Smoke jacks

Ordinarily I don’t like to build with pre-cut parts. I find it much easier to glue parts together and trim off excess. However, in the case of the smoke jacks, there are some funky angles around the base, which made it more convenient to draw the parts and cut them on the Cricut.

I started with a mixture of my photographs of Pembroke and a drawing of a CPR standard smoke jack, thanks to Coquihala Man.  The CPR drawing indicates 2×2 mill construction for their smokejack, and so, I had the Cricut scribe those boards as well.  This is not board by board as I had visions of the hairy mess the Cricut would joyfully produce if asked it to cut individual 2×2 boards.

Getting the four sides assembled was a little challenging.  I considered cutting a solid core, but ultimately opted to use 8×8 strip wood to reinforce the joints.  Small bar clamps held the jacks together while the glue set.

Finally, the cross braces, which do not appear on the CPR drawing but are prominent in the photographs, are simply 2×4 strip wood.  The second brace from the top is extra-long to accommodate guy wires.

I can already see that installation is going to be a bear, and not a sleepy mid-winter bear, but a hungry spring bear with two cubs!  How will I get these parts plumb, centred and 16.5′ off the railhead?  Oh yes, there’s also a minor matter of the sides wanting to bow inward, which I’m hoping I can fix in the installation process.

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