AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER May 2013


Old West Building Tutorial 5: Finishing the Building
by Gisby

The Front The Side Walls The Floor The Back Wall Finishing the Building Pack's Emporium

At this point, we have a building: four walls and a floor. We will be adding a roof, a walkway, and an awning.

Please read the instructions through before starting, (duh) both so you can understand what I'm doing, and so that you can see any areas where you can do it better.

Although the steps are presented as 1, 2, 3 skipping around them may be more efficient: As Step 1 requires overnight drying time, going from Step 1 to Step 3 will make sense, going back to Step 2 later.

STEP 1: Make the walkway

Take a bunch of popsicle sticks, and scribe or cut a line down the centre of each stick, making them look like two narrower boards.

Glue them edge to edge to make a sheet, as wide as the building front. So long as they are tight, side-by-side you are ok. Don't worry about keeping the ends aligned perfectly, or about the width, we will be trimming it later.

Let it dry overnight under a stack of books.

STEP 2: Finish the Doors

Cut and assemble a floor piece from popsicle sticks, to fit the side or rear door, if any.

It should fit and fill the gap in the doorway, and make a stoop outside the door. I scribed the pieces to look like narrower boards.

There will also be a gap in the front door, between the floor and the walkway. Cut a piece of popsicle stick to fill the space before you attach the walkway.

STEP 3: Finish the Walkway

Trim one edge straight, at right angle to the side edge

Measure from the front edge and trim the walkway to the desired depth. (in my case, 1.5 inches)

Glue the walkway to the front bottom of the building.

Save the offcut, as it can be used for another walkway, or for an awning.

STEP 4: Make the Roof

Make the roof out of whatever you have handy: Plastic card, cardboard, etc. I used Sintra, a vinyl sheet used for making signs. It is easy to cut, scribe, and glue.

Measure the outside dimensions of the building behind the front wall. Add .5 inches to the width, and .25 inches to the length.

This will give a quarter inch roof overhang at the sides and back. If you want more, or less, adjust accordingly.

Draw your roof, keeping all corners square, and cut it out.

STEP 5: Detail the Roof

I like Tarpaper roofs because they are easy.

In real life, they are boards, with heavy tarred paper rolled out and nailed into place. Joints are covered with tar or narrow wooden battens to help keep it from curling up at the edges.

Measure two lines 1.5" in from the outer edges, running front-to-back. Scribe them, to simulate the seams of the rolled-out paper.

You could instead glue a line of matchsticks covering these seams (and along the edges) to simulate battens covering the seams.

Glue a rectangle of paper somewhere on the roof, to represent a patched repair.

STEP 6: Finish the Roof

This is an underside view.

Measure the inside dimensions of the building behind the front wall.

Mark these measurements on the underside of your roof and glue stops along the inside of the lines.

I used stripwood (fireplace matches) but again, use whatever you have.

These stops will keep the roof from sliding off or out-of-position.

With the roof and walkway, your building is complete, unless you want an awning.

STEP 7: The Awning

Your building does not NEED an awning. But I like them, so I tend to add them.

First of all, decide how you want to make it.

The easiest way is to use the offcut from your walkway. Trim it to .25 inches deeper than your walkway.

This is an underside view.

Add popsicle stick bracing underneath, and trim to width. Let it dry overnight, under some books.

Trim the braces.

Glue the awning to the front of the building level with the top of the side walls.

Support the front with dowels or square stripwood at the outer front corners. (The square section of wooden chopsticks works well.)

Board-and-Batten

Board-and-Batten is a building style where the gaps between boards are covered with narrower pieces called battens. You can build whole buildings using this method for the walls.

Take the same piece as above, and turn it over, so that the scribing is on the bottom.

Cover the joints with matchsticks. (Mine do not come to the edge, as the awning fits inder the sign trim on the front, so I have left clearance on the edge against the building.)

This is an underside view.

Add popsicle stick bracing, and trim to width. Let it dry overnight, under some books.

Trim the braces.

Glue The awning to the front of the building level with the top of the side walls. Support the front with dowels or square stripwood.

Clapboard

Clapboard, also known as Weatherboard, is a building method where each board slightly overlaps the board below, to make a waterproof wall that sheds water. This is another style suitable for walls and entire structures.

Build a sheet of coffee stirrers, each one slightly overlapping the next. (They don't need to step off to the side, I'm just trying to show the overlap.)

Build until the sheet is deep enough for your awning. Let it dry overnight under a stack of books.

This is an underside view.

Trim to width.

Add popsicle stick bracing. Let it dry overnight, under some books.

Trim the braces.

Glue The awning to the front of the building level with the top of the side walls. Support the front with dowels or square stripwood.

Be sure to attach the awning so that the boards overlap in the right direction.

The awnings don't need to slope a lot, but they should have a bit of slope, to shed water.

You can also add railings or hitching posts to the walkway. I prefer free-standing hitching posts because they don't make it hard to move figures on the walkway.

The Finished Building: Pack's Emporium


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