View single post by Reg H
 Posted: Mon Dec 24th, 2018 06:42 pm
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Reg H

Joined: Sun Oct 19th, 2014
Location: Shelton, USA
Posts: 1136
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.


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