O'Neills Fabrication - HO Scale - An in-depth tutorial for building SWSM kits



  • Oil bottles can also be found with a cork spout - for a little color variety from the tin. I have some HO Scale oil bottles 3D printed in clear resin that I will eventually have up on the website.
  • Can’t wait for the 3D bottles.
  • Yes, the bottles and beat up barrels.
  • Another finished wall. Hopefully I can put these walls together soon.


    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Looks great as always. Should come together perfectly.....Rick
  • Well now that's nice!
  • The picture is a bit bleached out. Darn iPhone.
  • Now that all the detail has been added to each wall of the welding shed, it's time to assemble the walls. You start with the front wall and the right wall. First, test fit the walls to make sure they fit properly. Brett's trap system makes it easy for each wall to fit snugly together. Here is the front and right wall.


    You can see in the picture, I used an "L" shaped ruler to make sure the walls are square. Once the first joint is dry, add the left wall.


    I couldn't get the "L" ruler inside, so I used a 1-2-3 block instead. Once this is dry, add the rear wall.


    You will see I put the 1-2-3 block on top. I wanted to make sure the welding shop was sitting flat. Below is the final result.


    I must say - all that work in prepping and weathering the wood as well as the detail work has paid off. I'm very pleased with the building. It's the best I've done so far.

    Next time: Building the Welding Shop Dock.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Perfect Phil !
  • Thanks Karl.
  • Yes, continued excellence Phil.......Rick
  • Thanks Rick.
  • These HO kits you guys build are amazing.

    Especially when one thinks about just how small these details are.

    Your build is quite fun to follow.
  • Thanks Alex. We are a crazy bunch for dealing with something so small, but that's the challenge I like. Phil
  • Looks good together
  • The weathering at the bottom of the walls is the rest of the building!
  • Nice work Phil! Looks GREAT!
  • edited April 2021
    Terrific structure Phil...wood work is top shelf my friend!
  • Thanks all. I really appreciate the comments. Phil
  • Wonderful job on the little welding shop.
  • Nicely done Phil. Glad to see you making progress!
  • On to the Welding Shop Dock. I believe I'm on roll!! Using Template "C" grain and stain the wood indicated. The 3/32" square wood is harder to cut squarely, so be sure to use your true sander to make sure the cut is square.

    Again, you need to use double-side tape and the scrap guides to make sure everything is square.


    I want to make sure the joists are exactly the same length, so I use my true sander to do this.


    Next, you move the scrap guide and add the 14 joists. Use the template as a guide to make sure the joists are straight and even.


    Here are all 14 joists in place.


    Moving the scrap guide and adding the other scrap guide, you are ready to add the decking.


    As with most decking, I don't use one length, but I do establish a pattern of breaks.

    As I get to the middle of the dock, it's time to start decking from the other side. As I explained before, I do this in case there is only space for a partial split piece. It's best if it is buried in the middle somewhere.

    As you see in the picture below, I use a ruler to make sure the decking on the end is square.


    Practice Tip: As you progress on a dock this large, it is easy to get out of square. This could be due to the strip wood or an operator error. As you pass each beam, take a look and see if you are still square. If not, just adjust the decking a bit to get back to square. The sooner you notice, the easier it is to correct.

    Here is the completed dock. I won't weather it further or put in wear marks until I know where I'm going to place the castings.


    Now, comes the worst part of the deck build - putting on the legs!!

    First, flip over the dock and place it on the template as shown on p. 57 of the instruction manual. This shows the location of each leg. Use a felt marker to mark each location.


    Once you mark the first row, use a square to mark the other rows.


    You need to now cut 26 dock legs. This is easier said than done. I use my chopper to cut identical lengths, but I need to make sure all are the same length and square. Getting each leg square is hard. First, it's 3/32" square stripwood and cutting it square is difficult to do. Brett suggest cutting each piece partially, then rotating 90 degrees and cutting the rest. At the end of the day, I'm certainly not a master at this skill set. Some of my legs were perfectly square and some were not. Oh well ... however, when have you ever seen a perfectly square deck????

    Once you have all of the legs cut, it's time to put them on the locations you previously marked. Here is my sequence of work:

    1. Work on one beam at a time.
    2. I place a small amount of glue on each mark and spread it out a bit and let it dry just a little bit.
    3. I place a very small amount of glue on the leg and put it on the bream, press down, square it up and move to the next leg.
    4. Once all of the legs are on the beam, I take a ruler and place it against the legs. This helps me make any final adjustments before letting them dry.
    5. Most importantly, let these legs dry sufficiently before going to the next beam.

    Here is how I used the ruler.


    Here is the finished product.


    Once the legs are dry, flip the dock over and glue on the welding shop. Make sure it is square on the dock.

    Here is the result. I confess. This is not my best work, but after apply all the scenery, my inferior work will be well hidden.


    Next time: Laser Cut Shingles and the Welding Shop Roof.

    Thanks for following. Phil
  • Wonderful update Phil. That was a tedious but well scripted step when I built it as well. I remember Brett stressing that the end of the post that gets glued to the deck should be flat and square as the curing glue will pull it down nice and level. The other end can be less than perfectly square as the deck will be leveled in the "dirt". Looking really good.
  • edited April 2021
    Looks fantastic Phil, decking looks great as does the subframe.
    All of these squaring and aligning tips are most important for a result that looks as good as yours.

    Thanks to Brett for all of these tips, tricks, templates and jigs that he provides in his kits and manuals to ensure that all of us get a perfect result like this and can be proud of our builds.

    Valuable lessons and techniques we can all use in many aspects of our modeling.

  • Thanks Ken and Karl. I agree that the building manual is very instrumental in getting a good result. Phil
  • Looks great. You are right about easier said than done when it comes to cutting those legs.
  • I had several do-overs on the legs. truing them up on the sander fixed the issues. It did teach patience.
  • Those legs would be a challenge to anyone I suspect.
    Looks great.
  • Thanks Brian, Alan and Tom. Just not one of my favorite things. Phil
  • I love this little building. Yours is wonderful! Great job!
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