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Fairfield Stair Assembly


Roxxie2
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:dunno:   Did anyone else have a problem getting their stairs assembled straight???   I got most of the house together ( dry fit) yesterday and when I got to the second floor,  It just wouldn't fit no matter what I did.   Finally I decided it must be the stair unit so I have taken the entire thing apart down to the riser and treads and started over!  Sometimes I wonder why I do this hobby??

Can you tell I am a bit frustrated?   

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I'm so sorry you are frustrated.  I found this site/post very helpful when I was doing the staircase:  http://moreminis.blogspot.com/2012/10/my-second-half-scale-fairfield.html  This was her second build of the Fairfield, and she had some good tips.  She strongly recommends building the staircase in place, to ensure that everything fits, and she had some tips about notching the staircase back wall.  Good luck.  I hope it works out for you.

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I have changed most of the steps on mine and removed the rails, but I did use the rest of the assembly. What part of it isn't fitting?

On my kit the stairs "wall" was not fitting well either, after fiddling around with it for a while I noticed there was a problem with the connection between the two sections of the 2nd floor that was not aligning properly, so the stairs kept being pulled 'out of place' (at the base) if that makes sense. The way I got around it was by assembling the house in two halves, finishing the 'entrance hall' (tower base) and stairs, glued the stairs to the second floor, then put the halves together and slid in the attic floor in before connecting the walls to the base... it's a bit complicated to explain, but having the 3rd floor connected solved the problem for me: everything slid into place correctly.

Take your time and relax, there is always a way around these issues.

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Ashley,  I think that wall is the problem!!!   I did take the whole stair assembly apart and rebuilt it.  I was so upset I took my hot glue gun and glued the stringers to the work table so that it wouldn't move around.   There is definitely something wrong with those two separate pieces of the second floor.  Those tabs don't line up correctly.  I also notice that many of the parts are not exacting and in this build a tiny thing that is off will make it impossible to assemble the house.  What do you mean you glued the stairs to the second floor?  Please explain if you will!  Thanks so much!
I had to redo the wallpaper in the kitchen and hall due to putting the thing together and taking it apart so many times.  lol
:doh:

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Roxy, I said quite a few *MAGIC* words to get those floor halves to go together.  I think I had installed the third floor and attached it to the wals before the two pieces of th second floor finally settled into place.

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On 03/03/2017, 04:40:58, Roxxie2 said:

Ashley,  I think that wall is the problem!!!   I did take the whole stair assembly apart and rebuilt it.  I was so upset I took my hot glue gun and glued the stringers to the work table so that it wouldn't move around.   There is definitely something wrong with those two separate pieces of the second floor.  Those tabs don't line up correctly.  I also notice that many of the parts are not exacting and in this build a tiny thing that is off will make it impossible to assemble the house.  What do you mean you glued the stairs to the second floor?  Please explain if you will!  Thanks so much!
I had to redo the wallpaper in the kitchen and hall due to putting the thing together and taking it apart so many times.  lol
:doh:

Yes, I think the same! In my kit I think there was a problem with the alignment of the second floor and the tabs in the midsection wall, I'm not sure if it was from the cutout or the wood warping slightly. I had to sand one of the tabs (I think near the door on the left side) a bit for the floor to slide in properly.

It's a bit hard to explain without pictures, and I'm afraid I didn't take any for that step but what I did was basically put it together "upside down". I assembled the stairs (steps etc), then I glued the wall from the left portion of the porch (the wall that has the second door on the porch) to the wall that connects to stairs and fits the tabs in the entrance/tower floor. I then glued the assembly to the second floor "left portion" (the part with the upstairs corridor). To do this I dry fitted the stairs and glued them under the floor, along with the tower walls + the left portion of the porch. So I had 1 half of the house put together (tower + rooms on the left side), and another half with the other portion of the second floor connected to the chimney subassembly. I then put the two halves together and glued them to the base tabs, with the 3rd floor + exterior walls with the gables in dry fit to keep the assembly stable and inside the tabs. 

Please note the way I glued the house together is a bit risky, I had to dry fit everything countless times and double check while the glue was curing to make sure everything was in the right place. I tried it this way because I was tired of struggling with the second floor, this was the best way I could find to keep the walls aligned and fit properly in all the tabs. I think one of my floors was also trying to warp a bit so that wasn't helping. I do think the 3rd floor of this kit is a bit crucial to keep the walls aligned along with the chimney sub assembly, the midsection walls from the second floor put "pressure" onto the lower floor while it was gluing, so everything fitted flush into place including the stairs. 

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I redid the stairs but haven't had it back in a dry fit yet.   I have looked at a lot of pictures and I just can't think its all me.  The second floor is a doozy.   I also can't fit that back wall onto the stairs properly as in the instructions but I think I can rig it so it works....I hope!    I haven't touched it in a couple of days I was so frustrated I had to walk away for a while.
I have read and reread the assembly instructions ( I can't wait to get to the tower!) but its like reading a foreign language to me.   I plan to just go at it a little at a time when I get that center wall in and the stairs set I will dry fit again.  I have had to dry fit many times already to figure out where the wallpaper goes.  I just can't picture in my head how it goes until I look at it in 3 D....call me terrible at spatial relations!  :dunce:

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I had both Fairfields in dry fit several times, mostly just to see if I understood the instructions.  Then there was the disassembly of the inside out one after I had begun to glue it together.  As you can see looking at my album, I did get both of them together, bashes & all.

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3 hours ago, Roxxie2 said:

I redid the stairs but haven't had it back in a dry fit yet.   I have looked at a lot of pictures and I just can't think its all me.  The second floor is a doozy.   I also can't fit that back wall onto the stairs properly as in the instructions but I think I can rig it so it works....I hope!    I haven't touched it in a couple of days I was so frustrated I had to walk away for a while.
I have read and reread the assembly instructions ( I can't wait to get to the tower!) but its like reading a foreign language to me.   I plan to just go at it a little at a time when I get that center wall in and the stairs set I will dry fit again.  I have had to dry fit many times already to figure out where the wallpaper goes.  I just can't picture in my head how it goes until I look at it in 3 D....call me terrible at spatial relations!  :dunce:

Hmmm, I'd suggest trying to dry fit the tower to check what is going on with your second floor. Check the instructions: you will need to slide in through the floor tab both walls of the tower, at the same time, connected to eachother (use some masking tape to keep them together after you insert them). Then dry fit the porch wall and test how they fit together with the base tabs. Wait until you do this before wallpappering any more sections of the walls: IF I remember correctly you cannot wallpapper the tower interior walls before connecting it to the second floor (it will damage the wallpapper).

Regarding the back wall of the stairs, it has two sections: 1 vertical section and 1 angled section that covers the back of the last steps and goes over the archway in the room bellow, this should be aligned with the "angled tip" from the stairs' right wall (as seen from the back). I've slightly modified this portion in my build, mostly because I have wiring running under the stairs so I could not glue that back portion permanently, but here's how it fits: the back vertical portion goes in the space between the two walls and should press the side wall from the stairs (on the right side, as seen from the back) against the tabs at the base (you will see a small gap in this tab). In my build I didn't even need glue to keep this section in place, what is important here is to make sure that the back is in a vertical position when inserted into the base. You can do this after you have put the stairs in place as well, so don't stress too much about it ;) 

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11 hours ago, wormwoodz said:

 IF I remember correctly you cannot wallpapper the tower interior walls before connecting it to the second floor (it will damage the wallpapper).

OOPS!   Too late, I wallpapered all the interior walls as I can't see how I would get to them after its in.   If it rips I will have to figure out how to fix it.  I should have painted those walls probably.

I have measured, used my angle and T-square tools religiously but here's the odd thing.  I think that the tabs for the stair base are not in the right place.   Every time I fit them,  they come out a little off rather than straight.   Did you glue the stair base and wall into the floor of the house first?  I would think that that unit would have to be anchored before you put anything else in place.  
I dry fitted the two tower walls just with tape they went down into the slots fairly easily just now.  Yes!!!

 

Thanks for taking all the time to describe things to me I really appreciate it Ashley!

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2 hours ago, Roxxie2 said:

OOPS!   Too late, I wallpapered all the interior walls as I can't see how I would get to them after its in.   If it rips I will have to figure out how to fix it.  I should have painted those walls probably.

I have measured, used my angle and T-square tools religiously but here's the odd thing.  I think that the tabs for the stair base are not in the right place.   Every time I fit them,  they come out a little off rather than straight.   Did you glue the stair base and wall into the floor of the house first?  I would think that that unit would have to be anchored before you put anything else in place.  
I dry fitted the two tower walls just with tape they went down into the slots fairly easily just now.  Yes!!!

 

Thanks for taking all the time to describe things to me I really appreciate it Ashley!

You can use wallpapper in the tower base area, there's a couple diferent ways to do it.

1) You can measure and cut the wallpapper templates and then slide them through the large archway after the tower is assembled, this is probably the "hardest" way to do it as the space to move your hands around is not much, but still possible. Best to use a slow drying and readjustable papper glue for this, like "yes!" paste or something that won't soak the papper too much and allow you to adjust it in place with your fingers.

2) You can glue the tower walls to eachother and to the second floor first and then wallpapper, this should be done with dry fitting to make sure the walls are glued in the correct position. After the glue is dry take remove them from the base and decorate the interior.

3) You can glue the house in 'two halves', separated by the large midsection wall, and dry fit them with the base. When dry you can separate the two halves and decorate the tower base and the second floor corridor with a bit more ease. When that is done, assemble the two halves together with the 3rd floor and the gable walls.

Those are just a few diferent ways I've seen it done, you can improvise and try what works for you. As I said earlier, I did not glue the stair base and wall into the floor of the house  first (the foundation base): I glued those walls to the second floor first, and let the glue cure for at least a day with the rest of the house in dry fit (everything, including the 3rd floor). I only glued them to the base when I had finished decorating the walls, painted the stairs etc, and tiled the floors. I was having that same feeling with the tabs when I did not have the 3rd floor inserted into the dry fit: I think is was because the plywood was trying to warp a bit from the glue, but it got sorted out when the other parts put pressure on it and they stayed in the right position. 

I have tried to go through old pictures to see if I had anything that could help you, unfortunately it's not much but maybe this can help you understand how those walls were fitting on my tabs. This picture is from before I had glued the walls to the base of the house (floor), but you can see I had them glued to the second floor already. I only glued this half of the house in after I had finished tiling the floors, walls, etc... Notice how there is a small gap in the tab at the bottom, this is normal and was not a modification I made to the kit. You can see I was using some scrap pieces wood to hold the walls in place (I had used the back of the staircase to measure the distance between these walls). Even after I had finished assembling the stairs and gluing the 'two halves' of the house together, I had to keep the stairs back area open for a while to electrify the left portion of the house, after I was done I finally assebled the shelf from the back of the stairs and inserted it into position. 

kitchenwip.jpg.56795a254ffe21b8202bfa08e

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I think doing the halves of the house is a good idea.  I have built many other houses but they were of the rectangular box type.  This one is so beautiful but kind of hard. 
I just made a new wall for the back of the stairs with foam core and have to cut another one of those angled pieces because of the placement of the tab that goes in that little slot under the stairs for the back wall.   So if you didn't glue that main wall and stairs to the 1st floor base you could turn it various ways to work on it..correct?  

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3 minutes ago, Roxxie2 said:

So if you didn't glue that main wall and stairs to the 1st floor base you could turn it various ways to work on it..correct?  

Exactly ;) I glued them to the second floor to make sure the walls would stay in the right position, but everytime I was not working on it I would leave the whole house in "dry fit" (including the main roof) with tape and such just to make sure the plywood wouldn't warp (I built most of it during summer). Don't worry, the instructions are helpful to figure out how each part fits together, but in practise you can improvise a bit and figure out what works best for you. I also found the moreminis blog Deborah linked above very helpful, it has lots of pictures and explanation for every part of the house.

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Yes I think that is Gina's blog?   She was the one who wrote to finish the decorating before assembling.   I usually do this method.  To tell you the truth,  I am dyslexic and have always had my own method of putting a house together.  However, this one is a different story.  So you glued the second floor onto the first floor assemble before you actually attached it to the base!   
I just rigged a new back wall for the stairs so of course that angled piece wasn't right.  There will be a small gap now because of it but I am the Queen of Molding!  lol   Whatever sticks out or looks unfinished I just cover it somehow.  However, never hire me to build your real house for you!  Its all smoke and mirrors!  :)

I spent a small fortune on furnishing this little stinker of a house so I have to finish it!  Plus it was a Christmas gift so now I have to finish it or it will be the last dollhouse kit I get for Christmas!  lol   My other half says we may need a bigger house because of my addiction!

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Ashley!    The stairs with the new back and a better tab fits perfectly!   I am feeling much better about it at at least.  The tower is next!  Thanks again your help is so appreciated.
Hugs:bear:

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5 minutes ago, Roxxie2 said:

Ashley!    The stairs with the new back and a better tab fits perfectly!   I am feeling much better about it at at least.  The tower is next!  Thanks again your help is so appreciated.
Hugs:bear:

Glad to hear that! Take some time to relax and have fun with the rest of the build :cheer:

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