I made a batch of five of these in Fall 2015, as I had a bunch of cool salvaged head casings as well as plenty of railroad spikes.
It’s good for me to batch things and to stay in a groove with a single mindset for a bit. Though I made them at the same time, they all were very different due to the paint layers and also they came from a couple of different houses.
I collected the spikes along the tracks in Durham and Efland. The head casings are from 1920’s homes in Durham, and are made of yellow pine with a tight grain which could be considered heart pine.
Most of the trim pieces are original to the head casings, but in some cases I added cap molding or the bottom piece from my collection of salvaged 1920’s trim.
All paint layers are original to the wood, I took off whatever was loose, cleaned up and sanded a bit, and then sealed them with oil based polyurethane.