I wrapped up the final bits necessary before painting in the past few days. Here’s the rundown on what I’ve been up to…
First, I sanded everything. This took a whole day’s session…there’s a lot of surface area on this beastie.
When satisfied the kids won’t get any splinters and everything was nice and smooth, I worked on the draw bridge. I used the router table to rout vertical grooves to simulate planks. Like so:
Oops, the picture is rotated. Well, you get the idea. Next, I routed two 1/4″ wide grooves horizontally and glued in some 1/4″ square dowels I had laying around.
Now it’s looking like a proper wooden door. But it was a little hard to grip. I thought a out putting a knob on, but that would encourage Kylie to snap it off. Then I considered having a rope come through from the back and make a rope handle….but that wouldn’t look right to my eye. Then I happened to be in the car trying to referee a fight in the backseat at the grocery store when inspiration struck:
There in front of me was the window controls…just a hollowed out part that lets you get a finger under the button! I could do that! So I whipped out the carving chisels and hollowed out a notch under the upper crossbar:
After a few test pulls from Kylie and Keaton, I finalized the slot and sanded it smooth. Best part is, if you’re not looking for it, it looks like there is no handle!
All I had to do was stain it! So I took an old Minwax ebony stain pen and filled in the grooves. It bled a little, so after drying, I simply sanded off the offending stain, leaving nice smooth dark grooves. I then applied a Minwax honey oak stain to the whole thing and wiped it down. Here’s the result:
Looks a proper drawbridge now!
With that done (I’ll add a layer or six to finish it when the castle is painted), I turned back to the castle. Detail time!
I plan on putting Kylie’s name on the toy storage front, so I went Michaels and picked up some wooden letters:
These will be primed and painted a contrasting color and glued to the bookcase later. I also picked up a laser-cut frame and mirror to install under the middle tower platform:
This is gonna be awesome….I decided to go ahead and finally attach the middle tower while I was at it:
Once the frame was trimmed with the coping saw (there were a few too many pointed fleur de lis that stuck out a little too far…) I made the last of the crenelations for the back. This is decorative and it will keep anything from falling down behind the bookcase:
Then, at last, it was time to prime. Last night after the kids went down I spent 2 hours priming the the bookcase and mirror frame. It is just flat white, but now that everything is a uniform color, it looks great!
I cannot wait to got get the paint and start the final steps….paint and shellac and install the drawbridge and she’s ready for books!!
Time today (three days): 6 hours.
Total time: 27 hours.