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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

Looking for some advice please.... I make small wooden models and dollhouses in various scales.

Currently I am working on a client project that entails cutting 45 rectangular window openings (approximately 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches) in 4mm birch ply. I have attached a pic showing the window size required. Entire model is approx 12 x 12 inches

I am thinking of routing the openings using a template and I am looking for suggestions on the best way to accomplish this and the best router to use. ie dremel or trim router or table set up.

Whilst this particular project is using thinner wood and small cut outs I often work in 6mm (1/4 inch MDF)and cut openings twice the size.

Given the small opening size there is not much room for error and my hand/scroll sawing technique is not the best:)

The often suggested Bosch Colt trimmer is unavailable to me both in Turkey & Australia so other recommendations would be gratefully received.

Cheers
Angie
 

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Welcome Angie. Trend also makes a small trim router and is available from the UK for sure, maybe elsewhere in Europe. It is of a lower quality that the Colt, even Trend admits this, but it is also cheaper and would be more likely to be compatible with your electrical power system. Using a round bit to cut these out will give you round corners, no way to get around that fact. The smaller the bit, the closer to being square but the bit also becomes more fragile. A template and decent sized bit, say 6mm or 1/4" would make roughing the openings out a fairly quick job but you'll still need a method for squaring the corners. In thin material a chisel would work but in 6mm or 1/4" maybe not so well. That's what I see you up against.
 
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John
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Welcome to the router forum Angie.
In the USA you can buy miniature router bits for Dremels
 

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Theo
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A template and decent sized bit, say 6mm or 1/4" would make roughing the openings out a fairly quick job but you'll still need a method for squaring the corners. In thin material a chisel would work but in 6mm or 1/4" maybe not so well. That's what I see you up against.
Nice house.

What Chuck said. Except I'd try a file on the corners too, see which works best for you.
 
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A Gent's saw is not going to fit in those window openings. Cut them with a trim router and bushing, then square the corners with a file.

I built a similar scale horse barn 14" X 36" X 12" high from 1/2" BB for my grand daughter a few years ago. It had to be sized to be in proportion to the plastic horses that she already had. For the windows and door openings I used my laminate trimming router with a 1/8" spiral bit. a template, and a 1/4" router bushing to cut all of the openings. I used a file to square the corners of the openings and then made L shaped molding and cut them to make mitered window and door frames for the openings, which were glued in place. To simulate a metal roof, I cut parallel slots in the roof panels just deep enough enough to cut through the top veneer of the plywood using my Unisaw, spaced 1/2" apart. The roofs were designed to lift off, with strips glued underneath to catch the top edges of the walls to keep them in place. I made the doors and window opening covers (horse barns don't have glass windows, just short doors in the window openings) from 1/4" BB and glued mitered 1/16" strips on the face side of each door, complete with the traditional diagonal brace for a simulated authentic look. All the doors and window covers were hinged and latched with the smallest brass hardware that I could find. She and her mom painted it red with white trim and a silver roof, and then glazed it to make it look aged. The result was great. Unfortunately, I lost all of the build and completed photos in a computer crash a short time later. Some day (soon I hope) they are supposed to visit and bring the barn back so I can take some new photographs of it. They will be posted as soon as I can.

Charley
 

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Hi,

Looking for some advice please.... I make small wooden models and dollhouses in various scales.

Currently I am working on a client project that entails cutting 45 rectangular window openings (approximately 3/4 x 1 3/4 inches) in 4mm birch ply. I have attached a pic showing the window size required. Entire model is approx 12 x 12 inches

I am thinking of routing the openings using a template and I am looking for suggestions on the best way to accomplish this and the best router to use. ie dremel or trim router or table set up.


Whilst this particular project is using thinner wood and small cut outs I often work in 6mm (1/4 inch MDF)and cut openings twice the size.

Given the small opening size there is not much room for error and my hand/scroll sawing technique is not the best:)



The often suggested Bosch Colt trimmer is unavailable to me both in Turkey & Australia so other recommendations would be gratefully received.

Cheers
Angie
Welcome Angie and I love your work. I would like to see some more pictures. That would be so nice.

A scroll saw would be good to square up the corners. If you don't do scroll saw work this is something I think you will really enjoy. I know I do.
 

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I wonder if you could a hack saw blade to finish off the corners? I would also consider Exacto, which has a blade that is really a very fine chisel, or a surgical tool of some sort. I found one example of a very small modeler's saw, but it had a brass back. I found a small hand saw at Garret wade, but it is discontinued. A file is a workable solution, of course, but you might wish to make your own saw, perhaps from a paring knife blade or other thin blade.

The video shows someone making a nice small saw. Yours only needs to be 3 inches or so long, and I suspect you'll find plenty of uses for it, so give it a try.

 

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Welcome to the forum Angie - very nice work too.

I want to suggest that you investigate the Dremel Trio - it uses a shank size 4.8mm (3/16") , and there is available a top bearing flush trim bit with a diam of 1/4". If you had an accurate template of your window openings, you could then use this to duplicate the template opening, but of course you would first need to rough cut each opening. And as others have mentioned you would need to cut out the small curve in each corner. For this I would take a #7 or #9 scrollsaw blade, break it in half and mount one of the pieces in a bit of dowel, by drilling a small hole, and epoxying the blade into it. This will give you good control of your corner cuts. (you'd only be cutting 1/8" each cut)

You would also have to make a small table to mount the dremel tool into, with a small opening for the flush trim bit - I used this set-up for doing some small scale round-over work. My table is just a piece of 6mm mdf supported by 2 pieces of 16mm mdf. One has to improvise a bit to attach the tool under the table, and the plunge mechanism is not smooth like a normal router, but it is easily do-able.

Whatever you end up doing, we'll all be interested in a follow-up report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Rob,

Thank you for your advice. I had thought about the Dremel Trio as well but appears to be unavailable here in Turkey. I have been advised that the tool has been discontinued as well. I'm not sure why it would be discontinued as it looks like a very handy tool to have around the home. Would love to see some of your work!

cheers
Angie
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Charley,

Sounds like you built a great model, a shame you don't have any pics. I woud love to have seen it. It looks like a router/trimmer with either a flush trim or spiral bit must be the way to tackle my model. Thank you for your advice, I appreciate it very much.

cheers
Angie
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Re: small scale routing

Welcome Angie and I love your work. I would like to see some more pictures. That would be so nice.

A scroll saw would be good to square up the corners. If you don't do scroll saw work this is something I think you will really enjoy. I know I do.
Hi

Thanks for the welcome and your kind comments.

Unfortunately I can't share any pics of my previous works as I am on a two yr posting to Turkey and everything is in storage back in Oz, including my pc that has old pics on it.

I took a pic this morning of my curent build which is similar to the earlier pic. The problem with these models because they are so small is that they need to be finished internally before each floor can be built. They are extremely difficult to finish when fully built due to the tight spaces.

I am currently waiting on LED lighting supplies so that I may do the electrics and continue on with the build. I will post some more pics as the build progresses.

kind regards
Angie
 

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I'm really hoping Angie will post lots of pictures over time. She is really an artist at model making! Those Exacto miniature saw blades look nifty, like mini Japanese pull saws.
 
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