Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Yeah! Finally Starting On Alki Point!!!

Photo courtesy of
Once used as Washington State Seal
The official translation of the word Alki, a name the Native American Chinooks of the area  gave to the peninsula long before it existed within the state of Washington, is "Bye and Bye" or "Hope For The Future".

The actual Alki Beach neighborhood is home to many old Seattle family homes, some great modern ones, some amazing restaurants and some magnificent views including the Seattle city skyline, the Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains.

We were lucky enough to live and raise our kids there for six years!

When I first saw the Greenleaf kit from their 2012 Spring Fling contest (the winner of the contest named it the Asahi Tea House) it immediately made me think Modern. This was new to me, because I never fantasized in that realm before! It reminded me of the spectacular modern homes dotted along Beach Drive. I knew that someday, I was going to fulfill this modern fantasy, but I didn't expect it to be so soon!
After putting the barn aside, I started getting my workspace (dining room) cleaned and organized. Boy it was nice seeing my table again! And being able to see into the kitchen! Even my son said "whoa" when he walked in. Sometimes you forget how big something is until it's gone!

I'm planning on combining two kits, side by side, and changing the orientation so that the lower roofed side will be the front. This should give me room for a small bath and kitchen, and a bed and living space combined. Think small and modern beach rental.

My friends at the Greenleaf forum have assured me that I am going to LOVE working on 1/8" plywood as apposed to 3/8" MDF. Anna from Sweden was also so kind when she took photos of hers in progress and made a .pdf of instructions for me! Hers is going to have a Steampunk theme!

I took out all of the pieces, familiarized myself with them, and then laid them out on the table. This really helped me to visualize what I needed to do to each wood panel to make this new arrangement work.

I measured the back wall and determined that with the floor height, once connected to the walls, it is less than 7" tall. I'm thinking that this is not going to work well, because it might be an issue with the 3D printed tiled shower stall I made. It is 7" tall. I had to guess the height before the kit came, and I was a little generous.

So, in researching how to add an inch or so to dollhouse walls, I came across Daphne's blog post from April 2012. She raised the height of her Primrose using the walls from a second kit, then covered them with 3mm cellfoam to keep them straight and add strength. Sounds reasonable to me, so I ordered the cellfoam from Amazon. Gotta love Prime. I'll have it by Thursday!

I'm going to add 1/8" x 3/4" basswood to the bottom of every wall, minus where a door opening is going to be, then glue, pin and laminate each exterior wall section in the cellfoam.

So in the meantime, I added some window openings to the left end wall (bedroom/bath wall). I used an engineers square (newly acquired) to mark and score the plywood, then just slowly scored, and scored, and scored until I had cut it through. It wasn't bad in terms of being my first time bashing 1/8" plywood, but man I used a lot of #11 blades. Good thing I had a new pack on hand!

The original kit has a three ply beam that you can see in the opening end, and the walls have a notch where it sits. Mine is no longer opening on that side, so I had to re-position the beams from both kits. I decided to center them on each of their walls, and made the new notches to accommodate them.

Tonight I'll figure out what to do with the walls which will now be the front of the house. I am thinking large windows and/or sliding doors. That's going to take some brain power, a little coffee and some sustenance. Maybe even some ice cream! :0)

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