Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bessemer Building and More

I started building the truss and column assemblies for my bessemer plant.   Originally I was going to need 9 of these, but I scaled back to 7.  Some prototype photos of Bessemer plants with the converters on the exterior of the building piqued my interest, so I changed my design a little.   I will still need to build some sort of framework, just not with the roof trusses.   The almost assembled truss (missing the corner braces) is sitting in the assembly jig - a simple affair - scrap 1/4" MDF with some balsa blocking glued to it (white glue)

The trusses started off from the Walter's Electric Furnace Kits.   The purist in me is fading as the years move on and I only have two scratch-built trusses on my soaking pit building and only one on the blast furnace.  Despite the modifications, this was far easier to do.   I believe I spoke of the components in an earlier post, but if not - I cut the truss down, for length and to give the roof an interesting look.   It was extended with a piece of .030 sheet to match my footing spacing.  I used .030 x .250 strips to wrap the pieces, creating the wide flanges.   The posts are a 1/4" column with Central Valley box lattice columns.  

Day trip - Princeton - shopping, bookstore, Thomas Sweet Ice Cream/  Dunellen - The Model Railroad Shop - Central Valley stuff for Bessemer plant, magazines, a F&C Resin heavy duty well flat, six axles,  and DVD - Big Little Railroad  (1948 film by CNJ promoting their railroad - steam/early diesel - I had this on video tape but think I lent it out a long time ago, but regardless, was happy to buy a DVD copy, plus there was extra footage of the famous Ashley Planes and the Newark Bay four-track Drawbridge.   Interestingly, there was some real good film of the Huber Breaker in full operation, which I had visited two weekends prior.  

The Model Railroad Club - Union New Jersey - Haven't been here since the 1980s  I think they added on, but couldn't remember.  This is a photo of the smaller n-scale layout on the second level.  They have a decent sized steel mill - Mostly Walthers structures.   The larger HO layout will have a steel mill too but that area, along with about 2/3rds of the layout are unfinished.  They had a very well done cement plant and a few other nice industrial complexes.  It's a very large club in terms of building size, but only one person was working on the unfinished section that day.   I managed to drag Glori into the club (she liked a HO vegetable garden and clothes line)  on the condition that we visit the animal shelter next store.   So that basically ended the day on a depressingly sad note.  


Sunday, July 14, 2013


Ok, so not much has changed - to celebrate my 25th wedding anniversary - I took my wife down into a coal mine.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


No modeling photos as they would just be of more railings and platforms on A-Furnace stoves - seems endless.   I was going through my box of photos/slides/and negatives sitting on my office floor and I pulled out some old (1986-89) black and white negatives.   For most of my college years - 1984-88 - and into the very early 90's, I shot everything in either black and white or color slides.   I didn't have a lot of money so black and white was an cheap way to shoot everything, without breaking the bank.  I processed all the film myself  in a darkroom at the student center at school, and then after, in a darkroom I set up in my apartment.   I even bought the black and white film in bulk rolls and loaded film canisters myself - almost as cheap as digital photography.   I would process the negatives and make a proof sheet of the entire roll.   Select photos would be printed, but paper was expensive, especially after college, so I limited myself.  The result was that I never actually saw full size prints of most of my shots, and over time forgot a lot of the subject matter.   Scanners make it easy now to see what's on these negatives full size.   Since a lot of what I took photos of has since been demolished, it's kind of exciting scanning this film.    One embarrassing discovery, on the heels of my 25th wedding anniversary in a few days, was the quantity of railroad and industrial photos I took on my honeymoon.  My beautiful young wife lost out to locomotives and factories on a 20:1 ratio.     This shot is Bethlehem Steel in 1987 -  the mill was in full operation, but clouds were on the horizon.   In the center of the photo is the approach to the high-line.  The track on the right is the standard gauge coke track, while the left track is the dual gauge (7'11") ore and stone track.   The overhead catenary is only for the wide gauge ore/stone electric transfer cars.    Diesels moved the coke hoppers.
Bethlehem Steel 1987 - BOF.  In foreground is the additives conveyor

Bethlehem Steel 1987 - Underneath where I was standing to take this photo was the plant railroad shops - Narrow (3' gauge), dual, and standard gauge tracks fanning out to shops.   The highline is on the right, and in the distance you can see the five blast furnaces.  #2 Machine Shop is on the left.

Narrow Gauge Locomotive - Bethlehem Steel 1987

Honeymoon 1988 - Morehead City, NC -  They were still running Whitcomb's - A guy get's a romantic exemption for that - Right?