The Base

Location … Location

So .. now we are looking at where the structure was to go. I wanted to put the building right on the edge of the land so the loading door is at the proper height and setback to the track. This means the building would overhang the river .. which for me is a “good thing”

Testing Fit

I’m positioning the structure. This required a concrete pier/base down to the river ..quite a lot could be done with that too. Old concrete, with some rebar exposed perhaps .. intakes for the pipe .. perhaps stairs down to that area so people can get to it for ..well .whatever. Fun fun.


The front of the pump house has a freight door. Seems reasonable to me that since the building would be sitting next to the tracks and that it needs to reflect that location. A freight platform is around 6ft from the center of the track and about 3ft 10in above the rail. I made a little ‘jig’ to help to see where the structure needs to go. This is a starting point .. I think I will build a quick and dirty foam core mock up to get dimensions right. In any case .. this is close to where the building needed to sit.

This would be mostly hidden since this part of the building faces away from view but might be seen from photographs in the future so it made sense to finish it out.

Sketchup Attack

Worked up what I thought would be an interesting base in SketchUp

Up top is a flat area the building would sit. There are steps leading up to a platform so the pipes and possibly valves could be accessed for maintenance. Steps lead down to a pair of pump wells. There is a recess around each .. so a grating could sit in that recess. The pipes would drop through the center of the wells/grating .. theoretically there is a strainer of some sort under there which would need to be accessed at some point for cleaning.


Some putty and primer .. coming along. With a 20% infill .. it worked . but top shell was rough where the supports were. If I were to do this again I think I would split the thing into multiple sections so I could print each section best .. like the stair steps on their side.

This was printed upside down so the upper surface is nice and smooth. The sides are pretty smooth too .. the problem with the steps. They were printed “in the air” .. on supports. If I divided the model into sections as I referred to, I could print each run of steps individually on their side, arranged so the ‘rough side’ would face away from the viewer. That’s part of the ‘fun’ with 3D printing .. figuring how to do it better ‘next time’

Location .. Location

I find it interesting when I modify part of the layout as it has been so long since I did this that I had forgotten what I did. The plywood showing is part of the original layout before I extended it out for the water. I have a mix of green and blue builders foam .. and everything is quite uneven. The ‘water’ looks fine until you put a straight edge across it .. or .. a level.


Since the fit between the base and the ‘water’ was so uneven I used Bondo to fill the gap(s). A piece of plastic wrap acts as a barrier. Bondo sets up quick so once it set but before it hardened I used a knife to pare away most of the excess.

The level shown is called a Cross Check Level. I got mine at Lowes .. really useful – I use it all the time to level my structures.

Bondo’ed and Primer’ed

This was after about three applications of Bondo and primer. There were some rough spots but I left them .. in fact .. I needed to ‘add’ rough patches elsewhere. This is supposed to represent rough concrete after all.

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