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Monday, June 29

The Willowcrest Dollhouse Revisited Week 25

Lightning Spike
Finding miniature lightning spikes can be difficult. The few that exist include weather vanes and that is not the look I wanted for this dollhouse. Luckily, it is very easy to make a custom lightning spike for your dollhouse. You just need to work your way around certain issues pertaining to tab and slot assembly and the model of your dollhouse.

First, making the spike is very simple. All you need is a dowel and some jewelry beads. Make sure you choose a dowel that is not too thin but not too thick either. I recommend you shop for your dowel and beads at the same time, so you can see how large of a hole your beads have to have in order to fit into the dowel of your choice.

I found some wooden beads, with pretty large holes, on clearance. I bought different shapes so I could create a design with them. You can choose any type of beads you want and you would be extra lucky to find some metal filigreed ones. If you search for "Victorian Lightning Spikes", you can find some designs online for inspiration.

I first dry fit the dowel to the dollhouse roof, so I can cut it to the size I wanted. I wanted it taller than the chimney. Once I got the right height, I marked with a pencil where the edge of the roof began, on the dowel.

I then began threading my beads onto the dowel in a design. Add a little bit of glue to each beads hole and spin it a little on the dowel as your installing it so the glue is even. Do this with the dowel laying horizontal so the bead is pressed onto the dowel until the glue dries.

The pencil mark showed me where the first bead had to go so it lands flush to the roof when the spike is installed. A binder clamp will allow for your spike to finish drying without the beads being touched.

I applied a filigree bead cap at the top but you can add one of the tips from the widows walk or any miniature fence, for a triangle spike tip. You can also get spike tips from miniature roof trims.

Then dry fit the spike into your roof opening.

Placement Of The Lightning Spike
The Willowcrest's top roof is not flat. It is an interlocking roof that must be assembled correctly or it will not hold together properly. Because of this, you can not place the lighting spike directly in the center of the roof or it will compromise the middle interlocking mechanism. You would need to cut the interlocking mechanism out and assemble the roof without it, which could make it difficult for the roof to hold together. Rather than going through that I decided to place my spike off center, against the interlocking middle parts.

When viewing the dollhouse from the front, back and right side, you can not tell the spike is off center. You can only tell if you view the roof from the left side. It's a small price to pay to have the spike and still keep the interlocking roof. Remember, these are the trade offs you have to make when adding additional components to a tab and slot assembly.

I left a small gap in my roof where I wanted to install the spike. All I did was not meet the roof panels in this area but purposely left a small hole for the installation of the spike. This was not difficult to do considering how gapped this roof is.

I painted my spike in the same color as the widows walk so it appears to be made of wrought iron.

I did not glue the lightning spike with permanent glue to my roof. That will make moving the dollhouse, in the future, very difficult. I used repositionable glue instead so if the dollhouse ever has to be packed and moved, I just take off the spike for easier handing.

Now your miniature house will not burn down during bad lighting storms.







 

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