Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How to Make a Miniature Vintage Sink, Centimeters

My little lady is canning beans for the state fair.  She is hoping for a Blue Ribbon this year.  That Gladys McGillicutty always takes the Blue Ribbon!
I have had a request for centimeters for my sink in the vintage kitchen
I am just going to go through it again adding the centimeters to the instructions.  I am going to get as close as I can just by using my ruler to convert.  In miniatures your"eye", what looks "right" to you can go along way.
Here goes . . . . .
This is how I made the kitchen sink for the kitchen room box.  I made the sink from wood, gesso and a jelly container, the small single serve kind from restaurants.  If that's not available I've used any "bubble" packaging that is the size of the sink I want, this one is 39 mm x 45 mm, (1 1/2" x 1 3/4").  I have frustrated many a sales person looking around for the "right size" package, not the a particular product, but what the product is packaged in!
Start out with a piece of 3mm (1/16") thick basswood, 48 mm x 109 mm (1 7/8" x 4 1/2").  Cut a hole in the center for your sink.  I am now going to refer to this piece as the sink top.  The plastic bubble should have a flange that you can use to glue the "sink" onto the basswood.  I glue the "sink" under the top.  Don't glue now, just don't trim this flange off.  Measure the sink and cut the opening, 11 mm (3/8") from the back and 4 mm (1/8").  You can use an exacto knife, cutting a little bit at a time, sand smooth.

We are going to add on to the sink top by gluing more wood to the top of it for a thicker edge, for a back of top and for drain board ridges.

From almost 4 mm (3/32") basswood cut a strip 11 mm (3/8") wide and 109 mm (4 1/2") long.  Soften one edge of this piece with sandpaper, it should not be square, diagram A.

This piece is glued toward the back of the sink top, on top of the of the sink top.  This piece is where the faucet will be glued on.  Glue the strip on using wood glue, that's a yellow color.  If you haven't got that Elmer's white glue will do, it will just take a little longer to set up.  If you can clamp this piece together, do it.  Spring type clothes pins make pretty good clamps.

From almost 4 mm (3 3/32") basswood cut a strip 4 mm (1/8") wide and 109 mm (4 1/2") long, also cut 2 strips 4 mm (1/8") wide and 45 mm ( 1 3/4") long.  Soften the top 2 edges of these 3 pieces, diagram B.

Glue these pieces onto the sink top according to diagram C.  Clamp and let dry.  When dry slightly round off the front 2 corners of the sink top.

Round off the front corners of the sink top after you remove the clamps.  Just take the sharpness off.

When everything is dry I sanded a slight slope to the drain boards going toward the sink opening.

Cut from almost 4mm (3/32") basswood 3 mm (1/16") wide strips.  If you have access to 3 mm (1/16") wide half round use that.  If you don't have access to half round, round off the top 2 edges of the almost 4 mm (3/32") x 3 mm (1/16") strips according to diagram B.  These are the drain board ridges.  I glued 6 of these onto each side of the sink opening.  You'll need to clamp these down if you sanded the slope in the sink top.

Before you glue the sink to the underneath side of the sink top, cut a hole in the center of the plastic container for your drain.  I found a plastic cap about 6 mm (1/4") and stuck a straight pin in the center, painted it silver and dotted it with black on the inside of the cap to simulate the drain holes.  This became my sink strainer/basket.

Another option for the sink drain opening is to use a gripper snap for the rim and leave out the strainer/basket.  Gripper snaps are found in the notions department of a fabric store.  They are the kind that are fastened to the fabric with points that are pushed through the fabric and then the points are bent over.  These are not the sew on kind of snaps.

When you are satisfied with all of your sanding, glue the sink to the underneath of the sink top and set this assembly aside.

Sink Cabinet

Follow the sizes in the diagrams for cutting out the sink sides, back and front.  Round off the top 2 corners of the back.  Glue the sides onto the back, bottoms even, the back will be 11 mm (3/8") taller, that's the back splash.

Follow this drawing to glue the front and back to the sides.

Cut from 3 mm (1/16") basswood a strip 11 mm x 112 mm (3/8" x 4 3/8"), this is to be painted black and will be glued onto the bottom front of the cabinet, it's the back of the toe kick.

The doors, drawers and center vent are made from 3 mm basswood, (1/16").  Cut 25mm x 45 mm ( 1" x 1 3/4"), cut 4 for doors.

The drawers are 25mm x 12 mm ( 1" x 1/2"), cut 2.

The center vent is 27 mm x 12 mm ( 1 1/16" x 1/2"), cut 1.

With sand paper, soften all four edges of the doors, drawers and vent.

I cut vent slots with an Exacto knife,  I've also seen a shape cut out and filled with decorative screen.  Cross stitcher's perforated paper would work for this.

Glue the sink top onto the cabinet.  The sink top will be longer and wider than the cabinet by just a bit, center the cabinet under the sink top from side to side and it should have all the extra towards the front.

I use gesso to smooth everything in. all the seams need to be filled.  I paint gesso over the whole sink top and let it dry.  The gesso will sink into the seams, so you will have to paint the gesso on a few times.  After you've got everything filled you can sand it all smooth.  Remember, you want this sink to look like a piece of cast iron with the smooth finish of porcelain.

When that's done paint the sink top and cabinet.  Paint the doors, drawers and vent separately.  I used Rustoleum white, it's an oil base enamel and gives a good appliance finish.  Paint and sand between coats with fine sandpaper, I will use up to 400 grit to get a good smooth finish.  When you are satisfied with the surface, do not sand the last coat of paint.  Glue on the doors, drawers and vent.  Paint the toe kick black and glue it to the front bottom of the sink cabinet.

Go to the kitchen roombox stove for a little more explaination of the painting.

I don't make my kitchen cabinets or appliances open.  I am not going to open them and I don't leave them hanging open.  They aren't hanging open in my full size kitchen.  I think leaving them open in a miniature scene emphasizes that it is a miniature.  I am going for as much realism as I can achieve.

For the handles I painted a plastic drinking straw with silver spray paint.  Then I tried to slice off identical widths, then I cut these in half.  I glued the half slices, the handles, to the front of the doors and drawers with super glue.

Glue your strainer/basket in.  I ordered a faucet from Hobby Builders, #938, I believe it's $6.99.

I hope I have the conversions right.  I know we want to try to stay to 1 inch scale as much as possible, but sometimes we just have to go by "eye" and that's just fine, too.

Have fun, expand on it, make it better, just keep making minis!!!!  Oh, and send pictures, too!

Talk to you all later, I have a special order to draft . . . . . . . Kris