Page one: Preparation
Note: Images can be clicked for a larger view.
The first thing I did was 'set up shop' in the kitchen. I placed a
large piece of thick cardboard on the kitchen table to protect the
table's surface. I went through the instruction sheet and located
the main parts of the house. I punched the parts out using an Xacto
knife. (I placed some scrap lumber on my worksurface, on top of the
cardboard.) After cutting out the main pieces, I took them outside to
sand them. I filled in any cracks and holes with putty, and sanded
the pieces again. While the putty was drying, I located and cut out
more pieces and placed them in labeled plastic sandwich bags.
Once I had sanded a bunch of pieces, I took them out to the garage to
seal them. The sealer is a mixture of one part shellac and one part
denatured alcohol. I covered the workbench with newspapers and placed
the parts on dry spaghetti so that the wood could dry on both sides.
I applied the sealer with a foam brush. I strongly suggest applying shellac
outdoors or in a garage. Until it is dry, shellac smells very bad!
The shellac took around 24 hours to dry. Sealing the wood raised the grain
a bit, so I sanded all the pieces again, using fine sandpaper.
I trial-fitted everything. I found that many of the parts had been cut
incorrectly by the manufacturer, so I had to trim pieces to make them fit.
I assembled (and unassembled) the house many times, holding it together
with masking tape.
These pictures show the attic taped together.
Tigger had to inspect my work!
This image (You may
bring up the a bigger image in another window)
shows various steps in progress. The main thing
is the dormer window being glued to the roof section. I decided to attach
the dormer to the roof before gluing the roof to the house, since I didn't
see any way of easily clamping it while the glue dried. Even with the roof
section lying flat, I had to find a creative way to clamp the dormer roof
to the dormer walls. I wrapped a long nylon strap over the roof and under
the table. This nylon strap is designed to be a clamp, but I really doubt
that the designers of the strap had dollhouse construction in mind.
Another thing shown in this picture are the fronts of the doors. The paint
was drying in this picture. Later they were glued to the the backs of the
doors, with some "stained glass" sandwiched between the pieces of wood.
The other thing shown in this picture is the chimney. (It is upside down
in the picture.) I made the top look like it is made of concrete, and I
applied plaster "stones" to the side. The rest of the stonework will wait
until the chimney is glued on the roof.
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