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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.
Tip: 1. Read through all of the instructions that came with your kit first. 2. Find your dollhouse in this blog by using the drop down menu below. 3. Read through the building process in its entirety before beginning your project. Happy building!

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Monday, August 31

The Vermont Farmhouse Jr Week 02

Before we get started, let's become familiar with your kit.

The Basics
When you open a cabinet grade, dollhouse kit, you will find smooth, pre-cut parts. These parts are mostly made of 3/8" cabinet grade plywood and/or MDF. There are some intricate, detailed trim pieces that will be of 1/8" plywood. The exterior walls will have pre-milled siding.

Porch railings are usually preassembled and may be spindled. Posts are square or rounded dowels, which may be spindled.

Staircase steps and risers are one solid, block piece, ready to be finished and installed. The steps have a detailed, rounded edge. The staircase railings may be pre-assembled and spindled.

The windows may be pre-assembled and operable but if they are not, they are usually mitered for easy assembly. The window "glass" is made of acrylic and may or may not have silk screened mullions.

Shingles are usually cedar shakes and may be included in your kit.

Your kit may also come with a pack of Real Good Toys, originally designed wallpaper.

All components are molded and three dimensional, so you will not need to laminate pieces together in order to create thickness or layered details. Most of the trim, except for gingerbread, is pre-cut, so you will not need to measure and cut it to size.

These components usually fit right into their openings, precisely and covering all of the interior raw wood edges. This saves time in having to fill, sand and paint interior window and doors edges of openings.

Most kits will come with an operable front door.

Usually, these dollhouse kits will be a combination of crabinet grade plywood and MDF. They make parts like railings, trim work and doors plywood, so that they can be stained but shell walls, roof parts, partitions and foundation parts are MDF. In this kit, the stairs are MDF. This means that they can not be stained. If you would like to be able to stain your stairs, you will most likely have to purchase a staircase upgrade.

MDF will not take stain, so keep that in mind when planning your finishes. You can tell what is MDF and what is plywood by the visible grain. Plywood has wood grain, MDF does not.

A Note On Components
Components like windows and doors may or may not include interior trim. The interior trim is usually left for you to install after the component is in place.

If your dollhouse kit did not bring interior trim for windows and doors, it can be easily made with strip wood, of the same thickness, found at craft stores. You can also find window casings and door trim at your miniatures dealer. You can use the kits mitered, exterior trim as a guide for making miter cuts on your custom interior trim.

Upgraded components are usually purchased separately but can be pre-ordered to come included in your kit.

Operable, pre-assembled components like doors and windows are usually upgrades. The same goes for spindled railings, wooden mullions, louvre shutters, interior doors and additional, fancy trim.

I purchased working interior doors for this dollhouse.

Some dollhouse models also have kit specific interior moulding sets, which are also an upgrade. These sets have all of the mitered, pre-cut baseboard and crown mouldings needed for the specified model.

Special Edition Parts
This kit brings hardwood flooring already installed, that only requires finishing. The way this was achieved was by scoring the dollhouse floor parts to create "planks". A very nice, unique feature.

The floors are plywood, not MDF, in order to allow for staining.

These kits do not need much preparation. Sanding is not needed because the parts are already smooth, on all sides.

Lay out all of your parts on a large, flat surface and use the schematics to do an inventory of your kit. This process is done a little differently than the way it's done for tab and slot dollhouses.

The schematics do not consist of an illustration of each part. Rather, it's a parts list with the amounts of each part and their measurements. You will need a tape measurer to identify the parts. As each is identified, cross it off the list. The more parts you cross off, the easier it becomes to identify the remainder.

If there are any missing or damaged parts in your kit and it was purchased, new from a retail store or directly from the manufacturer, Real Good Toys will send you replacement parts, free of cost. Just make sure that you inventory your kit correctly, so they can send you all of the needed parts in one shipment.

Cut out the kit box photo, so you have a reference of the dollhouse.

Place the acrylic window "glass" away from your work area, so it is not damaged during assembly. If your kit brought wallpaper, make sure it is also away from your work area.

The assembly of these dollhouses require glue and nails. Your kit will include a pack of nails.

Sometimes the kit instructions will give you a choice as to whether you use the nails or not. I recommend you always use them. These parts are very heavy and if you want a long lasting, durable dollhouse, you should never omit the nails. Remember, this is cabinet grade plywood. It is very thick and very heavy. Though I am sure you can complete the assembly, using only glue without the dollhouse falling apart, why risk it? The nails are there for a reason.

Side walls may be grooved for an easier fit and to avoid having to measure where floors will go.

The assembly process will go by quickly. There will be no inaccessible areas in the dollhouse after assembly.

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

Thanks for your helpful tips! I can always learn something from you!


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