I have to admit that this miniature house is a replica of a project I found on the Internet. According to one of the sources (social media), this little house is made by architect Leif Larsen from Denmark and the original is 8 cm high. My version is slightly different and almost 3 times bigger but the idea remains the same. It’s rough timber, a gable roof and most importantly an ascending staircase that ends up with a door opening. My staircase is “plastered”, I also replaced a single chimney in the centre with twin chimneys. It’s still close to the original and all the proportions are similar. Here’s how it was built:
First I cut off a block from the piece of timber I had kept for special projects. I used a heavy-duty jigsaw with a massive 10″ (250 mm) blade. Next, I drew some lines and shapes trying to copy the original as much as I could. I started the carving process by removing material with a router, then establishing straight lines with a chisel.
It took a couple of passes to get a good reference edge for a bearing guided bit, but eventually, I could switch the bits and deepen the opening to my needs.
Routing out the door needed a fence to stop the router from going too much to the left. All other sides were guided by the walls I had already cut. That pass was the last thing I could do with a router. To square up all rounded corners I had to use a chisel.
The most time-consuming step was the steps. That took a while and proved that my carving skills were far from being acceptable. The wood itself wasn’t perfect for carving either – it was decayed and abused too much during its life on a building site.
The steps were square and equally spaced out, but I wasn’t happy with their surface. Fortunately, I had a plan in my mind and it was noway sanding. The surface needed something that would match the rustic look of the house.
I removed all the pencil lines I didn’t need with methylated spirit, applied some darkening dye and filled out all the imperfections with wood filler. There were 2 layers of it as the surface was very uneven. Next, I pulled out my table saw and raised the blade to see if I can cut off the bottom in one go. The blade was just big enough and that made the job a little quicker. I also shaped the roof by tilting the blade to 45º.
I lowered the blade and cut 2 little chimneys using some scrap wood. I finished with the cut list and focused on the finishing job. That included some light sanding, especially the sharp edges. My project had to be nice in touch and pleasing to the eye.
To smooth out the staircase I simply scraped off all the high spots, using a scraper and a flat screwdriver. Next, I glued the chimneys to the roof – no clamps, no finishing nails – just a drop of adhesive.
When the glue dried I applied some teak oil, a single heavy coat covered and filled all the cracks and nail holes, it even darkened the wood under the wood filler. It still wasn’t too late to paint the staircase white, but I made the decision to leave it alone.
The tiny house looked safe, warm and cosy, just like you would expect from a perfect house. The two-chimney heating system appeared visually warmer, reliable and old-school. It also made the wooden block look more complex and interesting. The back wall and the one on the right-hand side were left flat, probably the original project looked the same. I couldn’t be 100% sure because it was photographed from one perspective, I had to use my imagination and common sense to figure that out.