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General Store Front 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!

Start by laying out a base frame with 1/4" framing material per drawing #4. Outside dimensions should be 12" wide x 2 1/4" deep. Making sure to keep it square and flat. Add 1/4" x 1/2" cross piece per layout drawing. It ends up underneath where the front wall and the back edge of the porch decking attaches.

Frame front wall per layout drawing #1 with 6x6. Make sure to keep it square and flat. Leave off the 2 x 4, roof support until the siding is applied. Leave the bottom plate one piece (full width) until done, then cut for the door opening.

Cut out6x6 at bottom of front wall framing at the door opening.

Apply 1x6 siding to the front wall using the siding spacing strips from drawing #2. Cut the strips vertically from the sheet.

Glue them them to each 6x6 stud with a solid layer of glue. Line up the bottom most line with the bottom of the wall framing.

Cut and set aside 18 pieces of 1x6 12” long for the top of the wall and save the short leftover short pieces for the bottom of the wall around the windows and door. Start by attaching a bottom 1x6 with its bottom flush with the bottom of the wall framing.

The next piece align its top with the next line on the spacing strips.

Continue to the top of the wall. Trim around openings as you go. Attach 2x4 crossbeam to siding for porch roof support 1/8" in from the ends of the wall as shown on drawing #1.

Attach front to base frame with its backside (the 6x12 side) flush with the back of the front wall framing.

Make a threshold for the door opening out of 2x6 to raise the door opening up to porch floor level.

Using 2x6 for front deck area cut pieces to length (we used 49) 2 1/8” long. Attach them to the porch base one at a time starting at the ends and work your way to the middle and trim the last one to fit to maintain 1/8 " overhang at the ends and front.

Porch floor finished.

Using 1x6 for jambs line the window and door openings. Make sure it is flush with the highest points of the lap siding.

Apply 1x4 as trim around openings. Top trim piece can be left long, as was done on old west buildings.

With 2x4 make 1 door frame per drawing #2. Adjust to fit your opening as construction results can vary.

Using 2x2 make 2 window frames with dividers per drawing. Adjust size as needed to fit your jambs.

Fill in the backside of the bottom with 1x6 vertical or horizontal, your choice and install the window dividers.

Install them so their back side is flush with the 1x6 jambs backside. This makes it easier to install glazing as it doesn’t have to be cut to fit inside the jambs. Do same with door. Door may be glued in open or closed position, right or left hand opening, this is your choice.

With 4x4 make the front porch frame per drawing #3. Space the 4 posts per the layout drawing. Attach 4x4 corner gussets to top of posts.

Glue the post frame assembly to the porch deck keeping it centered side ways and about 1/8th “ back from the front edge. Notice blocks of wood used to hold it in place until the glue sets up.

Attach the lower 2x4 and 2x4 rafters per the layout drawing. Adjust to your construction results to keep the porch posts parallel with the front siding.

Start at each end of the porch roof. Leave 1x12 roof boards overhang on front & sides 1/4". We used 21 @ 2 5/16" long.

Space them approx. 1/8" apart. Adjust so they are evenly spaced with gaps narrow enough to be covered by the 1x 4 battens.

Apply the 1x4 to cover the gaps. We left them longer than needed as the overhanging piece makes a nice handle for installation. After the glue sets up you can trim the ends flush with the edge of the 1x12 roof boards with a side cutter or razor saw.

Fill in the end frames with 1x6 siding.

Install a piece of 1x12 on each side all the way to the top of the wall. Its front edge should be flush with the high points of the 1x6 front siding.

Install 1 x 4 corner boards so the cover the front edge of the 1x12 side corner boards.

Trim around porch roof ends as needed.

Add 2x12 cap on front wall flush with back of front wall framing and even overhang on both sides. We left 1/8" overhang on the ends. Trim the side 1x12 corner boards as needed to fit your application.

Door installed in a closed position.

A shot of the complete kit to give you an idea of what the finished front can look like.

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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