JV Models Lucas Sawmill build

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CNR Glen

I mentioned in a couple threads that I was working on the JV Models Lucas sawmill. This is what it looks like on the box:

It's a basic board on board construction which means that you get a box filled with sticks and intructions (okay, scale lumber and instructions) Also in the box are a few plastic barrel castings and one window casting.

I started by staining the wood.It would normally taken a long time to stain all the wood by hand and brush so I decided to cheat a little. I went to the local home inprovement store and bought a 1' 6" peice of 1" irrigation pipe and two end caps. I glued 1 end to the pipe and let it set up. I then mixed my stain solution. I used black acyrilic paint thinned down considerably to give the wood a greyed effect. I poured the solution into the pipe and then added (a bundle at a time) the wood from the kit. I caped the open end of the pipe and shook the contents lightly then I let each bundle soak for about 15 minutes. I removed the wood and set it on paper towel to dry, then dropped the next bundle in. This is potencialy a messy process so I do it over my laundry sink. It took me an hour to stain all the wood.

CNR Glen

After letting the wood dry overnight I laid out a photo copy of the main floor plan onto a piece of blue insulation foam, covering it with wax paper. I used pins in the foam to keep the floor joists in place as I glued them:


After the glue dried I removed all the pins and lifted the floor frame free, then added the floor planking (sorry no pic of that)
The next project was the long walls:


This was the harder of the two walls, seeing as it had the doorway into the ajoining workshop. The doorway also made the wall more fragile than the others. After each wall was framed, the wall planking was added and the walls were set aside for the next wall to be built. I did notice that the walls curved slightly when the planking was added, probably from the glue on only one side. I figured that they would straighten when attached to the floor so I wasn't too terribly concerned.


The walls are up and you can see what kind of job the acrylic paint stain does. The indiviual boards stand out nicely. I added the bracing on the ends because I was going to have a removable roof. I changed my plans when I discouvered my roof didn't sit flat on the walls so I'll probably be glueing it on and leaving half of the roof unsheeted so you can see inside.


This is the roof under construction. I used the same pin-jig technique for each roof truss and then made a jig to simulate where each truss would go on top of the walls. I pinned each truss in and then attached the stringers to hold them all in place.
It was at this time that the construction of the structure had to stop. I unfortunetly didn't get enough planks in the kit to sheet the roof. Fortunetly JV models sent me the replacements when I e-mailed them. I took this time to start building the machinery in the mill.

CNR Glen

While designing the interior machinery I discouvered the mill woild work best on the layout if I flipped it from the original plan. This was definetly the time to decide that, since then interior was bare


Speaking of the interior. I used some excellent articles for vintage Model railroader magazines (1968) by Jack work for the machinery design. If anyone is intrested in scratchbuilding this equipment you must take a look at these articles.


This is the log carriage. I decided to start with this since almost all the equipment size is built to suit the log carrige. There are 38 pieces of wood styrene and brass in it. It measures 2 1/2" long

CNR Glen


I built the carriage track acourding to the instructions in the JV models kit, adapting it slightly for the size of the carriage. Beside it the beginings of the steam boiler power plant, made out of an old rifle shell.


The Backside of the headsaw. I scratched the pulley out of brass tubing and a styrene The frame is basswood and the driveshafts are a mix of styrene and brass.


The business end of the saw. I was looking for a convincing sawblade when I found a pack of Dremel (knock-off) saw blades in a discount tool store. The smallest in the pack worked well as the main saw blade.


Very impressive Glen. You are right, that staining really helps the individual boards jump out and show off the detail. The "Dremel" saw blade is a great addition too, nice work.

CNR Glen

Thanks everyone. The model is almost finished, these are progress shots that I've taken over the past couple months that it's taken me to build it.


The rolls. They are located behind the headsaw so the cut planks fall and are carried away to the men operating the edger. I broke with using basswood here and constructed this out of styrene since it would be easier.


This is a quick mock-up of the carriage end on the mill. the carriage, headsaw and rolls are in place but just placed there, not glued down. I had to wait untill I completed the rest of the machinery before i did that.


The edger. It's mostly constructed out of styrene with some very small washers to represent the saw blades inside. This is the one thing the MR articles didn't have other than a drawing of it. I kind of guessed at it's dimentions


The other side of the edger. the gears are small peweter beads from a beading shop.

CNR Glen


I scratchbullt the steam engine. I used a set of old climax drawings to figure the dimensions for the mechanicals. I figure that an operation like this could have salvaged part of a climax to build the power unit for the mill. The entire unit if made out of styrene and brass shapes. I did originally intend for the engine to operate but my big clumsy fingers don't work that way.


The other side. The flywheel was the trickiest part. The outer wheel is brass and the inside hub is styrene. I chucked a circle of styrene into my dremel tool and 'turned' it down on a piece of sandpaper. I had to do the same with all the pulleys on the machinery.


I was busy on the boiler. I decided to use the rifle shell as a start. I had some fine brass screen that I fashioned into a cylindrical spark arrestor with some brass strips made from shim brass to simulate the strapping holding it in place. I also used a piece of shim brass to make the firebox door. I''m going to place it on a skid to make it look like an old donkey engine with the pistons and winches removed.


The boiler is finished. I added the skid, wire suports and steam lines.

CNR Glen


With all the interior machinery done I mocked up the placement of the interior and determined where the belts for the pullet drive system would go. I was fortunete to get a mill that had an under floor belt drive so I didn't have to scratch build all the uverhead pulley. Once enverything was placed and figured out I cut the holes in the floor for the belts. At this time I also cut the hole for the carriage cable drum between the carrige tracks


I added the cable drum, built from a wood dowel and two styrene disks. I wraped model ship rigging thread (looks like weathered cable) around it a couple times and threaded the ends through some pulleys on each end of the carriage track. The pulleys came from an old ship model. Then I glued a thin steel rod to each track to represent the rails.


I first installed the log carrige, glueing it down to the rails and attaching the drive cable to each end. Then the Saw was added. Turns out the saw was a little short so I added a couple risers to the frame. The rolls, steam engine and edger were next, lining them all up with the holes I had cut it the floor for the belts.

CNR Glen

I added sawdust, cut logs, and finished lumber to the interior. I also added a few details like crates, garbage barrels and the like. The logs are branches off my neighbours Christmas Tree. (after he tossed it) the sawdust is the real thing, held down with diluted white glue. Everything else was glued down with contact cement.



I had to get a little inventive with the belts. I wanted then fairly thin but durable. I considered construction paper, rubber, even real leather but I settled on Styrene again. I had some Evergreen ho scale 1X10 so that made it pretty thin. I wrapped the stips around an aluminum tube the same diameter as the pulley on the equipment and dipped them in a pot of boiling water. When they cam out they kept the shape of the tube. Al I have to do after that was trim, paint and glue them to the pulley. There isn't another pulley under the floor, the ends just terminate out of sight.


CNR Glen


The last thing I did before the roof went on was add figures. They are all Preiser figures, painted by me. I also added some barrels and other junk.



I was going make the roof removable. I tried but the only way I could get the roof to sit properly on the walls was to glue it. On the other hand I had always planned to leave one half of the roof off so you could see inside


The only problem is that the roofing material that I had ran out after I used all the full length peices and then I had to finish with leftover half-pieces. the eves will be trimmed when the glue dries. I plan to make it look like the company is covering the roof with tar-paper so as to cover the part of the roof that has the remenants

CNR Glen

Okay I placed the sawmill on my layout to size the whole area up. I haven't laid any scenery in this section yet other than painting the plywood. I wanted to have the sawill done before that so I can place gravel roads, waste wood piles ect in the right places.





Fleeing from Al
Very nice work and a really good photographic essay on how you built the sawmill. This is the kind of thing I wish we could see more of. I'm not one to criticize, though. I've probably built 50 structures and never bothered to photograph the progress, just the end product.

CNR Glen

Now that I have a digital camera I have the freedom to do just that. The first pictures right up to the machinery pics were taken with a 35mm point and shoot camera. I then had to scan the developed pictures. The wait time between taking the picture and developing was driving me crazy!
What you see now is how far I've gotten. Today I have to run to the dollar store and pick up a spray bottle as well as some fine grey ballast from the hobby shop. I use the ballast as gravel on my roads and parking lots.

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