Tuesday, August 25, 2009


One week until we leave for the Steel Mill Modelers Meet in North Carolina.  I am, of course, not exactly at the point I had hoped to be at this point.  There will be a big push this weekend as I have pretty much set most of it free, other than dropping my daughter off at college.  We have all the materials for the actual Free-Mo module itself and have cut some of the lumber.  The plan is to try to put it together tomorrow night so we can finalize a layout and start positioning the structures,...etc.    I think it is within reason at this point to be able to have the following structures painted and on the module - the cupola building, the small and large baghouses, the water tower, the coke dock, and the dust collector building, and the associated piping and maybe some ancillary details.  I don't think I'll get to any of the interior of the cupola building, but what I expect is to make this project a work in progress - adding to it yearly - for next year maybe the interior of the cupola and also add on an extension for the actually pipe making portions of the mill.  
Jimmy has been working on the engine house/maintenance building and also he assembled an Athern Conrail gondola that I picked up the other day at Sattlers - it's nice that these kits are still very reasonably priced - actually when you think about it, they used to be $4 or $5 20 years ago, but you still had to add $2 in Kadees with are included now.    We have been pulling  the modern equipment out of storage - a few gons and hoppers so we have something to run.  
I've been working on a few fronts - the details on the cupola building and the ductile baghouse.   Railings, pipe rings, access hatches,...etc.  - all are just time consuming, but needed for that dose of realism.  I probably have another four hours of work on the cupola building and it will be ready for paint.   Oh, I also worked on the scrap loading dock a bit - added wood bumpers with NBW detail and also some sides for the chutes.  Jimmy is starting to make the many configurations of scrap piles we need.    
I built the ductile baghouse also.  This is similar to the cupola baghouse, just a third the size.  It also doesn't have a setup to collect the dust from the building other than to dump it from the bottom.   In the Bessemer, AL prototype this was used to collect dust from the ductile pipe production building - basically a giant air cleaner.  However, at the Burlington, NJ plant, the air from the cupola building was also sent to a baghouse (this is not the case in Alabama).  So I will be adding a pipe from the top of the cupola building gable to this unit.   It is necessary to have a blower unit for this baghouse in order to move the air.  In the cupola baghouse the stack pressure from the cupolas keep the air moving.    

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