New in San Francisco

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Hello all,

 

I'm so happy to have stumbled upon this forum.  I purchased a VM-800 about 30 years ago and very nearly completed it - except for the roof and the porch railings.   Then we bought a real house - a fixer-upper so the dollhouse was stored away.  Now I am retired and would like to finish it.  I have all the parts, instructions, etc.  It's painted, electrified, wallpapered, the flooring is in, and I have a lot of furniture.  I actually started out collecting miniature furniture and later decided I needed a house for my collection.

 

My problem is that I don't like the doors that came with the kit and would like to replace them with more authentic looking doors.  In researching this I find that all the available 1:12 doors are much bigger than the openings on the house - by as much as a 1/2".  I am a little nervous about enlarging the openings.  Has anyone done this before and do you have any tips?  Or are there other sources for the doors?  I have looked at Houseworks and some others on miniatures.com.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

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Welcom to the little family, Ellie.

...My problem is that I don't like the doors that came with the kit and would like to replace them with more authentic looking doors...I am a little nervous about enlarging the openings.  Has anyone done this before and do you have any tips?  Or are there other sources for the doors?  I have looked at Houseworks and some others on miniatures.com.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

If it were me I would make new doors.  When I do this I trace the opening onto a piece of paper.  Then I make a box from 1/8" stripwood the width of the edge of the opening + trim/ door facings, making it to fit within the traced outline.  The interior of that gives me the size I need to cut for my door.  I cut the door, cutting out any opening I might want for a window.  Then I cut strips and panels for whatever style of door I want to make.  If I'm going to stain the door I stain all the pieces first before gluing it up, otherwise I go ahead and glue it up.  I then place the door into the box and put the assembly into my bench vise and drill starter holes in either end to pinhinge the door, and nail in the pins.  Then I prime and paint the door glue the assembly in place within the opening and it's done.

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Welcome! There are several of us here from the Bay Area. I'm up in Novato (coincidentally very close to Dollhouses, Trains, and More -- that's not why I moved to this neighborhood, I swear!)

 

Enlarging holes is easy before assembly, but I wouldn't risk it once the house is already assembled. What don't you like about the doors? You can dress them up with trim if they're too plain. Same with door trim. I spend a lot of time looking at Google Images to find door and trim styles that can be emulated with stripwood and miniature trims (and Dollhouses, Trains, and More happens to have a very good supply of trims!)

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Welcome to the forum, Ellie!

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Thank you for the warm welcome and suggestions.  I have never constructed anything without a kit.  Maybe it's time I tried.  Or I may see if I can modify door from a miniature supplier.   I was going to attach a photo of the ugly door and my in progress house but I found out I need to have five posts before I can do that.

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Thank you for the warm welcome and suggestions.  I have never constructed anything without a kit.  Maybe it's time I tried.  Or I may see if I can modify door from a miniature supplier.   I was going to attach a photo of the ugly door and my in progress house but I found out I need to have five posts before I can do that.

Ellie, you can attach a photo to a post. Click on the "More Reply Options" button in the lower right corner of the "Reply to this topic" frame. The 5-post minimum is the requirement for opening an album in your Gallery. While there is a limit to the number of attachments to posts, there is no limit to the number of photos in your Gallery, so once you reach five posts, that would be the way to go.

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Hello All,

I can't believe it's been over three years since I joined this forum!  Life can certainly get in the way of dollhouse building.  I did get new doors for my Duracraft VM800 Victorian Mansion.  I tried making my own doors but was not happy with the results.  With my handy husband's help, we did successfully enlarge the existing openings and installed new doors.

Since then I have been remodeling my original build.  The exterior paint was a soooo 80's avocado green so I repainted it blue.  Remember, I started building this house in the early 1980's.  I completed the porch, the porch railings and roof, and laid a plank floor.

More to come.  I'm trying to get my 5 posts in so I can start my picture gallery.

 

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Continuing with progress on my Duracraft VM800 Victorian Mansion......Much of the wallpaper was faded and discolored so I replaced all the 1st and 2nd floor wallpaper.  I had to remove the window trim which I had originally attached with a hot glue gun.  My hairdryer wasn't cutting it so I borrowed my husband's heat gun (used for shrink tubing) and managed  to loosen the glue without setting the wallpaper or the house on fire.

 

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Duracraft VM800  Victorian Mansion remodel

I decided I did't like the 'linoleum' floor in the kitchen (actually contact paper), so I installed hardwood and stained it to match the rest of the 1st floor.  I had carpet on the 2nd floor because the kit only came with enough wood flooring strips for the 1st floor.  I removed the carpet and replaced it with wood flooring. I'm finishing up the floor in the 2nd floor 5-sided tower room.  It's challenging to get in there to get a proper fit.

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Yeah, I have 5 posts so I will put pictures in my gallery.

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Ellie, you can reproduce linoleum with paint effects; I do my kitchen floors that way quite often.

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Ellie, sounds like you are making great progress on the renovations. You go, girl! :) 

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