Canal house Dining Room Fireplace Singel soldering tutorials
Solder onFebruary 08, 2013
Last month I finally had a flash of inspiration for the basement of my first Canal House. For years I thought of making it into an antique...
Last month I finally had a flash of inspiration for the basement of my first Canal House. For years I thought of making it into an antique shop, run by the owner of the house. But I was never really enthusiastic about that idea. It will become an Arts & Crafts inspired dining room instead.
This room is next to the kitchen, so making it a dining room seems an obvious choice. On the main floor I already have a dining room, but that one is more formal and without an actual dining room table. That may not make a lot of sense, but in the first half of the 18th century a dining room was just another formal room. When it was time for dinner a simple table was set up which would be put away again after dinner.
I printed the wallpaper for this room ('Honeysuckle' by William Morris) well over a year ago. I love the pattern, but as it doesn't get a lot of daylight it made the room very dark .
Some of my favourite full sized Arts & Crafts room have wonderful panelling which is sometimes painted. I decided to put light coloured panelling in the room which helped enormously in making the room look lighter.
I made the floor from teak wood. It is the same wood I have used throughout the house. I cut strips of it and bevelled the edges. In an attempt to keep the room light, I did not wax the floor this time (which is what I did in all of the other rooms).
The gorgeous fireplace is made by Sue Cook, based on a design by Pugin. I used the proportions of the fireplace in the paneling. I also tried to match the colour of the panelling to the fireplace. The warm grey/sandstone colour happens to be very close to the colour I used elsewhere in the house. I like that kind of continuity.
As you can see in the photos, there is a bit of a gap between the ceiling and the wall in the corner. Unfortunately after nearly ten years, the floors have sagged a little and I was unable to jack them up. Making the coving follow the ceiling line looked odd, so I will just leave it like this now.
The curtain I put up in front of the door hides the gap a little. I made the curtain from a quilting fabric 'Sweet Briar', again designed by William Morris. I do love his designs!
By the time I had finished sewing the curtain, work on the room came to a grinding halt. I needed some supplies before making a few decisions so I went online for those. After some time I found what I needed and put in my order.
The things I bought from Sue Cook (yes, I bought more than just the fireplace, but that's for another time), were ordered, paid for, sent and received within five days. Pretty good for an International delivery considering many flights were cancelled due to wintery conditions.
I have been waiting for my order from a shop in my own country for over a week and a half now. Very frustrating when you're waiting for something in order to continue!
Just look at this mess of wires! Most of them do have labels on them, so I do know which is which, but still... What a mess!
All of my lights have plugs on the ends which are plugged into a connector which leads to the transformer. It all works, but to be honest it is not a very stable system. Seven or eight years ago my father told me it was better to solder all of the wires onto two copper strips, leading to the transformers.
He drew me a couple of plans, some of them quite elaborate with switches etc.. These sketches I keep in my Canal House work book as a warm memory of my dad.
I had bought a roll of copper tape many years ago, so I was ready to start the project right away. This copper tape is by Mini Mundus, but you could probably use the Cir-Kit Conductive tapewire for it as well. I have never used the Cir-Kit system so I don't know much about it.
I stuck to lenghts of copper tape parallel to eachother to the back of my dolls house. At the bottem I soldered the leads to my transformer. I then started cutting all of the wires from the lights to length and soldered them onto the copper wires one by one.
After I soldered on each wire, I checked whether the corresponding light fixture worked. This way, if something didn't work, I didn't have to undo all of my previous solders to find out which one was the culprit.
My soldering techniques are not brilliant but my father did teach me how it should be done. Putting it into practise is a different matter. I used way too much solder as I only had a roll of very thick solder available, which is what I used. I since have bought a roll of thin solder meant for electrical work.
Most of the solder joints are OK though. Only a few have bad joints with dull solder (this can happen for instance when the object is not kept completely still, or when you blow against it...). All of the lights work though!
A quick explanation of how to solder on the wires (using flux-core solder for electrics):
Heat the (clean) soldering iron. Put a little bit of solder on the tip of the iron. Heat the copper strip with the iron at the point where you want to solder the wire. Put the solder to the copper (while still holding the iron against it) and let a little bit of solder flow onto the strip. Do the same on the other copper strip.
Cut the wire to size (not too short, you may have to redo it and cut off another bit). Carefully split the wire into two halves and strip the wires bare, around 1 cm. (Don't damage the core wires). Heat the stripped core wire with the iron. Hold the solder against the wire and let a little bit of solder flow onto the wire. Repeat with the other side of the wire.
Hold each end of the split and stripped wire against the copper tape, on the spots where you have put some solder. Keep the wires in place with some tape. Now heat both the copper tape and the wire with the iron and hold the solder against it. Let a little bit of solder flow onto it. Remove the iron. Don't move the wires, don't blow against it.
You can work on a joint as long as there is smoke (from the flux) rising from it. If you heat the joint and there is no smoke, you need to add some solder (flux). I love the smell of flux (probably because when I was a kid my dad's workroom always smelled of it), but it is not very good for you.
Less is more in soldering. That said, my joints have too much solder on them but they still work well.
A joint should be shiny and have a shape like a volcano. A dull joint with a little dip in the middle is a bad joint.
You can clean the tip of your soldering iron between solders by wiping it on a moist sponge or cloth.
Have a go! I quite enjoy doing this even though I'm not very good at it.
PS: Oh dear, I had wanted to do a short post, now this has turned into one of my longest ones I think! A big applause to those of you who are still reading...;-)