Roundhouse Sheathing

I’m starting to think about modelling the roundhouse, with a view to taking it to the PNR regional meet in Salmon Arm in a month and a half (!).

From Del Rosamond’s notes, we know that it had “Colonial Siding,” which was apparently similar to clapboard siding, but with full-thickness boards.  Clapboards are tapered.

Now roundhouses are built a little bit like barns – big post and timber construction.  So, I’m wondering, how would they have applied horizontal siding to the sides of these buildings?  Would there be vertical nailers every couple of feet, as a barn with vertical siding has a couple of horizontal nailers?

It’s one of those things that are frustratingly difficult to Google, and my library is coming up dry.

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5 thoughts on “Roundhouse Sheathing

  1. Rene:

    Hawaii has a lot of building with a Colonial siding and is similar to a shiplap but with a reveal, often coved, to create the horizontal line. In HO scale a grooved siding with about 8″ planks might work. A person wanting to get the rounded edge might rig a Dremel to be a router but it would be pretty tedious!

    Horizontal 4x or larger members would be placed about 4′ apart with similar 3x blocking between in order to fasten the siding. You may find examples online that show these horizontal members at mid span and window header height.

    Heavy timber was used to lessen the chance of damage from a fire – thicker wood just takes longer to burn. Your uprights for the post and beam frame might have been 8×8’s with 8×12 (full dimensions btw) at the top. Don’t forget a similar mud sill on top of the foundation as the posts would seldom be embedded in earth especially where ground is frozen parts of the year.

    Sound like fun! Good luck.

    Neil Erickson

    1. Thanks for the info, Neil. That’s interesting construction if I understand it correctly; why not simply have the 3x blocking run the full height of the wall?

      I had been wondering why that barn in my own answer had such heavy upright timbers. Your fire scenario sounds very reasonable.

      Looking at other drawings of engine houses, it appears that 12×12 was a common post size.

      Thanks again,

  2. Continuing to answer my own question, I found that I’d collected a drawing of the Wellington roundhouse from 1894. This building had 6″ drop siding topped by two layers of building paper and 8″ shiplap siding.

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