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Susan's Dress Shop Front 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 framing with 2x4 per drawing #1. 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.

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. Trim the top so it is flush with the façade framing on sides and top.

Apply 2x12 cap per drawings, on the top of the front façade on both short horizontal sides and the top. Let it overhang the back side about 1/8", and the ends about ¼".

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 a typical old west detail if you wish.

Use 2x6 for the front porch decking. We used 24 pieces 1 ½" long glued side by side, and trim as necessary at the door opening and the ends so it is equal to the width of the front wall. Attach directly to the siding.

Threshold made of scrap 1x6 to fill in the gap at the door.

With 4x4 assemble the front porch post assembly. Use 2x4 for the railing.

Using the lower rafter piece to mark where the back of the 4x4 post goes.

Using the 4x4 post assembly to mark where the back side of the lower rafter piece goes.

Attach to the deck per the drawing, and keep it as square as possible. Use 2x4 for 4 bottom cross supports attached directly to the siding.

Cut a 2x4 cross piece (that will serve as an attachment point for the backside of the porch roof rafters and a backend glue point for the 1x12 porch roof boards), the same length as the width of the front post assembly and attach to the front so it's top is ½" higher than the top of the front post assembly. Glue this directly to the front siding.

Attach the 4 rafters from the front post assembly to the 2x4 cross piece.

Attach 1x12 roofing boards front to back leaving them overhang on the front and sides by ¼". We used 12 (1 3/4" long) on the front porch about 1/16" apart.

Starting at each end then filling in the middle.

Use 1x4 as batten strips to cover the seams.

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. 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. Glue them in so their back is flush with the back of the 1x6 window jambs and in the case of the door flush with the back of the framing. This makes it easy to install glazing as you don't have to trim it to fit the exact opening.

Apply 1x12 corner boards on the sides with the front edge flush with the high points of the front wall siding.

Add 1x6 corner boards on the front so they are flush with the outside edge of the 1x12 side corner boards. See the corner board overlap example on the drawing. Trim the 1x12 corner board backside as desired to work well with your application.

Fill in the end of porch roof truss area with 1x6.

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

Shown here with sign and detail added. Finish as you would any outside structure, making sure to seal it inside and out. Attach your finished front to wall, fence or a framing of your own.

Good Luck and Happy Railroading!



Mark & Sue Smith
Smith Pond Junctions Railroad Products

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