Sunday, June 21, 2009


All I hear lately is "when is it going to stop raining?" - as far as I'm concerned keep on pouring, especially on the weekends.  It gives me the needed  excuse to duck out of painting the exterior of my house and spending my days model railroading.  At this point 95% of the honey do list is exterior related.   The down side to this was that I spent Saturday morning in a downpour building a wheelchair ramp.  My company does occasional pro-bono work on weekends and this was one of those occasions - only a few of us showed and once we started we were committed, especially as we demolished the only existing staircase out of the trailer we were working on before the rain started.  Other than being completely soaking wet and cold and having to reset the GFIs every two minutes, the five of us had the ramp, the landing, the stairs, and all the railings built in three hours - so fast that a photographer from the local newspaper showed up after we were finished and gone.     
I continued to work on the 3 pass stoves for A-Furnace.  I secured the resin tops that I cast on saturday.  The upper platform was cut out as one piece from .030 styrene and I used .060 square strips to frame the bottom.  After securing this to the tops with ACC I used a pipe cutter to score seam lines in the stacks for each stove.  According to the plans, these were about 3/4" apart.  This type of cutter is the easiest method for making these lines - a serious improvement over hose clamps and whatever other methods are used.  They do make these cutters large enough to do up to 3 or 4" tubing, such as the Walther's stoves,..etc.    Before securing these stacks into their holes on the stove tops I glued ladders to the sides - pre-OSHA ladders, but correct for the era.  You certainly couldn't have gotten me up there to climb that ladder.  With the stacks secured I moved onto the cold blast valves that I had fabricated in an earlier post.  I had to saw off about a 1/4" of these to get them to fit tight to the stove top and match the prototype - the key is the cold blast piping needs to be pretty much centered over the walkways.  
With the valves secured I used 1/2" Evergreen tubing for the cold blast line - sorry Plastruct but I like that Evergreen is styrene.  I built a jig to enable me to cut the 11 degree angles in the tubing - shown in photo.  The model miter box that I use doesn't have the 11 degree cut needed and it it did it isn't deep enough to accurately cut the 1/2" tubing.  Just remember that you need to mark the opposing sides dead center for alignment of the cuts and when glueing up the pieces.   Everything fit together nicely, with a little filling needed at the three way connection in the corner.  I still need to extend the cold blast line from the bottom corner along the front of the blast furnace and eventually making its way to the blowing engine house.

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