Friday, 12 October 2007

Back to the Shell

I am finally back to where I started from, with the shell assembled, only this time it is all glued together.

Here is a pic of the decorated upper hallway before I glued on the Right Wall. I thought I might as well stain/varnish/glue in the door trim while it was easy. I took Havanaholly's advice and 'panelled' the bathroom door with coffee stirrers, and I've gone ahead and pin-hinged it. There are various ways of doing pin-hinging, I went with the fairly low tech method of drilling a hole in the floor for the bottom pin, and slicing a cut into the wall above the door on the bathroom side with my Dremel tool to accept the upper pin (this will be hidden by the door trim). I haven't permanently installed the door yet, but I wanted to do the Dremel cutting before I put the third floor on, while I could still get the Dremel tool in there. The door is just painted white at the moment, I will decide on a final finish later. The second pic is the lower hallway after the Left Wall went on.

I also cut down the fireplace wall in the kitchen and glued it in and filled the seams, to complete the overhang above my future sales counter. In this pic you are looking through the sales office out towards the shop window cut-out.

Both the Left and Right Walls were easy to glue on because I have been so careful to keep everything square... or so I thought. When it came time to glue on the third floor, I just about despaired. You needed to be an eight-armed gorilla to wrestle that sucker into position, either that or have really serious big clamps (which I don't have, I only have girlie hobbyist clamps). Either that floor is trapezoidal, or the upper floor of my house had become trapezoidal (despite all my squaring up, and the second floor fit great as well). If I put one corner of the third floor into its appointed slots, the diagonally opposite corner was a good half inch away from its destination, and only brute strength would compress the house so that all the tabs would go into the slots. And of course, if you are using brute strength to do that, you have no hands free to do any clamping, and in any case my girly clamps were just not up the job. I got there in the end, through a combination of fabric ties through windows to cinch the back of the third floor towards the front wall, and sticking bits of scrap wood into the slots in the third floor (the ones which will eventually accept the attic walls) so that I could clamp the walls to the scrap wood with my short clamps. What I seriously needed were big pipe clamps the width of the house, like cabinet-makers use. For extra strength, I ran some hot glue around the inside of the wall because as far as I can tell from the instructions, that will be hidden inside the mansard roof. Although I did make one very big screw-up here, I was happily running the bead of hot glue, and had gone right across the front wall edge of the floor before I remembered that it will actually be on show as the room opens to the window at that point. So then I spent an exhausting half hour trying to cut and scrape away the hot glue from under the window, not very successfully. I foresee a really big display stand, or perhaps a sofa, going under that window now, something to hide the mess I have made of the floor.

But it now looks like a house! and I still have a huge pile of wood sheets left in my box, despite all the work I have done, I have hardly made any inroads at all into all those pieces waiting to be punched. Roof next...

1 comment:

Sandie said...

Good improvising! I have a few of the larger clamps - they open to 2ft, and are really handy. Wish I could have lent them to you vbg. It's coming together so well - this is such an elegant building.