Monday, July 16, 2018

Castle Doors....

.....And Hinges!!!

I left you last weekend, Dear Readers, with the "caves" in the Castle Base all painted and the doors ready to attach. I don't know why it took me so long to get the "courage" to add the door hinges! Perhaps it was just that the "caves" had been open for so long that I was having a hard time envisioning them as closed "cupboards" instead. But nevertheless, I decided that the only way to discover whether I liked them with doors attached, was going to be by attaching the doors! So I dug through the pile of hinges I had purchased Years ago... to locate the proper sized ones... and then attached the doors! Above you can see the first cave with the hinges on the doors... the other doors needed to be trimmed a little so it took longer to get them hinged.

Here you can see it closer.... I think they look lovely!

And with all three caves with the doors attached.
(It is really challenging to get a good shot of the entire castle and base...
 I can't stand far enough away to get it all in the picture...!)
I will need to add some sort of "door knobs"... 
but I think they will end up looking like chunks of rock... 
just something to grab to open the doors.
But then I decided they also needed to have "backstops" added
 to keep the doors from pushing too far inward and damaging the hinges.
This was Not easy to do!
I had to use a mirror and spotlight and work upside down
 to see what I was doing while screwing them to the frame on the inside....

Can you see it there.... sticking down from the top...?

Here you can see it with one of the doors closed.... 
it catches the door and keeps it from opening inward.

And once those were added...
(I am going to need to add these to all the Castle doors...!)
I decided to add the hinges to the only two doors
 to the Castle that were already prepared...

The doors to the Pantries on either side of the Kitchen....

And..... Ta Da!!! The doors are open! 
(I LOVE hinges!!!)
And then I cast my eye on all the Castle Rooms which needed to have doors added....
I was ready to add hinges right and left.....

The Stables and the Guard Room to the right.....

The Chapel and the Dungeons to the left....

And I located and identified all the door panels.....
which had been cut when I made the "prosceniums" 
for the rooms that had been started.... all those years ago!
(I began the Castle in 2010.... and have not done
 much to the basic structure since 2011).
Well, Dear Readers, I hope you have spotted
 the problem I encountered.
These "doors" are the fourth wall of each room
and they span a wide opening. 
None of them had the windows cut in them yet... 
and each one would need to be cut in half to open in the middle...
And I hadn't even started the panels for the upper rooms yet!
(Why did I think it would be a Quick and easy task?)
I had to get out my big saws...
And decide exactly where all the windows would go...
And hours later I had my door panels roughed out.
The kitchen ones are the ones on the right.... 
the Dungeon to the left....

The Guard Room and the Stables to the right....
 (But the Guard Room panels need trimming to fit...)

The Chapel doors to the upper left...
(the proscenium here is still not even attached 
because the ceiling is still being painted....!)

This is as much of the Castle as I can fit into one shot.
(It is 66 inches wide Tower to Tower... the base is longer).

I still haven't cut the Great Hall doors.
I need to design the window placement and
 decide whether I will have the doors double-hinged.....

And the "prosceniums" still have not 
even been cut for the upper rooms..... 
The Lord's Council Chamber and 
The Lord's Bed Chamber to the right....

And the Lady's Solar and the 
Lady's Bed Chamber to the left above the Chapel...
(which have not even been cleared of their "storage"!)
So No, I did not get to play with any more hinges.

But I did complete lilac blossom number seventeen....

Here in the box with its buddies!
And I spent an hour on the petit-point embroidery too....
stitching by an open window on a beautiful Summer Morning.

But my Favorite part, Dear Readers, 
is being able to open and close those Castle Pantry doors!
And now I can't wait to add hinges
 to all the rest of those doors!
Did you know how much I love hinges??


  1. I'm excited for you. Whenever I get to the point of being able to 'close in' a dollhouse I feel like it's a huge milestone. And your windows look lovely. Can't wait to see more!

    1. Hi Sheila! I wish I could feel as if I were nearing the "Close-in" point with this Castle! I have so far to go with the rest of the rooms... it is really more about getting the structure solidified and stabilized. But it is exciting to be able to envision how the rooms will look when they are all closed. Also the outside of the Castle.... so far it has just been unfinished plywood! But progress is progress! :)

  2. Wow Betsy! The doors are so skillfully cut and fitted, and the hinges and stops reveal that you are not only a marvelous artist, you are an amazing craftsperson, as well! Great work!
    It would be fun if you could create knobs/handles for each of the doors that hint at what you will find inside. For example, for the pantry doors you could have stone canister knobs, for the dungeon you could have a mace handle, the chapel a candelabra etc...
    Though you do have a way to go in completing the doors, just having a plan and knowing it works is often the greatest hurtle!
    The box of lilacs is filling up, and the background of the embroidered piece is shrinking. I'd say that's tremendous progress!

    1. Hi Jodi! I am excited to see that the doors are fitting well for the most part... but I still have to make the ones for the upper rooms. It is a bigger project than I remembered! LOL! (Must be why I left it for a new project all those years ago..... hmmm.... wonder what that says about my laziness! LOL! I am still trying to decide on the "look" for the Castle front... and have not decided what sort of doorknobs will fit in... I want this to feel very early Medieval in style.... think 1350 at the latest! I have a Loooong way to go.... :)

  3. Hi, Betsy - I'm pretty sure that I've never seen so many doors - so many BIG doors - in one miniature building, even when it's a castle! They all look so good and fit so well. And if I hadn't already known that you love hinges, I'd have to make a wild guess now and say that you definitely love hinges! I love seeing all the varied rooms of the castle and all the amazing stonework. This castle is HUGE - no wonder you can't get it all in one shot. I hadn't quite realized it's overall size; I'm eager to see more of it. Meanwhile, the petit-point embroidery is coming along beautifully - and now there are 17 lilac blossoms! Congratulations on finishing another one.

    1. Hi Marjorie! Yes, in miniature terms it is HUGE! Lol! I really wanted it to feel like a Castle.... not a castle-ish dollhouse.... so I went for the largest I could reasonably construct and fit in my RL house! (My family might argue that it takes up too much room! LOL!)I do have a long way to go... the upper rooms are not even started... and I am still not done with the Great Hall ceiling painting! Or the Chapel ceiling painting....! But it is fun to be finally making the doors to the rooms! And getting the structure more complete might get me working faster on the parts that need finishing....! (Or at least thinking about it! LOL!) :)

  4. Betsy, you are a machine! Once you start, you can’t stop!!

    1. Hi Shannon! I am determined to keep making those blossoms! LOL! :)

  5. Well, probably the reason you put the castle project aside all those years ago was that it was going to be a big one! Glad you love hinges. I love the windows! Particularly the vertical one in the chapel.
    Lots of love,

    1. Hi Mom! Yes, I am afraid there is truth to that! But at least I know I will have this project to work/play with for years and years! :)

  6. I really wonder… I follow your blog since some time... how come you've been able to hide so well that you love hinges? *buahaaahaaaaa* Sorry, couldn't help this one… but you already know that I love that you love hinges! ;O) But it made me smile to learn that you have a collection of hinges of various sizes for all needs and purposes… not a big surprise after all... I somehow expected something like this from a hinges maniac… eh... lover. And what a good use for your fitting members of the hinges' collection - although it was for sure a lot of work the doors look fantastic. And it was fascinating to get an impression of the dimensions of the castle… this is quite a project! Btw I spotted Slitherwing and I swear he looks as if he's planning some kind of mischief for H... which is not that far away anymore as we would like it to be… not to mention C... but oops… I didn't want to raise any panic. *teehee* I must admit I'm also far behind my schedule of anything which includes C preparations… *sigh* It's that damn heat that keeps me away from my work table and drowns my motivation in sweat. But I enjoy very much to see you're fully motivated, keeping up with your one-lilac-a-week-schedule (Hooray and welcome to No. 17!) and with your tiny stitches.


    1. Dear Birgit.... I could have sworn I had mentioned my love for hinges ... Once or twice! LOL! It is exciting to be finally making these doors... they have been "on the list" for forever! And now I can get a better idea of how the Castle will look with the front all closed in. And yes, I buy hinges whenever I see the right kind.... I can never have too many hinges! LOL! You never know when I might have to make a window seat that opens... or a traveling barnyard that needs lots of doors... :) And Please.... don't scare me with the "H" or the "C" word.... my schedule is filling up so fast and the ideas for those essential projects are nowhere in sight....! I am just going to take deep breaths and think of my lilac blossoms...! :):):)

  7. Wow, those doors are so well cut and fit so perfectly!! I hope one day you will take the castle outside so we can see it in all its glory! It has such a real "castle" feel. A medieval castle smells different, is always a bit cold, a bit damp... and your castle exudes all of that. I love this project!

    1. Dear Veronique, I wish I could promise you the Castle in the outdoors... it would be an amazing challenging thing to do! LOL! It is way too big for me to move it around without lots of help... and I would worry about breaking the lights or something.... It is just not feasible. But I am glad you think it conveys some of that dark Castle feeling... that is what I am aiming for.... a real old stone building that has stood for a long time! And not a modern-ish version... but as Medieval as I can manage to make it! :):)

  8. What great doors! :D I love this project.

  9. The hinged doors with their new windows was a Brilliant idea which has visually paid off Betsy- VERY Well Done!

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! I have been wrestling with how many windows to add... it is fun to be able to see into the rooms... but a Real Castle does not have many windows! I am trying to compromise but not lose the Medieval appearance. I am glad you like them! :)

  10. I like your idea to build the castle room for room, the doors are very nice, great work!

    1. Thank you Gonda! The idea to build one room at a time is so it is easier to reach inside before the ceiling has been added... you can paint and add trim much easier. But it also takes longer to get the structure finished. I am glad you like it! :)

  11. Wow the doors look great. They add so much to the castle. I can just imagine sitting on the floor and peeking into all the windows :)Fantastic job.
    Hugs Maria

    1. Thank you Maria! I was doing just that the other morning! LOL! It is fun... and makes you want to open the doors...! :):)

  12. Happy New Hinges!! It's all looking amazing and I had no idea how large this project was. How exciting when all the doors are fitted to open each one and enjoy the individual rooms beyond. Love this!