Welcome to my life . . . .

This is a blog about my passion: dollhouses and miniatures. This particular blog was started to follow my miniature dream: to create a Victorian Mansion. But work on my Mansion is slow. Very slow. Sloth slow. Ice Age glacier movement slow. Why? Because I am easily distracted by other personal miniature projects (I have 50+ roomboxes and 15 dollhouses in various stages of incompletion) and because I work for a miniature shop and am often up to my elbows in miniature projects that aren't mine! So, I thought, some artists work in a particular medium (woods, watercolors, clay, oils, etc.), I work in progress . . . .

Friday, October 30, 2015

Bits and Pieces...(Part 3 of 4: Flooring)

So, I've been working away on the Willoway!

This past week the house was wallpapered and flooring cut and installed.  The rooms were so deep that we had to connect two sheets of flooring.  I do this all the time, but a customer mentioned that he always had trouble matching them up and installing floors so I decided to do a blog post about it for anyone else who has issues.

First we polyurethane the wood floors.
Then we make a template of the dollhouse floor.  We do this by overlapping paper and taping them together until the floor space in the dollhouse is completely covered by paper.  (I know, we only use the best tools here at the store.)  Remember to write on the paper what room the template is for and which direction is towards the open end of the dollhouse as you want the nice manufactured edge (presumably the straightest edge) in the front where people will see.
By now the polyurethane is dry and you can match up the two floors.  Put them edge to edge.  They will not always match up great (i.e. there will be gaps):
Some gaps are visible which is why it is best to do this on a white table where gaps show thru the wood clearly.
If that happens, turn one of the floors around so the opposite edge is now against the other floor's edge.  Sometimes you will still see a gap in which case you will then need to rotate the other floor.  Basically, keep turning the floors as one edge will match up very nicely to the other floor's edge:
Butted up to each other and there are no visible gaps!
Now flip the floors over so you can tape the backs together where the seam is located:
Starter pieces of tape to hold the seam in place until the rest can be applied.

I go overboard with the masking tape to hold them together.
Now you have a large wood floor with no visible seams or gaps:
A 17" x 22" wood floor!
Pull your templates out of the dollhouse and arrange them on the large wood floor you have created:
I can cut two rooms out of this!
Put the edge of the template up to the edge of the wood floor and start cutting.  Actually, I freehand cut around the template but if you are feeling cautious I would recommend either pencil lining around the template and cutting along your line or taping the template in place so it doesn't shift while you are cutting.  Once the flooring is cut out you can test fit it in the house (usually there is a place or two that needs minor adjusting to get it to fit exactly right: paper is more flexible and forgiving than the wood sheet flooring so a few snips along the edge might be needed for a flatter, easier fit).

Use double sided tape or tacky glue to install your flooring:
Installed in the hallway and read to go! (Lower level has weights on that floor while the glue dries)
We also stained the stairs for the dollhouse.  But the pre-assembled stairs had a lot of glue that prevented the stain from taking to the wood in the creases:
Lots of raw wood gaps.
Customer wants to keep costs for this dollhouse reasonable (it is for a child to play with) so we did our usual "cheat" method and filled in gaps with a dark brown marker before we polyurethaned the stairs.  Doesn't completely cover all the gaps, but makes them less noticeable:
Some raw wood gaps are still there - may put another coat of marker on it
If there is time I will color the more noticeable gaps with marker again.  But it will be picked up Wednesday and I still have shingling to do.  Shouldn't be too bad except that tomorrow is Halloween, today are the kids' school activities relating to Halloween, and I don't work Sunday or Monday (and kids are off of school on Monday and Tuesday due to the end of the semester) so getting kid-free time here in the store to shingle will be tough, but I will get it done (or at least beg Mom to help and do some shingling)!  Interested in shingling with a hinge on the roof? Look for installment Bits and Pieces...(4 of 4) next week!

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