Friday, 5 October 2007

Steps A-F

To begin with, I am just doing a dry-assemble of the shell only, to check the fit and to check my ideas for customisation. So I am not doing a full prep of each piece, and I am only doing the steps that apply to the shell.

Accepted advice is to use an X-acto knife to cut the pieces free of their ply backing - I promptly snapped mine off at the tip when I tried this. After a few more futile goes, I have evolved plan B - which is to look at the back and see where it is starting to catch as I press out, and to cut those out. I have also been caught several times by slots that aren't big enough for tabs, which is frustrating when you are trying to hold a flimsy wavering structure together with both hands. [postscript - I am having better luck with one of those blades where you can snap the tip off to get a new sharp blade, it seems to work better]

Step A - Front Wall - I am ashamed to say that I had to get the hammer out and use it for this very first step. But there was no way the two slotted pieces of wood were going to slide along each other, no matter how much I dangerously distorted them. There is just too much friction from the locking tabs.

Step B - Centre Wall - It took me a little while to work out where this was meant to go. And it was again difficult to twist it to get the front slot to fit into the corresponding slot on the front wall (meanwhile with the front wall flailing around) [postscript: I have realised that part of my prep work is going to include widening slots until an offcut will pass through them easily].

Step C - Porch Foundation - fairly straightforward.

Step D - I was rather mystified by the seemingly purposeless tab on the inside of the Entry/Living Room Wall, since there isn't one on the fireplace wall, but it turns out that this will fit into the Kitchen entry wall in Step F. I am not actually going to use the Entry/Living Room wall so I left it out after taking this picture.

Step E - Second Floor - another headache trying to slide the slots together, and out came the hammer again. I'm beginning to worry I will never get this shell apart again.

Step F - Kitchen / Entry Wall - twisting and turning as I might, there was absolutely no way this was going to go on, and the inevitable happened: the thin piece on the other side of the bathroom door snapped off. Whoever wrote these instructions seems to think that wood is much more flexible than it really is. I will glue the snap back together later, won't bother with it at the moment. By the way, I am keeping all such pieces that come free from the main sheets in a ziplock bag for safety.

So far I have an extremely unstable and wonky looking structure - I have to have faith that one day this is going to look good. And you wouldn't believe the splinters and sawdust, I've had to hoover (vacuum) several times as I work on the sheets.

I am highlighting the instructions as I go along, so I can see what I've completed. I am also highlighting the names of pieces on the component sheet as I remove them.

1 comment:

Sandie said...

I've never been game to actually slot the pieces together before I do the preparatory sanding on them, in case I can't get them apart again, so I was interested to read that you did so. Very brave of you :-) I'm rather a scaredy cat that way lol! with my luck I'd have broken pieces all over the place, then I'd lose them.