Planned Project...

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hi Gang,

One of the fire companies that I used to belong to is celebrating their 100th anniversary next year. I have been asked to build a replica of their original firehouse. Only two photographs exist. No measurements are known either. I have never built a diorama or structure befrore. I am a little nervous, as I want the details to be accurate. But, I know that reasearch, experimentation, and just plain "diggin in" are the first steps in getting it done. The work illustrated here is fantastic! I hope this project turns out half as nice as the projects displayed here. Below are the two photos of the old firehouse that exist. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

post-9161-0-19504500-1336171907_thumb.jp

post-9161-0-75242900-1336172005_thumb.jp

Edited by hooknladderno1

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Posted (edited) · Report post

This looks like a fun project. By figuring the entry door on the left is probably 6'6" x 3' should help you figure out the size of everything else. I wonder what was kept in the basement. Do you have a particular scale in mind?

Edited by gasser59

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Posted · Report post

First off you will have to choose a scale. Looks like after that it should be easy. Do you know what year the buildings are from?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hey Brad... I hate to disagree with you... but I think that door opening is more than 6'6" high..... because the garage door beside it is the same height and you'd never get a fire truck inside if it was only 6'6".

I'm guessing it would be at least 9' with the door at 7' and a 2' fixed transom panel above. The floor to ceiling height would probably be around 10'+. Second floor at around 8' floor to ceiling. All guesswork of course.

I'm also guessing the building would be about 20' x 32' at least...... maybe a little bigger.

If you build at 1/24 scale, the building would be on a 10" x 16" base and stand approximately 12 1/2" to the ridge, with a 4:12 slope on the roof..... (plus the height of the exposed basement).

If you draw it out to scale on a piece of paper, you'll see how it fits together. As this is your first dio, may I also suggest you make a cardboard mock up first, then you can compare your sizes to the photos. If it doesn't look right, you can adjust the sizes to suit.

Hope this helps.

Tony

Edited by GTMust

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Posted · Report post

I'll bet you're right Tony. A 9' door makes much more sense. This should be a fun project. Are you planning on scale block with texture like on the real firehouse?

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Posted · Report post

the door depends on how old the building is, the company i run with now had a 6' door when it was built in 1933. nowadays a 6' door would never make sense but the largest engine our company had before they built the addition was just under 6'. Ill put it to you this way, im 6'6" tall and i had to duck under the old door to get in the building. it doesnt seem normal but it is possible that the door is 6'. looking at the building in the picture it appears the garage door has a 4x4 top panel with a 2 foot lower. just my opinion. best bet would be to ask around and see if any of the older guys remember how large the doors were. id post a photo of our old bay doors which is now our lounge area but we dont have any photos of how the old setup was but our new man door fits the same height as the old garage door and i still have to duck to walk inside without cracking my nose off the top sill

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Posted · Report post

to put a little more perspective on it the last "old beast" we had in the building before the addition with 14' doors was a 53 mack and i am taller than that truck was, so a 6' door way back then would seem to be practical for the times (at least it was up here)

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Josh....

You're definitely correct that old buildings did have low height doors, but I believe that even a Model T pumper or ladder truck with a driver would need a garage door with more height than 6', especially if the driver didn't wanted to get beheaded. I once drove a 1928 Sanford fire truck that we had in our museum and it was like sitting way up in the air!

My guesses were based on the fact that the garage door opening appears to be square. If the small door beside it is about 3' wide then it would appear that the garage door is about 3 times a wide as the small door... thus a 9' wide garage door. If it's square then it would also be 9' high.

It also looks like the width of the building is about 2 1/4 times the width of the garage door..... thus 9' plus 9' plus 3' = somwhere between 20' and 24' wide, which would make sense for a building of this type, I think. If you measure the width of the garage door on the photo as 9', then use that as a scale across the width of the building you should be pretty close.

As far as the length of the building is concerned, it difficult to say. However, as it's possible that this building was build in the early days of horse drawn fire equipment, there would have been a stable for the horse in the rear of the building approximately 10' long...... then a space for the wagon (another 20' or so) making the building at least 30' - 32' long. This would have also suited an early motorized fire engine plus some equipment storage space. As a small town fire dept. it's unlikely they would have had any large fire trucks like the Sanford or an Aerons Fox. (Did I spell that right?)

All guesses of course, but if you relate the size of the community to the type of equipment they would likely have had and the time the building was built.... as Josh said, maybe some old timers in the community may settle some of these questions for you,

Tony

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Posted (edited) · Report post

All of these proportions would be worked out if we knew the size of the block used to build it. Today's cement block are 8"x8"x16" but I think the earlier block were larger. Since my dad was a mason, among other things, I'll ask him and get back to you guys.

Edited by gasser59

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Standard door size was 2'10'X6'10" this would fit in a 3'X7' rough opening. I suspect that the main door is 7' high X 8' wide. That would make the building about 16' wide X about 20' deep. The inside would probably have 9' ceilings. 16 feet would be about the maximum unsupported span for the second floor. Remember this is a pre truss building.

Thanks

carl

Edited by dptydawg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

This is getting interesting....

I still stick to my previous guesses. Look at the man door........ the height is about 3 times the width. That would make it 9' high +/- (7' door including frame +2' transom above).

A large hewn timber beam across at the second floor level would cut down the joist span to maximum 16'... easily achievable with full 2" x 10" joists.

The rest of the dimensions would work out as I suggested.

Tony.

Edited by GTMust

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Posted · Report post

Hey Guys,

Thanks to all for your feedback! The building was built some time in the 1910's. The firehouse was in a rural, agricultural area of NJ, known for apples and peaches. I was thinking of 1/25, as I build mostly in 1/25. I was wondering about replicating the foundation block. I have seen tutorials referencing removing the top layer of paper from a foam core board, or scribing styrofoam. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I will try and find out what type of apparatus they originally ran. Thanks.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

...I just ran across this thread....

That's a wonderful little building. Lots of character and not too complicated for your first structure project.

You'll need to do some Creative Guesstimating for the measurements, using all the information that's already been provided above.

Once you decide on some basic dimensions, do some rough scale drawings that will give you an idea of the model's proportions as they relate to the photos. Once the "Good Enough" factor has been achieved, do a good set of full-sizes drawings of each wall to use as templates. It probably wouldn't hurt to do a smaller size cardstock mock-up to see what it'll look like in 3-D.

I'll be watching this build. It looks like great fun!

(Edit: Tony said just about the same thing. Guess I should've read ALL the other posts first..........)

Edited by KHamilton

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Posted · Report post

Good luck and can't wait to see ya start on it!

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Posted · Report post

Hi Gang,

One of the fire companies that I used to belong to is celebrating their 100th anniversary next year. I have been asked to build a replica of their original firehouse. Only two photographs exist. No measurements are known either. I have never built a diorama or structure befrore. I am a little nervous, as I want the details to be accurate. But, I know that reasearch, experimentation, and just plain "diggin in" are the first steps in getting it done. The work illustrated here is fantastic! I hope this project turns out half as nice as the projects displayed here. Below are the two photos of the old firehouse that exist. Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Hi Gang,

I still have not been able to come up with a way to replicate the foundation block . Any suggestions? I am not married to any particular scale, so am open to different ideas. Thanks in advamce.

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Posted · Report post

Here is what I would try.

I got this technique from Mike Napoleon. Who is one of the best diorama builders.

You take a piece of drywall and you gently soak the paper off of both sides. You can tear off the first layer then gently soak the remaining paper with a sponge until it peals off.

What you end up with is a piece of gypsum. Then you scribe the grout lines and make the bricks the size you need.

Here is what I ended up with when I was testing the technique.

IMG_4630-vi.jpg

IMG_4636-vi.jpg

.

.

.

.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

What a great idea! I have to try that one on my next dio....... I guess you could use drywall compound or even spackle to glue the walls together?

Thanks Jim.

Tony

Edited by GTMust

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Posted · Report post

For some ideas about creating patterns, I've found this fellow in England who has some tutorials on-line. I haven't tried any yet but - as he's a teacher - his explanations are easy-to-follow.

http://davidneat.wordpress.com/

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Posted · Report post

Wouldn't soaking drywall in water weaken and ruin the gypsum?

Interesting idea. We'll have a small amount of rennovation coming up. Perhaps I can try it with a little piece of scrap.

Charlie Larkin

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Posted · Report post

Wouldn't soaking drywall in water weaken and ruin the gypsum?

Interesting idea. We'll have a small amount of rennovation coming up. Perhaps I can try it with a little piece of scrap.

Charlie Larkin

You have to be careful and lightly dampen the paper and slowly remove it.

.

.

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Posted · Report post

I like this project a whole lot. The building would also make a decent old time garage with some Model Ts hanging around.

I agree with the dimensions etc posted here. I'd start with a scale sketch of the front, based on the size assumptions posted. It would be helpful to have a 1/25 scale ruler so you don't have to convert dimensions. Once you have established a proportion scale from the doors, it will help you determine the rise of the roof (the front peak) and the size of the upstairs windows. From the two photos it appears that all the windows (except for the side basement one) are the same size. So once you know that size, you can plot out the length of the side from that window placement. Also, note that in the front photo you can see straight through the second floor and there is a window on the back. So I'd assume the same window pattern on the other side, and the upstairs of the back. There would be no back or side door from the first floor due to the slope. But somewhere there would be an entry to the basement.

If I still had access to AutoCad, I'd do a quick sketch in scale for you, just out of my own curiosity. Good luck with this project, we'll all be watching!

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Posted · Report post

In that era, the "basement" would probably have a rear staircase entry from outside, with hinged wood cover.

I agree it appears that both side walls will be the same, with same window placement, and the front and rear walls of the upper story will be the same, with same window placement. Houses and buildings tended to be very symmetrical in that era.

Great project!

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Posted · Report post

One other thought, regarding scaling the building:

In those days, construction materials were more regional or "local" than today, usually coming from a small, local manufacturer. Even if the building you're modeling no longer exists, you would likely find other old buildings from the same era in the area. If you still have those contacts back home, ask somebody to look around for some of those concrete blocks and get measurements. Then, you can accurately scale the entire building.

B)

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I still say the entry door is round 6'6" based on the height of the doorknob. If the door is 9', the knob would be appr. 4' from the ground.

Still loving this project. It has alot of potential.

Edited by gasser59

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Posted · Report post

For some ideas about creating patterns, I've found this fellow in England who has some tutorials on-line. I haven't tried any yet but - as he's a teacher - his explanations are easy-to-follow.

http://davidneat.wordpress.com/

Hey Ken,

Thanks! David Neat has some great tutorials! I spent over an hour trying to locate someone here in the US that carries the Kapa Line board. It has a polyurethane as opposed to most of the other foam board that is polystyrene. I highly reccommend a peek at his tutorials! I even emailed the manufacturer - 3A Composites to see if they could connect me with a supplier. Still waiting for a reply...

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