Introduction: De Herder SawMill in Small Scale

About: I live in South Africa. Married and son is 3 now. Work in the Retail Industry in IT. N Scale Model Trains is my past time hobby and passion. Fix and Service Locomotives and I have my own layout I'm busy buildi…

On my Model Train Layout I have some space that I allocated for a SawMill. I bought a plastic model kit from Walters that was going to live in the space, but I was never 100% convinced it is what I would like to do.

So I was cleaning and going through some old papers and magazines from my child hood and came across a SawMill plan I once built when I was still in school. (built it totally from paper).

My mind was going and then this project was born. Loads of research !!!! Loads of FUN !!!!!!!

Step 1: Start and the Planning Process

This is a actual building that is still in existence today. De Herder SawMill is located in Leiden in the Netherlands.

I took the plans or drawings I had, but can not remember where I got it from. It might be from a Hobby Bulletin I got from my Grandfather, but not sure.

These was already photocopies of the original and there is no dimensions or scale. So I worked with what I have. I bought a WindMill Kit from Faller ( and used that as the base for my dimensions. I also e-Mailed family we still have in the Netherlands and they put me in contact with someone that have a website on De Herder Zaag Molen and some other historic Windmills. I manage to find loads of pictures to work with on their site. So, with all the info I started to draw everything onto the computer.

I used AutoCad for all the 3D parts and I used CorelDraw for the building and then saving it to Google Schetchup for the Laser and 3D Printing.

Once done, I spoke to a friend of mine with his own Laser Cutter, that he built himself.

Here is his Project: -

We decided 1.5mm 3 layer Ply will work and he can cut all the parts for me. The windows I can 3D Print and everything else I can make, paper, wood or styrine from Ever Green Scale Models (

Step 2: Starting the Actual Build Process

So it was the BIG day on Sunday, the 6th of August 2018. I visited my friend Arno (2nd Picture) and we cut all the sections out of 1.5mm 3 layer ply.

Awesome, and so incredibly precise and fine.

He built the cutter himself and it is just amazing.

Now I have to paint and build.

Biiiiiiiig Job ahead still.

Step 3: Putting the Walls Together and Painting

What a awesome weekend away!!! Good family time and just relax and not thinking about work or the city life.

When I had time I sat with the sawmill build.

I have to say it is working quite well.

I started by lightly sanding all the parts to get rid of the burn marks from the Laser Cutter then I could start the assembly process

Picture 01 - I scribed lines on to the face of the wood 1mm apart to show the planks.

Picture 02, 03 - Now to start the assembly, I used Lego blocks to keep everything straight and square.

Picture 04 - First building, all the walls are together, now it is ready for paint. I have also followed the same process with the main building.

Pictures 05 - 08 - I used basic water-based paints to paint on the wood. The colours of the building I wanted to keep close to the actual original, so I mixed the colours as far as possible and match everything as best I could.

The inside of all the Window holes were painted dark green.

Step 4: 3D Printed Windows and Doors

I do not have my own 3D printer and the printers that use the PLA or ABS filament just can not print as fine as I would like.

A friend offered to help that have a Resin 3D Printer. I know this will work, so I drew all the Windows and Doors I need out in AutoCad and exported it to Google Sketchup so that he could print them for me.

He did such a GREAT job.

I then cleaned each window frame and sprayed them white, using the TS range from Tamyia.

All the windows is press fitted into the wooden frame of the building.

Step 5: ClapBoard Wall on the River Side....

The River side or water side of the building was finished with a Clapboard finish and is not the yellow colour of the rest of the building.

To build this I cut 2mm strips from 120g white printing paper.

I glued them with a 1mm overlay onto the wood with normal Alkalin Cold/Wood Glue.

Once done and everything was dry I cut all the access away as well as cut the holes for the windows again.

Now it was time for painting.... I painted it a baso of brown, also water based paint.

Once this was dry I went over with a brown /black mix and loads of water to slowly stain it till it was quite dark.

Then I could fit the windows in this part of the building.

I like the way it ended up looking :)

Step 6: Building the Roof

One of the biggest parts of this project was the Roof !!!!!

Firstly, I did not know how to build this and secondly, what to use.

The original building have a normal tile roof, dark grey colour with some redish colour tiles for the ones that have been replaced in recent years.

The company Noch make plastic sheets with a tile profile, but this is not available in South Africa (I live in Cape Town) so I will have to import it and I will need about 3 sheets. Would become way to costly. So this idea went out the window..... What's next ???

I follow a guy Jason Jenson on Facebook, and he also have a Youtube Channel,, this video Applying paper shingles to a model railroad structure Episode 013 gave me an idea, so I can actually make it myself :)

I used 120mm white printing paper once again and cut 3mm strips. I then marked 2mm on each strip and cut random cuts in the 2mm side of each strip. See Picture 03.

I used Alkalin Cold/Wood glue to glue the strips to the base of the roof, the base is just 2 pieces of cardboard cut to size and glued in place on to the wooden walls.

I only glued the 1mm part of each strip to the base so the tiles is actually loose so random ones could be lifted to create a awesome 3D effect.

Once everything was dried I panted it with water based paints to get the colour I wanted and thought look good.

Step 7: Building the Deck

Because the WindMill is on top of a building there is a deck around the Mill.

This is situated on top of the roof at the base of the Mill. It serves as a walk way for the person turning the blades of the Mill into position so it catches the most wind.

We laser-cut this in all its parts and then I just glued it all together.

I used some tape to hold all the pieces in place while I glued the bracing at the bottom.

Then I stained it with a few coated of wood stain until I was happy with the colour.

Lastly I gave it a very light sanding to give it a bit of an aged look.

Step 8: Adding a Facia to Round Off the Roof

Adding Facia's to round off the Roof and the Wall.

For this I again used the 120g white Printing paper.

I cut a 3mm strip and scribe a folding line on 1mm.

I wanted to colour this before I glued it in to position so I tried to paint it, but because it is so small and it is paper, the paint made the paper to wet and it became impossible to work with.

So, then I switched over to a Sharpie Pen, this really worked well as the pens are Alcohol based so it does not affect the paper and it kept it's folded shape as well.

Every part was test fitted, cut to size, test fitted again, coloured and then glued in to position.

Step 9: Adding the Deck to the Building

So now the Deck must be fixed to the building.

I glued the Deck on with Cold/Wood Glue as everything is Wood.

Once this was properly dried I could start with the bracing's from the Deck to the Building.

I use Styrine 0.060" (1.5mm) square from the EverGreen range for this as it is already white and it is fairly easy to work with and to shape.

Step 10: Making the Brick Pillars and Foundation Under the Building

A big section of the Building is built on brick pillars.

This created a open space underneath the building.

Unfortunately I could not find proper pictures regarding this and I do not have any dimensions of this, so I had to built this according to the pictures I have and estimate the sizes accordingly.

I have some plastic sheets with a brick texture from a previous built I did (picture 01), so i cut a few strips at the correct height and build all the parts I need.

Once it was all glued together I could paint it and glue everything into position.

I glued it with SuperGlue as it is Plastic onto Wood.

The water based pants worked well as it gave a nice aged look.

Then just above the pillars, there is a trim to round it off against the building. I made this from 120g white Printer Paper, painted it the same yellow colour of the walls and glued it on.

Step 11: The Deck Needs a Hand Rail

There is no off the shelf handrail that I know of to use for this, so I had to make my own.

While we were doing the Laser cutting we also cut some thinner sections that is slightly bigger than the Deck.

So that will be the top of the handrail. It is also 3 layer ply, so I took one layer off so it does not look so bulky, much better.

For the uprights, I used the 2mm wide strips we cut, I also took one layer off from the ply.

These were cut to lentgh and at the correct angle. I had to glue them with Superglue as the Wood glue took to long to set and the angle made the strips to fall over. I also cut a piece of card board with the correct angle so that I could line up all the strips the same.

Then before I carry on I first painted them all green, then it was time for the top rail.

I first painted it white and then I glued it in to position.

The 2 middle sections I made out of the 120mm White Printing Paper.

I cut 1mm strips, measured each green upright of the handrail and glued the 1mm paper strips to that.

Easy job, but it took forever to finish.

Step 12: Changing the Brick to Wood.....

The wall

Step 13: Painting the Blades and the Direction Frame