September 4, 2009

Old floorboards

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009
There is some parallax in the photo above from my older digital camera that did not have correction for that. The boards are actually straight without curve to them.

I did say this was going to be an old, rustic, coastal cottage. I think a fisherman lives in it. Not sure if he has a wife.

What a worn and somewhat grungy floor. It takes at least 4 times more work to make this kind of floor than to make a pretty, nicely stained and laid floor with no wear and tear.

Every board had to be hand planed to make them look hand cut and also to make them uneven as if there were a little warping going on. I needed to create small gaps here and there between my nice straight boards. Then scratches were added and a few dings of course. There are the hand shaped trenails pegging the boards down.

The finish is done with many layers of stains, golden oak first then pickled oak and on the top layer I brushed in some dark walnut. It is done with a wet in wet glazing method. Then I rubbed down the floor with rottenstone which helps reduce gloss and adds an authentic ground in dirty look. Top with a final pickled oak wash.

If you ever need to put piles of dusty grey dirt into a miniature scene such as an old shed or basement just grab a box of rottenstone from the hardware store. No bugs or critters in it to worry about. Just good clean dirt, actually it is limestone that has turned into powder and surprisingly it is used to polish things.

That worn old floor started life as lovely Sitka Spruce planks meant to be used for the backs and tops of guitars. They were factory seconds that had been tossed in the firewood pile. I have quite a big stash of this wood, love it because the grain is so tight. In the photo below you see some of the floor board strips and also a plank below them that has not yet been cut. The floor board strips in the photo are just under 3/4" wide. If you enlarge the photo you can see the amazingly tight growth rings in the board, perfect for making miniatures.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009