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Magazine Article: Model Railroader, February 1987

Canada Crushed Stone on Aberfoyle Junction

Modeling a large industrial complex in O scale
By: J. Craig Webb

Every so often an article in Model Railroader really catches your eye. That happened to me in November 1977, for that issue Gordon Obigard describe the Canada Crushed Stone Mill and Dundas, Ontario. Having lived most of my life within a few miles of this facility, it was intriguing to be presented with a set of selectively compressed drawings of the big Stone Mill just waiting to be used. As with many parts it got filed at the same time because I am model in old scale and didn’t have space to build even a compressed version of such a complex.

I saw my chance to build Canada Crushed Stone in 1982 when our Aberfoyle junction club moved to larger quarters. Dundas is only 20 miles away, so the prototype would be a familiar site to many of our visitors and the model would add operating interest to the new layout. The Stonemill size would not overshadow other features of the enlarged Aberfoyle junction is quite sizeable model really system but it’s intricacy would make it a focal point.

In O scale even the selectively compressed plan was too large. We decided that the complex would be built against the back of the layout with only the dumper, secondary and tertiary crushers, and powerhouse number two actually modelled. The Quarry track would be just a stub fastened right on the sky board backdrop, and scenery would hide the fact that this truck wouldn’t go anywhere. These remaining buildings will occupy base roughly 3 ft square.

Two other changes were made to the MR drawing of the tertiary crusher. One was to put four windows in each row across the front as on the real thing instead of the three in the plan. Also the concrete burns below the corrugated wall seemed too shallow so I made them 6 feet scale deeper. To maintain vertical relationships I raise the bases of the other three buildings by the same amount.

Building Shells and Base

to begin I laid out the main wall pieces for the dumper base, secondary crusher, tertiary crusher, powerhouse and conveyor shafts on a 1/16″ thick Mattboard (showcard). After cutting them out with a sharp hobby knife, I glued the pieces together with contact cement to form the shells of the building and conveyors.
A seal the building shelves inside and out by spraying them with flat black paint from an aerosol can. This bracing in ceiling is very important. Otherwise the map boards absorb humidity and warp quickly.
Next Kim a wooden base for the whole complex of buildings all the main building shelves were made with a flat bottom edges equal to the lowest points. I cut a half inch plywood base for each of them then screw these two vertical pieces of a quarter inch plywood to plan scenary contours.

This way the buildings are removable but sit down into the scenery. The base would be later fastened into the layout but for now I’ll let me see that all the building certain correct relationship to each other. It also let me Direct measurements for the conveyor shafts and walkways which often have odd angles where they join at the buildings.

Siding & Roofing

corrugated iron siding and roofing of most of the buildings in the conveyors presented a problem. The large area to be covered made commercial corrugated metal too expensive so I use 36 gauge tool and copper. First I cut the copper down into scale leaving a lip on one of the sides as a handle. I use the block of brass with grooves in it as a forming die. I use the panels to cut off the lips and contact cement to the corrugated siding for the buildings, trimming them as needed to fit the windows roof angles and so on. I’m covering the conveyors I left a little overhang of copper where the shops were join to the buildings. Later on I bet these two fit and tack-soldered them to the building walls making meat joints. For the concrete areas I simply left the smooth surface of the board exposed. Covering the shell of the powerhouse was simple. It was faced with brick paper with a stone paper foundation and roof with a strips of masking tape.


large number of windows was another difficulty, as again commercial castings would be too expensive. The plans show that the crusher buildings have three main kinds of windows. I laid out two of the templates one for the crushers and one for the powerhouse. With a piece of plexiglass placed over the template I repeated the process of making 1/32″ White strips of masking tape over the Lions making as many windows as I could at once. Glass is the best surface for cutting the narrow strips of masking tape so I temporally stuck the tape to a real window and slid it into the strips with a sharp knife and straight edge. I hacksaw the sheets of plexiglass into individual windows and used a filter block pen to tape mullians that would appear in the window.

Details and Paint

I painted things I want a long for example it was easier to paint the main buildings before the stairs and other details were added. First I sprayed all the concrete parts with concrete paint and brushed a weathered look into the corrugated siding and roofing. I brushed all the Plastruct and styrene parts with thrusters flat black both because it was compatible with plastic in the contract of the large surfaces of weather in Black. To age the buildings I gave the seams in the corrugated metal in the girder Bence and other metal parts then washes of rust. The concrete surfaces of the powerhouse were given a thin wash of weathered black.

Scenery and Operation

The scenery around the buildings follow standard methods except that like the rest of our Aberfoyle Junction scenery is supported by wire mesh woven of strap single-strand electrical wire. It is sturdy enough to hold its shape over fairly large areas and it’s covered first with newspaper then a hard shell and finally a detail coat of patching plaster. Ground cover is a variety of homemade died sawdust ground foam and trees.