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Whether you're an experienced builder or new to the hobby, I've gathered material from all over the web to produce the most complete, tab and slot, dollhouse assembly blog you can find.
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Custom Rehab Week 01

This upcoming project is a little different from my usual ones. This is a rehab. This custom dollhouse belongs to a neighbor and she was ...

Tuesday, March 3

The Garfield Dollhouse Day 3

Today I began the foundation/base of the dollhouse. This is the most important part of the whole dollhouse. Like I say with every single build, you have to get the base of the dollhouse right or the entire structure will not go together as it should. There are many slots on the first floor for partitions and walls so if your foundation is off, your whole dollhouse will continue to be off as you move upwards. Get all tabs and slots completely in. Make sure all corners are square. Use masking tape to clamp parts together and keep them square.

This foundation is a little tricky because some parts go flush along the edge of the base and others will intersect across it. Put all the parts in numerical order. Start with number 13, then 1 and continue until you get to 12. Notice that number 6 intersects. Use a lot of glue because you won't be able to go back and add additional glue to the joints. The area between the floor and base will be too narrow for access.

The kitchen porch steps are very confusing because they show no pictures of it. Basically you make a box around the step opening in Foundation 13 with the square step pieces. Then you take the side piece that’s shaped like an L and laminate it against one of the squares so it faces in the same direction as the L shaped end of Foundation 8.

When you reach Foundation 12, you basically have already gone around the base. Number 14 begins the intersecting middle pieces. Put them in order or they won't fit properly since some interlock with each other.

Check your base several times and make sure that all joints are square and tight but don’t let the glue dry before you add your floor. You need the base and foundations to still have movement so you can position the first floor correctly. Your base may appear wobbly or shaky. This can happen because of slight warping but don’t worry about it. Just make sure that all tabs and slots are fitting tightly and all joints are flush. When you add the floor on top of this structure, it will make it sturdy and flat.

To add the floor you will probably need a hammer or mallet to help you get tabs into slots. It's hard to tell just where to put glue but put it on all exposed edges and you will be able to go back over the joints with more glue later. Hammer your floor in and make sure that the two pieces butt tightly against each other. Use masking tape to hold it tightly against the base. Make sure there’s no gaps.

Turn the structure over, the masking tape won't let it fall apart and glue on the gussets. Make sure you use wood glue for this. Once the gussets are in place, you can go over all the joints on the bottom of the base with wood glue. It’s a very tight and narrow area between the foundation and floor but use your finger and spread glue into those joints. You won't be able to do the same for the foundation and base, top part, that’s why I said to use a lot of glue since you can't go over it again.

Make sure you cover all joints. Be messy, no one is going to see this part since it's under the dollhouse. Add extra glue to all slots with tabs and to the joints between the two butted pieces of the base.

Keep the floor clamped to the base over night and let everything dry.


Caseymini said...

Gina, you amaze me. I have two garbage bags full of parts and leftovers and I am only working on a little Glencroft! How long do you think that this one is going to take? Good luck!

Gina said...

Thank you Casey. I was surrounded by so many parts that I amazed myself for a minute there. Im going to work on this house with all the free time I have so I might set a worlds record on finishing a Garfield.

myjw100 said...

Hi. I have everything for the foundation ready to go. I know dry fitting first is the best way to go but do you recommend dry fitting this entire house first or dry fitting then glueing in sections? For example, you have to construct this foundation including first floor and kitchen steps while your glue is wet then let that "section" dry. So for a house this large, dry fit in sections or the whole thing?

Gina said...

You should always dry fit in sections, regardless of the dollhouses size. There is no reason to try and dry fit the entire build. That would be very difficult.

myjw100 said...

Thank-you. I thought that was true but I saw pic someone posted having done that. I'm not sure how in the world they managed to do it. But it made me start to wonder.
Thanks again,

lionel2100 said...

Hello, should I go heavy on wood glue to strengthen the foundation? All the seams should be glued? Thanks, Jeff

Gina said...

Hi Lionel,

You should always reinforce all joints with wood glue, especially the underside of the foundation. Do not use wood glue on any area that you plan to stain.


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