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Animal Feed Shelter Kit

(click on photo's for a larger image)

Glue Tips,

     Make sure to use a waterproof glue suitable to your climate. If you can get waxed paper in your area, for frame elements, we dip the ends in glue and put them in place on the wax paper over the drawing. The new waxed paper we get has little wax, and works great as the glue sticks slightly to it making it stay in place. It peals off well after the glue is set, but leaves glue that might have to be trimmed later for fit with other components. As with all glues, excess is best cleaned up before it sets.  If you will be doing a clear finish, we have found that small glue mistakes don't show if clear setting glue is used, and Thompson's clear water seal is used.  Still it is best to clean up, especially areas where a hardened glob interferes with further construction.  (Easier to remove a soft lump than a hard glob)

Cutting Tips,

     For cutting small material (1x2 & 1x4) a sharp knife or even side cutter can be used.  For larger sizes a razor saw or band saw with a fine tooth blade works well.  For fine tuning a piece of sandpaper laid on a flat surface works great, holding the piece vertical and giving it a few strokes with light pressure across the sandpaper.  With all tools, caution and safety is important. Remember this is a real wood product.  There might be some warping.  Material if not being used for a while (overnight) should be wrapped or bundled together.  So when you stop for the day, wrap it up.  If you do get some warped pieces, carefully bend them in the opposite direction and you can temporarily remove some of it.  Once it is glued together as a composite structure it will become stable.  Most material is shipped in 18"-20" lengths, that is equal to 36-40 feet in real dimension.  I don't think you will find many real boards that long without some warp.  Always cut longest elements first and use the leftovers for the smaller items.

Layout Boards,

   Also notice the layout board we have been using. It serves as a nice flat work surface. It is made of a piece of graph paper sandwiched between two pieces of single strength glass.  The edges are taped together with clear packing tape.  The graph paper makes it easy to keep things square.  We recommend you use wax paper to keep glue from sticking laid on the plans and on your layout board if you use one, but it isn't always available here and might not be in your area. So on with the show!

Marking the top 6x6 to length from drawing #1. Cut all the parts for the front frame assembly. Notice the end view of lumber on the drawings. This is to help you select the size of lumber needed.

Something different with this kit, we are trying a new to our area 4-6 minute quick set epoxy. This kit took a one fluid ounce package. It is clear and seems to work well. Nice gap fill and excellent strength after cure. What I liked most was 10 minutes and I could move parts etc. It took some adjusting to mix just enough to do a few parts, but it made this simple kit 2 hours for our experienced hands to assemble! Shown here dipping a post in mixed epoxy before placing it on the drawing against the top post.

The major elements of the front post assembly in place and blocks holding them down.

Added the gussets.

Back wall assembled.

Side walls assembled.

Attaching side wall to front post assembly, notice top element of side frame is down about 1/16" to allow for 1x12 roof boards to fit underneath 2x12 top cap that will be installed on top of front post assembly later.

Another view to show placement. Notice blocks to hold sidewall down and front post assembly against side wall.

Square placed against top element of front post assembly and block placed on backside to force it against the square.

Back wall frame placed, block again used to hold it in place. Waited a few minutes for the epoxy to start to set then went on to add the other side wall frame.

Block on backside with the help of gravity to hold this added sidewall tight to the backwall elements. Clamps used to hold front side of sidewall elements in place on end element of front post assemble. These clamps are new to us, and testing has shown the glue peals off easily and spanning a joint gap holds parts aligned well due to them having jaws that pivot.

To counteract gravity, we clamped a piece of 2x12 to the bottom of the end elements of the front post assembly. We measured the top and made sure the bottom stayed the same. Important, don't let gravity win!!

Frame top is at bottom of this shot to show notched 1x12 siding. This is the first piece on one sidewall, and should be trimmed like this.

Epoxy applied to part of sidewall framing after several pieces of siding had been cut and ready to apply.

1x12 siding applied to first side wall working toward the back wall. Remember to leave 11 or 12 pieces 10 ½" long for roof boards that will be applied later. Clean up excess glue as you go. We weren't that concerned on this prototype, as it will eventually get painted covering up glue spots.

Siding completed on first sidewall and a couple of wood blocks placed on it to hold it until the glue cures. Trim last piece at back so it is flush with the end 6x6.

Siding across the backwall done after both side walls are done. Note several pieces and clamps holding them in place until the glue cures.

6x6 cross beam, not shown on plans to act as a center support for the roof boards. It should be down 1/16" in front just like the top elements of the side walls.

2x12 cap added to top of front frame assembly. Clamp as needed.

1/4" overhang on sidewalls.

Approx. 1/8" overhang front and back of front frame assembly.

First piece of 1x12 roofing applied to backside with 1/4" overhang on back and both sidewalls.

Working way to the front, overlap approx. 1/16". We used 11 pieces 10 1/2" long. The last piece at the top should be under the 2x12 cap and tight against the back of the front post assembly.

Structure shown tipped on a block so the roof was more level. This makes it easy to use wood blocks and gravity to hold the roof boards down until the glue sets up.

Another method, using a strip of wood and clamps to hold the ends together.

I started the water/feed troughs by marking a piece of 2x12 for the end pieces and cutting 4 of them. Cut 6 pieces 2 1/2" long for the bottoms and sides for both troughs.

Here one side and end in place. I left the end piece inset about 1/16". You can leave yours flush, I just thought at the last minute it looked better inset.

Other side on.

Ready for paint at this point. Feed troughs placed on the ground at the back of the shelter.

Another angle. Note we were sloppy with the glue as we plan on painting the structure. Following shots to show potential and give you ideas.

A couple of horses added.

Corral added from our accessory kit.

Another shot....

Just remember to seal the structure inside and out to keep moisture problems to a minimum. Finish with exterior paints, as you would a real outdoor building. We recommend buildings be taken in over the winter months.

Good Luck and Happy Railroading!


Let us know if you have any suggestions or input for this tips page!


Mark & Sue Smith
Smith Pond Junctions Railroad Products

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