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Question: I am building my second dollhouse, and I'm attempting to put lights and wall outlets in this one.
I read the article about cocktail staw conduits.  Rather than carving channels for the straws and then covering them with filler, is it possible to drill holes in the walls?
My husband is concerned that the walls and floors will fall apart if we try to cut tunnels into it.

3/8 floors and walls can be grooved half way thru in most "cocktail straw" applications because cocktail straws are only 6" long (which means they have a 5" effective working length) and that leaves plenty of material for strength.  In practice, coctail straw wiring is only useful when you are close to a target.

Traditional solidwire installations do shallow grooves behind the baseboards for most of the wiring.  They drill thru the ceiling for ceiling lights, paint the ceiling and install the lights and run the wires across the floor. Then they put applied flooring over the wires, make the connections along the baseboard space, and put on baseboards.  The final drop would be along the back edge of the wall in a shallow groove, down to the cellar, and would use a buss bar in the cellar to hook all the wires together.

Pros of this kind of wiring:
- there's no mystery in the installation of the fixtures... fixtures come with a piece of wire attached.
- connections are robust... other wiring systems require more attention to make good connections
- cost... a bit of extra wire and a buss bar (radio shack) is all you need over and above the fixtures

Cons of this kind of wiring
- inflexibility... you have to know exactly what you want and where it is going early in the project, and you can't re-decorate easily in years to come
- up-front cost... you have to already own all the lights you intend to use
- long term service... if you break a fixture it is very difficult to replace it It requires buying applied flooring ($$), which is not always what the builder is intending
-In a large project, the attached wires on the fixtures are not long enough, so you must solder on lengths of wire and use shrink tubing to insulate the joint

Tapewire and cocktail-straw wiring overcome some of these liabilities. Typically, if I am doing a small, easy to plan project, I choose one of the solidwire variations.  The cocktail straw demo in the website was perfect for that technique.  On bigger houses with lots of lights, or where I am building a house into which someone else will install fixtures, then I choose tapewire for its flexibility.

I hope this helps

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