Before beginning construction on Myrtlewood, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to build the walls. My major goals here were to get as realistic a look as possible while keeping weight at a minimum. I thus settled on a construction technique similar to that of a real house: framing and drywall, using 1/4" stripwood for the framing and 1/16" posterboard as the drywall. I've now built my first wall, which I discussed in my last post. The wall is fully panelled, built completely from posterboard, basswood and purchased mouldings, and looks pretty realistic, I think. Click here to read the rest of this entry... First, I measured and cut out posterboard to fit the specifications for the wall I wanted to build. I cut out openings for the door, china cabinet and fireplace, and then framed them using stripwood. I used 1/16" basswood for the panelling, which I measured, cut out and glued onto the posterboard. I developed a method for creating the beveled panelling on this wall, which I intend to use throughout the house, but I'll detail that in another post. I made the plinth blocks (at the bottom of each strip of casing) myself from stripwood, but used purchased mouldings for the baseboard, chair rail, door casings and crown moulding. I'd like to think that I could create these myself given the right tools and about 100 years, but they only cost between $0.50 and $1.50 a foot (and I only need 4-5 feet of each to complete the dining room), so I consider that money well spent. Once I had all pieces of moulding measured and cut, I glued them in place. Now comes the tedious part. I spent at least twice as long sanding, wood filling, priming and finishing the wall as I did in the initial building phase. I used a coat of primer and three coats of paint, and I'll probably add another coat of paint just because I'm a perfectionist. That's it! This took me about 2 1/2 weekends to complete. I don't expect most of the other walls to take me so long, because I don't plan on fully panelling the others or creating many more built-in cabinets. It's very typical of me, though, to start out with the hardest project first!
Now that I've finished all the floors on Myrtlewood's first floor, I'm moving on to building the walls. Actually, I'm putting off the windows, which I still haven't figure out how the heck I'm going to build. Click here to read the rest of this entry... Here's a wall I've put together for the dining room. Over to the right is a door leading to the butler's pantry. To the left is a china cabinet which will eventually display fine china and other tableware. In between is the opening for the fireplace. I still need to build and hang the doors for the lower part of the cabinet, build and hang the door to the butler's pantry, and build the fireplace interior, but I think this is a pretty good start.