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Hinged panels - need suggestions


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Yesterday I bought a half scale rowhouse at a mini show. This is a scratch build modeled after the Queen Anne Rowhouse kit from American Craft. The hinges for the panels are on the outside and I'm not sure I like that, so I'm considering other options. I've never had a house with panels like this so I'm wondering what others have done.

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There are two wall panels and one roof panel. I'm less concerned about the roof since it seems easy enough to shingle around them... although I'd still prefer to have them less visible. But on the walls, I don't think I can neatly add siding around them (I'm going to use the Houseworks siding). Here are the ideas I came up with:

1) Keep these hinges but move them to the inside. Right now they're hinged on the edge toward the back of the house and there is an interior wall just inside where the hinges are, so I could not move them inside to that spot. Instead I would have to switch the hinges to the side toward the front of the house, which means the panels will open in the other direction, but I'm okay with that. In this scenario the hinges are still visible over the wallpaper.

2) Replace the hinges with piano hinges along the inside edge of the panel, so they are attached only to the edges of the plywood and don't show up on the front or back walls. Here's an example in the forum of how that would look. I have to measure the wood and make sure piano hinges come that small.

3) Leave the hinges as they are and try to side around them, if that's really the best option. It'd be a last resort though.

Any suggestions? If you have a house with panels, what's your preferred way to handle it?

Another question: when siding these panels, am I going to run into a problem with the edges of the siding "bumping into each other" in the hinged area? Should there be a certain amount of a gap between the panel and the rest of the wall to avoid this?

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Gorgeous house and a terrific find, just a bit green with envy over here LOL. What about not using honges at all but replace those with magnets? Not sure if that would work though depending on where you would be able to place them?

Looking forward to seeing this lil' gem take shape and form

Hugs

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Thanks Anna, I thought of that too... to make it a removable panel held in by magnets, with no hinges at all. I'm concerned it might not stay in well. If anyone's tried this, I'd love to hear how it worked!

I'm planning to glue a fireplace to one wall, so depending what I use there it could serve as a little shelf to help hold the panel in place. Maybe put a magnet on the underside of the fireplace. The other wall will be up against the staircases (the stairs turn at a 90-degree angle, with the bottom portion of the staircase against the panel that opens) so I could possibly recess magnets into the side of the staircase? It's definitely another option and then I wouldn't have to worry about the siding bumping in the hinged area. (Also I could add overhanging trim to the edges of the panel to hide the seam where the panel siding meets the wall siding.)

I also thought about pin hinging them but that doesn't seem like it would hold the weight of the panel very well.

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I'm still thinking about this. Today I checked out the samples at the dollhouse store to see how they were hinged, and they all had the hinges on the outside -- siding, then a strip of trim to cover the edge of the siding, then the hinge on top of the trim. (Some had the trim covering the hinge with a notch for the center part so the panel could move.) All of these were on 90-degree corners, though, so the center part of the hinge wasn't sticking out in the middle of a wall like it would be on my house. Even if I used a piano hinge attached to the inside edge of the wood, the center part will stick out.

The lady at the dollhouse store suggested clear plastic hinges, but the smallest I've been able to find online are 2" wide. (The ones currently on the dollhouse are 1/2" wide, and even they seem big!)

Then I came across these polypropylene hinges: http://www.usplastic...26232&catid=597

It's a plastic piece that bends in the middle. Seems like it could be flimsy but I read something that says this type of hinge can open a million times without breaking. If I used these I could attach them on top of the siding, and then put trim over them, and if I used the white ones with white trim you might not even realize there was a little piece of plastic peeping out between the two wall pieces.

Any opinions? Has anyone ever used something like this for a dollhouse?

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  • 1 month later...

Then I came across these polypropylene hinges: http://www.usplastic...26232&catid=597

Any opinions? Has anyone ever used something like this for a dollhouse?

Wow. It's amazing how trying to help someone else with a problem can sometimes help you with yours. I'm having a similar problem. I want to change a standard dh to a front opening one so I can do a more realistic room layout. But I couldn't find the right kind of hinges or decide if I wanted them inside or out. I want the hinges to show as little as possible and those poly hinges are just what I need. I didn't even know hinges like this exsisted. I can sandwich it between the outer wall and the siding, and that would be my suggestion for you as well. Attach either to the outer wall and cover with siding, or to the inner wall edge and cover with wallpaper.

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Haha... I've come full circle, I think I'm going to end up hinging it with hinges visible on the outside. I got some at the hardware store that are more of an aged brass and I think if I set them right on top of a trim piece that is the same width, I can make them look neat. Not entirely sure yet (for now I've just removed the panels) but I've already put on the siding so putting anything under the siding is out at this point.

I really did put a lot of thought into this but the indecision was keeping me from getting started, and I just wanted to get moving. I figured there are plenty of dollhouses with visible hinges and if the house is finished nicely your eye isn't drawn to the hinges. We'll see if I regret the decision when it comes time for me to put the panels back on. ;)

If you end up using the poly hinges, please let us know how it goes!

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If you end up using the poly hinges, please let us know how it goes!

Will do! This house is going to be tricky at the corners as it has those quoins along the edges and it's not supposed to open in the front to start with. I'm going to have to open that box that I keep hidden in the closet that's labeled "think outside of me". LOL.

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What house is it? I looked at some samples at the dollhouse shop and noticed that when the hinge is on the corner, it's much less obvious than in my case where it's on a flat area. But the quoins sound like they would give an added challenge. (I'm wondering if you could do a removeable panel instead, maybe with magnets hidden under the quoins?)

I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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I'm making the "Hancock" from Earth and Tree. I think I'm going to have another problem figuring out how to make it open in the front with the roof overhang that it has without there being a gap between the top of the wall and the roof. I'm trying to get as many steps figured out in my head before I muck things up. lol. It's like playing chess, you try to think 6 or 7 moves ahead of your opponent, but even with that, sometimes the house wins :D .

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...how to make it open in the front with the roof overhang that it has without there being a gap between the top of the wall and the roof....

3 ideas:

Split the front wall horizontally above the windows > the top part would be glued in place. The lower part would be hinged & when opened it would clear the overhang.

Or part of the roof could open with the front.

Or the roof could be hinged. To open the front you would lift the roof 1st then the front.

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The way I'm building this house is very much like the way a rl house would be constructed with rooms having 4 walls. It's a replica of a real house so I want folks to be able to see all the rooms of the house instead of the "one room from the back of the house" that we usually build. So when the front face is opened you'll see all the rooms that are in the front of the house. I'm closing in the back of the house so that rooms at the rear also have 4 walls.

So with this layout in mind option # 1 won't work because the stationary top half wall will block visuals of the rooms on the upper floors. Options # 2 & 3 are interesting choices I hadn't considered. With # 2 I'd have to split the roof from front to back (just dawned on me that I only have to do about an inch or so and the break can be hidden with the shingles - Hmmm not bad, not bad at all). Option 3?? When I first read your post this was the one I chose. But after rethinking it I see I'd have to have a second set of hinges for the roof and I think that would make for more complications with the slate shingles. Soooooooo, I think door # 2 is a viable option!

Now that I've said that - forget it all! The lightbulb just came on :idea: (my brain works better when I write it down, as you're about to see LOL) I just realized what you mean. You said "split horizontally above the windows" and I did not consider that it only (like the roof in option 2) has to be an inch or less under the eave - there would be nothing blocking the view of the room.

This is why I love this forum. There's always someone to brainstorm with and there's always someone with a broader view and a better skillset to give you ideas. I now have a revised game plan and you're forgiven for not telling me about your new dh's :kissing:

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The way I'm building this house is very much like the way a rl house would be constructed with rooms having 4 walls. It's a replica of a real house so I want folks to be able to see all the rooms of the house instead of the "one room from the back of the house" that we usually build. So when the front face is opened you'll see all the rooms that are in the front of the house. I'm closing in the back of the house so that rooms at the rear also have 4 walls.

So with this layout in mind option # 1 won't work because the stationary top half wall will block visuals of the rooms on the upper floors. Options # 2 & 3 are interesting choices I hadn't considered. With # 2 I'd have to split the roof from front to back (just dawned on me that I only have to do about an inch or so and the break can be hidden with the shingles - Hmmm not bad, not bad at all). Option 3?? When I first read your post this was the one I chose. But after rethinking it I see I'd have to have a second set of hinges for the roof and I think that would make for more complications with the slate shingles. Soooooooo, I think door # 2 is a viable option!

Now that I've said that - forget it all! The lightbulb just came on :idea: (my brain works better when I write it down, as you're about to see LOL) I just realized what you mean. You said "split horizontally above the windows" and I did not consider that it only (like the roof in option 2) has to be an inch or less under the eave - there would be nothing blocking the view of the room.

This is why I love this forum. There's always someone to brainstorm with and there's always someone with a broader view and a better skillset to give you ideas. I now have a revised game plan and you're forgiven for not telling me about your new dh's :kissing:

Glad I could help...if I had drawn what I meant to say I think you would have seen the light bulb much sooner, LOL.

I sent you an email yesterday - subject: mesp2k > Lastest scratchbuild...

I guess you missed it?? :dunno:

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