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Bubbas' Gas Station 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!

Lay out front wall with 2x4 per drawing #1, back wall per drawing #4 and 2 side walls per drawing #2 (optional side wall with windows per drawing #4). Use the plan as a pattern marking and cutting as you go. Lay a sheet of plastic, glass or wax paper over the plan and you can glue the components together on the plan without them sticking.

Front wall more complete. Add elements as you can.

All four walls ready to assemble together.

Assemble all wall sections together, keeping them square and so it sits stable on a flat surface, with the side walls being inside the front and back, see corner joint detail drawing #3.

A shot showing wall placement. Side walls inside front and back wall.

With 2x4 laid flat, make 5 main roof trusses #4. I like to do the outside parts then slide the wax paper to do another then another. Then add the center support.

Attach 1x12 siding on the back side of the front façade frame horizontal covering the entire area from the top of the side walls to the top of the wall. Last board, we trimmed after the glue set with our small bandsaw so it was flush with the top plate of the front wall.

Attach one truss directly to the back of the front façade glued directly to the 1x12 previously applied as an attachment point for the roof boards.

Then attach the back truss to the back wall making sure it is flush with the outside edge of the back wall framework. A good method shown here with structure on its back. This makes sure outside surfaces line up for good siding application later.

Center truss in place a board setting on top held it in place until the glue set up. Place the last trusses evenly spaced between them.

Add pieces of 2x4 at the peak between the trusses for extra strength. Ours were about 1 3/16" apart.

Apply 1x12 side wall siding vertically, starting at one front corner and placing them side by side as tight together as you can. That first front piece should go all the way to the bottom of the 2x12 cap and the back notched so the top is only as wide as the facade.

Siding on the side walls should go up to the top of the rafters, so it will meet up with the bottom of the roof boards that will be applied later. Trim the last one at the corner if necessary. Remember 1x6 (1/4" wide) corner boards applied later will cover small gaps. Back wall same as the side walls and should be trimmed flush with the top of the truss. The roof overhang will cover and hide the small gaps here.

Same on other side wall.

Apply 2x12 cap per drawing #3, on the top of the front wall. Let it overhang the back side siding about 1/16", and the ends about ¼".

Apply 1x12 siding horizontal to the front wall starting at the bottom (overlapped like real lap siding). Use about 1/32" overlap, working your way to the peak and trimming around openings as you go.

A long piece of lumber used to keep things straight.

Another method of keeping the siding level with earth is to measure from the bottom of the wall. Do this on both sides. Try to keep the fit at the bottom of the 2x12 cap as tight as possible.

Apply 1x12 roofing front to back starting at the eaves. The bottom piece should overhang the side wall about 1/4", and 1/2" on the back wall. The front end should fit tight against the back siding of the front wall.

Add boards working toward the peak with about a 1/32"overlap. We used 9 pieces on each side 5 3/4" long. Keep the overlap of the roof boards as even as possible.

Use 2 pieces of 1x4 as a ridge cap (see detail on drawing #4).

Use 1x6 for door and window jambs aligning the front flush with siding, then apply 1x4 as trim. Leave top element of trim 1/8" longer it overhangs the side trim as for added detail if you desire.

Use 2x12 to assemble the pump island roof framing per drawing #2. Shown here completed.

Cut 2 12x12 posts, 6 ½" long. Add the 2x12 around the base at this time. Shown here with the top edge beveled. Attach as support posts at the outer end of the pump island joist assembly per drawing #3. They should be inside the corners of the framing with the exposed lower part being 6" long.

Using the post to mark where it will attach to the front wall. Attach directly to the front wall siding 6 1/2" from the bottom of the front wall to the top of the 2x12 joist assembly. We didn't put any slope to the front of the roof, you can if you want, allow for it in your positioning of the back end of the front wall.

Pump Island roof attached to the front wall. Placed on a flat surface with a wood block on the framework to hold things down flat while the glue sets up.

Apply 1x12 roofing to the pump island roof side to side or front to back, laid flat (not lapped) and butted tightly together. Trim flush with the outside edges of the framing.

Add 2x4 as trim so it covers the ends of the 1x12 roof boards per drawing #3.

Make the door using the door plan as a guide, and cut the 2x4 side rails, bottom, top, and center stiles, to fit your door opening (ours ended up 1 1/8" wide). Cut 1x6 boards to fill in the lower half, and leave them longer than the opening, they get glued on from behind and can be placed vertical or horizontal. A weight placed on the filler boards to keep them in place and flat until the glue sets up.

Install 2x2 window and door dividers. Measure them to fit your openings, as the drawings don't have the jambs drawn in and material thickness and construction results can vary. Use the plan as a guide to keep them square, laying your divider parts on it for gluing. Window dividers can be left off if you desire, but if you don't add interior details the dividers detract from that somewhat. There is enough material in the kit to add a window to the back wall if desired same size as the side wall windows.

Apply 1x6 corner boards on all 4 corners, per overlap example on drawing #3.

Trim around the pump island roof as necessary.

Glue the door in open or closed position, left or right hand operation your choice. Use a stick pin head for a knob

A shot showing the optional front window dividers. I like the dividers, as they detract from not having any interior detail in the building.

More finish detail added. We did the main walls in an off white and trim in a dull red color. The pumps are 1/25 scale units from Gearbox collectibles. We have no association with them, but they are a very fine product with great detail. We picked these up on Ebay.

A sign made of leftovers. More about finishing our kits can be seen on the finishing tips page.

A view up the road as seen on our layout.

A closer view with some details added. Car parts are leftovers from 1/24th scale model car kits.

Local club member shares their version of this kit. This is what we like. A kitbash of a basic idea.

Another view of same. You don't have to build as we do. The idea is to give you the builder a rough idea to get your creative juices flowing and then see what happens!

Building can be glued to a scrap of pressure treated board (not supplied) for burial in the ground. Finish with exterior paints, as you would a real outdoor building. Seal inside and out. We recommend buildings be taken in over the winter months.


Good Luck and Happy Railroading!


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


Mark & Sue Smith
Smith Pond Junctions Railroad Products

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