Monday, July 4, 2011

Machine Shop #2 - Part 1

With the ongoing home remodeling projects I've been piggybacking some work on the layout. Two reasons for this - first, I've set up the saws, saw horses, dragged out all the tools,...etc., so it is easy to just take a brake from the upstairs work and add some bench work downstairs. The second reason is that most of my layout has been built with cutoffs and scraps from remodeling projects - so, while the scraps are just sitting there it's easy to use them up and not worry about storing them as I really don't have anywhere to do so. This work, once complete, should be the last modifications I make to my original layout and once the additional work on the fascia's, soffits, lighting, and control boxes is done, I can focus solely on building structures and scenery.

I spent a little time this holiday weekend making these modifications. Benchwork and roadbed was installed, along with a little trackwork. More importantly, with the track, the footprints of the future structures can be laid out. I'm about 85% done with this process, the only area not really worked out is in one corner, where I will have room for most likely a rolling mill of some sorts. Just need to work out the type of mill and finalize the design of that structure. One big change is that I have relocated the electric melt shop from it's site in the Lower Works behind the blast furnace to a new location on the coke works branch, adjacent to the rolling mill. The melt shop will be expanded to include a second electric arc furnace, and the "Steel Foundry". It will be served by a new spur off the Coke Works Branch. This branch is mostly Code 70 Shinohara track, and the spur will likely use the same with the hope that this track will perform adequately during operations.

Another new section that I am really excited about is just in front of and slightly lower in elevation from the new melt shop location. This section is basically a sub-branch of the Lower Works Branch, that I will be calling the "Minerals Branch". This branch includes the approach to the highline for coke and some ore/limestone delivery, and also the car dumper, where the majority of the ore and limestone cars will end up. The "Iron Foundry" is also located at the end of this branch. This foundry will receive hot metal cars on occasion, and also, scrap, pig iron, and sand.

Finally, in the previous location of the electric melt shop, much of the track has been reworked allowing for a cluster of buildings whose purposes are intertwined - Machine Shop #2, The Heavy Forge Shop, and Heat Treatment Buildings #2 and #3. Products will move back and forth between these buildings as they are finished.

Tonight I started to mess around with Machine Shop #2. This building is a homage to the real Machine Shop #2 at Bethlehem Steel. The actual shop is an incredibly massive building, six stories high and probably at least a thousand feet long. For the sake of compression, I am building my shop, four stories high. The basis for this structure is the Walther's discontinued Car Shop kit. It has the large industrial windows that I was looking for and the saw tooth roof windows too. As the structure will basically be a flat, with just enough depth for a rail spur, two of these kits is enough to build something that will look massive enough. The kits are designed to be joined together lengthwise, however, stacking the wall sections involves some kitbashing. I counted the brick courses between the upper windows and modified both wall sections so that when joined, the upper stories will look identical. Once cut, I glued the top and bottom sections together and reinforced the joint with 1/4 inch square styrene strips.

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