Sunday, August 26, 2012

Further Construction... Sorry For the Delay

This post is a week late, for which I apologize.  Sunday there was a snafu with cell phone batteries, which meant I couldn't take many pictures or load what I had onto my computer.  And Sunday night I got a lovely migraine which meant I wasn't writing anything...

Actually I wasn't writing, talking or eating, I was sleeeeeeping... all the way until Monday afternoon nearly.  Yeah, migraines are fun. Not.

I'm actually lucky in that I don't get them nearly as often as I used to.  But I do get them just often enough that I know when I'm getting one.  Does that make sense? Probably not.

So I did work on the dollhouse a lot this past weekend, in fact its looking pretty good.  I didn't realize just how much progress I'd made until I took a look at the last post.  Now I really do need to construct a case for it though because it needs painting and finishing.  Trying to do anything with paint when you have cats around is an exercise in how to make a huge mess quickly so I'm figuring out a Plexiglas case for it.

In the meantime, here's what I've accomplished:

First I put the floors in place and wood glued them.  And unless I wanted to stand there and hold them in place for  half an hour I had to find something to help them stand upright.  So I improvised.  I'd like to thank my grandmother for leaving me all the books in her house as the Thesaurus really came in handy.

You can see my hi-tech method for holding the floors in place while the glue dried.
Then I attached the other wall.  Interestingly enough this would be the total width of the dollhouse without the addition.  Cute, but I guess I'm ambitious enough that I wanted something bigger.  And then I realized that wooden boards always warp slightly in storage, something to do with heat or damp.
I was very proud of myself when I got to this point.  It was standing on its own!
So the next step is when the slightly warped boards became an issue...You have to square off the front of the tower. What I call the tower is the center part of the house, the tallest section and it has its own narrow front board with a door and windows.  If that isn't squared off right you'll have crooked siding and angled openings. Not ideal.  So I tried to un-warp the boards.  It worked but they had to stay that way for a while and that left someone curious.  Maybe she likes the smell of wood? 

Miho approves of the dollhouse thus far. 

So with a bit of effort I managed to get everything squared, that was interesting especially working with wood glue while getting everything in place.  Don't get me wrong, wood glue is a major part of this project but as I wrestled everything in place I was glad I was wearing grubby clothes because it got all over my tee shirt.

The tower front is on.  And it isn't even crooked. Yay me.

The next part required... You guessed it folks, more wood glue!  And my next favorite construction staple, duct tape.  Seriously folks, duct tape is my friend.  And I'll tell you this started going really fast once I had the proper tools.  The bay extension comes in separate pieces, I guess to save on packaging and labor or whatever, so you glue these half hexagon shapes to the main floors.

See? Duct Tape is my friend.  My bestest'll see why.
This next part is tricky because part of the walls for this section are supposed to be hinged.  So one is glued to the tower wall, while the other two are glued together but not to the body of the house.  They have to seal tightly because the glue is the only thing holding the walls together, the angle doesn't allow for nails as reinforcement.

See duct tape!  It worked pretty well.
Before you put on the roof you have to glue on an attic wall that divides the stairwell hallway from the attic room.  You're supposed to glue another divider in, a piece that blocks the stair opening from the back of the house with only a doorway but I don't really want a tiny little room I can't even get to from the back of the house.  So I used the little divider as support but didn't glue it in permanently.

See the little wall on the edge of the house? That should go halfway down, but why?  All it does is get in the way.

Now we get to the interesting part, putting the roof on.  I really had a hard time with this part, the pieces are angled on almost every side, and you have to draw the shingle lines on before you glue on the roof.  I'm not ashamed to say there was cursing during this part. 

You have to keep the pieces straight or the roof line will be warped.  This was not my favorite part.
You can also see above the room dividers help hold all the floors and everything in place while the glue sets.  I really needed everything stable so I left them in until I was certain the blue holding the front walls in was set. 

Then the top of the roof was warped of course so I did the best I could with glue and weight to hold it down. A shout out to Grandma's Thesaurus which was invaluable for holding the rooftop to the sloping walls.  Once I had everything situated I nailed it down to be sure the gaps were closed.

Yeah, this was not a fun part either.  The rooftop should be even on all sides...I'm a little off.
The tower roof and rooftop were next.  Since I'd dealt with angled boards you would think I'd be fine right? Yeah you don't know me that well obviously.  I tried to glue the wrong sides in, then ended up wiping the glue off, redrawing the shingle lines and re-gluing.  What threw me was the way the rooftop sat on the angled walls.  It just looked odd to me.

The Thesaurus makes another appearance.  And the house actually looks like a house now!
Almost done.  The house has a foundation which you have to put on, and the wood was (again) slightly warped.  But I managed to get it all on.  The addition was interesting, the instructions aren't quite as detailed as the main house so I did a lot of second guessing until I got everything figured out.  This was where the battery snafu took place so I don't have a lot of pictures.

I did finally get a picture of the house as it is now.  Everything has to be painted and stained before it goes on so now I really need to build a case for it.  Cats and paint don't mix.

There's the thesaurus again! And my handy dandy duct tape.
It doesn't look bad does it?  I need to fill in the little gaps in the foundation but that's easy enough to do. And here's Miho, appreciating the house I've obviously built for her.

Mommy, you need to get this stuff out of my house.
Sunday I went to Home Depot and bought Plexiglas and wood and assorted things to build a case.  I also got paint with primer to paint the house once its built.  It took three hours to get everything but I'm ready to start on it next.

So an extra long entry to make up for the lack of one last week.  Hope you all liked.  See you next week.

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