Monday, September 18, 2017

Access Requires Doors.....

Doors Require Hinges... (I love hinges!)

I Think I mentioned, Dear Readers, that I was going to want access to the area behind the knee-walls in order to be able to reach the wiring that passes through that space. I decided that sooner was better than later for tackling the construction of the doors... the sort of task that brings a complete halt to further decoration if left undone! Above you can see the "workroom" wall removed (these walls are not glued in place) in order to measure and add a "brace" for the wall to butt against to keep it in the upright position. (Without a brace the wall can twist and not stay vertical.)

Here you can see both the walls removed 
and the knee-wall brace being tested.....

Here you can see the primitive wiring that I am going to need to upgrade...!
The Lovely Old Dollhouse is the first house I tried to do any electrical wiring, 
so it has been a learning project from the start.
The main wire for the outlet strip you see here
 is buried in the walls all the way down to the base of the house....
(I carved a channel and glued the wires in prior to decorating the lower floors).
This is the only plug strip for all the attic wiring! 
I am pretty sure my upgrade will consist of splicing the extension wires 
at this point rather than having these plugs which just come loose all the time.
Whether I add more outlets for each attic room 
and run new channels down the exterior walls is still undecided. 
It will depend in part on the total bulb count of the lights 
and the size of the transformer... I might need to get a larger transformer.
But meanwhile, I just needed to have access to the space behind the walls!

Here you can see the doorway cut in the wall, 
as well as a glimpse of the brace the wall butts against on the right...

And with the doors cut... testing for fit...

And with hinges attached....!

And with the doors open! 
(I Love hinges!)

And I needed to repeat the process for the bedroom side of the attic....!

Here you can see the Bedroom wall is temporarily removed to fit the bracing.
Nothing is glued in place yet because
 there are so many decisions about the wiring 
that I need to settle first!
For now the wiring is just extensions 
plugged into the plug strip in the hallway.

And with the furniture in place.... the doors are barely noticeable!

Hidden behind the furniture....

But I know they are there!

And in Pollyanna's Workroom too.... 
hidden behind all the tables...!

But Pollyanna isn't thinking about the doors at all...
She is trying to get started assembling some little furniture kits.
She is thinking she might need some better lighting....
and she is wondering if she has the right kind of glue!
So you can see, Dear Readers, 
(even though you can barely see them)
I now have my access doors...
And I got to play with hinges!


  1. Great job on the knee walls, doors & hinges - very clever!

    1. Thanks Troy! They are functional and realistic at the same time!

  2. You've done a great job on the knee walls, and yes, I know you LOVE hinges :D! The doors are perfectly hidden just as in real life: behind all the stuff we have on our attics......and we know that they are there ;)!! Your attic look just like in real life, I must say that I like these 'damaged' floors, you can see these on old attics ;O.
    Hugs, Ilona

    1. Hi Ilona! I am so glad you like the "hidden" doors and especially the "damaged" floors! They are aged naturally over the years.... and it is one of the hard parts about upgrading the dollhouse... deciding how much of it to make "new" again!

  3. Well done! I know what you mean about the plugs coming loose. Always happens!

    1. Thanks Sheila! I am going to need to re-do many of the junctions that are just plugs.... many are loose and now the lamps don't light reliably! I am learning!

  4. Technical details today. All those "extension cords" reminds me of Mandy's house in Cambridge, ME. There were certainly no more than one outlet per room, and some of the rooms didn't have one! Good thing Mini-Land doesn't have a fire marshall.Seriously, though - I admire your dedication to reality in your dollhouses - nothing is just "for show." Everything possible is as it would be in "real life."
    Keep at it - lots of love,

    1. Thanks Mom! I don't think I've ever lived in a house that had "modern" wiring! LOL! Extension cords are a necessity!

  5. I Love reading your mother's comments Betsy, and I also admire your clever solutions to practical problems. I'm not a big fan of installing hinges because I'm not good at it, but YOU ARE- Good Job! :D


    1. Thank you Elizabeth! I don't always do the hinges "right".... on the doors they should be notched between the door and the frame, hidden when the door is shut! Someday I will really learn how to make them right! But I know that in earlier times and in "rustic" buildings, the hinges were on the face of the door! So I am pretending that these doors are very old! LOL!

  6. Hello Betsy,
    I love the access doors. It is a simple touch but it adds so much to the realism of the house. The fact that you can barely see it behind the furniture only adds to the fun. Well done!
    Big hug

    1. Thank you Giac! It is because I know these doors really exist in RL houses that I have dared to make them in mini! They are functional and true to life at the same time. :)

  7. I follow your blog for so long - how come I never noticed before you love hinges??? *ROFL* Ah, I'm always glad when you get lost in hinges fever... and this time the access doors do not only come handy for your electrical installations but they also add so much realism to the scene. Who would not use the space behind the knee walls... I for example store my uncountable boxes with Christmas stuff behind some of mine. And of course there needs to be furniture in front of them because in rooms under roofs every wall space needs to be used. Please tell Pollyanna that I use tiny dots of my trustworthy white craft glue when attaching these thin wooden pieces of furniture. I'm looking forward to see her results - and in the meantime I'm enjoying that my favorite Betsy-saying showed up in this post: "But I know they are there!" ;O)


    1. Dear Birgit, I cannot Imagine how you missed that I LOVE hinges! LOL! ;) I have been finding lots of places to use them recently.... maybe I need to mention it more often! LOL! And yes, the space behind the knee-walls is the First place one should put all the boxes of Christmas things! I truly wish I could hurry up Pollyanna with her building... but she is new to this and has some worries... she is afraid to make mistakes.... and she is right that things will go better if the workroom is properly equipped! *sigh* Still so much to do!

  8. Hi, Betsy - I'm sure that you're the only person I know of who actually loves hinges! But then, you install them so competently; maybe I'd love them too if it were as easy as you make it seem. The knee walls have turned out very well, and they serve such a necessary purpose. Good for you for figuring it all out.

    1. Thank you Marjorie! I love hinges.... unreasonable that it is.... because I love the moving parts and the realism of doors that function! I still need to learn to really do them right.... and I really admire those who make their own hinges!

  9. I love the little access doors which are not only functional, but also exactly what you'd see in a real life home! Great job installing the hinges! Hinges don't often work out so well for me!

    1. Hi Jodi! I do love hinges... and sometimes they don't quite work for me either.... but I always try! And yes, the attic doors are inspired by the many attics I have known! LOL!

  10. Excellent - the panel and doors make the room much more user friendly.