Thursday 14 June 2012

Project Doll's House: Let's build it!

Now then, let's make it, and find out, if the theory is any good in practice. In the previous post, there's a list of elements to cut out, and a suggestion in which order this could be done. The first step is to cut the ground plane, the rear wall, and both side walls. I suggest to leave the side walls rectangular at this stage, since it is time-consuming to cut the exact roof shape only to find out that something else went wrong. Therefore I really recommend to leave the roof until all the other bits fit together – contrary to what I did and what is shown in the photos.

After cutting out these four elements, 5 mm deep grooves are cut into the ground plane, into which the walls will be seated. Now we can make a first test and see if everything fits together so far. This also serves as a motivation boost for you and most importantly for the little girl waiting for her doll's house: "Daddy, you can REALLY do that!"

The next step is to cut out the two floors, and to cut grooves into the side and rear walls to receive the floors. Again, it's time to try the arrangement immediately, just to see how the project takes shape.

The next step is to cut out the interior walls, and then make the grooves for them to sit in. Apart from working out the exact shape of the roof for the folding mechanism, this is the trickiest bit, because it requires – even more than before – precision measurements and work. In the photo above, the interior walls already have doors in them. The doors and staircase will be explained in the next post.

I did not manage to get all grooves exactly lined up, and an offset of a few millimetre is visible in the front between the first-floor wall and the second-floor walls. Since a lot of effort and time went into this, and the winter was fast approaching (I have to do these things outside!), that we decided to leave it at that and not try to redo the lower floor and the ground plane.

The final result looks already a lot like a doll's house, with expectations and excitement clearly on the rise – and Christmas on the horizon! At this point it's worth mentioning, that the house in the picture above is held together by exactly two small nails on the upper rear corners of side and rear walls. Everything else just slots into grooves.

Now that we are at a stage that all major elements are cut out and everything fits together well, it is time to cut the top bits of the side walls into the proper shape for the roof and to cut out the doors and elements for the stair cases. Then it'll be time to plan size and location of the windows. Finally, the whole thing will have to come apart for painting. To be continued...

Photos and design: Thomas Ulich.

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