The Den of Slack

Turret House – just a little progress report

Work has stalled on the Turret House since I last posted about it in October. That’s partly because we had a ginormous storm at the end of October and my workshop flooded. I didn’t take a “before” picture (since I was frantically moving things out of the way before they got wet), but here’s the “after”…

(This picture isn’t nearly as dramatic as it was with water all over the floor!)

Thankfully the flood wasn’t caused by a leak, but by water that blew in underneath the door. The floor isn’t level and it’s lower on the side Rosy’s standing on, so the water pooled on that side. A few cardboard boxes that were stashed under the wooden workbench got damaged, but I was able to get the contents out of the boxes before what was inside was ruined.

I quickly moved everything that was on that side of the room to the dry side, which required “putting away” a lot of what I had in progress for the Turret House. “Putting away” is in quotes because I just tossed it all in boxes or stashed it on the desk and everything in progress that had been “carefully organized” (again in quotes!) was now in places where it shouldn’t have been, and hard to find later.

Long story short, this disrupted my flow on the Turret House and I’m only dipping my toes back in now. (Metaphorically, not literally! Geoff installed a storm door, which seems to have solved the water problem.)

The other reason I got distracted from the Turret House is that I started working on my items for the annual half scale swap. But I can’t show those off until March or so, so pretend I didn’t say anything about swaps.

Anyway, as of last weekend I’m back to work on the Turret House, and although I haven’t made major progress, it’s been such a long time since I posted that I figured I might as well. First up, the foundation.

I’m going with the old standby, egg carton stones, because I couldn’t come up with a better idea and I just wanted to get SOMETHING done. These blocks are 3/8″ x 3/4″. I used 1″ pieces at the corners where they wrap around.

My plan is to paint these black, including the grout.

When I got around the back of the house, I remembered why I hadn’t started the foundation sooner: the junction splice is back here and I haven’t decided yet if I want it there.

My Queen Anne Rowhouse has electrical outlets and the junction splice hidden under the house and I might do the same with the Turret House, but first I have to give some thought to which lights will go where and look more carefully at the tape wire that’s already installed. So, I gave up on the foundation pending those decisions.

While I was working on the foundation, I noticed that this panel was very tight and difficult to open. I thought it was because the floral trim was bumping the top of the corbels. I removed the panel to investigate sanding (which I really didn’t want to do, and risk damaging what’s already been finished), and I found that the panel swings easily if it’s all the way flush on the left.

Presumably this means I can fix the problem by repositioning the hinges to allow the panel to sit this way.

The top and middle hinges won’t fit into the cutout squares with the panel all the way to the left, so I’ll try enlarging them.

And all three of them will need to have at least some of the holes re-drilled, since the current holes won’t allow me to screw in the hinges where they need to be.

I was able to do a little bit of work on this today, but then Geoff needed my help with something on the real house and the afternoon disappeared. Same time next weekend…?


  1. I’m so nothing got ruined in the flood! That foundation is going to look nice.

  2. Glad nothing got ruined. I can only imagine the panic!

  3. Emily I can so relate sadly. A year ago my walk-out basement (where my workshop is) flooded due to a valve to the toilet springing a leak. Fortunately, my houses were on platforms and I had re-organized the boxes that were on the floor in the great reorganization effort months prior (covid induced) and there was nothing like that on the floor.

    I too had to pull all the things out of 2 of my houses that would need to be moved when I had the floors replaced.. Most of those things were fairly well organized in boxes but to this day there are about 5-10 missing accessories (that I really cherished) that I could never locate when I put things back in later.

    Looks like you’ll be able to fix the door – hinging isn’t my forte. I also love how your stones are going. Maybe you want to consider a CR2s power adapter and power source instead of a junction splice? I hate those and they have been the source of trouble for me.

    • Oh no, that’s horrible! I hope you find those missing accessories one of these days. Luckily most of my houses are still empty from when I moved in 2020 so I didn’t have to worry about boxing up the furniture and accessories when I moved them out of the way of the flood.

      Last year I bought a batch of nice vintage lights (I think they’re Marie Toner and/or Lighting Bug) that I want to use in this house, and it’s already tapewired, so I was planning to go that route. But I have had a lot of problems with tapewire in the past and the bulbs in these aren’t removable, so I want to make sure I’m being smart about how I install them. (Which is why I’ve put it off to think about later!)

      The irony is, I rarely turn on the lights, so I always spend much more time obsessing about how to do lights than I actually using them. But I didn’t electrify the Victorianna and some of the rooms are very dark, so I decided I should do this house, especially since it’s tapewired already.

  4. Only Fire does more damage than water. Or maybe a tornado. Fortunately you discovered the flooding before much damage was caused. Interestingly, I’m trying to decide on the foundation for the Manchester. I’ve never used egg carton bricks–we have hens and I sold eggs and needed the cartons, but now the hens are old and not laying, so I have cartons. Cutting bricks just seems so tedious, and I need to learn about grout too. I’ll be paying attention. Glad that you are back to to work. Stay dry.

    • I did a brick foundation on the Victorianna. I liked the result, but cutting and then laying all those bricks took a very long time. I’m planning to do egg carton bricks on an upcoming (smaller) project so I’ll probably do a post about them soon.

  5. avatar
    Stephanie Yue

    March 1, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    I enjoy reading your blog since your Little House in the Big Woods. I like that you show mistakes since it helps me with mine. Love your dog.
    I also became interested in 1/2 scale due to your blog. Bought a dollhouse kit, but I haven’t started on it. Also bought a 1/2 scale store “Retail Therapy” built by the Two guys from Texas.
    Thanks for your inspirational blog.

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