Beacon Hill - Dollhouse Noob

56 posts in this topic

(Starting a new single thread so I don’t fill up the whole forum with my questions!) :) 

OK, so I ran into an issue and need some advice on whether I need to disassemble and fix it or just continue on.

After I put together the 2nd assembly in the instructions (the first walls that go up) I went to attach it to the foundation and there were a couple of tabs that just barely went in the slots because part of the 2nd assembly was off when I glued it together. (I’m going to try and attach pics)

I originallly thought I would just fill that area with wood filler but now I’m worried that the rest of the build is going to be off. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

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I would advise disassembly-- this will affect the rest of the build all the way to the top.

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One of the purposes of the dry fit is to show you which tabs & slots might need sanding or even shaving for that perfect fit.  Untape the walls and fit those tabs & slots.

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Havanaholly, it is very solidly glued already. When I started this I didn’t know about doing a dry fit, live and learn! :)

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I have been known to separate solidly glued parts for the sake of proper fit.  If you used wood glue you can soften the join with warm water & white vinegar enough to get a knife blade in there to finish the separation.  The problems you already have with the house are only going to get worse; take it apart, carefully, and begin again, fitting your tabs & slots as you go DRY FIT!).

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5 minutes ago, Squig said:

Havanaholly, it is very solidly glued already. When I started this I didn’t know about doing a dry fit, live and learn! :)

You are about to learn how to unglue. :D You may not have to take it all apart. Concentrate first on the really off section and then dry fit to see if everything else is playing nicely together.

You may be able to separate glued joints with a very sharp utility knife. If not, soften the glue. Depending on what glue you used, it may be vinegar and water will do the trick. You may need to add heat, like a hair dryer.

When you've figured out how to soften the glue, wiggle a thin blade, like a palette knife or very thin putty knife into the joint and gently pry the pieces apart.

When it's apart, scrape off as much glue as possible and let it dry. Then shave the tabs to make a perfect fit.

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What Kathie said is perfect advice. I dryfit as I assemble the kits. Trimming the tab or widening the slots are something you’ll become familiar with. I’d figure out the best way for you to “unstick” the glue. When you get to the roofline, it will really drive you bonkers trying to align it all if you leave it. Also, the side walls will have issues too. I learn something new with every build. It keeps me a The “Newbie” frame of mind for sure :) just remember, there’s no problem that can’t be fixed.  

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Thanks all, well looks like it’s unanimous and you all told me what I didn’t want to hear: take it apart! LOL

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You will be MUCH happier with the result.

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I ran into a similar issue, before you glue those walls to the foundation make sure the tabs are aligned, sand if necessary and hammer them in. I had to use pressure to glue those walls to the foundation, try to find a system that works for you, like a belt or weights on the top floors. I placed an old phonebook under the porch foundation while hammering the walls. 

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It was a pain in the butt but It looks like it’s fixed now, I have some splintered wood to deal with but I guess that’s what filler’s for!

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What primer doesn't cover baseboards and wallpaper will, and spackle fills gaps and sands VERY smooth & flat.  BTW, I have disassembled glued parts I was unhappy with their fit or appearance too many times to count.  I want it to fit correctly.

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Well done! You're on the right track now.  Stick with us and we'll get you there. :D 

For some reason,  wood filler and I don't get along. I'm with Holly regarding Spackle or wallboard mud/joint compound to create smooth areas. It adheres well sands much smoother. A skim coat of Spackle over walls or ceilings makes a wonderful base for paint. Both Holly and Tracy are right in pointing out that baseboards, siding material, wallpapers and other coverings will hide the minor splintering that occurs. The raw built doesn't need to be baby butt smooth.

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Ok so I took a little break and have been working on and off on the first floor stairs in the beacon hill. I thought I was making some progress but now that it’s ready to actually install on the first floor, I’m looking at it and it looks terrible! I guess I was pushing the risers to the bottom of the step instead of making sure they were flush with the tops because I have huge gaps between treads and risers. I originally wanted to stain the stairs but at this point that seems to be out, I think I’m going to have to fill fill fill and then paint instead. I know you guys will probably advise me to take it apart and redo but that doesn’t feel like an option since I think it will screw up a lot of the wood. If I should just fill, what kind would you recommend? Thanks

ps: for some reason I can’t upload any pics!

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21 minutes ago, Squig said:

...huge gaps between treads and risers. I originally wanted to stain the stairs but ...think I’m going to have to fill fill fill and then paint instead... you guys will probably advise me to take it apart and redo but that doesn’t feel like an option since I think it will screw up a lot of the wood. If I should just fill, what kind would you recommend?...

Your risers ought to fill the space between the top of the lower step and the bottom of the upper step.  When I assemble stairs I lay one stringer flat and begin by gluing the treads in place.  Once I have done that I turn the structure over and glue the other side of the treads to the other stringer.  Then the risers go against the upright parts of the stringers, between the treads.  I would take it apart and see if that's the problem.  If it looks terrible now, filling ain't gonna help.

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Andy, is it possible you mixed up the treads and risers? 

At any rate, all is not lost. You can fill the gaps with Spackle or joint compound before painting. Although it can be sanded smooth, also consider using a stair runner as part of the decor. It will help mask any irregularities.

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Hi everyone! I'm new here, and haven't posted before. But I'm about to insert my staircases (even though I am at a LOSS as to how to finagle those first floor stairs in), but I was wondering - For those who put in wood flooring, did you put in the floors on the second floor hall before or after you did the staircase banisters? It seems easier to lay the floors before, but I was wondering if it caused any problems? Thanks! :)

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I haven't built a Beacon Hill, but several members have, and enough of them have blogged their builds that they probably described how to do it; better yet, one will see your post and weigh in to help you.  I'm mostly going to invite you to post an introduction in the Newcomers' Forum, and to let you know how lucky I think you are to live in the same town as Ron's Miniatures (on West Colonial Drive).

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6 hours ago, nakeddisco said:

Hi everyone! I'm new here, and haven't posted before. But I'm about to insert my staircases (even though I am at a LOSS as to how to finagle those first floor stairs in), but I was wondering - For those who put in wood flooring, did you put in the floors on the second floor hall before or after you did the staircase banisters? It seems easier to lay the floors before, but I was wondering if it caused any problems? Thanks! :)

Hi Brandon, I haven't added the floors to the second floor staircase hall yet but here's what I'm planning, in steps:

1) I've wallpapered the second floor hall after gluing the front tower wall

2) Dry fit the stairs

3) I'm thinking about adding a 'trim' under the stair rails, connecting the banisters. 

4) Cut a template of the flooring area, dry fit it for testing and then apply the flooring on the template. I've also thought about cuting the template in two diferent sections: 1 section for the front of the hall (by the window), another section for the back portion.

5) Lay down the template and test the trims, then glue all portions that will be glued down. I don't glue my floor templates because I have wiring running under them, I've tested this method with banisters and rails in another house and it works just fine, but it depends on how you build. 

6) Apply baseboards and other trims.

I don't know how you plan on doing the flooring, but I'd probably leave the banisters and rails for after flooring as they can get in the way. Just be sure to dry fit and leave space for everything to fit. Cheers and wish you lots of fun with this build, I'm building the porch at the moment and it's backbreaking work haha. :D 

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On 31/01/2018, 02:47:03, Squig said:

Ok so I took a little break and have been working on and off on the first floor stairs in the beacon hill. I thought I was making some progress but now that it’s ready to actually install on the first floor, I’m looking at it and it looks terrible! I guess I was pushing the risers to the bottom of the step instead of making sure they were flush with the tops because I have huge gaps between treads and risers. I originally wanted to stain the stairs but at this point that seems to be out, I think I’m going to have to fill fill fill and then paint instead. I know you guys will probably advise me to take it apart and redo but that doesn’t feel like an option since I think it will screw up a lot of the wood. If I should just fill, what kind would you recommend? Thanks

ps: for some reason I can’t upload any pics!

For the first floor steps I've followed another builders advice and cut out the floor tabs, I found it easier to work like that. I've glued the steps assembly onto the base and added the rails and trim after through the holes on the second floor and the front of the tower. I advise you to leave that wall open until you finish this area, I only glued the front tower after the interiors were finished. I also tested and it's ok to glue the tower wall before adding the second floor stairs, just leave the second floor tower window for later after you finish that floor and you should be able to work without problems.

I stained my stairs with a mahogany finish. I applied the stain first, glued the steps and risers, then added the satin varnish to finish. I think you can manage to stain them even after glued, or you can use paint to imitate wood, I did that on the resin cornices I used here. I also added a few extra trims to decorate the rails. You can see the result here in my gallery.

 

 

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Thanks for the tips, everyone. I’m going to look again tomorrow and decide once and for all if I should take it apart or not, so far just trying to remove the first riser was splintering the wood 

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7 hours ago, Squig said:

... so far just trying to remove the first riser was splintering the wood 

If you're using pva glue apply heat, a few seconds with a hairblower is usually enough to soften the bond so you can disconnect the joints safely.

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Wetting a soft rag with a solution of warm water and white vinegar will also soften some glues so you can neatly separate the join with  sharp knife.

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On 2/2/2018, 6:33:56, wormwoodz said:

Hi Brandon, I haven't added the floors to the second floor staircase hall yet but here's what I'm planning, in steps:

1) I've wallpapered the second floor hall after gluing the front tower wall

2) Dry fit the stairs

3) I'm thinking about adding a 'trim' under the stair rails, connecting the banisters. 

4) Cut a template of the flooring area, dry fit it for testing and then apply the flooring on the template. I've also thought about cuting the template in two diferent sections: 1 section for the front of the hall (by the window), another section for the back portion.

5) Lay down the template and test the trims, then glue all portions that will be glued down. I don't glue my floor templates because I have wiring running under them, I've tested this method with banisters and rails in another house and it works just fine, but it depends on how you build. 

6) Apply baseboards and other trims.

I don't know how you plan on doing the flooring, but I'd probably leave the banisters and rails for after flooring as they can get in the way. Just be sure to dry fit and leave space for everything to fit. Cheers and wish you lots of fun with this build, I'm building the porch at the moment and it's backbreaking work haha. :D 

Wow thank you soooo much! That was so helpful! 

I got the stairs in, and it was terrifying, I thought the house was going to bust but then it just popped in place and I'm still not sure how! ;)

has anyone added different front doors to a beacon hill? 

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