The Den of Slack

Of stairways and ceilings

Before continuing with the Rosedale’s assembly, I needed to cut a hole for the second floor staircase, and to do that I needed to buy some teeny tiny saw blades for the Dremel tool.

These came from Micro-Mark, and they weren’t cheap, but they’re exactly what I needed. I haven’t used the Dremel much and wasn’t confident about making the cuts, so Geoff helped out.

The good news: the cut was just about perfect. This was definitely the right tool to use. The bad news: I drew the lines in the wrong place! I accidentally measured from the back of the stairway, rather than from the front step.

As a result there’s a big gaping hole where the top step should be. It’ll be easy enough to fill in with strip wood.

Next I glued in the third floor. The stick clamped to the front is helping to keep the two pieces of the floor, which were both a bit warped, in the proper position while the glue dried.

Initially I tried to fill this crack with wood filler, but the gap was so big that crumbs were falling into the room below and getting all over the wallpaper. Instead, I smeared glue into the crack between the two floor pieces and let it dry.

Next I did some work on the stairs. Since I had to cut down the second floor railing, it needs trim to cover up the cracks where the two pieces meet (you can see them here). I picked up some strip wood for the top and a piece of 1:12 window molding for the bottom. I also ripped the strip of wallpaper off the back of the stairs so I could do a better job of covering up the ugly crack that had resulted from the stairs being not quite square.

I thought about covering the back of the stairs with stained pieces of wood, but with the stairs glued into a space much smaller than my hands, it was just too hard to get a nice fit. I managed to cut a strip of wallpaper that was the right size, but it was too flimsy to glue to the back of the stairs by itself.

I ended up gluing in a few pieces of wood (modified from the stair back pieces of both kits) to create a surface to attach the wallpaper strip to. It took a lot of thinking and playing around to get this right, and I was very grateful for the ability to flip this tiny house upside down and hold it in my lap while I eased the pieces into place!

The photo on the left below shows the three pieces of wood I glued in. On the right you can see the strip of wallpaper glued over the wood.

I added wallpaper and a piece of trim to the front of the railing.

This still needs a little trim work to hide the hole where the railing meets the wallpaper strip, as well as hand rails and maybe decorative balls on top of the newel posts, but I’m putting that off until later.

Before gluing on the third story and roof, I decided to paper the ceilings while it was still easy to flip the house over. Years ago I bought a roll of textured wallpaper from Lowe’s that looks like plaster. I use for ceilings in all of my dollhouses now—it’s much easier and neater than painting!

I cut the first floor ceiling using the punched out first floor as a guide.

The two small rooms upstairs were easy to cut. The middle room was tougher and I wished I’d done it before gluing in the floor. I finally got the hole in the right place but it took a few tries. (Luckily I have so much of this paper, it’s not a problem if some gets wasted!)

In retrospect, it would have been better to glue in the ceiling paper before the stair trim, since it was tough to get the hole exactly right around the scalloped trim. (I just have to remind myself that when the house is built, no one’s going to be flipping it upside down to see if the ceiling paper comes right up against the trim!)

I did a better job on the first floor than the second floor, as you can see in the pictures below (click them for larger versions).

1 Comment

  1. Don’t worry, it’s a feature! Trap door at the top of the stairs for unwanted guests! :-)

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