Monday, April 8, 2013

Dollhouse wiring

In Fi's newest post she mentions a desire to change some of her lights, well Fi, I know it is too late to change your lights now, but I thought I would tell you all how I do mine. When it comes to lights and copper tape, I am a BIG pessimist, I have heard too many sad stories about dollhouses where half the lights doesn't work many years later, and so decided to install my lights in such a way that they are removable and replaceable if needed, either because of malfunction or seeing a fitting I like more. Of course this all means careful planning in advance. One thing I have to mention is that I am building my house floor by floor, I first build up the walls and only when I am done with each room's decorating do I move on to making the ceilings and floor, I always make the channels and holes for the wires first, then the floor planks gets installed and lastly the ceiling on the underside of the floor.

Here in the parlor floor you can see the channel for the dining room light with the wire in the channel and exiting the house in the back, the center floor plank is loose.

The floor plank put in place, I just used veneer and it is curling up in the front a bit, I will just use very thin double sided tape to keep it in place, a rug will also cover most of this floor plank. You can see in this photo that the hearth stone is missing and the fire surround is floating in the air.

Well, here the hearth stone has been slipped back into place.

And now the fireplace is in place as well, but all loose and removable. I did exactly the same with the study.

In the dining room the top brass part of the light fitting is glued to the ceiling, but the chain hangs on a split ring and therefore makes it easy to remove the fitting and pull the wire out of its channel.

My house has a lean-to scullery, I made part of the roof removable to give access to the wire from the scullery light.

The roof in place.

The roof upside down and showing the gap to accommodate the wiring....

A close up shot showing the wire going up the brass tube and then entering the side of the house at an angle, just under the bricks you can see another wire, this is from the lamp in the study, they are both fed through this hole that goes at an angle to the back of the house. The scullery is loose from the main house and will be hinged to the house to give me access to the scullery.

And here is the back of the house, a chimney breast will fit into the unbricked part that you see here. The wires run in a channel to the center of where the chimney breast will fit in, I will have copper tape run up here to the roof of the house. The string course is loose here and kept in place by magnets. The black wire that you see here is coming from the kitchen light and the big hole above is for the light of the fireplace in the study.

The wires hidden behind the string course. Well, there you have it, my house will have two chimney breasts in the back, each one centered behind the main rooms on each side of the hallway, with all the wires going there by hook or by crook.

And I can just hear a few of you asking how I made the bricks, that is a story for another day.


John said...

Hi Elga,

Thanks for sharing your wiring tips. OMG, I am so embarrassed at how messy the 'back' of my house looks in compare to yours! Leaving a floorboard loose is a great idea --I have little trap doors in the floors that conceal tiny 'junction boxes' for the wires, so they have to be covered by rugs.


Idske said...

Great to see how your house is wired. Hiding them under a floorboard is something I had not considered before, but for a desk lamp that would be the ideal way in my house!

Oh and I do want to know about the bricks :))

Catherine said...

Wiring is a mystery to me. I am very happy to hear all the tips others have to offer. Yours are going to be committed to memory. I have also hear a lot of sad stories about wiring that malfunctions.

Everything looks great Elga. I look forward to hearing how you made to bricks.

PILAR6373 said...

Que buen trabajo has hecho!!!! La chimenea es perfecta,los techos precioso y esa terraza quedará magnífica!!!!

Ilona said...

Thanks for sharing these valuable tips for me :D! The loose floorboard in the floor is a great find.
Your house looks fantastic.
Groete, Ilona

Fi.P said...

Hi Elga,

Thank you for doing that post, it is very timely! I have heard that the copper tape can disintegrate and it makes me very nervous. I can change a few things as I go considering I still have 5 rooms to do.You have me thinking now. Most of my lights on the ground floor feed through the ceiling and connect to the tape I have running on the first floor. The only lights that are connected to the ground floor tape are the range hood that I can access and the lamp in the hall and possible lamp in the twins room which I can change. I guess I just need to get myself a little soldering iron to join the wires. Thanks Elga......I just took up a lot of your space thinking out loud!

ML Fi xx

Brandy Rose said...

Can't wait to find out about the brick!

mcddiss said...

creo que aunque da mas trabajo sobre todo mucha planificacion tu sistema es bueno a largo plazo



Giac said...

Hello Elga,
Thank you for sharing your wiring technique with us. I am loving the wire method. The tape was so much trouble when it was installed in my old house and continues to be problematic to this day. I love the clever way you kept access to some of the wiring.
Big hug,

Steinworks said...

thank you very much for the wiring tips, as a beginer it's good to see things like this so I know what I will come up against when I start working on my house

Marisa :)

Josje said...

Hi Elga! I see I have missed a few of your posts. The embroidery on the panels looks great! Glad you are keeping it fun to do as I know you still have a few to go ;-0

Your wiring is beautifully conceiled, well thought out! I love the loose plank idea. In my first dollshouse I also had to do some thinking to be able to keep access to the wiring, but as the house stands with its back against the wall, all the wiring could go to the back. So that's a lot easier than in your house!
I enjoyed seeing a bit of the outside of your house. I don't remember ever seeing that before. Love the brick work!

Roberta said...

Hi Elga, just had to pop over to view your blog and I just love it!

Your work is extraordinary and just love the needlework portions of your blog as well (since I am a needleworker).

Will visit often, thank you for sharing your life and work.

Andy said...

Hi Elga, some great wiring tips, many thanks! I did something similar in my pub, but didn't think to leave access for the future, silly me!! ;)