The last time I visited Marty Cozad’s fabulous large scale layout, I spent a couple of hours touring the Kregel Windmill Factory Museum in Nebraska City, NE. I highly recommend it for everyone – especially if you like old structures and overhead belt-driven machinery.
I’ve always loved old prairie windmills. I decided to build a small 11 foot one in front of my train workshop. The rotating blades are 40” in diameter. I can sit in my rocking chair on the shop porch and look out at the windmill and the layout.
I built the tower entirely from cedar, with 4x4 posts and 1x4 cross bracing. There are a few pieces of 2x4s near the top. I stained the pieces with timber oil and used stainless steel screws to put it together. I purchased the unassembled head from an on-line dealer in Texas.
I took the artwork for my CC&R logo to a local graphics shop and had large vinyl decals made for the windmill tail. This is the same artwork that Stan Cedarleaf used to make my locomotive decals, so it visually ties the windmill to the layout.
I made a circular bed around the base with landscape edging. I covered the soil with landscape fabric and put down a 4” deep layer of decomposed granite. I inserted an auger into the ground at the center of the base and ran chain up to the top of the tower. A turnbuckle helps to keep the tower tight against the ground when the wind comes whistlin’ down the plain.
It was a fun weekend project and a nice change of pace. Now, back to the trains …