Lumber Storage Shed
12/17/2012
Back in 2007 I scratch-built an N-scale lumber storage shed as part of a furniture manufacturer diorama. I had so much fun with that project that I decided to build another such structure for my S-scale layout. This page describes how I built the basic structure. It is going to be part of a hardware and lumber-supply diorama on my layout.

I started off with some scale 12"x12" beams to serve as the foundation of the shed. Its overall size was determined by what I could fit on my layout, which is 49' wide and 33' deep. As shown in the photo, I used various measurement tools to make sure that the four core beams were perpendicular to each other as the glue was drying.
Lumber Storage Shed
I then cut and glued two additional 12"x12" beams in between the other beams. Next, I used some 2"x6" boards to cover the entire top surface of the foundation. I purposely do not perfectly line up the front and back edges of the boards, and I also roughed up their ends, to indicate wear and tear over the years.
Lumber Storage Shed
Next up are the two side walls. In my N-scale version I first built the wall studs and then covered them with the outside boards, like you would do in the real world. However, for the model that turned out to be very error prone. This time around I decided to start with the boards first. I cut all boards to the length of the longest board needed (20'3"), lined them up next to each other, and then used angles and metal weights to carefully squeeze them against each other to form the tight wall. The side walls are 16.5 feet deep/wide.
Lumber Storage Shed
I then glued a 3"x6" along the bottom and two at the roof angles that I wanted. Once the glue was set, the boards stayed together nicely.
Lumber Storage Shed
I then glued the vertical boards on the outside edges. I built another such wall in mirror image.
Lumber Storage Shed
Now it was easier to add the various studs and cross braces. I first glued the vertical studs at 2-foot centers, as shown for the wall on the right in the photo below. Next, I cut small pieces of cross braces that I glued in between the studs. These were all made out of 3"x6" strip wood.
Lumber Storage Shed
I then trimmed the exterior boards so that they matched the roof-line boards. The next photo shows my set-up for gluing the left wall to the foundation. The right-hand side of the foundation will be up against the track (to be used as part of the unloading platform), so the first wall was lined up with the left edge of the foundation.
Lumber Storage Shed
Similar to the construction method shown for the two side walls, I built the back wall. It is 24 feet wide and 16.5 feet tall. Again, using angles, I glued the back wall perpendicular to the first side wall and the foundation.
Lumber Storage Shed
It was then trivial to add the right-hand side wall, making sure that it was the same distance from the left wall in the front as it was in the back.
Lumber Storage Shed
I stained the three walls (inside and out) and the floor space within those walls with the normal india-ink-and-alcohol solution. I wasn't sure about how the rest of the platform was going to be used, which is why I didn't stain that yet.
Lumber Storage Shed
For the lumber storage racks, I needed to build some intermediate supports. These were built on top of the walls so that they matched in shape and size (being careful not to have any excess wood glue accidentally connect the pieces to the wall). These were made out of 5x6 strips.
Lumber Storage Shed
I didn't plan ahead far enough on this project, so I then had to install some boards on the two side walls to support the racks. I tried to line them up with the new middle "walls" as best as I could.
Lumber Storage Shed
Next, I glued strips of 5x6 boards in between each section. As you can see, some of them are not perfectly level. I'll write that off as heavy loads having warped the racks over time.
Lumber Storage Shed
The next photos represents several steps. I stained the racks. Next, I made a bunch of new-wood piles. I made them out of full-size boards, no cheating here! That used a good quantity of my scrap strip wood, as well as new-stock inventory. When I finished the bottom three rows of racks, I built a platform base out of 5x5 boards, which you can see in the photo below because they are not yet stained.
Lumber Storage Shed
I added two angled boards (highlighted in the photo below), to act as the supports for the platform.
Lumber Storage Shed
I used some 2x6 boards to provide a surface for the platform. I purposely didn't make them look nice and aligned, but left some gaps here and there.
Lumber Storage Shed
After I carefully stained the new second-story platform (to avoid splattering the new wood in the bottom shelves), I built some more piles of new wood for the upper two rows of racks. I then built a simple ladder to get the employees up to the platform.
Lumber Storage Shed
This photo shows my set-up for making the handrails for the upper platform, made out of 2x4 boards. The handrail is supposed to be about 4 feet tall once installed.
Lumber Storage Shed
This shows an overall photo after I installed the platform handrails and then stained it and the ladder. The bottoms of the vertical boards of the handrail were glued to the front face of the platform.
Lumber Storage Shed
I just couldn't resist including this photo, showing an extremely close-up view of the lumber shed.
Lumber Storage Shed
After doing all that work, I decided to remove the second story platform and the ladder. What prompted me to do that was that I was thinking about how I wanted to do the roof, and I wanted to have a figure up on the second story platform. When I used an S-scale figure, I realized that he was going to hit his head on the roof trying to get up the ladder. I decided that the second story platform was not needed. I will add a long-reach ladder later on. So, with those parts removed, I was able to get to work on the roof. I installed some cross members, needed to support the roof (these won't be visible from the normal viewing angle.
Lumber Storage Shed
Next, I cut two sheets of 0.010" thick styrene to act as the roof's foundation (much like we would use sheets of plywood in the real world). I forgot to take a photo of those installed (I used five-minute epoxy to glue those to the structure). I then carefully cut several pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil (bought at the grocery store) into scale 4-foot wide sheets, with their lengths matching the width of the styrene roof panels. I found that using a razor blade worked best when cutting the aluminum foil (the popular X-acto blade ripped the foil). I then used my fingers on the corrugated-metal die from Fassett Studios to form the foil. To attach them, I used a small brush to apply a thin layer of Aleene's original tacky glue to the styrene, and then carefully pressed the delicate panels to the styrene. After that was done and the glue had dried, I sprayed Testors Dullcote over the roof panels and let that dry overnight.
Lumber Storage Shed
The next day I used Bragdon weathering powders to add some age to the "perfect" panels. This completes the project. The photo below shows the model in its approximate position on the layout. I will develop this area into a diorama in the future. Details will be added in the future to enhance the overall scene. The track in the foreground is the spur that will be used to unload wood stock.
Lumber Storage Shed