Sunday, 4 October 2015

Plinth

This weekend I built a plinth. When I posted in my Facebook dollhouse group that I had bought a plinth many people asked what a plinth was, so I'd better explain. A plinth is a display table or box, on which you put whatever you want to display. You see them in all museums that display 3-dimentional objects. It is different from a pedestal, that is usually vertical. In this case, a plinth is a table to put my dollhouse on. You may ask why I need a plinth rather than just a coffee table or TV table, or even why I need anything at all, and I assure you I have considered the options. My dollhouse, or any dollhouse for that matter, cannot stand on the floor because then to view it you'd need to lie down on your belly or side. I have had it on my regular coffee table for a while, which worked fine apart that I want my coffee table in my drawing room. Some time ago I bought a coffee table for £10 in a charity shop, and it is fine as a working surface, although, as I discovered when I had to move the house, it wasn't stable enough.

I considered TV tables and various chests, and I browsed charity shops with a measuring tape in my pocket, but my house is really large, and I could not find anything of appropriate dimensions. It is not only a question of stability, but of aesthetics. Here I have this beautiful house - I don't want to display it on something that doesn't match. Actually, I knew from the beginning that I would eventually buy a plinth, but I made up my mind after I realised that I needed something more solid than a £10 coffee table.

Commersial plinths are manufactured by the same companies that make dollhouses. I am sure I could have ordered a plinth elsewhere, but this one was actually made to match my dollhouse. And it wasn't considerably more expensive than a second-hand chest. I had been nagging both my original seller and manufacturer, and you may remember my misadventures with them. So I was very glad when I found an online dollhouse shop that had Downton plinths (I had forgotten that my house was called Downton). I ordered it, got a quick confirmation, followed by a long apologetic email saying that the plinth was out of stock and could I please wait. With my experience of waiting half a year for the first kit I prepared for at least two-three months, but only three weeks later I got an email from the manufacturer saying that today they would be able to laser-cut my plinth. Hooray! Morever, they dispatched it the same day. What took them so long? I have no idea.

Anyway, my plinth arrived last Thursday, and yesterday, eager to take advantage of sunny weather, I opened the package and prepared to prime. Then I discovered that I was out of sealer and decided to try regular paint.


It looked fine to me, and I couldn't help wondering whether all that priming I did on the house was a waste of time, enegry and paint. Too late. 

Then I discovered I was out of the mint green paint I have on the exterior walls, so I had to go to a store anyway, but I had already decided to skip sealer. 

 

It took all morning and a good part of the afternoon because it is large surfaces, and of course I needed two coats of paint. Luckily, unlike sealer, this is a quick-drying paint. And it doesn't smell. By late afternoon I could bring all parts indoors. I first thought I would assemble them on the dining table, but the plinth is quite high so I couldn't work inside it. I moved it to my study, and it just about fit in front of the dollhouse. 


 

The assembly instructions weren't particularly helpful and obviously from a different plinth. (I must be the only customer who ever bought this one). I suspect that corner supports are from a different kit, because they very clearly didn't fit. Fortunately, I have a good set of tools, but what if I hadn't? Anyway, the instructions were not helpful, and anyone who has ever tried to put four side pieces together at 90 degrees, irrespective of size, knows that there is always at least one corner that won't cooperate. It didn't help that the parts are incredibly heavy. 

By dinner time, I gave up and watched a movie. As it frequently happens, in the morning all parts fit most obligingly, and I glued the sides and glued in the trimmed corner supports. Here I am inside the assembly. I don't take selfies so you have to trust me: I am inside. It is huge.



 

Five out of twelve corners had pre-drilled holes, and there were eight screws in the package, although the instructions didn't mention them. I figured out that the fifth corner was a mistake, but the other four should go in the grooves where the top would be attached, and the screws used for extra strength. 



 

The assembly is drying now, and as far as I can see it is not crooked anywhere. I am tremendously proud of myself.

I cannot do a lot more today, since it has to dry for 24 hours, except for attaching protective pads.


 

I probably won't have time to continue until next weekend because term starts tomorrow and I won't be as flexible. Besides, in order to put the house on the plinth, I will have to remove all objects from it, once again. Come back soon!


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