Sunday, March 29, 2009


Not really reporting much progress on this furnace - actually in a way I'm loosing ground.  I've decided to give the almost finished stoves to B-Furnace.   The reasons? - Primarily scale.  I've been trying to stay as close to the prototype on A-Furnace as possible (The prototype being Bethlehem Steel A-Furnace).  One thing that has been bugging me has been that the Rix Tanks that I used for the stove bodies scale out to around 24', however, the prototype stoves were around 21'-22'.   Now you are saying - 2', give me a break, however, when you layout the stoves on their foundations, all other issues start to creep up.  These structures were very close together in the prototype, so when you add 2' to each, you need to re-space everything, and then you start running into clearance problems in an area that was already tight.  Another problem was appearance.  I had started working on a test mock-up for the stacks - my plan is to finish the top of the stoves with a .060 styrene disk and then glue in the center the base of the stack with a hole drilled for the 5/8" pipe.  Then I will cut a hole in the vac-formed top and slide it over the whole thing.   This would make for a pretty sturdy stack which I figure sooner or later might get bumped.   See picture of assembly.  When I temporary placed this on the finished stove body, it just looked a little off - not like the pictures I have of the prototype - it's amazing what a difference 2' will make.  
So what's the alternative - Plastruct tubing?  well, I like the rivet detail on the Rix tanks.  Then in an email correspondence with Vince Altiere he tells me he used 5 pieces to form the stove instead of the 6 the kit calls for.   Thankfully someone was thinking a bit creatively.   So I try it - it works great - you just need to let the glue set up on the five sections before closing the ring.   This assembly scales out at around 20' or so - looks much more appropriate for stoves that were built in the 1920's.   So I've been going back and forth about scrapping the whole mess - using it for the B-Furnace stoves,...etc.  - I finally decide to shift these stoves to B-Furnace and start over on the A-Furnace stoves - then I start thinking some more - about hitting that 22' dead on - so tonight I tried 5 sections plus one half a section - scales to a perfect 22'.  I loose the rivet detail on the seam with the half piece, but I'll position the stoves so that the cut pieces face each other and aren't that visible.  It's a bit of work, but I think it will be worth it.    Just to check on the 24' stoves for B-Furnace I pulled out my 1930 copy of the "Directory of the Iron and Steel Works of the United States and Can
ada"    Just under Bethlehem Steel - the Bethlehem plant had all 22' diameter stoves, the Steelton Plant had a mix with some 24' and 22'.  Sparrows point had 20' and 22' stoves.  So all three variations of the Rix tank - 5 , 5.5, and 6 sections will give you prototypically correct stoves.    

No comments: