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 First scratch build - Rural sawmill from prototype
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RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/13/2019 :  1:27:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
So I sorta went down a rabbit hole with researching small, early sawmills in general, and the one in Loganton in particular. I think Loganton's mill was fairly uncommon as far as having rail service right to it. Most rail-served mills were very large industries and are often tough to model well without significant compromises like serious compression.

Emails to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and the Sugar Valley Historical Society haven't been answered. So I'm still limited to the photographs I've located for information on the mill in Loganton. I haven't given up yet, though. Today is PHONE CALL DAY.

But the general research into these small mills has been pretty enlightening. I like the research into how things work, and what I've discovered is that there are a lot of well done, highly detailed sawmill models around that couldn't work in 1:1. That's fine, and the scene still tells an engaging, visually beautiful story... but if I'm going to put the effort into a detailed interior of a prototype (yet mysterious) sawmill, I want it to be as accurate as can be from a work-flow perspective.

I've located the model of the husk, carriage and ways that I'm going to use for the basis of this build. I'm still awaiting its arrival, so more on that soon. I will say that it looks to be extremely well thought out and will give me some flexibility in assembling it. I'm pretty excited, and I think if you're reading this thread, you will be too.

So before drawing framing and ordering strip wood, I wanted to get the footprint and layout of the machinery figured out. At least as well as possible with the information at hand of the prototype. I decided to start with the workflow of the small building, with logs entering from the left rear of the structure, and using 20' logs as a basis. 20' is kind of arbitrary... I can't find good images of the White Deer operations hauling logs meant for dimensional lumber, just prop timber. But the Loganton mill is obviously a 'splinter merchant'. I know at least a portion of the logs coming to the mill were delivered by horse from small woodlots in the area, and 20' seemed reasonable for a "farmer-and-a-team" operation to handle.

So, my first question was "how big of a building do you need to turn 20' logs into 20' boards?"



That question hung there for a moment, and I started to think about all those lovely models of sawmills I had seen while cruising the interwebs.

I think a lot of people would just answer "40 feet". Maybe they'd add a little bit for 'slop', or 'room for people'.



So I started to sketch out the headsaw, carriage and carriage ways, using dimensions I found typical through my research for this kind of mill cutting this kind of timber. The only thing often left out of period sources was the length of the carriage ways, due to the varying length of logs each mill may be set up to process. That was often in advertising literature. Something like "Carriage bed in any length to handle logs of all sizes".

Being a modeler with the same size constraints we all face to one degree or another, I started with the smallest footprint first. The carriage length is about 22', and the blade diameter is 6'. (Actually a fairly large blade for a mill this size!) So 22' infeed + saw diameter + 22' outfeed...



Ok. 50 feet. However...

A problem quickly revealed itself. With the footprint of the husk which drives the saw and the carriage controls, you cannot physically get a 20' log onto the carriage. The husk framing is in the way.



Fine. Move the husk to the right.



That allows the free movement of a log onto the carriage, through the headsaw, and out as a 20' cant or board.



Now... 56 feet. Good. But. They sawyer needs to stand and the control lever at the bottom left corner of the husk to operate the mill. The lever sends the carriage back and forth on the ways, and the sawyer must watch the cut. In this arrangement there isn't a place for the sawyer to stand without being in peril from logs coming onto the ramp.



Alright... Move the husk to the right. Again. 4' seems like a reasonable space for the sawyer to operate in.



Now we have a clear space for the sawyer to safely stand and we can move a 20' log onto the carriage, through the headsaw, and out as 20' cants or boards.



And now we're at 60 feet. Ok. What else? Let's add in the log loading structure and a set of rolls at the outfeed.



Good! Now we have a reasonable footprint of the needed machinery for the most basic of circular mill operations. 20' log to 20' boards.



What else? People. We need some reasonable clearances for workers to move around the mill safely.



Box it all in with walls and...



78 feet by 30 feet?! That got big in a hurry! Let's see... in HO that would be about...

10-3/4" x 4-1/8"

For the small building.

Ok... for me this is manageable on my planned layout. Essentially the entire layout will be the depot, a team track, these two buildings, and the associated 3' gauge track. But it's pretty apparent why even small, "backwoods" sawmill models feel so compressed. Because they are! They need to be to be viable on most layouts. Not to mention what needs to be done to reasonably model the huge enterprises that most rail-served sawmills were.

So 78'x30'. And another 78 feet for the larger building. There are a few places to save a couple feet in length if need be.

However...



54 FEET?!?!

What... the... ?!

So either I'm not doing a good job of scaling the prototype sawmill from that photo....

...or...

I can gain a few feet here or there in length, but certainly not 24 feet. The only way I get to 54 feet in length (or close to it) is less people room, take up every inch of slop in the machinery spacing/sizing (there are a few feet to be had with the husk), and go to 16' logs. Or some combination.

Or I scaled the photo wrong.

Anyway... believe it or not, this was a fun exercise. What do you guys think?

R



Country: USA | Posts: 280 Go to Top of Page

Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 02/13/2019 :  3:03:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ryan,

This is an interesting project..... I'll be following.

I work in HO, and a rough estimate I came up with, based on the 5 foot height of the woman in the photo near the door, is also around 55 ft.

You won't go to scale jail if you need to "fudge" your numbers.



Country: USA | Posts: 3625 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 02/13/2019 :  3:49:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ryan,

Iím sure this has occurred to you, but maybe youíre on the wrong track regarding the purpose of the building. Perhaps itís a small town lumber yard. Photos of lumber yards Iíve seen are a combination of sheds and piles of lumber.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Country: USA | Posts: 5716 Go to Top of Page

RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/14/2019 :  09:20:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm ok fudging if needed. Just a mental project to try to figure it all out from the limited clues. This area has been a great mystery for me and as I get bits and pieces of information I try to revise my idea about what was happening there (and how it was happening...) back in 1910.

My best guess from the photos has been that the two structures were separated by a little space, slightly off set from one another, and two distinct buildings. Mostly based on the "end-on" photo. But... maybe they are adjoined? Either sharing a common wall or a breezeway between them? Depending on alignment and clearances, this would allow the carriage-way to extend into the large building, allowing for 65-ish feet of headsaw operations to extend beyond the 55' small building into the large building. Hmmmm....

I'm also considering reducing the size of the logs. If I can determine what was the typical length for logs coming out of the woods to the mill... and what the finished lumber was sized at for shipment on the White Deer & Loganton... maybe 16' logs make more sense?

Anyway... Mike, thanks for the reminder. It does look like a number of small lumber yards from this era and area and that's certainly what it could be. I think the volume of lumber and that the stacks are some distance from the buildings feels more like "sawmill with product to ship" than "local lumber mill for community needs". I also have several printed sources that reference "finished lumber shipped from the mill at Loganton", "the sawmill near the depot", etc. that keep me thinking sawmill rather than lumber yard.

But I've been wrong before and will be again. Thanks for the thought. More to consider...

R



Country: USA | Posts: 280 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 02/14/2019 :  10:17:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ryan,

In any case, a mill is much more interesting with the machinery, logs going in and boards coming out. Additionally, it fits your time and location.

Mike


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

Edited by - Michael Hohn on 02/14/2019 10:18:37 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 5716 Go to Top of Page

Carrie Creek
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/15/2019 :  11:29:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan, if you look at my thread in the construction forum you can see the sawmill I designed. I am not home from work yet but I can get details for you when I do. Itís burger around page 35 or so.

Phil Z
POR (press on regardless)

Country: USA | Posts: 1540 Go to Top of Page

RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 02/20/2019 :  12:14:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Phil - I'll try to track it down. Thanks for the heads up.

From the historical society, I now have the (somewhat conflicting) information that in the Sugar Valley 125th Anniversary booklet (1965) it is states that across the road to the west of the depot in Loganton was located an engine shed, lumber yard, coal yard, and wye.

Hmmmm... Maybe you were onto something, Mike. But I still have a several other sources that say sawmill. So...

POR (I like that!)

R



Country: USA | Posts: 280 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/20/2019 :  1:10:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan,

I like your 'workflow concept' for the building, makes for a much more practical structure. Keep up the good work.

Jim



Country: USA | Posts: 4881 Go to Top of Page

TRAINS1941
Engineer

Premium Member


Posted - 02/20/2019 :  1:24:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan this is really interesting. Great research.
And I really like the way you came up with the overall dimensions!

Keep us informed a great project.


Jerry

"And in the end, itís not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

Country: USA | Posts: 11940 Go to Top of Page

Michael Hohn
Fireman



Posted - 02/20/2019 :  3:24:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Could it be that there was once a small sawmill that was later moved or converted in part to a lumber yard?

Mike



Country: USA | Posts: 5716 Go to Top of Page

NE Brownstone
Crew Chief



Posted - 02/21/2019 :  12:52:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit NE Brownstone's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What is that big ghost building in the background between the depot and the engine house/mill in the picture. Could that have been the mill or is that a sorting house for a coal mine?



Country: USA | Posts: 602 Go to Top of Page

Carrie Creek
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 02/24/2019 :  2:46:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan, here is the floor plan of my sawmill. It is :
main building 30'x84'
jack slip house 23'x26'
blacksmith/forge area 20'x24' inset 5'
60' carriageway 5' wide gauge. for a 20' carriage



My construction thread is buried on page 4 0f the construcion forum. The sawmill starts on page 13 then 19-20 with the rest on page 38 onward if you wish to go that far.



If you see any usable ideas here feel free to use them.


Phil Z
POR (press on regardless)

Country: USA | Posts: 1540 Go to Top of Page

sgtbob
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/04/2019 :  06:53:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ryan, Very interesting watching you progress through this design. I will be following.

Bob


http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=30102
http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=51837

Country: USA | Posts: 3942 Go to Top of Page

RyanAK
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/04/2019 :  08:27:42 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm currently working an outage at a powerhouse that is keeping me from making much progress... 14 hour days, every day, for about 6 weeks. Doesn't make for a stable mind for working in 1:87. :)

BUT... I did receive the husk and carriage kit and may dig into it on a "fatigue day".

Glad everyone is finding the thread interesting!

R



Country: USA | Posts: 280 Go to Top of Page

Carl B
Fireman

Premium Member

Posted - 05/30/2019 :  3:28:23 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any possible updates here Ryan?


Country: USA | Posts: 3625 Go to Top of Page
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