I have a slightly roundabout way of problem solving. It usually goes in random, unrelated-to-the untrained-eye steps... And so it went something like this.
Last week I was off sick with an 'orrible fluey virus, wrapped up in a duvet, small brown dog deployed as a slightly farty hot water bottle, stuffing in Honey and Lemon Lockets, and gulping copious amounts of fluids like you are told to do, although am not sure a mug of medicinal Brancott Estate counts.
I had given up on daytime TV as there was nothing much on, apart from Jeremy Kyle shouting at the great interbred and unwashed, and therefore was slumped in the dining room, staring through a haze of snotty Kleenex at the Mini House, and trying to figure out where to put the wiring.
|The real outside, outside toilet|
Oh and there's the garden, but that hopefully is only for sole use by the small brown dog, and never again for the random stranger who once, unbeknownst to us, staggered through our front gate late one night, and having done his business, left his very used and baggy greying underpants on our garden path as a memento of his visit....
But I digress. It was while I was taking my pick of our Temples of Convenience*, that the idea of copying the outside, outside loo came to me as a way of hiding the wires.
*See Lucinda Lambton
The Mini House would acquire a "dunny", but it would look more like our now inside but used to be outside loo, which is actually attached to the house and not halfway down the garden, like our outside, outside loo.
Stay with me on this.
So, when recovered, I built an extension on the back of the Mini House. And added a fake outside toilet door to mimic the real thing.
Which in our world is a vivid pink colour with a large cut glass door knob. We are fully responsible for the pink (well, I am - Mr PJ was less than impressed initially but has agreed it has grown on him over the years - a bit like fungus).
But the lovely crystal knob is the work of an obviously like-minded or thrifty previous inhabitant. But it goes so well with the colour now it would be a sin to change it.
And it was while this thought process was churning away that I realised the fake door would need, not only a glittering doorknob, but a big black sliding bolt too.
A glass bead and an earring back were purloined for the knob but the bolt proved more difficult.
Trial and error and a heap of wrong-uns later I had produced two: one which was smaller and looked the part, but was non-working, and the second, a sliding one which really did work as planned, but was somewhat over-scale and since the door is fake and doesn't open anyway, is actually totally pointless anyhoo.
So to justify all the effort, I thought I would share the step by step instructions with you. Just in case you have the urge to make a sliding bolt which is really far too big for any 1:12 projects you may be undertaking.
Unless apparently it's a castle... (Mr PJ's suggestion).
So here we have it: Lockets, Snot and Two Sliding Barrels...
Or: How to make a working miniature sliding barrel bolt
The things you will need to succeed:
Round-head dressmakers pin
Empty squirty cleaning fluid bottle - try to find one which has an inner tube diameter only slightly wider than the width of a cocktail stick. You want to be able to slide the cocktail stick into the tube but for it still to be a snug fit.
Strip of flat metal or card
Superglue or similar strong quick-set glue for metal/wood/plastic
Black acrylic paint
Black Sharpie pen or fine permanent marker
Point-nosed pliers / wire cutters
Craft knife or scalpel
|The bits you will need include cocktails sticks, a dressmakers pin, the tube from a squirty cleaning fluid bottle and a flat piece of card or metal.|
|First step - take your flat piece of metal or card and mark a strip which is slightly wider that the plastic tube on your squirty bottle, and the length you want your finished bolt to be. (Chewed fingernails not a required step...)|
|Once marked out, cut along the lines with scissors or a knife, so you are left with a long rectangle. This will form the backplate of your sliding barrel bolt.|
|Take the plastic tube from your squirty bottle, ensuring it is clean and dry, and cut a section slightly shorter than the rectangle you have just cut out.|
|Once completely dry, colour the pin and stick with a Sharpie. This doesn't have to be exact but try to colour as much as possible now as it is trickier to paint when assembled.|
|Insert the longer end of your bolt into the remaining piece of plastic tube. DO NOT USE ANY GLUE AT THIS STAGE.|
|You should now be left with two parts of your sliding bolt as shown above. The bolt should slide within the plastic tube freely.|
|With a fine paintbrush, paint the plastic tube and backplate, and any parts of the actual bolt you wish with black acrylic or similar. Make sure any paint does not cause the sliding part to stick by moving it from time to time as it dries.|
|Your bolt is now ready to glue in place and test.|
|Once in place, the sliding part of the bolt should move freely within the plastic tube "barrels".|
|Fix the short piece to the door frame and the longer bolt part to the door itself using glue or strong double sided tape. If the frame and door are not flush you can pack out either part of the bolt using thin strips of card or wood as a backing.|
|Somewhat rustic looking and maybe a tiny bit too large for internal Mini uses but would work on shed or barn doors or on older era Mini builds. Or Castles.....|
|In situ, on the "outside, inside toilet", but originally inspired by the "outside, outside toilet"....|
And now hiding all the wiring and socket strip for The Mini House.