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About Me

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I'm 65 years old and have lived in the Akron-Tallmadge, Ohio area all of my life. For 10-years (1957-1967) I lived most summers at our home in Cook Forest, Pa. I'm a U.S. Army veteran (1971-1973). I collect many things such as: antique cars, antique firearms, movies, movie props, old newspapers and posters, Wyatt Earp items, Civil War items, John Wayne items, items from the old west including Native American items, just about anything historical. I've been married for 42-years. My wife and I have a son and a daughter and four granddaughters.
I have always been into miniatures. And the old west and the old west towns have always interested me. I love the style and the ruggedness of them. So I enjoy creating these towns in several differant scales. This scale is somewhere around "O" gauge. The structures are built mostly with a box of wooden popcicle sticks that I got from an estate. It's a big box. So I can built a lot with it. I've also used some scrap materials from my workshop for finishing touches. I wanted to create a town that shows the ruggedness of the old west and how these buildings were built fast with the cracks in the wood and the simple construction of the day. Some of the buildings have removeable roofs. I decided to finish the interiors in some of them. Others are solid. Check back in the future as I will be posting any additional buildings and other things that I do to them as I go.

11-22-2010

11-22-2010

The side walls are glued together. Then the walls are attached and the building in under way.
There were two types of funeral parlors in the old west. One was the upscale funeral parlor that sat on main street with the dark red draped front window and the fancy hardware on the double front doors. Then there was the undertaker parlor that was simply a small building by the edge of town that sold coffins that the undertaker built himself. This small, unpleasent structure was the type that doted most small mining towns. The undertaker wasn't a rich man and sold coffins cheap. But, sadly he sold a lot of them as people died rapidly from sickness, mining accidents and shootings. He worked long hours to keep up but made pretty good money, which most of them drank up each night in the local saloon.

11-25-2010

11-25-2010
The door and window frames are glued on.

The crude signs are done. The coffin construction begins and the building is painted.

11-27-2010

11-27-2010
The roof is done. The floor to the side deck is built. The coffins are finished.

The trim is painted around the window and door.

11-28-2010

11-28-2010
The side deck is created and stained.

The door is hung, signed are finished and the ridge cap on the roof is put on.

The coffins are done. One fancy one is built in case the undertaker has a rich customer. Also, grave markers are made.

A lumber pile is beside the building for the construction on coffins. The grave markers are placed by the front door. A work table and tools are put in for working on coffins and the coffins are placed on the side deck.

11-29-2010

11-29-2010
Well, this one is now finished.

12-4-2010

12-4-2010
The next project is a set of structures. The livery stable, blacksmith shop and the harness shop. This set of buildings will rest on a platform. The platform will act as the corral. The project will take much longer than the others as there will be a lot of detailing to do.

This is the general layout of the project.

The thin plywood layout is drawn. The corral floor is painted with a rough "stone" type of spray after the building areas are taped off. The tape then is removed and the stable barn end walls are cut out.

The barn walls are put up.

12-5-2010

12-5-2010
Walls to the blacksmith shop and harness shop are made from popcicle stick and plywood.

The nice thing about the spray paint is it can be sprayed on heavy or fine. To simulate dirt, I did both in differant areas of the corral.

12-6-2010

12-6-2010
The fire box is made for the blacksmith shop's forge.

12-7-2010

12-7-2010
The roof for the smaller buildings is cut out. The blacksmith's shop is painted brown.

12-8-2010

12-8-2010
The harness shop's outside walls are covered with Dap cauking to simulate adobe. This will be painted later. Doors are made for these buildings.

12-10-2010

12-10-2010
The staircase is begun on the back of the stables. This begins at the loft door and goes down to the corral.

Railings are made and installed on the staircase.

12-11-2010

12-11-2010
The staircase is finished.

The corral fence is made from popcicle sticks.

12-14-2010

12-14-2010
Some of the little items are made. Watering trough, feed box and the anvil for the blacksmith. Also, the harness shop is painted light brown. The Dap was still sticky but the paint dried perfectly and the stickyness was gone.

The fence is put up around the corral. Inside the barn is a tack box, ladder and the hay loft.

The staircase is stained.

12-16-2010

12-16-2010
Two hitching post for horses are made. The beam is installed in the barn. A rope is put on the beam with hooks so that the hay bails can be brought up from the ground, then pulled back into the hay loft.

Karosine lamps are made. Also, a workbench and a wall rack is put in. A walk-through gate is put into the corral fence.

The horse stalls are made. A feedbox is added to eack one.

12-18-2010

12-18-2010
More lamps are made. The stalls are put into the barn and the lamps are hung on the walls.

The dutch door is made for the back of the barn. The door trim is installed.

12-19-2010

12-19-2010
Barrels and crates are put behind the stables. The lamps on hung on the front of the barn and shops. A sawhorse is made for a saddle to set on.

The dutch door is installed. The front door to the stables is made.

12-22-2010

12-22-2010
Holes are drilled in the door casing and the hinges are installed in the door.

The main door is hung on the stables.

The door is hung and working just fine. Micro hand drills are used for the holes of the hinges. Then a pump is made for the watering trough.

12-25-2010 > Merry Christmas~~~~

12-25-2010 > Merry Christmas~~~~
The roof is made. A rope bed, table and lamp is made for the stablehand who lives in the loft. Barrel and crates are stored in the loft along with a tool rack for tools used to move hay bails. The corral sign is put up.

Window glass is put in. A gate is made for the corral.

12-27-2010

12-27-2010
A wooden hook is put up to hang the loft rope when not in use.

This set of buildings is now finished.

12-25-2010

12-25-2010
Actually, I started this building before the stables were finished. This will be the freight office. It will have a raised floor and a loading dock for wagons.

First the walls are cut out and glued together.

12-26-2010

12-26-2010
The raised floor is installed, glued and clamped overnight.

12-27-2010

12-27-2010
A set of stairs is made for the inside. A corner of the floor was cut away for these steps.

12-28-2010

12-28-2010
The plank flooring is layed inside. The railing is put at the inside steps and another set of steps are are for the outside dock.

The outside dock platform is constructed. The outside door on the end was the street level door that the inside stairs goes to. However, this door was closed off. So it will look like it is no longer used.

12-29-2010

12-29-2010
The dock framing is done. Then the dock is stained. The stairs is not glued on yet.

12-31-2010

12-31-2010
The door frames are stained and installed. The overhang for the dock is cut out and assembled.

1-1-2011 > Happy New Year!!!!!

1-1-2011 > Happy New Year!!!!!
Shelving and crates are made. Barrels are painted. Also a dockman's desk is hung on one wall. The interior to the building is painted dark brown.

1-2-2011

1-2-2011
The remainder of the outside trim is done. The crates, barrels and shelving are put in.

1-6-2011

1-6-2011
The dock is done. Barrels, crates are put on and a dolly is made for moving everything.

1-8-2011

1-8-2011
The building is finished.

Even the sign is mis-spelled as so many were in those days.

1-9-2011

1-9-2011

1-9-2011

1-9-2011
These will be the General Store, Tobacco Shop, Masonic Hall and the Barber Shop. The walls are cut out and the windows and doors are cut.

1-12-2011

1-12-2011
All of the walls and the floor are now ready to be assembled.

1-14-2011

1-14-2011
The walls are glued and clamped.

The back is glued and clamped. For the foundation, pieces of balsa wood is cut, the edges are sanded and marks are sanded and gouged into the wood to simulate wear and so they look like stone blocks.

1-15-2011

1-15-2011
Next, I started working on the window display boxes for the general store.

1-16-2011

1-16-2011
The display windows to the general store are painted and the glass side panels are done. After the windows are stocked with merchandise, they are almost ready to be installed.

Here's closeups of the stocked windows.

1-20-2011

1-20-2011
Well, I've been painting trim boards for the last several days. Boring! But it needed to be done. I have begun installing the trim on the general store. Also, I cut and glued on the ridge trim at the top of the false front.

I began painting the foundation blocks gray.

1-21-2011

1-21-2011
My wife got me a box of sticks. But they were the "Jumbo" sticks. This will work out fine. I decided to use them for the siding on the general store. This is what I call "loose-fit siding". Originally they would use large wide planks to build a structure and the boards would have gaps between them. Then the cracks are filled in later. It should work out pretty well.

1-22-2011

1-22-2011
The siding is finished on one side. Then I made the framing for the balcony over the general store. I painted the sign and also painted the ridge trim piece. And yes, the sign is miss-spelled. Smitty wasn't real bright.

1-28-2011

1-28-2011
I took a few days off from the project. Now the siding was added to the tobacco shop. The Masonic Hall was painted and the siding was added to the barber shop. Also, I made the balcony for the general store's second floor. It won't be glued on yet.

1-29-2011

1-29-2011
I stained the barber shop. I want this building to appear that it was never painted. Also, I made the cigar rack and cigar boxes for the display window in the tobacco shop and also put the glass in. I also checked the doors on the general store.

The pane dividers are being put into the windows. The barber shop trim and door are being added.

2-3-2011

2-3-2011
The siding on the general store is done. I put shutters on the back windows of the general store. The old west had break-ins too ya know. The barber shop staining is finished also.

The back doors to the buildings are done now.

2-8-2011

2-8-2011
I started cutting out the trim for the Masonic Lodge Hall.

2-17-2011

2-17-2011
The trim came together pretty well. I made the door for the general store balcony and put the curtains in the upstairs windows. Other building's windows have standard pull-down blinds in them.

I began installing the display window boxes in the general store and the tobacco shop.

2-18-2011

2-18-2011
The roofs are cut out and painted. I changed the front to the tobacco shop. Also, I finished the front of the barber shop.

The roof was put on the barber shop. I stained the boardwalk and installed the doors on the general store.

2-19-2011

2-19-2011
I cut out the wood for the Masonic Lodge sign. The pieces were then glued together.

The framing was glued together for the boardwalk roof over the tobacco shop and Masonic Lodge buildings.

Next I assembled the railings for the balcony over the boardwalk of the general store.

2-20-2011

2-20-2011
The balcony railings are glued on then the railings are painted brown and the flooring is stained.

2-22-2011

2-22-2011
The balcony and the boardwalk roof are installed.

The Masonic Lodge sign is painted silver and glued in place.

2-25-2011

2-25-2011
Well, it's almost finished. Just a few finishing touches to do. One is that I made the facad for the Masonic Lodge.

I got the roofs put on and made a brick chimney. I used a solid piece of balsa wood, cut grooves into it to look like brick and cut out a few to look aged as if a few brinks had falling out.

Signs are made for the barber shop. I also made three stove pipe chimnies.

The stove pipes are installed as are the signs. Also two barrels are painted and put on the general store boardwalk.

2-26-2011 ~ Finishing Touches

2-26-2011 ~ Finishing Touches
The stove pipe chimnies are painted black. The brick chimney is installed on the general store and painted.

The fire escape and ladder are put on the back of the Masonic Hall and stained.

The barber pole and signs are glued on.

So, this set is findly finished.

2-26-2011

2-26-2011
Well, the town is getting a little full. GREAT! The next set of structures are the Gunsmith Shop and the Post Office. Now I know that I already did a gunsmith but as you may remember, it dosen't have a back and it's a little thin. I built those first two sets of buildings as just, "something to do." So, I am going to re-do them in the proper way. This set of buildings will be a little differant as the post office will be higher than the gunsmith shop building. It should turn out pretty cool. So let's get started...

2-26-2011

2-26-2011
The first step is to cut out the walls. The gunsmith shop walls are first.

2-27-2011

2-27-2011
The walls to the gunsmith shop are glued in place. Next I cut the walls to the post office and installed. Then I cut out the two back doors to the buildings.

The walls are all together and clamped. Plus I have started the front trim on the gunsmith shop.

I cut several balsa wood blocks and glue them together in pairs for the sandstone blocks to support the gunsmith shop. Using my Dremel motor, I sanded groves in the blocks to simulate wear. Once they were glued together, they were painted light gray.

Before installing the floors, I cut out some old dollhouse flooring and glued it to the floors to simulate tile floors in each building.

3-1-2011

3-1-2011
Today I installed the window frames in both buildings. Plus I glued on the siding to the post office.

Next I created the boardwalks.

3-2-2011

3-2-2011
The next step was to stain the post office in a cherry finish.

Then the gunsmith shop was stained light oak. I want these two buildings to appear raw wood. Next I painted the post office trim forest green.

3-3-2011

3-3-2011

3-4-2011

3-4-2011
I painted the interior walls. The boardwalk is findly finished.

Next, the furniture is made for both buildings.

3-6-2011

Well, I got to lookin' at these two buildings and decided that it would be better if they were switched around. So now the post office will be the gunsmith shop and the gunsmith shop will be the post office. Hey, I'm the mayor and can do what I want!

Today I put in the moldings in the gunsmith shop. I installed the glass in the doors and made a keg with gun barrels in it.

Here's some furniture and fixtures for the post office: the postmaster's desk and chair, the wall rack with pigeon holes for letters and shelves for packages and the barred counter window.

3-9-2011

3-9-2011
Since these buildings will have interiors, I began installing the inside trim. The doors went on the gunsmith shop.

The window glass was glued in.

3-10-2011

3-10-2011
The trim is finished in both buildings. The open front door is put on the post office.

For the buildings with interiors, I have to come up with wood-burning stoves. They have to be all differant designs. So I simply began carving on a tiny block of wood to see what happened. It didn't turn out too bad. Then I found some rifles that I bought from eBay a couple of years ago and never used. I began painting them for the gunsmith's front window.

3-11-2011

3-11-2011
I cut out the roofs for both buildings, painted the post office roof black. The gunsmith roof is gray. The black roof was still wet when the pictures were taken.

Well, the buildings are almost finished. Now the furniture has to be placed and the detailing has to be done.

3-12-2011 ~ FINISHED!

3-12-2011 ~ FINISHED!
The buildings are done. I will do the signs later. These two pictures show the structures with the roof off.

So another set of buildings are done. Man, this town is growing almost as fast as the original mining towns did. Eleven buildings so far. But so many yet to go. Well, I'm off to the next project.

3-13-2011

3-13-2011

3-13-2011

3-13-2011
The next building is going to be the jail. Floor plan is above. The marshal's office will be up front. Then there will be four barred cells in the back with a hallway between them. The roof will be removable to view the interior. This building will have a pitched roof. As you can see, I also got the chance to recover the cardboard on the top of my workbench. It was getting pretty bad.

The walls and floor is cut out. The front wall will have two tall windows. The cell block will have four small barred windows. One in each cell. This will give the prisoners a much better view of the construction of the gallows in their honor.

3-14-2011

3-14-2011
This building will set on a dirt mound. So after sizing the structure and gluing it all together, I began creating the mound. First I glued together the wood frame, then with the aid of my Dremel motor and the round sanding drum, I sanded down the edges to look like packed down dirt.

The "dirt mound" was then painted dark brown as a background color.

After the paint completely dried, I wisked some lighter brown paint to give it depth.

3-15-2011

3-15-2011

I set the building on it's base to see how it was going to look. Not bad! The building won't be glued untill one of the last steps in it's construction.

3-16-2011

3-16-2011
I have begun making the sells. The barred windows are all finished.

3-17-2011

3-17-2011
The barred windows are all installed. The cells are coming along nicely.

3-18-2011

3-18-2011
The bars are all glued together, then painted silver with black frames.

Each cell will have a bunk. I cut strips of wood, then shaped pillows from wood, then covered the whole things.

The floor is painted brown. Then the stucco is smeared all over the outside sides and back. Not on the front wall. Then it's smeared all over the cell block walls but not the front marshal's office. That will be wood paneled.

3-19-2011

3-19-2011
I painted the cell block walls dark brown. This was an oil-based paints. Then, as it set, but not dry yet, I painted over it with a light gray water-base paint and let it smear. This brought out the stucco plus makes the cell block look drab and dingy.

I painted the outside of the building a very light tan. This highlights the stucco to look more like adobe.

Next I started building the furniture for the marshal's office area. Chairs, desk and a gunrack.

Then I began gluing the paneling in the marshal's office. Next was the moldings.

3-21-2011

3-21-2011
I got the cell bars glued in. The bunks went in first as I knew I would never get my hand into any of the cells once the bars were installed. I have to do the cell doors now.

The front window glass is glued in. Then I glued the pins into the cell doors. They will be trimed and mounted in holes so that the cell doors are moveable.

3-24-2011

3-24-2011
I finished the woodwork in the marshal's office. Then I cut the two panels for the roof.

The boardwalk is finished. Also I raised the front for the sign. The building is starting to take shape.

3-26-2011

3-26-2011
I made the two front barred windows. Then I stained the front wall. Plus I framed the overhead sign.

I glued the locks onto the cell doors. Then I cut the tree doors for the building. The doors are installed. No windows in the doors as the marshal didn't want anyone looking into the cellblock from the outside.

The cell doors are installed. They are workable and can be opened or closed.

The interior of the marshal's office is almost finished. The gunrack, desk and chair are glued in. I also made a wood-burning stove.

The ring of jail keys are made. (That wasn't fun at all). Also I made an axe to put outside to cut firewood for the stove.

The boardwalk roof is installed.

Thr building's roof panels are covered with boards.

3-27-2011 ~ Jail Is Finished!

3-27-2011 ~ Jail Is Finished!

Cellblock.

All of the cell doors can be opened and closed.

The marshal's office.

All the comforts of home. There's no bed for marshal Cogburn. When he spends the night at the jail, he sleeps in one of the cell bunks. Sometimes a few of the kids from town close the cell door and lock him in. When he wakes up he has to yell at Louie, the town drunk to come and let him out. He hates those kids.

So, there's the jail and marshal's office. One more building to add to the town.