View Full Version : Article: Re: Western Buckboard build

11-08-12, 06:04 PM
I will show the build process for the Western Mountain Buckboard

The Western Mountain Buckboard is a historic and distinctly American vehicle and makes a splendid model. The buckboard originated in the mountainous areas of the north eastern states and the design moved west with pioneers and evolved into a pleasure and utility vehicle. The original versions were nothing more than a seat bolted to a long spring board attached to two axles. Over time, more refinements were added for pleasure and enjoyment. This model is an example of that evolution with the addition of the front spring and the rear Shuler Spring. The rear Shuler Spring combines the features of the helical coil and torsion spring enabling the vehicle to withstand the rigors of rough terrain due to its flexibility of design. This three point suspension concept was later adopted by the Model T automobile.

11-08-12, 06:43 PM
Here the platform boards are being joined with the cross braces that were screwed to the platform.

This is a close up showing the holes drilled for the screws, keep n mind these are the first prototype parts to be used to develop the laser cut parts.

Here the cross boards are being glued with the #8 pin heads representing the screw heads. in this picture the laser cut platform can be seen with all the hole locations cut into the platform and cross braces.

This shows the finished platform with the cross braces in place which is the "chassis frame" for the rest of the parts to attach to.

Here I have cut the seat brace and showing how to drill #55 holes using a drilling jig to hit the center of the 3/32" thick wood.

This build will show various kinds of images so for a point of clarification the brass metal parts are my hand fabricated parts and silver parts are the cast Britannia metal parts made from my master patterns.

11-08-12, 08:11 PM
Congratulations on a new forum dedicated to the oat eaters Ken! I for one am looking forward to watching your builds. Maybe this will even prompt me to get into my horse drawn hearse?

11-09-12, 05:47 AM
This will be a great addition to the site !! Congrats Ken and ....Thanks SMC

11-09-12, 09:26 AM
Once the platform was made I then moved on to the rest of the wood parts which were needed before making the brass parts.
I also completed the 2D Cad drawings of each part and placed on sheets of different thicknesses. This just shows the 1/16" and 3/32" basswood parts. These are the hand made patterns not the laser cut ones yet.
This shows the apron being formed. This part has a curve to the front that had to be formed. It was soaked and heated in very hot water and then the curved formers were used with clamps to hold until completely dry.

I will not bore you with the detail build of all the brass parts; but springs also have car application as well. Keep in mind this is 1/12th scale. Using a copy of the plans spray glued to a scrap board I drilled two 1/16th holes and inserted tubes into them. I used tube because round headed bolts and square nuts will be added later in the tubes.


Here you can see the leaves being added and soldered to the tubes while fixtured in place and being held perpendicular. At this stage as many leaves can be added as needed. Once removed the tubes were sawed to length, filed square and excess solder cleaned away.

Here is an overall view of all the brass master parts for the buckboard. And this does not include all the round head bolts that were sized as the build progressed. Once the prototype was assembled these were all sent off to be cast in Britannia metal at Accent Casting LLC (Bob Ricci) in Florida. If you need quality parts cast check him out. To give you an idea of scale (since Andy stole my penny)he1he The railing rod is 3/64" and Bob did a fantastic job of casting which I will post later on.

Ken 1gramps1

11-09-12, 10:09 AM
Hi Ken - thanks for the post on the build. But...............
I will not bore you with the detail build of all the brass parts; but springs also have car application as well. Keep in mind this is 1/12th scale. .......if you decided to post some of this process I can assure that it won't be boring in the slightest1no1. I followed your 'T' build and picked up all kinds of hints and tips - I'd love to be able to do the same here (for the simple reason that modelers will, with no shame at all, happily steal methods and techniquespicpic)

I do realize that the build is complete and there may not actually be photographs of the 'nuts and bolts' portions of the build............but............on the off chance that there are some photo's hiding way in the back...................1clap1

Cheers - Gusgringrin

11-09-12, 11:26 AM
Gus, Great to see you here. I will see what I can dig up in the way of photos then. I have a bunch but not much on the brass parts.

You need to post some of your work here as well especially your 1/8th Walnut and Brass Buckboard. gringrin Then start a thread on your next build.1yeah1

Ken 1gramps1

11-10-12, 02:30 AM
1/16" AND 2/32" ? Giggle

11-10-12, 08:37 AM
Thanks at times I forget to proof read while typing. 1confused1

It really was 3/32".

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! to all the Marines out there.

Semper Fi! Ken

1965 - 68 USMC


Dr Dave
11-10-12, 09:59 AM
Beautiful work as always Ken1wthe1.
For a long time I've been wanting to build a stage coach and this might be just the inspiration I need.
The book will be on it's way soon, thanks for the info.
Cheers mate.

11-11-12, 08:01 AM
David, Glad to hear you were able to locate the book. heck out Model Expo's site they offer a stage coach. Here is a link to it:


Here I am adding the 90 degree support brackets to the apron and am using toothpick to align the holes while the glue sets.
Here I am adding the beefy support brackets to the underside of the front cross brace. You can see the front spring bar in place as well with the holes aligned.
Once both sets of brackets were in place the front apron was slipped down to sit flush on the brackets surface and flush with the platform.

Here are the two sets of steps. They were made by cutting a grid on the milling machine into 1/16" flat sheet and then cut into squares for the step plates. The T attachment plates were sawed and drilled (4 identical) with a small indexing hole for the tapered rod. The tapered rods were turned on the lathe to the proper length with an indexing shaft that press fit into the T bracket. The rods were then annealed (heated with a flame until turning red and then quench in water to soften) and bent to the correct shape following the plans. Then all were soldered together. The rods were filed flat where the step plate rested and once soldered the step plate underside was filed to the bevel needed.

Here the steps and Shuler spring were added to the platform.

This was then set aside for glue to dry to build the seat assemble.

Ken 1gramps1

11-12-12, 08:11 AM
Stepping back a little here are all the basswood parts that were needed and that I used to draw the CAD filers for laser cutting.


Here I have drilled the first hole for the platform seat spring bracket and marking the second hole locations. This is where the drill jig comes in handy getting the holes centered through the 3/32" thick parts.
Both sets of brackets were drilled for the bolt locations and then the cast 00-90 bolts were added while the parts were all glued together. These are great castings and the threads are good enough the thread a nut onto.
This shows the carving of the angles needed to locate the sides and back of the seat walls with a couple of rounds of dry fitting to get good tight fits.
This shows the assembly of the seat side walls using the building square that will be provided in the kit.

I had to recreate an image showing the side walls being attached to the seat platform also with the seat rail attached. For reference the seat rail rod brass master was made using 3/64" rod, which is the smallest that can be cast with the part configurations required. Note even the holes in the mounting brackets were cast in place.

Ken 1gramps1

11-12-12, 01:32 PM
Ken - I am very taken with the 'kit' aspect of this build. This will, of course, allow many others to take great pleasure in putting together a vehicle that they can proudly display. In addition, I suspect that there are a rather large number of people who would love to build one (or like it) from scratch but for various reasons simply can't (no time?...no proper tools?....lack of knowledge/skill...etc). Completing the kit might well give them the 'push' needed to get into the hobby a bit deeper and start to explore and build on their own talents which will lead them to ...who knows where? Gerald Wingrove had to start somewhere after allgringrin

Congratulations on a job well done.1clap1

Cheers - Gus

11-13-12, 01:10 AM
I was reading on another forum your building of the prototype for ME.
I have built many types of models and just discovered the wonderful world of model wagons, thanks in part to Model Expo.
So know you have a fan here and I hope to soon be posting a Conestoga Wagon build here from a ME kit.
Again, I am happy to see you here and look forward to gleaning from your knowledge.

11-13-12, 10:25 PM
Hello Ken,
does the moon care about howling wolves?


11-14-12, 06:35 AM
Good looking wagon Ken.

I have a question about the soldering stuff if I may.

You mentioned in the Model T thread that you use a plug in iron of about 120 watts I believe. Does it need to be the one with the big, heavy tip (like an old, put in the fire type) or can it be one of the newer, trigger types ?



11-14-12, 06:46 AM
I would use the big iron, the reason being the amount of heat needed when soldering various thicknesses of stock or rod. Think of the tip as a heat sink that holds the heat and as soon as you touch metal the heat flows out to heat the metal and melt the solder and thus cools itself. As soon as you with draw it reheats. With smaller thinner stock you can use lower wattage irons. I purchased mine at a stained glass supply house. For solder I use Staybrite (and their flux) which has a silver content and stronger than 50/50 which I use for fill work or lower temperature joints.

The trigger types are targeted more for the electronics trade for circuit board work. However, if it works for you by all means use it.

The big iron does take getting use to but once mastered even some of the tiniest joints can be soldered with it. Practice is the key.

Jump in anytime you have questions.

Ken 1gramps1

11-14-12, 06:47 AM
Michael, Thanks I like that one! 1thumbup1

Ken 1gramps1

11-14-12, 07:21 AM
Thanks Ken, I will look around for a big iron.



11-14-12, 07:24 AM
Here I am bringing the seat spring and brackets together on a flat surface to maintain alignment. Note that the platform bracket bolts have to be inserted first due to their length before the spring is added.


The balance of the cast parts were added to the platform while the seat spring assemblies glue set.
Here I am using a small laser cut square that will be supplied in the kit to true up the seat spring assemblies. Once the glue set on both the seat platform was added.
Here the seat has been added to the platform, I had to use this photo for reference.

Ken 1gramps1

11-14-12, 06:37 PM
Ken, question? Your above photos depict what I can expect from the kit from ME.............if so, man, I will be one of the 1st to purchase this puppy. By the way, hope you do not mind, the best compliment I can pay is to say, the photo of the completed buggy is now my screen saver.
Stage Coach and Conestoga will be delivered tomorrow from ME...........1yeah1
I also sprung f/the Wright Flyer.........too good a deal to pass up on.
I live in NC and since Model Expo is in Hollywood, Fl....I have my orders sometimes in as little as 2 days.......now thats service.

So, Ken, is it possible to know when one might be able to purchase the kit from ME of your work of love.............1nworthy1

I also have learned from reading your threads...........Oh yea, I also follow the Model T as well.


Don Garrett
11-14-12, 07:29 PM
Ricky, I live in Florida and have had many dealings Model Expo......good folks & great service.
Highly recommended!

11-14-12, 08:30 PM
I have to agree with Don..I get all my ship stuff from ME and have never been disappointed in the least...

11-15-12, 05:50 AM
Ken, question? Your above photos depict what I can expect from the kit from ME.............if so, man, I will be one of the 1st to purchase this puppy.
Yes this is exactly what you will get. As part of the "proof of build process" first I build the completed prototype from scratch, then duplicate the parts in a CAD .dwg file for laser cutting wood parts, gasket parts and a part file for Photo etching. While I am doing the CAD drawings the brass masters are sent off to be duplicated. All the pieces parts are then returned and I build a second wagon using the pre-production parts to make sure everything works and while assembling the second I document and write the assembly instructions. The pictures above are photos representative of those in the instructions. The gray cast parts are what will be in the kit.

All the above is completed and the last thing I am doing now on CAD is the plan layouts, which I am learning and doing at the same time. I have the 2D drawing down pat now and am drawing all the cast parts. Next will be the isometric drawings, all the plan drawings are "D" size 34" x 22". These layout plan drawings are the last step needed to release the production kit.

I am sure they would like to have them ASAP but I still have a full time job that interferes with the fun stuff.

Ken 1gramps1

11-16-12, 01:58 PM
The foot rest added with bolts through the apron brackets. The black line on the bolt was the cut line.
This picture show the whip holder in place and a close up of the spring bar attachment.
Here the head block was attached to the upper half of the fifth wheel.
This shows the front spring being glued in place to the spring bar with the clips as well as the head block with the fifth wheel half in place.
This shows the wood axle caps being glued to the metal axles.
Here the front axle with axle clips was added to the lower half of the fifth wheel.

Again this is showing the metal cast parts made from brass masters and the wood parts are laser cut parts.

Ken 1gramps1

11-16-12, 04:56 PM
picpicI just love the photos...............a build guide in it'self!

11-18-12, 10:38 AM

Glad you enjoy the photos, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. One of the reasons I used so many pictures in my Book.

This shows the front axle added to the spring assembly. The two are aligned with the flat fifth wheel surfaces indexed on the king bolt.
This shows the assembly in the proper orientation the clip brackets and nuts will be added.
This shows the addition of the rear axle to the Schuler spring which functions both as a torsion and coil spring for use on rough mountainous terrain.
This is a close up of the the fifth wheel halves with the indexing of the reach arms. Having built the Model T I realized that this three point suspension was the precursor of the T's suspension providing the T with great off road capability. While seeming simple appearing, it is quite an impressive bit of engineering.
Here is an overall view looking at the rear axle showing the reach arms with their strengthening braces that stabilized and aligned the rear axle.

This shows the addition of the apron hand rail, also can be seen the foot rail in place and the whip holder in the lower right side of the apron.

Ken 1gramps1

11-18-12, 12:22 PM
This has too be one of the most complete kits w/hardware/metal parts, I have seen..........noticed the square nuts, are they apart of the kit as well.......one of the things about the other offerings from ME, you make the square nuts attached to cut pins, but in your photos you show threaded bolts w/square nuts........please say this is what will be in the kit......and is there a source for these little fellas, I would gladly replace all I could in the kits I have if available.
I can not wait to see ME add this to the list for sale.
And as always, outstanding craftsmanship......................1nworthy1

11-19-12, 06:17 AM

Yes the round headed bolts and square nuts are provided in the kit. Here are pictures of the cast parts showing the cast bolts. The second is the photo etched sheet with the nuts.

These were made specifically for this kit, it would be up to ME to supply them as a separate item.
Here is a picture showing the cast bolts, these bolts are 00-90 with the thread good enough to thread brass nuts on. The lengths vary from 3/4" down to 3/16" length.
Some of the smaller square nuts are provided in 1/32" laser cut gasket material due to the size and thickness needed.

This shows the PE sheet with the square nuts and axle clip brackets and reach arms at the top. These nuts are slip on rather than threaded and intended to be glued in place for easy assembly.

Ken 1gramps1

11-20-12, 01:02 PM
Not at all my cup of tea to build...but then again I said that not to long ago in regards to a Heller Citroen a guy named Dominique is building and now I am butt deep in that build also!

This promises to be a very well executed kit Ken. The attention to detail is outstanding!

11-23-12, 03:12 PM

Years ago I learned to "Never say never."

Here all the rails have been added. The luggage rail being last.
This picture shows about the same stage with all the brass masters and using brass bolts and screws to hold things together.

Next will be a sequence in building the wheels. The wheel building fixture is provided in the kit.

This shows the start of the trimming of the laser cut spoke blanks.

Once all the spokes were trimmed the hub was indexed into the building fixture; the rim was registered on the pattern drawing and clamped in place to keep flat. The each spoke was inserted at an angle into the hub and then glued to the rim using a 1/64" spacer to center the spoke on the rim. Once all the spokes were glued CA was carefully added to the hub end of the spokes to assure a strong joint. The whole assembly was allowed to set before the clamps were removed.
Here the trimmed spokes are indexed and glued to the hub and rim. Then once the glue was set hand shaping of the spokes was started.

The stain on the spokes was used as reference guides while cutting the oval shape.

Ken 1gramps1

11-30-12, 07:14 AM
This shows the various stages of the wheel build.
This shows the finished carved and sanded wheel ready to be re-stained.
This shows the scallop cuts on the rim. There are many variations of these that were done regionally but my understanding is that these were intended to reduce the build up of mud that would be flung up while moving. No fenders on these.
This shows the truing up of the wheel angle relative to the ground. The wheel dish provided truss strength and the spokes carried the weight 90 degrees to the ground providing the greatest strength and durability.

This shows the finished wheels on the buckboard.

I will go back through and post random in process build pictures with the brass parts per Gus's request.

Ken 1gramps1

Old Busted Hotness
11-30-12, 01:47 PM
Can I just say that looks buckin' awesome? 1thumbup1

12-04-12, 03:40 PM
Impressive does not do justice to your skills..........I so look forward to ME kitting this little jewel......funny, was watching a Western this past weekend and I found myself looking hard @ every time there was a wagon in the shot, and the one most seen was the ever used Buckboard.

12-05-12, 08:09 PM

I just finished sending all the plans and files to ME; now the ramp up to production should start.

Ken 1gramps1

12-06-12, 06:47 AM
Here are a few random "In Progress" images per Gus's request.

This shows the laser cut sheets of parts as received. The top is 1/16" and the bottom one is 3/32" thick.

This shows the finished model and the one in the foreground is the "Proof of Build" making sure all the wood and cast parts interface with each other as they were intended.
This shows the brass masters of the fifth wheel with the scratch built wood parts.
This is an overall underside view of the brass parts in place, note here I am using 00-90 hex bolts to hold everything together.
Another view of the assemble unit, these parts were then used to develop the CAD files.
This is a close up of the whip holder with the whip in it. The whip handle is 1/16' diameter.

Ken 1gramps1

12-12-12, 07:15 AM
Here is my first attempt at an isometric exploded view using CorelCAD. I must say it was a bit of a challenge learning how to do this on your own. One thing I did learn is that the only way to make 3D iso views into 2D images is to export as a PDF files then using "In Design" my daughter merged the layers to a 2D image and saved as a PDF. A new AutoCAD feature command is "Flatten" but so far I have not found this feature in CorelCAD. Below is a PDF file saved as a jpeg to post. This is Sheet 3 of the plans and the original is a ANSI size D 34" x 22".

This old dog is still learning new tricks. he1he

Ken 1gramps1


12-21-12, 04:28 PM
Not bad at all Ken, you deserve TWO Beggin' Strips for that! he1he

12-22-12, 06:42 PM
Not bad at all Ken, you deserve TWO Beggin' Strips for that! he1he
Imagine what he could do with opposing thumbs! he1he

12-23-12, 10:53 AM
With opposing thumbs I could make my own Beggin' Strips and as many I want. Just wish I had learned CAD years ago. I got the approval to move forward with the 1869 Allerton and have started drawing part files with what information I have already.

Merry Christmas to all!

Ken 1gramps1

12-27-12, 08:06 PM
Howdy Ken, just thought I would let you know I got a flyer today from ModelExpo and guess what was listed as a New Kit......yep.......MS6004 Buckboard Wagon. On sale too boot.......order to be plased ASAP.

12-28-12, 01:41 PM
Yes great news I just got mine as well. Enjoy the build. Right now I am enjoying time with my 20 month old granddaughter who is just a bundle of energy and joy. I will be driving to the airport later this afternoon.


02-28-13, 06:17 AM
Hello xken
I often visit the site "Scale Model Horse Drawn Vehicle Forum (http://forum.scalemodelhorsedrawnvehicle.co.uk/)" and mainly the "Progression of a model (http://forum.scalemodelhorsedrawnvehicle.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=9)" You have much success if going to publish your "step to step" in too ... I hope that seeing the quality of your presentation that motivate them to make better pictures of their work because it is a quality that fails.
Bravo for this model. Thank You.
(English translation by Google)

02-28-13, 04:56 PM
Gilles, I no longer post on that site since they started a Horse Drawn Forum on this site. They were neither friendly or helpful.

Visit the Allerton build here if you wish to see the step by step build.

Thank you for your kind words about the model.

Ken 1gramps1

03-06-13, 09:33 PM
Good News the Western Buckboard kit is now shipping. gringrin

Trailways & Battlefields: The First 40 Buckboard Wagons Have Shipped! (http://trailsandfields.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-first-40-buckboard-wagons-have.html)

Ken 1gramps1