A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:

The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Bakery - Stage Two - Part One

With all the chores of the Christmas season out of the way, I started work on Stage Two of the Bakery on Boxing Day. My first task was to make a firm decision on the layout of the house. Way back when I started the basement block (stage one) the plan was to have the oven on the side and the trapdoor access to the surface on the back wall, but somewhere along the way I changed the plan and swapped the position of the oven and trapdoor. This means that the chimney carrying the smoke from the oven in the basement had to run up the back wall of the house, not the side as I originally planned. I also originally planned to have the trapdoor emerging inside the ground floor shop, but no matter how I drew it, having the shop positioned over the trapdoor just didn't work, so in the end I left it outdoors. The trapdoor now emerges under the outside steps up to the first floor. This is probably a little inconvenient for the bakers, but the structure of the steps gives me somehting to attach the pulleys to so that the bakers can lift their bread out of the basement via a 'dumb waiter' type of system. So, with a new layout plan decided, I started work on the house. First came the 'framework'. I cut six posts (at 7" high) from 1/2" square stick of spruce wood to form the outline of the ground floor and to hold up the first floor. I drilled a hole in the top and bottom of each post and a hole in the 'ground' (the top of the basement block) where each post would go and used a piece of toothpick as a 'dowel' to help hold the posts in place. (The holes in the tops of the posts also hold toothpicks that pass through the beams above and into the first floor posts, but that comes later.) Next came the horizontal beams that connected the tops of the posts. These were made from balsa wood strips that I had 'stained' with a mix of watered down paint to look something like oak. I started with the two side beams which were - carefully - pushed over the toothpicks jutting up from the posts until the toothpicks emerged from the top. The remaining beams were then fitted and glued in place. This was the result: This photo is taken from the back left corner. The space between the back left post, the centre left post, the centre right post and the back right post is the space where the bakers shop will be. The next step was to make and fit the stairs to the first floor. These are again made from balsa wood. Normally when I make stairs like this I use lils (craft pins) to hold everything together. This works well, but leaves a metal 'nail head' showing along the side for each step. As I wanted my steps to be metal free, I used toothpicks again. The toothpicks are glued to the uderside of each step and then each end of the toothpick is poked through the side piece - which I think is what should be called the 'stringer'. The ends of the toothpick were then cut off. This makes the toothpick almost invisible, unless you happen to lie under the staircase and look up. With the stairs made, I positioned two more posts and used beams to tie them into the existing structure and fixed the stairs to the beams. As you can see in the photo, my current test dummy Naked Neville took a stroll about to see what he thought while the glue was drying. Before moving on to the next floor, I cut pieces of foamboard to act as the 'walls' and this next photo shows how effective adding walls can be! I'll add another post soon with the details of the first floor construction!

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