First Time Builder in NYC

18 posts in this topic

Hi everyone. My name is Michael and I live in New York. I’ve been building scale model ships and aircraft for a few years but I’m brand new to dollhouse building. Last year I purchased a Greenleaf Beacon Hill kit to build for my niece who is now 5 years old. I’m getting ready to begin the project now to work on during the cold winter months. I’m hoping to have it ready for her by next Christmas.  I’ve been reading through the many excellent posts on the forum and am so inspired by all your creativity and ingenuity. I’m sure I will be back on here many times searching for answers when I get stuck along the way, but the great info I have already found on here has given me a lot of confidence to tackle this project and have fun doing it. I’ll try to share my progress as I go along.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and I look forward to chatting with you all more in the future. 

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Welcome to the little family, Michael.  Where in NY, since Greenleaf is in Schenevus?  In your reading here I hope you have marked and inwardly digested the concept of the dry fit and to use a good carpenter's wood glue and NOT hot glue for your build.  You, the kit and your niece will be much happier if you do.

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

Welcome to the little family, Michael.  Where in NY, since Greenleaf is in Schenevus?  In your reading here I hope you have marked and inwardly digested the concept of the dry fit and to use a good carpenter's wood glue and NOT hot glue for your build.  You, the kit and your niece will be much happier if you do.

Thanks so much Holly. I live in Queens just outside the city but my sister and niece live in Elmira which is about an hour or so from Schenevus. It’s one of the reasons I chose a Greenleaf dollhouse - home state pride. I have definitely taken all the advice I have seen to heart and “dry-fit” is my new middle name. I will be using Titebond wood glue for most of the assembly and a clear glue for windows. I want this baby to be sturdy and last for a while. 

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Started Day 1 by R&P all the pieces for assembly steps A and B. Primed the three ceilings and stained the three floors. Next time I would do it in reverse order - stain then paint. Spent Day 2 applying coats of poly to the floors lightly sanding in between coats. Not sure yet if I will add tiles or carpet in any of rooms but if I do I will make them on card stock templates.

D5F5FCF5-3BE8-4C90-B405-56844C266190.jpeg

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Nicely done!  Even using painter's tape I still manage to have to wipe primer off the stain side and stain spots off of the primer.  Even when I'm going to lay split strips of iron-on wood veneer for floorboards I like to stain the sub-floor first.  During the dry fit when the kitchen identifies itself I sometimes mask it off since I either paint it to simulate linoleum or else grout color and lay tiles I cut from paint sample chips.

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Welcome Michael.  Looks like you’re off to a great start.  

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I can't tell from the photo. Did you scribe lines on the floor to imitate individual boards? It would be easy to do while the pieces are still flat, and it gives a nice look.

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Thanks Holly. I love the idea of making tiles from paint sample chips. I may try it and practice it on cardboard before I commit it to the kitchen floor.

Thank you Keith. Looking forward to working on this and sharing progress with the forum and learning a lot along the way. 

Kathy - I did not scribe the floorboards before I stained and applied the polyurethane so it may be too late now. I saw examples of the beautiful job you and Holly (and others) have done scribing the floors in your homes but I was a bit nervous about doing so with my limited skill set and on my first project. Your posts and gallery photos have been so incredibly helpful and inspirational as I’ve been planning out my BH build. Thank you so much!

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54 minutes ago, Mcannella said:

I did not scribe the floorboards before I stained and applied the polyurethane so it may be too late now.

Nothing is ever too late when it comes to miniatures. There's a fix for everything. [Don't ask me how I know this.] :D In this case, you could use a fine point marker in black or dark brown to make lines if you want to imitate floorboards. It won't be indented, but it will look good.

We are the magicians of miniatures. Our mantra is smoke and mirrors. It doesn't have to be real to look real.

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Thanks for the great advice and shot of courage, Kathie. I tried the scribing technique on one room of the third floor. Sanded the area of some of the poly I had already applied, then drew the horizontal lines with a black ballpoint. A few pulls across and it made a decent imprint. I also added the vertical lines between the floorboards before I added two new coats of poly. I like the way it came out a lot. Probably need to add a few more vertical lines with a fine marker to complete the look. Thanks again for all the support and great ideas. I’m ready to begin dry-fit of the first two assemblies now. Wish me luck. 

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Edited by Mcannella

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Thanks Holly. As newbie to the forum, wondering if you had some advice on which board I should use to chronicle my building journey. I saw the board for My First Dollhouse. Would you suggest I start a topic there for my Beacon Hill quest? 

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9 hours ago, Mcannella said:

Thanks for the great advice and shot of courage, Kathie.

I love the way you took the advice and ran with it. The scribing turned out beautifully. :clap: 

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8 hours ago, Mcannella said:

Thanks Holly. As newbie to the forum, wondering if you had some advice on which board I should use to chronicle my building journey. I saw the board for My First Dollhouse. Would you suggest I start a topic there for my Beacon Hill quest? 

You have a plethora of choices in this situation; one of them is "My First Dolhouse" and another is the Greenleaf subforum on "Question about a Particular House".

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2 hours ago, havanaholly said:

You have a plethora of choices in this situation; one of them is "My First Dolhouse" and another is the Greenleaf subforum on "Question about a Particular House".

I'd suggest using the subforum "Greenleaf Dollhouses" under the "Question about a Particular House" forum. I think more people are likely to find it there and learn from your experience. And even with a bare beginning, I'm guessing you'll have a of good ideas and information to share along the way. Be sure to include "Beacon Hill" in the topic title.

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Hi Michael, Welcome I'm so glad you tried the scribing. I learned that type right here from Kathie too. I works great I have now used it on furniture too. I made a wood table top from leftovers and did it. I think my table looks great.

Thanks Kathie for the tip I use it often.

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