Monday, 30 August 2010

A shingle a day - gets the house off the dining table

Still slowly shingling.

As per my previous post, I extended the shingling line across the master bedroom cut-out, so that the right-hand shingle rows would be properly aligned.

When I reached the top of the master bedroom cut-out, I once again cut curved shingles for the corners, and ran a line of upside-down shingles across the top of the cut-out.  Once the glue dried I trimmed the reversed shingles to the correct height.

I trimmed shingles to fit closely around the chimney.

And here is the finished side/back roof.  You can see that I butted the top row of shingles up against the top row of the other roof.  Once the glue dried, I trimmed off the projecting shingles with scissors along the roof peak, in preparation for applying ridge tiles once all the shingling is done.

Now I have started the front roof. Although I started the first row on the side roof at the usual 3/4", I have squeezed the next two rows a bit closer than 1/2".  This is so that the third row lines up with the start of the shingling on the front roof and gives a continuous line.

First of all, I filled in the corner with some cut shingle, around the start of the front roof (this is a close up to the right of the dormer). You can see how far below the pencil line my shingles are.

By also starting the next row below the pencil line, it is going to line up with the start of the shingling on the front roof.  Once I have a few rows done on both roofs, I will gradually revert to the correct pencil lines on the side roof.  I  need to do that so that the shingles on this side will match the shingling on the other side once I reached the roof peak. It would look odd if the last row was really short on one side of the peak and really long on the other. 

Saturday, 21 August 2010

We resume our normal (shingling) programming

I'm back, and if you also read my main blog, you will know that not only have I survived the infamous Knit Camp, I have also returned soaking wet from Wales. After multiple loads of laundry yesterday, and attempting to dry our bits of awning out in the garden despite the fact that it is still spitting rain, I finally got some time today to return to my lonely Fairfield.  Even my supportive husband has started to ask when we are going to get the dining table back, so I need to get moving on the shingling.  I think once the shingling is done, I can swap over the picnic table that we are currently eating our meals at, with the dining table, and continue the house on the smaller picnic table.

I started out by shingling the rest of the back roof.  As my lines of shingles drew nearer to the roof peak, I realised that I had a very flat peak where the two pieces of plywood met.  The Pickett Hill (PH) house has very pointy roof peaks.  To mimic this, I am going to butt my top line of shingles against each other before capping them.  To help support this top line of shingles, I glued on some scrap cornice molding along the flat peak.

I cut the last row of shingles roughly to length by setting up a temporary stop on my cutting shears, before glueing these short shingles along the peak.  I will need to trim this last line of shingles once the opposite peak is also glued on, to achieve an even line.

Shingling the valley

I have now started shingling the other back roof on the Fairfield, which includes a 'valley' where the back roof meets up with the side roof.  I learned when shingling my Willowcrest that you can't just draw lines the same distance apart on two roofs that meet at a valley.  If one roof is at a different angle, then the shingles just won't line up visually.  I found the best way to do it was to designate one roof to be the 'main  roof' on which you draw the spacing lines (this is probably the roof with the bigger area), and then line up the tips of the shingles on the second 'minor' roof to visually continue the shingle line.  You can see what I mean  on this picture of my Willowcrest dormer.  The shingles on the dormer are longer, with more shingle exposed, because the dormer roof is at a steeper angle than the main mansard roof.  Yet the shingle tips are lining up visually.  I also found that for a neat result, I needed to shingle one row at a time on both roofs simultaneously.  I couldn't do one roof, then go back and do the other roof.

1) So on the Fairfield, I have drawn the first line 3/4 of an inch up from the edge of the side roof, then further lines 1/2 an inch apart.  This is my 'main roof'.  In this pic I have shingled up to where the valley starts, and completed the first row of the main roof where it meets the valley. I fill in with cut shingles snugly into the valley 'crease'.

2) Then I start the first row of the valley, again butting a cut shingle snugly into the 'crease' of the valley.

3) Then I do the second row of the 'main' roof. This time I am going to butt a ruler up against the tips of my second line of shingles, and mark a continuation of this line onto the secondary roof.

4) Then I place the second row of the secondary roof, aligning the tip of the shingle with the line I drew in Step 3. Again, I cut part shingles to fill the gap in snugly to the valley.  As the cut pieces aren't overlapping another shingle, they will lie slightly flatter, but don't worry about this as it will mostly be hidden by subsequent rows.

5)  The third row is just a repeat of Steps 3 and 4. On the secondary roof, I am now starting to stagger my shingle tips so that the tips line up with the seam in the row below.

Now, the tricky part of this process is that when I reach the top of the master bedroom cut-out, my row of shingles on the secondary roof will need to extend across the top of the master bedroom cut-out to reach the edge of the secondary roof.  It will need to do so in a logical pattern continuation of the rows of shingles coming up the right side of the master bedroom cut-out.  As this right side of the secondary roof starts at a lower point than the valley side on the left, I am going to need to do some fudging to ensure that my shingle rows will line up.  I am going to do a few more rows like Step 5 until I have enough of a pattern that I can extend the lines across the cut-out space to the right hand roof, using my quilting ruler.  Then I can draw lines lower down on the right-hand side, adding or subtracting smidgens from my usual half-inch separation, to make the shingle rows work out visually on the right hand side.  And I bet all that is clear as mud... :)

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A short break

I am off to Knit Camp in Stirling, Scotland, so am not going to be able to work on my dollshouse, nor to blog, for a week or two.  And I've been busy getting ready this week (insane decision to knit a fair isle vest in time to wear it at the camp) so haven't done much shingling.

Following my successful shingle test last week, I made a start on shingling the back roof.  I immediately found that there are some problems with the measurements of the supplied kit shingles.

1)  A significant number of shingles are up to 1/8" shorter in length.  This means that you can't just butt the shingles up to the pencil line, you have to watch that they are lining up at the bottom correctly.

2) A significant number of shingles are slightly narrower (as per the shingle on the right on the top row in the picture).  This is leading to alignment problems between my rows.  I've had to fudge a few rows to nudge the points of the shingles back into line with the seams of the row below.  It seems to be the way the shingles are punched, because a couple of times I've found a fat shingle still joined to a thin shingle from the manufacturing process.

When I reached the point where the back roof cut out begins, I had to decide whether to maintain the clean line of the cut-out, or whether to overhang the points of the shingles.  I decided to maintain the clean line, as this is how the Pickett Hill house is. 
To go around the corner, I shaped one shingle into a curve by drawing the curve in pencil from behind, then trimming carefully with small scissors.

Across the top of the cut-out, I am running a row of upside down shingles, butting the square end to the top of the opening.  Once the glue dries, I will cut the shingles off at the pencil line using a straight edge and knife.  This is quicker than cutting individual shingles to length, and easy to do as the shingles are so thin.

So that's it - hope you are all having a great summer!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Shingle experiments

I am still making preparations for shingling the roof. 
The first step, after painting a base coat of green, was to cut 'lifting strips' of thin plasticard, cutting them about 1/8 inch wide, and gluing these along the edges of each roof. This is to lift the first row of shingles to the correct angle.  I will also need to do this along the top edge of the roof openings. After applying, I painted the lifting strips green.

Step two was to determine the distance for marking shingling lines.  I first looked at the Warm Up Sheet directions which came with the kit, as these include a Shingling section.  It quickly became apparent that these were 1/12th scale instructions, as the distances recommended for the lines were longer than the actual length of my shingles.  After a bit of experimenting, I decided upon 3/4 inch for the first line, and subsequent lines marked at 1/2" (easier to mark than exactly half the shingle length).  Once again, my quilter's rulers are brilliant for this job, the 6"x24" ruler allows me to easily mark lines the width of the roof, while ensuring these remain square, relative to the sides and bottom of the roof.  For now, I have only marked the back roof.

As I said previously, I was skeptical about the extremely thin shingles provided with this kit.  So I shingled just a little bit of roof, and then applied a very watery coat of acrylic paint to see what would happen.  I apply my shingles with two parallel lines of Quick Grab solvent based glue, one glue line along the top of the previous row of shingles, and the other glue line just below the marked pencil line.  I am pressing the shingles into the glue one-by-one, as they come loose in the bag and the roof isn't that big.  The very watery green coat dried quickly and I was pleased to find that there was very little warping in the shingles.  One shingle has curled slightly in the top row, likely because it was not protected from water ingress by a further row of shingles.  And I was reading on the Noel Thomas site that they like a small bit of curling in their shingles to add realism.  So I guess these shingles are safe to use. In reality I won't be using such a watery coat of paint, and then my colour will cover up the glue spots.

I've also been testing out paint colours.  There are three colours in this picture.  The leftmost is the FolkArt Brilliant Green, which I think is too bright.  The middle colour is Anita's Kelly Green, which is very similar and still too intense.  The colour on the right, on the front gable, is Anita's Leaf Green, which I think I will go with.  It's like a darker shade of the Dusty Green I am using on the shutters, so will go well.
Welcome to my new readers, and to anyone who has come here for the first time after reading about me in Judith's newsletter.  I apologise that construction is going to be a little slow this month due to school holidays etc.  It is very motivating to know you are all out there - it makes me do things because I want to have something to blog about.  But sometimes there just isn't the time.  I'm sure you all know about that.