Linda W (Garfield question)

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Hello. I am new to dollhouse building. My husband bought me The Garfield dollhouse as my first attempt (!?!) and I am lost. I am at step 2 (the foundation) and have already come across a stumbling block. The pieces fit but don't stay in place and therefore I have taped them because the directions don't say to glue them. Am I missing something? Please help!

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Hi Linda :wave:

Welcome to the forum. I haven't built the Garfield, but there are several you tube videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mzQES9udHg

and a blogs. This should be helpful https://moreminis.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-garfield-dollhouse-blog.html

Don't get discouraged. The directions can be vague. That is why a dry fit is recommended.

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I totally agree with Carrie on the dry fit, for which taping is necessary.  I haven't built the Garfield, but I took a quick look at the instructions online.  Every time the instructions say "(G)," they mean "permanently glue."  It appears from the instructions that you are, in fact, gluing as you go when you are truly putting together the foundation (post dry-fit).  There is one part where they say not to glue until you've aligned with the first-floor sections, but once you do that, you then glue.

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Tape first to make sure things fit properly and you can sand or gently shave on the slots & tabs until they do.  I do a lot of prep work before I glue anything.  Also, I haven't opened my Garfield kit yet (too many boxes ahead of it right now), but if the instructions mention hot melt glue, don't!  Use a good carpenter's wood glue like Probond or Titebond instead.

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I have built two Garfields- one inverted.  While it is the largest, I find it to actually be one of the easier builds that I have done.  I agree with what others have said about taping everything first as a dry fit before you glue.  I would recommend doing your interior decorating (floors, wallpaper, paint) before assembling as it is a bit difficult to reach the "hall" areas around the steps.  I would also leave the doors and window seat areas off until you have decorated so that you can continue to work in these areas.  I replaced the French doors with the premade hinged kind and have never glued them in to improve access.

One thing I would also recommend is making sure your pieces are flat until you use them.  The Garfield pieces are so big that they warp easily.  This is especially true of the tower pieces.  Once you dry fit the tower and are satisfied, glue them immediately and then wrap them in tape to hold them while they dry.

Looking at my directions regarding the foundation, I agree that they want you to fit the pieces together first (tape them with masking tape or painter's tape) and then glue them once you are sure that you have them all correct.  One strategy that I use is to treat it like a puzzle.  If I'm not sure about how to put pieces, I experiment with them (with tape) until I get it to look like the picture or until it works. 

One of the great things about the Garfield is that there is some flexibility in design.  I have moved the front door location, added walls, etc.  It really is my favorite house design.

Good luck, and I'll be happy to help if you have future questions.  

PS: The house in my avatar picture is my Garfield.  I turned it into an English country manor house so a very different look than the Victorian design.

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Thanks Ladies! I appreciate your help and it's not a matter of "if" I have questions, it's "when" I have questions! Stay tuned...it could be tomorrow! And Karen, I can't imagine moving doorways and adding walls. Wow...kudos to you.

 

 

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Linda, this forum exists to answer questions, IMO.  The only stupid question is the one not asked.

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Hi Linda,

  I am working on the Garfield but haven't in some time. It is not finished though getting close. I started it in 2006  NO it doesn't take that long it is just me.  It has been 13 years now that I did the foundation but there are pictures of it being put together in my Garfield Photo Album so take a look at the first photos, Of the 200 photos lol ...might help with where you are.  Just go to my profile and click on Gallery and find the Garfield Album. You have tons of good advice on here. Especially doing as much wallpaper etc as you can before gluing. At least in hard to read places like the top floor attic, The kitchen entrance and the stairway foyers. 

 I also have a link below of youtube videos but it is a slide show.  Video 1 shows the foundation as I put it together.  Do not, as Holly said, use hot glue, use a good wood glue. Just keep it together with masking tape until it dries. I did use hot glue on the roof because i may have to take it off to get it out of this room if I ever get organized for a better place for it.  I also used hot glue to put the shingles on. 

Have fun!  I can't wait to see your photos if you have some, as you go along.  Welcome to the forum!

Cheryl

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If you live in a warm, humid part of the world, as I do, it's best not to use hot glue at all, or at least in conjunction with that good wood glue.

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