Modern Miniature Folding Doors Part II

Only one week left of July!  It took almost a month but my working modern miniature folding doors are in and running along their track.  The real glass now creates crystal clear reflections.  Check out the video below of them opening and folding!

***April 2023: Update on this project!  I would likely use plexi rather than glass if I did this again.  After so many years I have learned that really glass is heavy and difficult to cut and at the end of the day you can't tell the difference between the two!  So I would likely get either thin plexi from home depot or 1/8" plexi and then glue a frame onto the panes or build a frame around it without channels.

Also please check out Marion's post about her doors, she built upon what I did and it's a great option: her post here.

Hope that helps!

I made this set of doors several times over while trying to get all the components to work and fit together.  It didn't help that my table saw also decided to stop working for a bit and had to be fixed!

If you remember, in part one of this project I was left with MDF framing cut into a U-shaped channels.  I also gave an example of how these pieces could be assembled with plexi and painted as is.
After posting I made the decision to find real glass for the doors because I knew plexi just can't beat the reflections of glass.  I contacted a couple glass vendors in my city and found one that offered and cut 2mm glass (picture framing glass).   Finding a vendor with thin enough glass was a challenge.  Thankfully most places were very inexpensive because I didn't need that much.  In the end, I was left with a lot of trial pieces until I got the sizing just right.
Through much experimentation, I have decided the best way to go about assembling these doors is to paint the interior of the frames first, before adding glass.  I tried both craft acrylic and spray paint and the acrylic is the best for a matte finish when applied with a sponge brush.
Using my new magnetic glueing jig and tacky glue, I attached the framing pieces around the cut glass.
Once again I used a sponge brush to lightly paint the frames in black.  Taking time to try and sand them down a bit between coats.  (The first time I taped off the glass with painters tape, but I realised it was unnecessary because the glass cleans so easily!  And the sponge brush works much better than the roller!).
I then lined them up in the jig and got out my hinges.  I found that a crazy glue in a gel type worked so much better than liquid (many thanks to this helpful tutorial by Karin Corbin Miniatures which saved me after a runny mess).

I know hinges typically go in between the doors but I couldn't get it to look realistic in 1:12 because they are just so large for the scale.  They create really big gaps.  I didn't want to make my own hinges for this project so I decided to have the hinges show on the inside of the house.  The hardware look works for me in this project.

I took a pencil and marked where the hinge should sit.
Using a pair of tweezers I added a dot of gel crazy glue to each side of the hinge and then let it dry.

Time to focus on the pins to slide along the channels that act as guides.
The U-shaped framing of the glass doors created small square holes.
I took hobby aluminium rods in 1/16 diameter and cut them so that they would both sit inside the hole as well as extend into the groove for the track.
To make sure they didn't move around I secured with tacky glue and filled in any other gaps with tiny wood shavings.  I did this for both the top and bottom.

I described the framing in detail in Part 1, essentially there is a small groove cut along the middle piece and the bottom piece for the doors to slide along.
I first glued the framing in place.
Then fit the bottom pins into their track on the floor.
Using tape to secure the doors in place temporarily, I was able to find the right height for my middle horizontal track.
I clamped in place with tacky glue.
Because I was off a bit with the very front wall framing section I added veneer like strips to the front ends.  It was a happy accident because they will allow a bit more room for lights and have a nicer grain. I will have to add more for the horizontal pieces as well.

Finally, with the doors in place, I made two upper casings (glass is on order!) and slid them in.

From the inside:
I still need to clean them up a tiny bit more and decide if I want to add the nails to the hinges or just fake it with paint...

That's all for now, I'm so thankful this project is mostly done and working!  I might try and make more videos of my projects as I go along in the future.  You can see so much more that way!
Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. what a great tuto! just wish you published this a while back... because I made exactly the same doors (3 panels) but worked with styrene strips for the frames of the panels. and I have sunk the rails into the floor and the ceiling. they are not installed yet... using metal hinges was out because I used styrene. so I worked with the black tape electricians use: full length of panel and then covered it with the black styrene strip. soon, the ceiling will be in and then I see if they move as smoothly as yours do ;-)

    1. Hi Marion, I too thought of electrical tape as a hinge! It's really hard to find hinges with the right scale. These doors were quite the process, I can't wait to see yours! :)

  2. This is fantastic Kristine. I've been eagerly awaiting your solutions to bifolding doors and you've absolutely nailed it. They look fantastic, they move perfectly and the whole building looks amazing being able to open up the whole wall. Well done you!! :0)
    Oh and yes, I think videos are the way to go. It's so nice to be able to see something work rather than try to explain it in pictures. I may do the same in future.

    1. Thank you Pepper, with every week that went by I got more and more anxious to get this project done! It just took that long to get my design to work as I made these doors over and over again.
      It's very satisfying to see them installed :) I'd love to see videos from you too! :D

  3. Wow! They look wonderful! And I love that they work so well! You'll get the whole indoor/outdoor experience with the house.

    To fake your nails, if you want them, I'd snip off the heads of some pins and glue them over the hinge holes.

    1. oh you've also got me totally curious about the website/program you said you used for your 3d printing. Would you mind posting about it? I'm sure I'm not the only one who could use something simple.

    2. Thanks Sheila, I might just try your nail idea! And the indoor/outdoor experience great for my giant hand to "experience" easy access! ;D haha

      As for the 3D printing, Tinkercad. com is something I think I mentioned back when I made my faucets for the Shapeways contest. I feel like the best way to learn about it is to try it for yourself since it's so so simple. Do one tutorial and you'll have it figured out. It's just like playing with blocks. I know Jodi from My Miniature Madness used it for her designs on Shapeways as well!
      When I make more designs I'll try and make mention of it!

  4. The doors are fantastic! As someone who has used tiny hinges with super glue before, I will tell you the nails will help with longevity. They are a pain, but it is easier to add them now than to try later. I always add a drop of super glue gel to the nails as well. :]

    1. Thanks for the advice Brae! I might use my hand drill to try and fit them in. I have had to re-glue some pieces so I think you definitely make a good point :)

  5. Oh Kristine this is a HUGE triumph!!! The doors are fantastic and all the more so because they function so perfectly! It is wonderful of you to share the way in which you conquered the challenge! HBS is not going to know what hit their little kit and I am sooooo excited to see the rest of the project blow my mind!

  6. Well done, Kristine! Your patience and artistry is inspirational. The video is so satisfying to watch :)

  7. BRAVO Kristine!!! :D I'm in TOTAL agreement with all of the preceding comments. The doors and the video are TOP OF THE LINE! The views into the house are unlimited and seeing those doors in motion makes this project a real SHOW-STOPPER! Hats Off to you, my girl! ♡ :))

  8. There's freakin awesome and then you go and raise the bar!!!!! It looks amazing!

  9. You never cease to amaze! Excellent job, Kristine.

  10. Im in awe of your working doors with real glass, so beautiful and they work!!

    great job


  11. WOW! This is so beautiful and amazing and Perfect! The video is fantastic, but the construction is really really well done!!!

  12. Awesome sauce with a cherry on top! Krystine these are so fantastic and they run so smoothly! Bravo! *golf claps*

  13. Awesome! I really enjoyed the video and the sliding "real" glass doors are amazing! Hard work and patience pay off.

  14. Inspiring, Kristine, thank you. Could you please advise the best size table saw for miniatures?

    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by! The table saw I used was a regular 10" table saw for 1:1 scale construction. It's not specifically for miniatures. It's a Sears Craftsman brand (but you can no longer buy those in Canada... I'm not sure about where else.) Most brands like Dewalt, Bosch, etc are all the same.
      Micro mark sells miniature power tools and table saws though. They have a website. Hope that helps!

    2. Sorry I just re-read your comment... I personally don't know which brand is best for miniatures... I think all regular table saws are similar.

      It's the miniature table saws that are a bit more unique. I do know Micro Mark is liked in the mini community!


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