Sunday, August 12, 2012

Construction Begins...Seriously I Really Did Start This Time

First things first.  I am supporting the economy by buying things.  I think this is a reasonable excuse considering I can't build the dollhouse without buying things.  And really, tools are a good investment, I'll use them for other things. Really I will.  The cats love their window seats and I'd like to make them more.

So I went to Home Depot on Friday during my lunch where a very nice man named Sam helped me find the tools I needed.  Sam was awesome.  But the credit for knowing what tools to buy goes to my pal Linda at work.  Linda is a home improvement genius and should have her own blog.  Seriously, there's nothing this woman doesn't know how to do.  Thinking I might enclose the back patio? Linda can tell me how to do it.  Tiling my bathroom? Linda has done that.  Renovating my kitchen? Linda has also done that.  Putting in a new floor? You get the idea.  Linda builds cabinetry as well and knows all about tools.  I have serious tool knowledge envy of Linda.

So. Linda told me that in order to cut the holes for my wall I would need not a reciprocating saw, but a jig saw, and to make sure I bought wood blades not metal.  Check. One Black and Decker jig saw with blades.  Apparently a reciprocating saw would have ripped the heck out of my wood.  Not ideal.

The saw itself was only about 30 bucks, the blades were about 10.

When I asked if I would need to start from an edge in order to cut the doors she said no, just get a drill and make a hole big enough for the saw blade to go through.  Drill bits to attach to my power screwdriver. Check.  (Okay I had a picture of my shiny new drill bits and their case but its disappeared into the bowels of my computer and only gremlins know where it is now.)

One more thing which I actually thought of on my own. Clamps, or vises or whatever you want to call those metal things that tighten and hold one thing to another.  The construction version of binder clips.  Those. I got two because I really didn't want to cut or drill into my dining room table or my kitchen counter. 

Sandpaper I had already.  But I needed wood glue.  And also wood putty because I don't know if anyone could see in the pictures of the dollhouse walls, but the outer walls are pre-sided.  They're lovely and will be easy to paint and finish, but they are not ideal for an inner wall, which is what one of them would be when I add the addition that came with the dollhouse.  Thus, wood putty.

Guess what I did this Saturday?  Yep.  I got to use my new tools.

First I had to figure out where the door openings needed to go.  Which meant determining where the stairs would be and how much space they would have in front and beneath them.  I put the floor pieces against the wall and used  pencil to draw lines for the stair openings.  Then I put the stairs against the wall and drew a diagonal line and figured out original desired location for the doors wouldn't work.

You can see where I drew out my doors... the staircase lines...not so much.

I originally wanted to put the living room opening next to the front door.  But the stairs don't allow for a double door opening under them.  So it was placed at the foot of the stairs at the back of the house.  Same goes for the two single door openings up on the second and third floor.  Which, by the way, I forgot I needed three doors, not two.  So halfway through my drilling holes I drew out my third door.

My shiny new clamp thingies and my board clamped down on my kitchen counter.

No, I'm really not brilliant at all this yet.  I'm a work in progress, just like the house.  But I got it drawn out and drilled holes for it.  I actually figured out I was better off drilling holes at each of the four corners of the doors because it allowed me to cut in one direction at a time.  I didn't have to worry about corners and such, I just cut to my drill point and the got the little corner bits later.  By the way, it helps to put a towel down under your feet and the board to catch all the sawdust because wow... this is messy.  Can you see the little piles of sawdust on the picture below? Multiply that by like ten.

Here are a few of my holes and you can see the shiny drill bit I used on top of the board.

So a few issues later, including sawdust and the determination that I'd definitely cut the doors in the wrong order.  It matters because when you have very little left to cut and not a lot of board between your cut and the edge of the board, the saw will make the board go up and down and no amount of duck (duct?) tape in the world will cure that.  So I cut my little piece off entirely and fixed it when I did the next step.

My doors are all cut out...and now we're ready to fill in the grooves.

Remember how I bought wood putty?  Wood putty works a little like Spackle or plaster, you use a palette knife or something similar like a putty knife and drag a lump of it over the area you want to fill.  Actually what I was doing reminded me of nothing so much as grouting tile.  Minus the wiping the excess off afterward.  So I used wood putty to fix my little cut I had to make and to fill in all the siding grooves. 

Not easy to see but the wood putty has filled in all the siding grooves.
And now I'm waiting for it to dry.

Once it dries I'll sand it down some...and maybe I'll get some holes punched through so I can start building the dollhouse.

And now I'm getting ambitious...but I was thinking the uppermost room on the addition won't have any windows...and that seems sort of wrong.  I think they sell windows for that angle roof at one of my miniature sites...I may have to look into this.

What do you folks think?

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