Tudor Market Hall Part 13 - Continuing the Dolls House Build

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22 October 2012
imports_HAC_thecompletedtudormarke-3-_08201.jpg The Completed Tudor Market Hall
Kevin Jackson shows us how to put in place the Great Hall ceiling joists amongst other jobs in the latest part of this miniature dolls house build. ...
Tudor Market Hall Part 13 - Continuing the Dolls House Build Images

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 Burbridge mouldings. Also, please note that since completing the project the CD42 twisted rope moulding by Richard Burbridge 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.

Great Hall ceiling joists - Step 1

  • Mark, score and fit the second roof panel to the Great Hall, sealing along the top ridge line with the glue gun.
  • Fit an FB366 strip wood beam internally from front to back followed by the FB189 strip wood above it at the same height as the one opposite.
  • Cut and install all of the ceiling joists with the spacers you have already cut, finishing off with the cut down FB464 decorative moulding brackets to all the joist ends.
  • Fit the remaining roof panel to the rear of the right hand room using the glue gun to seal the joint along the ridge line of the roof, and the valley at the back.



  • Glue the beams and joists in place in the same way as you did on the side with the dormer window. 
  • You probably had to cut smaller spacers for the first and last spaces on the dormer side of the roof, to ensure that the tops of the ceiling joists all line up, start from the back using the same size spacer as you cut for the space opposite.


Step 2

  • Use FB366 strip wood to form a beam across the back of the Great Hall, level with the bottom of the beams on the walls either side.
  • Cut a piece of FB189 strip wood and glue on top of it. 
  • Repeat this in line with the ends of the intermediate roof beams above with a couple of pieces of FB407 strip wood glued at angles above it to the back wall.
  • At both of the points where the beams converge, use four pieces of FB238 coving moulding glued in to the 90 degree angles to form a decorative feature.



Fire surround - Step 3

  •   To enable you to fit the timber to the left hand wall, you need to fit the fire surround first. To do this you need to set the stone fire surround out and place the vertical and horizontal pieces of FB366 strip wood you will be using, to determine the size of the brickwork panel you will need to cut.
  •   You need to make the brickwork panel the same thickness as the FB366 strip wood, which is 4mm, so once you have cut the brick panel to size, glue balsa wood to the back of it and sand down until it is exactly the same thickness. 



  •   Coat the back of the fire surround with PVA to seal it, so that it will glue better later.
  • Measure and make another smaller hearth for the surround to sit on.



Step 4

  • Measure and mark the position for the fire on the wall inside, and glue all of the pieces in place that go behind and under the surround, but not the surround at this stage. 


  • Wrap the surround back up and keep safe to fit later.
  • Once you have fixed these pieces in, drill the vertical beams and back wall for wall lights, along with a hole just above the hearth for the extension socket for the fire.
  • To prevent the risk of damaging anything you have done inside the room, it is better to measure the position of the fire and drill from the outside in.


Wall lights - Step 5

  • Fit the wall lights and the extension socket through the back of the fire, along with any additional vertical beams you would like on the back wall, and FB464 decorative moulding support brackets in the same positions.
  • You can also fit the skirting board and any further vertical timbers to the left hand wall.



Step 6

  • Where the wires for the two wall lights over the fireplace come out to the external wall. 
  • Join the two together, extend the wire so that it reaches the back of the house, then tape the wires against the side of the house, along with the wire for the extension socket.



  • Use pieces of 6mm MDF to make the form of the chimney around the wires. 


Chimney stack - Step 7

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  • Use a bevel to get the correct pitch for the roof.
  • The internal dimension of the stack has to be a clear 50mm x 50mm to accept the terra cotta pot we are using, so cut two over-length strips of 6mm MDF (at least 400mm) of 50mm and two of 62mm.
  • Transfer the angle by way of a pencil line to both pieces of the 62mm wide MDF, and cut to this angle.
  • Offer the cut edge up to the roof and decide how tall you would like it to be.
  • The top of the pot should ultimately sit just above the ridge height of the roof. I have made mine 325mm on the longest side, which should make the shorter side 230mm. This being the case cut one piece of the 50mm MDF to 325mm and another to 230mm.



Step 8

  • Glue and pin all four pieces together to form the stack. 



  • Sand the protruding edge of the longest side of the stack down to the correct angle.
  • Use a piece of the 50mm wide off-cut, sanding the inside edge so that it fits snugly inside the chimney producing a flush surface finish. (Do not glue in place). 



  • Double up on the inside with a shorter piece of 50mm MDF and glue them together.


Step 9

  • Position the chimney centrally in line with the chimney on the outside, with the bottom edge about 50mm from the bottom edge of the roof, and draw round it. 
  • Remove the chimney and glue the chimney insert to the roof. 



The Great Hall - Step 10

  • Continuing inside the Great Hall cut lengths of FB180 strip wood, approximately 185mm long, sand both ends to about the same angle as the roof.
  • Glue and clamp into place, as cross braces towards the top of the ceiling void. 
  • Repeat this in the other roof room, but make the cross brace timbers about 10mm shorter. 



Step 11

  • Finish the back wall of the right hand room roof with a horizontal beam and four pieces of decorative FB238 moulding plus two angled pieces of FB366 strip wood running from the bottom of the central support post to the intermediate roof beams on either side.


Base outer trim - Step 12

  • The roof, chimney and paved areas are nearly ready for plastering now, but first you need to trim all the way around the base of the house and make the steps up to the front door.
  • For the pieces of trim around the outside of the base, use lengths of FB366 strip wood, and you will also need some 5p coins.
  • Cut two pieces of FB366 strip wood for the ends of the base first, sit them on the 5p coins then glue and pin them.
  • Repeat this with the front and back. You now have a 6 - 7mm upstand to plaster up to. 



  •  The 5p coins are to use as gauges to raise the bottom edge of the trim up slightly, this avoids the risk of damaging the trim if at some time in the future the house gets dragged along a surface instead of being cleanly lifted.

Steps - Step 13

  • Use pieces of 19mm x 38mm tile batten sanded to a smooth finish.
  • The base for the steps will be two pieces of this about 140mm wide, followed by two pieces at 110mm long, one of which I have cut in half to about 19mm x 19mm, and the top step is one full piece 80mm long, with a rip down strip of about 10mm. 
  • Glue the pairs together.




  • Then stack and glue the pairs on top of each other to form the set of steps. 
  • So that the bottom step stays equal with the others after you have plastered up to it, glue a piece of 6mm MDF to the underside of the steps, making sure that the edge of it is set in from the edge of the steps.
  • Wire brush the steps; use a sanding attachment on a mini drill to make the worn effect on the treads. Stain and wipe off with a cloth straight away, then glue them into place.



Preparing for plastering - Step 14

  • On both the front and back of the house, where the roof panels meet at the bottom of the valley, use a new blade in your knife and with a piece of FB366 strip wood as a gauge, trim off the bottom edge of the room roof panel, so that it sits back flush to the gable edge of the Great Hall side.
  • This is so that you create a flush surface for fixing a timber bargeboard after plastering.


Step 15

  • Seal all MDF surfaces that will be plastered with a 50/50 diluted mix of PVA/water.
  • This acts as a sealant so that the porous MDF doesn’t draw the water out of the plaster too quickly causing it to crack and not adhere to the MDF properly.
  • Make up a mix of the solution and liberally brush it on the roof, base, chimney and chimney stack. 



Step 16

  • Whilst the PVA is drying have a quick look around the house and finish any external beams.
  • For example, on the second floor wall either side of the chimney, including hiding the wires and trailing them to the back.  


  • Put FB407 strip wood round the top of the of the 20mm strip above the second floor access panel. 
  • Put a vertical piece of FB180 strip wood to the front of the cavity wall, which you may have to sand down to size to get it to finish flush with the front edge of the MDF.



  • You can also cut and fix FB366 strip wood all the way round the outside faces of both support panels to both roof rooms. 


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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