Sunday, September 10, 2017

New Window Design & Assembly

Faster!  Better! Stronger!  Easier!

We've been working hard on developing better, faster, easier and stronger designs to help our customers build their Custom Advent House.  We've recently completed the design change on our windows so we are providing this blog post as a way of instruction.  Enjoy!




NEW WINDOW PARTS:

Make note that the keystone has numbers on one side, and nothing on the other side.  This gives you the freedom to either use the etched numbering we provide, or you can do other forms of numbering.





 THE "FRONT FRAME":


Make note that the 'Front Frame' is defined as the frame that has these super tiny holes in place for the hinges.  The other 2 frame parts do NOT have these holes.  Also note, these holes will define which direction you want the window to open.  We'll cover that in a moment.



ASSEMBLE FRONT FRAMES:
A couple of things to note here:
  1. When assembling the 2 frames, place the frames so that the edges create a convex shape (not concave).  Keep in mind that only the inside edges of these parts will ever be visible once assembled and installed in the structure.  Because of this, you really should only care about the inside edges.
  2. The hinge location DOES NOT MATTER at this point!  We'll define the opening direction in a moment.
  3. Use Medium CA glue (5-15 seconds) to glue the 2 frames together.  Please be careful with CA glue - it can wreak havoc.



ADD BACK:
Another couple things to note here:
  1. We ARE NOT defining window opening direction yet. - BUT ---
  2. You MUST glue the BACK to the backside of the assembled frames.  Ensure you are gluing the Backstop piece to the back frame (and NOT the one with hinge holes).  Glue the Back part to the assembled frames with the edge creating a Concave shape.  This provides more area on the backside of the window frame for when you glue the picture to the back.
  3. Use the same Medium CA glue to glue this together.  Again - please be careful with that CA glue.


WINDOW FRAME COMPLETE:
This Window Frame is laying BackDown on the table.  The small lip of the 'BackStop is there to prevent the Window Shutter from swinging IN to the frame (because we want it to swing out!)
BUT! - Even now, we have NOT YET defined the window opening direction.


ADD WINDOW FACE:

THIS IS IT!  We've made it!  We will NOW define which direction the window will be opening.  At this point, you'll want to look at the 'big picture' (the whole structure) and think about which windows you want opening which direction.  We've always done the left sides open to the left, the right sides open to the right and the 2 left-side ones in the middle open left and the right-side one in the middle opens to the right.

But since you are the one building this - you get to decided.
Before you glue the face to the frame, you need to look at where the hinge holes are.  If the hinge holes are on the right-hand side, the window will swing out to the right.  If the hinge holes are on the left-hand side, the window will swing out to the left.

To define which way the window shutter will swing out, simply rotate the frame like a clock!  Rotate it 180 degrees and the hinge holes will now be on the other side!

Once you decide where you want the hinge holes (and thus define the swing direction), you can now glue the face to the frame.

Be sure to center the face as perfectly as you can!  Use the Medium CA glue for this step as well.




FACE ASSEMBLED:
And now it should look like this!  We're already almost done!


ADD KEYSTONE:

Now we apply the Keystone - BUT -------

If you want to do something extra special with the keystones, do it before you glue this in place!  If you are going to paint the whole keystone the same color as the frame/face, then you go ahead and glue it on.

Be sure to place the keystone at the topmost location on the Face.  You want the top edges of the face and the keystone to be aligned..  Use the Medium CA glue to glue this up.

(For reference: if you look closely, you can see the hinge hole in the front frame and you'll note that this particular unit is a right swing.)


ADD THE SILL:

Now glue the Sill in place.  Center the sill on the width of the face and keep the top edge of the sill aligned with the inside bottom edge of the frame.  Use the same Medium CA glue to glue this up.


SILL APPLIED:

And now the sill is glued on.  Use the same Medium CA glue to glue this up.



PAINTING:

NOW we paint!  We used a forest green spray paint on this one, but you can choose whatever color and medium you like.  Make sure you do all painting in a well ventilated area.

PAINT ALL SIDES of these things  Make sure you paint inside the frame on the inside edges.  Make sure you paint from above, below, sides, front and back.  We ensure every surface is painted sufficiently.


ADD VELLUM:

Add Vellum to the Window Shutter by placing a very small bead of Medium CA glue on the backside of the shutter, laying an oversized piece of vellum on carefully, then allowing to dry.  Once dry, use a very sharp Exacto knife to trim the excess vellum.



FINAL ASSEMBLY:

And the window is nearly complete!  Of course, at this point, you'll want to put the window knob on (using the same Medium CA glue).  And you could then do any additional painting/decoration you'd like.  For example, maybe add gold or silver color to the vertical stripes on the window face.  Add the window numbering to the keystone, etc.



The last few steps to the process involve assembling the window to the structure.  This new design allows you to set the window frame inside the openings to allow for a more securing connection. You'll want to apply the printed picture (printed on vellum) to the backside of the frame as well.

We'll be working on creating an assembly video on this new window design as well so watch for that.

Questions?  Please feel free to contact us on our website!




Thursday, December 29, 2016

After Christmas 2016 - SALE!

So you opted out of getting the Christmas Advent House for 2016.  Ok, we get it.  Maybe it was a timing thing - maybe it was a money thing - maybe it was something else.  But whatever it was - let's set all of that aside and finally make the leap and get that Full Mansion Kit and get your Advent House ready for next year.

Post Christmas Sale - 2016.  The Christmas Advent House is now on sale for a Limited Time. Visit our website and take advantage of a great price right now and be ready for next year.  Don't delay!  Get this now and be ready!

Visit our website: http://www.AdventHousePlans.com, add your items to the shopping cart, and use the following coupon code to get an additional 10% off your entire order.  Go ahead, then, and get the side windows addition.  Add the super nice Real Brick too!  Get the vinyl Keystone numbers!  Your entire order will be 10% off.

Coupon code:  post2016

Take advantage of this Post Christmas Sale and get your Christmas Advent House ordered today!

This is a limited time offer.  Once expired no more coupon uses will be allowed.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

New Video Series! Assembly Instructions

We're finally moving on our Assembly Instructions video series and have released the first introduction video.  Check it out here:

https://youtu.be/VLSLakpMNl0

This video series will be provided as a set of instructions showing how to assemble the Full Mansion Kit available on our website.  Each step of assembly will be explained and shown throughout the series and will provide you with everything you'll need to know on how to to get your own Christmas Advent House built and on display fast!

We're working to release the rest of the video series as quickly as we can so be sure to sign up for the channel, to keep an eye on what's to come and keep an eye on this blog for additional news and notices.

Feel free to comment on our YouTube video if you have questions or would like to see more information on the Christmas Advent House.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Updated Illustrated Atrium Build

We are currently in the process of developing a video series demonstrating the ease and speed of the assembly of our full mansion kit, but we realized that we never updated our illustrated Atrium build blog post.  So until the Video series is complete - here are some instructions for the Atrium:

Please refer to this blog post: http://adventhouseplans.blogspot.com/2016/10/updated-structure-and-framing.html for information on the individual parts and how the layout together.  Specifically, look at the Atrium layout.

First, Put the Atrium back, top and bottom together.  The back is Parts #43 & 44.  The top is parts 47 & 48 and the bottom is parts 45 & 46.  Use the tabs to align the parts and glue.  Allow to dry.

The Back piece sits on top of the bottom frame, and the top frame sits on top of the back piece.  Each should be centered on the others.  Glue these three parts well.

** Keep in mind that it doesn't have to be pretty when it comes to the gluing.  Note that these parts won't ever be seen when the Advent House is on display.  Further, you can paint the structure to help cover some of the gluing blemishes.


(Back, Top, Bottom with vertical braces in place)

(Front Bottom Tab glued with vertical brace in place)

Once the Top, Bottom and Back are assembled, you can add the vertical braces.  Make note in the pictures below that you want to place the vertical braces where the Atrium Faces do not have openings.

** One note regarding the vertical braces.  When a vertical brace is in place, at the top of the brace, the vertical face, on the backside of the brace, should be flush with the back side of the top frame.  It's hard to tell in these pictures, but aligning that vertical brace this way ensures the top and bottom atrium frames are parallel and will align the atrium faces properly.

The center/front vertical brace goes right in the middle.  Place the front Atrium face where it will glue up (centered on the very front face), and center the vertical brace on the center of the Atrium Face.  The goal here is to place the vertical braces so they do not block any light coming from within the Atrium.

In the image below, you can see we've placed a vertical brace right next to the horizontal brace.  We are looking at the Atrium structure from the back side, near the center. In this image we also have the Atrium faced laid in (but not yet glued) where it will glue up so that we can be sure the Vertical brace is not blocking the 'glass' area of the Atrium.

(vertical brace next to horizontal brace)

We do the same thing on the ends of the Atrium frame.  In the image below, you can see the side Atrium face in place (but not yet glued) and the vertical brace is (mostly) centered on the 'non-glass' area of the side atrium face.

 (Side vertical brace glued in)


(FrontSide Vertical Brace aligned with Atrium Face)


And in the image below, you can see that the 2 end/corner vertical braces are glued in.  By using the Atrium Faces as a references you can find the best place to glue in the vertical braces.



Once all the vertical braces are aligned and glued in - add a little more glue to the joints.  Allow to dry, then it's time to glue on the Atrium Faces (assuming you have them painted and vellumed)

**  **  Please be careful when gluing the Atrium Faces to the Atrium Frame.  DO NOT - let CA glue run down the face of the Atrium 'glass'.  There's no recovery from that. ** **


Please let us know if you have any questions about this process.  We'll continue to work towards getting the Video series released to make it even easier to assemble.






Saturday, October 22, 2016

Updated Structure and Framing information

In an effort to make it easier and faster to have your own Christmas Advent House, we have invested a great deal of time developing faster and better methods for assembly on our Full Mansion Kit.  These changes have the potential of saving many hours of work.  Following is a list of images showing the new layouts of all of the 1/4" MDF Material that is included in the Full Mansion Kit, as well as their associated numbering.  In general, you'll work through the numbered parts - starting with #1 (ie: 1, 2 &3 all go together, 4, 5 & 6 go together, etc)

This blog post will also work as simplified assembly instructions.  We are working on a short video series that will go into more detail on the exact process of assembling everything in our Full Mansion Kit.  Until then, you are welcome to use the following information.

Please note that most of the pieces are designed to go together only one way so as to avoid confusion.  However, before you get too glue-happy, do a double and triple check to ensure everything is fitting properly.  Once positive - go wild with the glue.  (Just don't glue your fingers together)

And as a matter of reference, each of these pieces are either a top-down view, or a front view.  When removing each part from the block in which it is contained, each piece is facing up.  You may want to make note of this while cutting out all of the pieces.

So - The (simplifed) Assembly:



Start with these 3 pieces, glue together and they become the Floor:



Then, glue these pieces together and they become the Bottom Back.  Attach to the back of the Floor - The tabs should align perfectly:



Next, DON'T GLUE THESE TOGETHER!  These each glue to the floor in this order, and as the glue to the floor, glue to each other using the tabs system.  These are the Walls:



DON'T GLUE THESE TOGETHER!  Add these Soffits pieces in the order of the numbers shown.  Apply to the Walls, and glue each soffit together at the available tabs.



Glue these 3 pieces together to make the Back Top, then fit to the top of the 2 end Walls.  You may want to hold off on gluing this piece into place for a bit until the roof pieces all fit correctly)



Now build the Flat Roof by gluing these pieces together:



After the Flat Roof, glue the middle brace (#25) into the middle, and DRY FIT only the 2 smaller brace pieces.  You'll glue the 2 smaller braces after the roof pieces are in place.



Time for the Angled Roof:  Now it gets a little more challenging - you might want to ask someone for an extra set of hands since these parts don't have all the tabs like the rest of it.  ** I also suggest a minor sanding/cutting adjustment to the top and bottom of these pieces, but I'll explain more about that in the coming video series.



While setting the angled roof pieces, you can get a little bit of help by carefully placing the Flat Roof piece in place.  You'll notice the brace pieces will help prevent the angled roof pieces from falling backwards.



 Now we're down to the Bases.  These pieces go at the bottom of the walls, and cover the front edge of the floor pieces.  These pieces represent the 'Concrete' that the walls are sitting on.




And finally - the Atrium:

You can see how the main atrium pieces (back, top and bottom) go together, and then the 7 vertical braces go between the top and bottom.  Again - this will be explained more in the coming video series.



And that's all of the Structure pieces and where they go - except for the Corbels, which will also be explained a little later.



Keep an eye on this blog for updates about the video series so you can learn how fast and easy it is to build your own Mansion Style Advent House.


Questions?  Please feel free to use the Contact form on our website: www.AdventHousePlans.com












Monday, January 11, 2016

POST CHRISTMAS SALE!

The Christmas Vacation Mansion Style Christmas Advent House Full Kit is ON SALE NOW for our Post-Christmas Sale.  But it's only for a limited time.  

Maybe you already have the full kit - maybe you have just the plans - maybe it's time to GET the Full Kit - maybe you can build another Advent House for a family or friend.

You can get the Full Kit right now for $100.00 off the current retail price of $599.99.  Save yourself some big bucks by buying now and have all the time you need to get it built and ready for next Christmas.  You won't see a better price on the Full Mansion Kit ever.  The price will never be this low again.  Take advantage of this Post Christmas Sale and Buy Now.  Sale is for a limited time.

Go here: http://adventhouseplans.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=111&product_id=101, choose your options (We suggest the Plasti-formed Exterior Brick), and Buy Now!


Monday, December 14, 2015

Fencing Assembly Illustrated Build

Not clearly shown in the current set of plans is the method of assembly and build of the Fencing that goes around the roof line in front of the Atrium.  For those of you asking and waiting for details on how this works, wait no longer - here it is, the Illustrated Build of the Fencing.


You’ll need a number of tools to complete the Fencing on this Advent House as shown in these images. Here is the initial list:
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  • Thin CA Glue (Hobby/RC Airplane shop)
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Black fine Point Sharpie
  • 1/8" Drill Bit
  • Paper Towels (for clean up)
  • Wax Paper/plastic to protect surrounding areas from the CA Glue. (or a work piece)

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So – let’s get started on the Fencing:

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Paint Fencing


Start by Painting the Fencing Pieces.  This includes painting BOTH SIDES of the Fencing Pickets (7 pieces) and painting 1 side of the Fencing Beams (7 pieces).  The image above shows the pieces laid out.  You can see the piece in the upper left hand corner has the beam laid on top of the bottom section of the fencing.

Allow the paint to dry sufficiently.

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Mark Hole Locations


Lay each Fencing Pickets piece on the top front edge of the roof.  While holding in place, mark the hole locations on the front edge of the roof piece using the Fine Point Sharpie.  Simply mark inside each hole on the Fencing Picket Pieces.  The order of marking these is not so important as long as you plan ahead.  For example, make sure the front piece is centered, make sure the other pieces fit where they belong.  Mark all hole locations.

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Hole Locations Marked



In this image you can see where I have marked the 2 hole locations for the Front Fence piece.  Mark All Fence Hole Locations (16 places)

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Drilling Hole Locations


Using a 1/8" Drill Bit, drill the holes for the matching magnets.  ** CAREFUL - DO NOT Drill too deep.  You only want to drill just deep enough for the magnet to sit flush with the face of the roof edge.  Drill about 1/16" deep is all.  It's OK if it's a little deeper, but if you go too deep, you may need to backfill with something (like drill dust) so that the magnet doesn't go too deep when gluing.

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Hole Drilled


It's hard to see, but this image shows the one hole drilled in the face of the roof edge..


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All Holes Drilled


This image shows all of the fencing piece holes drilled in the face of the edge of the roof piece.

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Prep for Glue


It's now time to match the unpainted side of the Fencing Beam to the face of the Fencing Picket.  You may want to check your picket pieces for the 'best' faces and glue the beam to the other side.

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- – WARNING – - 
Now seems like a good time to make a point of the caution needed while using CA glue. In case you are interested, you can read more about CA glue online, but in short, CA glue is a fast acting and powerful glue used in many different applications. CA Glue can be dangerous. Be very careful not to get it on your skin – it can take days to wear off, and please, please, please don’t get this in your eyes. Safety goggles aren’t a bad idea here. Lastly, once this stuff drys/cures – it’s solid and trying to separate 2 pieces of material once it is glued will almost always result in broken material and not a broken glue bond. So please be sure you know where the piece is going before you glue it down. ok? – ok, enough of that.

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Glue Beams and Pickets


Run a small bead of thin CA Glue on the chosen 'back' side of the fencing beam, only along the bottom where the beam will attach.  And don't get it in the holes just yet, you'll be adding glue there later.

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Fence Beam Attached



This image shows the Beam glued on the Pickets.  Repeat this gluing process for all fencing pieces.


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Test Fit Magnets to Pickets
*** WARNING ***   This next step is IMPERATIVE that it is done correctly.




Turn each piece upside down (front facing down) and place a magnet in each hole for a test fit.

You MUST ensure that the magnets are aligned properly with their counterparts  When this is all glued up, you don't want your magnets repelling each other!  Otherwise the fencing won't really stay on too well! (or at all!)

To ensure the magnets are all set properly, we found the easiest way is to take the entire stack of magnets all stuck together (so that none are repelling each other).  Place the bottom magnet (still stuck on the bottom of the stack) in the hole of the picket, then, while sliding the entire stack to the side (thus sliding the 'next-to-the-bottom' magnet to the side), use a non-metallic item (fingernail, plastic stick, wood stick, etc,) to hold the 'bottom' magnet in its hole.  This may take some practice.  Do this to each hole until you are sure that each are in the proper orientation and your process works well.

Once you are comfortable with this process and you are absolutely positive that each magnet is staying where it belongs when you place it, you can then get the glue out. (especially make sure the magnet isn't turning itself upside down when you remove the full stack of magnets from the bottom one)

Now, remove all the magnets.  Place a small drop of thin CA glue in each hole, then place the magnet in place.  The goal here is to keep the magnet flat, and be in proper orientation.  After you are sure the magnet is where it belongs, place another drop of thin CA glue on top of the magnet and allow the glue to work it's way down a bit around the magnet.  After waiting about 30 seconds, use a piece of paper towel to wipe (side to side) any extra glue off the magnet and the painted fencing picket.


WHEW!  Did you do it?  That was a long step!


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Magnets Glued in the Pickets


And this is the goal of the first gluing.  Each fence piece should now have a magnet in the holes.  After allowing to dry for a few minutes, it wouldn't hurt to put another drop of Thin CA glue on top of each magnet, let it set for 30 seconds and wiping clean again.

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Prep for Assembly



Now that each magnet is glued nicely in the pickets, place a matching magnet on each of the fencing magnets, as shown in this image.  These non-glued magnets will self align and orient (because of the polarity)

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Prep for Attachment (Practice First)


Now match the magnets to the holes on the roof piece and slide the piece to the side (holding it down tight)

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Slide the Pickets



As shown here, the picket is to be slid to the side while holding down pressure.  This will release the non-glued magnets from the glued magnets that are attached to the pickets.

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Slide Picket Up


Now slide the pickets forward (or up if you have it that way) so that the non-glued magnets stay right where they belong, in their holes, as shown in this image.

Assuming this works as expected, You can then restart this step, but first, add a drop of glue to the hole on the face of the roof piece.  This will glue the magnets into place.  After sliding the picket out of the way, be sure to wipe the backside of the pickets with a paper towel so that you don't have extra CA glue sticking around back there.

Allow the roof magnets to dry/cure for just a moment, then carefully wipe the extra glue from them as well.

Wait a few minutes, then place a drop of thin CA glue on the roof magnets, allow to set for 30 seconds or so, and wipe clean again.  It wouldn't hurt to wait another 5-10 minutes, and repeat this 'extra drop of glue' step just to be sure the magnets are glued well.

Now repeat this same process for each of the rest of the pickets and magnets.


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Fencing DONE!



Once glued up, each fencing piece should easily attached and detach from the structure.  Make note that it is on purpose that this magnet bond is not really strong.  The fencing pieces are fragile so you don't want them to attach too well or they may break if they get bumped or while trying to remove them,

Also note - this is NOT a toy - children should be carefully supervised if they are attaching or detaching the fencing.  The fencing is removable for storage.  Wrap them up in a piece of foam or bubble wrap when the house goes into storage.

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Next Steps

Be sure to remove and carefully store the fencing pieces while finishing work on the rest of the Advent House.  Now you can move on to finishing the windows.

If you haven't already, get moving on the Atrium, the Tower, and/or the Windows.  Watch this blog for updates to other Illustrated Build Posts.




Questions?  Comments?  Feel free to contact me.