Every Day a little bit forward, and a little bit better

This weekend is the “Civic Holiday” weekend in most of Canada, the first monday in August is a holiday for most workers in most provinces. I took the Friday off to extend it into a four day weekend. I was, feeling a bit mopey and not all that motivated yesterday, yet I found myself putting in a half hour or so at the workbench, picking up a project I’ve been ignoring for a while, construction on the Hinde and Dauch paper factory.

Working on resin casting windows from my 3D printed masters. On this one wall alone there are 19 windows and one door to go in the bottom right corner. This building has a lot of windows, and this is the “simplest” wall!

In my constant quest to improve my building technique, I decided again to try something a bit different, sort of combining techniques I have used to try and come up with a better way of marking and cutting out window openings. This remains one of my banes when it comes to scratch building structures, you get ten or twenty openings into a wall, and a careless cut or slipped blade can ruin hours of work, sometimes irreparably. It’s a task that requires patience, and time, not one I can do in a five or ten minute work break, but one I need to have actual blocks of time and calm headspace for.

Working on cutting out window openings, a never ending task when scratchbuilding large factories.

My latest combining of techniques is seen in the pictures above, using a printed paper template with the windows cut out, I then used a black sharpie to trace out the openings onto the styrene wall. With this done, I then tried two techniques, for the square windows I did what I have been doing of late, and drilling corner holes with a #66 bit. Then using a knife and ruler to cut between them until an opening is made. Once the opening is made, I use a file to expand the opening to fit. The second technique on the lower windows was to drill a large centre hole, and use the nibbler tool to open them up. I had gotten away from the nibbler as the small mountain of off cut bits gets infuriating in my office/workshop, but it also offers a lot of control that I don’t find I have with the knife.

This is one of the smaller walls on this building, but that doesn’t make it simple. The majority of the windows are arched at the top, which means careful trimming out then sanding. So far, so good with the few I have done. This is definitely a be calm and take time task. Fortunately, for this wall there are vertical columns of brick that bracket the window columns which will hide any mis cuts along the sides of the windows, so as long as I get the top and bottom tight, it will be fine. I now need to get back to casting some more windows as I haven’t actually done them for the main walls along the rails, where there are a lot of much bigger windows to make and install, and where there are no vertical columns to hide any mistakes.

2 thoughts on “Every Day a little bit forward, and a little bit better

    • Hi Brian,

      Yes, the thought has crossed my mind, the issue is the buildings are far bigger than the print bed of any machine with the resolution, and even though I have 3D prints that are pushing 10 years old now, I don’t know how stable large prints are long term. Then, there is the complexity of the drawing work to create the bricks and such, and that’s all before you even think about the cost. Someday that may be a viable proposition, but at the moment, it still isn’t.

      Stephen

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