Dollhouse Blogs

Sunday 23 October 2011

Great Room back doors and Update pictures.

Hello everyone. I hope you're all having a great weekend.

I spent all day yesterday packing and unpacking furniture. Some of the rooms are almost finished so I need to start looking into artwork. In other rooms, there are certain projects I have in mind but I wanted to see them with the furniture in place before I begin. Also, I made sure my inventory sheets are up to date. At this time I'm missing about 10 pieces of "vital" furniture.

Now, I love putting furniture in the house and seeing the rooms "complete". However, I have 177 pieces of furniture for the manor. It takes hours to unpack everything, dust them, fix any ungled parts put them in place...and it takes even longer to pack everything up again. But here are some pictures for your enjoyment.
Entrance and Grand Staircase

Great Room (Drawing Room side)

Great Room (Game Room side) missing arches in the windows over the doors.

Kitchen missing plate drying rack over the back sink

Dining room missing door to Loggia

 The other project I worked on was the Great Room doors to the back yard. As with the windows I decided to make all the doors of the manor from scratch. I wanted them a bit larger and taller then what is commercially available.

These will be non working. Since they are at the back of the Great Room it would be hard to get to them.
I took a 3 inch wide piece of lumber for the bottom half of the door, cut one piece to the width of both doors, and then I used 1/2 " lumber cut to 8" to make the vertical sides of each  door and glued them on with carpenters glue and gel super glue
The bottom picture shows the back of the doors. I just added smaller pieces of lumber in the center and at each end to hold the window panes and the top piece of the door in place. Then I attached molding strips inside each frame and I made more linen fold pieces for the bottom frame of the door

When the door was dry I painted it antique gold, then faux finished it with oil paint and liquin. Then I placed one door handle,  notched out a piece of the door where the keyhole goes and painted it black.
The doorhandles came with matching keys, so I used one to block the keyhole on the other door...I think, realistically, only one side should have a working keyhole. Finally I glued on the doorknobs with a bit of "The Ultimate" glue and gel super glue, applied with a toothpick. And Voila

You can see it in place in the pictures of the Great Room earlier in the post, Game Room side

And that dear friends was my weekend thus far. Today I'm startuing work on a parquet floor for the Gallery.

I have made a list of the remaining interior projects I have to get to:
11 Doors
29 Windows
Bedroom wood floors
Paneling in Gallery, Master Bedroom, Boy's Bedroom and Library
Library Bookcases
Kitchen Plate Drying Rack
Music Room columns and caryatides
Carved overmantels for Library and Master Bedroom
Room divisions for entire Attic  (Nursery, Bathroom, Sewing Room, Studio, Housekeeper's Bedroom)
Chandeliers, Sconces and fireplaces
Clock Tower
and of course front opening panels, which must be bricked, and the thousand of slate shingles for the roof.

And I'm sure I forgot some...My goal is to finish the interior of the house for my birthday May 2nd, and the exterior for end of summer 2012.

And now I'm going to get back to work. I will try to post mid-week about the gallery floor and I will take the time to talk about the story about the house...year, location, family...Just so you will all have an idea of my vision.

I wish you all a great week and once again, thank you for your feedback and your very kind encouragement...if I don't feel overwhelemed by what is left to do it is becaus eyou all help keep me positive and wanting to do more and better. I can't wait to see the progress of all your projects.

Best wishes, my friends,

Sunday 16 October 2011

Roof and Attic floor: part 2; Kitchen Windows and Central Heating.

Hello everyone,
I hope you all had a great weekend. I worked on the Manor house all weekend and am glad to say the roof structure is done!
Last post I had just finished gluing the gable and cross beam structure out of 3/4" by 1 1/2"lumber.
I picked up the 1/4" MDF panels at the hardware store Saturday morning. The first step was figuring out where to cut holes for the dormers and the opening to allow access from one room to the next.

I penciled in where the pieces met, and I cut the opening about 1" smaller, just to make sure I didn't have any holes where I want to shingle. I cut all the pieces with a dremel. If you ever use the Dremel be warned, it is small but very powerful. The tip spins so fast it's very hard to go in a straight line without a guide. Whenever I use it this is the setup:
I use a large metal Square and metal rulers, and I clamp them to the wood or MDF I am going to cut. I use a  multipurpose cutting guide ( the round black base)  and  #561 Multipurpose Bits. Because of the rotation of the bit, it's easier to cut up to down and right to left. In the opposite direction the dremel tends to jump and make crooked lines.
When came time to attach the panels, first I covered the gable and cross beams with carpenters glue. I put the MDF panel into place and taped it down with masking tape. Next, I pre-drilled a whole for the screw. First, I used a large drill bit and went down just enough so the head of the screw would not stick out. Then, I used the smallest drill bit and went as deep as I could. All panels had 2 or 3 screws attached to the gables, and 2  screws attached to the cross beam. In the end I used 104 1" screws and 36 2" screws.
In the center section of the roof I will have an opening panel that leads to the stair and the nursery

The opening panel is one piece of MDF with 2 gables attached to it. This was a little bit trickier to figure out.
I had cut the gables and glued them to a piece of subfloor.

I then took extra lumber and cut one end to match the angle of the roof. In the picture above I just glued and screwd  2 of them to the sublfoor. I then took this and glued that anlged cut to the opening panel of MDF. In the next picture you see the entire opening panel as well as the 2 dormers.

For some reason Ozzy went right next to it, sat down and would not move.
I'm going to put up the room devisions before I attach the panel with a piano hinge. I took a few more pictures of the roof:

Any gaps where the panels meet will be covered with copper flashing before shingling.

Every once in a while I had to get away from the roof, so I worked on other little details. I finished the panneling in the entrance

I built a working window for the kitchen.

I built them the same way as past windows, exceptd I build a small seperate frame and attached it with hinges to the window frame. I used an exacto to cut into the wood so there would be no unrealistic gap between the frame and sash.
This will be the Only working window in the house. I have realized the more pieces actually move, the more people touch and break them...and it's REALLY hard for me to pretend I'm not bothered and smile and say "that's okay, it's nothing"
And finaly, I purchased some jewelry pieces that looked like old heating grates. In the late victorian times homes started having coal furnaces in the basement which heated the house using ducts. I used a black marker to draw a square on the wallpaper and glued the jewlery bit on

And that, dear friends, was my weekend. If ever my instructions are unclear please feel free to ask any questions. I usually write my posts at the end of long miniature days.
I hope evryone has a wonderful week.
Best wishes to all,

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Roof and Attic Floor: part 1

Hello everyone,
I hope you are all doing well!
Monday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada, and I managed to take Tuesday and Wednesday off. Naturally, I spent all my free time on Dewell Manor. I had hoped to finish the whole roof before going back to work, but the hardware store was rather busy so the mdf panels won't be ready before Friday. ..but I did get the structure done:
Including the Loggia, the house measures 37 inches deep, 103 inches wide, and 50 inches high.

I made the roof in 3 section seperate from the 1st and second floor structures so that I can take the house apart if  I ever have to move it. The subfloor is 1/2 inch mdf, the roof panels will be 1/4 inch mdf, and the frame will be 1 1/2 x 3/4 inch lumber.

The first step for the roof was figuring out the angles I wanted for the gables. I wanted the rooms in the attic to be at least 8 inches high. Since I don't want the rooms to be too small, I figured for every 6 horizontal inches, I'd go up 8 inches....hummm...maybe this drawing will help
The drawing above is the gable over the Kitchen/ Dressing room section of the house which is about 21 inches wide. I used the "8 for 6" rule for each gable, this way they will all have the same angle.
Next, I cut out all the triangles in cardboard and had a test run to see if I liked the proportion of the roof with the rest of the house:
I was happy with the design so I took the lumber I purchased for the roof structure and drew it onto the cardboard triangle. This is how I created the pattern for each piece of the 13 triangle supports that needed to be cut.
I then proceeded to cut all the pieces I need to frame the roof. When they were ready, I just glued them onto the 1/2 inch mdf subfloor with carpenters glue and held everything in place with masking tape
When the glue was dry, I added cross beams,again with carpenters glue. This time I used parcel tape and clamps to hold the beams in place while they dry.

I then took out a measuring tape and figured out the dimensions of each of the mdf panels. I made a cutting plan and went to my hardware store to have everything cut. In total there are 16 panels to be cut in 2 48 x 96 inch sheets of mdf. Unfortunately I'll have to wait till Friday to pick them up.

The last step is to insert screws into each joint. The glue should be enough, but since some of the frame pieces weren't 100% flat on the mdf subfloor, I decided the screws would make sure nothing falls apart later on.
For the first time I can realy see my vision coming to life. I can't wait to get the panels on... however I'm scared tot hink how many shingles I'm going to have to cut and paint to cover the entire me!

I hope everyone has a happy Thursday and Friday, and I will definetely try to have the roof done by Sunday.
I wish you all the best and I thank you for taking the time to follow my progress... I really appreciate all your feedback and encouragement.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Bedroom Hall and Windows

Hello everyone.
I had company last weekend and didn't have much time to work on the manor. I've been working on the hall that leads to the bedrooms and the attic floor. In the picture below, the 2 doors on the right are bedrooms, and the door at the end of the hall leads to the gallery on the right and the grand staircase to the left.
The door below leads to the Dressing Room and Master Bedroom
I love the way it came out, but I am a little sad that you won't really see it. When the house is finished, you'll only be able to see it through the bedroom doors. Originally I wasen't going to make the staircase, but I figured even though you only get a glimpse of it, it really adds to the realism of the house.

My first step was to glue the floor on. The subfloor had chanels for the electric wires of the light fixtures int he room below, so I put the wires in the chanels and to make sure no glue got on them, I took strips of paper and, using a glue stick, just glued the sided to the subfloor.

The reason I did this is so I can pull the wires when the time comes to attach the chandeliers...I'm fed up of crawling through the great room!

After I finished the floor and the staircase, the big project was the windows. I decided to make the windows from scratch. In my mind, the manor house is on a cliff, somehere in England, and you can see the ocean on 3 sides of the house. For this reason most windows are 8 to 10 inches high . Since the house is late victorian I wanted double hung windows.

I started by building a simple frame out of basewood.
In the picture above, when the frame was dry, I added a smaller frame inside the openings. I then added quarter round molding to create each sash . One sash was build in front of the smaller frame and the second sash was build on the top of the smaller frame (sorry, hard to explain)...this way it looks like the bottom one can be pulled up to open the window.
On the top part of the window I added an arched piece. When all construction will be finished I want the 4 bottom sashes to have panes with tudor leaded glass in the diamond pattern, and a stained glass transom on the top arched sections.

Finally I painted them and added handles on the bottom sashes and a lock on the top.

I also built the window for the nook in the great room...more crawling!
3 windows down, 29 more to go!

I finished the bedroom hall because my next project is the structure for the attic floor. I'm on holiday till Thursday, so I hope to have it built by then.
I hope everyone has a great week and hopefully, you'll see Dewell Manor fully constructed by Thursday...but I'm not making promises. Oh  yeah, I 've cristened the house Dewell Manor, but I'll tell you about that another time.
Best wishes to all, and I look forward to seeing more of your great projects.