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Simschica
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My husband and I are building a dollhouse. It is our own design, not a kit. We have been planning to do this for many years, but other things were prioritized and plans were put on hold. I had built a house from a kit many, many years ago (back in the 1980's). When relocating from NY to where we are now, the house was given away. 

I have several questions  and I am thankful there is a forum such as this I can go to for help. Please bear with me. 

1: We are not sure about the thickness of the walls of the house. Should they be quarter inch or half inch thick? We plan on using MDF. 

2: My previous house from a kit was a Victorian style house. This house will not be Victorian period, but I notice that most of the lighting today is Victorian style and we would like more of a "today" look for our lighting. I am willing to make the lighting myself as I like to learn anything miniature. I have been all over the Internet, but cannot find clear step by step instructions for making those very expensive functioning  multi arm crystal chandeliers. I've read that it is difficult due to bending the tube without kinking it. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am stumped on this. We plan on electrifying with the tape method after researching many videos. We also plan on using recessed lighting in some of the rooms  I just can't figure out the chandelier thing and don't really want to spend hundreds of dollars on one light ( plus I like the satisfaction of building it myself).

I have collected many things for my house for years and I am so exited to finally do this. Sorry for the long post and thanks again to everyone on this forum.

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Hi Nora, welcome to the forum! Will throw in my 2c here. Yay for you building your own house! If you want to use pre-made doors and windows, they are generally made for 3/8" thick wood. I like using MDF but many others here don't. If you have the tools to cut it easily, it is a good strong smooth option. 

Regarding lights, there is a company with an online store http://jar-jaf.com/. They sell all sorts of components, and there are books also on making your own lights. Can't guarantee they'd be of a modern style, but you could adapt them. There are also lots of tutorials on Pinterest or people's blogs. There was recent talk here on the forum on making lights out of mini mason jars. There are some modern manufactured lights around though. 

For a chandelier, you could buy a plain chandelier and add tiny crystals. Others have done this. 

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Hi, Nora, I hope you'll find time to post an introduction in the Newcomers' Forum.

1 hour ago, Simschica said:

My husband and I are building a dollhouse. It is our own design, not a kit. We have been planning to do this for many years, but other things were prioritized and plans were put on hold. I had built a house from a kit many, many years ago (back in the 1980's). When relocating from NY to where we are now, the house was given away. 

I have several questions  and I am thankful there is a forum such as this I can go to for help. Please bear with me. 

1: We are not sure about the thickness of the walls of the house. Should they be quarter inch or half inch thick? We plan on using MDF. 

2: My previous house from a kit was a Victorian style house. This house will not be Victorian period, but I notice that most of the lighting today is Victorian style and we would like more of a "today" look for our lighting. I am willing to make the lighting myself as I like to learn anything miniature. I have been all over the Internet, but cannot find clear step by step instructions for making those very expensive functioning  multi arm crystal chandeliers. I've read that it is difficult due to bending the tube without kinking it. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am stumped on this. We plan on electrifying with the tape method after researching many videos. We also plan on using recessed lighting in some of the rooms  I just can't figure out the chandelier thing and don't really want to spend hundreds of dollars on one light ( plus I like the satisfaction of building it myself).

I have collected many things for my house for years and I am so exited to finally do this. Sorry for the long post and thanks again to everyone on this forum.

1.  I would think a house built with 0.5" MDF would weigh an awful lot!  One of the reasons I adore building the Greenleaf nd Corona Concepts kits, besides their styles, is that the wood is only 1/8"-3/16" thick, so no matter how big it is I can pick it up to move it.  I made up a roombox using 3/8" MDF once, and it weighed more than any of my houses.  Don't forget to wear a mask cutting MDF, so as not to inhale any of the particles.

2.  I believe Micro Mark sells a tube bending tool (a long, flexible tight metal coil) so you can bend tubing without crimping, although for a mini chandelier I would think with the wire already in the tube and not needing a tight bend, you would be OK.  We had a thread not too long go about making more contemporary light fixtures.

Where in sunny FL are you?  I'm just across the Perdido River from Pensacola.

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If you want to bend tubing without collapsing it, the easiest way would be to use a one of these tools.. not sure what diameter tube you want to use so these might be too big or small, but you should be able to find something to fit your purpose at a US store/online store.

https://www.hobbytools.com.au/search.php?search_query=tubing+bender&x=0&y=0

I agree with Shannon, that if you are going to use pre-made windows & doors you should use wood of an appropriate thickness to avoid the need to pad your walls to fit them.

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Thank you so much for the quick and helpful responses. After reading your answers, we've decided not to use MDF due to the weight issue and try for 3/8" plywood instead. I will check out the link for lighting supplies and also see if I can find that tube bending tool.  I'll keep a look out for step by step instructions on making those multi arm chandeliers. Wish us luck on our new build.

Havanaholly: I live in Palm Beach county.

 

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I just found some simple chandeliers that I can adapt to what I need as someone suggested earlier. It's Heidi Ott's website and they are reasonably priced.  I found the suggestion while browsing this forum. So thankful.

 

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5 hours ago, Simschica said:

Thank you so much for the quick and helpful responses. After reading your answers, we've decided not to use MDF due to the weight issue and try for 3/8" plywood instead. I will check out the link for lighting supplies and also see if I can find that tube bending tool.  I'll keep a look out for step by step instructions on making those multi arm chandeliers. Wish us luck on our new build.

Havanaholly: I live in Palm Beach county.

I grew up in West Pam Beach and graduated from Palm Beach High School (later Twin Lakes High School and now a museum).

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I have the bending tool. You are more than welcome to take my box of failed lighting experiments. It sounds easy in theory but it's too easy to create shorts if you plan on hiding the wires in the tube. Also, soldering melts the wire's casing. 

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Sable, if the premade windows and doors are 3/8", after inserting into the 5/8" opening, when I trim around them will they be held firmly in place with the trim? And when and where is the NAME meeting and do I have to be a member?

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Nora, I think Sable meant 3/8". Most makers of doors and windows make their products to fit a 3/8" wood wall. 3/8" is the standard wall thickness for dollhouses unless you get a Greenleaf kit. That wood is 1/8" thick and you punch the pieces out glue them together, you don't nail them. There might be a little wiggle room there in the standard doors and windows because most dollhouse makers also assume you're going to side the house as well. In real houses, the siding comes up and butts against the doors and windows. Here in miniature world, we just finish the siding and then put the doors and windows over the top of it. Hence the wiggle room on the pre-made doors and windows.

Are you looking for a modern today type of house, or are you thinking about something really contemporary looking?

Here are some links to people who do modern houses:

http://minimodern.blogspot.com/

http://dreamdollhouse.blogspot.com/2010/04/so-you-want-modern-dollhouse.html

http://mymoderndollhouses.blogspot.com/

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So sorry, I meant 3/8".  Yes you have to join NAME and our club. Meetings are at the Boca Raton Community Center on the first Wed of each month. No meeting in May, however. Private Message me if you are interested in attending the June meeting. 

Men are also welcome.

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Have you looked on eBay for some contemporary lighting?  I have seen some great modern chandeliers, table lamps, floor lamps, and wall sconces.  Many are reasonably priced.  Do a search such as "modern chandler" in the dollhouse section!

Good luck!  I am looking forward to pictures as you progress!

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Also, you might want to check out this thread:  http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=forums&module=forums&controller=topic&id=40162  Miranda and Samantha provide some great examples of modern lighting they've made themselves.  If you aren't tied to the idea of a chandelier with arms, bead cages can make great contemporary pendant lights.

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I bought some of those things to keep tubes from crimping but didn't have much success with them. It hard to bend the tubes and to get identical bends for a chandelier is tricky. I have adapted plain chandeliers though like someone else suggested and I once used an electrified candelabra as the basis for a chandelier. Then I added dangling beads. You can make pretty lights using brass jewellery fixings and paper, I did this in the shop of The House of Perfumes. Here's a picture of the upside down candelabra,( sotrry its not great quality but imagine a candelabra upside down with beads dangling from it)

 if you browse through that album you will find the paper lights too. Large plastic landern beads make good lights too if you can get them with a large enough hole for the bulb, Good luck and have fun

http://www.greenleafdollhouses.com/forum/?app=gallery&module=gallery&controller=view&id=109068&browse=1 

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1 hour ago, havanaholly said:

You would need to finagle a bending jig that you could bend all of your tubing the same.

Kris of One-Inch Minis shows something along those lines here:  http://1inchminisbykris.blogspot.com/search/label/How%20to%20make%20a%20metal%20tubular%20kitchen%20chair  It's for a tubular metal chair, but the concept (a jig for bending metal tubing) is pretty much the same.

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