CUSTOMIZING A DOLLHOUSE

Подпись: A bucksaw in a mini-miter box cuts a piece of window trim to length. Like other scale-size tooh needed for dollhouse-building, the box and saw are available at most hobby shops.

Once the shell of a dollhouse is assembled, the next step is plan­ning the design of its interior and exte­

rior. This section will show you how to install a wiring system, wood flooring, and roofing shingles.

Wiring a dollhouse is easy if you use a lighting kit. The type shown below uses double-copper-band tape with adhesive backing. The step-bv-step procedures that follow will work with most com­mercial kits.

There are many ways to install floor­ing in a dollhouse. Carpet-style floor­ing, made with a suitable fabric that has the texture of carpeting in a miniature scale, is one popular choice. You can also buy sheets of flooring that look much like wood floors; these feature an adhe­sive backing. As shown beginning on page 92, a third option involves making and installing your own customized wood floorboards.

The roof can be covered with pre-cut shingles, available at most hobby shops. Before buying shingles, measure the total surface area of the roof and add 25 per­cent to take into account the overlap of shingles. Purchase extra shingles to allow for waste. As with floors, you can make your own shingles in the shop, as explained starting on page 94.

INSTALLING LIGHTING

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Transformer

 

Junction splice probe

 

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2

Testing the wiring

Attach the junction splice supplied with the kit to the wiring by pressing it onto the copper tape on the outside wall of the dollhouse. Secure the junction to the wall with a small wood screw. Next, check the conductivity of the wiring to ensure suffi­cient voltage is running through it. Plug the lead wire into the junction and the trans­former at the other end of the wire into a wall outlet. Then, touch the leads of the test probe supplied to the copper foils beside the junction (above). The light should come on; if not, make sure that the lead wire switch is turned on. If it is, refer to the owner’s manual for instructions on troubleshooting the transformer.

ЙЙНХН

SHOP TIP

Marking the wiring layout

Подпись: 3 Extending the wiring upward To extend the wiring up a wall to the ceiling or the upper floor, lap a piece of wiring at a 90° angle over the run already installed on the wall. To secure the connection, use needle-nose pliers to push two pairs of brads through both sets of wiring into the wall (above). Test the new run as you did in step 2. Подпись:image189To make sure the wiring along the interior walls of a dollhouse runs at a uniform height to scale, your layout lines must be straight. To help you scribe a straight line in the cramped interior of the house, use the lid of an audio cassette box as a guide.

4 Installing lighting fixtures

Подпись: Holee for■ outletПодпись: OutletA light fixture can be installed at any point along the wiring. To connect a fixture without a plug, use a pin to punch small holes into the copper tape large to accept the lead wires from the fixture. Insert the wires into the holes, then secure the wires in place with brass brads. For a fixture with a plug, like the one shown at left, you will need to fix an outlet to the wiring. Drill or punch holes into the tape for the outlet prongs, press the prongs in place, and insert the fixture plug into the outlet.

CUSTOMIZING A DOLLHOUSE

image190image191INSTALLING FLOORING

1

Ripping the floor boards

Подпись: Shop-made table neertПодпись: Floor board etockCut your flooring stock to length and plane it to a thickness of Y inch. Because you will be cutting the boards A inch wide, make a special table saw insert for this operation. (If you use the insert supplied with the saw, the narrow boards could jam in the saw table, resulting in kickback.) To make an insert that will minimize the gap between the blade and the table opening, use the standard insert as a template to cut a blank from a piece of wood of the same thickness. Crank the blade to its lowest setting and set the new insert in place. Position the rip fence to straddle the insert, making sure that it is not direct­ly above the blade. Then turn on the saw and raise the blade to a height of Y inch, cutting a slot in the insert. To rip the floor boards, position the rip fence for a cutting width of ‘A inch and use a push block to feed the workpiece across the saw table, pressing the stock flush against the fence with your free hand (right).

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Guide

5udfloor

2

Gluing down the floor boards

Once your boards are cut, glue them down to a subfloor before installing the flooring in the dollhouse. For the subfloor, use /іб-inch model aircraft plywood, available at most craft supply stores. Cut a piece larger than the floor, set it on a work surface, and outline the floor on it. Clamp a guide board along each end of the outline, then spread an even coating of glue on the subfloor within the outline. Starting at one end, position a floor board on the subfloor, butting one edge against the guide board and making sure the ends are aligned with the outline. Continue gluing down the boards edge to edge (above) until you reach the other guide board.

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3

Securing the floor boards

Once the last floor board is glued down, remove the guide boards and place a piece of plywood at least as large as the floor on top of it. Place two 2-by-4s on top of the plywood, making sure the plywood caul is perfectly flat on the floor. To keep the floor boards butted edge to edge, cut two ^-inch-thick wood pads as long as the floor is wide, butt them tightly against the edges of the floor on shims as thick as the subfloor, and clamp them to the work surface. Then clamp the caul in place, using the 2-by-4s to distribute the clamping pressure (above).

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SHOP TIP

image195Laying out irregular floors

If the floors of your dollhouse have an irregular shape, you can use sheets of paper to map out the flooring. Lay individual pieces of paper on the floor, trimming them to fit precisely within the walls, and tape the pieces together. Next, remove the paper template from the dollhouse, set it on top of the subfloor material, and trace its out­line. Then cut the subfioor to size on a scroll saw or band saw.

INSTALLING SHINGLES

 

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1 Laying out the roofing

Подпись: Ouj^elmefor starter уж-To make sure the shingles are installed straight and with the desired amount of overlap, mark guidelines for them on the roof. Position a shingle in a bottom corner of the roof with the amount of overhang you want; / inch is adequate. Then mark a guideline for the starter row along the top end of the shingle. Holding the first shingle in place, position another above it—overlapping the first – and mark a second guideline the same way. Use the spacing between the two marks to draw a series of pencil ticks up the roof to the ridge. Repeat the process at the opposite corner and at both ends on the other side of the roof, then use a straight­edge and a pencil to join the marks, forming guidelines for installing the shingles. Clamp the straightedge to the roof at both corresponding marks as you draw each line (left).

SHINGLE-CUTTING JIG

Made from wood scraps, the guillo- tine-like jig shown at right is ideal for making your own shingles. Start by sawing the guide block and blade guide. Cut a dado out of the guide to fit the plane blade you will use, then screw the guide to the block. Rout a dado through the assembly to accommodate your shingle stock, screw on the base, then make the stop block, beveling one edge. The distance between the stop block’s beveled edge and the opening in the guide block equals the desired thickness of the shingles.

Подпись: GuideПодпись: Shingle stockПодпись: BaseПодпись: blade guideПодпись: Stop blockimage198To use the jig, slip a plane blade, bevel facing out, into the blade guide and slide vertical-grained shingle stock through the opening until it contacts the stop block.

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Spacing bricks

Подпись:When installing bricks on a dollhouse, you need to leave gaps between the bricks for mortar. To ensure that the spacing between rows is uni­form, you can use pop – aicle sticks as epacere, as shown here. Set the horizontal

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