Need Some Advice About Modeling

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Forum topic by Dallas posted 01-15-2012 09:24 PM 1065 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3568 days

01-15-2012 09:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

My wife, after ?? years (she turned that age on January o1), told me that she has never had, but always wished for a doll house.
Not just any doll house, but one built like a 2 storey log cabin.

So, long story short, I have been building her one. It’s not overly large, only about 24×24 inches with a gambrel roof, double loft upstairs with a catwalk on one side and staircase on the other and a stone fireplace in the center.

I’m attempting to do this using some sort of scale, and have been working with 1/2” = 1’ but quickly found that my eyes aren’t as good or my fingers as steady as they use to be so I restarted and made the scale 1” = 1’ which is easier for me.
These are pictures of the original, I don’t have any of the new piece yet until my thumb heals.

The upper floor is pretty much laid out and I have the flooring cut for it. The floor joists and the floor will be solidly glued together with the two end joists being used as ledgers and not connected to the rest of the floor so that the entire upper floor can be removed to access the lower floor.

I think I have just about everything figured out, except for the fireplace. It will be river rock, that I already have, sitting in almost the center of the house with a cooking hearth on the back side and used for heating on the front side. I even have made some hearth hooks from nails and stuff by heating and hammering it.

My problem is that I want the fireplace to look authentic, not like someone tried to size down normal stuff to work.
The river rock I have is almost perfect for that, but in thinking about the mortar, I realized that the grains would be too large for the scale. I thought about mixing some corn meal and some dye together and mixing that with CA glue, but then I wouldn’t actually be able to put a fire in the fireplace, (not for long, I just want to smoke up the chimney and firebox).
Does anyone have any ideas about what would work for mortar between rocks? I will also probably also use it for the foundation to keep everything both Hunky and Dorey.

FWIW, the flooring is pin oak, the window frames are American sycamore, and the cabin itself is mountain cedar. The floor you see in the picture now is cut way too wide so I’ll be redoing it like the upstairs, 1/4”W X 3/32”T X various lengths.

Thanks for any insights. This will be my first truly heirloom piece so I want to do it right. I’m hoping she can pass it down to the grand kids or the great grand kids.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

5 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


6020 posts in 4324 days

#1 posted 01-15-2012 10:24 PM

How about a ceramic tile grout. It’s a bit finer in texture than mortar. Looking good so far.

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 3756 days

#2 posted 01-16-2012 12:19 AM

You can get polyurethane caulk that might work. It is mortar color. Instead of smoking up the chimney with a fire what about buying some of the smoke you test fire alarms with. I think it can be bought in an aerosol can and it looks like smoke. There is a product like this out there. Safer than putting a fire in a chimney.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3568 days

#3 posted 01-16-2012 07:35 PM

Thanks for the ideas, I am going to try those.

One idea I had was to try using some hydraulic cement, aka: Water-Plug. It, if I remember right is a very fine cement formulated to plug holes in foundations and basements.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View AUBrian's profile


86 posts in 3752 days

#4 posted 01-16-2012 07:43 PM

Another option would be an epoxy mixed with microbeads…

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3568 days

#5 posted 01-16-2012 07:57 PM

Thanks Brian. I’ve used microbeads before but they were part of some stuff used for making an insulating layer on a metal roof. Can you elucidate a bit more?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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