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Lake Cabin 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 24' deep x 12' tall, (with roof and porches), which is 14"x 12" x 6 " tall in scale size. Use layout drawing for dimension reference. Read complete instructions before you begin. Tips page available at Lumber is shipped in random length. Cut materials to length with sharp utility knife, razor saw or bandsaw with fine tooth blade. Use waterproof wood glue.

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

Start by laying out 2 sidewalls, front and back walls and main hip roof truss with 2x4's per the drawing #1. Window dividers will be done later. Use the plan as a pattern marking, cutting, and laying them on the layout drawing for gluing. Adjust door size after opening is done with jambs and trim installed. Use common sense and think ahead. Start with a few elements and add more until the walls are finished.

All 4 walls complete.

Assemble all wall sections together, keeping them square.

Sidewalls should be inside the front and back walls, (see layout drawing #2 for detail on this).

Build the main center hip roof truss with 2x4 laid flat.

On the top plate of all four walls mark truss and rafter locations starting at the center of each wall on 1" centers.

Build 6 (3 front and 3 back) center hip roof trusses as shown on drawing #3.

Place the main center hip roof truss on top of the walls centered on the sidewalls making sure the overhand is equal on each side.

Then add the center hip roof trusses. The middle ones should be centered on the front and back wall with the outer ones place on 1" centers. Notice 1x6 clamped across top of walls to pull them together. In the case of the prototype the walls had spread slightly.

The last center hip roof trusses installed.

Per drawing #3 rough cut the corner hip rafters and fine tune the fit at the top. You can leave excess overhang at the outer wall end to trim later.

Top view of roof ridge showing joint area of trusses and corner hip rafters.

Remember the creeper jack rafters will be on 1" centers as well. Measure from the existing truss elements to space them our properly.

Then add the creeper jack rafters until your roof is complete. We left the ends long and trimmed them later. Angles on the top ends were fine-tuned by sanding on medium grit sandpaper.

Hip roof framing complete. Ends of rafters were rough trimmed with a side cutter and fine tuned with a sanding block to end up with Approximately ¼" overhang.

The first piece of siding attached at the bottom of the wall. Its bottom is even with the top of the 2x4-bottom plate of the wall. This is so the porch deck boards will attach later directly to the bottom plate. Strips of the siding spacer strips glued to 2x4's at the ends of the wall and on each side of the door.

A close up of the siding process using the siding spacing strips. Make sure to glue them solidly to the 2x4.

The strip is placed so a line is at the top of the bottom piece of siding.

The top of the next piece of siding is lined up with the next line. This gives you 11" siding spacing. Work your way to the top and trim around door and window openings as you go.

The top piece we chose to trim around the rafter ends. You don't have to, but if your building is at eye level it will be seen. Continue with the same process with the remaining walls. On the back and right wall, the siding should start at the bottom of the 2x4-bottom plate of the wall, as there is no space needed for the porch.
1x6 applied as a doorjamb. Make sure the front edge is flush with the high parts of the siding. The windows are done the same way. We usually do the sides first and then the top and bottom. There is no jamb material applied to the bottom of the door opening.

1x4 applied as door and window trims. We usually leave the top piece extend a little over each side.

2x2 for window dividers on the small windows. Measure them to fit your openings as the drawing doesn't include the jamb material and construction results can vary. We use the drawing just as a square reference.

Divider installed.

Start at the front wall left corner using 2x6 for the porch deck. Work your way to each end gluing them tight together and under the siding. Trim the last piece on the end as necessary. It should end at the end of the wall framing.

Top view of porch deck in place and held down with wood blocks until the glue sets up. If your ends extend beyond the end of the walls, remember the end of your porch post has to line up with the end of the wall framing, not the siding or the end of the porch deck. This is because the porch roof end rafter needs to line up straight with the post assembly.

Build the porch post assemblies from 4x4. There is enough 4x4 in the kit that you could do small angled braces in the corners if you like. We didn't as we thought it would interfere with the already busy appearance of the building.

The side wall porch post assembly in place leaning slightly against a wood block. Check with a small square to keep things straight.

The other end of the front porch post assembly. As said before, the end post needs to be in line with the end of the wall framing so the porch end porch rafters line up correctly. Adjust the length of the post assemble as needed to fit your construction results.

Overall view of porch post assemblies installed. A square in place to insure things are plumb.

2x4 for the rafter is held in place for a few minutes until the glue sets up enough to continue. Notice a 2x4 on its side as a spacer between the bottom of the main roof rafter bottoms and the top of the porch rafter. We left the rafters about a ¼" longer than needed. This was trimmed later.

The front wall with a couple of the 2x4 porch rafters in place, notice the right side a small clamp holding the 2x4 spacer tight against the bottom of the main roof rafters.

More porch rafters in place. Leaving them a little longer also allows using a small wood block to hold them in place as shown.

1x12 porch roof boards in place. 1/8" overhang on all sides. You might place a small piece of 1x4 as a spacer on the front edge of each rafter to lift the front edge of the 1x12 making for better alignment of the corner cap boards that will be added later. We didn't but if you want to be real picky you might want to do this.

Same process with spacing strips as used to apply the 1x12 siding to space the porch roof boards.

The last porch roof board at the top is a 1x6. Depending on your construction results you might have to use a 1x12 and trim it to correct width. Remember that it will be under the overhang of the main roof section so a small gap will be hard to see.

Same as with the porch roof boards, the bottom boards shown in place here as well as spacing strips. Same thing as above about 1x4 spacers applied to each rafter end to lift slightly the outside edge of the 1x12 to give better alignment for later application on the 1x4-cap boards.

Close up of corner with spacing strips in place. As with the siding, the bottom line of the strip is tight against the top of the first board. Then align the top of the next board with the next line. Try to keep the corner joints as tight as possible to make the most of their contact area with the framing. Also the corner 1x4 cap in place on the porch roof.

Top view with the main roof boards all in place.

The first application of 1x4-cap boards that cover the roof board gaps over the corner hip rafters. The side ones first.

Top view with the cap boards in place a very complex but beautiful roof.

Close up of the main roof ridge cap and the angle cuts.

1x6-corner boards applied. Side wall done first with its front edge flush with the high points of the front wall siding. The front board covers the front edge of the sidewall board. Trim around top and bottom building elements to get as much coverage from top to bottom as possible.

Door frames done with 2x4. You have to measure your door openings and adjust the size of the door to fit your door openings as construction results can vary. Ours ended up being 1/16" wider than the drawing.

Optional window dividers done same as for the windows. Adjust to fit your door construction results.

Doors completed. 1x6 added on the bottom section from behind. We did them vertical, you can do them anyway you choose. Final sand doors to fit your openings for best fit. If your fit doesn't turn out well, do as we do and glue them in an open position.

View of back and right side. Painted a light tan or beige with brown trim. We added some document protector to the windows as glazing and some lace as drapes and curtains in certain windows.

View of front and left side. The side door we put in a closed position, but the front door glued in place slightly open. Both we used a round headed white sewing pin to look like a white porcelain knob. A figure and some twigs cut to look like a small woodpile. Ready to add a chimney and other details.

Views from different angles.

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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