Scratch Building a Water Tower

I’d like an American style water tower for my layout but the kit I brought didn’t look quite right.

Plan B – make one myself.

I brought some bass wood (lime) and cut the pieces to size.

Then I painted some Grandt Line bolts a nice rusty colour.

I aged the wood with grey paint and black ink and joined the pieces together.

A paper template with lines marked at 90 degree angles helped me position the pieces correctly. Holes were drilled for the bolts and everything was glued together with very small quantities of PVA (white glue).

I repeated the process to make two (almost) identical parts. The short pieces of brass rod in the bottom of each upright will help hold them in position.

The uprights were inserted into a wooden base and the two sides were joined together with more cross pieces.

I used some engineers squares to check everything was square and lots of blu-tack to keep the parts in place while the glue dried.

While the glue dried it looked like something Heath Robinson would create but the end result was fine πŸ™‚

Next more horizontal and diagonal pieces were added.

Then I cut, scribed and aged a single piece of bass wood (lime) to make a platform.

I added some pieces of wood to the underside to help locate the platform on the top of the tower.

The underside looks different because I stained it with the black ink, but didn’t dry brush it with grey paint. It wont be visible but it’s interesting to see how much better the wood looks when the grey paint is applied.

The platform was placed on the uprights.

So far so good.

Next I need to create the water reservoir….


  1. Dear Steve Great idea the home made frame support for the water tower, I like the bolts I looked them up but a lot of American sites turned up. Where did the bolts come from? Your site is a great source of info into things I only see at the Swanley show if lucky. Again can you please tell me the bolt supplier.
    Thanks and all the best Roger

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Roger
      I buy lots of these types of things from the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association Modelling Goods
      They have a really good selection of interesting things! Everything is listed online and you can search if you do Control+F.
      I can’t remember if you are a member of the 7m Association. You don’t have to be a member of the association to order, but if you are you get a 10% discount and free post and packing.
      The sales stand will be at several shows this year – they are listed on the page I’ve linked to (above) – no P&P if you are planning to go to these shows πŸ™‚
      For this build I used the Grandt Line Number 23 1 1/2 inch bolts.
      Hope this helps


  2. Thanks Steve
    I am a member forgot about them Thanks.
    I see Swanley is listed I wonder if it will take place, the other exhibitions I was going to were both canceled.
    Thanks again all the best


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