The Veils

Here is one place we decided to depart from the materials supplied in the kit. The kit came with several bundles of yarn. One each of purple, blue and scarlet. There was also a plastic net material used to weave the yarn to form the veils, the gate and the first layer of the tent covering. (I'm sure this plastic net has a name, but I don’t know what it is.) I just felt like it would be better or more realistic to find some type of fabric to use for this instead of yarn. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any fabric with the correct color combination that had a desirable pattern for a Tabernacle model. Finally, for the veil, we took some wide purple ribbon and sewed two pieces together making one piece 6" by 6". Blue and Red fabric trim, both straight and rick rack was sewn onto this ribbon to make each veil. The Bible says that the veils were hung with gold hooks. For this, I found a cheap gold colored bracelet that had some pretty dangles attached to it. I cut it apart and we attached these pieces to the posts with gold colored wire and hung the veils from these.

Furnishings in the Tabernacle

The furnishings were another area in which I chose to work from scratch. The pieces that came in the kit were somewhat crude in appearance, although they would serve the purpose of representing the furnishings in and around the Tabernacle. Again, I'm sure that if the kit makers had spent more time producing better quality pieces the cost would have to go up. Making these pieces takes time, but the end result is a better quality model.

The Ark

I started out by cutting a block of poplar wood the correct size. Poplar is a good wood to use because it is easy to work with and sands to a very smooth finish with very little wood grain showing. The top or Mercy Seat was cut from a piece of ¼ inch craft plywood that I had on hand. I wasn't sure how to recreate the cherubim that resided on the Mercy Seat. I first searched the internet for miniature figurines of angels and cherubim. I was not able to find any that were suitable in size, shape and/or configuration to use on top of the Ark. After looking at pictures and drawings, I decided to try my hand at clay modeling. I drilled two holes in the top of the Ark and started out by fashioning a stiff wire support on top of the Ark inserted into these holes. From there I used white modeling clay (from the craft store) to form the basic shape of two cherubim on the Ark. The wire support runs through their wings, so with their wing tips touching, the wire support cannot be seen. I covered the wood part of the Ark with aluminum foil and baked the clay according to instructions. After baking and cooling off, the clay was still soft enough to allow additional carving using various X-acto knives. Decorative trim was cut from poster board and added to the top edge of the Ark. Rods were inserted to carry the Ark; a couple of coats of gold paint and it was finished. The kids chose mine over the one in the kit! Yeah!

The Lampstand

The lampstand in the kit is simply cut out of wood with a band saw. That’s ok I guess, but I felt like we could do better. For this I used brass tubing. 5/32” for the main stem and 3/32” for the seven branches. The 3/32” inch tubing bends easily over a round object. It took a little trial and error to get the six curved pieces the right length and arc. Holes were drilled in the main stem and the six branches were soldered in place using a pencil soldering iron. A good epoxy glue would probably work fine also. A 3/32” straight branch was attached to the top of the main stem for the center lamp. The Bible says that there were ornamental knobs and flowers on each branch. I wasn’t about to attempt to recreate these as described in the Bible. To represent these decorations, I took small metal washers, bent them with pliers into a concave shape, slid them over the tubing and soldered them in place. A base was glued to the lampstand and gold paint finished it up. I got the kids to insert short pieces of heavy cotton string into the ends of each of the seven tubes to represent the wick. I wanted them to paint the wicks yellow. They wanted to leave them white…….They won.

The Table of Shewbread and Altar of Incense

These pieces were simply cut from poplar wood. The legs on the Table of Shewbread were made from dowel rods. Short pieces were chucked in an electric drill and shaped with sandpaper.

The top of the Altar of Incense was shaped with a small sanding drum to form the four horns as described in the Bible. The bowl holding the ashes on the Altar of Incense came from an small package of wooden doll house bowls. (Craft store items)

Some of these photos show the sand already applied to the floor of the tabernacle, however, most of the furnishings were glued in place before the sand was applied. On the previous page, "Post, Posts, and More Posts", I mentioned how the floor inside the tabernacle was raised with plywood so that the sand would come up to the bottom of the grooves that were cut into the silver bases. In this photo, you can see the sand reaching the bottom of those grooves. You can also see tapered pieces of wood glued next to the outside perimeter of the tabernacle. When the sand is applied on the outside later, it will slope up to the silver base and give the appearance of having two bases under each board.

Pegs, Pegs, and More Pegs