Author Topic: Stone Buildings  (Read 7193 times)

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Stone Buildings
« on: April 21, 2017, 04:53:21 PM »
I mentioned in my Hotel and Grill thread that I had been distracted by another project.  Well, this is that project. 

I have decided to build a couple of "modules" that can later be incorporated into a layout and I want one of them to center around a stone station similar to the South Manchester station on George's F&SM.  This module will focus more on masonry buildings.  I am also planning a second module that will focus on wood structures.

So I know that George used his own stone castings to build many structures but as I do not have access to those I started figuring out how to make my own.  I settled on some Tichy windows and doors that I like.  I plan to make 2 windowed wall sections, a freight door section and a double door pedestrian section.  I want be able to intermingle all of these so that they can for the building blocks for other structures in addition to the station. 

Calling back to an image in my memory of how to make individual stone blocks from plaster "sticks" I set about designing the walls.  I settled on using 5/32" square strip wood to make forms to cast the stone sticks.  I built up the halves of each form and then glued them to a thin styrene backing sheet.  The halves are not glued to each other so that the entire form can flex to remove the stone sticks.




The Northwest Shortline Chopper was very helpful in preparing this, along with a bottle of canopy glue.  After I assembled the form I realized that I needed some wider stones for the lintels so I added on to the form.




Once this had dried for a couple of days I mixed up some plaster, filled the mold and waited.  I tried to keep the mold flat with the blue weights along the edge but the water swelled the wood enough for the entire thing to curve.  Fortunately this didn't harm anything.  I used a razor saw to score the blocks and then some spring tweezers to hold and pop them apart.




Making the blocks was a bit slow and tedious, or relaxing and therapeutic depending on your point of view.  I made a few of them.




I then set about testing a dry stack to see how things fit.  The original plan was to have the wall sections 1 - 3/4" wide. 





I wasn't entirely happy with the results and left it for a day to think about.  I realized that what I didn't like was the flat edge showing on the blocks.  They were not even and very wide.  I decided to start again and cast a new set of stone sticks.  This time instead of the razor saw I just used an X-acto knife to score the blocks.   They were a little harder to snap and resulted in more block failures but the results were worth it to me.



Some of the block failure is probably due to using regular plaster of paris which is pretty soft.  I have since acquired some hydrocal which I will use to cast finished walls.  I want to try making blocks with it as well to see if the edge texture is different.   I think the standard plaster gave a nice marble texture in HO scale.


So with the new blocks made I was ready to get serious.  While doing the dry fit I had used some metal squares to frame the stack.  These had a tendency to shift regularly so I wanted something more stable.  My local mall has a Lego store which sells standard blocks in bulk.  So I headed off and returned with a bucket of bricks to build a frame.  This tub cost $8.99 for all I could squeeze in and that was more than enough for the frames.  The lower left picture shows the original dry fit in the new frame.  You'll note that the frame is a little wider.  One eight of an inch to be exact.  This was close enough for me, yielding a wall width of 1 - 7/8".



My original wall section had the square lintel over the window but I wanted to work with the arched window so I made a frame that is one lego-bump-thing taller than the other frame.  In the 3 pictures on the right above you can see the progress of this wall.  After a quick fit I started gluing blocks starting from the lower left.  The extra width of the frame turned out to make everything work better with my block size.  I also added some wood trim around the window which I will glue in and include with the casting.  The bits of strip wood ensure that the wall sections will fit together both flat and on a corner.  At this point I have the wall build up to where I need to make the stone arch.  I wanted the rest of the wall to be dry and stable before I start the arch.

Here is a close up of the wall to this point.  I think its looking rather nice.





Cheers!
Roger Hines

Random modeling of this and that.  For trains, the SP and the northeast.

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2017, 05:05:12 PM »
SKOL!
I love photo's, don't we all.

BandOGuy

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2017, 05:21:29 PM »
Great job!
Envious!!
I've got a stone building project in mind (more on that later), but at my advanced age and a whole layout to build, individual stones are out of the question.
But I'm along for the ride on this one and look forward to seeing/reading of your project.
Working on my second million. I gave up on the first.

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2017, 08:40:54 PM »
Very interesting project - I will be following along.





John Siekirk
Superior & Seattle Railroad

jerryrbeach

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 09:02:34 AM »
Very interesting project - I will be following along.
I agree 100%, lots of outside the box thought here, even tho you built the wall inside the box.  I especially like the stripwood spacers, nice way to make sure the adjoining walls fit well.
Jerry

GPdemayo

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 09:23:50 AM »
Really great work Roger..... 8)
Gregory P. DeMayo
General Construction Superintendent Emeritus
St. Louis & Denver Railroad
Longwood, FL

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2017, 06:34:38 PM »
I finished the master for the wall section with the arched window.  I'm pretty happy with it.  Next I need to make the section with the flat lintel.  After that will be the section for people doors and then one for a freight door.   


Here's the arched window wall section:



HO Scale.



Roger Hines

Random modeling of this and that.  For trains, the SP and the northeast.

mark dalrymple

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2017, 02:48:08 AM »
Looking good, Rodger - and an interesting project. 

The arch above the window looks a little out to me - a bit of a bulge on the right side.  In a one off I don't think that this would matter, but if you are planning on casting several of these and using them on one project I think the eye would get easily drawn to this.  I think it would be worth your while to re-cut the cardboard (?) arch to get  better fit and cut some new arched blocks to right.  If you drew an arch on a piece of card to fit the inner circle of the stone arch with a compass and checked it against your stonework, you could check that it was nice and close before proceeding to casting.

Looking forward to your continued progress on this project.

Cheers, Mark.

TheUkranian

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2017, 08:30:28 AM »
Roger,

It is very interesting project indeed. I bet this is how George created the masters for his walls.
You are well into the project, but for the future reference or others who may attempt similar project, here is another way of doing it.
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?ARCHIVE=true&TOPIC_ID=8357

Vilius

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2017, 08:32:42 AM »
Yup, you're right.  There is a bulge.  I used strip wood, soaked in water and then formed around a cylinder and allowed to dry.  It developed a crease.  I think a bit of filling and sanding will fix the problem. The joint at the base on the left side of the arch is a bit off too.  I can always pop the trim board lose and add a new one now that the stones are glued.  The arch was impossible to form without the wood piece in place. 



The windows themselves will not be part of the casting.  They are from Tichy.  The arched window is cut down from a larger window.




Roger Hines

Random modeling of this and that.  For trains, the SP and the northeast.

tom.boyd.125

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2017, 02:22:44 AM »
Roger,
 Like the looks of the stone wall. Will follow along as you build the station.
Tommy
Tom Boyd in Center City, MN.
tommytrains22@yahoo.com

Mkrailway

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2017, 07:40:09 AM »
Roger, I feel your pain and joy. This is going to ve a great building.

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 12:11:15 PM »
There's really no pain in this.  I've never built a stone building before and its all a learning process.  Fortunately I like that bit.  (Now wiring..that's another story.)

So here's today's update.

The arched window section master is finished and ready for molding.




The flat topped window section master is almost done.  It just needs to be attached to a backing paper to reinforce it.  This uses the same main window as the arched section.




And here are both masters stacked.  Using the Lego building form ensured they came out square.




Both of these wall sections are the same overall size ensuring that they can be mixed and stacked at will to create any wall combination.  Next I need to build the entrance door section and the freight door section. 

Progress! 



Roger Hines

Random modeling of this and that.  For trains, the SP and the northeast.

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 12:15:41 PM »
Cool
Really looking forward to see how the molds do!

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Re: Stone Buildings
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2017, 04:27:30 PM »
I'm starting to wonder if I need to seal the wall sections before I make molds.  I'm concerned the molding rubber will adhere to the plaster.  I'm going to make some intermediate wall sections to allow vertical adjustments so I will probably test on those.   I am planning 2, 4 and 6 stone high sections.

In the mean time, here's the next completed wall section.  As it is clearly off center I'm going to make a companion with the door shifted left.





Cheers
Roger Hines

Random modeling of this and that.  For trains, the SP and the northeast.

 

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