Railroad Line Forums - opinions please on which Saw Mill to build
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 opinions please on which Saw Mill to build
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Author Previous Topic: San Juan Car Co - Switch Stand Topic Next Topic: SPNG #18 restoration!  


Premium Member

Posted - 08/16/2013 :  6:01:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit closetguy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi All
Opinions please. I have decided to not scratch build a mill. I have on hand 2 options. Either the Keystone Locomotive Works Band Saw Mill& Kiln kits plus a SS LTD Boiler House. or the trio from Five Peaks The Saw Mill, Power House and Saw Dust Bunker. The Keystone has all the interior machinery. If I do the Five Peaks I was going to modify it to show off Bretts Machinery. I have small and large boiler kits, small and large steam engine kits, so its really deciding which scene to build. Opinions?
Mike M

Country: USA | Posts: 1855

Section Hand

Posted - 08/17/2013 :  09:08:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I lust for the BTS mill complex.
I've reserved a spot for it on my layout.
Now I need to reserve a spot in my bank account......and I actually can see that in the not too distant future that may happen....if that ship on the horizon comes in.

Warning: this link may ruin your plans.

Edited by - JPIII on 08/17/2013 09:09:43 AM

Country: USA | Posts: 82 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/17/2013 :  09:47:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I bought one Keystones Mill and ended up using some of it's machinery in my mill because I didn't think I could make the cast metal structure framing look like wood. Only the trimmer wasn't modified. I didn't like the carriage at all, ended up using one from FSM. My boiler room used FSM Boilers (actually one boiler which I made a latex mold of and cast a 2nd) and SS Ltd's Large Steam engine.
I built it like 35 years ago and one of these days I'm going to refresh it. If I was building it today I would use BTS's machinery and scratch build the structure.

Country: USA | Posts: 4496 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/18/2013 :  10:03:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit closetguy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Good Morning
Ok I get it. Everyone is keen on the BTS. But, I have these 2 older kits and was looking for opinions on the 2 older kits.
Thank you
Mike M

Country: USA | Posts: 1855 Go to Top of Page

Engine Wiper

Posted - 08/18/2013 :  8:59:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Mike, I built the Bandsaw Mill a couple of years ago.I also wanted the Sierra West or the BTS mill but in the interest of saving my marriage I opted for the Keystone kits. You will definately notice the difference between this kit and a laser cut kit, especially when cutting out the window openings.You have to be right on the lines and not over cut, as the windows fit from the inside out. I ended up substituting Tichy windows for the cast metal Keystone ones. Another thing that bothered me was the floor. As supplied from the manufacturer,the floor consisted of a reddish brown piece of cardstock. I ended up gluing individual planks to the cardstock after I had stained them different shades. The saw filers room that fits over the main floor was detailed with crates benches and other detail castings from Rusty Stumps. The sawmill machinery kits supplied with the kits were a challenge for me,as I am not as accomplished modeler as others on this forum,but take your time and you'll do well. I got this kit on E-Bay for around about $100 and I think I ended up with a decent model. I also picked up a Keystone kiln but I think I will purchase one from BTS as I like the looks of it better and I just finished the BTS tramway and loading dock. I think it will go together better than with the Keystone kit. I still have to assemble the Planing mill from Keystone,But I believe it will be similar to the Bandsaw Mill. I believe the Keystone kits will provide you with a nice looking sawmill complex at about 1/4 the price of Sierra West or BTS. Good luck and I'll be looking forward to your build. If I can help in any way, just holler. Dave

Head Honcho,V.P. of Marketing,Chief Buyer,Primary Scapegoat,and Head Broom Pusher of the Bear Mountain Lumber and Railway Co.

Country: | Posts: 105 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/18/2013 :  9:19:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm not familiar with the kits. Can you post a pic of what they are supposed to look like?


Country: USA | Posts: 1473 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/19/2013 :  08:58:00 AM  Show Profile  Visit closetguy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi all
Thank you Dave..
The Keystone machinery kits to me, are no more difficult than the SS LTD builds I did last year. I agree that brown card-stock is disappointing for the mill flooring and strip wood will be needed. The Five Peaks is not designed to show an interior and will require some modification to make it an exposed mill interior. Even though both kits come with pre-cut strip wood and full templates, both are really just one step above scratch building. I will scan and post pictures so all can see the mill layouts. I have not decided yet on how I like the BTS machinery. The photos have not impressed me. Still feel the Keystone equipment mixed with Bretts equipment look the best.
Thank you
Mike M

Country: USA | Posts: 1855 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 08/19/2013 :  10:48:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Mike, while I scratchbuilt my version of the BTS mill I think it will depend on how complete a mill you want to wind up with. The details that Brett produces are WAY above the BTS versions. Cost and what will show would really make me lean to one kit or another. In my opinion both of the kits you have are more geared to a smaller mill, but could be expanded with scratchbuilt additions. Can't wait to see the actual build. Pat

Country: USA | Posts: 4500 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/19/2013 :  12:37:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Saw mill, Yahhh..... I know that planning and picking out a kit or combo of kits is one of the most important steps in the process, but I'm sure you have a 'gut' feeling and a few mental images of what you want to produce. My opinion.... Let the show roll!! Can't wait to see what you come up with.

-- KP --
Life is to short to build all of the models I want to.

Country: USA | Posts: 7124 Go to Top of Page


Premium Member

Posted - 08/24/2013 :  6:18:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit closetguy's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi All
The Five Peaks Suite will be my start..
Here is the Saw Mill

Download Attachment: sawmill.jpg
90.06 KB

Country: USA | Posts: 1855 Go to Top of Page
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