Saturday, 17 February 2007

Let there be light..........


Progress over the past week or so has been minimal, limited mainly to serious displacement activity
historical research on the internet, on toy-related themes. Today however, I determined to 'get on' and have spent several hours drilling, soldering, taping etc and am now basking in the knowledge of a job well done.
I had already put in the main copper tape runs on all three levels, but today fitted the transformer connector on the back of the shop, and connected all the tape runs to it.

There is always then a moment of fear and trepidation, when it comes time to test the circuit. Apprehensively I stuck the prongs of my little bulb tester thingy into the first run and was rewarded by it lighting up.

Et voila!

Each soldered joint was tested and all were found to be fully conductive, so the nerve-wracking bit of the electrification process is now over. It is extremely dispiriting to spend many hours painstakingly soldering and each joint, only to test and find that nothing works. However today I was spared that disappointment.

Emboldened by my success, I then set about working out how to illuminate each section of every display cabinet with the least amount of stress and pain. Each room will be lined with these cabinets, which I only recently discovered and fell upon with cries of delight. Because they have little removeable perspex shelves. Which means, dear reader, that I can vary the height of individual shelves to suit the displayed wares. Bliss.

In addition to this wonderful innovation, the perspex shelves mean that a light in the top of the cabinet, will shine down through all the shelves giving maximum illumination. Wonderful.

So another few hours were spent painstakingly working out the centre point of each display area, and since I am using single, double and triple units, this was not as easy as you might think. However, everything was eventually marked up and I did a trial run with a mid-size drill bit. Naturally the bulb unit wouldn't fit through the resulting hole so I briefly toyed with the idea of disconnecting 24 individual plugs so I could poke each wire through the hole and reconnect the plug at the back of the unit. I say briefly. If you have ever carried out this process you will realise why it took mere nanoseconds for me to discount this idea, and instead rummage furiously through my mini toolbox looking for a bigger drill bit.

Happily, I did have one which seemed custom made for the job (must be my lucky day!) and shortly thereafter I had one cabinet beautifully lit (see below).

Buoyed by success I then quickly drilled the other 21 holes and double checked to see that the bulb units all fit snugly, which they do.

This smooth progress, although wonderful, is a bit disconcerting though. Even a casual glance through previous postings will reveal a myriad mistakes and setbacks, which beset the DIY miniaturist. I keep wondering if I've missed something out, or done something out of sequence.

No matter. I have had a lovely relaxing day, playing with my project and everything going swimmingly. It surely won't continue.......

Tomorrow, I am planning on starting painting all the display units. There are an awful lot of them and I only have a little sample paint pot so I may be forced to visit the DIY superstore for a few more. Unless they've discontinued that particular colour of course *worried look*

Still, I reckon just one coat of a lovely deep red emulsion paint will do the job nicely, and of course being able to remove the shelves, which don't need painted, will make the whole process much quicker. However, as a veteran of jobs 'quick and easy' jobs like this, I can already foresee a potential problem. I think that perhaps, when I paint the insides of the units, the paint which is in the shelf grooves will prevent the shelves from sliding back into position. *even more worried look*

I do of course have some spare perspex, as I thought I could make additional shelves for very tiny toys, but having cut it before, I'd prefer not to have to recut every shelf * so worried that I'm reaching for the smelling salts*

However, I'm just being a pessimist and very probably tomorrow everything will continue with no hitches or disasters at all, just like today. *closes eyes in certain knowledge that tempting fate can have only one consequence*

Watch this space................

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