March 31, 2009

Good night for a movie

Don't you just love these two architectural models by Timothy Richards? I sure do.

Today  I will introduce you to an extraordinaire model maker from Bath, UK., Timothy Richards. You can buy his models in the USA through several sources. His website will tell you where and it is full of great photos of his projects.

I know they are not dollhouses but that does not mean he can't teach us how to build dollhouses.

What I really went crazy for on his web site was a terrific 19 minute film. He shows some of the steps of building his models and the casting molds they are made in and he talks about how hard he tries to capture the spirit of the building, not just the dimensioned details of it. It is really good to hear the artist talking about what moves and inspires him to work at the artistic level of exceptional quality he has achieved. 

Great buildings have soul and and often character that comes only with time and weathering effects. In this film he shows making a detailed brick mold and then aging the molded wall section.

This youtube channel has uploaded a number of films taken in the Timothy Richards studio covering many of the aspects used in the making of the models.

Where the small power tools live

These two shelving units hold many of the smaller sized power tools I use for creating miniatures. Those of you who might have read my postings in newsgroups over the years will have seen me posting about using them. Now you get to see some of it. Actually this is only 8 feet wide by 18 inches deep of a 57 foot long room that is 15 feet wide.

There are a lot of tools on those two shelving units. A microlux tilt arbor saw, a Jim Byrnes table saw, a couple of Dremel table saws. A grunch of Dremel motors and various drill press stands and also a couple of  router tables and a shaper. A Cameraon deep throat drill press, that was a real jewel I found at a local  second hand tool store. There is a small metal shear, 3 sizes of power miter saws plus a lion miter trimmer. A wire bending tool, lots of jeweler's hammers, pliers, anvils, torches, soldering irons, a resistance soldering machine. Two high speed air turbine carvers, hot knives, air brush and air eraser, foredom carver, power chisel carver, miniature belt sander plus a mini disk sander and a small lathe. I have a diamond lapidary saw with a thin blade that is water cooled for cutting up tile and stone and a scroll saw is tucked in there too. There is a hot polyurethane glue gun as well as a regular glue gun.

If you were wondering why so many miniature saws there are several reasons. One is that I would like to teach more classes on how to use power tools. Another reason is that it is very nice to create a little production line where I have a saw setup for one type of cut such as cutting to width, the next might be setup for the second width rip on the same piece of wood another cut on that part, say a groove down the middle and the third might have a sled jig or jigs for cutting to length at an angle or cutting a notch across the narrow width. This is very handy when creating limited editions of a furniture piece or a building a dollhouse. Of course to have that many saws I need to search for affordable, used miniature saws. But mostly I want the duplicates for teaching classes so 10 students don't have to get in line to use one or two saws.

I keep the miniature tools on the shelves until I am working on a task I need them for. Then I bring the tool over to one of the work tables. I am sure over the next year or two you will see most of these tools come out to play and be shown in use on this blog along with the various jigs used with these tools.

Do I need all this stuff to make birdhouses and dollhouses? Heck no, I am just  a tool junky. It must be phychological compensation for the fact I have a EE size foot and can't buy a closetful of cute shoes so I can dress like a girly girl. It is important to have a ready excuse to blame on your genetics for any over indulgence. My grandfather was a very skilled  man who could fix anything therefore I can't help myself, it is in myDNA to own  tools, a biological imperative.