Monday, August 13, 2012

How to make a fairy log house

How to make a fairy log house

June 3, 2012

Nothing says Christmas more than crafting. With a sprinkling of fairy dust, this enchanting log house will be just the thing to welcome visiting fairies into your garden for Christmas.


Gather your supplies

  • Log 260 x 160mm-dia ironbark or similar
  • Base 600 x 600 x 8mm (approx) plywood offcut
  • Roof (2) 130 x 220 x 8mm plywood offcuts
  • Balcony 50 x 60 x 8mm plywood offcuts (or similar)
  • Notes:

    1. Select a log that has had some time to dry out. 2. Depending on size of log, you may need more than one hinge. 3. Respiratory, eye and ear protection should be worn at all times for this project.

    Here's How

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      Step 1: Place log lengthways in a vice and clamp 2 pieces of ply, fixed at 90º, as a guide to ensure a straight cut. Mark centre line.
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      Step 2: Set saw guide to suit distance from edge of ply guide to centre line. Use a power saw to cut log down centre line, from top to bottom.
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      Step 3: Unclamp and flip log. Re-clamp log in vice, with ply guide in position. Rip log from other side along centre line. Depending on size of log, you may need to finish cutting by hand with a rip saw.
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      Step 4: Clamp 1 half of log, newly cut face up, in vice. Rip a number of grooves, about 10mm apart, along length of face. Set saw to staggered depths to suit curve shape of log, leaving about 10mm of timber between depth of cuts and line of bark. Repeat for other log half.
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      Step 5: Sand both halves. Begin sanding with coarse paper, then use medium- and fine-grade sandpapers for a smooth surface. Alternatively, use a Dremel sander for a speedier result.
    • Step 6: Should the outer bark shell come loose, glue it back on and allow to dry.
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      Step 7: Clamp log to bench and drill a series of different-diameter holes for windows and door. Work with shape of timber, but don't go too high toward top of log as you'll be cutting a 30º angle for roof.
    • Step 8: Use a handsaw or jigsaw to extend hole for doorway to ground level and a jigsaw to extend windows into arch shapes. The windows can have balconies glued in position later.
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      Step 9: Use a Dremel sander (or repeat Step 6) to smooth edges of all holes.
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      Step 10: Set mitre saw to 30º degrees and cut angle for roof on both halves. Cut 3mm off the bottom of 1 half to allow it clearance to swing once it's hinged.
    • Step 11: Set both halves side by side, aligning at the top, to mark up location of hinge. Be mindful of the clearance required to allow for bark. Use a hammer and chisel to notch out housing for hinge, then screw the hinge into place.
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      Step 12: Cut roof pieces to fit with a 30º edge for pitch. Locate roof on log and mark up location for screws. Predrill screw holes, then glue and screw roof to top of log.
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      Step 13: Mark up a large flower shape (or any shape you like) on base and cut out with a jigsaw. Undercoat and paint green, allowing to dry between each coat.
    • Step 14: Mark up desired location of log house on base. Only 1 half will be fixed, so allow clearance for other half to swing open on base. Predrill holes, glue and screw-fix 1 half of log house to base from underside of base.
    • Step 15: To create a chimney, cut a stick to length with 1 end cut at 30º to suit pitch of roof, and glue in place. Cut balconies for arch-shaped windows from ply offcuts and glue in place. Coat all surfaces with furniture oil. Once dry, decorate the base with driftwood, sticks, timber offcuts, pebbles and shells to create a fairy paradise.

    You'll also need

    Hinge, to suit log; sandpaper in various grades or Dremel rotary tool fitted with a sanding accessory (optional); power drill with various sized hole saw bits; PVA timber adhesive; Dulux Primer, Sealer & Undercoat; Dulux Weathershield Acrylic in Grass Court (green); Feast Watson Outdoor Furniture Oil in Jarrah; decorative items (driftwood, sticks, timber offcuts, river pebbles, shells)


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