27 August 2011
Kate Kelsall specialises in 1/24th scale miniatures and here she shows us how to make delightful miniature washstand for the half scale doll house. ...
In the mid 19th century, the bedroom was not only used for sleeping but also as a bathroom. A modern bathroom with toilet, bath and washbasin was not introduced into ordinary homes until well into the 20th century.
Up to then, there would be a washstand holding a jug and basin with either a towel rail attached or a standing one nearby. A chamber pot would be placed under the bed or inside a 'pot' cupboard. A low chest of drawers with a toilet mirror on top was used as a dressing table. There would have been a cupboard called a 'press' for the storage of clothes, and the bed may have been a half-tester type with decorative curtains. On the whole, the furniture within the room was unlikely to have been matching either.
For this project I have used jelutong or oak, both of which are available from Wood Supplies (see marketplace for details).
- Jelutong is a soft wood with a close grain and is easy to work with.
- Oak is a hard wood, harder to work with but gives a superior finish.
- Wood should be sanded using fine grade 600 if possible sand paper or 00000 wire wool instead.
- When gluing wipe away surplus glue immediately.
- Always allow glue to set before moving to the next step.
1/24th Scale Washstand Cutting List from 1/16" wood
- Table top - 3/4" x 1-3/4" (inches) CUT 1
- Back Splash Board - 3/8" x 1-3/4" CUT 1
- Side Splash Board - 1/4" x 11/16" CUT 2
- Shelf - 1/2" x 1-5/8" CUT 1
- Front & Rear Apron - 1/8" x 1-3/8" CUT 2
- Side Apron - 1/8" x 3/8" CUT 2
- From stair spindles - 1-1/2" long sections CUT 4
Note: Use stair spindles with a square end, and leave a portion of this square end when trimming them down in order to glue into the table construction easily. All round shaped 1/12th scale stair spindles are no good for this project.
STEP 1 - SHAPING
- Round off the top corners of the back splash board.
- Round off one corner of both side splash boards.
- Take the shelf piece and create a design by cutting and filing away with sandpaper.
- On each leg file a groove for the shelf on one side making sure they are all the same height, and at the opposite end to the square section you left for ease of construction at the top of each leg.
Please see photo below for the shaping of the wooden pieces
STEP 2 - SANDING AND STAINING
- Sand all pieces smooth without distorting the shape.
- If you are painting the washstand, ignore the rest of this step.
- Apply dye or stain to the wood and allow to dry.
STEP 3 - ASSEMBLY
- Glue the straight edge of back splash board onto the top back edge of the table top.
- Keep at right angles and allow to set.
- Glue the 2 splash boards either side with the straight edges at the back up agaist the back splash board and the curved edges forward. Please see first photo below.
- Glue the square end of two legs into the rear corners under the table top.
- Make sure the grooves in the legs are facing inwards to take the shelf.
- Glue the rear apron along the back edge of the table top.
- Glue the long straight edge of shelf into the grooves in the rear legs.
- Keep the shelf parallel to the table top. Please see 2nd photo below.
- Glue the two side aprons along the side edges under the table top butting the rear legs.
- Glue the front legs on the table, and the front corners of the shelf into the grooves.
- File a little more into the legs if necessary to make the washstand square.
- Finally, glue the front apron onto the underside of the table top between the front legs.
STEP 4 - FINISHING
- Make sure the wash stand stands level by sanding the bottom of the legs if necessary.
- Wax and polish as required.
- For a painted finish, use a satin emulsion for a slight sheen.
- Allow to dry, sand with 600 sandpaper, and give a final coat.
This DIY feature was originally published in issue 207 of Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Better still, why not take out a subscription so you never miss another issue. For DIY materials, please visit out marketplace. If you are a fan of Twitter or Facebook, you can share this project with your Club members or friends by clicking on the links at the top of the page.
The next piece of furniture in this series will be available shortly