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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I Raise the Roof

Today's song brings back memories from college.  Disclaimer:  If by some chance you don't know what comes after "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!" and are easily offended, don't listen to this all the way to the end. 

Say What, Now?

In general, the instructions that came with the kit were not great.  Since most of the construction process up to this "assemble a bookcase" point was fairly self-explanatory, it didn't matter. But for the next steps -  adding the gables and roof post - we could have really used some guidance.  Unfortunately, the instructions here became completely incomprehensible, as if the authors had paused to do a few bong hits before tackling this section. 

Through trial and error and playing around with the pieces we eventually figured out how to do it.  A big part of the problem is that Real Good Toys made an error in a key part of the house.  

You can see in the photo below that when the roof over the third floor is added, it is not wide enough.  It should be about a half inch wider, so that the side edges would be flush with the walls.  I was sure this was wrong at the time because it was impossible to nail properly.  Instead of being able to nail straight down, Bob had to do it at a tricky angle. Fortunately, he is awesome so he pulled it off without having the nails show through in the finished rooms on the third floor.  

Screw up by Real Good Toys - the third floor roof board is not wide
enough, causing problems with this step of the construction.
In the next picture, you can see how the error above compounds itself. When we finally figured out how the pieces were supposed to be assembled - no thanks to the instructions - there was an unnecessary and structurally unsound gap.

The too-short board provided in the kit results in several
building issues, like the gap above instead of a tight, snug fit.
All of the pieces should have fit snugly together and been sealed in the corner with a nice coat of glue.  We had to be content with lines of glue at the contact points. When the remainder of the support pieces were in place, everything looked fine and will be plenty strong enough, but the error in the part was a problem.
Roof base looks good when all assembled,
despite the design error.

From this point on, things were pretty obvious and we were free to once again ignore the instructions and get on with it.  The front gable went into place easily:

Then the back gable and the roof post:

And finally, the back part of the attic window.

That's all I can do on this part of the house for awhile - I have to decide how I want to finish the roof.  I will probably shingle it, but I don't have the shingles or dye yet and I am not sure if I need to paint or stain the roof panels first.  So all that will come later, but I can move on to the front panels in the meantime.

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