Sunday, March 13, 2011

Colonial Dollhouse

    This dollhouse is based on the previous prototypes, but I've added sliding dovetail joints that connect the walls to the floors, & the front is connected with dowels & a removable rod.

   If you were to disassemble this dollhouse you have about a dozen parts, including the partitions.  I'm looking at the partitions, fireplaces/chimneys, closets & stairs almost as if they are furniture - for disassembly?

Conceptual drawing of dollhouse
Assembly Steps:

STEP 1: The section with the arrow is the front - slide on to the (3) floor sections - using a dovetail joint.

STEP 2: Flip the dollhouse on to its side then slide the side on to the (3) floors.  The side is connected to the front with dowel pins (not shown) then the rod (under the orange arrow) is slipped through holes in dowel pins - locking the side in place.

STEP 3: Slide 2nd side on & lock

STEP 4: Add roof.  Roof is attached with a tongue & groove connection.  I might add some trim to the exterior to help secure the friction fit??

Framing detail of gable end wall.  The frame is built then the interior matboard is glued in place, the window & door frames can be assembled then moved around & glued in place.  Lastly, where needed the plain studs can be attached. I might try a very thin stud - making it a bit longer than 9" so it flexes into the space. Makes it easier to glue the them in.  The thin studs would not be for vertical strength, but to keep the matboard from bulging in or out

Here's the flex stud.

I'm using 1/8" studs, 3/8" notched studs & header/sill studs for the windows & doors.  As you can see the notched studs allow for multiple height windows & by cutting the header/sill studs to different lengths (with a low cost miter box & saw)  you allow for different width doors & windows.

After the frame is glued in place the window opening can be cut out.
Then add cladding & your window to the exterior !
Part details:

Hidden Lock
The section on the right is the FRONT & on the left is the GABLE SIDE.  The dowel-pins are part of the FRONT assembly & are inserted into the holes on the GABLE SIDE assembly. Then the black rod is inserted down through a channel that goes through the VERTICAL END of the SIDE.  (The VERTICAL END is laminated - each half has a groove, after its glued together it forms a channel.) The rod goes through the channel & each dowel-pin,  locking the walls together !

[ Note to self: drill the holes in the FRONT & SIDE VERTICAL frames. Use a clamp/jig to
hold them together.  And do this before assembling any framing.
Why? It would be impossible to drill the holes on a drill press after the frames are assembled. ]
Close up of laminated VERTICAL END frame showing channel with rod.
Cut-away view of sliding floor ( on to wall. )
On the left is the dovetail tongue - its glued to the front of the dollhouse.  Then the floor assembly slides into place.
 (Floor assembly: from top to bottom: Finished floor, matboard or veneer sub-floor, end joist w / dovetail groove (left), middle joist(s) (right) & the lower story's ceiling.) 


  1. That's a great way of making a house to pull apart for storage. Means I can have the myriad dollhouses I want to create without having to have all that space! Thanks again for your brilliance!

  2. Wow Mike, this is one heck of a post. Love the concept of it all as well!