Bill makes doors for his engine shed

“Hi Al

Thought I’d submit something a little different this time. I’ve been working on my maintenance shops this weekend and finally tried an idea I had for non operating roll down doors.

The buildings look nice but came with no doors. I’m sure in any climate there would be something in the real world. I hit upon have a split canvas door.

Basically two large independent roll down canvas doors that are on a manual chain drive. Mine are non operational but look good. I wanted to share how to make them if anyone else has an application for them.

I started with a 3/8 dowel and cut to fit snug in my space.

I then took a piece of firm green construction paper not the cheap stuff – and cut it just a hair smaller than the dowel then I cut that in half. Next I laid the paper out so at the middle they barely touched and I left about a 1/16 gap on each end.

Next I put super glue on the paper at one end and rolled the dowel onto the glued paper. I held it there until the glue grabbed (I used a gel super glue but any should work) . Then I slowly rolled the dowel so as to cover about 1/3 of the dowel with the paper. I held things in place until well bonded.

Next I cut small plastic strips to add the bottom of the hanging door. These can be any size that is pleasing to the eye. I put glue on the plastic and pressed the canvas door onto it. Once all is dry I painted the everything a drab olive with acrylic paint.

Next I cut Scale chain to a length to make a loop so as a scale man would find it hanging to about the waist. I cut two so each side had its own chain. These I super glued on the ends of dowel. Once this was dry I fitted into place then super glued it in place. I did a light chalk weathering to finish it up.

The building has been weathered and I’ve darkened the concrete pad the building is on and now my light maintenance shop looks like it’s been there for a long time.

engine shed doors

engine shed doors

Cheers to all!

Bill in Virginia”

If you missed Bill’s last post, it’s here.

Now on to Hall of Fame member, Brian:

“Hi Al

Just one photo of my harbor this time.

It was taken on a full moon night with no boats in the harbor which was great for showing the water reflections of the lighted main buildings.

I am in the process of writing an article for you on the building of a scratchbuilt ship chandler building from start to finish. It will be placed behind the boat repair shop next to the harbor.

This one is fully detailed and lighted outside for a change as it is set back (on the right hand side of the photo below next to the pub) from the front of the layout so that interior detail would be hidden.

I will send it to you as soon as I have the narrative connected to the photos of it.

All the best.


Click on Brian’s pictur to enlarge it by the way. It’s a fantastic pic and I can’t wait to see Brian’s ‘how-to’ on his chandler building. If it’s anything like his other ones, we are in for a treat.

That’s all for today folks. Please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget theBeginner’s Guide is here if today’s the day you stop dreaming and start doing.



PS Seen the latest ebay cheat sheet yet?

9 Responses to Bill makes doors for his engine shed

  1. Kathe & Frank, Miami, Florida says:

    Beautiful evening shot. Looks very realistic.

  2. Peter Waring says:

    Bill, I love the roller blinds for the workshop. You could also make garage type roller shutters that run down guides on the sides for more modern types of workshops, don’t know if that is prototypical for railway workshops, although I seem to remember something similar at York Railway museum workshops.
    Brian, the night harbour scene is great both in terms of modelling and photography.
    Keep up the good work Peter…

  3. Richard s says:

    Very novel way to make roll up doors. good for you.

  4. Brad says:

    Nice on the in the US these can also be found on outside “enclosed” porches to block out the sun when needed.I imagine smaller dowel using the rest of your instructions would work for those also

  5. Robert Brady says:

    Brian that looks so real great job with the lighting affects. Love to be sitting out there with friends chatting and dumping a few cold ones.Don’t worry we won’t throw the empty’s in the water. Lol !

  6. nice effect with the lighting Brian , and Brian thts a great job with the doors …Dangerous Dave

  7. NJ Mark says:

    The talent that is showcased here is amazing. Imagination and attention to detail are the keys to great modelling; thanks for sharing and inspiring. Cheers! NJ Mark

  8. Mike RICHARDSON says:

    The roll up canvas doors look great. The chain does put on the finishing touch.

  9. Mike RICHARDSON says:

    Brian, the picture of the harbor at night looks so very real. It is beautiful. Such great work and talent.

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