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Thoughts on materials for adding "fourth wall" door on dollhouse?


bigorangecat
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I still have my original San Franciscan dollhouse from the 1970s, and have been dreaming for decades of adding a "fourth wall" door (is that the right term?) to the back to help keep cats and dust out.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the best kind of materials to use to custom build such a thing?

I've thought about replicating the horizontal siding with matching windows to make it look like the rest of the house, but I also like the idea of a entirely see-through acrylic door that only needs to be opened when I'm decorating for holidays or whatnot.

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I use foam core for adding floors and walls. Its pretty sturdy I found. If you look in my blog at Marcella's House I completely rearranged the interior and added walls. :) I don't know if it would work for a door but if it was thick enough it might. Plywood is what I used on the front of Marcella's house as it is front opening.

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I like the idea of a plexiglass panel to fit the opening. That's what I'm planning for my big Tennyson. :)

Oh, and rather than hinges, I'm thinking of making two key whole openings to line up with screws or some type of posts so the panel could slide into place and "hang" there and be completely removed for ease of access.

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Someone here on the GL forum used plexiglass and made channels for it to slide in and out of.

Seems like it might have been Kathie B or CheckMouse but I'm having a senior moment over the person's name for sure.

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Someone here on the GL forum used plexiglass and made channels for it to slide in and out of.

Seems like it might have been Kathie B or CheckMouse but I'm having a senior moment over the person's name for sure.

Good idea :)

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'Twas I who used channels to make a frame for the Plexiglas. The channel is on all four sides. The top piece is not glued. It lifts off so the Plexi can slide up and out.

post-818-0-74502400-1376965616_thumb.jpg

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'Twas I who used channels to make a frame for the Plexiglas. The channel is on all four sides. The top piece is not glued. It lifts off so the Plexi can slide up and out.

attachicon.gifP9140003-left.jpg

Oh, a channel, I hadn't thought of that! That's probably what I'll do. I'll just have to have the plexiglass custom cut for the roof pitch.

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If it's to keep the fur babies out you could get the plexi cut to fit the open back and glue velcro to the sides of the house and the cover, unless you want to cut the back part of your roof to be flush with the back of your house, so you can fit the plexi into the channel molding glued to the ends of the sidewalls and across the bottom.

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That's actually a great idea! Did you buy the plexiglass at the hardware store or did you get it somewhere else? I love the idea so much that I might use it in the future.

I had it cut to size at the hardware store.

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I have one of those kits that the front is open and each floor has its own plexiglass panel and the 1st and 2nd floor have both upper and lower channels. The 3rd floor has a lower channel and 2 dowels at the top to hold it in place. I debated between a front opening for the next build but when I found this one it won me over because you get to see the inside anytime and not have to open the front panel or turn the house around. I am doing the same thing on the back of my conservatory, i think porch rails may work for the top and bottom and then I can slide the plexiglass from the side.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm planning on adding plexi to the back of my alexandria when I'm done. I'm thinking of using neonydium (sp ) magnets.

Even with the magnets, I'd use a piece of channel molding on the bottom for the plexi to rest in.

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That sounds like a great idea. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I have fur babies too and they love to get ahold of my things and carry them around the house. My poor little Heidi Ott doll needs to go to a doll hospital after my puppy got hold of her.

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Channel modling eh ? is that how it's usually added ?

It's one way, how I did it. See post #7 above. I'm just thinking that the magnets might not carry the weight of the Plexiglas, causing it to slip a bit.

Also, magnets and velcro (another possibility) will create a little space between the house and the Plexiglas. Dust will work its way in for sure, and a clever cat will figure out how to hook a claw into the space and ... <left to your imagination> :ohmy:

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Installing channel molding along the bottom and sides of the house to hold the plexi and along the top of the plexi to give a handle to hold by for sliding it in and out gives a lovely framed finish, too.

Yes, if the edges are all on the same plane and there is no roof overhang to get in the way. Some 4th walls may need to be done in more than one panel or slipped in from a side. No matter how it's done, the channel does provide a nice, finished edge that blends with the architecture of the house or room box so as to almost disappear.

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This is definitely what I'm going to do... Tho I think mine will have to go in from the side like you said... hrmmm not entirely sure I'll be able to slide in the top of the acrylic on my Alexandria..I'll have to see how the roof shape goes. Not sure that make sense.

I looked up a pic of the back.. dollhouse2.jpg

Thinking I'll have to add plexiglass to the too and one side as well.. hrmmmm

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