Scale Modeling & Miniatures

The Scale Cabinetmaker (Available as downloads)

The Scale CabinetmakerPublished between 1976 and 1996, The Scale Cabinetmaker set the standard for plans, patterns, and tool and technique instructions for the aspiring and experienced miniaturist. In August 1996, Jim Dorsett wrote his “concluding” essay, “Why Scale…and The Scale Cabinetmaker,” in which he recounted the 20 plus year span of TSC and described the journal’s editorial philosophy and purpose:

By scale modeling, we meant the reduced scale reproduction of full scale, or life-size, houses, furniture, and related objects. Scale modeling begins with a thorough knowledge of objects in the “real world”: not only their characteristics, shape, and details of construction but their history and social context as well.

The core of the magazine’s content would be the presentation of scale modeling plans and directions, coupled with information on the tools and modeling techniques essential to their reproduction. Here we acknowledged that the designer of the plan, the author would have accomplished for the modeler much of the task of measuring the prototype object (the “full sized” piece in the “real world”). But the modeler would still have to be conscious of those proportions and their application to the workpiece. We intended to put a measuring instrument, a tool, a piece of material, and a plan into the hands of the reader, depending on the combination to work its own magic. And we predicted that the measure of the magazine’s success would be the development of its readers beyond its plans to the measurement of the prototype itself, the design of the scale model, and any further dependence on the publication. In effect, the success of the magazine would be measured by the eventual graduation of its readers.

Despite being 30 plus years removed from the genesis of TSC, the content is still as relevant and as useful as it was when it was first published.

The Cabinetmaker’s Guides (Available in print and as downloads)

CMG1CoverIn 1964, Helen Bennett Dorsett published the first of what would become a 10 book series, The Cabinetmaker’s Guide to Dollhouse Furniture: Victorian. Many of the patterns included in that first and second books were based on the furniture in her mother’s house in Peabody, Kansas. The Guides provide enough patterns, in a specific style, to fill a two bedroom dollhouse, including a living room or parlor, a dining room or a kitchen, and two bedrooms. All plans and patterns, with the exception of the Half Inch Book, are an inch to the foot (1″:1′) scale. Each plan includes a bill of materials, so you can order the supplies you need without having to guess.

A final note about the Guides. There are very few duplicate patterns between The Cabinetmaker’s Guides and The Scale Cabinetmaker. The development of the initial Guides (Volumes 1 and 2) predates The Scale Cabinetmaker. While the others were developed while TSC was being published, they were and remain separate publications.

The Best of The Scale Cabinetmaker ( downloads). There are still a few of the print versions available which are being sold using the print materials order form.

The Best of TSC is a growing collection of “subject-specific” books, drawn from the pages of The Scale Cabinetmaker and the workshop notes from the authors of TSC.

While not surprising, we believe that there is value in owning all 20 years of The Scale Cabinetmaker, finding all of the materials on a specific subject, even with the index in hand, can be a daunting exercise.

Some of the books are either technique (caning, wiring) or period (Arts & Crafts, 20th Century) specific; others combine technique articles and project articles into the same book.


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