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Grand Junction Platform Kit

(click on photo's for a larger image)

Glue Tips,
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)
Cutting Tips,
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.
Work area,
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) are roughly 36’ wide x 17’ deep x 14’ tall, which is 18”x 8 1/2” x 7” tall in scale size. Use layout drawing for dimension reference.

Use a sharp pencil. You can mark most elements right off the drawings with very little measuring.

Build the base platform framing with 2x6 standing on edge per drawing #1. Add elements a few at a time allowing time for the glue to set.

Add a few more elements allowing time for glue to cure. Here a few more elements added.

Here the finished base, ready for decking.

Start adding 2” thick (either 2x6 or 2x12 is recommended for the end piece because of the overhang) decking material at one end leaving 1/8” overhang on the side and ends. Use a combination of 2x4, 2x6 & 2x12. There are 12 of each in the material bundle for this. So you need to use the 3 sizes evenly.

Here shown an assortment of lengths. The 2x12 for the each end are 4 1/8” long. We then cut some 1 1/8, 2 1/8” 3 1/8” and 4 inch long pieces and lightly sanded the burs off the ends before attaching them to the 2x6 base frame. Make sure to stagger the seams and for the prototype we tried to use different color material to give more character as we are planning on a clear finish for the base on this prototype.

You can see the pattern, notice the top row of 2x12, the dark one is one of the 4” long pieces. In this location a 1 1/8” and 3 1/8” piece on each end. If it is in the center to the platform, each end would be 2 1/8” lengths.

Work your way to the other end. You can use some full length pieces, but it will be necessary to use some short pieces

More deck boards added notice pattern of placement.

Trim the last boards as needed.

6x6 is used for 2 long post assemblies per drawing #1.

Both shown completed with the diagonal braces added.

6x6 used for the end frame with diagonals.

6x6 post assembly with blocks to hold it in place. Bottom of posts are spaced 1/8” from the edge of the platform on side and ends.

End post frames in place again spaced in 1/8 from the edge.

Upside down to make it easier to add the corner diagonals on the end post corners.

2x4 used to make the trusses. I always do the outside parts then add center upright later. 18 trusses are needed.

Center uprights added.

End truss glued on. Notice glass sheet is on blocks so the base can hang over the edge and the end post frame is now flat on the glass. Easy to add the end truss. Do both ends the same.

We wanted the eaves of this kit to look busy, so the trusses are on 1” centers. Start at one end and mark off each inch.

Center truss in place, notice the 2x4 clamped to the end trusses. This gives an easy alignment point for the end of the rafters.

Then we filled in one end, using blocks to roughly hold the trusses in place.

2x4 is added between the trusses at the top for extra strength and a solid glue point for the top elements of the roof. The length was taken from the space at one end of the truss where it meets the top element of the post assembly.
Structure on end with a wood block keeping all the peak 2x4's tight together.

Spacing strips are used per the instructions on drawing #2. Peak last board line at edge of 2x4. Could be at center of 2x4 as well. What ever works out best for your construction results so you end up with 1/8” to 1/4” of hangover at the bottom end of the truss rafter.

Here baseline of spacing strip about 3/8” above bottom of rafter end. Leaving us with 1/8” overhang on the prototype.

Full view of the spacing strip. We used one on each end truss and one close to center.

First 1x12 roof board with its top at the bottom baseline of the spacing strips. Clamped in place.

Here the second roof board attached with its top edge aligned with the next line on the spacing strips.

Structure tilted with wood blocks underneath and now wood blocks to hold the boards down as the glue sets. We used 11 18” long 1x12 roof boards on each side on the prototype. Our overhang was 1/2” on each end and 1/8” on the ends of the truss rafters.

Work your way to the peak making sure to get good glue contact with the trusses.

1X4 is used for ridge cap.

Match up each side of the ridge cap best as you can. In this case the slight difference was sanded off before painting so it looked smooth...

1x6 is used to fill in the ends of the platform trusses. edge.

Start at the center and work you way to each

Trim the last end ones as needed.

Total end view showing the great contrast of the deck boards. This is why doing short pieces is so great.

There is enough material for 2 benches in the lumber bundle. You may end up with enough leftovers to build more. Per drawing #2 use 2x4 laid flat to make 6 bench frames.

Attach 1x4 as back and seat area slats leaving about a 1/16” overhang on the ends. Start with one as shown here.

Add the center frame and a couple slats.

Add the rest of the slats and one bench is done.

Now it's ready for finishing and detail.
Shown here painted. A dark red for the 1x6 end fill of the trusses and a medium brown for the roof boards. The rest was sprayed with inexpensive clear spray paint to bring out the grain and color of the lumber. Bench slats done in tan with the roof color on the 2x4 frames.

A few figures added. Ready for final sealing and maybe a sign then out to the layout!

We recommend all parts that come in direct contact with the ground get a good sealing with any clear sealer that works in your area. If you stain the wood, do that first then seal. If you want to have a natural gray cedar finish, seal only the ground contact areas (footings and all backsides) and let Mother Nature do the rest.



Good Luck and Happy Railroading!



Mark & Sue Smith
Smith Pond Junctions Railroad Products

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