• Announcements

    • purplejuliana

      Micro-Mark Discount code for IGMA   01/29/2017

      Great News for miniature artists!!!! In support of IGMA and the world of fine miniatures,  Micro-Mark the small tool specialists, have offered IGMA a 10% discount on all their purchases.  Buyer gets 10% off all purchases and in support of the Guild Micro-Mark will donate 5% of your purchased price to IGMA Be sure to enter Promo code IGMASAVE16 www.micromark.com Can be used on sale merchandise, but cannot be combined with another offer.  For example if an item is in the close-out section on the Micromark website, the discount will apply. If they discount some items in an email (a special promotion) the 10% will not be able to be combined with that offer.  Time to go shopping!!!      


Popular Content

Showing most liked content since 09/19/2017 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    This was the first project I made in a metals class in art school. The assignment was to fabricate something in metal. Using forming and silver soldering techniques. I chose to make a 1: 12 scale teapot on a stand. The stand was made of sterling silver square wire because I needed that gauge and sterling was all I had. The flower cup holder (for the burner) was cut out of a dapped piece of sterling with a jewelers saw. When finished, the stand was oxidized to make it look like wrought iron. The body of the teapot is brass and was made of two dapped pieces soldered together. I wanted a tapered hollow spout and the only way I knew to make it at that time was to electroform it. I made a wax interior shape and painted a conductor on it. Then literally grew copper over the wax. Once I had enough copper built up on the wax, I was able to melt out the wax and solder the spout on the brass pot. The teapot had to be gold plated. The burner was made out of telescoping tubes and sheet brass and gold plated. The wood knob and handle are ebony. More 40 years later this first project makes me blush/cringe a bit. I made five of these pieces. Dearing and Tracy (miniature dealers from the 1970's) sold all the other ones for me. I have often wondered what happened to Dearing & Tracey. They had beautiful miniatures at the time.
  2. 2 points
    I know I am replying to an older post from 2015. But while rereading this thread I noticed the issues above. This can indeed be an issue with the tilt arbor Microlux saw and also with the tilt arbor Proxxon saw. Both of those saws are made in the same factory in Japan and built using most of the same parts. A few years back I purchased a used Proxxon saw from craigslist and it had cutting problems. So I got out my measuring tools and discovered that the saw blade was not parallel to the miter slots in the table top which of course also meant parallel issues to the fence. As I quickly discovered there was not way to adjust the alignment of the arbor mounts that hold the blade in position. Of course I could not return a used table saw so I started taking things apart and made it adjustable While I was doing that I took the time to document the process and post it on my blog. So even if you have one of these defective tilt arbor saws that came out of the factory being misaligned and it is sitting on a shelf in your workshop, don't despair, there is still some hope for it. Link to the fix: https://karincorbin.blogspot.com/2009/07/proxxon-table-saw-adjustment.html
  3. 2 points
    I age my blacksmith shop windows with real strong coffee or tea wash. Lay the window down flat and wash on around edges, let dry and apply again until you get the desired finish. You can dab in the middle lightly while still wet. Then use an artist flat fixative spray to hold it all in place. The fixative spray does not show, it is used on charcoal and such drawings to hold all in place. Be sure to get artist fixative not flat acrylic spray. You can also use India ink in a very light wash (this is more permanent and hard to remove) I also use sidewalk (poster) chalk. Wet a soft artist brush and rub it on the chalk to form a puddle on the chalk of the color you want. This can be wiped off so use fixative here too.
  4. 2 points
    One suggestion that may help: make a “dirty” wash by taking a small amount of white glue, like Elmer’s, and mix with acrylic paint like black and burnt sienna . You can dilute the paint with water to get the shade you want, then mix it with the glue. Paint this on your window and let dry. It can be rubbed with a cloth if you want to have a clean area like in the middle of the pane. Finely sifted hobby “dirt” like the kind you find in train stores, or cigarette ashes can be used in window corners depending on the look you want. You could experiment by painting a thin layer of the mixture on a scrap piece of glass at first.
  5. 2 points
    IMO, anything less than about 1/16" thick isn't going to be sturdy enough for your sofa. However - you can get much thinner veneer and glue together several layers. This is called a lamination. Thick wood doesn't bend easily but thin wood does; and a lamination allows you to get tighter curves. Your sofa looks like it has fairly tight curves so you might need to use a lamination. Your form will need to cover the wood on both the inside and outside of the curves (so you can press the lamination between the two pieces of the form). Put one layer of boiled/steamed wood around the "inner" form, slather another layer with glue, smooth it onto the first layer ... keep repeating until you have the desired thickness, then put on the "outer" form and clamp it all together until it is dry. Since it will be covered by the form on both sides it will dry slowly - leave it at least overnight if not longer. Waxed paper on both faces of the lamination is a good idea - keeps the lamination from getting glued to the form. Shape your upper rail after the wood comes out of the form - you won't be able to perfectly line up all the lamination layers and you will have to trim/shape the edges. You will get some amount of "springback" - when you remove your formed wood from the form, it will relax somewhat (i.e., spring back) and will be larger than the form. Best plan is to make the curves on your form a little tighter than your desired end piece. It's not to hard to force the bent wood into a slightly wider curve after it's formed, but it you try to force it into a tighter curve you're likely to break it. I can't tell you how much it's going to spring back - there are all kinds of calculations to predict that and I find that most of them aren't accurate with very thin layers of veneer. BTW, when you boil your wood, more is not better. Boiling it too long removes all the lignins from the wood and then it will crack/break and not bend. You will have to experiment with your wood to get the right timing - for 1/16" thick cherry 10 - 15 minutes seems to be about right for me. Longer than that and you are risking breakage. For thinner veneer I would guess 5-8 minutes - but that stuff cools so fast that you will need to have all your tools, supplies, molds, glues, etc. all arranged and laid out before you take your wood out of the pot.
  6. 2 points
    I have been busy making watering cans from flat sheet and wire. This week I got a new hydraulic press with a 20 ton jack. Which will make things a lot easier. I was burnishing those rings (on the can) in by hand.
  7. 2 points
    Catherine, how many girls can say they own a new hydraulic press with a 20 ton jack? That's what I love about this hobby so much! I love your watering can! gail
  8. 1 point
    Working on a 1/12 scale Shetland Pony. Will post progress photos. Equine miniatures are a specialty but this is the first one I've done 100% from scratch and felted. Having a lot of fun with him. I have visions of paring him with a porcelain child doll. He is 3 inches at the shoulder.
  9. 1 point
    He looks great, cannot wait to see him with ears and tail. How did you handle the armature?
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    Hello all,My TEDxKC talk is now online on YouTube. Please watch and post to your Facebook, Instagram and whatever since I don't do any of those things. The more folks view it the better for me!For those that don't know me well I have for the last 40 years built fine scale miniatures of all sorts of tools, scientific instruments and the like. This TEDxKC talk was given in front of 3,000+ people on Aug. 18th in Kansas City.It shows my work, my workshop and even touches on my antique tool collection.Enjoy and pass it around! (Please)DETAILS MATTERDetails matter: a micro mechanician in the modern era | Bill Robertson | TEDxKC - YouTube
  12. 1 point
    http://www.thomasopenhouse.com/tips_howto.html I am sure you are aware of these articles, but for other forum members, here is an index from Pat Thomas... My gut instinct would have me leaving the window(s) outside and then mother nature can contribute to the project... Steam and a very fine mist (from the kitchen) of some kind of oil + dirt and a fan, may also help speed up the process.... (outdoors of course!) Now where is my mortar and pestle so I can ground up dirt?
  13. 1 point
    Dearing and Tracy bought some of my miniatues in the late 1980s. I don't know what happened to them. I would not blush at that work. I tried the electrodeposition for making spouts on some o my first tin ware. Years ago I was thinking of building very high detail WWI airplanes. I found this series of booklets with how to do suggestions printed in 1981. I found about electrodeposition. I tried using an electric train transformer and used copper using a penny as an anode. They gave a formula of wax for the molding. 1 part paraffin wax, 2 parts bees wax and 2 parts of powdered graphite. Melt the waxes together and stir in the graphite. My problem was that I did not built up thick enough spouts the withstand handling. Another thing that appeared in this book was the use of Fimo. They were also using photo etch for making machine gun barrel jackets. I learned a lot from these books.
  14. 1 point
    I love first projects, I see it as the start of a journey. So many people are afraid to start working in a medium or scale that they don't know. How are you ever going to discover whether you like and have the talent for working with something if you don't try it? Never blush over first projects, they started a journey, we learned from it and did better the next time and the third time until it became easy to work with our chosen medium as we got to know how it responds to our efforts, techniques and tools. Thanks for sharing Catherine, it is a beautiful little teapot and deserves a special place in your yourney as a metalsmith.
  15. 1 point
    Are you planning to do "free-hand" turning, or are you planning to use conventional metal turning processes?
  16. 1 point
    Gosh the inside of the pumpkin looks very real; wonderful texture, and I like the arch of the black cat's back. These are fun sculpts... I can see you have multiple talents!
  17. 1 point
    In case you are not aware, Lime wood is basswood in the USA, here is a link to the wood database. Basswood is inexensive hardwood if you are in the USA, and easily available to hobby stores nationwide. http://www.wood-database.com/basswood/ I was in a class with Nancy Summers at Guild School and she used Cherry Wood for our project that year. The class was upholstering, not creating the furniture, but I'm sure my curved piece was solid wood, not veneer as it is easily seen in the end grain. My personal preference when I am painting something is to use basswood. If I am staining I like cherry or walnut as it is easily obtainable in our 'neck of the woods'. Remember to review wood toxicities too, especially, if you have allergies and to wear a dust mask with power equipment. I probably would not wear a dust mask when I was using hand carving tools, only when using electrical equipment... If you want steamed pear or boxwood, you can import, find online and/or at hardwood lumber suppliers or purchase from Steve Goode. I have purchased from SHGoode in the past. http://shgoode.com/ The advantage of working with Steve is that he is a minature lumber supplier. If you purchase online, you are not likely to get the thickness of wood that you may desire, so it has be resawn on a bandsaw, or planed to the correct thickness for your project.
  18. 1 point
    Do you have the item in your possession that is the subject of the photo? If yes, I would measure the wood of this item. My new translated version of Roubo on Furniture is supposed to be delivered today. I can't wait to go though this book, and I suspect the answers will be there for lovely french furniture.... and while I also love Chippendale, I am drawn to Aubusson and Savonnerie Rugs, and lovely french furniture should be used with those beautiful floral rugs. If you have any interest in the construction of french furniture, I am using the book I found at www.lostartpress.com as my reference. You can also purchase instructions for french furniture in miniature from Meghan at http://www.dorsettpublications.com/. (Helen & Jim Dorsett published The Scale Cabinetmaker, I think if my memory works there were 21 Volumes, and Meghan is their daughter.) Good Luck!
  19. 1 point
    Hi Kathe, I admire your ambition to make a sofa like this as your first furniture item in wood, although as you are painting it, you could consider using 3mm (1/8") plywood. A much cheaper way of trying out miniature woodworking. Rather than bending the rails I would cut them 'in the flat' and shape them by sanding the edges (actually I would still do that if I made it from 'proper' wood). You then angle the ends to fit higher at the back and lower at the front post. That way you can first make the seat then the rails and the internal upright bits. Look for some photos of what it looks like without the upholstery. The upholstery I would do using panels made of card and some quilt wadding on the inside first and finish off with panels on the back. just for info: you could bend veneer up to 2mm (3/32") by making a mold. I've done this with ladderback chairs. The added advantage is that they all end up the same. Just a block of wood that you saw in half with a slightly deeper curve than you want, that you can clamp together with rubber bands. The grain of the veneer has to be in the same direction as the curve. As the sofa will be painted I would only use carvable wood where it is necessary for carving. Carving works best on lime, steamed pear and boxwood. I prefer steamed pear. I've tried mahogany, but it splintered too much. You mentioned Ash, but I think it has too course a grain for miniatures. I started carving with a short scalpel and a very cheap set of miniature screwdrivers (£3-£4 then) that I angled and sharpened on sandpaper to make mini chisels with 220, 320 and 1200 grit, just because I had these. I had no prior knowledge of these kind of tools or how to use them. These mini screwdriver chisels don't last long as the metal is quite soft, so you have to resharpen them quite often, but trying this first gives you time to investigate a good set of micro or mini chisels and gouges or learn to make your own. There is a series of 3 YouTube videos, by Patrick Sullivan, titled Making Detail Carving Tools. He makes it look easy and you don't need much in terms of tools and prior knowledge of metal working. There is also a YouTube video of David Hurley working on a set of miniature carved and bent chairs on Lee Stoffer's channel from about a year ago. I was amazed at his tiny workspace! Good luck with your sofa! Idske
  20. 1 point
    Hi Kathe, Welcome to the forum.... My first set of micro carving tools was a set of dockyard carving tools... knowing myself, they are probably the middle size. I got a couple of tools from Elizabeth G, at a GS Seminar (Carving a ball & claw foot), and then added a small starter set of the flexcut tools. I can also borrow tools from husband's collection...as long as I pay attention to the rules... like put them back after finished and do not let them bang around. I go back and forth, always buy the smallest? or buy the medium size... or buy ALL of them... I still only have my original set. If you are planning to carve the piece that was the recent subject posted for the bending wood? then I think I would want the smallest size tools. Two Cherry tools are very nice, (aka Expensive) but if you love the best quality in your tools, I would consider this brand too... oh and these are available at my local woodwoking store, so I can see them in person before buying. Some people carve with a dremel or foredom flex shaft, but I prefer to carve by hand, as I need all the control possible. If you do purchase the dockyards, they could fit perfectly in a magnetically closing eyeglasses case, and you can go to Lowe's or Home Depot and purchase clear plastic tubing to slip over the blades to protect them from damage. Another option is to repurpose leather from a large purse or tote, and sew a leather roll for them as you do want to prevent damage.
  21. 1 point
    Thank you to our Guild Committee and all of the board members who volunteered and worked diligently to bring this event together. It was I N C R E D I B L E !! I was thrilled with the items I was able to purchase and my only regret is that I couldn't buy everything as there was so many wonderful treasures. I could have easily spent $10,000 in about 10 minutes, on just one side of one sales area ... Leslie Smith's painting of Adele Bloch - Bauer I was one of the favorite items that didn't come home with me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_Adele_Bloch-Bauer_I Hosting this event at the museum was a perfect backdrop... the gallery talks gave us a glimpse of the history that surrounded the creative process, and the opportunity to ask an artisan about a technique was incredible... and while this opportunity also exists when you participate in workshops or Guild School with the instructors, the opportunity to talk to the artisan one on one at the gallery talk was rare... I didn't have problems navigating Kansas City, and even found an entire neighborhood of storybook houses that I would have loved to have toured in more detail. It was fun to see our new artisan's participate, Dustin from Michigan (USA), Victoria from Russia, and Elga from South Africa, and I hope they had wonderful first shows! And our veteran instructor Elizabeth G was also at her first show and I think she was having fun too. I got to discuss Catherine's Palace (at the Kentucky Gateway Museum) with Robert Dawson and even brought my Mulvaney & Roger's book for Susie and Kevin's autographs.... and talked with Susie about the wonderful experience of being a grandma. The submissions pieces were wonderful... and the only thing I would have changed was a brief photo op of all the submission pieces.... so I'm sending emails and then based upon response I'll post pics for the FMF. I was so surprised to see Anne R, a fellow of Needlework at this show... and it was great to see her again and share part of a day. Thank you again to the Guild! It was a memorable weekend, and I'm sure I will be smile each time I look at the new treasures!
  22. 1 point
    Gail, Thank you. I think they got it wrong... It's tools that are a girls best friend. Oops... I see there is some Blu-tack stuck in one of the holes in the watering head. I'll just pretend it's a bit of garden grunge. ;-)
  23. 1 point
    I happened upon some better, more detailed photographs of the aforementioned lady's dressing table... Again, the dresser was based on those found within the first-class cabins aboard the R.M.S. "Titanic"... ...the aforementioned plastic model, 1/350-scale. It won second place at the King Con model show in Memphis, and around the 80th anniversary of the ship's sinking. Later, I placed it for sale at a hobby shop, and was eventually bought by someone affiliated with the Titanic Exhibition when it came through Memphis in the spring of '97. I attended that exhibition. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I was told that my model was used as a guide for a much larger model for same. The model does not have double masts as it seems there. Rather, that's the shadow caused by the flash. Under the ship, I had made and placed a house with a car in the driveway, for perspective. After I built that model, there was was really nothing else to challenge me. It was then that I turned towards the making of miniatures in wood, and what I consider a natural progression.
  24. 1 point
    Here is a dwarf rabbit Rex 1:12 Find our creations on latelierdunain.com
  25. 1 point
    Welcome Victor to the forum, so glad to have you jump in a post. Lots of possibilities. Let's say I have a 3" wide board that is 3/4" thickness and 24" long. I want a piece that is 3/32" thick. I find our full size 10" table saw to be very accurate. And a good sharp blade results in a beautiful cut surface. Expect saw kerf equal to the thickness of your blade. I would raise the blade to 1.5", I would place the 3/4" surface against the bottom of the table saw, saw it, and then flip it to finish the cut. I set the fence to, in theory 21/32" to make those two cuts. I am in favor of heavy equipment; a good heavy saw is wonderful; if your saw is inaccurate; then I would look at ways to clean up the inaccuracies, and of course there are many kinds of saw blades. An alternative in our shop is to resaw the board against a taller fence on our band saw, and feed it through the planer. My personal favorite is to buy the wood planed to the correct thickness... I would do is 2 or 3; my husband enables option 1 to happen... Tamra