Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Building a Lumber Yard

1313 views
18 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Building a Lumber Yard
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 6, 2020 9:27 PM

For those of you who haven't read every word I've ever written, my whole recent foray into structure building started when I pulled Muir Models Nevada City Lumber Yard from the shelf. I got it as part of a "lot" on eBay and I was raring to go. Unfortunately, someone had already built that model and what I had in the box were the plans and the scraps. 

That led me to scratch building my engine house, etc.

And I started out thinking I was going to scratch build this thing. But after looking at the plans, I decided I propably wasn't going to improve on what they'd done, and pretty much all the parts could be manufactured from popsicle sticks and coffee stirrers. I was still mising roofing materials, the sheets of board and batton for the side walls, and the flooring for the upper story. All of which I can come up with solutions for.

So this isn't strickly a scratch-build even though I spent all morning milling "lumber" to match their specifications. The one thing I couldn't quite get right were the 8x8 posts (3/32" x 3/32") that were the main part of the framing. Popsickle sticks are 1/12" thick. 3/32 = .0935 and 1/12 = .0833. So the posts aren't square, but I doubt anyone will really care. 

Anyway, since it's not a scratch-build, your welcome to not follow this post.

Anyway, here's the picture on the cover of the box.

I'm thinking the only real change will be to move the office inside the walls and build a RR receiving platform in the back. 

Since the beginning, I've had a naming problem. My layout, while called Rock Ridge, is operationally based on the Union Lumber Mill in Fort Bragg and to a lesser extent, the Ridge Mine. So when I think of Lumber Yard, I'm thinking of the 5 ft x 18 in section of my layout that is served by 4 yard tracks and a raised log dumping track. So I've decided for my own peace of mind I'm going to call this vintage Home Depot the lumber yard and the larger yard the mill yard. 

Another change I considered was putting a floor on the lower level. It was originally dirt. But to floor it, I would have to cut 160 1x6 boards out of coffee stirrers then lay them. So, for two days labor, which is what I think it would take to lay the floor, the Lillipuetians can shop on dirt.

Another kink in my plans is that Tuesday is my daughter's birthday. She insists that I clear the dining room table for the festivities. So by the end of the day tomorrow, I have to have the table cleared. 

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    January 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
  • 9,098 posts
Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, September 7, 2020 11:47 PM

I cannot wait to see this project come together. Your Livery Stable project was gorgeous.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 6:54 PM

I'm going to start with a quote from the Muir Models Assembly Instructions.

Muir Models Assembly Instructions
 1. This is an easy model to build but makes a good-looking structure.

The author is either a really good modeler, or (s)he has a heck of a sense of humor.

It's not that there is anything hard, unless you count getting the size right with a Chomper that cuts to the right. Nothing a little sanding and file won't solve. But it is starting to make me want to get a chop saw from Micro-Mark. Maybe for Christmas. 

It's more like challenging. You have to build the thing and get everything straight and square. The longest piece of lumber they give you is 7" and the building is 10" long. So, each of the bases and each of the top plates have to be split into two boards. But I didn't get the lumber in the kit and I made these boards from popsickle sticks and they are only 4 3/4 inches long, so I had to divide them up into 3 pieces.  

Tomorrow I will start by putting two braces on each posts along the three long walls. They have to be on the inside because there's a roofed extension on the front and back of the main structure and the braces would get in the way. Then I have to frame and build a stairway.

What was supposed to get for the floor of the second story was a sheet of wood pressed to look like boards. I don't have those so I'm going to have to deck it. I can get a scale 2x6 out of a coffee stirrer, but only one. They are 5.5 inches long so I only have to do two boards per row. But I do have to frame the floor. Three stingers lengthwise (the top of the first floor) is good enough for big sheets of wood, but not for 2x6 decking.

I doubt I will get farther than that. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,934 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:00 PM

SpaceMouse
I doubt I will get farther than that. 

Hi Chip,

Sorry, but I doubt your doubting! What you have done so far looks great, and I have never seen you defeated by a few (or maybe a couple hundred) coffee stirrers.

I liken projects like this to long drives. The trip to our old cottage was about 250 miles. After 25 miles (10% of the trip) I used to feel that we really had a long way to go, but we wouldn't get there if we stopped. After 200 miles (80% of the trip), I felt like we were almost there so there was no stopping. When we got to the marina, I was always happy to be there.

Please don't quit! Put it aside for a while if you need to.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • 755 posts
Posted by davidmurray on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:20 PM

Chip:

This project is a lumberyard.  Other than the directions, and you don't have the supplied material, who says you must use six inch boards.  Use ones the width of your popscyle sticks.  Eight, ten inches, who cares.

 

David Murray from Oshawa, Ontario Canada
  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:45 PM

davidmurray
Eight, ten inches, who cares.

Dave and David, 

I'm not discouraged. In fact, getting everything straight and square was an intriging puzzle. When I said I doubted I'd get much further, I meant tomorrow. It will take as long as it takes, and I'm in for however long it takes.

But really, thanks both of you.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • From: Bradford, Ontario
  • 11,934 posts
Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 9:51 PM

SpaceMouse
I'm not discouraged. In fact, getting everything straight and square was an intriging puzzle. When I said I doubted I'd get much further, I meant tomorrow. It will take as long as it takes, and I'm in for however long it takes.

Hi Chip,

Thank you for explaining that! I was concerned by the sudden possible loss of interest. Sorry for doubting you!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 1,521 posts
Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, September 10, 2020 10:22 AM

I too have a lumber yard, but not that old.  To replicate lumber sheets, I found Walmart sells project wooden sticks.  They are perfect when glued together.  I stack them up and plan to eventually wrap them to make loads.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, September 10, 2020 7:45 PM

kasskaboose
To replicate lumber sheets, I found Walmart sells project wooden sticks.

Wooden project sticks good for a lot of things. I'm about to run out of a bos of 1000. 

Dots - SignDots - SignDots - Sign

I spent six hours today working on stairs and the framing that goes into it. A good part of that was was cutting out the stair jacks. Thankfully, they suggested that you attatch the stair jack to some masking tape so that if it breaks you can glue it back together. 

Thing is, I'd guess 80% of the stairs broke off while cutting them. The reason is they were layed out at the factory across the grain. In real life, you cut a stair jack out of a 2x10 or a 2x12 and it's always with the grain. You don't cut boards sideways out of a tree. You risk splitting off the point of the stair jack, but they don't split down the middle like the cross grain model ones do. I spent pretty much the whole time I was working on the wondering why they would ever do it the most fragile way possible. 

What I did was reinforce them with coffee stirrers. To make the second story, you needed to stair jacks on each side, so you have to joint them somehow. But that meant I not only had to cut out the stairs on four stair jacks with a single edge razor, I had to do it again to cut out the stairs on the coffee stirrers. My index finger on my right hand where I push down on the razor blade is really sore.

I tried to place the stairs where they put them on the plan, and they looked really good, but if you looked up or down the stairs, you could see that a Lilliputian would have to crawl on his belly to get up the stairs under the center floor support. So I had to adjust the upper floor framing to let them walk up the stairs. As near as I can tell, all lumber that goes up or down from the top storage racks, has to do so via the stairs. You can't just hand them up or down because the lower level has a roof extending out 12 feet both front and rear.     

During periods where I had to let critical glue joint dry, I managed to frame for my decking.

No photo today because it really doesn't look that different than it did yesterday.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Friday, September 11, 2020 7:01 PM

Short day today as it's my day to do the shopping for the family. 

I made a change to the plan today. Instead of adding a roof and more area for lumber that won't be seen, I put in a loading dock. Meyer gets all his lumber from the Rock Ridge Mill, but it's delivered once or twice a week on a flatcar. 

I spent an hour and a half ripping 150 scale 2x6 out of coffee stirrers. Sitting in an office chair hovering over a mini table saw is something that hurts my back more than I like.

Still, it's kinda fun to do. It's funny how ripping a coffee stirrer seems to take about the same amount of time as ripping an 8 foot board on a table saw in real life. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    November 2007
  • From: California
  • 1,549 posts
Posted by HO-Velo on Friday, September 11, 2020 9:50 PM

SpaceMouse
spent an hour and a half ripping 150 scale 2x6 out of coffee stirrers

Hey Chip, thought of you the other evening while watching 'The Birdman of Alcatraz' and seeing the cleverness in Burt's character as he scratch built an elaborate bird cage from a drawing and simple materials.

I sure do like how your hand crafting adds a unique down-home flavor to your models.

Thanks and regards, Peter

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Saturday, September 12, 2020 6:33 PM

HO-Velo
I sure do like how your hand crafting adds a unique down-home flavor to your models.

You forgot how cheap they are to build.

Dots - SignDots - SignDots - Sign

I finally got a picture for you to see.

My goal for today was to deck the second floor and dock with two-by-sixes. I took one look at it and decided I better do something with the exposed frame-work before I close it in.

The instructions said that the first floor sat in the dirt and was unpainted. So my goal was to make it look like raw wood has been sitting in the dirt for 4 years. The base plate sits on the dirt and doubles as a rack for the lumber. I applied some sitting in the dirt treatment. 

So anyway, I did a couple of washes--black and gray. Then I decided I should probably put in the stairs to the dock before it gets closed in. 

Then I decked the dock.

I started to deck the second floor, but decided I needed to side the walls first. That's all the further I got. 

 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 13, 2020 6:58 PM

My goal for the day was to deck the second floor. Sound familiar?

I got 3/4 of the way done after sanding the top of the walls to get ready for it.

The stairwell opening was a pain in the petutti. There were decking boards to the right of the stairwell that were 3/32" long. I was worried about filing the edges straight, and my wife came to the rescue with an emory board. took about 5 minutes to do both sides of the stairwell. 

Tomorrow I'm going to finish the second floor floor. (Take that MS Word.)

After that, I haven't decided.

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Monday, September 14, 2020 6:00 PM

SpaceMouse
My goal for the day was to deck the second floor. Sound familiar?

Wanna guess what's coming next?

My goal for the day was to deck the second floor and see what happens. 

What happened was that after I finisned the deck--it only took an hour--I started sanding. I looked at the bottom of the dock and noticed one of the legs was crooked. I was tired of the posts always getting knocked off and so I spent the morning reinforcing things. 

In the afternoon, I sanded and stained the deck and dock.

The only thing of note is that after staining, I took the model outdoors and sprayed Dull Cote on the underside of the decks and the backs of the walls. A gust of wind came up and knocked my model off the fence. It broke some of the framework. I found all the pieces so it will be an easy fix.

Note to self: Secure model before spraying.  

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 5:41 PM

Today I got the upper floor framed and was about to start siding when I had a realization. The wood in the frame is redwood. Redwood is the key to the whole economy. The Mill is creating lumber from the massive redwood trees a few miles towards the coast. Not only is redwood significantly cheaper for the townspeople, it resists rot and termites. 

It was a slap yourself in the forehead with your palm sort of moment.

Not that Rock Ridge Mill doesn't cut Douglas Fir, it's they're second most profitable trees and they are mixed in with the Redwoods in places. 

What that means is that I have been staining the framework as if it was bare Douglas Fir, which gradually turns grey. Redwood starts out redish then the sun and air turn the high percentage of tannins black. If it is shaded they turn brown mixed with gray.

So, I gotta start over on treating the frame. I figure I'll spend pretty much all day tomorrow working on it. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Thursday, September 17, 2020 8:50 PM

I changed the wood color to redwood and sided the upper story.

Some of the "stain" seeped through the walls. Not to worry. They were always going to be a solid color. 

Fridays are the day I drive off to Cottonwood and Wally World for the weekly shopping trip. I'll get maybe 2-3 hours in. I'll try to tackle the roofs.   

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,248 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, September 19, 2020 9:21 PM

This lumber yard really needs some horse drawn lumber wagons.  Maybe an orange sign like Home Depot, "Rent me for 19¢ a day!"

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:14 AM

MisterBeasley

This lumber yard really needs some horse drawn lumber wagons.  Maybe an orange sign like Home Depot, "Rent me for 19¢ a day!"

 

LOL!

You do bring up a point I had been thinking about. Most wagons can handle only short pieces of lumber, say 8-10 ft. Maybe 12 if it hangs out the back. I might have to bash a longer wagon and offer a delivery service. Or a 19 cents a day rental. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Rimrock, Arizona
  • 10,951 posts
Posted by SpaceMouse on Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:10 PM

First, I have a confession. Rare bird sightings have been getting in the way of things. If you want to get a look at them, you got to drop everything and go. 

Birding is like playing Pokemon. You have to get them all.

Ahem, I got what I call the "Poorman's Board and Batton" done. Well, three of four walls. I can't do the last wall until I finish the office. Bassically, I'm using 1/32"x1/32" cut from coffee stirrers. Then I'm sanding them down to between 1/64" and 3/128" (I know, I'm getting crazy) so they look somewhat like 1x3" battons on 1"x12" boards. The time it took to do this was not worth what it would have cost to buy premade board and batton. I'll do that next time I want board and batton.

My wife doesn't like the color. She won't come out and say why. My daughter says it looks like a metal building. She also says that after I weather it, it will probably look okay. Both of them are artists. My wife professionally. My daughter has a following on social media. I'm beginning to see the suckiness of it. It looked better in my head. 

The answer of course, is to paint it white. People were all the time whitewashing redwood. And the lumber yard would have been cheap about it. 

You can go ahead and say what you feel about the color. Just be gentle.

I've been beginning to get frustrated. I'm anxious to get to laying track. My goal is to get at least a working mainline this season. And the weather is getting where I could work 6-7 hours before the heat would set in. I want to get this project done first.

And I have to repair a sizable portion of the exterior stucco before it rains. I won't do it until it's cool enough. The secion is a parapet above the garage. The garage has a white roof that reflects 95% of the heat (that's what it says on the can.) I get heat something and get dizzy. 

But it's coming up.

Now, something has caught up with me that is adding to the frustration. This model is brittle. Do anything and pieces break off. The trouble is, you have to handle the model firmly when you work on it. If you sand, tape off or paint, pieces come off. Today, I broke two pieces gluing a piece back on. I can't wait to get this on the layout and cemented into the landscape. 

Tomorrow, if there are no more rare bird sightings, I'll get back on it. Starting with whitewashing. 

Chip

Building the Rock Ridge Railroad with the slowest construction crew west of the Pecos.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!