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Monday, August 18

The Beacon Hill Dollhouse Revisited Week 22

Hinging The Closet Door
Before you hinge your closet door, you must make sure the interior of the closet is finished, this includes flooring, wallpaper and flooring trim.

Glue the left side and top door trims. You can get the height of the top trim to sit flush with your right door trim by dry fitting it in place but do not glue it down since you need to hinge the door to it. You can temporarily hold it in place using a binder clip. This will ensure that when you are ready to glue it in place, it will sit perfectly with the top door trim.

Once the left and top trim are dry, you have to finish the door opening edges because they will be visible when the door is opened. I sanded, filled the gaps with spackle and painted everything white to match the trim.

Next you have to dry fit the actual door and make sure that it fits nicely into the opening. You will need to sand it down until it does. I recommend a slightly loose fit in your opening to give a little leeway for any alignment issues caused by hinging. You don't want it to sit tightly in the opening or it might not fit once hinged.

This closet door is hinged on the right side door trim so that the interior of the closet can be viewed. This simple door is easier to hinge than front doors, which are made of multiple laminated wood pieces making a heavier and thicker door.

Since your tab and slot dollhouse kit is made up of many different grains of wood, make sure that you choose a door trim that has wood grain running vertically rather than horizontally. This will make a stronger trim piece for your hinges. You also want to choose a trim piece that is not crumbly or delaminating.

Position where you want your hinges to sit first and mark the tiny holes, on your door and the trim, using a push pin or thumb tack. Pencil lead is too thick to fit in these tiny holes.

After you have made your marks, remove the hinge and push the thumb tack deeper into the hole marks so that they are larger and the hinge pins can be pushed into them. This is called a starter hole. Be careful to not make the holes too large since the hinge pins are extremely tiny but they still need to be deep enough so the hinge pins can be inserted. The hinge pins are too fragile to break through hard wood on their own. They need starter holes.

Once your starter holes are done, present your hinge once again and begin inserting the hinge pins. You will need a nail setter and a mallet. Always dip your hinge pins in tacky glue so they have a strong and long lasting hold.

Let everything dry thoroughly before you glue the trim with the hinged door to your door opening.

The best way to clamp the hinged door trim in place is using hot glue sticks and binder clips. This will also allow you to open the door all the way and apply spackle to the gap between the trim and door opening without stressing the door while the glue dries. Then you can paint where you spackled. This will give the opening a nice finished look. Let it all dry overnight.

I only used a door knob on the outside of the door since it is a closet. If you have a door knob on the inside as well and you installed it before you installed your hinges, you can place your door on a roll of masking tape so it lays flat without the knob being in the way.

Keep In Mind
I will repeat what I always say about hinging doors: be gentle with your hinges. These doors are not pre-hung in a factory. You are applying very tiny and fragile hinges to hard and heavy, plywood doors that warp with moisture. The success of hinging these doors is unpredictable and rarely perfect.

Sometimes your hinges work just fine while off the door opening but once glued in place, you run into snags. This is because your dollhouse wall is not completely straight so your trim is being bent slightly once positioned in place. This plus other factors can affect the movement of your door. Sometimes your door will not close all the way or be a little tight in movement but this is the nature of tab and slot dollhouse assembly. Many times when you apply the hinge pins to these tiny hinges, they get slightly damaged or misaligned causing some friction in their movement. The purpose of hinging is simply to have access to an area you would otherwise not have access to. It is also a nice surprise to see a moving door but that is all. They are not made to be functional like your real house doors and certainly not made for tiny hands to play with.

If you stress your hinges and your doors, forcing them to move in a way they don't want to, then you run the risk of pulling out your hinge pins or bending the hinges so they do not function at all. Hinges can not be repaired once the door is assembled. You will have to remove everything and start all over again and you don't want to do that because once your trim and door are glued in place, they can not be removed without causing extensive damage to the surrounding area. Aside from that, you will now have to get new door trim to hinge your door to because you can not re-use hinge pin holes since now they are too large to hold your new pins securely in place. The ones on your door side will have to be filled with wood filler and this will compromise the strength of your new pins.

So, my advice is: don't fiddle with it. Let is be, as it was hinged, whatever the outcome is. If you dry fitted correctly and double checked your work thoroughly, whatever the imperfection is, it should be very slight and hardly noticeable.

Because your still working on the dollhouse, it's a good idea to place a little masking tape on your door to keep it from swinging if you need to turn the dollhouse upside down or move it in any way.






 

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