Prop and Tiller CLUB HOUSE (Aug, 1929)

This is a pretty sweet clubhouse.

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Prop and Tiller CLUB HOUSE

By HI SIBLEY

HAVING selected the site for this novel clubhouse, preferably in a more or less open space in backyard or vacant lot, stake off the floor plan and locate the tower foundation.

Dig a pit about 5 ft. square and 18 in. deep and raise the four upright timbers, 4 by 4 in. by 17 ft. 6 in., one at a time by means of poles and ropes. When the first is up, guy it with four wires and by means of a plumbline see that it is absolutely vertical. When the second is up, secure this to the first temporarily by means of boards nailed diagonally, and so on with the other two.

Now mix concrete in a shallow box, using about four or five parts of sand and gravel to one of cement, and enough water to make it mushy. Here is an opportunity to get rid of a lot of junk, scraps of iron, wire, rocks and broken concrete. Throw them in the pit as you pour the concrete. This will make a heavy, solid foundation for the tower.

At the four corners of the floor plan also dig holes about 15 in. square and deep, filling these with concrete and setting! anchor bolts in them for the mud-sills of the clubhouse. Be sure that these bolts are properly located Mid evenly spaced. The concrete will set hard enough in 24 hours to continue the work of erecting the club-house frame work, installing braces in the tower, etc.

Two-by-four studding is used in all walls, set 30 in. centers, or the conventional 16 in. centers, if you wish to invest in the extra lumber. However, the plan is laid out for 30 in. centers, which provides for the spacing of windows, tower timbers, etc., according to the drawings. Two of the rafters go just inside the tower uprights, further bracing the latter.

Allow for window and door openings. Install a door at least 32 in. wide to make it possible to get large jobs through it when completed, such as bob-sleds, auto-coasters and large model airplanes. You never know beforehand what jobs you may want to tackle, and you will need plenty of doorway to get in and out.

Since this is to be a winter as well as summer clubhouse, lay a rough floor, covering with tar paper and a matched floor on top of this. Cold feet are mighty uncomfortable when you want to concentrate on your work.

Any type of siding can be used, though a finished 3/4 in. matched job will look well, keep tight and take paint nicely. Ample ventilation is afforded by the three sets of casement windows, and with the tower trap door open in hot weather, a cool breeze will be circulating always. Lay rough % in. lumber on the roof and cover with roofing paper. The eaves overhang six inches on all sides except the rear, where it extends 15 in. to protect the long pieces of stock on a rack just beneath.

Access to the tower is by means of a ladder inside, so there is no exposure in stormy weather. Two sides of the observation platform could be glassed in for further protection. A trap door is a necessity to prevent drafts when not wanted and also as a safety measure. Weather bureau equipment consists of a thermometer, barometer, anemometer and vane. The two former can be purchased with little outlay from a hardware store; the vane is easily made as shown and the anemometer, to measure wind velocity, consists simply of four muffin tins secured to wooden arms and turning on a steel shaft. A short section of brass tubing serves as a bearing in this and the vane, and prevents wobbling.

Building the Shop A very complete craft shop can be accommodated in the clubhouse. Wood vise and metal vise are part of the workbench equipment, with shelves against the wall on either side of the windows for paints, nails, bolts, screws, etc. If possible, have the rear of the house face south in order to get plenty of sunlight.

Shelves are built under the bench at one end for finished and partly finished work; a packing box or keg takes care of metal scraps or any material not suitable for burning, and useful wood blocks are kept in a tilting bin, much as modern kitchen flour bins are made. A box with top end sawed off at an angle receives the shavings, blocks, etc., for the air-tight stove in the corner. The latter is purposely placed near the boat tank so there will be plenty of water handy in an emergency. The stove is further protected by a sheet iron guard around three sides.

Make a low saw table of heavy planks, and build shelves in the northeast corner, beside the tower, for books on aviation, ship-building and other craftsmanship. They are valuable reference books.

If you are fortunate enough to own a lathe or other power machinery, this can be set up on a sturdy bench between the door and tower.

Boat Tank Is Popular Three or four years ago we built a boat tank just like the drawings and it proved very successful, and a never-ending source! of entertainment. By painting the inside white one can more easily follow the movements of toy submarines. Construction is simplicity itself. We used redwood boards, 3/4 in. x 9 in. wide, beveling the edges so that hot tar could be poured into the cracks. It was absolutely watertight. We drained the waste water into a flower bed near by with amazing results in flower growth. A short pipe with tap on one end and coupling on the other supplies the tank from the garden hydrant.

By all means paint the clubhouse to match other buildings on the property. Or, if it stands alone, finish it in white with green door and window frames. You may be able to persuade an artistic friend to put the club escutcheon on the front wall in oils—the name surmounted by an airplane propeller, with a marine pilot wheel below.

There is nothing more delightful than, on a frosty morning, to work at a bench with the warm sun streaming in, a fire roaring in the stove and one of your own ideas in process of construction. And in fair weather club members can go aloft, read the weather records and launch their planes and gliders.

5 comments
  1. Kosher Ham says: February 22, 201110:01 pm

    I think that I could adapt it to be a radio shack.

  2. Stephen says: February 23, 20115:14 am

    And by 1930, people made homeless by the Depression would have been grateful for such a nice place to live.

  3. Jari says: February 23, 20111:26 pm

    If those kids have a “standard” 1/7 head to body ratio, they are over 10 feet long…

  4. Brent says: February 26, 20111:36 pm

    I want one of these in my backyard. The “glassed-in observation tower” would definitely creep out the neighbours…

  5. Paul says: July 21, 20115:53 pm

    If I’d had this at the age of 12, I’d only ever use it as a place to bring girls.

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