October 23, 2009

Acorn Cottage Roof

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

I have been busy with things other than miniatures this week but I am posting a few photos on how I made that unusual roof for the Acorn Cottage.


The beams which support the roof have a curve to them which creates the curve for the roof. Putting it together is the tricky part. The beams have to be held in the correct position in a six sided radial pattern. So I made a custom assembly fixture. It is not pretty, just made out of scraps I had around the shop but it works great.

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

The plywood I used for the roof is thin, it will curve in one direction. Getting it stuck to the beams without using clamps was the tricky part. For this task I used polyurethane hot melt adhesive that comes in cartridges. The glue set up in a 90 seconds so the pressure of my hands holding the panel against the beams was the clamp.  This polyurethane glue gets harder as it ages and it cross links with the wood fibers. This is probably not a glue and gun you will buy for the occasional job, the glue is expensive, the dispensing gun is expensive and the glue has an expiration date. I purchased my kit from ROCKLER
photo from Rockler




photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009
You can see the beams inside of the roof. The opening is finished off with a strip that will be grooved to accept thin, clear plastic to close the house off from dust and unwanted intruding sticky fingers.

The roof plywood is so thin you can cut it by scoring with a knife. I made a pattern for the shape and also a stencil to mark the rows of shingles. I marked the rows before I assembled the roof. You might think that because the plywood is thin the roof is not strong but it is. I used to use heavy plywood for dollhouse roofs but I realized as long as there are beams to help with support  thin plywood is adequate and it is much more in scale. The look of the roof edge is nicer and it weighs a lot less. I created a wavy curve in the edge of the cottage roof to resemble the loose shape of the lower edge of the leaf canopy on a deciduous tree. The Acorn Cottage is very organic in its various elements.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009


The leaf shaped shingles I used for the roof are one of the unique features on this cottage. They started out as normal rectangular dollhouse shingles. A pair of scissors is all that is needed to trim one end into that point. Boring work but just fine for TV watching time.
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