Scratch Build #3: How to Use Solid Wood Blocks for Buildings

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Welcome to a very special (and long…) video showcasing a technique that was shown to me by Bill Schopf. Bill is a master structure builder, and he agreed to showing the “solid block” method as long as we built a structure for my layout. Gee, twist my arm Bill!

I did some searching and found a cool little building that used to be located on the PRR’s Shamokin Branch in the town of Weigh Scales, PA. It looks to be some kind of small office with an attached storage shed. With only one picture and no dimensions our model is at best “inspired by” the photo- we had to guess at the dimensions, roof pitch, far side wall layouts, etc. Overall it captures the feel of the prototype and will be a perfect addition for my locomotive service area.

The first 15 minutes showcase examples of some of Bill’s current “block” buildings. Here he explains the concept and shows how some of the buildings were made. After this we head to Bill’s wood shop to begin the work on my building. Bill shows the gluing, cutting and various saw work to get the blocks into shape for the building.

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Bill then demonstrates cutting and fitting the Northeastern board & batten siding and shows how to mark and cut out the windows/doors. After that I head home to finish the construction. Back in my workshop we see the completed buildings after the siding was glued on, windows installed, roof added and the building painted. The final segment shows the weathered building ready for the layout.

We think you will find this technique interesting and a useful addition to your scratch building repertoire.

Many thanks to Bill for taking the time to show us all how to use this technique!

Bill has a gorgeous HO scale layout, be sure to check it out in the Layout Tours playlist.

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