I guess I have neglected this blog for too long.
For the past eight months I have been working frantically to get the house ready for Tom Bishop's Chicago International show coming up this April. It won't be finished in time, but it will be close.
The more pressing deadline now is the Orlando dollhouse miniature show coming up this weekend. I will be a vendor there, but I will only have the unfinished Tudor on display. The Bed & Breakfast will not be there as i
Once again, one of the chimney chases is interfering with other rooms. It worked well with the kitchen floorplan, but has caused such a narrow passage within the 2nd floor bathroom that I had to extend the length of the house by about 2 inches.
Adding the extra floor space was easy for the floor itself, but I will have to extend the decks above it. The attic will also need to be extended. One of my kids unlocked my workshop a couple of weeks ago and all but demolis
After 3 months of making parquet flooring I'm finally working on structural components again. The library inlay was installed on a 16" plywood sheet separately from the rest of the house, but it isn't installed yet. Unless someone makes a battery powered desk lamp, I will need to wait until I can make a trip to Ron's in October before finishing the flooring. The 2nd floor's main wall outlet circuit will run under the library floor and connect with an outlet built into the globe feature. A de
After months of finishing work on the 1st floor and weeks of wiring work inside the 2nd floor joists, I have finally started to make and install the 2nd floor parquetry on the house.
The wiring was more complex than I had planned for it to be and I did have a couple of repairs to make before moving on to the flooring. However, it is up and running and the flexibility of lighting different rooms in countless different configurations made that part of construction worth the added ef
I guess from reading my instructions on how to build a jig for making studs is a bit confusing, so I built one and will offer a tutorial for building it.
Be aware that the boards being cut into studs will lie flush with the guides. If you're not comfortable cutting studs this way, you can either overlay each part with a 2nd layer of boards cut identically to the first set, or use a thicker board (3/16" or 1/4" thick instead of 1/8").
What you will need:
I'm not sure if this will be useful to anyone, but I thought I would add a wood framing tutorial. I'm not a carpenter by any stretch of the imagination, so if I get any of the terminology wrong, by all means, please let me know.
First, I don't own a table saw (yet) so I start by making a jig for cutting studs and spacers. I use a thick board (at least 3/16" or thicker) as the jig block and glue a 1/8" x 3/8" board along the edge. I next measure 9 3/4" and 10" on the glued down b
Its almost been 3 years since I started this house and I'm finally finishing the 1st floor. Technically I'm past the 1/2 way point due to the fact that the basement, all but the few damaged areas of wood framing and about 1/3 of the attic are finished.
Most of the 2nd floor frame damage is just a few studs missing from about half of the different wall sections. It might take an hour or two to repair. The attic is another story. One of the two rooms was completely framed and sh
As almost everyone knows, both of my houses and the castle were damaged by a 19 year-old kid driving in the dark without lights and running people off the road collided with the trailer.
If I decide to repair the B&B it will cost a bundle and take at least a month to rebuild the entire foundation and 1st floor deck. If any of the main house structure needs work (besides replacing the French doors) it will take even longer.
Most of the Tudor's damage was to the fr
I've been working on attic, kitchen and living room simultaneously over the past month. Building a removable roof has made the project feel more like two builds.
The East half of the attic is paneled and ready for wall dressing. The flooring is in the entire attic and ready for glosscoat (when it stops raining), and the first wall panel for the 3rd floor turret is cut and ready to install.
The Kitchen walls are covered, but still need wiring before I
I guess it was inevitable that I would reach a limit to my abilities, especially under the limitations I have to face. I don't have a wood working shop (table saw, band saw, sander, etc.) so I have to make all of my cuts by hand. I figured I would be able to build the kitchen cabinets with the skills I got from working in a cabinet shop back in 2000. The cabinet bodies and doors are acceptable, but without the right hinges, impossible to assemble. I was hoping to find a different kind of hin
I almost forgot about this thing. Shows how social I am (not).
I've had several very productive days working on the living room walls. I'm excited about finally getting to work on some finishing carpentry. Making the cellar and utility building look old and dusty was a new venture, but I've been working on that theme for a couple of years now. I haven't done any fancy work since I built the wine room a while back. I may actually get this room done by the end of the year.
The show went as I expected it to- no sales but a possible commission.
Now that I'm back at work on the Tudor I'm putting all of my free time into the living room. I designed the pattern for the paneled walls and I'm currently building the coffered ceiling. The plan is to have most of the parts prepped by this evening and begin installation on Tuesday or Wednesday (12-7 or 8). If I don't hit too many obstacles I could have the living room completed (sans lights) within a week or
Although I have doubts that either house will sell, I have a sponsor for a Craft Festival on the last weekend of November, so I'm going. I am excited about displaying both houses and the Tudor for the first time. Another advantage of framing the house - it looks interesting even at such an early stage in construction. Even if the houses don't sell, there is still the possibility of a customer commissioning a house. My only customer was a local resident, so things could turn out well.
A little over a week ago I hit the 2 year mark since starting the Tudor house. I have all of the framing completed, the basement finished and the chimneys built up to the start of the caps. The utility building is lacking one window and the two entry ways need doors, but aside from that it is complete. The driveway is installed (still needs paint & mortar) and 80% of the yard is themed.
Unfortunately I'm still about 4 years away from completing this project. Except for the
I wasn't planning on finishing the utility building until after the main house was 1/2 completed, but I have been excited for some time about this part of the build. That and it seemed like a good time to start on it, so I did! Not only will the framing be exposed from the interior, but I get to experiment with some techniques I haven't used before. Laying bricks without attaching them to a wood form is something I haven't needed to do until now and I'm currently working on that part of the proj
After nearly two years of masonry and framing, I'm almost at the point of building out the interior rooms (and possible insanity). I have a small supply of wood sheets needed to cover walls, ceilings and floors. I also have about 2,000 bricks for the extra building across the driveway, but I have a lot of work to do before reaching that stage in construction.
My wife's suggestion of putting a room in the turret's roof is a neat idea, but it will add months of extra work to the c
So I've been framing the roof for the past couple of weeks. The roof is one of if not the most complex part of building a woodframe house in my opinion. Numerous angles, lots of parts cut at different lengths and the entire thing has to be assembled as a separate component from the attic deck. This is the easiest way to panel the interior, but the structure itself must be sturdy enough to be moved around with the deck. I won't be able to breath a sigh of relief until after the paneling is in
Since finishing the brick work on the two chimney shafts last week I've been working on roofing the house. The vertical framing for the two gables is complete. The only vertical framing left is the west roof end and the 3rd level of the turret.
I've been working on the turret this weekend and I have most of the studs and spacers cut. I'm still installing the spacers and will install the studs once this step is complete. I also made a 1/8" thick by 3/4" tall ring with a 14" dia
The final 6,000 bricks for the Tudor arrived a few days ago. That should be enough to finish the house (I hope). I've already used 145 of them to finish the first chimney up to the base of the attic. It will be ready for installation when I finish with the mortar. I still haven't figured out a way to produce the chimney caps I have in mind, but they will be spectacular if I find a way to make them. The lack of a brick manufacturer will be a problem for future projects if I don't find an eff
Finally, a year after starting construction on the 1st floor deck, it is permanently attached to the rest of the house! A few problems with the secret wine cellar's light held up construction for a few days, but its working perfectly now. I also went ahead and started dressing the front yard. It still needs bushes and a walkway to the front steps, but it turned out far better than the yard on my B & B.
The 3,000 bricks I ordered several months ago still haven't arrived. It
I'm installing the final joist rafters to the main attic deck. The sub-deck was built several weeks ago, but this deck will go directly above it and will be the base for all of the roof structures to attach to. Its the last of 5 decks for this house. I still need the 3,000 bricks I ordered to arrive so I can finish the chimneys. The other problem is I don't have the math skills needed to determine where to cut the roofing rafters at conjoining angles. This will make building the two gables
It has been 18 months since I started this build, and it is finally starting to take shape. Its frustrating that it took this long to finish the basement, but I have produced a lot for the 1st and 2nd floors, so I'm not as far behind schedule as it would seem. If I could build a floor per year, it would be done in another 2.5 years, but that isn't likely. The updated gallery shows about where I'm at, but I progress every day, so they're always out of date.
I was working on framin
Finishing the turret windows is taking a lot of time and I'm still framing the 2nd floor, so there isn't much to show that isn't already in my gallery. So I thought I would post a list of features planned for the house since it will be years before there's anything to photograph.
Working Mahogany cabinets with lit counter tops in the kitchen.
Fully lit drop-down kitchen ceiling.
Parquet flooring throughout the 1st floor and much of the 2nd.
Mahogany paneled living
I'm nearly out of bricks, but I have lots of areas that still need covering. If that wasn't bad enough, I don't have the budget to order more for at least a few months. I have mapped the location for the utility building (which also needs bricks) and I'm nearly finished with the narrow brick wall that will be an anchoring point for the covered archway that connects to the utility building. The unique features of the utility building will be a hinged wall and the bricks won't be attached to a
I'm still putting the final touches on the house's basement. Mostly touching up paint in the secret wine cellar and preparing the final rafters for installation. I'm also building the wood form for laying bricks at the turret pedestal. It will take an estimated 1,200 bricks to complete, but will make for a sturdy and well-appointed base.
Structual framing of the 1st floor is on-going. I have all but one of the interior walls framed. I still have 3 walls to frame for the kitc