Sunday, 29 August 2021

Lighting up my Stockbroker Dolls House

My Stockbroker house came complete with the old wires, wire boxes and light fittings. The light fittings will stay, as I'm not fundamentally changing the house, however all the wires were no good, so had to be removed.

So how to light it? This was quite a big learning curve. I've installed lighting in a new newer doll house and I copper-wired a huge doll house before with around 80 lights. 

I decided not to go down the copper wiring route. It would mean a lot of  sticking and soldering around the back and I wanted to avoid that.

Below is my guidance for rewiring however it is only meant as a summary of my steps. Please take all precautions before embarking on any work with electricity!

What I needed for this project:

- A transformer

- Four 3V / 0.3A light bulbs

- A 12 socket Power Strip (fewer sockets would have been fine)

- Thin double wire

- Four doll house 2-prong plugs

The house already had adequate fitments for the bulbs, however I spotted that they are easily available, along with the materials above, on online dolls house shops. I used Bromley Crafts, Melody Jane and Amazon. Finally I used some tools including a small screwdriver, tweezers, plyers and scissors.

The electrics!

I learned that the voltage of the lightbulbs must be the same voltage as the transformer. So, because I chose 3V bulbs, I needed a 3V transformer. Adjustable transformers, with a little dial to choose the required voltage - are very handy.

I also checked the amperage of the light bulbs and the transformer, using advice from the forum on the marvellous Dolls Houses Past and Present website.

The total bulb amperage must not exceed the transformer amperage.

My lightbulbs were each 0.3A and I wanted to use 4 of them - one per main room. This would mean a total amperage of 1.2A. My transformer amperage is 2.1A so that's all good.

Fitting the wires

The wires break into two at each end. I attached one end to a plug and the other end to my light fitment. For the plug, I removed both prongs with plyers, inserted one of the wires and reinserted the prong. It's very fiddly. For the light fitments I made sure the wire had exited the house through an appropriate hole first, then unscrewed the light fitment screws two places and applied each of the wires separately. I knew to make sure they do not touch each other or they will fuse.

Somewhat sadly I had to drill a 0.5mm hole in the back of each room so that the wire could fit through. I made sure that it was as near to the ceiling/wall join as possible. 


And so my very old 1930s stockbroker house was complete with lighting again. It was a lovely moment. I'm now considering adding lights to the bathroom and the side porch.

These old light fitments were fine so I kept them.

In the dusty eaves of the house, the hold circuit breakers with wires still attached, one per side of the house.

That cleaned up well! Both circuit boards are back in place but not part of the electrical set up.

I tested the lights first. In hindsight I didn't need to remove the light fittings, doing so caused unnecessary work.

Back in place and cleaned up!

The right hand site of the house lit up.

The left hand side of the house, now lit up beautifully.

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Lockdown hobbies... and a Triang Stockbroker

Over the last year, Hobbies and interests have come to the fore as people take care of their well-being.

Hobbycraft reported an upsurge in online business as millennials took up new crafts, and others rediscovered old ones.

Like many of us, I’ve found myself diving into my dolls houses even more these past few months. I’ve been less online and more doing real things!

Here’s my latest beauty. I’ve always admired Triang number 93/72 houses, also known as Stockbrokers. This lovely was an online find from a very nice gentleman in Leicestershire. It was a very pleasant transaction and I’m hoping to buy a second house from him soon.

This house came with some stunning furniture. I am sure some of it is German. If you spot any makes that you know, please tell me as I’m very interested, but certainly not looking to sell, as I’m keeping the house and furniture as is.

I’ll feature some of the items in the coming weeks and this weekend will write up how I retained the old fixtures, while rewiring the lighting. With the lights on it has a wonderful glow reminiscent of a real 1960s home.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Introducing Willow Cottage

I’ve been pontificating about this 1/24 scale Dolls House since 2012. I bought it from the York Dolls House Fair and it’s been boxed since then.

This house is by Bromley Crafts, and is a six room dwelling with two of the rooms in the attic space.

I’ve added a bespoke back door to the kitchen area which I think will help to bring some light.

I also plan to block in the staircases as currently they are open plan. As I’m looking to make this a 1930s/1940s house, really they should be separate to the rooms.

Last weekend I primed the wood with a coating of 50% water/50% PVA. This is a great base for the paint. I’ve painted the sides of the house in a light grey as a good backdrop for the bricks. 

The roof of the house is now painted a darker grey ready for some tiles to be attached. I have the brick formula and stencil, but I’m still looking for roof tiles.

More to follow!

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Honey, I’ve shrunk the sandwiches!

I’m building a 1/24 scale house which is a very new challenge!

To become more familiar with the scale I thought it would be a good idea to start making things. So here it is, my little 1/12 scale sandwiches reduced to 1/24. What a lovely scale to work with, it makes 1/12 look huge!

I’ve decided to put them on my Etsy shop. You can see them next to the 1/12 scale versions in the bottom photo.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

[Lockdown?] life on a cork

I believe my little scenic corks are starting to take on an unplanned theme.

They are depicting life under various stages of lockdown. Isn’t the subconscious mind a wonderful thing 😀?

In this, my latest scene, the little girl is bereft as her beachball is taken away from her by the current of the river.

It was going to be such a nice day. She and her family had just settled down for a picnic. Father doesn’t seem to be wanting to do anything about it, see his folded arms?

Mum is exasperated and just watches the ball as it, along with their nice day, bobs away. 

Next up on a cork: a scene from the movie Jaws. 

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Rustic chopping boards

Basswood is just brilliant for making miniature chopping boards. These little boards are ideal for any Tudor, Georgian or Victorian household or eating establishment.

What I love about making miniatures is ability to turn household items, or things you have lying around the house, into a new creation. Everything here that you can see has been around the house just waiting to be used. 

These fully stocked boards are £4.95 each, including delivery, from my Etsy shop

Friday, 2 April 2021

Happy place this Easter

This Easter weekend I’m firmly in my happy place, making lovely little things. I’ve another order for crates, they arrive empty so you can fill with whatever takes your fancy. 

Tomorrow I’m finishing another cork. It’s a 1/144 park scene with a picnic bench. The grass and pond are sorted, tomorrow I’m working on the family and the picnic items. All will be revealed!

Making the crates...

Happy Easter 🐣 - my flowers and orchid