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Cedar Creek Homestead
(click on photo's for a larger image)
Use waterproof glue suitable to your climate and available in your area. 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. 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)
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 will shorten a board up just fine. 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.
Use a flat smooth surface to work on. We recommend you use wax paper laid on the plans and on your layout board to keep glue from sticking. So on with the show!
Overall dimensions (full size) of the base are roughly 28' long, 32' wide and 26' tall, which is 14 x 16 x 13 tall (not including overhang of roof) in scale size. Use layout drawing for dimension reference. Read complete instructions before you begin. Tips page available at www.spjrr.com. Lumber is shipped in random length. Cut materials to length with sharp utility knife, razor saw or band saw with fine tooth blade. Use waterproof wood glue.
Before getting started, now is a good time to look over the plan set and decide if you want to make any changes to widows etc. On the prototype we left out several windows on the back and sides. After it was completed, however we decided it would look better with the extra windows.
During the building of this kit you will see several references to large structure and small or small entrance structure. This is because the large part is build first and the smaller one added to the side of it. This kit was taken from a house that started out as the small structure then the large addition was added later as many farm houses evolved. As the farm and family grew so did the family homestead.
Use a sharp pencil. You can mark most elements right off the drawings with very little measuring.
Build walls #1-3 with 2x4 on edge per drawing #1 and walls #4-7 per drawing #2. Cut long elements first and use the smaller left over pieces to get the best possible use. If there are any changes you want to make to window and door placement or size, now is the time to do it.
Add a few elements at a time. Here wood blocks used to hold things in place until the glue sets up.
Front wall completed.
All 7 walls completed.
Assemble walls 1-4 together to form the large part of the overall structure. Notice their placement with each other on drawing #3 with walls 2 & 4 (side walls) inside walls 1 & 3 (the front and back wall). Keeps things square and flat.
Assemble walls 5-7 together per the placement detail on drawing #3
Attach smaller entrance structure to the large addon structure. Notice piece of 2x4 clamped to the top of the walls to make sure they are 8 outside to outside dimension.
Make the trusses with 2x4 laid flat. All the trusses are the same as are the drawings of them on the plan sheets. 13 total are needed. A little extra time spent on them to keep them the same as possible is time well spent. A tip we have learned over the years on trusses is to leave the rafter ends a little longer than the drawing at the eaves. About 1/16-1/8 and trim them after they are attached to the walls later.
Lay the large structure on its side on drawing #1 to mark the location of the trusses. They are on approximately 2 centers.
Start with one end, front or backwall and lay the wall structure on end on a flat surface and attach the truss. After the glue is set flip the wall structure over and attach a truss at the other end.
Take one length of 1x12 and clamp it to one side of center at the peak of the end trusses. This will act as an alignment tool for keep the peak of all the trusses in a straight line.
Add the 2 center trusses next making sure they line up at the peak with the 2x6 and are solid on the side walls. Fill in with the rest of the trusses. Note, the clamps are placed on each side of the truss at the peak. They aren't clamping the trusses in place as this may lift the truss up so they aren't tight down against the top plate of the walls.
Use 2x4 at the peak between the trusses. This will make them more stable and be the attachment point for the roof boards at the peak. A simple way to mark these 2x4 pieces for cutting is to make them the length of the truss spacing at the rafter end.
The piece from above installed at the peak.
Measure down from the peak 5 15/16 and put a mark on each end truss. Then use a straight edge to mark all the trusses in between and trim them all to that line. Do this on both sides of the roof structure. You can rough trim them with a side cutter then square them up with a sanding block, or use a razor saw.
Use 1x12 for roof boards. We used 13 pieces on each side 15 1/8 long. This will leave the ends with about 1/2 overhang on the front and back walls after the siding is added to them. Start by adding the first piece at the eave end of the truss rafters. Centered lengthwise and 1/8 overhang over the end of the truss rafters.
Then use the spacing strips from drawing #3. Cut several strips and glue them solidly to the truss rafters.
In this case we did them on each end and both of the center trusses. Reason for doing the roof boards now is two fold. It is easier to get a tight fit of the siding to the bottom of the roof boards and you will have many smaller pieces that can be used for the shorter siding pieces around windows and doors and make better use of material.
Top of the spacing strip at the peak. Notice the last line up line should be as close to the peak as possible.
Structure with outside wall on a bucket and a stick clamped to the side to hold it up with the truss rafters as close to level as possible.
Second roof board in place.
Here closeup of one end of the second board with its top lined up with the next line on the spacer strip.
More roof boards in place with blocks holding them down. Using gravity to hold thing down is much easier than clamping and makes construction go faster.
First roof side done.
Similar support method used to second side of the large section roof.
Second side of large section roof done and structure on a flat surface. We left it like that overnight so all the glue could set up.
1x12 for siding is next. Applied vertically. We started at the back corner of wall #4. Notice this first piece is tight against the top 2x4 plate of the smaller structures side wall. The top is also trimmed around the rafter end and its top is tight against the bottom of the roof board.
Continue working your way along the wall trimming around doors and windows as you go. On wall #4 the large opening where the small side structure gets attached doesn't get siding.
Use short leftover pieces under and between the top and bottom of windows to make best use of material. The top ends should be tight against the roof boards and they should be butted as tight against each other as possible. Trim around rafter ends as needed. Last piece at the end of every wall should be trimmed to fit as needed. FYI, 1x6 corner boards will be added later and they will hide small gaps in this area. 1 x 6 corner boards are 1/4 wide so gaps of about 1/8 or less are okay as the corner will easily cover it and still have enough glue contact area with the siding.
Front wall siding notice we had to fudge a little. The second to last board towards the middle of the wall has been trimmed a little in width so we didn't have to notch the next board to fit around the window opening. We don't normally do this and you don't have to, but this is a good example of how to do it for any reason. Especially if your siding on a long wall starts running a little out of plumb.
Add the outside truss same as the large structure by laying the outside wall on a flat surface and attaching the truss. We had our glass layout board over the edge of the table so we could clamp the outer wall down.
Trim the rafter ends on one truss to 5 5/16 long from the peak of this truss before putting it in place. Attach this truss glued to the siding of wall #4 on top of the walls of the small structure.
A piece of 1x12 clamped at the peak to aid in aligning the rest of the trusses. Same as the large structures roof add the rest of the roof rafters.
All trusses in place. Same as with the other roof trim the rafter ends.
2x4's at the peak between the trusses in place.
1 x 12 roof boards should butt tight against siding of wall #4 with 1/8 overhang on the rafter ends and 1/2 over the siding (that will be attached later) on the end wall. We used 13 pieces on each side 8 1/2 long. Notice blue clamp lower right. It is holding one corner of a 2x4 clamped diagonally pulling the small structure back into square. Always check things for square. This was very important at this particular time as the roof boards will hold it all square. This board was removed after the glue had set up on the roof boards.
Use spacing strips same as large roof and finish this roof. Notice structure blocked up at an angle so we could use gravity once again as our clamping force.
1x12 siding on small entrance structure front wall starts at wall #4 keep it as tight as possible and work your way across. Stop at the end wall and do the back wall starting at the end of the siding on the back wall #3 of the large structure. Work your way to the outside end wall. End wall siding, start at one corner and same as the other walls work your way along trimming around openings as needed.
Here shows all the siding done. At this point we again left the building on a flat surface overnight to let the glue dry.
1x4 for ridge caps applied to both roof sections per drawing #3. You can used full lengths as the leftover short pieces of 1x4 can be used as window trim later. These are the ones for the large roof. We laid them side by side and ran a bead of glue at the point where they meet and spread that smooth.
Let the glue setup slightly so it is still flexible. Place some fresh glue on them again and place the 1x4's glue side down on the peak. The first application of glue should act like a hinge holding both of them together so you can bend them into place as the ridge cap. We left them 1/8 longer than needed and trimmed the ends later after the glue had set up. Do the same on the smaller roof.
Use 1x6 for window and door jambs. Their front side should be flush with the siding.
1x4 for window trim applied next so it covers the edge of the 1x6 jambs. We like to leave the top 1x4 trim board about 1/8 longer on each end so it overhangs the vertical 1x4 trim boards for added detail.
On front door note the 1x4 at the bottom stops at the top of the 2x4 bottom plate of the wall. This is to allow for the porch floor that will be added later.
2x2 windows dividers are optional, but a nice detail. Use the drawing as a good way to keep them square however adjust their size as needed to fit your trimmed window opening. Mark the parts to fit your openings as construction results can vary.
Then shown here center them on the drawing and mark for making a notch. You can also cut them as separate parts, however we prefer the notch method.
Mark the cross piece.
Here the pieces with the notches. We use a small band saw to do this, but it can be done with a razor saw by cutting half way through on each end of the notch and carving the center out with a hobby knife.
A drop of glue in one notch then use the drawing as a guide to square them up.
Window dividers added. Their back should be flush with the back of the 1x6 jambs. This makes it easier to add glazing later if you want to.
Make 2 doors and per drawing #1. Adjust their size to fit your door openings. First frame in the outside with 2x4 laid flat.
Add 1x6 vertically or horizontally as desired to the backside of the lower opening. 2x2 added as window dividers. Then attach them in open or closed position your choice.
Easy way to trim doors is to sand the sides with a piece of 100 grit sand paper laid on a flat surface. Sand a few strokes and check the fit. If they don't fit that well in a closed position then leave them open.
Make the porch floor with 2x6 per drawing #2.
Porch post assembly made with 4x4 for the main parts and gussets per drawing #2.
The railing is made with 2x4 on edge. Easy way is to start with the top railing parts in place then add the spindles.
After a final spacing adjustment add the bottom railing pieces.
Attach the porch floor to the front entrance wall.
Lay the post assembly against the front entrance wall #5 and put a pencil mark on the siding at the top of the post assembly. This is where the top of the bottom 2x4 porch rafters will go.
Mark a line 3/4 above the top of the post assembly mark. This is where the top of the 2x4 porch rafters will be attached to the siding.
The porch post assembly is in place and 2 lower rafters in place. They should be 2 long the same as the distance from the siding of the wall to the backside of the 4x4 posts at the bottom where the posts meet the porch floor.
4 upper porch roof rafters are made with 2x4 and the backside ends attach directly to the siding. The top rafter is 3/4 higher at the back side than the top of the post assembly. The inside one attaches directly to the siding of wall #4. The outside one should be flush with the end of the post assembly and the framing of the front wall. The 2 inside ones centered on the center posts.
1x12 roof boards for the porch should be tight against the siding of wall #4 and overhang the outside end by 1/4. Start with the bottom one with it overhanging the top rafter ends by 1/4. Notice pencil space marks about 7/16 apart. Then once the boards were in place we adjusted as needed for even spacing so we didn't have to trim the width of the last board at the top.
Porch roof in place. We used 6 1x12 roof boards 8 1/4 long. The top roof board should be tight against the siding of wall #5
1x6 used to fill in the end porch roof truss area to cover the 2x4's.
1x6 corner boards added, note detail on wall placement detail of drawing #3. All outside corners get corner boards. Where the back walls of the two sub structures meet corner boards are added from the top of the lower roof to the bottom of the upper roof.
Finished photos Notice the windows we left out. In retrospect we should have left them in.
Same on this wall we left out the back window.
Main color is a light tan with medium brown for trim and chocolate for the roof color.
Here ready for sealing and out to the layout.
Finish with exterior paints, as you would a real outdoor building and seal inside and out with a good clear exterior sealer. We recommend buildings be taken in over the winter months.
Good Luck and Happy Railroading!
Mark & Sue Smith
Smith Pond Junctions Railroad Products
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