There’s a clear winner
This isn’t my first tacky glue rodeo, so I know the pros and cons. Tacky glue is easy to work with because it takes a while to “tack,” as in, fully dry, so you’ve got a lot of time to fix your mistakes. Perfect for someone like me.
But, the problem is that when you haven’t made a mistake, like when your first row of floorboards is perfect, you don’t want to mess that up. Like, say, when you’re fighting with a floorboard with a warped end in the next row.
In my battle with the warped board in row two, I knocked row one out of place several times. Easy to fix, thanks to the long tack time. A pain to deal with, thanks to the long tack time.
I’m not going to say one is better over the other (until later!), but I will say that (with one exception that was motivated by curiosity), I used wood glue for the rest of this project. It dries a heck of a lot faster and leads to fewer mistakes!
That’s not to say that wood glue is perfect. As you can see, other warped boards appeared and needed extra weight to “ensure their cooperation.”
Sometimes, you need a little tough love.
Skipping a Few
As you can see, board four takes “warped” to a whole new level.
I guess I missed this when I was creating the boards, maybe? I don’t know. Maybe I just figured, no big deal? I don’t know what I was thinking, but this clearly can’t be used. So, I pull it out of the rotation and put in another board as a placeholder while I glue the others in place.
If you refer back to my post about numbering the boards for floor two, you know that I messed something up. The recap: I was supposed to have 47 rows, but ended up with 45. I found one, but not the other two.
Well, I found another one.
As you can see, I’ve got 18 and 19 in place on the template. Only, it appears that I missed the real 19 when I created the boards! The 19 on the boards is really 20 on the template. That means some 20 plus rows are messed up!
Total newbie mistake.
The good part, though, is that I’ve got extra boards, so I’ll be able to fill this in later. But, I have to keep going now, so I grab some random boards to make a placeholder and glue “19” in place.
Once “19” is dry, I take out the other boards and keep going.
To make sure I don’t lose track, though, I number things on the subfloor.
Since the template no longer matches the actual dollhouse, I number the rows every fifth one, so I know where I am versus where I thought I should be per the template. I find this so useful that I end up using it to keep track of my progress as I do the downstairs floor.
I highly recommend it!
Part of the problem with the second-floor template is that it wasn’t “easy,” not that any of this is. The problem is that I had to account for the stair opening, which is not such an easy thing to work around when the walls and roof are already in place.
I think if I were to do this over, I’d make the floor template before assembling the house. It would be way easier to reach the stair opening that way. Or, I’d use something like tagboard to make the template, not paper. It would be less likely to slide, I think. Or, I’d use a bigger piece of paper, maybe.
But whatever, I can’t do anything about that now. Live and learn!
Looking at the template, I know that the floorboard that belongs at the front part of the stair opening will overlap the opening. I planned for this, figuring I’d either have to trim the board the long way or leave it overlapping a bit.
I lined up the board according to the template, then stuck my camera under the stair opening, and took a blind picture so I could hopefully see how bad the overlap is.
Honestly, it’s not too bad:
I can live with that overlap. Actually, though, Since “19” is messed up, I decide to improvise. That sounds silly, given I’ve got a plan, and I should follow the plan, but clearly, the map isn’t exactly right, so why not?
Following the template, I line up the boards around the stair opening using the correct numbers. But, instead of having 23 overlap the opening, I line it up with the edge of the stair opening. What’s the worst that can happen?
Skip and Skip Again
Lining up the boards around the stair opening doesn’t create too many problems. In fact, they line up perfectly. Only, they don’t follow the template.
I started with 23, then worked my way up to 39. All was right in my dollhouse world. Until I tried to back up to “19.”
If you look on the template, the numbers are in order: 19 through 39. Nothing is skipped. Not technically, anyway. I know I messed up so “47” is “39” on the template.
The problem, though, is that once I get 23 in place, there’s no room for 22!
I have no idea what happened. Like none. I’d give you a theory, but I can’t.
So, that takes care of that, I guess, and “19” suddenly becomes 19, I think.
Honestly, things are so confusing at this point that I kind of stop caring. Not that I don’t care, because I do, but because it doesn’t matter. The boards fit, I haven’t made a major mistake. It just seems that I can’t count. Or keep track of rows. Whatever, I don’t care.
This, though, is exactly why I’m glad I took three days to do this. Breaks are essential to maintaining one’s sanity.
The Board That Didn’t Care
At that point, I was more focused on getting the boards in place. Looking at everything, I could see that board 23 was a warped board.
No problem. I’ll just hold it in place. Which I did. And as soon as I took my hands off.
OK, then. I tried more glue (pic) and more holding and, I promise you, there was more warping. I tried one glue bottle, then both glue bottles, and I tell you they were not strong enough. So, I grabbed this:
That’s enough weight. Mostly. You’ll see.
Tiny Pieces Are Hard
The rest of the floor by the staircase was pretty easy. I used the same “straight-edged” technique that I did for row one, and all seemed right with the universe.
Then I got to row 40.
The template called for this tiny piece to go in the far corner, closest to the wall.
Seems easy enough. But, of course, it wasn’t.
I think I had glue on my fingers and too much glue on the wood piece because it refused to go in place and stay in place. I knew those tiny suckers would be hard to work with, but, yowza. This was something else. I ended up altering the template and putting it in the middle.
I think part of the problem, too, was that I was working from front to back. That made it harder for me to manipulate the wood. I didn’t want to push or press too hard and undo everything I had done. I know that sounds weird because that could happen no matter what direction I work in. But, because it’s the back row, I’m kind of forced to work at a different angle than I do at the front, and because I’ve already laid all the floorboards, it’s harder to adjust what I’m doing.
The Last Row
The final row was supposed to be row 47. At this point, I think it was row 46. Whatever. The point is the final row was supposed to be the last row that goes right up against where the roof meets the floor.
There’s room for that row, but the boards aren’t narrow enough. That’s not true. On one end, it is, on one end, it’s not, which means some of the boards are probably crooked even if they don’t look that way.
But, everything else is in place, and there’s nothing I can do about it now, so that last “row” stays empty for now. I’ll figure something out.
The “Final” Product
Here’s what the second floor looks like with all the boards glued in place, and a few placeholders slid into place where I have to go back and create new boards.
Not too shabby, if I may say so.
Of course, even from a top-down view, you can see the “missing” last row. And, you can see where some of the boards were coming up. If you can’t, I won’t tell you where they are.
Suffice it to say, I put a bunch of weights down where I could see warping then called it a day!
Part three coming soon