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I started by cutting out all plastic using Masonite patterns I cut for the original design. I also cut the 'silos' from Plastruct 2.5 inch tubing. The doors in the front of the building are offset from ground by a dock. Rather than cut out the hole for the door using a nibbler I chose to cut off the bottom portion of the wall and use my table saw for the initial cut on all walls. After this was done I cut more plastic to size and glued it back on. This gives me clean straight lines for the doors almost all the way to the top.

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The freight doors are made using bass wood scribed siding plus three different widths of straight wood.

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I drilled 3/8 inch diameter holes into the window area then used a nibbler (Micro Mark) to rough out the hole for the windows (Tichy). The nibbler is a very handy tool (Alan Graz turned me onto it) but if you are going to use it a lot it pays to buy two or three. The weak link is the internal spring which is prone to breaking if the tool is used a lot on 80 mil thick plastic which I do a lot.

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Next up will be finishing the holes for the windows then some assembly

I did build the wood dock - had to so I could get the height right for the front walls. I started with 1/8 inch Masonite for the base sanding it 60 grit paper to make it rough so it will have texture good for a concrete base. I then glued on the scribed sheathing (this is the 1/16 inch version).

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Very nice Joe.  I was wondering if there was something like a mini that could be used for openings in walls in place of the nibbler?  From the looks of it the nibbler does a great job but for guys like you, Alan and others that do these projects all the time I would think something like a mini router would things easier for the volume of openings you make.

Coach:

I agree with Alan. Using a dremmel tool would make me nervous. With thin plastic 40 mils or lower I use the box cutter technique. With 60+ mils I go with the nibbler then use an exacto blade to fine tune. 

If you are doing a lot of windows say for a factory that absolutely need to line up with each other and you plan on laminating the outside surface (say brick or stone etc), then the way to go is what some call the cookie cutter method. It is time consuming but works out in the end. You basically cut individual pieces of plastic and glue them together with the end result of holes for all windows / doors. This takes planning with paper and pencil but as said the end result is a wall with perfectly aligned windows. If you look closely at the photo you will be able to make out the 'glue' lines.

Brenneman Building 001

Joe

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Did some more work -

All holes are cut for windows and doors and all the freight doors are assembled.

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I decided to try a new product from rail Scale Models for wood stairs to the dock.

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I like this stuff - it looks much better than plastic stairs along side the wood dock

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Glue up is a small hassle. Down the road I need to make a jig.

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I bought this wonder Cutter a while back. It's a nice machine. I use it to cut out holes in wood siding. It works fine on plastic too. It especially comes in handy if I need to shave off material in hard to get spots. It is a little pricey though.

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I will start laminating the superstructure today. I have enough plastic clapboard siding for one building. Plastruct was sold to Evergreen no so long ago so getting an order placed has been tough for the last two months. Fortunately I also have wood clapboard siding and the second customer has agreed to me using it.

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Not sure if I mentions above  - I am building a plastic version and a wood version of the rural grain elevator.

I laminated all the plastic with clapboard siding. Below is a sample. After cutting off the excess plastic (there are sides where I leave extra clap board siding so it covers the overlapping perpendicular side).

Plastic Rural Grain elevator [2)

I glued the main building and top house as two assemblies. One thing I learned early on is that to ensure keeping things square corner braces are a must.

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For the second elevator I cut wood clap board siding. My original intent was to laminate the wood to the plastic , however I decide on eliminating the plastic and bracing the inside of the wood walls. I had enough clap board (so I thought) for all walls however when I started cutting the last packet I discovered the packet was mislabeled. It turned out to be board and batten. so more wood is on order. I am really starting to like wood for building structures more and more.

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Trim and roof under-layers have been added. Eventually they will get corrugated top layers.

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Started cutting circular tops for the silos. I built this band saw jig from plans on YouTube awhile back. It is a life saver for me especially cutting circles in thick material including wood. The jig slides in and out on the band saw table miter slot. Slide the jig out place the blank in the alignment pin (set to correct radius), turn on the saw then slide the jig back into the saw blade.

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Worked on the shed for the plastic model plus the conveyor house base.

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Tops were glued to the silos and every thing sanded. There are 6 silos for each elevator.

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This is the shed before lamination.

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The shed after lamination. it is hard to see however the roof is Plastic corrugated siding and the walls are clapboard.

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This is the base for the conveyor. It is SSS-108 white styrene sheet laminated with PS-24 diamond plate. HR-8 handrails were glued on and H-8 columns were glued under neath to stop the styrene sheet from warping. A general issue when laminating styrene or even ABS on one side only is that down the road the styrene will warp. Adding handrails won't eliminate the problem. Only reinforcement underneath solves the issue. If I was to flue the base to the silos then I would not need to worry however the base will be free standing.

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Joe Fauty posted:

Coach:

I agree with Alan. Using a dremmel tool would make me nervous. With thin plastic 40 mils or lower I use the box cutter technique. With 60+ mils I go with the nibbler then use an exacto blade to fine tune. 

If you are doing a lot of windows say for a factory that absolutely need to line up with each other and you plan on laminating the outside surface (say brick or stone etc), then the way to go is what some call the cookie cutter method. It is time consuming but works out in the end. You basically cut individual pieces of plastic and glue them together with the end result of holes for all windows / doors. This takes planning with paper and pencil but as said the end result is a wall with perfectly aligned windows. If you look closely at the photo you will be able to make out the 'glue' lines.

Brenneman Building 001

Joe

Joe, beautifully designed structure you’re doing. And you built your own band saw?!! Way beyond my pay grade. Speaking of, I’ve read your description (a number of times) of getting multiple windows lined up perfectly as you did but, I must admit I’m still unclear how you did this (“cut individual pieces of plastic and glue them together with the end result of holes for the windows”). Would you be so kind as to try another explanation. I often have that problem and you have clearly solved it. Many thanks. 

Last edited by Jerrman
Joe Fauty posted:

Jerrman:

Try below

savcut out

To make the building front I cut 18 different pieces of plastic. To make sure the openings for the windows are correct I use the window itself as a spacer when gluing the piecewise together (see below)

cut out1

 

So I will cut pieces 2 and 3 then use the window to determine the widths of 6, 9, 14, and 17 - glue 6 and 9 to 2 and 3 then move the window down for piece 14. Note a smaller window goes between pieces 6 and 1. I would glue this section first. I was fortunate that the top window was the same width but only shorter otherwise more plastic pieces would be needed.

got it, joe. thank you for taking the time to post this other explanation. 

 

The plastic version of the grain elevator is basically done and ready for paint. I will have photos of ther fully assembled elevator in a few days after I finish gluing the silos into a set of six.

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Meanwhile the remaining clapboard for the wood version of this elevator came in. Progress has been made. All wood sides have been cut. Window and door openings have been made. The top house has been glued. Some assemble photos are shown below. It will be interesting to know who likes the wood versus plastic when every thing is done.

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Joe, that is an awesome looking set of buildings, thanks for your very detailed descriptions and terrific detail photos.  I have learned a lot from your pictures and descriptions.  I want to try my hand at scratch building as I really like it and its a great way to get a structure that isn't available from anyone.  My problem is trying to figure out what size of styrene or wood to use, any suggestions?  Thanks so much for sharing with us and I'd love to have your shop.

Stay safe and healthy.

JEM:

That is a hard question to answer in general. I would say once you figure out what you want to build (plan) and what you want to use (wood / metal) send me an email (in my profile) and we can start from there. Also in preparation we can talk about favorite tools.

With that said for wood lamination (scribed board , clap board, board and batten) I buy 1/16 inch thick. I will generally use 1/8 sq for internal bracing and either 1/8 inch square or 1/4 inch square for corner bracing. If I am butting two pieces together to make multiple stories I will use 1/8 inch flat sheets cut to size (you can see this in the photos above).

With plastic structures the lamination is usually 20 mils thick so I glue them to 60 or 80 mil flat stock for walls and 40 mil flat stock for roofs. I like 1/4 inch square stock for corner bracing. I use thicker flat stock since I have to ship product. You could probably get away with 40 mil flat stock every where if you are going from your bench to your layout. It is certainly a lot easier to cut out holes for windows and doors in 40 mil stock versus 80 mil.
Note - if you do laminate pieces that will not be glued to any base like a walkway or platform it is imperative you brace the bottom because once the glue dries between the lamination and the flat stock the piece will curl up even with 80 mil stock. It will take a while but the end result is shown below. I like to use the black Plastruct H-6 columns for this purpose.

Warped Plastic 003

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Thanks Alan - I am starting to get into wood. I like working it. My next 'free time' build is to start with a basic Korber one story building and add two stories of clapboard to the top of it. My only issue right now is that I need to cut for windows and doors. I have a little gadget called The Wonder Cutter. It is a little hard on plastic (tends to melt it) but works pretty well on wood. There is a company called FOS Scale Models that sells HO scale clapboard walls. I contacted them and asked about O scale walls and was told they would start selling these soon.
Joe

Got the decals on.

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For the plastic I used decals printed by a friend - Cedarleaf Decals

For the wood deals won't work. I print the logos on bonded paper using the best quality settings I can. I then take 150 grit sand paper to the back of the paper thinning it down as much as possible. I attach with white glue and press the logo in with my fingers.

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