Sunday, October 18, 2009


Funny thing happened earlier tonight.  I pulled the electric melt shop interior out to add a trestle/floor to carry 30" gauge track and add a few other items, and my son asked what I thought was a stupid question at the time - "Is that going to fit in the building?"   I answered, "of course".  After all, I must have checked the fit at one time - right? - well apparently not.   It was a simple fix - I had to cut off the walkway to the right of the transformer vault and a corresponding amount of foundation beneath.    

One thing I have been doing a lot lately is looking at a lot of electric furnace photos.  From what I can tell, there were two ways of charging them - either by a side door, or by moving the furnace top  to one side.  The top loading seams to be pretty universal after the 1960s and Brandon Wehe makes an excellent bottom discharge scrap bucket that would be used for this purpose.  However, at least at Bethlehem Steel (Lehigh) in the 1950s, scrap and additives were loaded through a side door using conventional open hearth scrap trays or buckets.  It makes sense, after all, the melt shop at Bethlehem was originally an open hearth facility.   I will be using this latter method for two reasons - fidelity to the prototype, and to give a little running room to the 30" narrow gauge track (the electric melt shop is within the blast furnace section of the plant and about six feet or so from the bessemer and open hearth steel facility.)    The idea is that all the scrap prep and loading into the narrow gauge trains will be at one location in the steel making section of the plant.   My narrow gauge system is not just for show but I intend to include it in the operating scheme.
So - tonight - besides the modifications for size reasons, an elevated platform for the narrow gauge track was added and attached to the rest of the furnace assembly.  Also, I worked on the transfer car for the hot steel ladles. 

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