As a kid I was fascinated (and still am) with the things that were here before I was. It was natural, then, that I was drawn to model railroading as a way to recreate the past, and, in particular to the modeling of the late E.L. Moore. Mr. Moore was a prolific author in the model railroad press from the 1950’s into the 70’s and was well known not only for his folksy writing style and gentle humor, but particularly for his ability to create wonderful old time rural scenes.
Back in the mid 1960’s, Railroad Model Craftsman magazine was regularly running construction articles by E.L. Moore. Although I enjoyed many of E.L.’s projects, I was particularly taken with an article in the September 1966 RMC featuring the construction of an old time cider mill.
When E.L. built and wrote about this little structure, CAD, rapid prototyping, and, for that matter, even the PC, were the stuff of science fiction. More than forty years later, still posessing the yellowed and much worn magazine, I decided to build this structure using the rapid prototyping process instead of the basswood, balsa, and other materials that E.L. Moore used in 1966. To avoid any grey areas with respect to copyright, I contacted Carstens Publications, the publisher of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine. Mr. Henry Carstens, who was quite interested in seeing a model built by this process, has graciously given his permission to post the CAD files I created for this project.
Step 1: CAD Files and Other Items
I began by building a CAD model following the drawings furnished in the magazine article and exported 29 STL files, not including extras such as the drill jig, apple crates, etc. They are listed in the bills of materials and also below along with notes on the orientation I used with each one for best results. They are also available for download by anyone who would like to try this project. Additionally, there are three shafts made from .032” music wire, a support post for the boiler house roof made from scale 4”X4” square styrene and a3/16” wood dowel for the smokestack. It should be noted that, rather than the 4” shown in the bill of materials, I later shortened this to 2-1/2", closer to the length of E.L.’S original stack. I also chucked it in the lathe and drilled a 1/8” hole about ¼” into the upper end, but that’s not really necessary. The original wasn’t drilled and it’s not really noticeable in the photos. I tried to stay true to the dilapidated condition of the original structure, including a missing chunk of siding and the swaybacked condition of the roof (had to resort to a lofting operation to get that right).