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Monday, November 7, 2011

Illustrated Atrium Build

This is an illustrated guide to the construction of the Atrium.  By now you should have the tools you'll need including things like a good exacto knife, spray adhesive, CA Glue, etc...  Please be sure to have some wax paper on hand to prevent the CA glue from getting places you don't want it!

So without further ado......


NOTE! Before painting or placing vellum, make sure you lay out your faces for proper orientation on the frame.  See the Plans for more information.  You don't want to accidentally paint and vellum the same side of each piece.

First, Paint all the Atrium Faces.  Be sure to get the edges of the faces as well.  You don't have to paint the Atrium Back or the structure because they won't be seen from the front, but you have the option to paint those too.  I chose to paint the back of the Atrium Back black.

Second, Attach all the faces to the vellum using the same technique used to attach the Tower Faces to the vellum, (shown here).


Lay out Faces

Using the Atrium Back piece (1/4" MDF) for alignment purposes, layout the Atrium faces.  Please note the hole in the vellum in the image.  You MUST remove the vellum from this section to allow for better passage of light into the tower.

Be sure to check the orientation of the pieces according to the plans.


Attach the Center Beams

While the faces are still aligned using the Atrium back, place a piece of the 1/4"x1/4" Basswood as shown in the image.  We'll replace that piece with the full back piece (that's currently in use as an alignment tool) in a moment.  But for now we use it to ensure proper placement of the two center beams.

Please note the two center beams are 'straddling' the seams of the faces.


Front Long Beam

Align the Long Front Beam across the front of the atrium.  Make sure the distance from the front edge of the face to the beam is the same all the way along the atrium.

NOTE: The Front beam will not reach all the way from face edge to face edge.  It will be slightly offset to provide space for the side faces.


Front Bump Beams

Attach the front beams as shown in the image.


Align the Atrium Back

Once the two center beams are in place, and being VERY careful not to move the faces, we remove the temporary 1/4" x 1/4" Basswood and replace them with the Atrium Back.  Using one of the Longer Atrium structure pieces, you can easily align the back of the atrium with the edge of the Atrium faces.

Please NOTE!  Center the Atrium back on the Faces.  The faces will overhang the back just a bit.   This is correct, it allows the 'side' face to sit inside/under the 'top' face.  You'll see better as we add the side faces.


Glue Well!

Once the Back is in the right place, you then add the glue.  Keep in mind that if this Atrium is lifted from any part other than the back, it will threaten to come apart because of the weight of the back piece.  So be sure to glue the back on well and be sure to glue the back to the beams too.

And for that matter - make it a habit to only lift the atrium with two hands and preferably from the back.


Add Side Face

Once the back and top faces are in place, the rest gets a little easier.  You can attach the side face next.  Ensure the back edge of the face is flush with the back edge of the Back piece.  This provides ample gluing surface and ensures room for adding the front faces.

NOTE: To both sides before doing the fronts.


Add Front-Sides

After adding the Sides, Add the Fronts.  The angle is determined by the two sides.  Be very gentle in this step since there is no structure under the faces yet.

Glue the available edges (sides and top) and you should have it strong enough to carefully move it around as needed.  Just remember to lift from the back piece.


Add the Sides-Short

With the same method as the Front-Sides, add the two Sides-Shorts.  again, the angle is determined by the existing faces.  Glue along the top edge to hold for now.


Add Front-Center

And add the Front center piece.  Make sure the edges line up with each other for smooth corners.


Another View

Here is an angled shot of the faces all attached.


Add Posts

Now carefully flip over the whole thing and lay on it's top.  Place the Frame-Posts into place, ensuring they are not sitting over the top of the openings. (because we want the light to go through there).

The placement as shown in the image is suggested.

When happy with the location, glue each into place.


Posts glued in.

Notice the 2 posts on the ends as well.


Add Long Bottom Beam

Lay the long bottom beam into place.  It should fit perfectly.  Assuming it does, glue into place.

Also note that I chose to paint the back of the Atrium Back black.


Add Bump Structure

I found it easier to glue the front bump structure prior to placing.  Just glue it in the correct orientation and allow to dry.

NOTE: I don't show the addition of the two side beams, but be sure to add those as well.


Place Bump Structure

When that structure is glued, place and glue.

Now go back and run light beads of the thin CA glue to ensure a great fit.

NOTE: Make sure you don't allow any glue to run into the open areas or it might be visible through the vellum after you turn lights on inside.



You can see that all that work produces a very lightweight but still sturdy Atrium upon which will sit your beautiful Tower!

And that's it!  It really is beautiful and shouldn't have taken too long to put together.  Any questions can be directed to the AHP Forums.