|Project by djm555||posted 02-28-2015 08:44 PM||877 views||1 time favorited||1 comment|
For my daughter’s second birthday, my wife and I designed and built a house for gnomes. As parents of a young child, it’s difficult to find the time to work on a project such as this one, so the project was a compromise between speed and style. I used SketchUp to design the house, but we made several stylistic changes over the course of the project, which led to a couple of things I wish I could change. For example, I wish I had increased the size of the offset between the highest window and the top of the side, so that the roof trim, which we decided to add later, didn’t cover the top window’s profile (see photo).
For me, the staircases presented the biggest challenge. There’s only six inches between floors and my wife insisted on spiral staircases. I was running out of time to complete the project, so I drew inspiration from a human-sized staircase made by Graz.
I liked the freedom of movement provided by this modular design. I used 1/2” red oak to build the backbone. For each module, a 1” piece of 1/2” dowel is glued to a 3/4” piece of 1/2” dowel. I used a 1/4” Forstner bit to core the centers of the 1/2” dowels and then glued a 1/4” dowel in the center of the shorter dowel to act as a linker between modules. The stair step for each module was made from 1/8” plywood and glued onto the module in advance. A footplate and a top plate (each with a 1/4” hole in it) were glued in place to the floor and ceiling in advance using the dry fitted staircase as a guide. Once those plates were glued in place, each module of the staircase was added and glued in place. The final dowel 1/4” dowel was inserted from underneath the top stair.
My wife was in charge of furnishings. We assembled some of the furniture, but much of it was unstained and assembled, and we merely finished.
This was a fun project, but I constantly found myself wishing I had more time to spend on it.