Monday, January 19, 2009

Blast Furnace Complex Begins to Take Shape

The picture on the right shows the current status of the Blast Furnace - A.  When working on my trains I tend to get bored if I spend too much time on one thing, so I keep things interesting by working a little on this, a little on that,....etc.  

Since my last post I have:
  • Started constructing the steel framework around the gas cleaning equipment.  The vertical supports are 3/16 H-Beams, which just coincidentally are the longest structural steel pieces sold by Plastruct.  The horizontals are 3/16 I Beams with smaller angle bracing.  Still to be done are three more frames, plus horizontals, x bracing throughout, platforms and stairs, and a service crane at the top.  I also still need to build two larger thermal expansion goggle valves just for this portion of piping.  
  • Three pass stoves -  To the right of the blast furnace you can see the emerging stove structures (black)  the furthest left one is full height.  Originally the prototype Bethlehem Steel Furnace had five of these McClure three-pass stoves, the fifth one being slightly smaller than the rest, however, it was removed at some point after the 1930s so I have opted to only model the four, shown in an l-shaped configuration.  I am using Rix Oil/Water Tank kits to build the stoves - they are 24' diameter tanks, while the prototype stoves were 22' feet.   Unfortunately, the extra two feet or so per stove added up and caused problems with the track clearances, so I am reworking the track in this section.   The Rix kits actually are assembled in steps - six pieces make up a ring and then the rings get stacked.  You need to pay attention as there are actually 7 different types of rings pieces in the kits - they vary in size and rivet pattern.  I make sure I repeat the pattern that I used on the first stoves so they all match.   I will also used these tanks for the two precipitators.   The base plate is 0.08 styrene
  • Casting house.  I originally cut this out from a block of two inch styrofoam but had height problems with the Walthers Torpedo cars.   I had a layer of 1/4" foam board to the bottom and an 0.08 base.  I am forming the hot metal and slag runners from .125 square styrene strip.  I intend to fill in between the runners with a putty or plaster to give it that rough uneven look.  

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