Upgrading the MTH Mill - Operating Water Wheel and Additional Details - 13 Dec 18 Status

The MTH mill is a great model (nice size, good detail in the molding and the roof), but I wanted to try and "plus" it up a little bit in order to make it look more realistic and less static.   My plans are to add an operating water wheel, add more exterior detail, weather it a bit, detail the loading dock area, and replace the lighting with LEDs.

Every good grist mill needs a wheel, so I started there.   Embroidery hoops are great sources of pre-made wooden circles/hoops.   Looking at some photos of mills, I decided an 8" diameter would work best for my needs & ordered a couple online.   Stripping the outer ring with the hardware from the embroidery hoop left me with the basic hoop.  I used two to make the basic wheel, joining them together with lengths of square dowel.   In order to keep everything evenly spaced, I printed out a 12 section "pie" as a guide:

IMG_6853IMG_6854

Next, I checked mill placement to make sure wheel would fit as designed (it's on the far side):

IMG_6860

In order to turn the wheel, I tracked down a 12V DC motor with a long shaft (ebay).   This particular motor spins at a nice slow, sedate number of RPMs - perfect for a mill.

IMG_6861

The center hub of my wheel is a wooden spool:

IMG_6863

...and the spokes of my wheel are craft wood, with angles cut into one end to allow 6 spokes to come together:

IMG_7001

I once again used my "pie" template to align the spokes:

IMG_7003

Once both sides were "spoked", I added ridges/paddles around the outside for the water to "push".  I also re-drilled the center hole on one side and test-fit the motor:

IMG_7045

Quick sanity check (note: the wheel will sit 3/4" below the bottom of the mill itself when complete, and will be mounted to the other side of the building).   Also did some initial/rough weathering on the mill roof to see if I liked it that way:

IMG_7049

...and finally, I started the painstaking process of repainting the stone façade of the building.  I expect to use ~3 different shades of gray for the stones...  this is just the first one, on one side.

IMG_7059

More to come...

Attachments

Photos (10)
Original Post
coach joe posted:

That's gonna be one + mill when your done.  What sort of paint, stain or weathering for you water wheel?

Thanks, I'm thinking this will end-up being one of my more interesting structures - so long as the plan comes together 

My plan is to stain the water wheel with a medium-to-dark-ish wood stain, then use some black paint around the joints to make it look a little more weathered.  I may also hit it with some gloss clear overcoat so as to make it look more "wet". 

Wow, and l built several mill wheels from scratch, with a grade school compass and kitchen dishes of the right size, to get good circles....gonna hafta check out "embroidery wheels" which I'd never heard of.  Hope they are in several sizes... Building the flume, for overshot, breastshot, or undershot, will be easier than the wheel.  I bashed one of those MTH mills, several others' have been posted here, but none were operating, so we want to see this.  In the mills l have visited, the bolts holding the wheel and spokes together, create a need for a touch of "rust".

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

Love it !  

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

AGHRMatt posted:

Wow, Dustin!

You never cease to amaze. Is this going to be "driven" by a creek underneath or a flume overhead?

Thanks, Matt!  I miss hanging out and running trains with you and the guys at AGHR - it looks like the club layout is really coming along and you've added some  interesting new features!  My layout is a decent size, but my trains can't really stretch their legs the way they could at the club, either...

As far as the mill wheel, my plan is to go with a creek driven approach - with the water pushing it from underneath & the wheel moving clockwise.   I'm assuming I can reverse the motor if needed.... but if I can't get the wheel to spin clockwise, I may go with an overhead flume. 

--------------

CO HIRAILER,

Embroidery hoops do come in a variety of sizes (and shapes, FWIW)... I'd actually ordered a small lot with different sizes so I could stand them next to the mill and judge the aesthetics.  In my limited experience, some hoops are more truly "round" than others, so I would either buy them in person at a craft store or order extras online.   

Good call with respect to the rust on the bolts.  I'll have to see how/if I can model the bolts, or if I should try to fashion some bolt plates.

Just a quick update this time...

I've gotten the wheel stained.   I decided to go with a "dark walnut" I had on hand, which allows some of the wood grain to be seen but also looks sufficiently "old".   I applied the stain with a rag and a chip brush:

IMG_7162

I also did some additional weathering on the roof of the mill, and have removed the set of stairs on the side of the mill where the wheel will be mounted (I'll cover over this area with a wood 'panel' and maybe a little ladder up the door).   I have the first stone color done as well... 2 more to go (both also shades of gray):

IMG_7166

...and I also found these online, which will be great in the loading dock area of the mill once this is all done.

IMG_7168

Attachments

Photos (3)

Nice work Dustin! I was just wondering are you going to have to build a support bracket inside the building for your wheel motor?

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

mike g. posted:

Nice work Dustin! I was just wondering are you going to have to build a support bracket inside the building for your wheel motor?

Thanks, Mike   Yeah, I think I will likely add some kind of wooden bracket on the inside that I can screw the motor into to mount it.   I could glue the motor in place more easily, but I'd like to be able to replace it without too much hassle if it fails.   It is a ~$3 motor, so I don't have super high expectations for long term durability & already have a spare.

I plan to detail the interior of the loading dock area, but add a false wall in the back behind that to hide the motor itself on the opposite wall.  Once I get the exterior of the mill fully painted, I plan to disassemble it to work the (limited) interior details, motor mount, and lighting.   Should be interesting to disassemble...  on their structures, MTH doesn't hesitate to use 14 screws where 4 would do the trick.

Dustin, I agree on the amount of screws MTH uses, but you don't have to worry about it falling apart! Sounds like you have a good plan, I cant wait to see it in action!

Mike

USMC 5/11 Battalion Oscar Battery 155 Big Guns!

Semper Fi !

Menards addiction Meeting member! /  LCCA# 41824

Whew!  I now have all the stones painted, and did a little bit of additional shading on the wheel.   Ended-up using 4 shades of gray on the stones, and "aged concrete" for the headers above and below the doors and windows.  On the wheel, I dry brushed on some black around the joints for some aging.   Still need to ponder some more on how best to represent the rivets.  Below pictures show the current status.

Next step is to pop the mill apart and work the internal components (LED lights, loading dock, wheel motor & mount, etc.) as noted above.  I think I'm going to hold-off on doing the mortar lines or further weathering until I get all the internals done and the mill put back together.  Getting closer to done!

IMG_7198IMG_7200

Attachments

Photos (2)

Dustin:

For the bolts, get in touch with Dave and find out which nut/bolt/washer castings he used on the trestle. They'd probably be perfect for "bolting" the spokes onto the wheel. All you need is a pin vise and a small drill bit.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

AGHRMatt posted:

Dustin:

For the bolts, get in touch with Dave and find out which nut/bolt/washer castings he used on the trestle. They'd probably be perfect for "bolting" the spokes onto the wheel. All you need is a pin vise and a small drill bit.

Matt - Good call, I will shoot Dave a note and ask him about that.  Those bolt castings on the trestle do look outstanding.

Dave Funk posted:

Looks nice , when I did mine the roof was too "busy" looking so  I removed several of the vents from the roof and shortened others. The holes can be filled with sheet plastic and painted to look like patches on roof.

Dave - That's a good idea & something I hadn't even thought about.  I agree the as-delivered roof does look a little "busy", so I may copy your approach and clean it up a bit with fewer vents.

Add Reply

Likes (6)
pennsyfanmancoach joeDave45681Soo Lineclem kEngineer-Joe


OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
×