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Roofing Rumpus (Part 2) - The Little Roof That Could!

So how did I fix my poor little misaligned roof?

When we left off, I was mulling over this 5/8" (1.58 cm) gap & how to fix it without destroying the frame. The rest of the frame was glued to firmly for me to disassemble & reassemble without too much risk of damage.

Looking at the roof of this tea house, the first thing that I noticed is that the greenhouse-style roof lends itself well to just adding in a few more panels of "greenhouse glass". When I cut out the panels, I rearranged the layout to leave me a maximum amount of the acrylic sheet, just in case I messed up one of the panels and wanted to replace it; I'd have the materials on hand to do so, without researching exactly what kind of acrylic sheet thickness was used for this structure.

I set about using my ruler to sketch out a triangular wedge to place in the gap. Because I am planning to keep the front & back separate pieces, with the front fully removable, I only created a flange on one side to attach the acrylic to the back frame of the structure. If I wanted to make this a fully-connected structure, I'd have added a flange to glue down to the front steeple roof as well.

Next, I fit the flange in place to check the dimensions, using my handy Bard's Tacky Wax. As you can see, the flange sticks out a bit too much towards the back and the angle at the top isn't quite right to give me a level shape. So I reshaped it a few times, carefully shaving off & re-angling. In the end, I actually used the piece shown to make a new piece that was built up slightly more at the top, since this piece was a bit too shaved down to work there.

Then, I cut out two pieces of the acrylic using the template & put the barest amount of thin UV gel on one edge of each side. For something as lightweight as this, the UV gel is really a treat to work with. The surface tension of it makes two lightweight items sort of skate against each other. It's easy to gently & carefully position into place & by then holding it in place carefully with tweezers, I was able to use a q tip to gently swab off most of the visible UV gel that was visible on the acrylic.

After the pieces were settled, it was a simple matter of applying some UV light á la UV flashlight. The panels were wide enough that I couldn't catch the entire set of them (or even a single whole panel) in the light at one time. I ended up rotating between doing the bottom half of one, the middle sections of both, then the bottom half of the other for about ten minutes. Eventually, the panels were solidly cured against the frame & ready for the next steps.

Because I want the new glass panels to look integrated into the design & like they belong, I wanted to see if I could match the paint of the structure decently well, then paint some thin pieces of wood and apply them to the spine of the roof. Because the only really thin wood I had was toothpicks, that's what I used. I first cut a bunch of lengths of toothpicks & painted them the matching color, which I miraculously mixed up correctly on my first try!

I then applied them to my new greenhouse roof pieces & settled the top decorative piece on them. I used layer after layer of PVA glue not just to seal it all in place, but also as a kind of caulking/smoothing agent make the seams less obvious.

Once the glue was nearly dry, I started mixing up another batch of color-matched paint. It didn't go as well as this time; it took four tries to get it right! While I was waiting for the glue to finish drying I went back & spot fixed a few places where the paint had chipped off when building:

By the time I was done with that, the glue had dried & I was able to paint over it to make a smoother finish along the top edges:

While it's definitely not perfect, I think it blends together fairly well. Once the paint is fully dry, I'm going to see how shiny it looks. The main thing that I think pops out is that the paint is much shinier over the PVA glue caulked area than the rest of the frame. I may try using some matte, clear polyurethane to see if that dulls the finish so that it matches the finish of the rest of the structure more closely.

Even if that doesn't help, I'm still pretty satisfied with how this little addition turned out. Once I start gluing on vines with flowers, I can be sure to apply them heavily to any of the places that still look especially awkward. I think by the time is done, you won't even be able to really tell that I needed to make an emergency modification!

For my next project, I'm debating working more on the interior of the tea room or possibly starting my modern converted factory loft room box. I finally received the last material I need to be able to fully flesh out the bones of the interior, & I'm eager to get started. I can't remember if I mentioned it, but I think I know what the theme is going to be for the 1:12 scale dollhouse that I bought last month. That one is going to be a HUGE creative endeavor. Though I've started gathering supplies for it, it's going to take a lot more supplies & I think it's going to require full-on floor planning & carefully written plans to get it where I want it. I think it will be some time before it start to make an appearance here.

The room box, however, is not only an fun exercise in creativity, it's also going to be the backdrop where I can display a fair number of the miniatures that I'm making to sell in my Etsy shop. I'd really like for my customers to see actual print-outs of what I'm offering, staged nicely to give them the truest idea of what the final product can look like as possible.

I'm going to mull it over a day or two, then pick a project & put my foot firmly forward into the next step. Stay tuned to see which one it'll be!

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