Dollhouse Build – Day One

Life has been kind of busy the past couple of weeks. Today I was finally able to start on my daughter’s American Girl dollhouse.

I’m so excited to build this dollhouse. Please check out my previous post, A Dollhouse for Christmas for information on where I found plans and how I modified the project. 

A couple of weeks ago, I made a trip to my local home improvement store for the 3/4 inch cabinet grade birch plywood needed for this project. While I was there, I had an associate rip the plywood into 2 foot x 4 foot pieces, which just so happens to be the width and height of the project. A word of warning, it’s not uncommon for their cuts to be a little off. So, if you want precision and you have the tools, rip the plywood yourself.

I’m using my Dad’s workshop to complete this project, “thanks Dad!!” Because I’ve been so busy, I’m a music teacher and am in the thick of concert season, he was kind enough to rip the plywood (it was a little off) and plot the windows and the pitch for the roof. This saved so much time!!!

Today, I used a circular saw and guide to cut the roof and then a jigsaw to cut out the windows (as seen below).

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As you can see, the pitch of the roof is perfect (thanks to the straight edge guide I used with the circular saw). However, the windows are not cut perfectly straight. My freehand jigsaw skills aren’t the greatest. But that’s ok, any imperfections will be hidden by the window trim and shutters (if all else fails, I’ll have wood filler and shims on hand).

To cut the windows, I first drilled holes to give a starting place for my jigsaw blade. I found I needed to drill the holes a little distance away from the edge of the window because the plywood veneer had a tendency to fray and break away. 

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Once I finished cutting out the windows, I used my Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes into the bottom of the exterior walls and on each end of the plywood panel I will use for the second floor. The pocket holes will be used to assemble the floor and walls of the dollhouse. A tip width of this plywood is a little shy of 3/4 inch, so I set the depth of my Kreg Jig drill bit a little shy of 1-1/4 inches.

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This was the extent of day one. While it may not seem like much, some major accomplishments were had today. Next time, I plan to build the wall separating the two rooms on the first floor and start assembling the dollhouse.  

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