Posts Tagged ‘dad’

As you may (or may not) recall, the pre-renovation dollhouse had some inconsistent floor heights. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

And, as you may also recall, I had a bit of a disaster with the interior walls being too thin for the doors to be fitted into them. It’s not a total disaster and is recoverable, but it is somewhat of a setback.

Well there is now a third disaster in that I have lost my amazing little piece of paper with my amazing measurements for my new floor heights.

I have hunted (and hunted and hunted and…etc) through all of my amazing little pieces of paper which include floor plans, measurements, room plans, door measurements, conversions of 1:1 bed sizes to 1:12 (work in progress that I am not ready to discuss) and some notes where even I can’t read my writing (altho I can”t tell you what they actually are,  I can confirm they are not measurements). What I can’t find anywhere in all these amazing little piece of paper are the interior wall height measurements. Bugger.


I have already measured & drawn, cut & discarded the too thin interior walls, so I can’t reverse engineer from them…square one it is then!

Let’s start with what I already know:

…the first (ground) floor is about 24 cm high, while my second (first) floor is 22cm high and my third (second) floor is 18cm high.

64cm plus the future attic renovation = 85.4cm.

85.4cxm minus the height of each MDF floor 3 x 0.9cm (which I am quite pleased to have remembered to factor in) = 85.4cm – 2.7cm =  82.7cm.

There will need to be some variation in floors, but I am currently thinking floor heights will be as follows:

  • First (Your Ground) floor: 21cm
  • Second (Your first): 21cm
  • Third (Your second) : 18.2cm
  • Attic conversion: ~22.5cm

Now what I need to do is revisit my stair flights and confirm that these heights will work and we are go for launch…or at least for floor support attachment 😉


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On the level

In addition to loaning me his proper 1:1 sized level (a.k.a. the level of power), “The Dad” gave me some lessons in wielding the awesome power and responsibility that is the level.

I can now raise my rock star power hand in the air, because I too can wield the level of power.

Theoretically speaking, anyway.

The level (of power) will help me ensure all the floor supports for my 1:12 floors are level!

And we all know this is important because although the house is skewiff and slightly not square, while the floors themselves are not square in a slightly different set of not squareness, we all  want to sleep easy knowing the floors are level.

Aren’t you happy to know that if one of us drops a 1:12 sized marble or glass of water in the house, it won’t roll anywhere?

Arcane secrets of the level revealled

As a result of my intense training session in the mystery and enigma that is the use of the level, I can hereby pass onto you the following secret, thereby inducting you into the elite halls of the wielders of the level of power.

The secret is: before you position the item in need of levelling on the surface where you intend to work your levelling magic, check if the surface itself is level.

This can be done by bowing first to the east, then west, north and south before positioning your level of power in the following arcane poses:

Pose 1)

This pose should be accompanied by a low droning chant

This pose should be accompanied by a low droning chant

Pose 2)

This pose should be accompanied by humming which shoulds a little like the Indiana Jones theme song

This pose should be accompanied by humming of the Indiana Jones theme song

Now, if through this mystical ritual you become aware that your surface itself is not level, you can do one of two things:

  1. Measure its lack of level-ness (?lack of levity?) and take that measurement into account when levelling any item placed on top of it, or
  2. Find another surface which is level and use that instead

“The Dad” showed me how to level three different surfaces and then suggested I use the dining table featured above as it was the most level.

That way, I don’t need to take into account the lack of level-ness and do compex* mathematics involving adding the right 3mm of difference to the right places within the dollhouse. Which is probably just asking for trouble.

I suspect his DIY teaching strategy is to reduce the amount of points where I could go wrong when levelling as that would be best, given my current learning status with saws.

*Note the mis-spelling of complex mathematics –  not only can I not do complex mathematics, I can’t even spell it properly.  What a freudian slip.

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Did you know when you are sawing, you have to think of sawing straight on the following axes:

  1. That which you are sawing back and forth on (we shall call this axis “the axis of straight”)
  2. That which is 90 degrees to the right/left of the direction of the saw (we shall call this “the axis of angle”)
  3. That which is 90 degrees to the top and bottom of your axis of angle and axis of straight (we shall call this one “the axis that princesstachana always forgets about”)

I started out with 6 metres or so of dowel for my floor support.

Theoretically I should have only needed 64cm x (32cm x 2) per floor, so 128cm x 3. Or 3.84m.


However, there was an attrition rate in the dowel meterage due to the axis of forgetfulness and the fact that I managed to saw through part of my miniature makers mitre box (try saying that 10 times fast after a glass of wine).

So I only just managed to scrape together the required 3.84m out of the 6m donated by “The Dad”. (I haven’t told him this yet, naturellement.)

I see potential for the offcuts to become amazing pieces of 1:12 furniture, once I buy a new mitre box (preferably not plastic this time) and get some lessons in coping with a Coping Saw.

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Golly, I just realised it has been one month since I last posted. I have been so sidetracked by the horrors that is busy time @ work and my re-found joy for throwing paint at canvases (the larger the better…and I mean throwing in an entirely metaphorical manner), that I really have neglected you.

Even though I promised you I wouldn’t.

Is there a word for a neglect that is more neglectful than just normal neglect? If there is one, that is what I have been doing.

Although I have been neglecting-to-the-power-of-neglect you, I have been secret working away in the deep dark caverns of my 1:12 sized amateur dollhouse super hero-ette restorer’s cave.

And so, I have been quietly achieving a couple of 1:12 goals on the side, namely:

1) the donation of about 6 metres of 5mm x 5mm square dowl to the cause by “The Dad”,

2) the cutting of pieces of dowel to act as my floor supports

(I did think we could do without them and that they might make the drilling of holes and placement of wiring for the lighting a little tricky…but “The Dad” has spoketh and there shall be a support network for the floor.)

Points 1 and 2 were closely followed by:

3) the painting of aforesaid pieces of wood with my amazing 4 in one sealer, primer and two other things-er.

And, after a little ?artful? arrangement, we have:

The beginnings of a promising support system

The beginnings of a promising support system

Points 1) through 3) were followed by:

4) the realisation that someone left grubby fingermarks on the beautiful White Secret coloured walls:

The culprit has left their mark!!! Never fear Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and the entire team from all three CSI shows are on the case!

The culprit has left their mark!!! Never fear Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot and the entire team from all three CSI shows are on the case!

Why are you looking at me? It could have been any number of someones…really…truly…honest.

Point 4) was followed by:

5) the rationalisation that I may as well afix aforesaid pieces of wood to the aforesaid White Secret coloured walls before I repaint everything to cover over the aforesaid grubby fingermarks

Once optimism and general good sense was recovered, we skipped a 1:12 sized skip to:

6) the borrowing of the level of power from “The Dad”.

    Actually I think that last point needs a bit more infexion, i.e. the borrowing of the <rockstar-power-hand>level of power</rockstar-power-hand> from “The Dad”.

    And now we are almost up to date 😉

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    I may have taken on dad’s admonishments to “measure twice and cut once” and “make sure it is square” at the expense of taking into account my granpa’s DIY skillset.

    It seems my floors are pretty square but the actual house they are to sit in, is not actually square.

    Yes. I know. You can stop laughing now.

    It seems the house is 3mm wider on one side than the other.

    So all those floors I sweated over while sawing now actually need to be 3mm wide at one point. Ooopsie.

    It would have paid me to draw his floor plan as a template and mark everything out, rather than measuring and drawing it exactly. One of the probs in dealing with an existing design rather than making something from scratch.

    So having cut down all my floors, I now need to add some dowel (1mm x 9mm) to one side and plane it at an angle…yipppeee!

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    Dad came over last night and we assessed the wall depth vs door depth situation.

    It turns out the doors I purchased need 8mm depth, naturally I cut out my walls in 6mm MDF.

    Plus I went with the max measurements given (these doors will fit openings up to…) when I could have cut alot smaller. If only I had waited till the doors arrived.

    Big sigh – maybe patience is a good skill to develop.

    His verdict is to buy the 9mm MDF and recut. ?Yippee?

    Next time we are using the jigsaw for everything. I know – the jigsaw!!! For everything!!!!

    And I am not allowed to draw out my walls, I have to take the measurements to him and let him work out the logistics.

    I am beginning to think I can’t be trusted at this DIY stuff.

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    After all the work I did sawing, I expected my pile of 1:12 lumber would be…well…bigger:

    Work involved is larger that pile appears to indicate

    Work involved is larger that pile appears to indicate

    I took my pile of future floors and walls to Dad so that he could provide sage-like advice about what I should do next.

    Dad, being the Q of the DIY world, whipped out his plane and his jigsaw to cut the rest of the doors out and smooth the edges:

    Like a butterfly from a chrysalis

    Like a butterfly from a chrysalis

    Pearls of wisdom were:

    • A router might work, but you (meaning me) can’t be trusted with it
    • Always clamp your stuff to jigsaw
    • Always square and resquare
    • Squaring means not just looking at the length and breadth of the piece, but also the depth
    • This will teach you alot about how you want to do it next time
    • MDF is a pain

    So I have my piles of MDF back for me to sand and smooth and then, once my doors arrive, fit together and paint.

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