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I purchased a very inexpensive postwar 464 sawmill with the intent of improving the operation and appearance.  


Fortunately, the dust separator was not missing, just the handrail.  The sawmill actually ran, but the noise was unbearable!!  I expected this and and replaced the original motor with a canned motor/gearbox assembly.  I made a motor drive belt using flat elastic, it works quite well and slips if something jams.  The speed is just right at 12vdc. 


I did not like the gray base and the plastic look, so I painted the base light brown, the roof silver and the building white.  I primed and weathered the dust separator.  I made a new handrail with brass rods I had. The wood grain on the base shows up much better with the new color.


I wanted to add a circular saw similar to the current sawmills, but there isn't much depth available in the front of the building.  Then I remembered saving a couple of electric toothbrush heads due to the right angle drive.  I had a servo motor with burned up electronics, so I used that, the toothbrush head and an old clock gear to make a saw.  It runs at the right speed around 5vdc.  I still need to add lights, and couple of operators.



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Thanks for the compliments!  I will make sure my "sawblade" turns clockwise, we don't want boards thrown out through the window. I will definitely post a video when finished.

As for the Binford Chainsaw engine - I suggest the "beat it fit and paint it to match" strategy.  You may need to change the log size to 3".  Just make sure the engine runs properly with lots of noise, smoke and sawdust.  If there isn't room on the layout, just use the chainsaw to make room before taking the engine out.  This opens up the possibilities for some really great train wrecks by the sawmill.....

I added a step down converter to supply 5v to the "saw" motor.  When the belt motor is running, the saw will turn.  I will power lights separately since I normally have all lights in all buildings on when the layout is powered up.  I don't know if the "operators" will be animated or not.  I ordered some figures, but it may take a while to get them.


What sort of hook or line should I put on the "crane" arm to make it look better? Has anyone else embellished this part?  I saw a video of the command control sawmill and the blade appeared to be turning the correct way.  Which way should it turn?  If it is similar to a table saw, the blades should be cutting downward.

FireOne, I have about as many different types of hammers as I do wrenches or sockets, so I guess it's one of my favorites also.  I've even used my Hobart wire welder on the trains.


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Since logs feed in from the right, and ripped lumber exits on the left, the saw should turn clockwise, with the teeth biting down, into the log. BTW, I've never seen a hollow saw blade like that. The ones I'm familiar with are all solid disks. If you choose to model that, Just glue an appropriately sized disk of plastic (or metal to the face of the gear.

I do like your modifications. Nice work!



About 'jamming" the logs inside the Lionel sawmill ...

Some of the logs (the originals and extra purchases) are slightly LONGER than others, so I used my belt sander to slightly trim away some of the length and then made an angled edge at both ends. The trimmed logs travel through the accessory without jamming. A cheap fix!  I wiped on some wood stain to the ends to match the logs.

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394

I had the usual problems with jamming.  I made my own boards by copying a single Lionel board I had - the dimensions have to be very close or they will jam.  I also put a small chamfer on the ends of the logs.  I can look for specs on the motor I used, but if I were doing it again I would use a different motor that could be direct drive to the belt cog.   I will get some finished pictures of my sawmill up soon.

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