Sunday, August 11, 2013

C-FURNACE - Part 1

With the demise of our Free-Mo modules, I found a spot out our basement layout for Jimmy's Walther Blast Furnace - Now, Raritan Steel C-Furnace.    There was no room left for it at the lower works, but I was able to find room for it in the  State Street Works, along with the Electric Melt Shop/Steel Foundry and a rolling mill.   The smallish nature of the newer (than a and b) blast furnace was a mystery to mill workers until it became known that it was to be used for the production of Ferromanganese.  The ferro made here will be used within Raritan Steel's Perth Amboy Facility, along with their other mills in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.    Work will start soon on the associated Ferro gas washing plant and the ferro processing and loading facility.   The company shops have also began designing the special "hot metal" cars for Ferro - refractory lined gondolas.    The blast furnace Jimmy built for the Free-mo module used a conveyor type materials delivery system.  Since we are back dating the furnace to the 1950's I've built the skip hoist and high-line that came with the original kit, with a few modifications.     I've added some styrene angle to the skip hoist and I've bricked in the visible side of the high-line.  Simple ore bins were added to the high-line so you weren't looking down on the benchwork.

The primitive ore and coke bins were just made from some .060 styrene sheet
Wish I was in Cleveland,....    For those of you tuning in to see photos of the Steel Mill Modelers Convention in Cleveland, well, I never made it.   Work has been hectic and I waited until the last minute to register at the hotel and by the time I got to it, there were no rooms left.  I started to work on find an alternative hotel to stay at, but then a nice potential job came up that I had to meet an architect at on friday, so,....     As I'd promised my wife a weekend get away, we did an short overnight trip to an inn at St Michaels, Maryland.   Show here is the marine railway and boat shops at the maritime museum.

Driveway  to the  Maritime Museum.  Nice way to display a historic draw bridge

Friday, August 2, 2013


Despite selling some shaky tools, you can occasionally find a good deal for an acceptable tool.    Drilling the #76 hand hold holes in resin gets tedious with pin vises and are a primary reason that I put these kits down for long periods of time  before returning to them.   I've had mixed results with Dremel tools, their drawback being their weight and power.   Ideally I have been looking for a lightweight rotary tool, that doesn't have to be super powerful - in fact - the weaker the better so not to break these fragile bits.    Enter Harbor Freight - this dremel type tool, called the "Drillmaster" had what I was looking for, and at $6.99 (with a coupon - $9.99 current "sale" price)  I took the chance.  The tool is very light and uses a 12v motor, powered by an included wall wart 500ma 12v transformer.   The cord is light wire and even has a male/female connector so the cord attached to the tool can be unplugged from the cord attached to the transformer.  Combined the length of these cords is very generous.   It also came with a shitload of rotary tooling - pretty much everything that comes with a Dremel, abet a little junkier, but also a lot of other things that don't, like a tube of a dozen or more end mills, 5 or 6 collets, drills, a whole tube of cutoff wheels,....etc..   The end mills are a bonus as I use these a lot to cut plastic and usually pay $6-8 each.   The machine runs smooth and with less noise than a Dremel.  Seems to have the power to do what I want.

Part two to this rotary tool equation were the micro end mills that Harbor Freight also sells.   Both boxes come as a set for $7    These are mostly metric, some match common drill sizes with a mixture from #54 through #88   There are multiples in the set and a few larger one, but there are a half dozen at least in the 70s.  These aren't drills, but rather end mills, which, when thinking about it are probably better for drilling holes in resin castings.   Also, the heavy shank is easier to chuck into a collet in the tool, and I hope will make them less susceptible to breaking as only a third of the shaft is the delicate smaller diameter.    I tried the #77 first and smooth as silk drilling with, however, the #76 that came with the set was a little wobbly.   I haven't tried the others yet.  

My hand for scale, although I have large hands.   I like the switch and the chuck is easy to change without tools.  Notice the end mill set that came with the tool.    The green round thing is a tube of cutoff wheels - again - that alone is a $7 dremel item.    I'm going back this weekend and pick up another two or three tools.  Probably will keep a #77 in one, a 1/16" in the other (for wheels and couplers) and an end mill cutter in the other.  Actually, maybe I need four.   Since the cord has the plug on it, I can just use one transformer and plug and unplug the drills - use the other transformers to power switch machines.