Our small town, Fairbury, Illinois, pop. 3,800.......still has a couple of jail cells in our 1892 old City Hall. Although it would make a great photo op for citizens and visitors to take their pictures, it needs a lot of renovation work.......and it is so small that it is hard to get a picture in such a small room. One of our local town improvement group members, saw where another town made a wood photo op........
Our Old City Hall has an outside corner, where we can add a wood wall decorated as a photo op.........
I measured the old 1892 building, and entered it into Google Sketchup.........
The shorter woman is the average female height of 5'-2" and the taller woman is the average male height of 5'-9". The Sketchup Warehouse does not have a good model of a man to use, so I just repeated the female with 2 different heights.
I plan on using just 2 quarter-inch plastic anchors with screws on each side to hold it in place. That way it can be easily and quickly installed or removed.
I put this in Google's Sketchup Warehouse, you can download a copy here.
Frame in Place
Because the walls are probably not straight on the 1892 old City Hall, I decided it was best to frame the mock-jail in place. I decided to try out using Kreg pocket screws for the framing. Initially the pocket screws seemed to work ok, but I put too much downward force on 1 of the horizontal 2x4's after it was screwed, and it ripped the screws out of the pocket. I didn't realize the Kreg screws are strong pushing down, if the screws are on the bottom.
I traced the top arch curve on the dog eared pickets from inside using a pencil. When I got the frame back to my home shop, I added on about 1.5" to the marked curve, so the frame matches the arch brick curve.
I printed the full scale text words from Google Sketchup onto paper. I then used a pencil and carbon paper to trace each letter. Then I used an artist's brush to carefully and slowly paint each letter. I put the black enamel paint on thick, because I did not want to do 2 coats.
I drilled 1-1/8" diameter holes for the 1" dia. dowels. I wanted some clearance so I could slip then into the upper holes at an angle, then move them down in the bottom hole. I used a galvanized nail through the 2x4 into the dowel..........to hold the dowel in place.
Closing Thoughts on This Project