Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Windows and walls


It's been a comedy of errors this week. I managed to sweet talk a friend, who has a friend who knows someone at The National Glass Centre who can cut glass. I provided a template, told my friend that there was a 3mm tolerance on the inside of the template - meaning that the glass could be smaller than the template by 3mm because the window frame would hide it. Somewhere along the line the message got scrambled and the last person to hear the instruction heard it should be 3mm bigger. NOOOOOOoooooooooo. 
It didn't fit - obviously. Second time around, loaded with bribery biscuits and sweets, I met the friend twice removed and got the glass cut. Basically the glass artist used the very same technique as I've seen online but is infinitely more experienced than I am.



I did try it and ended up breaking it twice. I think what I've learned from the experience is you need to:
A) Put a towel underneath to cushion the glass
B) You need to put quite a bit of pressure on the cutter to get a score line in the glass. More pressure than you would use writing with a pen but less than using a chisel. You hear it making a scraping noise when it's breaking the surface of the glass.
C) Dremel diamond bits are great for grinding small areas but wear safety goggles since teeny shards of glass sometimes come at you like missiles.
I also found out that this thin glass (1.8mm), or 'floating' glass is the sort that is readily available in picture frames. I thought I would have to find a specialist supplier but it turns out that IKEA has a mountain of the stuff in their photo frames and art department

Now onto the stairs. I'm blaming Betsy and Anna-Maria for putting this idea into my head. I'm not confident making things that I haven't seen or taken a measurement from. I couldn't install floating stairs into the main walls because that would involve some sort of support like routing out a rectangle for them to sit in or pinning them from the back. Instead I made free standing, floating stairs that actually work as the support for the mezzanine floor above.



I started with a 10 inch strip of MDF, cut it in half and drew pencil lines at 15mm intervals. I Googled to find the maximum pitch for domestic stairs is 42°. Using a protractor and ruler, I drew a line from one corner at 42°. You'll note my boo-boo on the second piece of wood. I needed to make a 3 x 3" platform half way up so the second flight starts 3" in, not from the edge. It took a while to get my head around it. Once I knew where the stairs started and finshed, I cut the MDF widthways to suit.
I decided to use strips of Walnut to not only add texture to the wall and give it a modern spin, but also to help anchor the steps in place



This is the start using 5, 10 and 15mm strips inbetween the steps.


 A close up of the steps sitting inbetween the wood strips




The almost finshed staircase. The supporting rods are carbon fibre from a local model plane shop. They're not glued in place yet since I have to work out where they will meet the floor above.
I love the natural pattern and tone of walnut. Maybe a large, modern chandelier hanging above will add drama to the space.

Have a wonderful weekend

Pepper =0)





86 comments:

  1. Wow! Those stairs are incredible, you are so talented!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I absolutely love the wood choice, the colours compliments each other so nicely! I can really imagine these stairs in a large modern space and the chandelier sounds so so fabulous.
    I feel a little behind commenting over here the last couple of weeks, but I wanted to mention how much help your idea for the window laser templates were. I have been using a jig-saw to free-hand and the edges were really wobbly, and an edge jig isn't feasible. So your template idea was the perfect solution! Thanks! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristine, I've missed you posting. No doubt you are doing something amazing =0)

      Delete
  3. Gorgeous Staicase :D
    And the film about cutting the glass is wonderful!
    Hugs
    Kikka

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! That is very beautiful stairs! And so original, and creative! Great work! And I'm glad you finally got the glass you wanted =) (Without cutting any fingers?!)
    Hannah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha-ha thank you Hannah. I do like my fingers to stay where they are =0P

      Delete
  5. Those stairs are AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, Pepper it looks Fantastic! I should try to dig out a picture of the stairs my Dad designed.... yours look almost the same! This room is going to be Awesome when it is all put together! Thanks for the link (I blush....)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Betsy. I would love to see the picture. I bet your Dad designed some fabulous things =0)

      Delete
  7. The floating stairs look incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love seeing how a dollhouse is built...the stairs look so good!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you farrah, I'm glad you like them =0)

      Delete
  9. The supporting rods are what seals the deal. Genius!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh glass is not my friend, we don;t work well together..*shiver*

    Your stairs look amazing, the free hang look is really a wonderful modern design!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, it's a nightmare isn't it? I'm in awe of anyone who can cut glass =0)

      Delete
  11. WOW - the suspended stairs are really awesome. The contrast between the different species of wood is beautiful. Great Job.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Pepper, Watching the glass cutting tutorial was an eye-opener. He made it appear to be easy but I know that it has to be harder than it looks. One day I may get brave enough to try cutting glass but for now it is more fun to just watch. :))
    Your floating staircase is simply Sensational! I love the spare and simple lines. The shadowing that the stairs and the spindles cast will intensify too, once the overhead lighting is installed.
    Well Done Pepper, this is a Beauty of a staircase!:D

    elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elizabeth. He does make it look so easy, dagnabbit. I think a few more years and I'll get it ;0P

      Delete
  13. Gorgeous stairs, Pepper, what an inventive and genious job! Your wood choice is excellent :D!
    Thanks for sharing the video!
    Ilona

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you IIona and you're very welcome =0)

      Delete
  14. Beautiful design and woodwork on the stairs. Like the idea of the modern chandelier.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Brilliant! Have you considered having the lights somehow atached to the rods, to make a 'wall of lights'? (KInd of like this: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/323555554450749196/)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, you just can't see me sitting on my bum - gotta give me another job ha-ha. Hmmmm, those lights do look awesome though =0)

      Delete
  16. I've often used picture glass for minis, glass table tops etc, you can buy them very cheaply in charity shops, I even managed to find a round one, just right for a coffee table, supported by a wood block. Looks cool (to me anyway. Another time you could find the picture glass first them cut your windows to match. Fantastic stairs btw , great work, as always xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Elbey, I will definately make it simple next time. Find the glass then make the frames *nods* =0)

      Delete
  17. The stairs look great!! did you first glue the walnut strips on an then inserted the steps?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marion. No, I worked from the bottom, glued the step in place and then glued the strips around it so the step was wedged inbetween. The only way the steps could come off is if the strips come off too. It stops them from moving =0)

      Delete
  18. Hello Pepper,
    I know one way or the other you would get it done. I look forward to seeing the windows, and the staircase is superb. Excellent work! The project will be magnificent.
    Big hug,
    Giac

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Giac, I appreciate the confidence you have in my skills =0)

      Delete
  19. Love love love those stairs and the wood colors! Just beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Penelope, glad you like it =0)

      Delete
  20. I'm glad you were able to get the glass cut to the right size and shape...bribery can go a long way! So happy you went with the floating stairs. The variations in the walnut are beautiful! They're stunning and I agree that a large chandelier will be awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha Bribery biscuits and sweets always work ;0P Thank you Cyd =0)

      Delete
  21. #fingerwalks up and down and up and down#

    Every little thing you do is magic~~~ 🎶🎵🎶

    ReplyDelete
  22. #fingerwalks up and down and up and down#

    Every little thing you do is magic~~~ 🎶🎵🎶

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaha, that song is so stuck in my head now *dances*

      Delete
  23. You never cease to amaze me. Those stairs are immaculate! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw thank you Annejuli, that's very kind of you =0)

      Delete
  24. Wow! I love the walnut strip idea. Gives such warm colours and texture and a great idea too. Love the stairs. Superb as usual :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you jennifer. I do think walnut is an underrated wood. There's such a lovely variation in the cut and type =0)

      Delete
  25. Unas escaleras espectaculares. Me encanta el diseño.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Muchas gracias Isabel . Estoy muy feliz de que te gustan =0)

      Delete
  26. Wow!!!!!!! The stairs look amazing! xo Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jennifer, I'm glad you like them =0)

      Delete
  27. Hi there Pepper! Wow! That video makes cutting compound curves look so easy! I know better though! That represented a lot of practiced work!

    I really love your stairs, the walnut is a brilliant addition, it makes the whole thing look so rich! I like the idea of the ultra modern chandelier as well. Here's a challenge! Use Dale Chihuly's work as your inspiration! And no, I don''t expect that! I cannot imagine how to create something like that! But it WOULD look very cool!

    Nice Work, in spite of any frustrations! Well worth your effort!

    Doug

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just in case! Here is some of his work! :0) http://www.chihulygardenandglass.com/about/exhibition

      Delete
    2. Oh wow, just had a quick look at Dale's work. His glass is so dynamic. The blue pendant design is awesome.Hmmm, got me thinking now Doug...=0)

      Delete
  28. OMG Pepper - this looks incredible. Can't wait to see more.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Roni, that's very kind =0)

      Delete
  29. (Am I allowed to mention that I hope the bed and any furniture that's going upstairs is flat packed? I used to live in a flat with narrow stairs with a tight bend like that and we ended up having to take a window frame out and hoist my bed up through the window to get it in as it wouldn't fit up the stairs...) :-P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, I'm going to install a pulley system from the balcony =0P

      Delete
  30. The stairs are stunning and the walls too. Marvelous work!
    Hugs, Drora

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Drora for such a lovely comment =0)

      Delete
  31. hi Pepper ,
    the text is so informative and interesting to read that the photos were like an extra treat!
    best regards
    Neomi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Neomi. I do hope that I show both the method and then end result with everything I make =0)

      Delete
  32. Good to hear your sweet talk and bribery was successful in the end... ;O) And the stairs... well, I can make it short: WOW!!!

    Hugs
    Birgit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sweet talk and biscuits always work haha. Thank you Birgit =0)

      Delete
  33. I would love that type of stairs for my house....my real house not a dolls house!!!! It looks super striking, clean, modern and.... I love it!!! I loved you brought cookies the second time and I'm glad you got your glass cut as it needed to be!! Wow for the stairs!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh me too Simona. I'd love the big house that these stairs would need also. I do love the look of natural wood =0)

      Delete
  34. Sus trabajos fantásticos, las escaleras suspendidas quedan preciosas, el tono de las maderas perfecto, ese vidio sobre el vidrio estupendo e imagino esa lámpara araña.. va a quedar todo perfecto.
    Un abrazo
    Maite

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gracias Maite , estoy muy feliz de que les gusta =0)

      Delete
  35. !!!!! It seems so simple !!! :( :( :( Thanks for the info. Maybe I will use it. :) :) :)
    Your work looks very professional! Staircase looks very beautiful, stylish, elegant. Very beautiful walnut wood. You are a master!
    I can imagine what you will create beauty when set chandeliers. I love cascading chandelier!
    http://sdelai-lestnicu.ru/oformlenye/180-lyustry-dlya-lestnichnyh-proletov
    Kind regards,
    Tatiana

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Tatiana, and thank you for the link. Those hanging lights are so beautiful. I hope I can come up with something as nice =0)

      Delete
  36. The staircase is fantastic, love the wood grain! So glad you got your glass sorted too. Ikea is a great place, would never have thought of getting glass from there. I'll be keeping that in mind.

    Sarah :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah. I thought that glass was something special too. Wasn't until I talked to the experts at the National Glass Centre that I found out it's used all over the place. It pays to ask =0)

      Delete
  37. Nice stairs it is look like so attractive - Transwall

    ReplyDelete
  38. The stairs are fantastic! I love where this is going! There is a place here where I live called The Huguenot Mill, and its used for special events and the huge craft fair here, The Indie Craft Parade. This reminds me of that place! Lots of history, but plenty of subtle changes to keep it updated.

    ReplyDelete
  39. wow, smart thinking Pepper and love where this is going!

    ReplyDelete
  40. This is so beautiful that it made me speechless.And if you knew me you would know that that almost is impossible.
    I love miniatures, especially the modern ones and this is the best I saw so far.
    Hats off!!

    ReplyDelete