The second floor is problematic but exciting. Lowering the ceiling, adding a bay and moving the stairs to the back of the dollhouse all require a consortium of measurements, thought, much deviation, testing and patience. Thank goodness for Thanksgiving break. It increased my chance of getting a bunch done!
Preparing the Front's Components For Determining Ceiling Height and Bay Cut
INSTRUCTION DEVIATION: (This step actually comes later in the instructions but I figure I need to do this so I can get accurate measurements). As per the instructions, I glue the front peak parts together and install it to the front sides of the house.
I prop the front up into the peak so I can test where I want the ceiling height to be, making sure to include the height of the crown moldings with the height the bay components.
I glue the bay parts together, to insure accurate measurements and placement for the bay cutout.
INSTRUCTION DEVIATION: The second floor bay cutout.
After placing the new bay component on the inside front, insuring it clears the floor and making my marks, I cut out the bay using a jig saw. Oh my!
The Stairs, Determining Their Height and Placement
I realize I have to construct the stairs to get an accurate measurement for the height of 2nd floor ceiling and the stair opening. Here are the original kit's stair parts and the added items used in constructing the stairs; stained and marked for cutting.
The pic shows:
- stained wainscot panels.
- the kit door, being repurposed for the landing, stained and marked for cutting.
- the kit stairs, the upper marked for cutting.
INSTRUCTION DEVIATION: The kit's door is cut and repurposed into the landing and the stairs are cut for the shorter ceiling height.
|Keep the stair cut parallel with the stair treads. This is very important to maintain the angle of the stairs and it's squareness.|
The left pic shows:
- Fitting the landing and preparing to cut the base molding for it to fit properly.
Right pic shows:
- the two stair sections glued together.
- the stairs glued to the back panel, and the inside "stringer" glued to their side.
- the work table face and it's side used as clamping stops to insure squareness.
- the ruler clamped to the top, forcing the stairs into the back, insuring even pressure to insure there is no stair or panel bowing.
After drying I remove the clamps and check for squareness. I was lucky! That clamping concept worked out well! Now I cut the angle on the decorative stringer so it matches the tread angle. I glue and clamp it to the stair component.
- the joint in the stairs where the stair parts are glued together.
- the back panel glued in and sliced off to the outside stair side.
- the outside decorative stringer, ready to be glued on.
- the decorative stringer, glued and clamped to the outside stair side.
Voila! The stair component, finished with the exception of trimming top and the bottom. Goodness! That was a lot of thought and work!!
|Upper pic: the top of the stairs. Bottom pic: under the stairs.|
Determining The Stair's Opening Cut In the Second Floor Ceiling
I cut spacers to test and set the floor/ceiling height and to figure where the stair opening will need to be. I clamp them in place and prop the back up to mark the stair and it's angle.
The baseboard has been cut for the landing and the landing is glued in.
INSTRUCTION DEVIATION: Stair placement and new floor piece.
Since I decided to move the stairs to the back of the home, my hubby had to cut me a new 3rd floor (2nd floor ceiling). The one that came with the kit has it's stair's opening cutout for the side of the house.
The left pic shows:
- the "new" floor being prepared for the stair opening cut.
- the original kit's floor stair opening used to determine the cuts on the new 3rd floor.
- the difference in lengths of the back and the side of the dollhouse, necessitating the creation of a new 3rd floor.
- the new 3rd floor, stained.
- the new 3rd floor with the stair opening.
"Now Is the Time To...." Decision: the 2nd Floor Ceiling
Sometimes in a project you have to make exceptions. Now is the time, I realize, to do something with the 2nd floor ceiling. Less construction hassle if I do it now than with the home is completed!
So I glue, paint and trim the ceiling. The stair opening is sliced out in the paper used for the ceiling.
With all these steps done, I glue and nail the 3rd floor/2nd floor ceiling in.
Crossing my fingers that this will all pan out when I add the front and it's bay! Yiksees!!
Dreaming and Planning: Outside, Front Panel. Which One???
So, of course, one must play. Mind candy is extremely important!!
Since I've finished the bay component I'm going to experiment with a couple of thoughts for the outside of the front panel. Here they are: