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Reg H
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It has occurred to me that including some progress reports in this thread might be of interest.

I am building the HO version of the BTS Slaty Fork lumber mill. 
It is an adventure for me, since my modeling history is thoroughly built around 1/4" scale.  

This mill is a bit of an aberration for this layout. 
In building this HO layout it was my intention to stick to R-t-R and simple plastic kits. 
A flash of inspiration changed all that.  At least for part of the layout.

Here is the first wall completed





The instructions for the kit have one assembling the wall framing, attaching the sheathing, and then building the windows.  

My experience is that it is much easier to build walls flat on work bench and then join the completed walls together.  
I approached Bill Wade, of BTS, about my approach.  He advised doing it according to the instructions.

I fussed about it for about week, and then decided to do it my way.  I will let you all know how that works out.

The kit is extremely well researched and thought out. 
There are in excessive of 1,600 pieces.  So, even though it is a laser kit, it is an ambitious project.

Having spent most of my modeling years in 1/4" scale along with my 70-year old eyes and hands, the size of some of the parts was a bit daunting.

Here are the window assemblies:





And a completed and installed window assembly:





This assembly actually has a rather major mistake.  But I am not telling anyone about it.

Each window assembly consists of seven individual parts. 
There are 27 windows on each of the long walls, with a few more on each end, in the saw filer room long wall, and the clerestory. 
Lots of windows.

This is the back side of one wall.  The framing is all one laser cut piece.





And this is the "foundation".





I learned a lot during the assembly of the foundation. 
These HO scale parts can be VERY fragile.  Especially with the grain. 
The slightest pressure parallel with the grain will break the part. 
The second bent in, you may notice, is a slightly different shade than the others. 
I succeeded in damaging the original so extensively that I had to fabricate a replacement. 

This is a great kit. 
Being a laser kit it doesn't have quite the fabrication challenges of a true craftsman kit.  But it is not a beginner's kit. 
Building up all the windows requires a good deal of patience and perseverance.  

The list of required tools is pretty short. 
I find the most used tools are a #11 Xacto knife (with a good supply of new blades) some emery boards, and a pair of curved tweezers.  

A word about tools: 
For this kit you want a pretty fine blade.  BTS recommends scalpels from the local pharmacy. 
I find the smallest #11 handle to work well.  I extend the useful life of my blades by having a fine sharpening stone handy. 
The blades get a couple of swipes every few cuts. 
Emery boards (yeah the ones your wife uses for her nails) are essential for final fitting. 
I recently refreshed my supply and got a life-times worth for $1.39 at a local variety store. 
The curved tweezers are useful for jockeying small parts into tight spaces.  

I am using the adhesives recommended by BTS.  Titebond for structural assemblies, Elmers white glue for the rest. 
I used to use Alene's Tacky Glue because you could move along without having to wait for glue to dry. 
The problem is that Alene's remains water soluble forever. 
A plumbing disaster in my basement completely ruined a timber trestle on my previous On30 layout,
that might have been salvageable had I used Titebond. 

At this point I have both long walls completed and have started on the short walls and the saw filer room long walls.

More photos to follow.

Reg


Reg H
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All 82 double-hung windows are complete.  Ten of the clerestory have been completed.

I tried to take a photo of all the walls.  I just couldn't get far enough away.





Reg


chasv
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70 year old eyes and fingers can be a challenge
tried to make a window for a o scale blacksmith shop scratch build out of kitchen matches what fun!!!



Reg H
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Charles:
Yep.  Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom of changing scales.
But the project is moving along, even if rather slowly.
I have the sashes done for all the clerestory windows.  Once I trim those windows out I can move on to more exciting parts of the project.
Reg

Reg H
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Progress is being made. 

There are 82 double hung windows and 36 clerestory windows. 
The double hung windows are finished. 
More on the clerestory windows further down.

The walls are being assembled.





The machinist's squares are really handy.  
This is the step Bill Wade of BTS said would be troublesome with the walls sheathed.  
No issues so far.

It is not clear from the instructions and photos how the clerestory walls are oriented.
The windows are not centered top to bottom.





So which way is up?

Reg


slateworks
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I do like the framework and natural wood surface of the interior Reg, very appealing.

Looking at photos on Google of made up models,
it would seem that the clerestory wall windows would fit in the lower position, as on the left in your photo,
to allow for the intrusion of the overhanging roof.

If they were the other way round, they would be too high under the roof overhang which would block out some light.

Just a thought.


Reg H
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Doug:

That is my thinking, too. 
But it doesn't hurt to wait until I can test fit.

I found an anomaly in the sequencing. 
The instructions have one installing the filer room framing (the third story) prior to installing the lower and main floors. 
That would be a real project. 
Much easier to install the floors before installing the framing (actually, in my case, the completed wall assemblies) for the filers room aft that.

Reg


Last edited on Mon Jan 28th, 2019 05:03 pm by Reg H

Reg H
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Here is the under side of the filers' room floor.  This is actually the final dry fit before gluing the framing to the floor.  





The next steps for this assembly are railings around the square openings on the top side,
and a stair case from the rectangular opening extending down.  

Having delicate assemblies on both sides of the floor assembly is going to be a challenge.

Reg


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Here are the main floor and lower floor installed. 

I questioned the sequencing on these two,
but after carefully reading the instructions and dry fitting everything, I understood the BTS logic. 

The lower floor actually attaches to the main floor and is installed from underneath.  Makes perfect sense. 





I feel the need for model-building rant Number 3.   

I recently fielded the often heard comment "I would never have the patience to do that".

No.  You don't have the motivation. 
It is not my experience that some people are born more patient than others. Well, maybe a little. 
But my experience is that patience is a learned skill, just like all the other skills necessary for any creative process.  

I am no NMRA master builder.  I have built a lot of kits and scratch built quite a few models, and with good results. 
But I do not exercise the patience to create competition level models. 
I have a reputation as being a patient person.  I attribute that to having started building models at a very young age. 
In model building, you either learn patience or you fail.  And if you are sufficiently motivated, you will learn patience. 

The biggest element is the motivation. 
If one is motivated to build models, starting off with simple projects and progressing to more complex models will teach the skills,
among which is patience, to complete respectable models. 

The level of motivation will determine the level of modeling quality that any one builder can achieve.  

End of rant.

The handlaid track in the background is left over from the previous On30 layout. 

Reg


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Although I see myself as not being one blessed with patience, I have to agree with you about the motivation.

If it's important and interesting enough it will get done, and impatience doesn't seem to feature.



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First dry fit of the filers' room floor.





As usual with this kit, the fit is perfect. 
The rails around the openings and the staircase need to be built and installed before this floor is glued in place.

As I have no intention of interior detailing, I played with the idea of not building the staircase. 
But, what the heck!  I have, and paid for, all the parts.  So it will be going in.

Reg


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Charles:

Here are the last windows I scratch built.  I think around 2009.  The medium is styrene.





The scale is 1/4".

Here is a photo of the entire depot.  




It is all styrene except for the shingles.  This was on my previous On30 layout.

The plans came from an ancient edition of either Model Railroader or Railroad Model Craftsman.

I never did get around to building the platform.  Maybe on the next layout.


Reg

Last edited on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 06:09 pm by Reg H

Reg H
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Here is the first laser kit that I built.





It is a dandy little depot in 1/4" scale.  I would recommend this kit to a first-timer. 

After I painted everything (I almost always paint before assembly),
it took me about two hours to put this together, not including the shingles. 
The shingles did not come with the kit. 

I would recommend planning more time if this were my first somewhat craftsman kit.
The laser kits are kind of in between the high end plastic kits and true craftsman kits. 

Now the water tank in the background is a different story. 
It is a great kit ((I would have to look up the company name. 
Dave Rigmaier (sp?) at Oso Publishing is the force behind it) but not a beginner's project.  

I spent several weeks of evenings and weekends to wrap up that one up.

Reg


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The hand rails are in place around the openings in the filers' room floor.





It has been my intention to never use Aleen's Tacky Glue again,
after an unfortunate incident with a trestle project. 

However, I couldn't think of another alternative to getting these hand rails in place. 
They are very small and there is no way to clamp them. 
If I had been scratch building, I would have built the hand rails up flat on the bench. 
But with the way the posts are fitted to the floor, that option was not available for the kit. 
The posts had to be installed in the floor, and then the rails attached.

Since these are interior details with no real stress applied I am quite comfortable with the Aleen's.  

In case you missed it, for my On30 layout that preceded this one, I built a timber trestle. 
It was assembled with Aleen's Tacky Glue. 
The work can go really fast because you don't need to wait for glue to dry as often. 
The Aleen's is not the least bit moisture resistant, ever.  
A plumbing disaster in my basement completely destroyed the trestle. 

The Aleen's works really well when assembling very small parts that are difficult to jig or clamp. 
Just bear in mind that any moisture at all and the parts will come unglued. 

I also started work on the stairs that go from the main floor up to the filer's room. 





These parts are REALLY small.  And light.
Trying to keep parts this small lined up while getting them glued is a challenge. 
BTS recommends starting with just two treads, which is a very good idea. 
I kept thinking how much easier this would be in 1/4" scale.  

The machine shop scrap box is a great source for weights. 
In my machine shop projects I don't think there is a single part that I managed to get right on the first try. 
This weight was the beginnings of an adapter for a friend's wood lathe. 
The outside threads worked OK.  But I botched the inside threads.

In hindsight, I should have built a jig for the stairs. 
It would have been a bit easier and a lot more accurate.
I believe I will do that for the rest of the stairs in the project.

Doing some machine work teaches a lot about jigs and set ups. 
It is not unusual to spend a couple of hours doing the set up for a five second cut. 
I am learning to transfer that mind set over to my other model building. 

I contemplated not building the stairs,
since they are an interior detail and I have no intention of detailing the interior. 
But my Scots heritage kicked in. 
I paid for the parts, I am going to install the parts!!

Reg



Si.
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" I feel the need for model-building rant Number 3.   

I recently fielded the often heard comment "I would never have the patience to do that".

No.  You don't have the motivation. 
It is not my experience that some people are born more patient than others. Well, maybe a little. 
But my experience is that patience is a learned skill, just like all the other skills necessary for any creative process.  

I am no NMRA master builder.  I have built a lot of kits and scratch built quite a few models, and with good results. 
But I do not exercise the patience to create competition level models. 
I have a reputation as being a patient person.  I attribute that to having started building models at a very young age. 
In model building, you either learn patience or you fail.  And if you are sufficiently motivated, you will learn patience. 

The biggest element is the motivation. 
If one is motivated to build models, starting off with simple projects and progressing to more complex models will teach the skills,
among which is patience, to complete respectable models. 

The level of motivation will determine the level of modeling quality that any one builder can achieve.  

End of rant. "



Hi Reg  :wave:



First of all Reg, I am really enjoying seeing your mill come together !  :)



I don't think what you said quoted above ^^ is a "rant" at all.

I guess you were sorta joking anyways !  :P



I'm an incredibly PATIENT person, as you said, most modellers need to be in one way or another.

But from time to time, as do we all, I lack a bit of MOTIVATION.  :y:



Also, even despite patience AND motivation, one can simply get 'stuck' on construction decisions, as I often do.  L:



The traditional craftsman kit, has always been a great way to get on, without too many of those decisions ...

... but at the same time, be FULLY involved in actually BUILDING a very unique model.  :cool:



:thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:



Si.


Reg H
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Si.

Yes, the use of the word "rant" was in jest.

Having said that,
I would hope that neophyte modelers would check into this part of the forum as a means of gaining inspiration.  

I am NOT a master modeler, but I have been doing it for a very long time,
and I can produce credible results, if not quite competition level. 
I consider it the duty of us "old hands" to not only pass on what we have learned,
but also to let beginners know that they, too, can build models of which they can be proud.  

I know that in my early days there were individuals and publications that inspired me and instructed me.  
In those days we did a lot more kit and scratch building,
and the publications, for the most part, reflect a tendency towards more ready to run products. 

Heck, even most of the ready to run stuff we had back then (barring the Japanese brass imports),
required some work to be credible models. 
I remember fabricating HO scale windshield wipers out of tiny bits of wire for my Athearn SD-40-2's.  

So that is why I will sound off on occasion. 
It is also why I am posting so much detail on the construction of this mill.

Reg


Reg H
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The mill continues to march along. 
Hobby time is a bit dear still (though better than a few months ago)
and often construction consists of 20 minutes of work and then a 24 hour layover while glue dries.  

I got to the point of dry-fitting the filer room walls and floor.





There was a little bit of trimming that needed to be done to the walls. 
The sheathing was hanging up on the main walls and preventing the tabs and slots from matching up. 
A little carving with the X-acto knife fixed that. 
After this photo was taken the floor and one wall were removed and the remaining wall glued in place. 
I will not glue the second wall in place until the stairs are installed. 

I also dry-fit the roof and learned that the floor will need some fitting.

The main roof has been assembled, after much dry fitting, and dry-fit on the building.





Perfect fit.

Along those lines, I have been waxing poetic about parts fitment. 
Not so much the clerestory.





This is the first dry-fit of some of the clerestory parts. 
If you look closely you can see that the walls extend above the edge of the rafters. 
The gable end had the same problem.   

I perused the instructions in great detail to see what I might have done wrong,
but could find no errors on my part,
and no discussion of how this problem might arise and what to do to fix it.

The parts for this assembly do not fit well. 
The roof could not be installed in full contact with the rafters without adjusting the wall and gable end heights.

So I took the walls and the gable end up to my belt sander,
and VERY CAREFULLY, sanded off about 3/32 from the bottom of the walls and the top of the gable end. 

While the belt sander was fast, it was not without its drawbacks. 
I took several small cuts, rather than trying to get it right with one cut. 
My model shop is in the basement, my machine shop, wherein resides the belt sander, is in the garage. 
My old knees were complaining about the repeated trips up and down the stairs before I got the fit where I liked it. 
The other drawback is that, while the basement is a comfortable temperature, the garage is 29 degrees. 

Finally I was able to dry-fit all the parts for the clerestory.





All fits well.  

I used the belt sander to put the 15 degree chamfer on the roof pieces where they join at the peak. 
That could be done with sand paper or an emery board. 
The belt sander is a lot faster, but requires a light touch.

The stairs are finished except for the handrails. 
I had a small adventure with the stairs. 
The instructions call for sanding the edges of the treads flush with the risers. 
I first attempted to do that with a piece of sand paper taped to a flat service. 
Which resulted in several treads coming unglued.


So I trimmed individual treads with the emery board, after gluing the escapees back in place.

And that is the progress to date. 

Reg


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There is a small point about the instructions that one needs to keep in mind.

In the introduction, Bill warns that repeat processes will only be addressed once in the instructions. 
Which makes perfect sense.  

However, on the roof assemblies,
he does not get around to mentioning the chamfer that needs to go on where the roof halves meet until about the third assembly. 
A good reason to thoroughly read through all instructions before starting assembly.

Having said that, I missed this requirement, but did the chamfers anyway, as it was obvious they were necessary.

Reg


Reg H
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The filer room floor and walls are glued in place.  

I am still working on the stairs. 
They can be installed from underneath the filer room floor. 
The handrails are very fussy, as they are very, very small parts.

I started on the roofing.





The weight keeps things from skittering across the workbench when pressure is applied.
These roofs end up being very light. 

I drew random parallel lines in order to keep things somewhat straight. 
So far this has gone very well. 
 
I have completed the filer room roof. 
It is not quite ready for a photo. 
I used spray adhesive, so my fingers are a little sticky. 
The instructions say to lay down a thin layer of glue.  

When I got this roof done, the paper seemed to have a bit of shine to it. 
So I hit it with some dull coat. 
Photos to follow.

Reg


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A lot of progress in the last few days:

Here is what the inside of the roofs looks like. 
I will certainly keep the roofs removable.





The stairs got finished and installed. 
These things are really tiny.  
It took quite awhile to dry fit and final fit these stairs.





Progress to date:





And in case you are wondering why so much progress in just a couple of days...





We simply do not get this much snow.  Nor are we prepared for it. 
Everything comes to a standstill.

One more bit of roof to "tar paper". 
Not only are there a lot of windows in this structure, there is a lot of roof, too.

There is a lot of detail work that needs to be done here.  
And the log chain and the platforms are major projects.  

One of the details is fixing that bit of "tar paper" that is sticking up. 
There is also corner trim on the filer room, door knobs, and other bits and pieces.

Reg


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The bents for the Jack Slip are under construction.





All the basic construction is finished.  
Now it is just a matter of installing 160 nut-bolt-washer castings.

Reg


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Well, I almost decided not to install the NBW castings on the Jack Slip bents.





But they sure add some character,
as evidenced by comparing the bent with the NBW's installed, and one without.  

But, good grief these are small parts. 
You will notice that each one of those squares is an inch.  
It is very fussy getting them centered. 
Despite my care some of them are visibility off center. 
More of a problem on the other side than this side.  

I went back and forth on what color to paint the NBW's.  
Often times these "black iron" fittings don't show a lot of rust,
so are predominately black. 

Conversely, sometimes they do rust. 
I went with rusty.  

This one bent represents a full evening's work.  

Reg


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Not much to report at the moment. 
In one week we went from Winter to Spring. 
Rapid transition from 18" of snow to 70 degree weather.  

Which means, airplane and shop projects have taken precedence. 
The airplane projects for obvious reasons.  
Sunny weather is flying weather,
added to the fact that working on the airplane in an unheated hangar in mid-winter is miserable.  
The current project is the installation of a fancy new, and FAA mandated, transponder. 
I am saving some installation cost by doing the grunt work myself,
instead of paying the avionics shop $160.00/hour to do it. 

Less obvious, my machine shop is in my garage.  
In cold weather it is cold in the machine shop,
and requires a significant amount of time (and kerosene) to warm up.  
Due to family  obligations in the past few years,
play time in either the model shop or machine shop has had to be crowded in wherever possible. 
Often, by time I got the machine shop warm enough to work in, I would run out of time. 

In warm weather, not only do I not need the heater,
but I can open the garage door to let in the sun light and fresh breezes. 
Much more pleasant than sequestered in the basement,
which is a great place when it is cold and nasty outside,
but sunny days are not something we want to waste around here.

I had a plan to move the model shop from the basement to the garage. 
I had set that up when my main lathe was the 6" Atlas.  
The purchase, and installation, of the 12" Clausing lathe,
changed the configuration of the shop and eliminated a lot of work bench area. 
So the model shop is still in the basement. 

But more will happen. 
I am very anxious to get this whole mill site completed,
and move on to other aspects of the layout.
 
I am not anxious to install a whole bunch of NBW castings. 
Though I am anxious to get that part of the project finished.
 
"Tis the project that is never started takes longest to finish" (J.R.R. Tolkien).

Reg


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I am continuing this narrative in the Logging and Mining section.

Reg

Si.
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" I am continuing this narrative in the Logging and Mining section "  :old dude:

'Henderson Bay Timber Co.' - 1:87 Diesel Logging





Just doing a bit of updating for Reg !  :P  ;)



L :cool: :cool: K ... a fully built 'B.T.S.' sawmill kit ^^ magically appeared !  [toast]



:java:  :shocked:  :dt:



Si.


Reg H
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That is some powerful magic.

Reg




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