Saturday, 10 March 2018

Fireplace - Part 1

This post is about the construction of the mantlepiece for the fireplace. I have measurements of the internal part (the black part where the logs go) but not of the mantelpiece itself so these were estimated from photographs using the surrounding furniture as reference. 

I also went to some DIY shops to have a look at some fireplaces and get an idea of depth as this wasn't very clear from the photographs. They were actually a lot narrower than I expected. Around 10cm at the bottom and 18cm for the top panel.

From these measurements and estimates I drew a full size accurate drawing on paper of both the front and side elevations.

The mantlepiece is made of both sheet styrene (and easy to cut plastic) and MDF in various thicknesses from 2mm to 18mm. Two of the styrene pieces were sanded at an angle to give the specific profile of the fireplace. This picture shows all the pieced glued together. I used Plastic Weld to glue styrene to styrene and hi-tack glue to fix MDF to styrene with wood glue for the MDF to MDF joins. 

In the picture above, from the top, there are two layers of styrene followed by a sanded at an angle piece of styrene. Below that is MDF followed by more angled styrene and below that are two more pieces of MDF, the bottom one having an arch cut out for the fireplace itself.

Once glued together it was resanded to help hide any joins.

Next the MDF parts were painted in MDF primer. This also gave a better surface for the plaque background to fix to.

The plaque was made with extruded styrene strip which comes in all shapes and sizes. I've used a small half circle shape for both the plaque frame and the decorative bars, in two different sizes.

To make the plaque I cut out a small rectangle of styrene sheet, 1mm thick and 4 angled bars of the small semi-circle styrene strip. These were then attached with Plastic Weld. The Plastic Weld evapourates very fast sometimes you have to redo it a few times and its important to keep the lid on (the cutting mat behind now has a lot less lines on it due to spillage!). Once it does stick it makes a very good bond.

The whole fireplace was then sprayed with grey car primer.

Then a coat of white gloss paint. This will be finished in cream with the fireplace slogan printed and attached in the plaque frame. Part 2 will show how I've made the internal part of the fireplace where the logs will go.

This is how it looks in place in the set. As you can see there is a whole in the set for the fireplace to fit back into.

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