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adding a doorway...do I need a saw?


anastrophe
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This is probably a dumb question, but hey, it's a dumb situation. I put my Arthur together and it's totally finished--it looks great. Everything's painted, the floorboards are stained, it's even got furniture. And now that I have it put together, I realize...I really want another room. Figures I'd decide this *now.*

So what do you do when you want to add a doorway to a completed house? I'm thinking to put it on the exterior kitchen wall. How do I do it without messing everything up? Do I need a--what, a scroll saw? Jigsaw? Can I do it with a box cutter?

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I added a doorway to my MHM and used a jig saw to do it....it was super easy too. But the MHM has 3/8" MDF vs. 1/4" plywood, so you might not need anything that powerful. I'm sure one of the Queens of kit-bashing will be able to offer you their expertise on this. I've never done this to a Greenleaf house, so I don't know how easy/difficult it would be.

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I use a keyhole saw to do that kind of thing. I am currently working on two Buttercup cottages that I am turning into one two story building. I had one of them built and decided to do some changes. I altered the shape of the tops of the bays and changed the door after it was built. The key hole saw helps greatly. It is a small saw with a pointed end. YOu have to start the cut with somethin else if you don't have a way into the area. I use a boxcutter for that. The keyhole saw is straighter and faster on buildings that are already built. Draw the line that you want to cut on with a ruler and just follow it.

You can get a keyhole saw at Wal-mart or any home improvement store. They are about 5 or 6 dollars.

If you want to see what I did, just go to my blog. Push "My blog changes daily" below.

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I usually use my dremel with a drywall attachment to make these kinds of cuts, but it's easy to get carried away and cut something more than you want. Like Casey said, the key hole saw allows for more control. If you can get a good angle, you might even be able to cut it with a utilty knife. I cut a door in my Primrose and Laurel when I joined the two with the utility knife. You just have to keep making passes with it until you get through.

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This is probably a dumb question
FOUR slaps up side of the head and a bucket of cold water in the face for you!!! Shame, shame! Now go sit in the corner and write by hand "There's no such thing as a dumb question" 500 times.
the MHM has 3/8" MDF vs. 1/4" plywood
Greenleaf kits are 1/8" plywood, so if you have a utility knife (the box-cutter kind with the retractable, replaceable blades) you can cut through with just a few scoring cuts. You can make door trims with either the ornamental moldings at HL or just plain ol' 1/4"X1/8" stripwood (or scrapwood).
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I usually use my dremel with a drywall attachment to make these kinds of cuts, but it's easy to get carried away and cut something more than you want.

I agree that the Dremel Multipurpose kit with the multipurpose bit will make short, easy work of this project. I have used it several times for door and window openings.

I avoid the tendancy the bit has to wander by taping a straight edge on to the surface to guide the tool. The bit cuts so easily that the tool doesn't push too hard on the straight edge, so taping it down is practical.

Another advantage to this tool is you can adjust the cutting depth so you have little or none of the bit poking through the backside. This is specially useful in a case such as described here where the wall is already installed and finished.

I suggest a few practice runs on some scrap wood is a good idea so you get the feel of the cutting rate and bit behavior.

Dave

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I avoid the tendancy the bit has to wander by taping a straight edge on to the surface to guide the tool. The bit cuts so easily that the tool doesn't push too hard on the straight edge, so taping it down is practical.

Thanks, Dave! That's a great idea. Would a metal ruler taped down be a good choice? I love my dremel but I'm a power tool novice and I make mistakes, so all advice with stuff like this is so appreciated.

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On an 1/8" plywood, already put together house, I use a manual tool, such as a keyhole type of saw. This gives me much better control (as opposed to electric saws or routing bits) to get nice, straight cuts.

:p

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Would a metal ruler taped down be a good choice?

It would work quite well if you are careful to avoid the tool guide slipping over the thin ruler. Try it on some test pieces and let me know how you did.

Dave

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It would work quite well if you are careful to avoid the tool guide slipping over the thin ruler. Try it on some test pieces and let me know how you did.

Dave

Thanks- I'll give it a try!

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Draw your opening on the outside of the house. Use a drill with a good size bit and drill 4 holes INSIDE the lines at the corners. Then you can either use a good utility knife to score the wood repeatedly till you get through it or use a hole saw or a hack saw blade to cut. Don't use a power saw of any kind. You will mess up your finished interior. Are you adding a primrose for the extra room?

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