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10 posts in 1110 days

Location: Rockford, IL


I am a 32 yr old sole parent of a quick-witted sweet-hearted 4 year old girl. We love creating and crafting in nearly every aspect you can think of and NOW my little partner in crime has been into dolls and dollhouses for a bit. After looking at the total balance of my Amazon cart, I decided to clear the cart and stuck a Dewalt 20" scroll saw in there instead.

My starting goals are not only to build my daughter quality doll furniture that the figures don't fall off of and aren't plastic crap, but also build the same for families that are lower income as well as an easy STACK-ABLE doll house. In the area we're in, I see a lot of evictions/foreclosures with play ovens etc sticking out of commercial dumpsters or on the curb. With this stack-able design, the house can be tossed in the car instead of the dumpster.

If you are still reading: I am all ears for any expertise you can spare.
My beginning questions are these
How do you build a shelf without screws being visible on the sides where the shelf is?
Does a 1/12 scale basic couch made from 1/2" thick wood need to be secured with anything other than a thick wood glue?
What are your sources for free basic patterns?s
What tools do you recommend that make life easier? I have a cordless drill, level, measuring tape, packing tape (for scrolling), jigsaw, plunging router, framing square, nail/staple gun, and scrollsaw/table.

That's us and thanks for any help you may offer,
Beth and Buffalo Feet

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2 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7123 posts in 3962 days

#1 posted 01-31-2017 11:39 AM

Welcome to Lumberjocks CoffeePatchouliWood!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

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2386 posts in 2621 days

#2 posted 02-01-2017 08:39 AM

Welcome to Ljs Beth and Tatonka Toes;) I started a big Barbie house for my five year old before the holidays took over. Thank you for sharing your shui skills. I’m about ready to pick the build back up again and once the roof is on, the furnishing will begin. You have some really good ideas, the modular house sounds interesting.

I can take a stab at some of your questions as best I can.

I think a Kreg pocket screw jig would be good for you here. Though, the holes may be seen from the bottom of the shelf. They do have plugs to fill the holes available that will make them invisible if you paint finish. Another option is dowel joinery, completely hidden and can be quite strong. Screw holes if counter sunk deep enough can be plugged over and sanded flush. If you cut plugs from the same stock and get the grain direction going the same way, they will hide pretty well too.

Just regular wood glue should be strong enough to hold 1/2” material together for your purpose. The bond will be stronger than the wood if you have good surfaces and enough glue. Small pin or brad nails don’t hurt either. They will act as clamps while the glue sets up. My daughter is kind of hard on her things and I’m glad I have over built some of her toys.

My favorite power and most used power tool is the bandsaw. It was close to last but, should have been the first big tool for me. A 10” bench top bandsaw can be very convenient for quick cuts, ripping out lumber like a table saw and surprisingly tight scroll work. Your scroll and jig saws are great alternatives if you work with thinner materials.

A few good jigs and bits for your plunge router can make that a very versatile power tool. Some bearing guided pattern bits are nice and your scroll saw will be ideal for pattern making.

I try to use hand tools in my work most of the time. A couple sharp chisels, a block or bench plane and a handsaw are core tools for me. Any questions are welocome and I’ll answer with what I know.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

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