Resin, Caulking, Filling
Uses for sawdust: make beads using saw dust, white glue and acrylic paint for coloring. You could even press this mixture in a miniature mold rubber and let it dry. You can make interesting textured paint by mixing in saw dust. Saw dust colored various colors is wonderful as a landscaping material too. Use it just as you would ground up foam. You can color it by mixing it with watered down paint and letting it dry. Colored saw dust can look like potpourri in a small jar or bowl too.
Easy Flow: For all of you looking for a way to keep your caulk or glue flowing. I use scrap polymer clay and press around the hole or top of tube or bottle that I don't want to dry up. Then all you do is pull the clay off and your ready to use the flowing easily medium of choice!
Filling Cracks: If I read correctly, the kit you are building is the "slot and groove" type that leaves gaps at the floors and ceiling. After assembling one kit such as this by Greenleaf, I went to the local hardware store and picked up a small wee tub of "Wood Filler". It is premixed and can be put on using a very narrow putty knife. It is also available in a tube, using a putty knife as well. Put this stuff on lightly, stuffing it into the grooves and let dry over night. Get some sandpaper or, even better, a Sanding Block and sand away. The sanding blocks that I use look like rectangular pieces of foam that have a sandpaper type surface. These are easy to use, not too dusty, great to get into those corners and edges and easy on the finger tips. Be sure to vacuum up the residue because it gets all over the ceilings, walls and floors but the results are miraculous.
After I finished that house, I could say that I was very intimate with wood filler and what good things it can do. You can also use this method on the walls or I have heard that Gesso is great to put on walls to even them out. Again, use very lightly and be careful sanding.
I would presume that because you are having the plaster come off the walls when you are painting it is because you are putting the plaster on too thickly. Try the above methods and let us know your results.
Sher in Toronto
Cracks & Plaster* Most hardware stores and many grocery stores carry tub/tile caulking in small tubes. This is a simple, easy application. Make a small hole in the tip of the tube. Draw a bead of caulk along your crack. Smooth with a damp finger. I have also used spackle and wood putty. I like the caulk because it paints so easily.
You need to seal your crumbling plaster with a spray acrylic fixative. Apply two or more light coats. After the second coat you can repair any damage to the plaster by applying a thin coat of spackle and texturing it to match the plastered finish. A spray sealer will be more user friendly to fragile walls though you may paint a sealer or diluted white glue to the surface to correct your problem. If this does not work it is possible that you may have to gently remove the plaster and begin again. If you applied plaster to a slick, non-porous surface, that may be your problem. Slick surfaces are nasty about allowing their coverings to slither away - they need to be primed.
You may have applied your plaster too thickly which has a tendency to trap moisture and weaken the grip. You may have damaged the strength of your plaster by mixing it with too much water.
An alternative to siding. I rehab old wood tab & slot houses. I slather on wood putty/filler (in small tubs at WalMart/Home Depot/Lowes etc.) where the slot is glued where it pokes through the wall, then smooth it out with an old credit card and let dry. Then sand and paint. It really strengthens these cute but cheap houses; works to fill in gaps where walls meet, too.
On the exterior, I like to use fake granite spray paint and clear acrylic topcoat, which gives a faux stucco look. Fairly cheap at WalMart & KMart, in numerous colors.
Resin Source: Try Eager Plastics at http://www.eagerplastics.com I use them for my resins. They are quick and efficient and a pleasure to work with. I'm sure they have what you need.
Resin Source: if you are looking for resin, try www.dragonflyintl.com. that is Deb L. site. She teaches classes at workshops for mold making and resin use. She also carries the supplies. I took her class and it was great!
Resin Source: Here is a general link to mold making and casting supplies. Very good site. http://www.lumicast.com/links.html#SOURCES
|p>Water problems: I have used clear caulking by Dap or GE, from Home Depot as my water. To color it, I colored the material on to which I put the caulking. The caulking can be manipulated by simply wetting your finger and moving/smoothing the caulking to however you want it. To place fish, etc., in the "water"; at some point in putting the caulking down put the item into the caulking and continue to apply caulking so that the item (fish) is encased in the caulking. With the wet finger you can create ripples etc. Does not shrink or turn color. My "sea shore" is sitting in the garage for about one year, here in So. Florida, HOT and very HUMID with no change at all.|
DrBob...Delray Beach, FL.
Re: Smoothing Caulk with fingers: I have to question the safety of sticking a wet finger into this stuff. THE safest clear silicone caulk is the kind made for aquarium use (which is not available at building supply stores) and even that has cautions about fumes and skin contact. Some tropical fish suppliers will carry the small tubes; we get the 10 oz. size that fits into a caulk gun at http://www.petwarehouse.com
Chrissy the Hyphenated
Tea: To fill tiny cups of tea, I use Gallery Glass amber colored glass paint. It may dry with a little depression in the center, but then all you have to do is fill it up some more. It's much easier than mixing resin for something that tiny.
Mary Lou in Portage, IN
Potatoes: I make russet potatoes from white FIMO, poke a few little holes with a needle tool for eyes and bake at 250 degrees for 12 minutes. For the coating, I use ground brown chalk. Just rub the chalk over a piece of screen. When I put them in a pot with Envirotex (casting resin), they then look wet and under water. Different colored chalks have a lot of uses. I've scraped many over a screen and store in one of those 12-section plastic boxes.
Glues: And speaking of glue, I now import Aliphetic and Super Aliphetic glues which are terrific for putting houses together when you are also nailing or using clamps. They have some tackiness, fill gaps and when you do models they can take a stain. They were specially designed for the thin, tab construction houses like Greenleaf or Corona.
My secret to a permanent shingled roof is to use Quick Grab which should be used sparingly. I work with enough for 5-6 shingles at a time, because the glue sets up fast and sometimes the phone rings.
At first when I started doing houses for others I used Liquid Nails in a caulk gun. It was a bit messy but I learned quickly to control it. However, when I was out of it 2 years later I used Quick Grab, and I haven't gone back. I work fast and don't want to worry about shingles sliding or coming loose later. I've repaired child damaged roofs done with glue guns. For that I'm thankful, because the shingles are usually loose and can be pulled out or I can loosen them with a hair dryer. Those house done with glue guns that have been stored in attics also tend to wilt. QG costs more, but it's worth it.
Deanna from beautiful downtown Thiensville
Repairing resin: I use silicon to glue resin. Use all you want as the excess will readily peel off when it's dry.
Carol, S P Miniatures
Repairing resin: Cathy asked for the best glue for repairing resin figures etc. I've found that Quick Grab works the best on resin for me.
Alice Zinn- Pt. St. Lucie FL
Repairing resin: I use super glue gel. (I like the gel because it doesn't run - and I don't end up with my fingers glued together!!)
Log Cabin: A couple of years ago my brother in law made log cabins for my sister and I..Hers was finished with Min Wax stain and polyurethane, with very neat rows of chinking between the logs...looks like one of the new log homes in the magazines...
Mine was coated with Thomas's Bug Juice to give it that old grey look and sort of pushed in chinking to make it look like it had been sitting in the woods for ever.
We both used a wood filler from Home Depot...can't think of the brand...brown white and black label...we used white...it dries to a dull pale off white. If you have seen old log buildings with chinking still hanging in there the color is perfect..Sometimes you just luck out. Both of them are great if I do say so myself and a little praise for my baby sister...You wouldn't believe to look at them now that they had started out identical.
Annamarie, Stuart, Florida
Safety: " latex caulk ... squeeze it out and smooth with a wet finger." Read the container and make sure it is safe to touch. If not, wear gloves.
Tab & Slot Houses: I too have the Tennyson and here's how I fixed those gaps and filled in the "slots". I used "Patch N Paint", a light weight spackling that I bought at Home Depot. It is so easy to use and can be smoothed with a wet finger. I think it's really for spackling drywall, but I used it and it works fine on the dollhouses. It's very inexpensive too! After it is dry thoroughly, I then sand it lightly and then paint over it. It holds up too!
Anita....Bel Air, MD
Disk space and backup: With respect to your desire to have more than one backup of your catalog (and who can blame you!), have you thought of trying an online, off-site disk storage service like: http://www.filesanywhere.com/
I have an account with them, but used their free services for several months. We needed a huge space for graphics files and purchased one of their GIG packages last year. Anyway, its been a real lifesaver on several fronts. First of all you have a safety backup outside your workspace, you can send other folks to the site to download large files, eliminating the restrictions on email attachments and share large files with other members along with friends and colleagues.
Deborah (in Hollywood)
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