Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Not A Pretty Picture

Wiring The Castle

Some of you, Dear Readers, MAY remember LAST Winter when I moved my rather Large Castle from it's position along the wall TO the center of the room, where it now stands. The reason for this move was so that I could get access to the BACK side of the Castle walls in order to properly run the wiring of all the newly added torches and the fires in the hearths, to the power strip located on the back wall of the Castle! Well, for SOME reason, this task has still NOT been completed! And Now that the Holiday Season is here I need to return the Castle to it's position along the wall so the Dining Table can be made available for Dining, and the Christmas Tree can be fit into this room! I REFUSE to move the Castle until I have completed the wiring of at least the central Great Hall portion! So The pressure is on to get the wiring DONE!
But Before we go there...... Some of you may remember that I discovered that in this location the morning sunlight was able to shine directly into the windows of the Chapel in a way that it NEVER will when the Castle is against the wall. And here I Must share with you the morning sunlight shining on the First Sunday of Advent into the Chapel........

Lighting the Windows so Beautifully................

And from the Peter & Paul window......

So Radiant!

Striking across the Chapel to the Nativity painting on the opposite wall......

Because, Sadly, once I have moved the Castle we will not be able to see the light in JUST this way.

Meanwhile, in order to work on the Castle wiring, I have had to move the sections of the Castle apart from each other, allowing access to all sides of each section. For now, I am concentrating on the central Great Hall portion as it is impossible to reach the back when it is against the wall, and that is where the power strip is located. And while the sections are separated, I find it interesting to take pictures of the light coming into the doors onto the floors where it never can once the whole Castle is together.....

It creates pictures I never would have imagined...... but make me wish I had..... such as a Cloister with a row of arched doorways looking onto a tiled floor.....
Maybe another project for Someday......?

But for now, the project is to carve or gouge channels for each wire along the outside of the walls and around to the back where the plugs are.......

Here you can see I have made a start on the side wall........ after breaking the end of my old "U" shaped gouge, I ended up using the wide blade of my exacto knife to carve the channels. The plywood is VERY tough in the dark parts of the grain.... so the carving was NOT easy!

Here is a closer shot of one of the channels ..... it needed to curve up over the doorways......

And here you can see the channels as they go around the corner... to the back of the Great Hall...

This is the rather ugly back side of the Great Hall with the "Privy" buttresses temporarily removed in order to run the channels across to the center of the back wall.......

Here you can see a close-up shot of the (messy) wires as they are currently plugged into the power strip..........

Here you can see I have added the sides of the back "Chimney" which will cover and disguise (and protect) the power strip and all those plugs........
The bottom section will hinge open for access to the plugs........

Oh! Look who has come to be HELPFUL!

Meet Jackson, my Kitty.......

Sorry about the poor lighting ..... here you can see more of the channels .... one for each wire........ and I have drilled through the corners to protect the wires from the added stress of going around a corner!

Again, here you see the channel carved over the doorways....... now I must glue the wires carefully into the channels and then cover them with wood filler............

It is tricky to make the wires stay in the channels while gluing them...... I still have to do this step on all the wires.......

I have only completed ONE of them..... and that doesn't include shortening it to the correct length........ or for many of them lengthening the wires which means splicing them with those little shrink tubes I have yet to try........

Here you can see the back side with the "Privy" buttresses added back on ..... temporarily.....

And I realized after I had FIRMLY attached the sides of the "chimney" to the Castle that I cut the back too narrow by half an inch...... or rather I attached the sides in the wrong place and will need to make a new back piece....... ! My GOAL is to complete the wiring by this weekend so that I can go get my Christmas Trees! But Meanwhile.... THIS is where it stands!

Very much in the Middle of Everything!

Not A Pretty Picture


  1. It is really going to be a great project when you get it done. I see you have a little "helper" I have a black cat too - except mine is probable about twice as heavy as yours.

  2. What a fantastic building, I'm thrilled about it.It would look more than great at the end! Jeannette

  3. I do not envy you the wiring, I just hate it wjen you get it done then you move it and one goes off, good luck. love the effect of the sunlight through the windows sometimes we get the most fantastic effects by chance

  4. Wonderful how the light comes through the windows! What a pity you won't be able to enjoy it when the castle is against the wall! Why don't you just leave it in the middle of the room...live around it ;-)
    It's a wonderful project!!
    Good luck with the wiring!!!

  5. Hello Daydreamer,
    I love your Castle! It's already spectacular in it's unfinished state!
    Good luck with the wiring, and take care not to hurt your wrist making the chanels.
    The Chapel is wonderful! Just an idea,I'm tinking of putting lights on the back of my project in the upper coreners of the windows so it will look like the sun light is coming in...would it be possible to do this for the chappel?
    I can't wait to see an update.
    Have a great week, Hugs,

  6. Well, Betsy, maybe you should leave the Castle where it is now, for these photos with the sunlight are fabulous!:)
    Reading this post I was thinking - oh, boy, there is really a lot to do ... But then again when this wiring is finished and you switch the torches and lamps on that will be a great rewarding view!
    Anyway I am still impressed, this is an awesome Castle already!:)

  7. Oh. Wow. I have fallen completely short when it comes to lighting, mainly because I never had the patience to wait and get it lit first. But I would have to hire someone-I took one look at the instructions in the kit and my eyes rolled back in my head. How can you manage this wonderfully intricate process? I bow to you.

    Since I fall short on electricity, it's so true about the natural light. Nothing makes a miniature room look more real and intimate than natural sunlight casting shadows and setting things aglow. And your stained glass windows are other-worldly. Outside lamplight can stand in, though, especially for that early evening look. No matter where your castle goes, it will glow. That's for certain.

  8. I love your castle, can you tell me what type of lighting you use

  9. The Castle is certainly a sizeable project. I hadn't realized just how bit it was and I'm always interested to see how others deal with all those wires round the back. It's some task you've set yourself!

  10. I think a lot of us (well me certainly!) can relate to a project that comes to a standstill because we just don't want to face the wiring. This is a most interesting project and the sunlight thru those windows is magic - I like Giac's suggestion to maybe put some external lighting near those windows if it's possible.

  11. I forgot how big the castle was LOL. You must have the patience of a saint Betsy. It will all be worth it when you are finished.


  12. Thanks, Troy! Welcome to my blog! I LOVE your Christmas village! I will have to come explore your blog soon!

  13. Thanks, Jeannette! Welcome to my blog! (It may be a while before I get it all done!) I'm glad you like it!

  14. Thank you, Debbie! Welcome to my blog! I agree, it is those chance things that feel so magical! I will keep my fingers crossed that all the wiring will keep working!

  15. Hi Margriet! I have been living around it all year! But the Holidays make me want to use the room a little differently..... who knows, I may move it back again in February! LOL!

  16. Hi, Giac! Thank you for your words of caution while cutting the channels! I am being careful and doing it a bit at a time. As for the lights outside the windows.... I am not sure I would want to do anything permanent as I have fantasies of "Eventually" having room for it where all sides can be seen. Or possibly placing it in front of sunny windows..... ! I have used regular "spot lights" to emulate the sunlight..... but the strength just doesn't compare once you have seen what the "real" sunlight looks like. But I know many people create very realistic "vistas" outside their mini windows using lighting that is concealed. I look forward to seeing what you will do!

  17. Thank you, Ewa! It is very possible that I will be moving it back AGAIN after the Holidays! I really do like seeing the light come into the Chapel.
    As for the amount of work.... I think it always seems like such a huge job.... which is why I have put it off so long... but once I get started it isn't as hard as I thought it would be. And the results are worth it!

  18. Hi Amy! The wiring is not quite as hard as it looks only because I had the advice of the Old Gentleman who runs the local store where I first went to get the fires for my Lovely Old Dollhouse. He told me what I would need and how to bury the wires in the walls and all sorts of tips like how many lights each size of transformer would run..... I jumped in before I knew anything..... ! Sometimes written instructions are so daunting where a few words can get right to the point! That said.... I have not finished the wiring in any of my houses yet... and the Folly is tricky because the walls are too thin to bury the wires in... so I am having to be really inventive about "hiding" them behind baseboards and such.... NOT done yet! I hope someday you revisit the idea of wiring .... it makes such a difference!

  19. Hi Marisa! I'm glad you like my Castle! I couldn't find any commercial lights that I liked for my castle.... with the exception of a couple of lanterns which are Houseworks lights (I think). For the torches I made them by gluing jewelry findings together, and using sculpey for some of the "wooden" parts. I used a plain candle bulb and screw base - for replaceable bulbs - I think I have gotten them from both Cir-kits and Houseworks, they come two to a package. The wires run down inside the jewelry findings and through the walls.... I did a post last year showing how the lights were made.... I think I titled it Medieval Illumination if you want to search my archive.

  20. Hi Irene! I am (sometimes) a little amazed at how BIG it is myself! But I LOVE the Scale of it!
    I have been wrestling (mentally) with the details of just HOW to conceal the plugs and still have access to them! Because the Castle is in sections I have to make them independent of each other electrically.... I think I am really just inventing it as I go and we'll see how well it works in the long run!

  21. Hi Norma! I admit it has been daunting to try to figure out how to run all the wires, hide them yet have access where necessary.... and hope they work once it is all set up! But nothing ventured nothing gained is my motto here! Sooner or later those wires have to be dealt with!

  22. Hi Victoria! Patience and STUBBORNNESS are related! LOL!
    It is a BIG project..... but the scale of it is very much a part of what makes it worth doing..... the Chapel couldn't be much smaller and still work! Same for the Great Hall.... it HAS to be big!

  23. Boring, difficult work but should be justified by the rewards. Those little lights will be wonderful.
    Nice photo of Jackson.
    Shall we expect a Candlemass card?

  24. A castle! What fun but what a challenge you have set yourself. I love the way it has taken over your home! Your trees are gorgeous. Gill x

  25. Bets, I was so taking my time reading and looking at the pictures of this post. It was like touring an old ancient chapel in real life looking at the details of the stained glass and murals or frescoes. Really enjoying the music too! As I went through the pictures especially of the paintings, I remember old posts. I have come to know and love this chapel over this one year. You know they are showing Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth on TV here, a series I am enjoying because it is about the building of cathedrals in the 12th century. Usually, people like visiting sites where everything is complete and no more construction is being done. For me as well except this one time when I went to see a palace in India and there were some reconstruction work on the facade and workers were making the delicate tiles at the side of one of the walls. It was then that I thought watching work in progress could be pleasurable too.Like looking at your wiring :). Maybe I say that because I find wiring such a pain too. Just a word of caution, be sure that you have easy access to those wires for change and replacement when they get old.