Sunday, September 25, 2011

Confounded Cupola

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my failures to build a cupola for my caboose.  I've been trying since then to solve the problem.  I think I found the answer this weekend.

One of the problems I was facing was how to cut the window opening without splitting the scribed sheeting.  It seems that just sticking the knife blade into the wood, along the wood grain, will split it wide open.  Gerry Leone suggest that I try putting a piece of tape across the back of the wood piece before cutting.  This worked beautifully - I was able to cut out all eight window openings without a single split.

The second problem was with warping - the thin wood sheeting warps badly when painted, or even when glue is applied too heavily.  Even painting both sides didn't completely prevent warping, these pieces are just too small.  This time around, I added some 1/8"x1/8" bracing to the back side of each wall.  After painting the walls, inside and out, there was NO WARPING!

I still need to install the window frames and window glass, and paint the roof, but I finally have an acceptable cupola.