18 March 2013

Inglenook / Chimney Breast Tutorial

I know it's often asked about how you make an Inglenook / chimney breast.  There's lots of materials you can use but the basic construction is the same.

I've just made an Inglenook / alcove for a customer to fit a kitchen range I previously sold to her and I thought it might be useful to take a few photos and document the process for the benefit of others.

This one is made from 4mm laser cut plywood.  I started with a CAD drawing that I sent to a friend Lazercutz who laser cut it for me and then I assembled the parts using a simple right angle jig to keep everything square.

I needed to keep everything lightweight because it's being posted abroad so I used a bit of square balsa wood to support the corners and provide rigidity.

Top view showing assembly

I coated it all in a thin layer of very fine polyfiller to give a plaster effect finish and painted it with emulsion.  White for the plaster and a light grey in the alcove to act as a grout colour.

Plaster effect finish, painted

I made a lintel - again, to keep the weight down I veneered a bit of jelutong with oak veneer and made it a bit deeper on one edge to fit into the alcove to look as though the lintel actually fits into the chimney.

Oak veneered lintel
It was finished with brick versi-slips from Richard Stacey.  I used Tacky glue to stick them on with.  Just watch out for ones that half lift off after a couple of minutes!

Lintel and brick versi-slips

It was built to fit a specific house but it's approximately 8" high, 6" wide and 1.25" deep with an alcove 4" x 4" to fit one of the Phoenix Model kitchen range kits.

Finished chimney breast

I hope the tutorial is useful.


PS.  Custom alcoves / chimney breasts are now available on my website.

Tutorial is for personal use only and not to be used to make items for sale or commercial gain.  Text and photos copyright of JS Miniatures

13 March 2013

Online Miniature Show Launches New Products!!

The 4th Online Miniature Show is now open!

Shelly Norris, the organiser, has put together a show pamphlet to make finding tables much easier and each dealer has provided a description of what they sell.  You can find the pamphlet here:
Show pamphlet

I have a table at the show and I have launched some brand new products including my new LED lamps!  If you have a 1/48th or 1/144th scale dolls house that you would like to light up then I have designed and manufactured the perfect lighting kit.

Simple to use, all you have to do is install the tiny chip LEDs, plug into the battery and switch on! No soldering or twisting wires required.  All the had work has been done for you!

The ultra thin wires can be easily hidden under wallpaper, flooring or in corners and there's enough length so everything can be hidden away in a base or elsewhere so they're even ideal for 360 degree houses!

The tiny, exceptionally bright SMD Chip LEDs run off two AAA batteries in a compact holder with integrated on/off switch.  You may ask why have I not used a CR2032 coin cell battery?  The answer is that having done extensive testing of both batteries you would be disappointed with the results of the CR2032 battery because it just doesn't have the power to produce enough brightness in the LEDs to give a nice effect.  It also can't run different coloured LEDs off the same battery meaning you would have to have separate batteries for each colour, costing you significantly more.

Tiny SMD chip LED

The pre-wired warm white chips are only 1.6mm long so they are small enough to either be hidden or installed into a little lamp.

The house lighting kits are available in a number of options to suit the number of rooms in your house. I recommend having 1 LED per room or for an open plan house or larger buildings such as a church or school I recommend 1 chip for every 2-3" of length.

Suitable for any 1/48th or 1/144th scale kit they come with full instructions.
4 chip kit with red LED for fireplace

All kits include:
  • Warm white SMD chip LEDs with 35cm (15") of ultra thin wire (red wire is 16cm (6.5") long)
  • Battery holder with integrated on/off switch and 2 x AAA batteries
  • Full instructions
Lighting Kit

Simple plug battery connection

5 March 2013

Online Miniatures Show - 13th-18th March 2013

The popular online miniatures fair is on next week (13th-18th March 2013).

There will be tables from miniaturists from all over the world, including some big names and with the focus on handmade and artisan pieces it's a great opportunity to shop for some exquisite minis from the comfort of your sofa!

I will have a table there again too and will have my new lights for sale.

If you would like to visit the show you can find the website here:  A mini miniature show online

Tables will be available to view once the show is open.

Hope to see you there!


4 March 2013

News, Updates and New Products!

Time is flying past! Blogging seems to be one of those things that keeps getting left for another day when I'm less busy and then suddenly I realise it's been over a month and I haven't updated you all on what's happening!   I will try to do better!

In my defense it's been a very busy start to 2013 for me.  I have been running an online workshop for Minis4All during February on using LEDs in miniature projects which has been very successful and I have also had an interview with Kirsten Miller of UK Handmade for her "Inspire: The Road Less Travelled" series.  You can read more about both of these events below.

I also have some very exciting news!  After a successful trial in the LED workshop I have been working hard on improving my lighting kits for smaller scale houses - 1/48th & 1/144th.  I am hoping to have the new prototype kit ready this week with the kits available for sale very soon!  If you would like more information please contact me: jsminiatures @ gmail.com (please remove space before and after the '@').

Workshop: Using LEDs for Dolls House Projects

Modern Tube Light
Modern Tube Light

I spent most of January designing suitable kits for the online workshop.  I wanted all the projects to be simple to make and tailored for those who have never used an LED before in their life.  

I also wrote a "Beginners Guide to LEDs" with all the basics so that the ladies could understand how LEDs worked.  

The workshop is very much aimed at those who usually get their husbands to do the electrics but would very much like to have a go themselves.  It's really not that complicated, it just seems scary!  I'm not an electronics expert so there's no complicated mumbo jumbo!

Projects included:
Modern Table Lamp
Modern Table Lamp
  • Modern Tube Light
  • Modern Table Lamp
  • Flickering Fire Kit
  • 1/48th Scale House Lighting Kit
  • 1/144th Scale House Lighting Kit
I will be offering the workshop through my website shortly so if you are interested and would like to take part please contact me for details.  jsminiatures @ gmail.com (please remove space before and after the '@').

The lights shown will be available for sale at the online miniature show next week.  More on that tomorrow!

Inspire: The Road Less Travelled.... Interview

Kirsten Miller of Quernus Crafts started doing a series of interviews 2 years ago with people, like her, who have given up their day job (whether through choice or circumstance) and who want to share their story.  The series is called: "The Road Less Travelled".

You can read my interview here: http://www.ukhandmade.co.uk/content/inspire-road-less-travelledjennifer-smith

Hope you enjoyed reading this post,