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I Finally Got One!!! :)


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When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him that all my life I have wanted to build a dollhouse. He asked me to pick one out so I did... The Garfield. I LOVE Victorian anything. I am not new to miniatures but I am new to building houses or furniture. For many years I have made items for dollhouses (a lot of them my own designs) by crochet, crewel, needlepoint, Japanese bunka, and various other materials. I collect old crochet books and have several books with miniature patterns. Now I finally have my very own dollhouse that I can decorate for ME! (It only took 52 years LOL) I'm very excited and began working on it January 1, 2005. I will be asking a lot of questions I'm sure.

Here is my First one: I am unsure using a hot glue gun. Even though I use one for many, many things, I would not have thought to use one to join wood. Do they really work well? Seems like it would make too much of a gap between the wood pieces.

I'm glad to have been informed by Greenleaf about this forum and I look forward to sharing tricks, tips, ideas and a whole lot of other things.

Hugs!

Valerie

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Congratulations and welcome!

Do not use a hot glue gun. Put down the hot glue gun and back slowly away. :)

You're absolutely right about the potential gaps. Recently, I've been the lone hold-out in even trying hot glue... and I have to agree with the majority: tacky glue or carpenter's glue are better for assembling the shell. You get a more solid, square fit with tacky glue than with hot glue.

No, I have no idea why the instructions call for hot glue. :huh:

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Hi Vallerie

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your wonderful Garfield house!! :huh:

Calamari is a wise woman - no hot glue guns - hot glue bad :) I've always been pretty good with a glue gun but I learned the hard way that hot glue and dollhouses are not the best of friends - never again - wood glue is so much easier to control and gives a nice finish. It takes a little longer to cure than hot glue but finished product is worth the wait and you can always use painters tape or masking tape to hold things together while the glue dries - I love masking tape :D

-David

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Welcome to the forum! And congrats on your Garfield. I'm sure you're going to love it.

The only thing I use hot glue for is shingles (and I noticed the other day that those can bubble up when the air is very wet :)). I think the instructions suggest hot glue because it dries quickly, but most people don't use it. I recommend wood glue (like Titebond or Elmer's) and lots of masking tape to hold it in place while it dries. Don't worry too much about glue showing... be as messy as you need to be to get a solid fit. Everything (and I mean everything!) can be covered up but it's very hard to re-reinforce your house once it's put together and decorated, without messing up the interior you worked so hard on.

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Hey!!! Welcome to the forum!

that is a great house I look forward to building one day!

I use Aileens tacky glue almost exclusively.

works great and cheep....favorite combo!

looking forward to hearing and seeing your progress!

nutti :)

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Recently, I've been the lone hold-out in even trying hot glue

No she's not! I went out & bought a glue gun and before I even unwrapped it I had cause to learn how brittle hot glue is as I saw a Greenleaf dh in a store window falling to pieces as the hot glue used to assemble it was deteriorating.

In addition to wood glue I reinforce the joins with a heavy-duty stapler & children can play with the houses :)

Masking tape is so essential for doing dry-fit and clamping thing that regular clamps aren't configured to hold, I use 2" and cut the pieces narrower if needed; every so often I clean the scissors blades with acetone to remove the buildup of adhesive.

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Welcome Valerie! What a wonderful gift! Your story sounds a lot like mine, as I got my first dollhouse for Christmas 2002 from my husband.

I haven't tried a hot glue gun either, and I don't think I want to.

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Welcome

Hot glue gun is how I got my garfield. I found mine at a flee market it was half put together with a glue gun a lot of peices where missing and the other half was bashed hot glue every where, no wounder they gor rid of it . I used a good wood glue and a good wood filler and sanding :) but it was worth it.

I'm realy putting my hart and sole in to this one, for this one is mine, I 'm doing a lot of arcturial detail, just to see if I can.

Donna

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Welcome Valerie! How exciting for you that you finally got a dollhouse to build!

I use Elmer's ProBond glue and then use masking tape to hold things together until it dries. It dries up pretty quickly so you'll move fast!

BTW you should have seen the mound of masking tape on my dining room table over Christmas! It was a mini Mount Everest!! :)

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When my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him that all my life I have wanted to build a dollhouse.  He asked me to pick one out so I did... The Garfield.  I LOVE Victorian anything.  I am not new to miniatures but I am new to building houses or furniture.  For many years I have made items for dollhouses (a lot of them my own designs) by crochet, crewel, needlepoint, Japanese bunka, and various other materials.  I collect old crochet books and have several books with miniature patterns.  Now I finally have my very own dollhouse that I can decorate for ME!  (It only took 52 years  LOL)  I'm very excited and began working on it January 1, 2005.  I will be asking a lot of questions I'm sure.

Here is my First one:  I am unsure using a hot glue gun.  Even though I use one for many, many things, I would not have thought to use one to join wood.  Do they really work well?  Seems like it would make too much of a gap between the wood pieces.

I'm glad to have been informed by Greenleaf about this forum and I look forward to sharing tricks, tips, ideas and a whole lot of other things.

Hugs!

Valerie

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

First off I want to welcome you to the forums. I've only been here for a few weeks myself and I'm hooked! Second off the same thing happend to me! My fiance asked what I wanted for Christmas and I too have been longing to build a dollhouse for the longest time. So he let me pick it out and I chose the garfield as well! And I must say as soon as I got it on Dec 29 I dug right in! So far I have the whole structure built and I am now filling in wood gaps and painting interior stairs. in my signature bellow I have pics of my entire progress of my house. PLease feel free to look at it to see how I've done so far. Since building the Garfield is very fresh for me, if you have ANY questions please jsut let me know. Either PM me of message me on here! Good luck I'm so excited for you!

O yes also, hot glue gun. I asked the same thing. I used the hot glue gun to glue down corners I needed to stick right away, andthen glued the rest of it down with segiment glue. hope this helps! :)

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"Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together." :D

That's my hubby's newest favorite saying.

I'd say duct tape is great for lots of things, but dollhouses need a more delicate touch. Masking tape is wonderful for clamping things. I also recommend wood glue or tacky glue. I had a friend that put together a dollhouse with hot glue and it left gaps everywhere. I don't use glue guns myself because I have a tendency to get burnt. :)

Anyway, welcome to the forum and congratulations on your dollhouse! It seems like a lot of people are just starting on the Garfield so you're in good company. It makes me want to get mine out again and get back to work on it. :huh:

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So many responses and great suggestions. I'm glad I asked. :) I'm stuck on something already too :huh: I'll explain tomorrow and maybe someone could take me by the hand and lead me in the right direction.

Thanks,

Valerie

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No, I have no idea why the instructions call for hot glue.  :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh no, that's what I did wrong!! I've been rather discouraged about how things are "fitting" together ... and wasn't happy about the gaps ... any suggestions on what to do once you do it? I've thought about starting over, taking apart ... but I'm afraid to totally ruin it. :)

Danielle

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If you want to take it apart and redo the glue, I've not tried it, but I've read here somewhere that if you using a hair dryer will melt the hot glue, so it shouldnt tear anything up. If you don't live in a real humid area, the hot glue may be fine.

Peggi

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The house is NOT ruined the glue will come off with a little persuation .Do use the hair dryer to heat, then little by little pry it loose the rest will come off with a little scraping.I had to do this with a light house I made as a demo tried to do a quick fix with the wood hot glue, big mess :) Chin up get a good wood glue and tape some clamps and you'll be good to go.

Donna

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Thanks to all of you that have posted photos. I find them VERY helpful. And... I see there is another Valerie in here. Not many of us around. I have just finished the first staircase and I am taking pictures as I go. I'm not sure how to put photos on here but I'm sure someone will let me know :lol: I'm wondering about my flooring and walls. I am assuming that I put the flooring down as I go, and same with the walls. Is that correct? I am making my floors pine and my staircases will be colonial maple and so is a lot of my furniture I already have. I think the floors will brighten things up and staining the stairwell maple will add some color. I have been asked to do a demonstration on my crocheting techniques in bead, sequin and miniature by A.C. Moore here in Jacksonville. I think that will be a lot of fun!! I may start teaching there but it is a long drive for me. I love that store though. Sooooo many things to look at that it makes my head spin thinking of all the stuff I can make. I guess before I stain my staircase, I should cover up the tab marks and gaps with my wood filler. Oh yes, by the way, does anyone know where the "narrow" riser goes on this staircase? Maybe I haven't gotten to it yet but I certainly don't see a need for a narrower riser being put in unless it is at the very very top where it will go into the second floor. Talk to ya'll soon.

Hugs!!

Valerie

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I too noticed that the instructions (finally found) specifically advise hot glue. Thankfully I've used the stuff in the past, and so wouldn't use it for anything I actually want to stay together. It gets brittle with age. The slightest knock and whatever you glued will come apart. The advice given sounds, well, sound on removing the offending material. For re-doing the beast, I'd use one (or both) of 2 types of glue. I know crafters lurv Aleene's (or however it's spelled) but I'll say this: cabinet makers don't use it. Yellow carpenter's glue is great, yeah you have to clamp it for 24 hours or so, but what you've glued is glued to stay. Polyurethane glue-you can buy the actual Gorilla Glue if you want to pay a lot, is supposed to be the strongest glue on Earth. I get Elmer's poly from Lowes or Home Depot, same stuff, half the price. When it's set you prolly won't get the pieces apart with a sledge hammer. Why the combo of the 2 glues? The cat asked, what can I say? Polyurethane glue foams as it cures. The excess is easy to remove, but you wouldn't want to use it anywhere you've pre finished. The foundation would be great for the poly, the central staircase etc, that can be built as sub-assemblies and then finished. The pre finished parts would be perfect for yellow glue, Elmer's is as good as anything. Apply a bead and spread with a cheap brush so it doesn't all ooze out.

Don't know if you've seen this but on the specific house forum, go to Real Good Toys, then the Queen Anne thread, about 2/3 of the way down is a post by Marcia, with a link. Check out the Marquam Hill Mansion build-up. It's a Dura-Craft kit, I believe similar to a Greenleaf. Some really good info there.

Like you I'm new to building these things, but I've been building models and working with wood for better than 30 years.

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