By now you have designed your Gnome Home and have cut and sanded all parts. You are now ready to start putting it all together. Are you excited? You should be! Here we go!
GNOME HOME TUTORIAL LINKS:
Part 1: Getting Started can be found HERE.
Part 2: Cutting Out Pieces can be found HERE.
Part 3: Assembly can be found HERE.
Building Stairs can be found HERE.
Build A Ladder can be found HERE.
Before beginning, read:
GNOME HOME :: PART 1 :: GETTING STARTED
GNOME HOME :: PART 2 :: CUTTING OUT PIECES
Place your pattern for the bottom platform on top of it. Using a screw or a nail, lightly tap the center of the circles designating the location of the branches. When you remove the pattern, there will be mark where the center of each branch will be screwed in.
Using a drill bit slightly smaller than the width of your screws, drill a pilot hole through the marks you just created. On our 1st platform there were 4 holes to drill since there are 4 branches on the bottom floor. NOTE: In Part 1 we shared a list of the types of screws we used for the project and the sizes. You can read about them HERE.
If you have counter sink drill bit, on the back of the first platform, drill a hole big enough just to accommodate the head of your screw. This is done so your screws will be slightly lower than the surface when screwed in. If you don’t have a counter sink drill bit, you can still use a screw, just make sure it draws into the wood slightly so the metal won’t scratch surfaces.
Using the same drill bit you used to drill pilot holes in the platform to drill a pilot hole in the end of a branch.
From the underside of the first platform, screw the branches to the bottom platform.
From the bottom, the screws should be just below the surface of the wood so they do not scratch the surface they are set on.
Because of the potential curves of the branches, for the second level position it over the branches below. Make sure things are lined up to your liking.
From the underside, mark the location of the branches on the second level by drawing a circle around the branch. Drill a pilot hole in the center of each of the branch markings.
Carefully place the 2nd level back on the branches, making sure the branches are centered in the markings you made earlier. Going through the pilot holes you just made in the 2nd platform, drill through the hole again, and continue drilling into the branch, creating a pilot hole in the center of the 4 branches.
Using the dowel rod screws, screw one end through the 2nd platform into the branch below. It helps to use a wrench or pliers to help hold the screw while you screw it in.
Leave half of the screw sticking out of the first platform.
Drill pilot holes in the next section of branches and screw them into the exposed section of the dowel screws. Make sure you keep the same branch pieces together.
Our 3rd level is smaller and will only need 3 branches to support it. Instead of using a dowel screw on the branch that will not have another branch over it, you can use a wood trim screw instead of a dowel screw. This screw will lay flat against the platform. We chose to use a dowel screw. We will show you what we did with the exposed screw shortly.
When adding the 3rd level, mark the branch location like you did earlier and drill pilot holes. Since this is the top level, you will not be using the 2 sided dowel screws, but rather the wood trim screws. When you screw it in, have the screw head go in slightly below the surface.
Because I had an awesome branch that had an end that looked like a tree, I decided to add this branch section to the top. We used a dowel screw, drilled a pilot hole in the bottom of the “tree section” and screwed it on the top platform.
For the second level, we cut a small piece of branch to cover the exposed dowel screw. Eventually, this can be used as a base for a table, as a chair, or even a perch for an owl.
Make sure to sign the bottom of your gnome home!
You gnome home is now assembled. At this point I go over the entire surface, tops, bottoms, and edges of all the platforms with a beeswax finish. You can find a recipe to make your own HERE. I apply more finish four times a year… each time we switch over to a new season. If you take good care of your gnome home it can last for generations.
You might think you are all done but how do the dear gnomes get from floor to floor? Of course, if you made the home for fairies they could simply fly, but everyone knows gnomes can’t fly. Next week in Part 4 we will show you how to make a set of curved stairs, ladders, and even a hanging bridge to help your gnomes get around.
GNOME HOME :: PART 4 :: CREATING ACCESSORIES coming soon.