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In the Beginning




I started out by sealing each sheet with a sanding sealer.

On my first house, the Lily, I took every little single piece out of the sheets in order given in the instructions and sanded and sanded and sanded each piece. Then DH introduced me to his palm sander and boy does that machine make short work of sanding. So the last couple of houses, I've taken the sheets out to my deck and before punching out a single piece; go over it real good with the palm sander. This doesn't eliminate sanding the sides but it does cut down on the amount of time.

blogentry-70-1179103167_thumb.jpg Also, there are other benefits of doing it this way.

IMHO There are definite Advantages to sanding the wood before punching.

1. Saves sanding time

2. Gets me familiar with all the parts to the house

3. Gives me a chance to look over and see if any parts need putty, like in the following pictures


4. To fix any parts that needed putty blogentry-70-1179103277_thumb.jpg it usually is dried and ready to sand by the time I do the other sheetsblogentry-70-1179103366_thumb.jpg

5. By fixing the sheet before punching, especially if the "gouged" part extends to more than one piece, it makes it easier to punch out of the sheet without any damage to the part.

6. By lying the sheets out, I also can double check whether or not a sheet is missing.

I found that sheet 7 was missing from my kit and was able to pm Dean, (MiniMan) to let him know and he responded quickly to let me know that a sheet would be sent. Since the sheet that is missing is mostly trim--or seems so from the schematic sheet--it won't hold me up.

While punching out the window casings and trim, the particular sheets did have some problem with the last layer of plywood coming off. Although, I will probably upgrade my windows, being one to save parts- I went ahead and "fixed" this problem by layering wood filler on the problem areas and sanding.

But I get ahead of myself. It is important that you label your parts while in the sheets. That way as you punch out the pieces and the sheets get emptier you will have a way of distinguishing the parts. The first couple of houses I wrote the sheet # and part in pencil right on the piece. For me this way doesn't work as well because I found out that I would sometimes sand the writing right off the surface, so now I write the Sheet # and part name on masking tape and tape it to the sheet. This way, I can just place it back on until it is glued in place.


This, to me is a very important step. Trim can look very much alike and even though you swear you can keep them straight, it can save valuable time and sanity to have it labelled so you know you are working with the right part. The time it takes to do this is more than worth the headache of wondering if you have the right or left side, the inside or outside piece.


Dryfit = taping or clamping your house together before glueing.

Again, this is very important for the following reasons:

1. To see which tabs or slots need trimming

2. To note changes you may want to do

3. Helps in making templates of floors, windows etc.

4. If you are electrifing--to get you an idea of how easy or difficult it would be to do.

5. To see if there is going to be any gaps you may need to figure on filling

6. To mark where walls end, etc.

My oldest DGD were here this weekend and wanted to help, especially when they saw that I was "building" the house. So I had helpers.blogentry-70-1179104518_thumb.jpgblogentry-70-1179104531_thumb.jpg


I'll make miniaturist out of them yet. BTW the youngest one will more than likely be the beneficiary of the Magnolia--but we're keeping it a secret from her right now.

Here is the house in Dryfit.


I'm planning on using Greenleaf tiles on the kitchen and livingroom floors and since I hope to wire this house, I've made templates of the floor. I will glue the tiles to the template and then place in the house. Hopefully makes it much easier to trace any lighting problems down the line without messing up the floors.

To make the first templates, I used 8 1/2 by 11 cardstock, but tomorrow I will buy some poster paper in order for the templates to fit on one sheet.


Once I get the larger sheets and make better templates, the house will be taken apart and then each window opening will be enlarged in order to place working windows bought from Hobby Lobby on sale. I also was lucky enough to find a deal on double window on ebay so even the double window in front can be upgraded.

Not only will upgrading windows be a first for me, but I hope to do several "first" on this house. This will be my 5th build and I'm ready to venture out and try more new things. So stay tuned to the trials and I hope triumphs as I work my way through new techniques.


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I love that you thought to take pictures of the nitty gritty details that I usually just describe in narrative. Newbies will arise and call you "blessed" for this!

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