Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Scrappy Savings

Chris from Canada wrote:
Don't trash a treasure you made from a laser-cut kit simply because the fancy trim, a leg or some other small part has broken or been damaged, for example by an e-vile cat like my sweet little Lucifer. :-D

Before starting a laser-cut kit, take the time to scan and print (or photocopy) any small parts at 100% before you remove them from the sheet of wood. Then make your kit up, saving all the pieces of the unused sheet. When the item has been completely assembled, place the bits of wood and the scan/photocopy in an envelope, write down what the wood came from, and place it in a safe place like a shoebox.

Now when the Victorian gingerbread trim on the peak of a roof is chewed up, your HS window planter brackets snap in half or a leg on your QS spinning wheel mysteriously vanishes, you can replicate it using the saved wood and your copy of the original piece as a template. HINT: If the bits you have are not large enough and you don't have any other wood that thickness, you can cut copies from thinner wood (if you have any) and glue them together so they are the right thickness OR make a few copies from cardstock and glue them together. Coat the cardstock replacement with some ModPodge, a brush-on sealer or even some glue thinned with a drop of water and, when dry completely and the part is rigid, apply whatever finish you used
on the original. (If it was stained wood like my spinning wheel, you'll have to replicate a woodgrain finish using markers or craft paint and the dry-brush technique to show the grain.) Glue the new part in place, and admire your handiwork.

You should also save larger bits from any house kit you assemble, even if it is for someone else, so you build up a stock of sheet wood in all sizes. You've paid for it, so use it. It's amazing the amount of furniture, window and door trim, picture frames, door panels, steps etc... you can make using the leftover wood from just one small house kit.