Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Whitebrush Manor - Snap, Crackle, Pop!

A few weeks ago, I was playing with Whitebrush--basically decorating for Halloween. Yes, I am aware that Halloween had already passed, but I'd leave those decorations up all year round, if I could. I  mean, how fun is this?

Then, yesterday, I was trying out a new double door that I'd gotten from one of my mini friends.... and noticed a crack!
It's pretty big, and even seems bigger today than it did yesterday. Eeeek! <cue freak out>

I immediately started checking the rest of the house for more cracks, and found no less than eight. I kid you not. There are two in this picture alone (side panel of the tower).
Most of them are in the seams, which kind of makes sense, I guess, but sucks nonetheless.

I asked my friends on the Greenleaf forum, and received a few helpful hints to repair what was already done, but wanted to see what I can do to prevent any more from showing up.

I called Miniature Designs and talked to Ken, their master builder. When I explained what was going on, he told me that Dura-Craft, and MY house in particular, was known for this issue. Partly because of the size, I suppose, and then because of the way the house is constructed and the pine that it is made from is notorious for warping. His solution was to assemble the house with a NON-water based glue. Too late for that in my case, of course, but maybe this info will help someone else.

So, to prevent this from happening any more than it already has, he suggested to apply illustration board (similar to mat board, I think, only a bit thicker) using something like Omni-Stick or Quick Grab. Since I'm hard-wiring the house, he said I should tape the wires down first, and then glue the illustration board down. I asked about using plywood instead, and he said it would work although he didn't know if I could find 1/8" wood (I can, though it may be more expensive in the long run).

I think that's the route I'm going to go. I don't care (too much) about the plywood being more expensive, but I do like the idea of routing wires in the plywood so I only have to rip out wallpaper (as opposed to having to rip out insanely glued illustration board) if my wires fail at some point in the future. Plus, it just seems to me it'd be more permanent and sturdy in the long run.

As my dad always says, "do it right the first time and you won't have to do it again." Well, I'm trying, Daddy!

That's where I am at this point. I've already been picking up pieces of birch plywood when I've been in Michael's with a coupon, so I can start on a few rooms. I figure by the time I get my Dremel in January, I'll have the interior of the house all done and can start routing the wire channels.

Once the walls are shored up, I'll be able to run over the exterior with a spackling compound to fill the gaps.

Now that I have a plan of attack, I can move on to more important things. Like, deciding which of the two front doors to install! Here is one option:
And here is the second:
I posted both pictures on the forum and asked people which they liked best. Of course, I'd already decided, but I wanted to see what other people thought.

So far, they're liking the double door, which is fortuitous, because that's the one I like best too. As Debora says, the house is big enough for a double entry, and it does make it look more balanced.

Not to mention that I'll be able to cut off a big part of the crack that's there. Ahem.

I'll make lemonade anywhere I can! :)

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