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Sheriffs' Office Front
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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)
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.
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!
Lay out front wall 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. Start with a few elements.
Then add more as you can allowing glue to set up.
Here shown the finished front wall frame.
Apply 1x12 front wall siding vertically, starting at one front corner and placing them side by side as tight together as you can. That first front piece should go all the way to the bottom of where the 2x12 cap will go.
Trim around openings as you go.
Apply 2x12 cap per drawing #2 on the top of the front façade. Let it overhang the back of the front wall framing about 1/8, and the ends about ¼.
Use 1x6 for door and window jambs aligning the front flush with siding.
Apply 1x4 as trim. Leave top element of trim 1/8 longer it overhangs the side trim as a typical old west detail.
Window dividers should be done now on the front window before adding the porch. Use 2x2 Measure them to fit your openings, note the drawings dont 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.
Divider installed. Backside flush with back of the window jambs.
Use 2x6 for the front porch decking. We used 32 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 it directly to the siding as shown here.
A square placed against the back of the wall and that leaning block in front is keeping things square.
With 4x4 assemble the front porch post assembly.
Attach to the deck per the drawing, and keep them square as possible. Notice structure is setting on a block of wood allow clamp clearance.
Use 2x4 for 3 bottom porch roof rafter elements attached between the front porch post assembly and glued directly to the siding one on each end and one in the middle. Shown here the first one clamped in place.
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 its top is ½ higher than the top of the front post assembly. Glue this directly to the front siding.
Attach 3 rafters from the front post assembly to the 2x4 cross piece.
Attach 1x12 porch roofing boards front to back leaving them overhang on the front and sides by ¼.
We used 15 (1 3/4 long) on the front porch about 1/16 apart.
Use 1x4 as batten strips to cover the seams. Notice we left them a little long to have a handle to hold them to put them in place. The ends were trimmed off with a side cutter after the glue set up.
Fill in the end truss area with 1x6. Notice the ends aren't all even. This adds to realism.
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 divider. Use same method as for the window.
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 as desired to work well with your application.
Here a Threshold made from a scrap of 2x12,
Completed and ready to finish. Glue the door in open or closed position, left or right hand operation your choice. Use a stick pin head for a knob.
A finished view of the front of the whole kit, not just the front to show what detail we added. A sign made from scrap and painted.
Finish with exterior paints, as you would a real outdoor building and seal inside and out with a good clear exterior sealer. 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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