December 4, 2009

Cutting a dollhouse window opening

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

I was part way through building the shed roofed addition to house the box bed when I decided to add another window in it.

No way did I want to start over again. No way did I want to loose all the hours I spent in making thicknessing, sanding, routing, painting and gluing on the wood paneling that covers the walls.

This situation is very familiar to anyone who has ever modified a dollhouse kit or purchased an old dollhouse and made changes to it after the walls are up.

So here is what I did. I marked out the lines for the window opening. I used one of my very well loved diamond coated cut off disk in a Dremel Motor to cut down through those lines from inside the dollhouse. It is easier to work from outside a dollhouse but I wanted to exactly follow those panel grooves for this window.

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

Because the disk is an arc it won't cut all the way through the wood into the corners. In fact I only got a cut through right in the centers of the lines as I am putting in a very small window. But the cut through opening made with the disk was just long enough to feed through a small, razor sharp flush trimming saw.

photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

Oh how I love these little saws, the blade is thin enough and strong enough to flex a bit without a permanent kink it you don't force it too hard. That allowed me to sneak it inside the walls of this small space and follow the kerf of the cut off disk. Now I have very nice square corners in my window opening. Job done, ready for me to build a window to fit in there.

Hope this method helps you get in a jamb* some day when you want to add another window or door where there was not one before.

Widget Supply is a good place to purchase these diamond coated cut-off disk. Just do a search for diamond disk, be sure you get one with a mandrel so you can mount it in your motor tool. Just like sandpaper they come in different grits.
photo copyright Karin Corbin 2009

My little flush time saw came from Hardwicks Hardware in Seattle, Washington, USA. It is important that this type of saw does not have offset teeth. A typical razor saw does not have offset teeth either. Lack of offset means it will follow along in a groove without cutting into the sides of the groove. You might find something similar in your area and sometimes people call them Bonsai saws as they are used in that hobby for trimming branches flush against the trunks. You can get a keyhole version of this saw too as well as folding handles. The blades are very thin and extremely sharp, they cut quickly with little effort.

*Pun intended, jambs are the wood liners that go against the house framing to trim out a window or door opening.