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Current Work in Progress

Jimmy's major project will be a two year project--maybe more.  He introduced only a small portion of it at this years (2017) Tom Bishop Show.  This will be his most challenging project to date and he is hinting that it may be his last.  It has been some time since a project of this size and complexity has been attempted or anything like it having been on display at Tom Bishop’s Show.  The pictures do not give you much as to what the finished project will be.  You will just have to come to next years show.  Chicago International 2018--April 26 through 29th.

I can add that this project is probably the only project of its kind where a group of artisans have come together to offer their talents in cooperation with Jimmy’s design.
     Linda Orleff--Lightning Bug Ltd--custom lighting
     Barbara Sabia--Stain glass artisan
     Frank Crescente--Custom Chandelier’ artisan
     Ron Stetkewicz III--Ron Stetkewics Miniatures--custom brass accessories
     Terry Harville--Terry Harville Miniatures--Custom Lazer work
     Michael Yurkovic--Atomic Miniatures--Artisan
     Steve Goode--Steeve Good & Sons--Wood Moldings
     Carl R Sahlberg--Creative Reproductions 2 Scale--Custom electrical components and wiring plus cabinet maker

The finished project will be a piece of furniture similar to a hutch with glass doors and carved 4” legs and skirt.  The table measures 6’-2” x 2’-1” .  The overall height will be just over 6 foot.  Although a final price has not been calculated----it will be in the 6 figures.

Check out some of the latest pictures of Jimmy’s project.  It is coming along faster than he thought and all eight boxes are basically complete. I keep putting the latest pictures at the top; so you can see where we currently are with this project.  If you want to see the progression scroll all the way to the bottom of the page first and slowly scroll up. .

November 16:  New arrival.  Jimmy just received the custom brass rail braces from Ron Stetkewics.  This is just one more custom item made exclusively for Jimmy’s project.  Each item we get in really enhances the display that much more.  We still need the rest of Barbara Sabia’s stain glass pieces, a lot more spindles from Michael Yurkovic for the Grand Foyer staircase, the custom railing from Terry Harville (as soon as the stairs and spindles are complete) and a few other items.  I had a fitting yesterday on the top pieces of the cabinet and glass doors; so that is coming along and on schedule.

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Custom Brass Rail bracket crafted by Ron Stetkewics.

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I pictured the chandelier on the left earlier when it was received from Linda Orleff of Lightning Bug Miniatures.  That chandelier is mounted in the Library.  The chandelier on the right Jimmy received in time for last April’s revealing of this project at the Tom Bishop International Show.  It resides in the Grand Foyer but has not been in most of the pictures.  It too, was designed and custom made by Linda Orleff.  Jimmy gave Linda a basic idea as to what he was looking for but Linda did all the MAGIC.  She was also responsible for all the wall sconces.

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November 9:  I finally got the completed table over to Jimmy’s home and put the display on top.  Came out rather nice if I do say so myself.  I now need to get the glass doors and side pieces made for the china top.  I hope to have a fitting of the rough framing sometime next week.  Jimmy has been busy working on the staircase.  He has enough spindles to get the first floor set and ready for the railing. Then there are just two more floors to go.  The stairs for the second floor are almost complete but Jimmy has to wait for more spindles before continuing.

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It is hard to see but the chandeliers are hanging in the center hall and the library.  Jimmy is the person next to the display.  Below is a picture showing the placement of the curved staircase in the central grand entrance.  The second shows most of the custom molded spindles glued in place.  Maybe you can see now why their will be over 500 spindles running up the three floors and around all the railings.

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Picture of the wooded, hand turned, spindles that are in turn being molded to produce the 500 spindles needed for this project.

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October 21st.  I completed the table base for Jimmy’’s  masterpiece.  I will be delivering it tomorrow and then will have to get started on the top half.  When completed we will have three glass doors framing in the three sections of Jimmy’s project.  Any ideas how we can get this completed project to Chicago all in one piece? 

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October 16th.  Things keep moving along and a lot has been done in two weeks.    I just completed the engraving of the front skirt of the table.  I hope to finish the table by this weekend.  Then we can start with the upper cabinet.

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I have a small CNC router that allows me to create carvings.  This single board took 14 hours of cutting on the CNC to complete.  The center picture shows the two steps that are done.  There is a rough cut using a 1/4” bit first followed with a 1/8” cutter for the detail cut.  Now all I need to do is stain, assemble the table, and finish the table all before this weekend.

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October 2nd. Latest update with pictures:   Jimmy has completed more than expected.  I believe it is because of the extra help Jimmy has acquired  from a local resident of the neighborhood.  Take a good look at the library as Jimmy decided to fill it with over 2500 books.  The second major addition is in the adding of the front molding pieces.  The entire project is really coming together quite nicely.  A lot of additional lighting has been added too such as the el panels illuminating the stain glass in the library. 

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 Look at the difference a little fascia trim does for the overall project.  This project is really starting to take shape. .

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Jimmy won’t admit that he has added a new employee to help with his latest project.  I asked if he acquired him for peanuts and he admitted luring his help with animal crackers.  You can see Jimmy has just started to add the front surface molding.

We added some new wall outlets.  These are real sockets that are hardwired in.  I have a small wall plate to go over the socket.  Above and to the right are current shots of the library showing the new chandelier installed.  I keep adding pictures of the library as it seems to catch my eye every time I take pictures.  I am looking forward to when all the brass pieces come in as well as the circular staircase that will be in the back left of the library.

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                           OH MY!!!
We just got in the new chandelier for the library.  It will hang in the library from the coffered ceiling.  The light was custom designed and made by Linda Orleff of Lightning Bug Ltd especially for Jimmy’s library.  It has 16 incandescent bi-pin bulbs and will draw just over 1/2 amp of current.  Compare this chandelier with the wall sconces pictured further below.  There are 38 wall sconces as of latest count.

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September 11: Check out some of the latest pictures of Jimmy’s project.  It is coming along faster than he thought and all eight boxes are basically complete.  At least all three sections are glued together and ready for the finishing pieces. The stairway is not complete as the spindles have not been completed.  Some of the chandeliers have not been made--the fireplaces are not in and the furniture table and hutch frame haven't even been started (That’s my fault but I am on it.)  Check out what has been done though...

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The individual sections are fully assembled, glued together and electrified.  Just waiting for finishing touches.  To the right is the back of the same assembled unit showing how the electrical is being wired using flat tapewire and soldered connections.

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Top Left room.(Bedroom)

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Center room on left.  (Parlor)  The black stone is the hearth for the fireplace.

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Bottom left room (Dinning room)

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Showing some of the detail of the gorgeous library.  All solid cherry with coffered ceiling.  The reflection on the ceiling is from the copper plating.

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Top right room above Library.(Bedroom)

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Is it not obvious that this is the Library?  It still need the brass runners for the ladders and the fireplace.  The blue tape is where the fireplace will go and helps to keep out the mice.  Can you estimate how many books it will take to fill all of shelves?

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Some detail shots:

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Detail of custom made door and special hardware

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The entrance is real marble and inlay-ed one piece at a time.

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Close-up showing the wall sconces made by Lightning Bug.

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Another detail shot of the library looking up two floors.

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Looking up from the first floor at Barbara Sabia’s leaded glass piece and where the circular stairway will be.  The only thing missing is the large hanging light fixture that will be suspended from the center of the glass.
To the left is another piece by Barbara Sabia.  That window is a full ten inches tall and there are six of them in all.