Large Scale Central

Casey's Saloon on the Durango & Jasper

I’ve started a new project, a saloon for the town of Durango named after my son Casey. Here’s a sketch (wow, I’m bad at that!):

Here’s where I intend it to go, near the worker shacks and across town from the general store:

The paver that is sitting on the dirt near the track is one of 6 that will be buried and form the solid base for the saloon.

On top of that base I’m going to create a 5 inch tall retaining wall/foundation for the wood saloon above. I’m planning to use the same technique I used in my dynamite shack. The technique for that was “stolen” from Ray Dunakin.

Here’s the “mold” in which I’ll make the mortar/stone walls with wire-mesh reinforcement:

The mold is made out of foam board, hot glued together:

Here’s a bit more of a closeup showing the structure. Each wall will be created independently with wire mesh bent around the corners to provide structural integrity.

That’s how far I got today. Progress will be sporadic until I retire in February, then I should have more predictable time to work on this. Yay!


Looking forward to watching Casey’s Saloon come to life. Congratulations on your pending retirement.

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Jim, your Moonshiners will have a saloon to sell their white lightning to. Another fun build.

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Wow! Haven’t been around here in a long time. I like what Bob has done with the place. And, Jim, looking forward to seeing the saloon project moving forward.

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Looking good!
Don’t expect all that much more time after retirement - you’d sure think so, but it has NOT been my experience. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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Just remember; when you were working for a living you had weekends off, not usually the case in retirement :smiley:

In my case, I have 35 hours of caregiver time/week. That right now is 100% spent on work. So when I retire I have 35 more hours that I could dedicate to my RR. We’ll see if I do. I have other stuff I want to do besides trains (gasp!) so am totally not saying 100% of that will go to trains, but it should be > 0.


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are you married? if yes, you can count on a good hunk of “freetime” being devored by quickly growing “darling do” demands.
in any case you will notice, that “working hours” included a lot of little time-thieveries, that will not disapear with work’s end.
but a lot of time will simply “vanish” with “I have to… until/before…”

“My wife asked me in the morning, what i planned to do. i said: Nothing.
she said, but yesterday you already did nothing.
I declared: that’s right. But I didn’t finish it.”

Added rocks and “poured” mortar for the first wall. Now I get to sit patiently and wait for it to set before I can do the next one.

Here’s the stuff I’m using, a 50/50 mix of:

First step is to put down rocks along the inside of one wall in the mold, then put wire mesh on top to give the mortar some strength:

Then one needs to mix the mortar with water, getting it juuuuuuuust right (not too runny, not too thick). I have no idea if this is just right:

And then you cover the wall and let it set:

I won’t know if I got the mixture consistency correct until I remove the mold.

Gad, the tension in the room is palpable…


With a sketch like that, I’d say you were trying to get ahead on the Mik 2022! On a more serious note, thanks for detailing the process here. This could be something we could emulate, as none of those materials are especially hard to come by!


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