If you happen to be one of the folks who bought my first book…Laughing at Life…then you would be familiar with the “Dollhouse” story. Well, 20 years later, here’s a sequel.
Sue has done some improvements to the dollhouse over the past 20 years. Now she has decided to put a lot more concentrated effort into finish it. Although I have some doubts as to when any particular point her decorating could be considered “finished”, I do know that she is very intent on sweeping improvements the past several weeks.
Of course, you do know that this is a typically scaled dollhouse. It is not miniature. But it’s not exactly a size easy to assemble with 70 year old eyesight either. Even when she finishes the grandfather clock, I won’t be able to tell the time from more a foot away.
Before I expound on the clock, I want to back up to the bed she assembled last week. The bed needed a string matrix to rest the mattress on. Even though it is her project, she does ask for my assistance at times. Drilling holes for the strings was her request. From the directions which came with the kit, she advised me of the size of the drill bit along with a template of the hole spacing.
Now, I have a very comprehensive collection of drill bits. I’ve got some that are large enough for a prehistoric dentist to drill out cavities of a Wooly Mammoth—if such a hook-toothed monster would have complained to a human. I also have drill bits small enough to hide in dust if I drop it on my work bench. But I did not have one of the size described in the instructions.
I opted for the smallest that I did have. I took out my cordless Milwaukee drill and set the bit in the chuck. With the jaws of the chuck fully clamped, the bit was not. Yes, I know, most every store selling these furniture kits also sell “Miniature Tools”. Pllleeeze…80 bucks for a tool box containing a drill that couldn’t cut through anything tougher than balsa?
But wait. I have a Dremel that should chuck up this tiny bit. It did. With success of that aspect of drilling, I am next faced with the challenge of my spastic hands aligning a bit I cannot see with the marks on the template which are larger than the bit size. Wonderful. How could I possibly miss on the spacing when there’s a built-in error factor of 25% within the template marks. Sue was happy enough to ask for my assistance on another miniature-home improvement project. She’ll surely be happy with the hole if I erase the pencil mark after I almost hit it with the bit.
Yup, she was pleased so, on to the clock I mentioned previously. And it also involved holes. I’d already put the Dremel away and dropped the bit. If I had intended it to wedge into the crack on my workbench, I would have failed. But there is was…scale-wise about like a flag pole in the St. Andreas Fault. I couldn’t get my smallest screwdriver into the crack. It’s a good thing Sue didn’t need me to drill holes in the clock.
The holes were pre-drilled but she was getting frustrated trying to install the clocks weights into the drive box. Allow me to assist you in getting the picture of this procedure. First of all, even if I scanned THEIR picture at 200% you would be hard pressed to note the variance between the weight’s “chain link” and the pre-drilled hole.
Have you seen the Tupperware, Child’s toy Ball of shapes and pieces to put in them. Kids can eventually learn to fit shapes into the appropriate openings. Because their hands are tiny like the clock pieces, I suspect they would proudly announce “It doesn’t fit, Grandma.” Grandma on the other hand…which are noticeably humongous trying to grip minuscule chains, are much slower to recognize that oblong chains do not easily fit into round holes.
Adult get frustrated and mumble things kids should not hear. Keep in mind the ROUND holes are there…somewhere, and the OBLONG links are not big enough to go over a mosquito’s head—BUT THEY STILL DON’T FIT…and I don’t have any oblong drill bits.
After a half dozen failed attempts to glue them ‘close’ to the holes, Sue finally decided to forget the weights. After all, you can’t see them unless you open the door. And the knob on the door is comparable to a pin-head. Guaranteed: If I were to reach into the dollhouse living room to show off the clock-works, I might utter “Fe, Fi, Fo, fumble”. Nobody’s ever going to see the clock doesn’t work.