Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lumber Shortage

I'm still waiting on my order of scale lumber to arrive.  That's unfortunate, because it's been about 200 degrees outside all weekend, and very humid.  I hate this kind of weather, so I spent most of the weekend in an air-conditioned space.

So, what's a railroad to do when it needs lumber, but can't get a shipment delivered?  Some might build their own sawmill.  Since I plan to have a sawmill on the layout, this seemed like a logical thing to do.  No, I didn't build the entire sawmill yet, but I did lay out the footprint of the structure.  I don't have any good photos of the real sawmill that existed in Hill City, so I'm having to "wing it".  I've spent a good chunk of time today looking at photos of other old sawmills, reading about how they functioned, how they were constructed, and how they interacted with the railroad.

I've come up with a rough design (in my head) for what I think will be an interesting structure, and believable from a functionality perspective.

I'm still learning the terminology, but here's how I envision this design.  Logs will be pulled from the log pond up to the top level of the sawmill.  From there, they will be rolled down a short ramp to the cutting floor.  At the opposite end of the cutting floor, as logs pass through/over the saw blade, the planks will slide down another ramp to the lowest level of the mill, closest to the tracks.  There, the planks will be stacked and/or loaded into waiting boxcars.  Some of the cut lumber will go to the neighboring WoodenWare factory, where it will be further cut down into slats for wooden buckets and barrels.

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