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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Michael Hohn Posted - 10/25/2014 : 9:53:52 PM
With its shorter days and days off, this time of the year tempts the modelmaker to start new projects. I try to resist temptation by beginning the new year with fewer unfinished projects on my desk.

One that has gone unfinished for too long is my model of a Central of Vermont boxcar, actually a modified BTS laser kit of a PRR 28' boxcar. Today it went through the paint shop.

Next step: Art Griffin decals.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Michael Hohn Posted - 02/18/2020 : 11:18:11 PM
Originally posted by Ensign

Mike, that's a great looking industry & model!

Greg Shinnie

Thank you, Greg!
Michael Hohn Posted - 02/18/2020 : 11:17:05 PM
Originally posted by jbvb

Something I notice about the photo of the prototype kindling factory: it has hardwood trees growing outside it. So I guess most or all of its raw material was slabs from nearby sawmills.


Companies would often timber distant valleys first and work back toward the mill to avoid the chance of fire from sparks falling on slashings left behind by lumbering.

The factory in the photo above had an agreement with the neighboring lumber mill for the slabs, trimmings, etc. in fact they had to take all that was offered and dispose of extra slabs by selling them to a paper mill. Kindling wood factories, clothespin factories, stave mills and wood chemical plants were situated in the vicinity of a lumber mill if not actually next door.

Ensign Posted - 02/18/2020 : 7:32:46 PM
Mike, that's a great looking industry & model!

Greg Shinnie
jbvb Posted - 02/18/2020 : 5:12:44 PM
Something I notice about the photo of the prototype kindling factory: it has hardwood trees growing outside it. So I guess most or all of its raw material was slabs from nearby sawmills.
Michael Hohn Posted - 02/18/2020 : 2:24:33 PM
Thank you, Carl and Ryan!

Ryan, the building looked too short as built. Having a loading door at ground level made no sense, so the building needed to be raised. Plus your earlier question about mass was further motivation.

Iím not exactly sure what the kit-built cutting shed will become. I do plan to have a boiler house eventually.

RyanAK Posted - 02/18/2020 : 1:33:33 PM
Looks great, Mike. The 4' foundation adds to the mass of the drying building, as does the vent. I like that you're building a bigger cutting shed and using the kit shed as an ell. Boiler house? Load-in area for the slabwood?
Carl B Posted - 02/18/2020 : 1:16:29 PM
Looking good Mike.
Michael Hohn Posted - 02/18/2020 : 1:02:17 PM
With the Challenge thread having difficulties I thought it might be time to do an update here, especially since not everyone necessarily reads the Challenge thread.

My progress on the Alderson PA end of my layout over the last six weeks has been building a kindling wood factory. There were a number of these in the lumber region of Pennsylvania, using the scraps from the lumber industry such as slab wood to create small bundles of kindling wood for city folk to use to light their stoves at the beginning of each day.

Here's a photo with notes of one that Bruce "Dutchman" posted a couple weeks ago:

They were characterized by the tall narrow building in which the small chunks of wood were dried before being tied up with a string and a tag impregnated with a flammable material.

I started with an old Keystone Locomotive Works kit and will be making additions. I have completed the kit and mocked up an additional building.

Additions to the kit are the vent on the roof and a 4' foundation, which I built to look similar to ones I've seen in photos.

Next I will tackle the new cutting shed.

Bernd Posted - 01/09/2020 : 9:47:48 PM
Michael check your PM.

RyanAK Posted - 01/08/2020 : 09:05:24 AM
I'd be interested to know the era of the silk express cars. In the 1830s, cocooneries (yup... real word) were established at different locations on the east coast to raise silkworms. (This is also why mulberry trees were introduced to the US... silkworms eat mulberry leaves.) By the late 1800's, and certainly by the turn of the century, most silk mills were importing raw silk from the Far East (cheaper labor) to be dyed and thrown domestically. At least that's my understanding of the history here in PA, which had a LOT of silk mills... including the Eagle Silk Mill (a big one!) in Shamokin where my grandmother worked.

Bernd Posted - 01/08/2020 : 08:13:07 AM
If any of you are interested in scratch building a silk express car there was an article in the February 1965 MR, Gib Kenndy had an article on Cars for the Silk Express.

Bernd Posted - 01/08/2020 : 08:07:47 AM
Model Railroader magazine had an article back in the 60's I believe on scratch building a silk express car. I'll have to dig it out once I find out what year that was. That is if anyone's interested.

Michael Hohn Posted - 01/07/2020 : 10:34:40 PM
Interesting about the silk mills. Completely new to me. Thank you, Ryan.

brian budeit Posted - 01/07/2020 : 4:56:25 PM
From what little I know, live silkworms in cocoons were brought over from China, and express shipped from the west coast to the eastern silk mills. Pretty sure it was the Southern Pacific that had specific cars, that looked like short baggage cars, to carry the cocoons. If any of this needs correction, and someone can add to it, please correct me. Years ago an importer brought in a run of brass silk cars, all I've presented was from what was in the ad for the cars, at least what I remember.

brian b
RyanAK Posted - 01/07/2020 : 3:45:03 PM

Big business in the Lehigh Valley.

Also... I learned that the process of producing silk is known as 'throwing'. So now I know that when I see a 'throwing mill' on a Sanborn map or on the side of a historic structure, it was part of the silk industry.

Here's the small mill in Lopez. Built in 1914. Nice model-sized industry.

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