Friday, 1 February 2008

I finally finished the clapboard!

I glued the last two small pieces of clapboard on this morning, and it is finally FINISHED!!! I can't believe how long it has taken, this was a supremely fiddly job and I am now sympathetic with the builders who just stucco the whole outside of these houses. It looks really good though, and I am very pleased with how the house is looking so far. I need to go back and touch up the paint job here and there but overall it is getting close to being finished.

I was fairly miserly with my use of the Greenleaf individual clapboards that came with the kit, re-using shorter pieces whenever possible. After clapboarding all four sides, I have leftover 14 whole sticks, and a handful of shorter bits, so there is enough if you re-use everything that you can. I kept a Tupperware for all the really short pieces, which you sometimes need to fit into odd cracks around the window mouldings etc. I think I used up about 3.5 travel-toothpaste-size tubes of solvent-based glue to do all four sides (like QuickGrab, UHU, Bostik etc.).

I appealed on the Greenleaf community board for tips on how to shape the clapboard around intricate window mouldings. On my own, I had come up with pressing a stick of BlueTack (an office product, like a sticky clay for sticking paper to walls) around the moulding to take an impression, then tracing around that onto a board. A very clever suggestion from the group was to run a compass point along the moulding edge, while the pencil end simultaneously traces the shape onto the board that you hold up in the correct position. My cutting shears were invaluable for quickly snipping straight cuts into the boards, and I used an X-Acto knife for curved cuts. My Dremel tool with a medium sanding drum was also useful for shaving off small amounts for final fitting, particularly from curved cuts. I pre-painted all the boards, and before applying each board, I touched up any raw wood showing from being trimmed. I also painted a narrow band of the clapboard colour around all mouldings so that if there were any gaps at the ends of boards showing through to underneath, it was less obvious.

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