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Best tools for making doll house furniture?


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#1 huskerfan

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Posted 08 July 2011 - 09:47 PM

My son and I would like to try making some furniture for my dollhouse. He is using a rotary tool but the cuts don't seem to come out straight.What are some of the best tools to buy on a budget? I have seen some of the beautiful things you all have made so I thought I would ask here.
Thanks, Patty

#2 LLyn M.

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:38 PM

Some people use Dremel Tools..I have a set and am afraid to use them.So...I use an Exacto
knife to cut most everything.Don't worry- I'm sure other people will have better responses!
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#3 Caseymini

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 06:04 PM

I am with Llyn on this one. You need an exacto knife with a fresh blade and a steel edged, cork back ruler. That's how to get straight lines. The old addage "Measure twice and cut once." helps too.:) I have been doing this for over 25 years and have power tools. I still go back to the knife and steel ruler if I want straight, accurate cuts. Good luck!!!

#4 mesp2k

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 07:32 PM

I agree!

  • Always use a sharp exacto.
  • Straight edge, I prefer the 'T" style - it protects fingers from the blade in case it slips. (been there!!)
  • Exacto miter box & saw for cross cuts & 45 deg. cuts.
  • There are some cheap power saws at Harbor Freight that some members of the forum have been happy with. (search the forum for Harbor Freight.)
  • Digital calipers are very accurate for measuring.
  • Magnetic gluing jig.
  • A square & every kind of clamp.
  • Mini files & emery boards.
  • A coping saw is good for scroll work.

Mini furniture parts are so small in most cases I'm sanding & filing parts rather than cutting. I usually draw a pattern on paper then use dbl face tape or repositional glue to attach to the piece to be shaped, I then sand to the outline.

You can use balusters, spindles, beads & other small wooden items for furniture legs & parts. The flat parts can be cut with an exacto knife. And stripwood comes in all sizes, also moldings & gingerbread trim. Craft sticks can be used too. Basswood is probably the best choice for minis, but people use pine, cherry, walnut, balsa & even matboard !

Happy furniture making !! Posted Image


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#5 huskerfan

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:23 PM

Thank you all so much! I will show this to Chuck. He made bunk beds for me last night. He had a little trouble with them so I know he will be interested in what you have to say.

#6 havanaholly

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:05 AM

I use a Stanley utility knife, the boxcutter style with retractable trapezoid-shaped blades, and I frequently change blades. I have two corkbacked steel rulers plus two other stell rulers and a steel carpenter's suare, a couple of clear plastic rulers, a set of calipers, a pin vise for drilling small holes and I just got a draw plate from Micro-Mark for making tiny diameter dowels for rungs, etc. I also have a small lathe for turning spindles and ornamental legs and a scroll saw for cutting shaped elements like chair backs and arms and shaped seats. I also have several pairs of reverse tweezers for holding small parts for assembly or for painting/ staining.
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#7 huskerfan

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 10:51 PM

Holly, Thank you! he found a scroll saw on craigslist for $ 25.00 and he loves it. Now he is on the look out for a lathe. boy this mini stuff is addictive :) I am glad he and I have this in common.

#8 Shy Spirit

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:41 PM

The only I can think of to add, is the green, "self-healing" cutting mats. They have lines on them which are useful for measuring, and keeping things straight. I've found them in craft stores, Michaels, and some dollar stores carry small ones.
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#9 havanaholly

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:15 AM

A magnetic gluing jig is uber nice to have, too, but he can make a regular gluing jig with Legos and scrap plywood or any perfectly flat surface.
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#10 havanaholly

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:15 AM

A magnetic gluing jig is uber nice to have, too, but he can make a regular gluing jig with Legos and scrap plywood or any perfectly flat surface. Micro Mark puts
havanaholly
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#11 havanaholly

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 06:15 AM

A magnetic gluing jig is uber nice to have, too, but he can make a regular gluing jig with Legos and scrap plywood or any perfectly flat surface. Micro Mark puts things on sale from time
havanaholly
working as little as possible

#12 Selkie

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 11:15 AM

All the suggestions so far are wonderful and I've dabbled in furniture making using many of them.
Blood, sweat, and tears of frustration have produced many items for me but occasionally it doesn't work.
So ... I thought I'd add one more that I've found very useful especially when things are seeming not going that well.
It's called a credit card !!
Not trying to stimulate the economy, just offering a stress reliever joke here.


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#13 Kabrina

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:29 PM

LOL Selkie...been there.;)

#14 havanaholly

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 09:34 PM

OK, I'll put us back on topic. Old credit cards wake great spreaders of spackle, wood putty and to smooth excess glue.
havanaholly
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