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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 ...

Monday, December 1

The Beacon Hill Dollhouse Revisited Week 37

Hinging The Front Door
Hinging the front door of this dollhouse is a little tricky. The problem is the trim. The trim for the front door is the same as for the rest of the dollhouse. It is comprised of a series of different size parts that are laminated together to create a layered molding. Because of this, the front door can not be hinged with the trim as is.

The trim has to be modified. If not, the door will not open and close properly because the top trim is smaller than the bottom trim. The door can not be hinged to the bottom trim either because it will not open and close properly.

If you want to avoid these complications, hinge your door to the interior trim instead but I do not like interior facing hinges so I have decided to make this process a little more difficult. At this point, I am sure some are asking what's wrong with interior facing hinges? Well, I don't want my door to open inwards, for one. I have the staircase in the way, the living room door in the way and I plan on adding furniture to the foyer, etc. I also have flooring in the way and well, you can see the obstacles piling up much higher than a little modified exterior trim would be. I also like to view my hinges from the exterior of the dollhouse. This is all personal preference. There is no wrong way to face your hinges or swing open your doors.

For this to work, I need to cut off the legs of the top trim. These side "legs" are where I will hinge the front door. I finished and assembled what was left of the trim.

I had already added the interior door trim so I went ahead and spackled, sanded and painted the edges of the door opening. This is important because they will be visible with this moving door.

You will have to sand the doors down a lot for them to fit the opening. These are multi layered, double doors which are very heavy and very thick so they need to be sanded heavily. It's better to have a gap around the doors than for them to sit tight in the opening.

The front door trim has an arched opening. I recommend you place a thin cardboard behind it so it hides the sided wall. I painted my cardboard white. Glue this trim in place and clamp with binder clips to the doors opening.

Now you have to hinge the doors to the cut off "legs". You have to measure and make sure that both door panels are sitting even with each other before you hinge. I added three hinges to these doors because of how thick and heavy they are. The larger the hinge the better but make sure it fits on your trim.

I then glued the trims "legs" with the pre-hung doors in place. I added a very thin blue trim to the outer sides of the legs to make up for the fact that I had to modify the layered effect of the molding. I did not spackle the cut area to make the trim all one piece again. I like the fact that the legs looks separate from the top arch.

Keep In Mind
I say this every time I hinge a tab and slot door and I will remind everyone again. Working doors on a tab and slot dollhouse is a novelty, something interesting to look at but never intended to be perfect. These doors are very thick and heavy. They can not be made thinner without removing the molding details that the layering process creates. These doors will never move or operate like a pre-hung door from a factory. This layered wood warps, expands and contracts and all of these thing affect the hinges and how the door operates. No matter how thorough, careful and precise you are, you never know how the door will end up operating until it is in place and unable to be altered to fit anymore. For these double doors, I recommend you open and close each leaf separately and not at the same time.

Be gentle with your hinged doors. If the hinges pull free, you will have to cause a lot of destruction to be able to hinge them again and there is no guarantee you will be able to in the end. These doors are only made to move and not to operate like a real life door.

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