Monday, December 14, 2009

Do you have fire in your belly?

Jaime wants to fire up her Chrysnbon stove.

Chris in Canada:
This kit which uses a very rigid plastic, so drilling a hole is not a good idea, but you should be able to make a hole with a hot nail. (Hold nail in pliers and heat in a candle or flame from a gas stove.) Immediately push the nail gently into the stove and once it is through wiggle it to enlarge the hole. You may have to repeat this a few times to get the hole big enough, but just go at it gently so the plastic doesn't crack. Now, if it were metal ....... you may be able to run the wire down the stovepipe from above and down into the body of the stove.

  • If your stove doesn't have an open back or bottom, it will be harder to recreate the glow of a fire, but still do-able. Anyway, if you don't have a hole to work with, you will have to drill one yourself to feed the bulb and wires through to the inside.
  • Now for the glowing bit. If the bottom or back is open, grab a dollar store sponge eye shadow applicator (10 for $1) and lightly sponge both red and yellow acrylic paint randomly on the INSIDE of the window so you get a good mix of colour. Work a bit at a time, and check it for realism by shining a flashlight inside. You don't want the paint to be so thick that it hides the light, just enough to give the window a thin all-over coat. When that's dry, insert your bulb and use a dab of MinWax or BlueTac to hold the light in place.
  • If you have had to drill a hole in the stove, sponge on the colours as above but on the outside of the window. When completely dry, brush a very thin, even coat of clear gloss sealer over the paint to create the look of glass over the fire. Just be super careful not to leave any brush marks, or you will ruin the effect. When dry, push your wired bulb through the hole and secure it as above.
  • The glowing coals in the fireplace were done the same way as the stove with a snippet of acetate painted as above, and railway ballast with a few dabs of grey to represent ash here and there on top of the acetate for coals. The pictures don't do the look justice by any means, but they all look quite realistic considering they are not flicker bulbs, just plain grain of rice running off a battery pack.

From Marjorie Wannamaker:
A plastic battery box (this one is for larger batteries) with wires coming out of one end. Hook the bulb wire to those wires or put a off/on switch between the power source and bulb. Buy the off/on cord switch set up at any mini shop with electrical supplies

Bulb wires attached to battery wires.
9 volt battery with snap connector.
  • Use a 12 or 16 volt light bulb with your tape system and 12 volt transformer. Use a 3 volt light bulb with a battery set up. Hide the battery box in the woodpile or out of the actual scene (behind it.)
  • Color the bulbs with glass stain if they are clear, or look for a blinking orange bulb from Houseworks. Be sure to check to see if they are 12 or 3 volt. If you use the 3 volt bulb with a 12 volt system, you will blow the bulb. You can use a 12 volt bulb on a battery 3 volt system, but the light won't be as bright.
  • You can use a 9 volt battery with a 12 volt bulb. When using batteries, you need to add up the voltage per each battery and then use a higher rated bulb. The power source needs to be less voltage than the bulb size.
  • Remember: the bulb size needs to be larger or equivalent to the power source, in this case a battery. Holds true for transformers, also.
From Melanie Navarro:
Take a battery operated tealight candle apart. The battery is one of these small watch batteries and can be hidden easily.

Follow Jaime's progress in her blog: