Developing flue


The sad tale of ideas meeting practicalities and losing

Due to stubbornness and a fixed plan for my scratch build project with a steampunk theme, I’ve spent the last uncountable days struggling to build a chimney – an industrial flue; early steam engine meets current industrial styles type of thing.

Starting with thoughts of a metal look, I used rolled cardboard and created ‘a thing’. I have to say it has been very useful for working out the twists and turns I wanted to make, and has been used for reference each time I backed off in despair and dived in yet again with a different method. Having a 3D model that you can handily rotate to work out which way you’re going is extremely valuable.

To clarify it went like this:

  • First the cardboard form, turning and turning – to be ‘plated’ in tin foil and look sectional as well as angular
  •  Next a brick structure with a corbelled section or two to bring in some of the angular look – although I went back to this at least twice, it never got very far, so no pics taken, sorry.
  • Back to the cardboard as it’s so light, and almost got it covered in the pie dish foil
  •  Ended up buying more 15mm plumbing bits, joining them together with bits of cork and glue and tape and then painting the whole thing in matt black, would you believe.

theinfill doll's house blog scratch build - building a flue - Time Techs

Am busy making stays of copper wire and of twisted floral wire as well to hold the heavy metal construct along its length whilst, hopefully, the last layer of black paint dries on the weighty flue.

The cardboard one would be ideal, light and fairly flexible if necessary, but does not look smooth enough for the job.  The plumbing bits are very smooth and industrial but are heavy and I suspect are an accident just waiting to happen.  To combine lightness and finished look I investigated silicon plumbing parts but they are far too expensive per item so they’re out, as were brewing items etc.  There is another way, I’m sure, but haven’t yet worked it out.  Creative paperclay?  Nah, I’d never get that smooth enough either.  Thinking hat time.  And redesign!

What else?

The one bright spark, amongst this pointless thrashing about, has been finding the cupboard knob. Yes, I did say the cupboard knob. Being out and about in a large store purchasing the plumbing wares, I wandered down the isles and came across the cupboard door furniture displays. I always enjoy the look of these – a bit like a cheaper version of gawking in a jeweller’s window, really. All that glittering design and finish. And there, lo and behold was this:

 Very industrial, flared and with a spinning shape. Ideal for the emission of smoke, I reckon.

 George Stephenson – Wikipedia website


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