First day in workshop

It was a great day at the workshop today. I was able to to get my wood cut out and then measured up and cut again for the mortise and tenon joints. I read somewhere on the internet that it’s better to cut out the mortise joint first, I’m only assuming its because its easier to try and make the tenon joint fit to the mortise joint or perhaps its easier to correct the tenon joint if the mortise joint is cut too big. I would love to know what the real reason is. Is mine correct?

Below is the beginning photographs for the room box, I got so busy I forgot to take more.

When I did my GCSEs and A-Level in Woodworks, the one equipment that everyone had to stay away from and not touch was the band saw. It was strictly out of limits to students and could only be used by teachers. Today however I have finally experienced using the machine. I was a bit nervous at first and tried to avoid it, but the man in the workshop, insisted I use it as its a great experience. He was right, it was great and much quicker then the other saw (the name has completely slipped my mind). I finished cutting out all my pieces however I cut them out too small so I have to come back tomorrow to file the down. I think I’m going to finish this much quicker then I expected.

The Deadline -7th February 2011

I have given myself a deadline to complete the room box (This does not include furnishing the box). This deadline will be good for me because in that way I will produce more work and develop my ideas.

I’m fully committed to completing this task, I just hope I have to the speed to do it in.

Deadline: 7th February 2011

image from

MDF wood measurements

I’m so excited I’m going to my university tomorrow to cut out the wood for my room box. I’m not excited about cutting out the wood its more about knowing that I’m going somewhere with this project. I’m not hanging around doing nothing which I felt I did all last term… but thats behind me and I’m now going to try my best to produce as much work as I can.

Below is the individual wood sizes for each of the five pieces;

Side x2: 22cm x 35cm

Front x2: 30cm x 22cm

Base x 1: 35cm x 30cm

The overall wood measurement has changed to 80cm x 75 cm since I repositioned how the pieces would lie out on the sheet of MDF. (Is this clear? I hope it makes sense)

How embarrassing!

Something really embarrassing happened to me a couple of days ago. I brought a packet of crisps at the shop because I was really hungry and I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast and it now was 5 o’clock in the evening. I was walking along the street eating the crisps and enjoying them thoroughly when all of a sudden a gust of wind came along and blew them out of my hands into the road. I didn’t no what do to. I felt so uncomfortable as if the  whole world was watching me. I didn’t want to stand there looking miserable as if I really wanted to eat them so I just walked on. How embarrassing! Writing this I can do nothing but laugh, its hilarious.

MDF size to use for the room boxes

The overall MDF size that I will buy is;

Width: 80cm

Length: 90cm

Thickness: 1-1.5cm (if thats possible)

This size is reasonable and has enough room to include the tenon joint.

Furnishing Dolls’ Houses

I borrowed a book about Doll’s houses at my library today. I haven’t had much chance reading it as I’ve been so busy, but its a book writing in 1972 and is called “Furnishing Dolls Houses” by Audrey Johnson. It shows pictures of what dolls houses looked like throughout the decades finishing at 1970. It has plans of how to make table, beds, and chairs, which I think I might tackle a bit later on.

I found a great picture of the book on the internet, its the book on the far right.

Note to self

The base of the room box will be thick whereas the walls will not be as the windows and doors will need to fit into them. I need to research this.

The tenon joint will go all the way through the mortise joint, instead of it being just inside the wood (if this makes any sense, I’m really tired).

Room boxes

Here is some miniature room boxes that I found on the internet.

Here is what the miniature room boxes look like complete and furnished. They look great and I hope mine comes out looking as real as these.

Dollhouse prototype

Today I planned to do a quick prototype of how I want my model to be. Well I wanted it to be quick but I ended up spending a lot more time then I actually planned. One thing that has really confused me is the size, I’m not exactly sure what is the right thing for the miniature furniture that I’m planning to buy soon.

I tried to do some research and look around on the internet and I found out that the popular size used today on miniature houses is 1:12. So 1 foot = 1 inch. This sounded perfect sense to me so I decided to measure my living room and bring it down  in scale. It came out really big and was nothing like the size rooms of the doll’s houses I saw on the internet. So I looked around a bit more and found a size room on models called “Room boxes”. Instead of someone building a dollhouse the rooms are just built, which is exactly what I am doing. The size was length: 12 inches, width: 10 inches and height: 9 inches. This sounded much more correct and I built my prototype from this measurement.

All the different angles that could be taken up close and because the walls are removable means from any direction too.

Woud love feedback on this design. Is it any good?

Dolls house lighting

I found this terrific site that deals with doll houses and a feature that I plan to add to my model is lighting. This small detail will definitely bring the room to life. The website supplies everything. Its simply doll house heaven.

I at first thought that it would be difficult to work with lighting and to set it up, but they have a masterclass video on their site explaining how to do just about anything.

The prices look a bit expensive on the site so I might have a look around on Amazon and Ebay and see if  I can get it a lot cheaper on there.

Below is some lights that I think resembles what my nan had in her house. It would be great if I actually found something miniature that really was in her house at full size. All these images came from The Dolls House Emporium.

To sir, with love

I watched this great film today called “To sir, with love” filmed in 1967. It stars Sidney Poitier and Lulu. Sidney Poitier is brilliant as the teacher trying to teach a class of “wild” teens . Seeing Sidney Poitier perform this role makes me wish I had a teacher like him when I was at school. The soundtrack sung by Lulu is a great song and accompanies the movie very well. There is a lot of films that follow the same storyline such as; Sister Act 2, Dangerous Minds and Lean on me.

I would really recommend watching this film.

Plans: Sketches

Mortise and Tenon Joint

The particular wood joint that I want to use is perhaps the mortise and tenon joint. Although it seems it is only used for joining thin objects like a leg of a chair or something, it will be easier to constantly place it in the wood and to take it out. Anyway my model will not be that big anyway so it will be able to withstand the weight of the wood.

I found some great information on the tenon and mortise joint at this site

They are not easy joints to make. The secret in making a good tenon joint lies in careful and accurate marking (See: Mark and measure).The tenon’s width should not be less than a third of the thickness of the wood especially if wood of the same thickness is joined. The shoulders may be of any width and may also be offset when the mortise is made in rebated wood. Make the mortise before rebating the wood. If the top of the mortised wood is to be in line with the edge of the tenoned wood a haunched tenon can be made with the haunch cut back to be in line with the shoulders.

Hmm what wood should I use?

The type of model that I would be making for the miniature scale room (with four walls), would have to be collapsible. I want to be able to remove any wall so that I can take photographs from different angles.

My years of studying woodworks (resistant materials) has paid off and I am at an advantage for making and designing things. Although I haven’t practiced for a couple of years, the skills are still there and I am looking forward to getting back to work.

The walls and floor with be made from wood, probably MDF (medium density fibreboard) as although it is not natural wood it shouldn’t crumble or weaken after a while like chipboard. This is a necessity as I will constantly be removing the walls. Another wood that I’ll take into consideration is plywood.



Veneer Plywood

Udvardy Bogi

I was browsing the web and I came across this Artist’s blog who I don’t think is that well know called Udvardy Bogi. She creates miniature rooms that look absolutely amazing. These pictures came for her blog.

I like how when you look close, you can’t tell that it is a miniature model. This is what I’m hoping to achieve when I do my model.

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