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hey everybody its Adam I am about to embark on a one day build now in previous one-day builds you have seen me use all manner of the tools in my shop at my disposal and the materials that I am used to working with I've used resins and woods and metals aluminum's I've machined I've lathe I've sand that I've cut I've carpentry I don't think it's a verb okay but today is one day build is going to be a large build but it is only going to be using one tool and one material we're going back to basics I often say that corrugated cardboard is the gateway drug for making well it's more grown-up cousin is one of my favorite of all time materials foam core or foam board and this is a board that has paper on both sides with a foam in the middle it comes in various thicknesses the tool a humble exacto handle with a number 11 blade this isn't technically the only tool be using we will also be using some straight edges and some glue but and what I'm going to build is actually something pretty cool I'm going to build the house I grew up in now the house I grew up in is in Tarrytown New York and my mom moved out of there about eight years ago but before she did I had some plans made of the entire house and that's what these are these are full-size 1:24 scale plans of my childhood home and I'm going to use these to make a foam core architectural model of my childhood house I think we'll also use this as a reason to take a walk down memory lane for instance okay let's get started all right this build is going to take a fair bit of foam board I hope I have enough but if I don't the art store isn't that far away what I'm going to start with is the floors the plan view floor of each the basement first floor second floor and the Attic that's mainly because this is the most amount of detail to transfer from the paper to the foam-core the transfer is gonna be just a little bit tricky and the walls go much faster once you have them so first up is all four of the floors transferred from the pattern to the foam core when I'm done this will be one twenty-fourth scale that's one half of dollhouse scale so in one twenty-fourth scale a person is about three inches tall this practice of building architectural models of houses I started when my wife and I bought our first house here in San Francisco I wanted to understand this house that we had purchased so I built an architectural model of that out of foam core and it's a way for me to kind of put the whole house into my head it allows me to understand this thing and I have always wanted to do it for my childhood home but I have not gotten around to it up to this point now most of the times I've done it before I've just run around my house with a tape measure making my own blueprints this is a real luxury to work from some actual plants and I think it's gonna go a little bit faster ye-yes this is a black wing so the technique I'm doing for transferring this is that I'm using this nice soft Blackwing pencil and I've traced the detail so I've actually drawn right over the lines and I'm gonna transfer those to my foam core like this this is gonna be very cool see that hope it transfers the line from the paper to the foam core and that gives me my internal dimensions all right I have traced all the lines I believe enough as reference points so here we go here's my big reveal and ah yes awesome let's refine some of these lines shall we oh it's my own bounce card there we go I'm very nicely lit one of the cool features of foam core and we used this technique in ILM all the time is that it cuts beautifully on the table saw it leaves some little raggedy edges that you can sand those off and it's a very fast way to cut home first side all right the first piece gets glued in right there here we go all right this is my first door template and that goes in here now one of the things about hot glue that you will run into when you're playing with a hot glue and foam core is that a standard hot glue gun tends to be a little hot for the foam core and what I mean is that when you put glue on the side of the foam core where the foam is if your heat gun hot glue gun is too hot it will bubble up and you'll actually see it because it'll start to fry the the foam and it will bubble now I have this more advanced hot glue gun here which I like because I can set the temperature a little bit lower and that allows me a little more control over the hot glue to keep it from bubbling the other advantage that being able to dial the temperature down a little bit it means that the hot glue sets faster which is both good and bad it limits the amount of time you've got but it also means that once you touch something it's glued and that's pretty vital actually you might wonder what these little steel blocks I'm using to level things up are they're called one two three blocks and there are standard machinists tool but they're fantastic for foam core construction because they have weight they're perfectly square they give you basically ways to sort of clamp foam core in place and they're not that expensive you can purchase a pair of these on Amazon for like 15 or 20 bucks and they'll be good for you forever I've got five or six sets because I use them for clamping on my mill one two three blocks you're welcome all right now I've done most of the assembly of this floor with a single exacto blade and I can feel it starting to pill and pill means if you did you hear that so when you start to cut and then you look in and you see that they blade is grabbing like that that means that it's no longer as sharp and you should immediately get rid of it now this right here the first seven stitches I ever got in my body were from one of these they're insanely sharp and dangerous and you should not just throw them away a reasonable way to get rid of them is to put them like that so they won't injure your garbage man or to put them in something like this that's where we store our extra blades at Industrial Light Magic we put them in empty soda cans I know I know I said I was only gonna use the exacto blade but as long as I got the bandsaw here you won't mind if I use it that right there is the sound of the basement being basically done so just to recap that was the billiard room my first shop my first official shop that was mine was built in right here and I'll build that workbench in this was the entryway to the basement this was where the laundry room was and this was deep storage and our furnace went right here and I think this was like a secondary chimney I don't exactly don't all right so having completed the basement here it's now time to add the first floor and this gets tricky because I need these things to line up to each other and that means that there's a chimney there's some staircases and all this many of these things have to line up so the first step is to cut out the stair hole and make sure that that and the chimney talked to each other correctly so that I get these this thing to stack the properly I think I want to put some of this back because you're cutting with an exacto blade you have what's called a zero kerf that means there is no width of the
Thanks for your comment Danyelle Turnier, have a nice day.
- Vicenta Darwin, Staff Member
Thanks for this interesting article
Thanks Adolph your participation is very much appreciated
- Vicenta Darwin
About the author
I've studied helioseismology at University of Alaska Anchorage in Anchorage and I am an expert in parallel computing. I usually feel aggravated. My previous job was alumni relations coordinator I held this position for 16 years, I love talking about board/tabletop games and meteorology. Huge fan of Carrie Underwood I practice kickboxing and collect police memorabilia.
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