Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's been a little while since my last post, and overall it's been a slow month in regards to blogging, so I'm going to just use this post for a general update.    I haven't been able to spend much time on the steel mill and I've had to scale back my plans on having A-Furnace ready for the Steel Mill Modeler's Meet on Labor Day weekend.    By the way, we (Jimmy and me) sent our registration in for this event, so we should see you there.  At this point I don't think there would be any way to complete A-Furnace without rushing things.  I might still be able to get it done for the Prototype modelers meet in October.  At this point my plan is to finish all the detail and piping work on the Precipitators, Stoves, and Washer assembly for A-Furnace, just not the furnace proper.  This is still a ton of work so hopefully August is productive.  I also intend to wrap up the pig-casting machine so I can bring it to the Steel Mill meet along with as much A-Furnace completed components that I have.  
Part of the reason I'm still iffy on some of the A-Furnace stuff is that on top of all that work, my son has been very eager to build a Free-mo module for the meet.  He was very impressed by the modular set up there last time and has been talking about us contributing since then.  The plan has always been to do a Pipe Foundry themed module, however, sometime in the spring we, I'd thought, abandoned plans for this module.   The issue came back up last week and at Jimmy's urging the module is back on - nothing like last minute.   The module part is easy, its obviously the structures that concern me.   For this reason, we are going to limit the amount of interior detailing included and also we have a baseline set of buildings that need to be on the module and will be concentrating on them.  If for some reason we have extra time, there are additional buildings and structures we may include.  


The prototype for this pipe foundry is the former US Pipe foundry located in Burlington, NJ (about 10 minutes from our house)     Burlington is located on the Delaware River north of Philadelphia.  The US Pipe Foundry actually marks the start of a section of the Delaware River between Burlington and Trenton that was home to a number of iron and steel works.  Just north of the US Pipe Foundry is the also recently closed Griffin Pipe Company.  One town north of Griffin was Roebling Steel - no blast furnaces but a huge plant producing wire rope with steel produced in open hearth furnaces.  Then just a slight bit further north and on the opposite bank of the Delaware was the massive USS Fairless Works.  And then finally in Trenton there was another large Roebling operation.    The pipe operations, both producing ductile iron pipe, primarily for municipal utilities only recently closed.  The US Pipe Plant is I believe still using the facility for distribution, while Griffin appears to be in shut down/ clean up mode.  
I would have liked to modeled the Griffin Pipe facility - it was a smaller operation with one cupola as opposed to US Pipe's two.  Additionally it used a wet scrubbing system for emissions control, that added a large amount of detail and interest.  Ultimately, however, I was unable to figure out the maze of piping and ducts,..etc  to the extent that I would have been able to accurately model them.   US Pipe used a dry system with large baghouses.  These structures are also in some ways interesting to model.  The real impetus for choosing US Pipe is the excellent HAER drawings and photographs of a sister plant in Alabama.  While the facilities are not identical, there are many similarities, and understanding the one plant from the HAER information, it is easy to interpret the structures, piping,..etc. of the Burlington Plant.   
We have started to cut out the walls for the main cupola/foundry building from .060 and I expect to have a post very soon on additional work on this building.   The basic buildings we need for this module are  - (1) the main foundry/cupola structure (2) two bag houses and (3) a coke dock/conveyor -  above that there is room for other structures.  We don't intend on modeling the actual pipe manufacturing buildings due to space limitations - basically we are modeling the hot end of the mill.  

1 comment:

dcwebguy[at]yahoo[dot]com said...

Your work is great, inspiring! I would like to know where you got the drawings in the photo in the july 29th posting?
Also, you mentioned a meet in October, can you tell me more about it or where I can find out more about.