Sunday, 2 August 2015

When You Make A Room Box More Than A Room Box



Have you ever started a project and it took on a life of its own? Either because you let it snowball unintentionally or you said @#%$ it, lets do it!!!  I took a little from column A and from column B on this one.

As previously mentioned the Houseworks Double Room Box is supposed to serve as a simple place to have fun and stage scenes while I labour away on larger projects.  Ha.  As if I could do something "simple."

The window issue was solved. The box is now mounted to a base.  And I have progressed past some of this posts content.  I also have issues with writing posts, because every time I edit pictures and get ready to write, I do more work on the room box and think, wait, included this too.  And I never get to posting.  Sigh.

Since I haven't found anyone else detail out the assembly of a Houseworks Room Box, I decided to make it a more detailed step-by-step post for anyone attempting one or those of us who have never made one and want to take a stab at it.


The Window Gap Issue

The walls are 1/4 inch thick and the Houseworks windows are 1/2 inch wide.  This means the windows are WAY to thick for the walls.  I whined, I cried, I wanted to scream.  But I fixed it.  I used some 3/32 inch wood from Michaels and made thin strips, in addition of other wood trim I had on hand.  I then glued these strips to the back of my interior window trim, wood filled and sanded my interior trim gap issues away.  On the exterior, I used 1/4 inch square wood dowel all the way around the inside of the exterior face of the window.  Yes, it bumped the window out 1/4 inch, but I liked how it a) solved the problem and b) really gave the window some substance.  I had the same issue for the doors and used wood strips there too!


The Windows

After solving the issue with the thickness of the walls and the depth of the Houseworks windows not matching, I was able to move on to the inside window trim.



Inside window trim in place!

The Houseworks double working window came with interior trim, but the single, fixed window did not.  While the trim I had was the correct width, it was slightly thicker.  My motto: GOOD ENOUGH.  Boom! Done!



The Base

My good friends at Ikea save the day again!  If you are looking for a solid wood base, look no further then the Ikea Ekby Tryggve shelf.  It is a raw pine board in 2 lengths and widths, for under $10.  You can't find anything remotely as cheap at a big box store.  The same shelf at Home Depot is over $15.  2 edges are already beveled!  How awesome is that! And the knots are either wood filled or drilled out and plugged!  How crazy is that?? 

I cut the board to the matching width, but after actually reading the room box instructions before I cut, I realized I needed to leave space on the width for the back wall to see (see photo).

I used LePage No More Nails adhesive and lots of clamps, then left it to set and dry overnight.  Then I used the same adhesive to fill the small gaps on the edges (like caulking).  






The Walls

The walls were glued in place with LePage No More Nails.  I marked where I wanted the dividing wall to sit and ensured it was square.  I used green painters tape to hold it all together.  I like painters tape because its strong but doesn't rip off finishes like masking tape.  Word to the wise, don't use the Home Depot brand green painters tape, it is thin, it rips and it barely sticks.  

I used books to weigh down the top because the plywood had a few waves to it.

I have to say, gluing in the windows before putting the walls up was a brilliant move of un-laziness on my part.

To finish the walls, though I didn't take a picture of it, I used regular white caulking to seal the wall gaps and the ceiling gaps.  A quick coat of paint and the caulking will disappear.  I hate gaps.  




And then this is where the project went off the rails and I said $%&# it.  I decided that this room box would be my dry run at project assembly and techniques.  I need something to give me a confidence boost to think of my next project and actually finish Miss Kitty's house.  I am now in the zone.  Cue "The Final Countdown" by Europe. This tiger is ready to pounce!

Ok, I will stop.

What I am getting at, is the room box will be like a mini apartment.  Nice trim outside, some stone work, house numbers, etc.  Nothing crazy inside, but the exterior will give me some practice and help me along with other projects.  And, well, its just so much fun!





The Trim

I used the trim that came with the room box (that was supposed to be for trimming the open face of the box), as roof trim.  I also used a dowel all the way around as the actual roof line.  Another less then a dollar Canadian Tire buy.  I stained it my trim colour too.








The Roof

You can't make a roof line and not have a roof, can you?  I Googled asphalt flat roofs and struck inspiration. 

Off to Home Depot I went and grabbed some 60 grit sandpaper.  I was going to make all the pieces equal, but in reality, they never are equal slabs, so I went with different sizes.   I base painted the sandpaper with "Arrowhead" by Martha Stewart (craft paint).  Then I used some grey/brown paint and some of the wood stain to make it "dirty."  Ultimately, I am going to add dirt and leaves, but that comes at the end.








I've just painted some more exterior trim and painted a ton of egg cartons for exterior brick work and made a special project for the roof.  

Despite all the mini making I managed to complete staining my real life deck and I put new lattice, baseboard and access doors.  All this mini making as made me a better carpenter.  

8 comments :

  1. Thanks so much for this post - and the benefit of your experience with the room box. I've been thinking of doing this same thing.
    xo
    Claudia

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    1. I'm glad my adventures/misadventures might be helpful! Let me know if you need anything when you tackle your room box. But I do highly recommend the Houseworks room box, it's good quality and economical.

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  2. Hi Kat! Once again I am experiencing the Great Pleasure of reading one of your humorous and always informative posts! :D Your windows turned out Beautifully Kat,both inside and out, and the same can be said of the door. I LOVE your asphalt roof treatment! Many years ago I cut strips of shingles from coarse grit sandpaper for a doll's house which were cost effective and gave the appearance of asphalt shingles but you have shown yet another Terrific application that looks 100% authentic!
    I may have told you this before, but I find your approach to miniatures both innovative and original so keep them coming, as I am ALWAYS learning something NEW! :D

    elizabeth
    p.s. I also admire your getting the jobs done around your Big House too! I have been staring at my raggedy deck all summer and have yet to lift a finger towards repairs... Ugh! :/

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    1. I'm glad you enjoy my madcap ways. It's my stream of consciousness approach to mini making, hence my long winded posts and many mini making mistakes! I've been room box-ing during nap times and big deck-ing at night. Which is what I will be doing tonight too. So tired of being covered in black stain!

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  3. you are so funny and I recognize some things for sure :D! I really like what you're doing and it's going to be great!

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  4. Great and informative inspiration for all box builders. Love your story. Kerri Buschmann Hetherington

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