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I am starting on my first cool house The Orchid, I'm already confused.  Where do I start first 

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Hi, Charity.  First you take a deep breath and calm down and post us an introduction in the Newcomers' Forum.

If you have opened the box, I suggest you take that clear acetate sheet with the window and door inserts and place it between the pages of the Warm-Up sheet (the one that says "Don't panic") and put it to the side of the box opposite the lid.  Next, look over the schematics sheet (the one with the diagrams of the plywood sheets with what parts are on them) and then lay it on top of the Warm-up sheet.  Now you have the instructions.  There is no law that says you have to read those right this minute; lay them with the schematics and the Warm-up sheet.  Now you have reached the plywood sheets.  I like a soft pencil or a black Sharpie pen to go over those dotted numbers on each sheet so they show up better; as I mark each one I start stacking them in numerical order on the box lid.  Once that's done, I set them back into the box, lay the papers (and acetate inserts sheet) on top and put the lid back on and go fix myself some hot chocolate (or whatever drink helps you relax and feel good about yourself).  This is usually where the kit begins to talk to me, if it hasn't already done so. 

Once I'm rested and not thinking about it I go back and read the instructions over.  I read them again with that schematics sheet in hand, so I see where the parts are called for.  If I'm still fairly calm I put a new blade into my utility knife, grab my painters' tape or masking tape, whichever I have at hand. and a couple of emery boards and I start putting the kit together reading the instructions and using the tape to hold parts together (this is called "dry fitting" the kit).  Not only does this give me the chance to shave or sand the tabs and slots, if needed, to get a better fit, but sometimes I find I don't understand the instructions that well and this way if I make a mistake I haven't committed myself to glue yet.  Once the basic house is in dry fit I leave it that way for a few days as we talk over what it wants to be and how it wants to look.

You aren't in a race and no one hands out grades.

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On 1/9/2019, 3:34:52, havanaholly said:

Hi, Charity.  First you take a deep breath and calm down and post us an introduction in the Newcomers' Forum.

If you have opened the box, I suggest you take that clear acetate sheet with the window and door inserts and place it between the pages of the Warm-Up sheet (the one that says "Don't panic") and put it to the side of the box opposite the lid.  Next, look over the schematics sheet (the one with the diagrams of the plywood sheets with what parts are on them) and then lay it on top of the Warm-up sheet.  Now you have the instructions.  There is no law that says you have to read those right this minute; lay them with the schematics and the Warm-up sheet.  Now you have reached the plywood sheets.  I like a soft pencil or a black Sharpie pen to go over those dotted numbers on each sheet so they show up better; as I mark each one I start stacking them in numerical order on the box lid.  Once that's done, I set them back into the box, lay the papers (and acetate inserts sheet) on top and put the lid back on and go fix myself some hot chocolate (or whatever drink helps you relax and feel good about yourself).  This is usually where the kit begins to talk to me, if it hasn't already done so. 

Once I'm rested and not thinking about it I go back and read the instructions over.  I read them again with that schematics sheet in hand, so I see where the parts are called for.  If I'm still fairly calm I put a new blade into my utility knife, grab my painters' tape or masking tape, whichever I have at hand. and a couple of emery boards and I start putting the kit together reading the instructions and using the tape to hold parts together (this is called "dry fitting" the kit).  Not only does this give me the chance to shave or sand the tabs and slots, if needed, to get a better fit, but sometimes I find I don't understand the instructions that well and this way if I make a mistake I haven't committed myself to glue yet.  Once the basic house is in dry fit I leave it that way for a few days as we talk over what it wants to be and how it wants to look.

You aren't in a race and no one hands out grades.

Holly I had to smile when I read your response. You have a very calm and relaxed way of guiding those new to the hobby toward a rewarding experience. What popped into my mind was that of a aircraft pilot on the ground instructing a nervous passenger on how to land the plane after the pilot took ill. :)

Thanks to you and all who share their knowledge on this site!

Bill

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Thank you, Bill.  I see absolutely no reason why newbs to this obsession hobby should have to go through all the agonies of learning that I did starting out.

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