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Grand Junction Saloon 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 28’ wide x 28’ deep x 20’ tall, which is 14” x 14” x 10” 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. Start by laying out the entrance wall, right and left side walls with 2x4’s standing on edge per the drawing #1. Use the plan as a pattern marking, cutting, and laying them on the layout drawing for gluing. Use common sense and think ahead.

Start with a few elements and add more until the walls are finished.

Always cut long pieces first then use the short leftovers for blocking. After you have the Entrance wall and both front side walls done then build the back walls per drawing #2.

Assemble all wall sections together, keeping them square. See layout drawing #2 for detail on this as to how they should look from the top. Notice the piece of 2x6 clamped from the entrance wall to one back wall. This was to keep things square. Assembling them on top of the drawing is the best way to ensure proper wall placement.

View from the top.

Build roof frame with 6x6 per drawing #2. Adjust size as needed to fit the inside of your walls as construction results can vary.

Roof frame turned upside down and bottom 6x6 shown on the drawing in dashed red lines added.

Attach the roof support framing 3/8” below the top of the front side walls on the entrance wall end and sloping down toward the back corner 1/4” so it is 5/8” below the top of the back walls where they meet and where the scuppers will be installed at the back corner. This is important for good drainage.

Roof frame clamped in place.

Glue applied where the wall studs meet the 6x6 roof frame.

Install the 1 1/2” x 1/8” roof boards starting at the back wall and work your way to the other size keeping them as tight together as possible. Trim the last piece to width as needed.

Hard to see here, but we had cut the last piece to fit leaving it full width. Then we put it under the board next to it. As you can see the pencil is against the side of it marking where to cut the last board to width.

Roof boards done.

Apply 1x12 siding to the entrance and side walls horizontally (lapped) starting with the bottom. Cut several strips from the siding spacing strips and apply them as directed on drawing #3.

Close up of spacing strips. The first two lines up from the bottom of the wall show (dark line) where top of first board will be and other finer line where the bottom of the second board will be. The space between these two lines is the overlap of the siding boards.

Align the bottom of the the first 1x12 flush with the bottom 2x4 plate of the front wall.

The top of the second board lined up with the next line on the spacing strip. Trim around doors and window openings as you go. At the top of the wall trim the last pieces so they are flush with the outside edges of the wall framing. This is important so the 2x12 top cap of the wall fits well when it is installed later.

Entrance wall finished. Notice we left the facade pieces long and trimmed them later to be flush with the top 2x4 elements of the wall.

You might have to adjust the overlap on the last couple of pieces at the top of the front side walls so the top of the last piece is flush with the top of the wall framing.

Starting with the entrance wall apply 1x12 siding to the backside (not lapped) horizontally. Start with the bottom piece tight against the roof boards and work your way to the top. Trim all ends so they are flush with the 2x4 framing of the entrance wall.

Apply 1x12 vertically to the back walls. Starting at one corner work your way across the wall keeping the boards as tight together as possible. Trim the last board at the end of each wall as needed. This photo was taken later in the construction process and shows the window and other things done as well and used here to show vertical application of the siding on the back walls.

Do the same thing with 1x12 on all the backside of the other walls and trim the top flush with the top of the wall framing.

We trimmed it after the glue set up carving it down with a sharp hobby knife until it was close to being flush. Then cleaned it up with a flat sanding block so the 2x12 wall cap will fit well.

Door and window jambs installed using 1x6. The front edge should be flush with the high points on lap siding.

Then 1x4 trim boards applied. Make sure on the doors the 1x4 spaced up at the bottom the thickness of the porch floor that gets installed later as its backside gets glued directly to the siding. A nice detail is to leave the top piece of 1x4 trim overhang the side pieces.

A closeup of the spacing to allow for the porch floor that will be install 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. Place their backside flush with the backside of the 1x6 jambs as this makes for easier installation of glazing. Doors will be made and installed later.

Use 2x6 to make the porch floor sections per drawing #2. Note the placement of the back porch floor isn't shown on the top view of drawing #2, it is attached centered to the door opening directly to the siding on the short back wall. We decided to work from the corners of the entrance porch floor. 5 pieces 1/2”, 1”, 1 1/2”, 2” and 2 1/2” long glued together.

A line shown here was drawn as shown using the extended line on the plan.

You will need 4 of these angled sections.

One right and left half of the corner glued together.

Each corner was glued directly to the front corners of the building.

Work your way to the middle then trim the last 3 or 4 pieces as needed.

An easy way to do this is by edge sanding the pieces a few strokes at a time then fitting them in place. We used 84 full length pieces of 2x6 (3”long), 20 on the entrance and 32 on each side of the porch floors

Entrance porch done and a block of wood holding things down.

Side porch floor, work you way to the back wall and trim the last board as needed so it is flush with the siding on the back wall.

On one end we used a leftover scrap of 2x4 instead of trimming a 2x6 to fit so the porch floor was flush with the outside of the back wall. As we have stated many times construction results can vary.

Before adding the porch posts and roof, make a threshold for both the front and back doors with a scrap of 1x12.

Use 6x6 to make the entrance porch post assembly per drawing #2. The 4x4 gussets we placed their backside flush with the back of the 6x6 frame elements. We thought being spaced back like this looked good.

Place it on the porch floor up against the entrance wall and mark the front wall where its top is.

Then per drawing #3 you will attach a piece of 2x4 horizontally across the entrance wall with its top 29/32” above the mark you made earlier. This will be the attachment point for the back ends of the porch roof boards. Notice since ours was at the bottom edge of a piece of siding we left it at an angle so it had more glue contact area. Since it is under the roof boards it won't be seen later.

Front view showing the 2x4 cross piece.

Attach the post assembly to the porch spaced as shown on drawing #2. The end of the block of wood against the entrance wall is hooked under the 2x4 attached in the last step and is holding it down and in place.

Then at the center of each inside post install a bottom and top rafter board and rafter boards centered on each of the center 2 posts.

Attach 2x4 on each side wall as the back attachment point for the porch roof boards. The ends should be in 1/4” from the outside of the siding on the back wall.

Continue with the side post assemblies. Again adjust the length of the side post top elements so the end posts appear in the proper position on the porch floor and the ends where they meet the entrance post assembly will need to be trimmed at an angle for attachment. Install same way as the entrance wall, mark top of post assembly on wall. Here you can see the corner bottom 2x4 rafter in place. We positioned it directly above the corner joint of the porch floor. At the wall end their top should be at the line you made with the post assembly.

Rafters used flush on the outside ends.

Top and bottom rafters centered on each of the other posts.

Porch roof boards next using 1x12. 1/4” overhang on the ends sticking out over the post assemblies and on each end overhang of 1/4” on the rafters. Our full length pieces were 2 7/8” long. We cut 43 of them, 11 for the entrance roof and 16 for each of the side porch roofs. We took short scrap and placed it as seen and made a small triangle to fill in the corner. Then took one of the full length ones and cut the top angle on it.

We did this at each end then cut the angle on the next inside board. Notice spacing of 1/32” to 1/16” as needed to fill the space between. The 1x4 battens will cover the gaps.

Again same method on the side porch roof.

Both sides done.

1x12 added on outside end. 1/4” overhang on end and put edge flush with back wall.

Here the big picture, now fill in the middle.

Same as entrance space them as evenly as possible.

Cut 1x4 at 3” long. This leaves a little over the end of the roof boards and works good as a handle. Center them over the gaps and try to make them look evenly spaced apart.

Batten detail at the corner.

Top of corner batten board trimmed to fit inside the others.

The others for the corner in place. We adjusted them over the gaps as needed so they looked more matched up at the ends. After the glue on the battens has cured the ends can be trimmed flush with the roof boards with a sharp side cutter or hobby knife.

With 1x6 fill in the ends of the porch rafters as shown on drawing #3.

Notice we left the ends unmatched a bit. Don't want it to look too perfect.

Using 4x4 make the back porch post assembly and floor with 2x6 per drawing #2. Attach the floor centered on the door opening and directly to the siding. Post assembly against wall and top marked on wall to show where the top of the bottom rafters will go. Note the 2x4 cross piece is only 1/2” higher than the post assembly.

2x4 cross piece in place and rafters on each end flush with the outside edge of the post assembly.

First roof board in place using same 1/4” overhang as front porch roof.

5 roof boards total, notice they are tight together.

Battens done and ready to trim.

A scrap of 1x12 used for a threshold.

Again 1x6 used to fill in the end of the rafters.

Make 2 doors for the front entrance per drawing #1 and the single back door per drawing #2 with 2x4 laid flat. Adjust door size as needed to fit your finished openings especially if you added a threshold at the bottom of the door opening.

All 3 doors done. 1x6 applied to the back of the lower half to fill it in. We placed ours vertically. 2x2 window dividers if desired.

Or for the front doors, the optional bat wing style with the top curved parts carved from leftover 2x12. Per drawing #1. Shown here as used on our Wild Rose Saloon kit. But for this saloon kit we used the standard full doors. Your choice.

Make 2 scuppers with 1x6 per drawing #2.

Then mark 1/2” down and 3/8” from the back wall where the bottom/back corner of the scupper will go.

After sanding the scuppers to clean up the edges and corners, place it on the wall and mark around it.

Then carefully scribe along the lines and carve the holes for them at the back corner of the building. It will take many passes, with each time digging a little deeper into the wood. This gradual approach will do a better job.

Then reaching through with the knife to the board on the backside do the same using the front hole as a guide. Their bottoms should be flush with the top of the roof boards.

Both scuppers in place. Use glue around them like you would caulk in the real world.

Same on the outside. It may look sloppy now, however as the glue dries it will shrink and after paint is applied they will look great. We left the outside ends rough at this point and will sand them to even up the ends later before painting.

Make sure all siding is flush with the top of their respective walls. Then install the 2x12 cap to the top of them. Reference to its application is on drawing #1 & #3. Leave it overhang the front of the walls about 1/8”. Then leave it about 5/16” on the outside ends of the entrance wall so that after application of 1x6 corner boards, you will have about 1/4” overhang.

2X12 cap added to the tops of the side and back walls. Same 1/8” overhang over the outside of the walls. Work hard to get a good match at the angle joints at the corners.

Use 1x6 for corner boards. See drawing #3 for overlap detail.

The front/back corner boards should cover the edge of the side corner boards. Also note detail for the facade on drawing #3. Trim around porch roof ends etc. as needed.

Detail of the little piece from roof to top cap.

Entrance 1x6 corner boards installed under porch. Notice one was trimmed around the bottom 2x4 rafter. This is a little picky and you could just end the board at the bottom of the rafter.

2x4 on edge to make the front railings.

These are optional, however we think they are a great detail and draw attention to the corner entrance. Start with the top piece and add the spindles one at a time.

A block of wood used to hold the spindles down and a dab of glue on the ends ready for the bottom cross piece to be put in place. You will need 4 short and 4 of the long sections. Don't install the railings at this time. You will find it much easier to paint the front walls.

Front doors in place. Use the sanding method shown earlier for the porch floor boards to fit your doors. If you doors don't fit that well glue them in an open position.

Back door in place as well.

Back wall door side.

Back wall window side.

The sign was roof material scraps glued to form a background. We cut the sign from drawing #1 and glued it to the board. We use as permanent ink as our printers can handle so it should look good for a couple of years. Not shown we used scraps of 2x6 on edge to form a frame around it to give it some depth.

Painted, we used yellow for the walls, light brown for the trim and dark brown for the porch roof. The main roof was done in flat black. Then we installed the railings. I always trim things to fit with a method I call sneak up on it. Sand a little off and try it. Sand a little at a time as it takes longer to build a new part than spending that little bit of extra time in fitting things correctly to start with. Sign in place and the 2x6 boarder painted the same brown as the porch roof. The sign should be sealed with clear spray paint. We like the inexpensive stuff at Walmart. A light dusting at first then a few more coats after that dries. The light coat first will keep the paper from becoming more translucent than solid and the ink from running.

We use brass brads for the front door knobs, cutting them about 1/4” long and drilling holes for them. Once they were through the door a dab of glue on the backside to hold them in place.

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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