Always start with this link to see the Order of Operations for the Mansion Style Advent House. That is where you'll have access to links to all of the most current instructions.

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:

  • 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)


So – let’s get started on the Fencing:


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.


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.


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)


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.


Hole Drilled

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


All Holes Drilled

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


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.


- – 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.


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.


Fence Beam Attached

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


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!


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.


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)


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)


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.


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.

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.


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.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Mansion Advent House Plans now Downloadable!

For many years now, Advent House Plans have only provided printed plans for those who wanted to build their own Christmas Advent House. This is now changing to allow for a downloadable file.  This allows for quicker access to the plans so that you can get started sooner.

Simply add the Advent House Plans to your cart, login to/create an account and make your purchase.  Your downloadable file will be available in the 'My Account' area on our website.