1:20.3 scale Jackson & Sharp Passenger car
Scratch Built 1:20.3 scale D & R G W Jackson & Sharp Passenger car out of Wood by Dan Stuettgen

Before I start with the detailed step-by-step directions on how I built this model of the D&RGW Jackson & Sharp Passenger Coach.
This model is completely scratch built from wood using the same types of wood used on the original D&RGW Jackson & Sharp cars from the late 1800's .  I researched how these cars were built for several months combing through various old Railroad car construction books , the the Internet looking for any old Jackson and Sharp car blueprints or line drawings i could find.  I did find a couple partial blueprints of the end platform section of one of their narrow gauge cars.  It provided enough information to be able to do the frame and the end platforms. 

​​Reading through  one of the Car construction books for the late 1800's it gave detailed information of the width and length of the Jackson and Sharp cars as well as the size of the frame Sills and the types of wood they used for them.  There was also a drawing of what the typical side bracing looked like with measurements for some of the details. 

​​Using this information and the two partial Jackson & Sharp blueprints of the end platform and the carlines and window details, I used my simple Cad program ( DeltaCad) to start making simple drawings that I could use to laser cut the parts.  It took a week to do the drawings and 2 days to cut all the parts.  It then took 2 weeks to assemble the car as shown in the photos using Titebond II wood glue using a tooth pick.

This was a rush job as I only had 3 weeks to build a contest model for the 2017 Narrow gauge Convention in Denver, due to the fact that job schedules changes at work and I was allowed time off to attend the convention at the last moment.  I had everything done and ready head off to Denver for the Convention when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston.  With all the Highways under water there was no way to leave as well as my subdivision was also flooded ( Well the streets were fortunately none of the houses were ).  I watched the traffic cams hourly to see what the Highway flooding situation was.  8am the day before the convention was to start there was one outbound lane of the Highway close to me that was passable.  I knew that the roads between me and there were not flooded and the water in the subdivision has receded, So I tossed everything in the car and took off.  I made it to Denver by noon of the day the convention started, so I only missed 4 hours of it at the most.

This was the First 1:20.3 (Fn3) passenger Cars that I tried to build and was Lucky enough to win First Place in the passenger Car Category.  Boy was I shocked.​​

Materials used:

scale lumber cut from Long Leaf Pine for the frame Sills and End Beams
scale lumber laser cut from thin sheets of Poplar 
some scale lumber cut from Mahogany for the interior
All window frames and sashes were laser cut from Basswood
individual carlines were laser cut for the roof  with laser cut scale roof board from basswood
threaded brass rods were used for the vertical tie downs between the widow pillars
End Platform Railings were made from Brass rod bent, flattened and soldered before being painted with Krylon Ruddy brown primer          Various hand tools from various suppliers were added for extra detail as well as  a Fun & Games 1:20.3 scale figure                     

I have always liked the Jackson & Sharp from the late 1800's and built a few in 1:87 (HO) scale many years ago, but working in a much larger scale I was able to build the car in the same manor as the originals were, which was a real pleasure.  I plan on building more of these cars in the future. Coaches, Combines and Baggage and  Business cars.


Photos of original Car from Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Collection

Blueprints drawings from internet search of the Delaware Public Archives​​

Model Photos by Dan Stuettgen​​