This Old Dollhouse A Miniaturist's Descent Into Madness
This Old House - Part Four
March 3, 2002
Now that I have the pattern for the floor - it has been drawn out on newsprint. Usually, I do the floors on poster board, but Pat and Noel Thomas construct their floors on newsprint, so I thought I would give it a try. Unless you build the floor in one sitting, poster board tends to warp some.
Notice the orange pattern below. I will use that for the odd angle mitering. This was a tip I learned from Brooke Tucker.
I am using the new Palm Beach floor from Private Collection in half inch scale for the entry way. My floor will have a border that will frame it. The baseboard will sit on it and it will also give me some room for trimming to fit. It will clearly define the entry area as separate from the parlor area. The parlor floor will also be done in the Palm Beach pattern, but in one inch scale. The floor is made out of beech wood - as is the frame- to more closely mimic oak in miniature scale. Here I have right angle mitered the corners of the first piece of border wood.
The second piece will have a right angle at the bottom and an odd angle at the top where the room slants in. For the purpose of these photographs I have done the marking in fine tip sharpie, but ordinarily I would do them with a very sharp hard pencil or even my xacto knife blade. To get the correct angle for odd angle mitering, you fold the paper over so that the edges meet and the point is clearly exactly in half. Make a very sharp crease in the paper. I have drawn lines on my paper for easier visibility. As you can see the bottom of the wood is already cut for my right angle miter and using this template I can get the angle I will need for the next cut. I use a hand held miter cutter from Germany that is a very hand tool. Once I have marked the wood I can line it up with the blade of my hand held tool and get a good clean cut. When you cut anything, it will have a slight bevel to it. It is easy to trim this flush with a sharp xacto knife- but make sure you don't alter the angle of your miter!
Here I am cutting the third piece of wood for the right hand side of the frame. Since the template is the same size as my floor it will fit in perfectly. Make sure you tape down the template so it does not slip while you are making your measurements.
As you can see I have laid out the parquet pieces. There is a center line in case I would like to center the floor to the area, however the floor pattern fits almost exactly into the space (how lucky can you get??). You can see the other pieces of the border frame laid out at the top. I will glue them down as the floor progresses.
Here is the completed floor. Next I wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge to get rid of some of the extra glue (I am gluing impaired) then lay another little cutting board on the top of it and weigh it down. I always knew those free weights that my husband has would come in handy one day! The floor will sit for a few hours (sometimes days!) and then I will sand it with a palm sander, stain it either with natural MinWax stain or depending on how it looks with an oak stain.
Next I will build the rest of the parlor floor so that my measurements for the custom staircase will be exact!