Joshua Elek Posts

December 17, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Masking Tape is Your Friend.

In order for the wood glue to really work it’s mojo, you have to clamp your join well. But in the world of miniature dollhouse things, unless you find itsy bitsy clamps, this can be a challenge. Enter… masking tape. Instead of relying on expensive tiny dollhouse clamps (do those even exist?) to hold the wood firmly together, just ‘clamp’ it with some masking tape. You’ll get the ability to clamp odd angles and tiny pieces, and when you’re finished the result is almost as solid as if it had been clamped over night.

December 17, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Wood Filler is Your Friend.

The other great tool I use for building the dollhouse is wood filler, wood putty, plastic wood, miracle Minwax. This stuff fixes pretty much everything that I do wrong.

 

December 16, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Don’t measure everything first.

I am cheap, so I build my dollhouses from scratch. That means I either draw out the plan before-hand, or I have to improvise as I go. This time, since I was using a plan that I had found online, I decided to draw out all the panels, and cut them first. I figured this would allow me to make the best use of the plywood I bought, and it would be faster in the long run. It turns out, this decision took a considerable amount of time, and I wasted most of the wood.

December 15, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

A handsaw can be just as fast as a table saw.

After I printed out my plans, and measured everything out on my plywood, I brought the plywood into the garage to cut all the panels at once. I figured, I have a table saw, I have a cross-cut sled, this is going to be faster, and more precise than cutting by hand. Turns out, it took longer, wasn’t any more accurate, and ended up creating a lot of wasted wood.

December 12, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Wood Glue is Your Best Friend.

I have stumbled on a number of posts on the internet discussing what kinds of glue to use when building a dollhouse. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me – plain old yellow wood glue has been the go-to adhesive

December 11, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

There are no useless details.

When I started building the dollhouse, I knew I wanted to incorporate as many details as possible. When I’m working on a painting, or print or web material, I frequently find that I have to dial it back a bit when it comes to adding stuff to the design. With dollhouses, I have found the opposite to be true.

December 11, 2017 / Dollhouse

So I decided to build another dollhouse…

A few years ago I built my first dollhouse for my daughter Norah, complete with handpainted stones, and a wooden shingled roof. I was proud of it then, but I knew there were a lot of ways it could have been better. Then, I built one for my niece. That one was much better than the one I built for my daughter, it was more architecturally interesting, and had a lot more details than my daughter’s, but there were still a bunch of things I was unhappy with. This year, when I decided to build one for my other niece Ruthie, and my nephew Truman, I told myself I’d document the process better this time, so I can keep track of the lessons I learn along the way.

December 11, 2017 / Dollhouse

Lesson Learned:

Scale is everything.

Back when I built my second dollhouse, (for my niece, Cami) the thing I was most unhappy with was the scale of the doors and windows relative to the rest of the house. I knew nothing about dollhouse scales when I built Cami’s, so when I set out to build one for Truman and Ruthie this year, I started by researching dollhouse scales.<\p>

September 6, 2017 / Infographics