Category Archives: PCN Mining

Small Speeder

In a quest for a host for the Nigel Lawson MPD18 MK2 bogey I am building, I started looking at small speeders.  I found a number that appear to be an appropriate size.

Proto Speeder 1

Speeders like these were commonly used as railway inspection cars.

Proto Speeder 2

Today most are owned by individual owners who take them out on excursions.

Missouri Pacific MT-14

But these speeders are too modern for my layout.  I was hoping for a small speeder from the 1900 to 1920 era.  Then I came across this photo.

Bergen Hill Speedr030

Now we’re talking.  This speeder has open sides with roll down side curtains.   Because this will be a freelance speeder I won’t need to be concerned about differences in wheelbase and I can build it to fit the bogey.  Given this speeder’s hand-made look that is probably what happened with the prototype.

Here’s a side by side comparison.

Bergen Hill Speedr030MPD18Mk2-314x196

Wheelbase is within range.  If I position the motor at the back and extend the front a bit, I can incorporate seats for the driver, especially if I bend over a portion of the tabs sticking up in the left side of the bogey photo.  Here are takeoffs incorporating the bogey and my estimates from the photo.  I converted takeoffs to 1:1 dimensions as some of my estimates assumed a 6′ man which I converted to 1/87 then to HO in millimeters.

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 11.32.17 AM

I could build the speeder as shown in the photo with the canvas sides if I enclose the motor in an ‘engine cabinet’.  Deck length and width are for the bogey.  Cab width is the width of the cab. With a cab width of 60″ and a motor diameter of 27.4″, with the engine at the back, there is plenty of room for a bench for the driver and an assistant.  If necessary, the deck base could be higher reducing the height of the engine compartment in the cab.

I started with a 3D CAD program called TinkerCAD.  After taking a few lessons, I took a shot at modeling the cab in TinkerCAD.  Here is the result of my efforts.

Screen Shot 2017-03-05 at 9.46.46 AM

So the pressure is on to finish the Bogey kit build so I can start work on the speeder.  Oh yes, a 3D printer is now on my wish list.


HOn30 0-4-4T Forney


I’ve been watching this engine on eBay for a while.  It is a resin kit produced by a Canadian outfit called Railway Recollections.  Photos are from their web site.




With the kit you get the superstructure.


This engine uses a Bachmann N Scale USRA 0-6-0 switcher as a donor.  As part of the conversion the middle set of drivers are removed.  The tender is not used.  This is not a Spectrum but the drive train is sufficiently detailed for use under the Forney.  While this engine is not DCC ready, there is a pretty good tutorial on how to convert to DCC.

Bachmann 0-6-0

They also suggest using a truck from a Kato passenger engine as the truck has pickups on all 4 wheels.


The bill for these two donors was a bit under $72.

Assuming I can find a place in the cab or attached tender for a decoder, I’ll use a the same DIGITRAX DN136D DCC decoder I am using in my other HOn30 engine projects.

This engine begs for some super detail parts.  I’ll wait until it comes to see what is included but at the minimum it needs.

  • A bell and whistle – ordered
  • A generator for the electric light in the front – ordered
  • A rear light for the tender – ordered front and rear.
  • An air compressor – ordered
  • Hand rails and stanchions – on hand.
  • Microtrains 1130 or 1023 couplers — 1130s ordered.
  • Steps on the front and rear pilots – ordered.
  • Tool boxes for the tender.

This isn’t a criticism of the model.  I super detail everything on the roster.  I’m going to dig for some prototype photos to get ideas for other ‘in use’ detail.

Bachmann 0-6-0 Modifications

I have two sets of modifications to the Bachmann 0-6-0 that need to be made.  The first prepares it for being the bogey for the Forney.  The second converts it to DCC.  I decided to hold off on the second set of modifications for now because:

  • It requires further disassembly.
  • I want to test the drive train on analog DC before converting to DCC.

Following the instructions that came with the Forney kit, I first disconnected the tender from the engine.  Doing so requires rotating the tender 90 degrees horizontally so the draw bar slips over the prongs that attach it to the engine.  In this photo the drawbar has been detached from the prongs.



The front tender truck needs to be detached from the tender by removing the screw that holds the trucks in place.


Once the screw has ben removed the trucks and the drawbar come off.


I tucked all of this into a parts bag.

The boiler and cab come off the locomotive by removing the screw at the top of the sand dome.


When the screw is removed, the boiler and cab slide up and off the drive train.


The screw and cab/boiler also went into the parts bag.  The cover over the gears is removed by removing the two screws at the bottom of the drive train.


Once the screws are removed the gearbox cover can be lifted off exposing the gears.  The middle set of drivers is not connected to the side rods and instead is driven by gears.  It can be lifted out leaving the front and rear drivers in place.  Congratulations.  You have converted a 0-6-0 to a 0-4-0.


Dropping the cover back in place and reinserting the two screws completes the conversion.  The front pilot can be removed by backing out the front screw.  Once the screw is out. the pilot can be pulled out.  Then, reinsert the screw.  Extra drivers and pilot go in the parts bag.


The Forney documentation suggests two additional modifications.

  • Remove a portion of the valve gear.  Because I am not modeling a specific prototype, I decided to leave the valve gear intact.
  • Cut off the top portion of the cylinders.  I’m going to see how the Forney kit components line up before I take this step.
  • The final step is to remove the front truck on the Kato passenger car.  I can’t do that as the car is in transit from Japan.

Nigel Lawton MPD18 MKII Bogey Assembly

I purchased this bogey from Nigel Lawton in the UK.  Although his web site offers a number of different products, this link points to the page for his MPD-18 MKIII bogey.  It was designed to power two products by Meridian Models.  It appears as though these products are no longer available so Nigel is selling the drive to whoever can use one.

I’m very impressed with this bogey.  It has roller bearings for the Layshaft and brass bearing for the drive wheels.  I haven’t found a host for this bogey unmodified, but I will.  It is just a matter of time.  This is an image of the parts that come in the package.  As soon as this drive is complete, assuming it runs as well as I think it will, I will order one or two more.  Those bogeys will be kit bashed to deal with issues with motor height and wheelbase in a couple of models I want to build.  But I wanted to get an ‘as issued’ drive under my belt first.


I matched the parts to the parts list in the supplied instructions and they were all there.  I’ll talk about the parts as I use them.  Note that these are really small parts, even the motor which is 8mm x 16mm.

I used two sets of instructions in assembling this bogey.  The first set was Nigel’s instructions in the form of a color PDF.  The instructions that ship with the unit are black and white.  I also jumped to the Meridian Models site from Nigel MPD18 MKII page.  Once there I located the page for the drive.  The instructions for the MKIII drive were never posted.  But there are instructions for the MKI drive which is similar.  The parts are nearly identical but the photo etching is different.  These instructions are a bit more detailed than Nigel’s and they cleared up some questions I had about Nigel’s instructions.

Here is Nigel’s MPD18 V3.1 etching.


The second assembly from the bottom is layshaft bracket.  I rocked a exact knife blade across the two connection points to separate this part from the etching.  Then I used a riffler file to remove the rest of the connection and smooth the edge.


There are two score lines 20% and 80% into this part.  I bent along the score lines.  Then I bent along the score along the top 1/4 and bottom 1/4 of the part.  When finished, I had this.


I then pulled together the rest of the parts for this assembly.


At right bottom are the two roller bearings.  Above and to the left are two Tenshodo worm gears.  To the left of the worm gears is Nigel’s 5mm pulley And just above other parts is the 1.5mm diameter layshaft which is 30mm long.

Before I put together the layshaft assembly, I wanted to deal with something that was nagging me in Nigel’s instructions relating to ‘clipping the layshaft assembly in place in the chassis.  So I removes the chases from the etching and folded along the score lines, ending up with this.


Note that there is a V cut 1/3 of the way in from the left.  There is also a notch in the vertical part of the chassis.  Aha!!! So I test fit the layshaft bracket in these notches.


You can see the tabs sticking out at the end of the vertical part of the chassis and the V notch.  Once the layshaft assembly is complete, these will be bent over.

Assembling the Layshaft is the next step in their sequence.  A few months ago I picked up  MicroMark Press-It along with some accessories.  I decided to practice on the wheels first, removing the non-insulated wheel from the shaft.


So I set up the Press-it as shown above.  One wheel went on each side of the notch with the insulated wheel up.  I pressed on the axel with the tool with a 1.5 mm shaft.  The wheel popped right off the shaft.  Cool.  I repeated that step on the other wheel.  Cool again.

I still didn’t have the nerve to take on the Layshaft.  So I decided to press the 1.5mm to 2mm adapter bushing into one of the wheel gears.  I placed it on the end of a tapered modeling tweezers and pushed it into the bushing.  It went most of the way in.  I finished the job with the Press-it with a flat tool inserted in the end.  Why are there no pictures?  I thought I’d take the pictures on the second gear.  But before I could insert it, the bushing took flight on my floor.  I’m still looking.  Worse case I’ll need to order another.

Ford Rail Bus

In looking for hosts for one of my ate 11-103 drives, I came across this Jordan Miniatures HO Ford bus.

Ford Bus

On the HOn30 Home Depot web site there were a few photos from a modeler who had bashed one of these busses into a Brookville Rail car.  I followed his lead and shortened my bus.  These are the four parts that need to be shortened.




Here are the cut down sides.  There is some cleanup work to do.  any gaps will be filled with green squadron putty.  Removed sections are at the top.



I used the removed templates to size the cuts on the frame and roof.


So I’m ready for clean up, gluing and filling.

Mack 15 Ton Switcher

I came across this locomotive in searching for a host for one of my Kato 11-103 drives.  It is a cool little switcher/critter that would compliment the other HOn30 motive power.  Here are some prototype photos.

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 1

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 2

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 3

While the first three photos are of later prototypes, the next photo is of an earlier prototype.

15 Ton Mack Switcher Proto 4

Here is a Highway Miniatures model.  It models the later prototypes.

15 Ton Mack Switcher

I like the chunky look of this double ended locomotive.  While the model is HO, it should be relatively easy to adapt this to HOn30.  Of course, it is unpowered.  In looking for additional modeling information, I came across a Wiseman version of a similar Mack, also unpowered.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 1

This is a model of the earlier prototype.  In fact the instructions include the prototype photo I posted fourth on this page.   The Wiseman model is mostly white metal castings.  It is a bit more expensive, but higher quality with additional castings.  The front beam is consistent with the look of the other Sonoma Magnesite Company locomotives.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 2

Here’s an exploded parts diagram.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 5

It is likely I will power this locomotive is the Nigel Lawton MPD18 MK2 drive.

MPD18Mk2-314x19615 Ton Mack Switcher 1

Here are takeoffs from both the Wiseman kit and the MPD-18 drive

MPD18 and Wiseman takeoffs

The three major issues that come out of this comparison are:

  • Wheelbase – I’ll need to stretch the wheelbase of the MPD18 drive by 1/4″.
  • Motor diameter – The Midi motor is a hair too large in diameter (8mm) to fit into the cavity of the Wiseman kit and under the hood.  I have two choices.  One is to use a Dremel to rout out the walls of  the hood and cavity.  The walls are thick so this might work.  The other is to switch to the Lawson Mini motor.  Its smaller diameter (6mm) will provide plenty of room.  I have the Mini motor on order along with some smaller drive belts but Nigel can’t guarantee it will work.  Also, the smaller motor will produce less power.
  • Driver diameter – is 0.38″ in the kit and 0.20″ with the Lawson kit.  NWSL has HON30 wheels that convert to 28″, 33″ and 36″.  They convert to 0.32″, 0.37″ and 0.41″ IN HO.  The middle size will be perfect but will cause speed to be higher than in the Lawson design.  I ordered all three sizes.  Speed factors are 1.4, 1.6, and 1.8.

I’m assembling one of the MPD18 drives without modifications.  Once it is finished I’ll treat fit it to the Wiseman kit and see how clearances work out.

Kato 11-103 Drive

While doing research into HON30 engines, I came across the Kato 11-103 in a post.  This N scale drive is the underpinnings for a number of Kato N scale engines.  Of course, being N Scale, it will run on HOn30 track and has to potential to be the underpinnings for scratch built or kit bashed HOn30 scale engines.  These 4 wheel drive units are reported to be smooth runners and are quite inexpensive.  When I found they could be had for $10 apiece from Japan, I ordered two, assuming I would find an application later.  Because they were coming from Japan, I had to be patient.  Meanwhile, I acquired a Minitrains 0-4-0T and a Minitrains 0-4-0T saddle tank that will serve as the steam engines for my mining spur.  Builders logs for both are under way.

The two Kato drives showed up yesterday.  Here is a view of one from the top.

Kato 1-103 1And this is a view from the side.

Kato 1-103 2

I got out my digital calipers and took off dimensions.  The following shows raw takeoffs and then converted from 1:87 to 1:1 scale.  For those dimensions that are appropriate, I also compared to the 1:1 dimensions for the Skagit M.A.C 4-40 speeder.  Dimensions are in inches.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 8.21.38 PM

The dimensions were closer than I thought they would be.  Major variances were deck length (easily stretched) and deck width (also easily stretched).  The one troubling dimension is the height from the track to the top of the motor.  That could be overcome by using the drive trains as a base for an enclosed unit.  There are posts on the web on how to convert one of these to DCC.  There is certainly room inside an enclosed cab for the decoder.

Identifying the Host for the Drive

This is a bit odd.  Normally you pick up or scratch build a critter then figure how to power it.  This is coming down the other way around.

Option 1: An Enclosed Cab Skagit Speeder

I didn’t have to look very hard for a speeder.  This is an image of a Skagit MAC 4-30 speeder.  Note that some of the loggers in this photo are sitting the deck with their feet on a dropped foot rest.  The footrests along with a front and rear pilot could be used to hide the diesel underpinnings.   An enclosed cab would cover the top half of the drive.  Skagit offered enclosed cab options.

Skagit 4-30

I love critters.  To me a speeder is one variety of critter.  But variety is the spice of life

Option 2 – Rail bus

I came across a post from a model railroader that used a Highway Miniatures 1934 Ford 21 passenger bus to model a railbus.  Here is the kit.

Ford Bus

He cut the windows out of the bus containing the wheel well, rejoined the sides, shortened the top, then placed the bus body and engine compartment on the Kato drive.  I picked up one of these kits on eBay for $15 last night.  If this approach works, my powered rail bus will cost $25 plus $20 for a DCC decoder plus the cost of detail parts.  That is a cheap piece of custom powered rolling stock.

Mack 15 Ton Switcher

I came across this Highway Miniatures kit while searching eBay for the Ford Bus.

15 Ton Mack SwitcherI love the chunky look of this engine.  It is probably too short for the Kato drive, but I could get around that problem by extending the rear compartment.  In running searches, I came across a Wiseman version of the same switcher.  It is a bit more expensive but is white metal castings with more detailed parts.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 1

The hoods may be too narrow, but I could model something similar to the hoods on the Highway Miniatures locomotive in styrene and brass.  If needed, I could also extend the hood length a bit without throwing off proportions too much.

15 Ton Mack Switcher 4

I’ll start a builders log as soon as I’ve determined which two of these three options to build.


SMC Davenport Dinky

Here is a side shot of the SMC Davenport Dinky.  Judging from the date of this photo (about 1915) it would have been a fairly early Davenport 4-4-0.


This complete view shows a typical consist.


This is another shot of the Davenport Dinky, this with the top cut off.


Here is a similar prototype.

Davenport Dinky 0-4-0_4

Of course Davenport 0-4-0s are not found in HOn30.  So this will need to be either a kit bash or a scratch build.  If a kit bash, modifications are so major that it would approach a scratch build.  I’m not going to put this project into a slot for now.  We’ll just see how it evolves.

This is a HOn30 engine that started life as an Eggar-Bahn and most recently is currently marketed by Minitrains.  It is a German model with more of a European flair than US.



Extensive modifications would be needed to convert this to a Davenport 0-4-0T.  Because there is a better candidate available, this thine will be freelanced into an engine that looks more like an American prototype.  Check the builders log at the bottom of this page for step-by-steps.

Minitrains has also marketed a 0-4-0T that is based on a Baldwin saddle tank prototype.  While that engine is currently out of production, one comes up from time to time on eBay.

MiniTrains Hon30 0-4-0T Saddle 1


The following photo is of one of these engines that has been bashed and weathered.

MiniTrains Hon30 0-4-0T Saddle 3

I won one of these engines at auction on eBay.  It is on its way to me.  I’ll post a builders log as soon as this project is in the active phase.

Builders Logs



Mining Scene – Ore Cars


A mining line needs ore cars – lots of them.  Tichy sells kits that assemble into the above wood side ore car in bags of 12 for around $65.  These are HO standard gauge.  So in addition to being assembled, these cars need to be converted to HOn3 narrow gauge and appropriate couplers need to be added.  Will they be too big?  They aren’t as wide as my ON30 Shay’s cab.  I think they will be just fine.  I purchased 12 of these ore cars.  I will probably add another 12 once the first 12 are built.

The Tichy instruction sheet lays out the series of steps that should be followed in assembly.  You could complete one car at a time.  But it makes more sense to me to set up a production line and bring them all on line together step by step.. Here are the instructions for the body.


Step 0 (not on instructions) involves cutting parts of sprue.  Here that are sorted into two zip lock bags, one containing truck parts (left) and the other containing body parts (right).


Here’s a chance to show off a portion of my nearly complete modeling bench.  It is made up of a rack that can hold eight 3/4″ melamine boards.   So partially complete projects can be tucked away freeing work space and reducing the chance parts will be scattered and lost.

Project Shelf

This shot shows an ore car after step one.


Step 2 involved inserting and gluing the braces (steps 2 and 3).  The advantage of the assembly line approach became apparent in this step.  These braces are very fiddley work.  Putting the braces on the first car took 25 minutes.  The third took 5 minutes.  I’m not sure how long these two steps would have taken if I didn’t have a PanaVise to hold the parts from step 1 at exactly the right angle for mounting the braces.



Rather than attempt to bash H) trucks that came with the kit to HOn3, it makes more sense to buy HOn3 trucks and save the trucks that came with the ore cars for another application.  I chose to hedge my bets by ordering two kinds of HOn3 trucks.  The first set is Kadee 716’s.  They come unassembled so I ordered their assembly jig.

Kadee 716

The second is Grandt Line 5110’s.  They come assembled.  Both the Grandt Line and the Kadees have 3′ 7″ wheelbases.

GrandtLine 5110

When I see how they compare, I may go exclusively with one of the two and save the other for another set of rolling stock.  Freight cars are often sold without trucks so I shouldn’t have any problem repurposing them.


As tempting as some of the non-Kadee options are, I’m going to stick with Kadees.  I decided to go with their medium shank narrow gauge scale coupler No 158.  I picked the medium shank as I want to test them in a section with 18″ curve radiuses.  Because the cars are short (roughly 3″) I’m betting they will work in this application.  If not, I’ll use them in sections with larger curve radiuses and buy the long shank version.

NPC Turntables & Roundhouses

Atlas Turntable Bash 1

This is an example of the turntable I plan to install in the Quarry section of the layout.  This is a bash of an Atlas HO turntable.  Douglas van Veelan sells the H Frame Gallows Turntable that is sitting on top of the Atlas turntable in this photo.  He also sells an A Frame Gallows Version.  I picked up the HOn3 version from him in kit form.  If you are interested, you can reach him at .

H Gallows Turntable

I also ran across an Atlas HO turntable including an indexing motor and a roundhouse in water damaged boxes for $35.00.

Atlas Turntable

The motor drive is continued in a cheap looking building enclosure.  The railroader who bashed the Atlas turntable bashed it into this.  The structure covers the power unit that powers the Atlas turntable.

Atlas Turntable Bash 2

I’m not sure I can match his craftsmanship but I’m sure going to try.

A second option for the roundhouse is the RDA Stone Roundhouse.  This would be more likely to be found in a quarry spur.  It is also spectacular.  Envision it with the roundhouse implementation pictured at the top of this post.

RDA Stone Roundhouse

RDA also offers a small stone engine house.  I may also consider working this in, possibly in the Mining area.

RDA Engine House

A third option for the roundhouse is the Banta Sargent’s Roundhouse.  Two of these would make sense in the Sausalito yards as they are similar to the actual roundhouses/engine houses that existed on the prototype.

Banta Sargents Roundhouse

The three stall roundhouse is perfect for the Sausalito Shops location.  Size fits.  Style fits.  Number of stalls fit.

As I work on individual projects links to builders logs will be shown below.

Sonoma Magnesite Mill

The Sonoma Magnesite Mill is shown in this photo mid way through its useful life.  Click photo for a more detailed image.


The detailed image has various locations in the main building and the right lean-to labeled.  The lean to at the front of the building was an addition after the main building was constructed in order to accommodate a second rotary kiln.  When the second rotary kiln was added, some of the equipment needed to be moved out of the way, necessitating the lean-to.  This series of photos shows the evolution of the mill.

This first photo dates to October 9, 1915 when it was printed in the Guerneville Times.  Photo provided courtesy of John C. Schubert.  Annotations on these photos are mine and are the best judgements on what individual components of the photos represent.  The first photo is just prior to beginning production or shortly after production began.  Note that the siding on the front wall is not complete.  I suspect it was left open to allow the rotary kiln and other equipment to be brought into the building.  The kiln is installed at this point as evidenced by the stack protruding from the top right of the rear gable of the roof.  Click the photo for a larger image.


This image is from a August 25, 1917 U.S. Geological survey.  It is a cropped and more detailed version of the first image.  I believe this is a construction photo of additions being made to accommodate a second rotary kiln.  It hasn’t been installed as there are only two large smoke stacks protruding from the roof.  I believe the right crushing area no longer has its exterior siding as it is being prepped for dismantling.  Addition of a second kiln would have bumped plant capacity to 60 tons a day.  It is likely that required an upgrade in the rough crushing capacity on the right side of the mill.

The shed on the front housed an interior siding for loading calcined ore on flat cars along with the fine crushing equipment.  The shed was needed in order to move equipment off the floor of the main structure to make room for the second kiln.  Click the picture for a more detailed image.


This the and fourth photos were taken in November 1923.  The third is from the collection of Jane Barry and the fourth from the collection of Hart Corbett and was provided courtesy of John C. Schubert.  The photographer is facing the left side of the building as viewed from the front.  The second kiln is clearly installed in this photo as evidenced by the stack on the front gable of the main building and the oil tank feeding the kiln through the wall.


The fourth photo was taken about the same time.  This image shows the siding that was constructed entering the front shed addition which provided a covered space to load calcined ore bags and barrels.  I believe the fine crushing equipment was also located in this room.  The other notable change is the timber structure to the right of the building which replaced the rough finishing shed in photos one and two.  This structure would have housed a large rough crusher like a Blake crusher.  The timber structure would have expanded the hopper capacity of the crusher, elevated it off the ground and probably also housed screening equipment that separated ore crushed to 2″ or less from oversized ore.  The ore passing the screen would have been routed to the kiln for calcination.  That failing the screen would have been run back through the crusher.  Click on the photo for a larger image.


This is the sole interior shot of the main building.  The shot looks down the interior rear gable taken from the left side of the building.  This shot is most likely to have been taken prior to installation of the second kiln.


The original kiln was located along the back wall of the main building  That means the front half of the building was initially available for other equipment involved in ore processing.

Lets see if we can figure out dimensions and materials for the structures.  I’ll rationalize assumptions as to dimensions.

Main Structure

Length – 70 feet in 1:1 scale.  The rotating kiln is 50′ long.  Both the cooling on the left side would have occurred in the main structure.  The fine crushing probably occurred in the left lean-to shed after the calcined ore had cooled.  The rough crushing on the right side apparently initially occurred under a lean-to shed in the earliest photo.  Later, the right lean-to was replaced with a timber crushing tower.

Width – 30 feet in 1:1 scale.  The kiln appears to take roughly 50% of the space on the back side of the building.

Wall Height – The top of the kiln hopper is even with the side wall.  If you look at the earliest photo above, a man appears to be pushing a wheel barrel along side the building.  From his size, I’m estimating the exterior doors to be 8′ high.  They would have been a minimum of 6’8″  That would have put the side walls at roughly 16′, a fairly standard dimension in construction.

Roof Pitch and Height – The roof pitch appears to be around 4:12, 4′ of rise for every 12′ of run,  That would make the peak 5′ above the side walls or 21′ off the ground.

Framing Timber – Side wall studs appear to be 4′ on center, possibly made from 3″ x 6″ timber.  Construction is much like a common pole barn today.  I suspect the wall lateral pieces are 2″ x 6″ nailed to the outside of the vertical timber, and are spaced every 4 feet vertically.

Roof Trusses – Are also spaced every 4′.  The laterial cords are probably made from 2″ x 8″ lumber.  The rafter portion would have been made from the same material.  A vertical cord supports the middle of the truss spans.  A diagonal support stretcher hits each vertical framing timber about 5′ from the ceiling and the lateral cords about 1/4 the way across the span.  I’m assuming the trusses are mirrored on the front side of the building.

Celestory – There is a celestory along the peak of the roof.  Presumably the purpose was to allow hot air and dust to be expelled.  It appears as though venting is supplied with sheet metal grates.

Wall coverings – are clearly ribbed metail siding.  It looks as though the same material was used on the roof.  The top 2′ appears to be made of a semi-transparent material that admits light.

Floor – I suspect the floor was made up of wood boards supported by wood beams. I suspect 2″x8″ flooring.  In the area underneath the kiln, the boards are protected from fire with two layers of brick.  While there probably wasn’t a basement, some provision will need to be made for transferring cooled calcined ore to the fine crusher for crushing.

Fine Crushing Lean-to Shed

If you look at the photos the left lean to extends more than 1/2 the depth of the structure.  It looks to be roughly square.  I’m estimating its dimensions to be 18′ by 18′.

Wall heights on the outside end would be 12′ increasing to 16′ by the time the roof intersected with the main structure.

Power House

It is hard to estimate the depth of the power house from the photos but I suspect it extended to the rear of the building.  Given the front lean-to is 18′ deep, the power house would have been 12′ deep.  The length appears to match the front lean-to so would be 18′

The shed roof appears to meet the main building just under its roof line so height at the rear of the power house would be just under 16′ with the height on the front side just under the main structure roof at the 12′ point.

Note that in the later photos a small shed has been added to the power house presumably to add to its capabilities.  That shed would appear to be 12′ by 12′ with a roof on the low end of 9′ rising to 10′ on the high end.

Rough Crushing Lean-To Shed

This shed appears on the right side of earliest two photos.  It appears to be similar in size to the fine crushing shed on the left with a similar roof line.  Fine crushing shed dimensions were estimated at 18′ by 18′.  Wall heights on the outside end were estimated to be 12′ increasing to 16′ by the time the roof intersected with the main structure.  Note that this shed was dismantled and replaced with a timber structure containing a larger crusher about the time the second rotary kiln was installed.

Timber Rough Crushing Structure

This structure appears in the last photo and is likely to have contained a large Blake Crusher and screening used to separate crushed ore that passed a 2″ screen.  Crushed ore passing the screen went to the kiln for calcinating.  Crushed ore that didn’t pass the screen was routed back to the crusher for crushing.  This appears to be a roofed structure with the top sides open as the hill can be seen through that portion go the structure.


Height appears to be close to the roof of the main structure plus the celestory or roughly 23′.  The top of the side walls up to the opening would be roughly 19′.  Timber braces are likely to be 4″x8″ or there about.  There are 5 timber braces per side and the structure appears to be roughly square.  Diagonal braces uses to prevent racking are  likely to be 2″ x 8″.

Hopper wall boards are also likely to be 2″x8″.  It is likely the hopper boards extend roughly 1/2 way down the structure.  The structure below the hopper boards appears to be somewhat open.  I suspect the 2″ screen would have been mounted diagonally with material failing the screen dropping off to the rear of the structure.  That passing through the screen would fall to a ramp mounted at a diagonal with the ore passing the screen dropping off in the direction of the rotary kiln.

I would estimate structure dimensions as 12′ x 12′.


My current inclination is to model the mill with the additions that occurred in around 1917 to 1918 (final mill image).  I’ll model with both kilns to deal with the production driven by World War I and an additional ore discovery.  I’m going to assume the timber rough crusher had arrived and was installed.

In order to display what is occurring inside, the main roof will be removable along with the roof to the power house and to the fine crushing area.  Sliding doors on the front shed addition will be modeled open for additional viewing.

Builders logs for construction of component parts of this mill setting will appear just below as the projects are activated.