Large Scale Central

Rowson 2024 Mik challenge - Dom's Furniture

For my industry, I’m planning to build a small furniture factory, named after my grandson Dominic.

Here’s my (crappy as always) napkin drawing:

And the red area is where I plan to put it, in the industrial yard that’s part of the city of Durango.


There are 5 major parts to this building:

  • Loading/unloading platform
  • Rack for storing wood on the side of the building
  • Steam engine to power a drive train that uses straps to power tools in the manufacturing area
  • The main workshop that includes the strap driven tools such as drills, planers, lathes, saws.
  • An assembly area (where they ostensibly do the assembly/finishing of the furniture)

For the purposes of Mik, I will not do the interior, so no tools or partly assembled furniture. But I do plan to build the steam engine (horizontal boiler, flywheel, strap to drive the power distribution in the workshop).

I’m not sure I’ll get this done, but what the heck.

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Great theme for your build Jim, looking forward to following your progress.
But, hmmm, it is a belt drive not a strap drive :wink: :smiley:

Got it. I think I knew that. Senior moment or something.


Think nothing of it Jim, I sometimes have whole days like that :smiley:


Just in case you change your mind about stocking the store, PRINTABLES had a furniture competition in September. Here’s the link: Dollhouse Print Competition

Thanks, Bill. Lots of cool stuff in there…


I’ve been googling around, looking for images for vintage (circa 1930 or earlier) small steam engines I could use as an inspiration for power for my belt driven workshop.

It’s a bit hard to search for since “steam engine” mostly gives me locomotives, and maybe a donkey.

Does anybody have pointers to such images? Or maybe an old catalog for such things?

Thanks in advance!

Does it have to be steam? There were lots of interesting single cylinder gas engines used to drive shafts. Most had large duel flywheels and a belt wheel PTO.

I have one like that , only larger…

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Well, I found a few youtube videos that are helping me.

There are a lot more.

Dave: You are right that I should consider gas. I have a couple of gas powered items now (railtruck, delivery truck). I’ll check out the gas engines. They somehow don’t speak to me from a visual interest standpoint. Seems like a backwoods “factory” might want to be running on local power sources rather than importing gas (but we are right on the railroad, so it isn’t a stretch at all).

Thanks for the video and idea. You’re just trying to slow me down, I know it!

Happy Miking!

The early oil derricks were steam powered. Here is a better picture of one I found in Pennsylvania.

If you search for model steam engines, several companies make them.

Based on signage in one of those videos I posted, I found a small catalog for portable steam engines from Geiser Manufacturing, their Peerless line.



That has the horizontal boiler I was vaguely looking for.

I also searched 1900’s steam powered machine shop



Thanks Wayne! That bottom one looks vaguely like the Peerless engine. I like it!

The thing about having a gas engine is, un-attended run time… A wood or coal fired one needed attention every 5-8 minutes, But wood ones could be run on scrap wood, but it took a lot of it to keep it going.

Jim, try a search for stationary steam engines.

I settled on using the Peerless horizontal boiler so am now slowly building that.

First step was to drill holes in the PVC pipe being used for the boiler, 1/2” styrene pipe for the steam dome and the exhaust stack. No pics of that.

Next was to build bracing for the end with the firebox and a lot of the fiddly bits.

Then I used .010” styrene to wrap it.

Still lots of stuff to do here.

Looking good Jim, your off to a great start.
I really like those old stationary horizontal boilers and especially the ones they put on wheels and made portable.

Off to a good start Jim.

Looks great, Jim. Looking forward to the details.

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Some progress on the steam drive for Dom’s Furniture.

I made a little drill jig out of some junk brass strip to attempt to get my HO nails rivets evenly spaced. Partly successful.

And gathered up stuff to work on the piston drive and flywheel. Plus this and that for piping, etc.

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