Thursday, January 4, 2018

Del Prado Dollhouse - Versailles Parquet for the hall

During the days of Twixmas, between over eating, and laying around reading books, I worked a little on the Del Prado house, and completed the hallway floor.
Following Elga's recommendation, I was a little bit more adventurous this time, and tried parquet instead of just wooden planks.   (Mini tutorial for plank floor HERE).

 This time, I did not glue the wood directly on to the floor.  Because the pattern was going to be on a diagonal, there would be lots of planks that needed to be cut at an angle.  'Angle' and 'mitre' are swear words around here, so I devised a work-around.  First, I covered the area to be tiled with cling wrap.  I folded it over the back of the board, and taped it tightly.
Then I cut a piece of tulle (net) fabric, and taped that over the cling wrap.   The purpose of the cling wrap is to prevent anything from sticking to the board, and the tulle fabric will become the base for my parquet flooring.  If you've ever bought small tiles from a ceramic shop, you will know where I got the idea ;-)
I drew guide lines on the tulle with a permanent marker, and tested the layout of my parquet pieces.  This is a traditional pattern of interlocking T's with a small square tile filling the gap.  It's called Versailles parquet.  If you look closely, you will see that it also resembles basket weave.
Thereafter, it was a simple matter of cutting and gluing tiny pieces of wood for several hours.  The guide lines didn't prevent me from going skew, but I just forged ahead and enjoyed myself. I made the floor a few centimeters bigger than it needed to be all around.
When I was finished, I peeled the tulle away from the cling wrap, and let the completed piece of floor lie upside down until the glue was completely dry.
It was a simple matter of measuring the floor for exact dimensions, and zipping it through the table saw to straighten the edges.  No pesky measuring and cutting of all those angles!  I'm very pleased with the result.
When I glued the floor to the base board, I glued straight planks around the edges to finish it off neatly.  I wasn't going to confess to the next step, but I might as well, because it might save you doing something stupid...
I didn't measure my wood super accurately when cutting, and was way too relaxed when gluing the pieces down.  As a result, some little gaps developed between the planks.  Not to mention the gaps left by the mitred corners in the straight plank edging.  I decided that the gaps bothered me enough that I wanted to do something about it.  I filled them in with wood filler, much like grouting a tile floor.  Once the filler was completely dry, I sanded it off by hand, till I thought my arms would drop off.  Here and there spots remained between planks that were not level, I just could not get in there with sandpaper.  When I decided to give up on sanding, and hope that no one would notice them too much, I wiped the floor with a damp cloth to get rid of the dust before varnishing.  With the first swipe of the damp cloth, those remaining spots of wood filler dissolved and wiped away.  Duh, try wiping with a damp cloth next time, before you sand for an hour!  The floor really benefited from all the sanding though, it came out beautifully level and smooth.
After that, all that remained to be done was staining and varnishing, same as with the plank floor in a previous post.

Next time, tiling the kitchen floor.