Thatched cottage - RE-ROOFED

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philipy
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Post by philipy » Fri May 09, 2014 5:43 pm

Wow! What a lot of interest this has created, I never expected that.

I'll try to reply to the various comments all in one go, rather than individually, hope thats OK.

Bazzer - I think the stuff you are talking about is known as Foamex in the sign making business, at least our normal sign company at work use Foamex for smaller signs, 'wobble boards' and the like. I've actually got a couple of lengths of thin stuff out in the garage. As you say it is much more rigid.

Peter - yes, I know about the flowers etc that you've illustrated, thery do look good and would be ideal in many ways, but I'm not sure they would stand up to the great British weather, would they? The cottage will, like my other buildings, be outside permanently. I'm a bit worried about the thatch from that point of view, plus I can see our resident one footed female blackbird taking a great liking to it when she nests again! I might try giving the thatch a liberal coat of matt varnish when its finished.

Peter - I promised a couple of pictures of the ballast. One is fresh from a couple of days ago. The other is part of a trial length I did about 18months ago showing the moss growth + a couple of patches where it crumbled in the frost.



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Peter Butler
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Post by Peter Butler » Fri May 09, 2014 6:03 pm

You are right to be cautious about the use of the flowers outdoors as they seem to be made of absobent material. However, because of that they might take varnish or sealer quite well and therefore be ok?
I like the ballast on the second picture as it looks well established but my baseboards are covered in roofing felt and I want the stuff to stay where I put it!
My plan is to use waterproof PVA diluted with SBR bonding agent which will make it flexible and water resistant. I still have to find a supplier of ballast at the right size and in a quantity I can afford! My best bet is to find a local quarry or agregate supplier and see what they can do.
Looking forward to more buildings.....

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Post by philipy » Fri May 09, 2014 7:51 pm

Peter,
The new ballast picture is on felt covered boards. The trial section that I did last autumn stayed put through this last winter ok. Ive added the side boards since then and before I ballasted properly, hopefully to make sure I dont lose it if it does work loose. I laid it dry so the boards also meant I didnt lose it over the edge before I wetted it. My plan (hope) is that in another couple of months the Lonicera will be bushy enough to train in a bit and hide the board edges.

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Progress report

Post by philipy » Sat May 10, 2014 12:30 pm

Well, I've covered the roof in thatch and I'm not a happy bunny. My intention was to trim the individual bundles to lose the edges but that doesn't seem to be do-able. I've tried razor, scissors, scalpel. I've damped it down, and fluffed it up, but nothing seems to get rid of them!
So I think its back to the drawing board.

The problem is, I think, that when you look at a real roof, what you actually see is mostly just the cut ends, because the thatcher trims the bundle back at an angle so that it is flush with the next one up the roof.
I can't think of any practical way to replicate that, but I'm open to suggestions?
Currently I'm thinking of simply glueing a mat of fibre right across the face of the roof. It won't be correct, but I think it may fit with most people's impression of a thatched roof. Any thoughts anyone?

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Post by Peter Butler » Sat May 10, 2014 12:41 pm

I can't help with the thatch (at the moment!) but for information I can tell you I have just sent a note to the suppliers of Polyfoam, (the ones you identified on ebay), to ask whether they are still able to supply. If I get a response I will post details.

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Post by MDLR » Sat May 10, 2014 3:07 pm

In actual fact (and you're gonna HATE me for this) it looks more realistic in your first picture!
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Post by Keith S » Sat May 10, 2014 3:35 pm

The only thing I can think of to help with the thatch would be to gather a bunch of the thatching fibres and hold them together standing up like the bristles of a broom, with the ends all lined up, then bend the bundle in the middle so the ends of the bristles become staggered, and then have someone cut the bundle at the bend so one end of the resulting handful of fibres is cut straight across, while the other has that angled bias you are looking for.

Rather difficult to explain what I mean.

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Post by kandnwlr » Sat May 10, 2014 4:08 pm

I think that if you´re going to use this method you might achieve the effect your looking for by staggering the ends of the bunches rather than creating straight lines. I haven´t attempted this yet, I have to say.

Those in the dollhouse scene might know a thing or two. Here a link to what I found a while back.

http://miniatures.about.com/od/miniatur ... Houses.htm

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Post by philipy » Sat May 10, 2014 8:28 pm

Brian - Nah, I dont hate you, i just hate the roof pictures! All gone now and started again.

Keith - What you said makes perfect sense, thanks. I'm not sure how practical it would be to do a whole roof like that, though.

Kandnwlr - Thanks for the link, I spent ages looking for something like that before i started, but without success. Knowing how much mess I always make with silicone sealer I'm not sure the idea of pushing bundles of fibre through it appeals, though.

I've spent the afternoon experimenting and I think I now have a method which gives an acceptable result. I'm slightly encouraged to find that its a kind of cross between Keith's suggestion and kandnwlr's suggestion and the link, plus some of my own!

Hopefully some pics tomorrow with an explanation if its worth it.

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Post by kandnwlr » Sat May 10, 2014 9:32 pm

Looking forward to it. I´m still trying to summon up the courage to do a building for the Kent side of the K&NWLR.

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Post by philipy » Sun May 11, 2014 5:46 pm

OK folks, ripped off all of the original thatch and started again.

Still have the ridge cap to do ( made that as a separate piece and waiting for the glue to dry before fixing in place).

Still got the eaves to thicken up and some trimming to do, but I think I'm happy with the overall effect, what does anyone else think?




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Post by bazzer42 » Sun May 11, 2014 5:49 pm

That looks pretty good to me. I would have suggested fake fur but looking at the link posted it wasn't very good. That is very impressive.

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Post by Peter Butler » Sun May 11, 2014 6:32 pm

I agree, that is an improvement on the first try.
What have you decided to use in the end?

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Post by MDLR » Sun May 11, 2014 6:42 pm

That looks MUCH better!
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Post by philipy » Sun May 11, 2014 7:03 pm

Thanks chaps.
I used the same plumbers hemp but applied differently. I still used bunches/clumps but smaller to reduce the tendancy for any individual clump to have a straight edge.
Then I cut the clumps from the hank at an angle rather than straight.
Having cut it I shuffled it in my fingers to try to make sure, again, that the ends were not level.
When gluing the clumps to the roof, instead of just going from side to side in rows, after putting on one complete row at the eaves, I then went up the roof in small areas, then moved along and did anothe bit, then another, then went back and filled in a small bit, and so on. This broke up a natural tendancy to get into a subconcious neat and tidy rythym.
Finally I made sure that the vertical separation between clumps wasn't even.

I have to say it took a LOT longer this time!
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