with the back of the box, not sticking out. I spent a jolly half hour screwing the hinges to the lid - four teeny tiny drill holes to give the teenier tinier screws a purchase hole and then moved on to the back of the box. Quelle horreur! the wood wasn't thick enough to allow me to screw the hinges in.
Three options as far as I could see. (1) Remove the hinges and make a pair out of ribbon or leather strips, (2) glue a thin batten of wood to the inside top edge to make it wider, (3) set the hinges back so the actual hinge part was outside the box.
Seemed a shame to go for option one when I had these cute little hinges, if I did option two there was a possibility the screws would land almost between the proper wood and the added batten and wouldn't hold well enough so it looked like option three.
I unscrewed the hinges from the lid, reset it in the new position and put the screws back in...... that was tons and tons of fiddling about and superglue came into play as the wood just wants to splinter here there and everywhere. This basswood behaves remarkably like balsa. I then fixed the other half of the hinge in the back of the box which is just about thick enough to allow the screws in without splaying out and splitting every which way too much ....more superglue help here. OK, I had a fastening - not very good looking by now but probably the best of a bad job. I closed the box and thought there was movement, this was confirmed when I lifted the lid and the hinges just pulled away, breaking out of the wood and glue easily.
I cut the hinges in half and reglued each half to the original place best I could and made an actual fastening 'hinge' across the back (inside) from a piece of gauze ribbon which has taken the woodstain very well and barely shows.
Here is the built piece. There is a drawer for any drink implements you might need - wine coasters, corkscrew etc. There is also a sweet pull out tray at the top for you to stand your glass on when you are pouring the drink. The internal cabinet measurement is about an inch so it is possible for it to contain wine though this one, for this period, was much more likely to contain 'digestifs' such as fortified wine, brandy, liqueurs etc for the gentlemen after dinner.
It did an OK job; no worse than the other things and at least there are no lumps and bumps with this. I may add some brown shoe polish some time - we don't have any right now.
I was hugely lucky a couple of years ago to come across these transfers. They are made for this cellarette. Basically in England the piece of furniture would have remained plain but the ones in America often sported fine inlay - especially Southern furniture. I imagine this was to differentiate itself from the English. By the time of this piece in 1790 the Americas had only just begun to recover from the revolution and, I imagine, were determined to eschew all things English; or, at least, to make it their own.
Sadly, I soon discovered this was a skill beyond me. I tried just one tiny transfer and gave up.