Thursday, January 10, 2013


Back to B, after some time.  Trying to force myself into the basement when I can.  Some people meditate or do yoga to bring some calm and balance to their lives, I glue styrene together.  If you end up getting stressed over a model or mechanical problem with a locomotive, or whatever, put it down and pick up another project.   Scenery is another relaxing thing, and since getting mine rolling last year, I've tried to make it a practice to always to add something while working in the basement.  Even a sign, or tree, or spot of grass.  

Gauging the progress on my two blast furnaces, I'd say things are pretty close between the two.  If I had to guess, I'd say I was 50% on each.  Since I'm closing in from two sides with scenery, the blast furnace section will be next and I'd like to sort of have some semi-completed structures, and the furnaces are the most prominent.   Not modeling for a bit I've been working on B-Furnace as it's a free-lanced design and there is a more relaxed attitude toward building an exact replica.  Freelanced, with prototype elements of course.   For those that haven't been following, broadly, the cast house and ovens are from D-Furnace at USS Central Furnaces in Cleveland, and the furnace stack, Furnace #3 at USS Duquesne.    HAER has good photos of the USS Central Furnaces, D Furnace, and not so good of #3 Duquesne.  However, there are plans for the latter.   The photo shows how I've blown up the sections of the drawing I need and a scale along with it.  This can be a little tricky to do, but there is a feature on my Mac that allows me to grab consistent portions of drawings and print them out full page.

I think I've posted the rough cast house shell construction for this furnace in an earlier blog.  If not, I constructed a shell from .040 or .060 styrene, that will eventually be covered in corrugated siding and panel roofing.  I'm eager to get started on this, but first I needed to do two things - finish the circular walkways on the furnace stack that would be partially exposed at the casthouse roof, and partially finish the interior of the structure.    The walkways were just a bunch of the usual styrene railing projects, but the interior would be partially seen from the slag pour side so there needs to be a modicum of interior finish, primarily the cast house floor.  I'd cut the foundation and cast house floor from MDF with the intention of adding a layer of plaster or structolite on top, giving the cast house floor that rough look.   One major screw up along these lines, and one I should have know working with wood everyday as my profession - I should have sealed the MDF, before pouring structolite on top of it.  The water swelled the MDF a bit and the whole foundation warped a bit.  Fortunately, as the water content left over several days, the foundation returned to it's original, un-warped state.  Since the photo I've added some textures to the floor.  I still need to make the pouring spouts and more.

Next I moved to the bell lifting arms on top of the furnace.  There are two bells, and the larger, center arm operates on bell and the two outer, smaller arms, the other.  

Besides all this, I wasn't happy with a lot of the elements on this model as it was built five years ago or so.  One, the platform scale sizes, I corrected a bit by adding width to the platforms in some places.

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