Saturday, December 21, 2013

085 The Navajo Mining Railway - Reinforcing the Depot Walls

As I had said before, the milled "clapboard" siding that I'm using for the depot is a bit flimsy and wants to warp.  All brands do that.  So all good models are heavily reinforced.  As are all good bras.

As with all the pictures on my blog...just click on the picture to make it larger!

So far none of the wall sections have tried to curl up.  But let's not give them a chance!

Supplies tonight consist of Elmer's Carpenter's Glue, round toothpicks, and a small souffle cup.

Will take all the window and door parts and put them in the small pea cup.  PEA, not PEE.  Set them aside.

 I stop and think about how I want them braced.  Side walls take most of the weight of the roof, so they need to be strong.  The side walls have a lot of windows and doors for strength, so maybe just uprights.

I keep a supply of 1/4" x 1/4" basswood for reinforcing.  You can use scrap wood or even popsicle sticks if you like.

To make the wood cuts we'll use the mini chop saw.  Here I am cutting a 30 degree angle for the roof.

I cut out all the 10 foot long vertical beams.  Non of them come out absolutely perfect...and never will with the chop saw I'm using.  So err on the side of too long.  You can always sand them down.

The vertical beams on the side walls must be inset by 1/4" so that the long walls can nest into the sides.  I cut and marked a "gap" beam to use for a spacer.

One important part of cutting is to make sure you have plenty of light.  I use these movable desk lamps with an incandescent bulb.  It gets hot but gives me the light I need.

Putting some glue in the disposable cup, I use a toothpick to put a very smooth and extremely thin coating of glue on the side that will be attached to the wall section.  Glue is very strong and you need very little.  Try using half as much as you did last time every time you start building.

Using the wood I made a box and a small strip at top to keep the top area from warping.  This will be strong enough.

Using the Rick Wade patented "can full of cement" weights, I put it on the boards to make sure I get good contact while it is drying.  I need to make some "can half full of cement" weights to give me some weight options.

Second wall finished and under the weights.

I glued verticals (four per wall) to the long wall sections and put them under weights as well.

The sides are dry so using an emery board, I sand the holes for the windows to remove the fuzz and splinters.

There!  Nice and strong wall sections.  They won't warp.  The windows will make them even stronger, as will the roof and floor.

I'm sleepy so we'll leave them here to dry and come back next time for some fitting and trimming before painting.


1.  Put movable lights on your desk and shine them at the area where you are working.  It helps your eyes focus and helps prevent accidents.
2.  Use very little carpenter's glue on wood projects.  It is very strong, and you don't want to be messy.
3.  Reinforce all model structures, even plastic ones, as they have a tendency to warp over time.

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