Tudor Market Hall Part 10 - Continuing the Dolls House Build

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30 July 2012
imports_HAC_thecompletedtudormarke-1-_52194.jpg The Completed Tudor Market Hall
In this part, Kevin shows us how to make the first floor access panel, internal stairs to the upper floor, and construct the balcony of the Tudor Market Hall dolls house. ...
If you have difficulty in finding any of the materials required, Kevin is happy to provide a quote for supplying everything including the MDF cut to size and the Burbidge mouldings. Also, please note that since completing the project the CD42 twisted rope moulding by Richard Burbidge is no longer available. As an alternative, we recommend that you use the FB200 instead.


The overall dimensions of the finished dolls house are approximately 110cm wide x 120cm high x 72cm deep. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for links to the previous and next parts of the project.

Skill Level

This project is suitable for the advanced miniaturist with good wood working and machinery skills. For the less experienced, we would recommend you work with someone who can help you with the more technical aspects.

Step 1 - First Floor opening access panels

  • Using the same process as the downstairs access panel (front wall that removes to get inside the dolls house), cut 2 x pieces of 6mm MDF to form the 2 front first floor panels and paint them.
  • The dimensions of the windows and door are also the same as before. The windows 60mm from the bottom edge and the top of the windows and door 155mm from the bottom edge.
  • Draw these two parallel lines and decide what size and positions you want the door and windows to be in.
  • I usually have the door on the opposite side to the one below so it doesn't look symmetrical.
  • I created the window in the left hand panel, and a smaller window and the door in the right hand panel.
  • Once you are happy with the positions, drill the MDF and cut out the shapes with a jigsaw.    

Step 2

  • Glue the front beam and 20mm strip on first and clamp.
  • Glue the central triple beams.
  • Exactly the same as the ground floor, place the ceiling joists in all 4 corners and secure the triple beams to the central beam.
  • Glue an FB238 decorative support bracket to the underside of each end of the beams.
  • Continue putting all the ceiling joists in the room on the left.
  • On the right hand side room, only install the front beams for now.
  • Locate and mark where the opening for the staircase will go from this floor to the next.
  • To do this you need to cut the MDF for the next floor, which will give you the chance to paint it and let it dry while you carry on with the remaining joists.

Step 3

  • Allow a 20mm overhang all the war around the next floor (which is the ceiling to this floor).
  • Cut the floor out and lay it on a flat surface with the front towards you.
  • In the back right hand corner mark out a hole 235mm in from the right hand side and 110mm from the back edge.
  • This hole needs to be 75mm wide (left to right) and 95mm deep (front to back).

Step 4

  • On the underside of the floor panel mark a line 20mm front to back on the side of the chimney and put a few veneer pins in.
  • This will locate the floor panel in the correct position with regards to left and right. Don't worry about front to back for now.
  • Using these pins, place the floor panel on top of the first floor walls and push backwards until you see the top of the back wall beneath it through the hole you cut for the stairs.
  • Use a pencil to clearly mark this area, remove the floor panel and start painting it.
  • You can now see where you don't want to put ceiling joists and can fit the rest in the right hand room.  

Step 5

  • Start work on the outside of the house by fixing any additional vertical and angled beams you would like on the wall with the window on the first floor.
  • Once you have done this, fill in the gaps between these at the top and bottom of the wall with FB407.
  • Use two pieces of FB407 to double the thickness along both of these, clamping the top one and using clamps and strips of wood to position the lower one.
  • Use 3mm dowel to form the pegs as before. Drill and fix them at the points where the structural joints should be.  

Step 6

  • On the other end of the house you need to fit vertical and diagonal timbers.
  • This time to the left of the chimney, covering the wires that are coming from the inside.
  • For the vertical ones use FB407 stripwood and cut to size.
  • Use a sharp knife to notch out the back so they fit over the wires.
  • When in place with the wires running behind them, cut down strips of FB407 glued between them so that the wires run below them.
  • Make sure the top of the cut down strips are level with where a full size strip would be so that they are flush with the FB407 you are fixing next.  

Step 7

  • Fit FB407 stripwood over the top of the timbers both at the top and bottom of each floor level.
  • To avoid risk of accidental damage to the wires fitted behind timbers, clearly label them to remind you not to drill and install wooden pegs later.

Step 8

  • Put veneer pins in the underside of the next floor panel 20mm from the back and 28mm in on the chimney side.
  • Lay the floor in place on the walls and joists. Weigh down and look beneath to see where you need to do any sanding.
  • Once you have completed the sanding, mark the undside with a pencil, score with a knife and clean the paintwork.
  • Place the two front access panels in place too, and glue in place and weigh down evenly. Don't glue the access panels!!    
  • Carefully touch up the exposed ends of the pegs with stain.

Step 9

  • To finish off the windows, use 12mm lengths of ogee moulding as decorative supports beneath the lower window sill.

Step 10 - Internal Stairs

  • Take 2 sets of internal stairs.
  • You have already cut one set down by two treads. Do the same to the remaining set and sand the worn effect to both flights.
  • Lay the stairs flat, draw round them on a piece of 3mm balsa and cut out.
  • Glue a piece of balsa to the underside of both flights and clamp together until dry.   

Step 11

  • When dry, sand the excess balsa wood from the edges all round the stairs.
  • Chamfer the ends to match the stairs.
  • Cut two pieces of FB366 stripwood making them longer than the stairs.
  • Clamp into place.
  • When dry, remove the clamps and sand top and bottom edges of the FB366 to the angle of the stairs at the base.
  • Sand flush to both angles at the top.
  • Stain the stairs, including the balsa wood, and put aside for later.

Step 12

  • Decide where the support posts for the first floor balcony should go.
  • Use a square to ensure they are vertical and line up in all directions.
  • Include all the corners on the balcony.
  • Glue in place and use weiights to hold them until the glue dries.

Step 13

  • Use FB189 and fix between the support posts at ceiling level with FB407 stripwood between them at floor level.
  • Use Roket Rapid to glue FB365 Scotia moulding support brackts at all of the upper junctions between the beams and posts.
  • Fix a length of FB407 stripwood all the way along the front of the house at the top of the 20mm strip above the front access panels.

Step 14

  • Decorate the two front access panels exactly as you did on the floor below.
  • Make the windows and door as before, including the wooden pegs    


Go back to Part 9

Go forward to Part 11

For more information on Tudor bespoke properties go to www.kjdollshouses.co.uk, or contact Kevin Jackson at [email protected] and make sure you mention Dolls House and Miniature Scene.

This feature was originally published in Dolls House and Miniature Scene magazine. If you like making miniatures, why not buy yourself a copy of the magazine. Or better still take out a subscription so you never miss an issue. For fans of Facebook and Twitter, or to email, print or comment on the feature, please use the buttons above to share with your friends.


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