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Old kit Dura Craft house


pmsalmon
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Hi everyone,

I am new to this exciting world of dollhouse construction and minis. As I see this is a mostly Greenleaf dollhouse forum, I hope someone can give me suggestions on my DuraCraft Tudor 1" scale. It was given to me and would not be my choice if I were to buy a kit, but hey it is a free start. It is to be used by my 4 yr old as a play house and I want it to last. That said the walls are all MDF or that type of material and I know many kits at least here appear to be plywood.

I will post pics as I go too.

My main question is; is MDF ok to use for a durable house? should I replace some of the integral walls/floor with plywood?

Next ? is should I pre-paint the walls before I fully assemble them? Either way I should prime them and paint them, is house latex ok to use or do I need special paint?

3rd to start with is glue. My instructions say wood glue for nearly all and model cement for windows and contact glue for the hardwood floors. I'm fine with these, but was wondering if there is something newer and better to use for all? Can I use wood glue for all? Is there fast dry wood glue or use super glue to help hold things together while the wood glue dries?

Thanks.

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The old Dura Craft house called the "Tudor" was made of Plywood just like the Greenleaf kits are and yes, you can use MDF to remake parts (since dura craft is not out of business). What I have notice with MDF vs Playwood kits is that if a kid plays rough, it does not matter if it is made of MDF or plywood, the house is gonna come apart depending on how it is assembled and how rough the child is.

I personally like to paint and decorate the houses as I assemble it but some people do better after it is assembled. I say, do it the way that works best for you. If you are working with wood, I suggest using wood glue. I do use wood glue sometimes with the plastic window inserts though :lol: Hope that helps :wave: I can't wait to see your house!

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Actually I think Tracy meant to say that Dura-Craft is NOW out of business, since they have been for a few years now. I used regular clear-drying white tacky glue (Elmer's all-purpose) for the windows in the Dura'Craft San Franciscan and Cambridge kits I have built, as I do for all the Greenleaf kits I build. Wood glue dries yellow and doesn't look good if it leaks out onto your window material, and I have yet to have model cement adhere to wood, although it melts plastic nicely (or not so nicely, if you're doing windows).

Contact cement is nice if you're laying the thin wood veneer strips DC used for flooring, but wood glue will work as weell. Just cover it with a sheet of waxed paper and weight it down with heavy books and it will flatten out nicely as it dries.

I also like to decorate as I go, although because I dry fit the whole shebang first I sometimes see other ways to proceed. I'm perfectly fine with regular interior latex paint, I use flat white to prime with and satin or semigloss if I'm doing a painted finish. I despise MDF, so I'm no help there.

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Hi Paul. My first dollhouse was a Real Good Toys Victorian Cottage and it was MDF. I built it for my then 6 year old cousin and it is holding strong. I don't see any reason to replace any of the walls etc. w/plywood unless you absolutely prefer it.

As for decorating as you go......that is also purely preference. I am impatient so I tend to put the whole thing together and then decorate. I can say though that this has proven to be a pain in some cases, especially w/finishing ceilings later. One of these times I am going to force myself to take it slow :D

On my first house I used acrylic craft paint. On my most recent house I'm using latex interior paints. I bought a soft gloss (kitchen and bath) for the exterior siding and trim to give it a slight sheen. Looks pretty good.

As for the glue. I too use wood glue for the structure and white glue for the windows. The flooring guy I buy from recommends contact cement or double sided tape for my flooring strips. The wood glue and white glue will make it curl too much. I have not tried the contact cement yet. I've only used double sided tape and this works out pretty well.

Good luck w/your build!

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Even better than the thin wood strips Dura-Craft provided for floors, or even the Greenleaf siding strips I love the iron-on wood veneer strips that comes on a roll from the hardware store. I paint the floor with wood glue in a small area, after cutting the strips into boards (I use a template for the layout when I do this) to lay them, and afterwards I go over the entire floor with my iron.

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Great thanks everyone. Great tips I will keep these in mind. My Claire won't be too rough and in thinking more, strength is not a real issue I guess (if turns out I'm wrong maybe she shows the aptitude for demolition work as a trade!) & despite my dislike for MDF also I think as this is my first I should just use the KISS principle...and with my lack of experience, get this under my belt then figure out what I would do different.

Besides the quicker I can start the better...no time to start a house then when you are starting a new job after 3 yrs of being an @ home dad...better late than never.

I think I will at least prime and seal all the mdf before I start, then as the rooms come together finish them before they are hard to reach...

Great tip to dry fit...I like to do this in real construction so just as well do it here too...

happy builds!

Cheers,

Paul

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Hi everyone,

I am new to this exciting world of dollhouse construction and minis. As I see this is a mostly Greenleaf dollhouse forum, I hope someone can give me suggestions on my DuraCraft Tudor 1" scale. ...

Looks like you got that question answered, Paul. Yes, it is a forum hosted by Greenleaf but they are very gracious in letting us discuss all brands of houses and room boxes and any other minis we might be working on. You'll find that everyone is very helpful so ask questions any time you need to :thumb:

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  • 1 month later...

This may sound crazy butI put the whole house together as much as I can with tape, then take apart and paint and wall paper before I glue, I think its easier I brick the foundation and start from their, then build up. Enjoy its really fun, this is my first greenleaf house I use to build duracraft. Its a lot of fun and a good way to kill time in the winter.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I like MDF for kids because it is non-splintering, but it is heavy. Most important! Don't let it get wet (I don't mean the water in paint or glue, I mean a puddle that is sits in). It is very durable if you use enough glue.

I use Tacky Glue, either Aleene's or Elmers. They are very strong, set quickly, and dry nearly clear. For wood flooring, I use fabric glue like Magna-Tac. It's non-curling and allows a little positioning time when the pieces are placed. It does, however, interfere with stain if you get any on the surface of the flooring, so for stripwood floors I pre-finish the stain and one coat of urethane, then sand, then glue, then final-finish. Magna-Tac also works for shingles, but I's rather use a thicker panel cement or hot-melt.

I paint the first coat before assembly and sand the surfaces until the paint is transparent and the wood is beginning to show thruogh. That way sanding is easy and I get a good smooth surface and some wood showing for the glue to grab.

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Hi and welcome! I have found it much easier for the most part to prime and paint the outside and complete as much as the interior as I can before building. When I do the dry build, I will mark with pencil what paint or wall paper is going on the interior and any other needed info. The pic is of the pieces of my current house lined up and ready to put together. Will look forward to pictures of your project!

post-6081-0-30043200-1325083343_thumb.jp

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