Monday, October 3, 2011

...and Girl Domestic said, "let there be light"

How cute is this chair? (a find from The Round Top Antiques Fair)
Okay--so, I'd love to pretend that it was easy to wire my dollhouse and give you a step-by-step rundown with pics, but the whole thing was so frustrating that I couldn't handle the added stress of taking photos.  I have a little experience with wiring as you may have read in posts past and I have installed all of the lighting in my own regular-sized house without electrocuting myself (yet), so naturally, I thought it would be a breeze to wire the dollhouse.  Plus, the internet says it's easy and the internet is always right!  ALWAYS.  Here's what I learned. You have two choices when it comes to wiring:  round wiring or copper tape wiring.  From a quick search, I derived that round wiring is cheaper and more reliable--and the thought of ripping out my herringbone floors to try and find the short in the copper tape sounds like the worst picnic ever--like with poo sandwiches--so I went for the round wire system.  I bought the Cir-kit round wire system and also bought a few extra plugs for lamps.  I don't know what other kits are available but here's what I can tell you about mine:  You must possess a masters degree in electrical engineering to figure out the diagrams or the directions in the book.  I resort to the internet and there are no good sources for round wiring--only copper.  Okay, I'll try the Cir-kit website.  Oh, wonderful!  They have a video!  A video!!  Like, for a VCR. The website states that the VHS is a "best seller"--so I guess I know what kind of people dollhouse.  Yep!  The kind who still fall for Nigerian cashiers check scams.  Somebody should tell them that these DVD things are catching on and please stop selling things from The 90's Store and while they are updating, add a friggin' video to that other website that the kids are going to: "YouTube!".  At this point, I decide I'm going to "wing it".  I start with finding the center of every room and drawing a line with a carpenters square.  This took waaay longer than I thought it would.  Then I used the router bit on my Dremel to make grooves in the floor to hide the wires--which took even longer.  Then, having NO idea where a circuit wire should be and where a feeder wire should be and not knowing why I can't just use a circuit wire for the whole shebang, I start laying wire wherever I made a groove with the router.  I didn't route deep enough!  It hides the wire in places, but getting an even groove with a dremel router is a challenge, so there are times when the wire is only slightly below floor-level, making the whole "centering" and "routing" thing a complete waste of time.  Kill me.  As you can see from the photos, the plugs that I installed work, but I still have no idea how to install the chandeliers.  The diagram was entirely too confusing.  This whole process took the entire day and I anticipate another day making the grooves deeper. Great.  "I'm a Giant...Failure!"
I arbitrarily decided to run the "feeder" wire along the inside wall of the dollhouse and the "circuit" wires  along the floors and ceilings inside the rooms
grid routed into floor, walls, and ceiling 

It worked!  don't attempt wiring project without a test probe.  That much I do know.
Oh! And my herringbone floor!  This will be a time drain, for sure--but worth it...


  1. Far out, I'm so not doing lights! Your wiring story is my laying parquet story (3 hours with both me and hubby working on it, for a less than 30 cms square area) x

  2. So cool. Have you see the flickr group "Modern Dollhouse"? Chocked with ideas! CM

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