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Build from Scratch?


Liggysasha
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I'm still relatively new to mini-ing, but I'm so addicted. My hubby has been quietly supportive, but now the house is really taking shape he is getting more an more interested.

He mentioned today that he would like me to design a dollhouse and him to build it from scratch for me (in RL I'm a house plan designer). I don't think I'm up to doing dollhouse plans just yet, but I mentioned to him that you can buy plans very cheaply. So now he is hell bent on building a house from scratch!

So my question is... where do we start? Books? Websites? Who does nice designs? Also what sort of tools? We have a pretty well stocked workshop, but mainly large tools. I've said I'd like a Dremel tool when the economy recovers a bit (???), and he's agreed. What other tools would be useful/nesecary?

(Also is there dollhouse design software? To deisgn house plans?)

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I've been trying to use a house design program, but its too restrictive (cookie cutter sums it up) so I'm going to install autocad. The only problem is I'm only familiar with old-fashioned drafting.

Regarding tools, the only power tool that I used on the MacKenzie was a soldering iron for the electrical. Everything else was hand cut and trimed using a modeler's hand saw and an exacto knife.

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My husband also wants me to build a house from scratch. The problem is that he wants me to build a dollhouse version of the RL house we are going to build. I couldn't do it in 1:1 scale like I usually build or it would be crazy big. I don't know much about doing smaller scale. My hubby is a structural designer so he is willing to draw it up. I don't know what to use wood or foam core or what. Plus with a real house there is no way I could get the whole inside that could be visible so do I do just the outside and make it not open??? The whole idea just sounds stressful to me. I like having instructions it just makes my life alot easier :unsure:

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i'm doing my second scratch build....so far so good :unsure:

I am basically doing room boxes with this one and putting them together as i go ;) so much fun as i have no real idea of how it will look in the end :)

Hmmmm must remember to post pics of this and the other one sometime :p

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Best of luck! Can't wait to see what you build! If our Grandaddy's could whip up dollhouses from scratch, I'm sure you and your DH can too! 1 inch is equal to 1 foot of real life house, that's pretty much all you need to know. Picture a house with rooms side by side and on top of each other, like taking the back wall of your RL house off. Any rooms that you can't see, ex:bathroom behind a bedroom, must be pushed over to the side to be accessible in a dollhouse. Have fun! You've got your spouse on board the mini train, and that is half the battle won! Congrats!!

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I do a lot of my houses from scratch. I usually start with an idea of what I want & make a rough drawing on a tablet & go from there. In my albums, I have one called "How I Did It", that shows a step by step of how I built my barbershop & the tools I used.

Steve in PA

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I do a lot of my houses from scratch. I usually start with an idea of what I want & make a rough drawing on a tablet & go from there. In my albums, I have one called "How I Did It", that shows a step by step of how I built my barbershop & the tools I used.

Steve in PA

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I do have AutoCad on my computer actually, so maybe I'll start playing around with a few designs. I've got about 200 house plans on my computer that I've designed in RL, so I'm sure one of them will work! Although I'd quiet like to go for a different style (I get sick of the Florida Ranch style home!), but that could be fun to learn about a new type of style.

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I have built a two room cottge from scratch, I think it is in my gallery, the rose cottage, well its not finished yet lol, and linda (pin1056) and I built a Mckindlay type house from scratch, in 1/24th, it is basically a square box with holes in it for doors and windows, the trim is what makes it a stunning house. And if you are building it from mdf, I use 3mm make sure you allow for the 3mm thickness of the mdf when measuring it out and cutting it out, I usually measure 3 times and cut once, taking all care to avoid the thumb again, lol. It is a bit easier now I have the bandsaw and the scrollsaw and jigsaw, I find the jigwaw probably the best tool, easy to cut out door and windows with it after drilling an acces hole. Most of all dont get too serious with it, most mistakes can be covered over rofl.

Good luck with your build and make sure you show us pics.

Cheers Debra.

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I have built a two room cottge from scratch, I think it is in my gallery, the rose cottage, well its not finished yet lol, and linda (pin1056) and I built a Mckindlay type house from scratch, in 1/24th, it is basically a square box with holes in it for doors and windows, the trim is what makes it a stunning house. And if you are building it from mdf, I use 3mm make sure you allow for the 3mm thickness of the mdf when measuring it out and cutting it out, I usually measure 3 times and cut once, taking all care to avoid the thumb again, lol. It is a bit easier now I have the bandsaw and the scrollsaw and jigsaw, I find the jigwaw probably the best tool, easy to cut out door and windows with it after drilling an acces hole. Most of all dont get too serious with it, most mistakes can be covered over rofl.

Good luck with your build and make sure you show us pics.

Cheers Debra.

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I have built a two room cottge from scratch, I think it is in my gallery, the rose cottage, well its not finished yet lol, and linda (pin1056) and I built a Mckindlay type house from scratch, in 1/24th, it is basically a square box with holes in it for doors and windows, the trim is what makes it a stunning house. And if you are building it from mdf, I use 3mm make sure you allow for the 3mm thickness of the mdf when measuring it out and cutting it out, I usually measure 3 times and cut once, taking all care to avoid the thumb again, lol. It is a bit easier now I have the bandsaw and the scrollsaw and jigsaw, I find the jigwaw probably the best tool, easy to cut out door and windows with it after drilling an acces hole. Most of all dont get too serious with it, most mistakes can be covered over rofl.

Good luck with your build and make sure you show us pics.

Cheers Debra.

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I have built a two room cottge from scratch, I think it is in my gallery, the rose cottage, well its not finished yet lol, and linda (pin1056) and I built a Mckindlay type house from scratch, in 1/24th, it is basically a square box with holes in it for doors and windows, the trim is what makes it a stunning house. And if you are building it from mdf, I use 3mm make sure you allow for the 3mm thickness of the mdf when measuring it out and cutting it out, I usually measure 3 times and cut once, taking all care to avoid the thumb again, lol. It is a bit easier now I have the bandsaw and the scrollsaw and jigsaw, I find the jigwaw probably the best tool, easy to cut out door and windows with it after drilling an acces hole. Most of all dont get too serious with it, most mistakes can be covered over rofl.

Good luck with your build and make sure you show us pics.

Cheers Debra.

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I have built a two room cottge from scratch, I think it is in my gallery, the rose cottage, well its not finished yet lol, and linda (pin1056) and I built a Mckindlay type house from scratch, in 1/24th, it is basically a square box with holes in it for doors and windows, the trim is what makes it a stunning house. And if you are building it from mdf, I use 3mm make sure you allow for the 3mm thickness of the mdf when measuring it out and cutting it out, I usually measure 3 times and cut once, taking all care to avoid the thumb again, lol. It is a bit easier now I have the bandsaw and the scrollsaw and jigsaw, I find the jigwaw probably the best tool, easy to cut out door and windows with it after drilling an acces hole. Most of all dont get too serious with it, most mistakes can be covered over rofl.

Good luck with your build and make sure you show us pics.

Cheers Debra.

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I have built a two room cottge from scratch, I think it is in my gallery, the rose cottage, well its not finished yet lol, and linda (pin1056) and I built a Mckindlay type house from scratch, in 1/24th, it is basically a square box with holes in it for doors and windows, the trim is what makes it a stunning house. And if you are building it from mdf, I use 3mm make sure you allow for the 3mm thickness of the mdf when measuring it out and cutting it out, I usually measure 3 times and cut once, taking all care to avoid the thumb again, lol. It is a bit easier now I have the bandsaw and the scrollsaw and jigsaw, I find the jigwaw probably the best tool, easy to cut out door and windows with it after drilling an acces hole. Most of all dont get too serious with it, most mistakes can be covered over rofl.

Good luck with your build and make sure you show us pics.

Cheers Debra.

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I have built a two room cottage from scratch, I think it is in my gallery, the rose cottage, well its not finished yet lol, and linda (pin1056) and I built a Mckindlay type house from scratch, in 1/24th, it is basically a square box with holes in it for doors and windows, the trim is what makes it a stunning house. And if you are building it from mdf, I use 3mm make sure you allow for the 3mm thickness of the mdf when measuring it out and cutting it out, I usually measure 3 times and cut once, taking all care to avoid the thumb again, lol. It is a bit easier now I have the bandsaw and the scrollsaw and jigsaw, I find the jigwaw probably the best tool, easy to cut out door and windows with it after drilling an acces hole. Most of all dont get too serious with it, most mistakes can be covered over rofl.

Good luck with your build and make sure you show us pics.

Cheers Debra.

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Dollhouse Designs has some nice houses...I built the Mary Kay from their plans. There are a lot of dollhouse plans out there...just google "dollhouse plans".

Building from scratch is not that hard. The only difference is that you have to cut your own pieces. Once they are cut, it's no different than putting together a kit.

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It seems a couple of us had the same trouble with repeat posts, if a kind moderator could remove all but one of these posts of mine I would be eternally grateful lol. I know my opinion does count but yikes I am sure there is a limit lol.

Cheers Debra.

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Oh Debra, don't kid us, you're just trying to increase your post count!!!! I love the look of Rose Cottage, you need to post more photos of it! How are you going to finish the front of it?

I talked to Hubby today about maybe designing it ourselves and he liked that idea. We have a small library of books on architecture so it won't be hard to get ideas! He said he likes the Old Florida style (think little beach side cottages in Key West), and I've quite liked the idea of doing a Ernest Hemingway type house, have a little writing table, a library of books etc. It would be fun! So I think that's what we're going to work on.

Also I'd like it to sit on a shelf, so I will probably either do a wall mounted/flat backed house or a front opening one. Need to see the way the design goes.

On the subject of MDF - is that the best to use? I know it's easy to work with, paint etc. Where would I buy thin sheets of it from? Do hardware stores sell it? Saying that Hubby can probably get it from one of his suppliers at work. I'll have to make cutting lists for him then - ugh!

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It is exciting to do one from scratch. One word of advice if you design one yourself. Perportions in width are fairly accurate at 1/12 but ceiling heights should be taller then the 8' you would expect. Something about that ratio makes the rooms look squat and unbalanced. You should make them 9 or 10 inches tall at least.

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I use MDF in my houses, usually 6mm thick. I use foamcore for some false or interior walls, fireplaces, etc. It is really quite easy to scratch built, don't be intimidated! Try using those Houseworks plan books - that's what I used to make my first house. And good luck! The effort will be worth it.

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