deconstructing a partially built house

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Hello! I'm new here and new to dollhouse construction. I'm building a Dura Craft Crestview that I started about 35 years ago ( I know, right?). I put it together as per the directions and got the outside nearly complete, minus trim/finish work. Then I parked it in my sewing room meaning to finish it one day. So one day is here! I've got grand ideas for the interior, probably way ahead of myself. I realize that it's going to be very difficult to do the interior work with the house already put together. I read the post about unsticking glue and I'm going to try to get at least the windows out first. If successful, I think I have to take the top sections off to access the ground floor fully. There are some modifications I'd like to make such as creating an entryway with a wall and possibly creating an addition for the kitchen. The first thing I attempted was running the electrical tape wire and didn't get far with that! It's really difficult to follow a straight line around the bends and corners, I can't even imagine trying to do a decent paint job, putting in trim boards, WALLPAPERING! So any input, ideas, advice is appreciated. Especially if I can get some positive thoughts on taking the house apart! Because other plans aside, I don't think I can get started as it is now. thanks in advance! I love this site and am glad to be a member!

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Hi Nancy. How to take the house apart depends on what glue you used to put it together. Try gentle heat, like a hair dryer, to soften the glue, then gently wiggle a very thin putty knife or a palette knife into the joint to pry it apart.  

Other folks will have other ideas, but heat and a palette knife are my 1st line of offense. :) 

 Another hint: think of the house as one room at a time. So it may be awkward to decorate ... okay, you can make a paper template of a wall by pressing tissue or computer paper against it, make a thin cardboard the shape of the wall (think file folder), and paint or wallpaper it, then stick it to the wall. The stiff cardboard will be easier to work with than wet wallpaper. If you do all 3 walls, you can lay them out to match the wallpaper pattern at the corners.

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Personally I prefer to decorate a house that's already assembled, it's much easier for me visualize what needs to be done in a room that already exists than one that's in pieces.

I'm looking at a picture of the inside of the Crestview... do the room partitions come out easily? I can't tell if they're structural or not. If they come out, I'd think that's all you need to remove to reach the rest of the rooms. I wouldn't disassemble the whole shell if it's already well constructed and you don't have to, pieces might break and it will be frustrating to put it back together.

But yes, do remove the windows. If the plastic gets destroyed in the process, that's easily replaced.

If you're getting stymied by the electrical, I suggest leaving it out. I electrified several houses before I realized I really don't enjoy doing it (something always goes wrong) and it gets in the way of my progress. You can always add battery-powered lights later if you want.

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I had to deconstruct a partially finished Garfield when I put my condo on the market a few years back and couldn't have it sitting around.  I used a hair dryer and a knife just as Kathie described, and it worked fine.  The key is to get off all of the old glue off so that the pieces fit together correctly when you remake it.

 

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Thanks for the input. I have been trying to remember what glue I used. The instruction book recommends "Tacky Glue", but I've got a feeling I used Elmers wood glue. There's a spot on the open side where I used too much glue and I can see it's dried a yellowish color. Also a few splotches on the instruction book that are dried yellow and I think Elmers wood glue dries yellow.  Re: the interior walls, yes, I was hoping the same thing. But the walls are all one piece from top to bottom with slots cut out that you insert the floor pieces into. That brings up another question. The floors are all in 2 pieces.  They have tabs that go into slots on the interior and exterior walls. You tape the 2 pieces together and glue a wood splice over the joint. The floors looks ok but the ceilings below the flooring have a big strip of wood splice going across them. It's not awful, as it could be incorporated into an entryway with a wall put in under the splice and maybe the upstairs splice could be dressed with tied back curtains as it's right in front of the bay window. But I wanted an entryway to include the staircase and run front to back of house.  So that leaves me with covering the splice up somehow. I was thinking  a false ceiling with light cardboard or foam core maybe?   

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7 hours ago, BunOne said:

You tape the 2 pieces together and glue a wood splice over the joint.

Can you get the wood splice off and replace it with something thinner? Like cardboard or thin plastic? 

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2 hours ago, KathieB said:

Can you get the wood splice off and replace it with something thinner? Like cardboard or thin plastic? 

Or dowels to make columns for the downstairs?  Stairs can always be located in the invisible back half of the house, that you can't see.

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Replacing the splice piece with something thinner, I think that's worth a try. If I'm able to get the glue to release. I can't seem to find that post with all the different solvents to soften different glues. I should have saved that or made notes! Re the dowels for columns, do you mean columns to support the sections if I can remove the splice? And as far as the stairs go, I don't mind them being in the living room space, I just liked the look of the houses that have an entry hall. I plan on doing a turned stairway with a few stairs projecting into the space then turning and following the wall up to the next floor. Re the entryway idea, I was studying the area last night and a front to back entryway isn't going to work. As the front door is fairly centered the entry hall would cut the living room almost in half. If I put the wall over enough to leave the living room adequate, it would be so offset from the front door as to not be an entryway.  I was thinking maybe I should use that split floor as the division and use a different flooring, like tile along that strip to visually separate the living room from the entry. Also, I was thinking maybe just a half wall or a wrought iron section along the split on the living room side so the areas have some suggestion of separation. I'm going to try to post pics today, I think I have 5 posts! If anyone knows where that glue undo post is, that would be most welcome. I stumbled onto it once and now can't find it no matter what search terms I use! Thanks for the input!

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So I tried to add pictures in Gallery to start an album, but I got a failure to load message. I tried another browser but same thing. I read some other comments about problems loading pics, but none of the suggestions seemed to work, so I'm going to try to attach them here.

IMG_0222.jpg

IMG_0223.jpg

IMG_0224.jpg

IMG_0232.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Here is some information on how to make an album. Many times your picture file is too large so it kicks it back.....Sometimes it is very finicky and you have to give a shout out to uploading gods for good luck.

Read this thread for help:

Also, you can resize your picture file size using http://www.picresize.com/.

P.S. I love your house!:drool:

Edited by Mid-life madness
Queen of the typos

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Nancy, there's a bandwidth limit to how many pictures you can post directly to the site; there is no limit to how many pictures you can put in the gallery.  You already have a wall dividing the downstairs, so the column/s (dowel/s) would be placed near the door to designate an entry area.  No need to remove the splice, if you wante to make it into an architectural feature.

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 If I use the resize site what size resolution do I use??  Fit to screen (800 res) or ( 50% smaller) or some other size?? I’m going to see if this works better than me emailing from my iPhone to my iPad.  Thank you Carrie.

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@Mineejv

 I usually go with 50% smaller...when I try to calculate it exactly it always is too big for some reason. Also, make sure you save it...it shows a disk but it saves it to your device.  (I am usually on a desk top)

~~Good luck Janet~~~ I hope it works for you!

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The 50% thing is going to depend on how big it is to begin with. Phones can take really big pictures so 50% might still be too big.

This post has some more info about image size. The file size should be less than 1MB (ideally much less). If the program gives you the option to specify how many pixels wide the picture should be, 800 pixels or less would be good.

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I tried the link. From my downloads (I'm using my desktop) one pic was 31kb, I used the link above to reduce it 50% which made it 11kb,  still no go in the gallery. The website doesn't tell you how many pixels though. Maybe it's just a glitchy thing? I'll try again later. Unless someone can see an obvious error I'm making?

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HEY!! HEY!! I'm so excited!! I did it!! I tried again and this time I clicked "create an album"! Wow, what you find out when you look at the instructions! I thought the 'create an album" was for after you downloaded the pics. Never even occurred to me to click that before. Yay! Can't wait til I have some actual progress to photograph and post. Thank you all for helpful responses, I bookmarked that website re reducing photos, sure I'll need it again as I didn't have a clue about picture sizes and how to change them. I did choose the smallest size offered on my phone when i transferred to pics from phone to desktop, so in this case, it wasn't the size.  But I have run into sizing problems before so that site is a keeper. Thanks again. I have an album!

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Yay!! Your album is off to a great start! :clap: 

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:cucumber: If you can make an album, then you can accomplish great things! Congratulations, it is not an easy task.

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