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 Building a blast furnace
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Posted - 12/16/2005 :  5:34:28 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your welcome John. Glad you are enjoying the thread.

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Eddie Landreth

Posted - 12/16/2005 :  8:35:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Ralph - Man, it's just getting better and better and better. Your skills with styrene are top notch. Thanks for letting us follow along with you.

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Posted - 12/17/2005 :  07:49:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for the very kind words. Posts like this really make you want to make progress on a project. Never under estimate the power of an Attaboy!

I came across some photos that were taken of the now abandoned Beth Steel Plant in Bethlehem Pa. How sad. I was originally going to model this part of the Lehigh Valley, but changed my mind after the Lehigh Gorge book was released. I thought this was a good shot of the meat and potatoes of the plant. It is one of the furnaces, skip hoist, dust catcher and other stuff. I can't find the gentlemen's name and his site where this is posted, but I will get it to give him credit.

I hope this photo will show you that if you want a model of a blast furnace, you can fit it on your layout without eating a lot of space. You could model the furnace and accessory structures shown below and add the highline for feeding the furnace. It would keep a switcher very busy delivering loads of coke, ore, limestone, etc to the furnace. There could be a small yard nearby holding these freight cars before delivery to the highline. Steel modeling does not have to take up a lot of real estate.

If you study the structure, you can see all of the techniques used to build the precipitator would come into play here. It really is a lot of simple shapes glued together to make a very complex model. No different from a craftsman wood kit. You have to supply the demensions and instructions and assembly methods. That is why so many people shy away from scratchbuilding. Just look what Jens did with his log loader. A picture, some desire, and the will to have at it. Enough of my soapbox. Sorry.

Another reason for posting this photo, is I have to give consideration of how to paint this puppy!. If you look at the photo Terry posted on page 1 of this thread you can look at Jeff Borne's model. His is painted a primer red type color. This looks like it would be some kind of grimy black with some ore dust on top. And a little rust to practice some weathering .

Eddie had a pic of his furnace. I liked what he did and may copy that.

Edited by - LVRALPH on 12/17/2005 08:38:17 AM

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Premium Member

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  10:01:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow that is some massive piece of equipment.
I probably saw that plant since I spent 5 years in college in Bethlehem PA.
I do remember that everything in the city was very dirty as Bethlehem Steel was right in the middle of the city.
I remember that if it rained when you went outside when the drops of rain water evaporated they left a dirty spot on your car.

I also marvel at the progress that you have made and think that what you have accomplished to this point is amazing.

I think you should give yourself more credit since I think this would be more difficult than building a craftsman kit based on what you have accomplished.

Looking forward to the next installment.

John Bagley
Modeling the Alaska Railroad in HO in Wildwood Georgia.

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Tim Kerkhoff

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  10:35:21 AM  Show Profile  Send Tim Kerkhoff a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
When you look close at the picutre you can see that red oxide color. Are you going to try to capture that look of worn through paint and if so How? I love the look of structures like this, but between building them and then the daunting task of finishing them, it is a bit overwhelming. You obviously break it all down in steps and that makes it much easier for my me to understand and appreciate what you have really created. I look forward to the finishing process as well.

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Posted - 12/17/2005 :  8:26:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I have not done much modeling. Christmas chores plus work, plus DS's basketball keep me running. Last night and this late morning and early afternoon I was busy making my Plum and nut Hungarian Kolachki cookies. These are my favorite Christmas cookies. Since I am half Italian and Hungarian, I had to have these. The problem is they are a lot of work. It takes about 5 hours to make a batch. These are way too much work form my wife with all the other stuff she has to do, so if I want them...

Here is a chance to introduce the nut case that took this blast furnace project on.

Here I am rolling the dough. As you can see from the pile of dough in the bowl, I have a long way to go!

Here I am adding the Lekvar filling.

Here is the finished product. About 150 to 170 cookies. Counting the ones I made last night thats over 300. I make so many because 2 of my wifes co workers parents made them when they were kids and beg me for some. Plus some for my father in law's care givvers and friends. When all is said and done there are only 75 to 100 left for us. Kudo's to my good bud and forum member Joe (LV4142003) who went to Philly to get me my lekvar. He lives there and dropped it off at my office. Saved me from getting lost. Although don't ever let him tell you how to get to Timonium. But that is another story.

All that is necessary now, is to cover them with powder sugar just before serving. Ummmm. As soon as I am done posting this, its cookies and milk time! I will bring some to tomorrow mornings lounge!

Edited by - LVRALPH on 12/18/2005 07:13:55 AM

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Posted - 12/17/2005 :  8:35:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, I had a little time and energy. I finished off the output goggle valve platform. I put handrails along the entire length, even though I will have to cut the railing. They must be cut to access the 2 goggle valves. Since those valves are not yet built, and not attached I don't know where to make that cut yet. In good time.
Here is the platform.

Edited by - LVRALPH on 12/17/2005 9:48:26 PM

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Premium Member

Posted - 12/17/2005 :  9:56:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ralph, those cookies look good neighbor.

Joe <><

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Posted - 12/17/2005 :  11:57:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is such a great forum!

Where else would you land if you Googled on "kolachki cookie" AND "blast furnace precipitator"?

I think next year I'll do a scratch build on a coal processing plant with some homemade raviolis (our family tradition) on the side.

Ralph - I'm puttin on a fresh pot of coffee - how about a sample?

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Posted - 12/18/2005 :  07:11:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is pretty funny Slim. I would love to be there when a person googling for a Kolacki recipe ends up with a blast furnace thread! I hope you will bring raviolis to an evening lounge. Ummmm!

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 12/18/2005 :  6:38:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
"....then you take 7 yards of pink taffeta and sew a hem in it. This also makes beautiful drapes and slip covers..." YO! This is a blast furnace thread. And you sir are the UGLIEST Martha Stewart wannabe I ever saw. Thank God you can cut styrene. Joe Hueber <lv4142003>

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Posted - 12/18/2005 :  7:39:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yo Joe. Who woke you up! When ya off so I can schedule my next op session . Hueber, who is banned from train service on my railroad

In case you did not look very close I am incredibly handsome. Not in need of a face transplant like you.! Hey, I picked up some code 70 flex track. Now you can finish laying the last track in packerton yard. That will take you three weeks alone.

Edited by - LVRALPH on 12/18/2005 8:20:07 PM

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Posted - 12/20/2005 :  06:06:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I had the night off from work to come home as see DS's basketball game. I had 45 minutes to kill so I went downstairs to see what I could get done. I decided to start the access platforms. You may remember Bruce brought this issue up earlier in the thread.

I don't have step by step photo's but a desription will suffice. I cut a piece of .020 for the platform. I put it up against the platform it is going to connect to, and traced the curve. Then I measured 4 ft out. I made the piece as wide as I thought looked good. I framed it underneath with .040 square and added end and side handrails. A plastruct ladder cage finished it off.

When I was done, the front end of the platform railing was higher than the other. I will attempt to cut this down and reattach the top railing so they should all be at the same height. I cut the previously built railing where the new platform attached. I added one more brace to the right.

I also added a .040 supporting corner post. It needs some reinforcing angles or gussets to make it look right.

Edited by - LVRALPH on 12/20/2005 06:14:47 AM

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Premium Member

Posted - 12/20/2005 :  07:15:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ralph, your LP will enjoy the easier access to the platforms.

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Engine Wiper

Premium Member

Posted - 12/21/2005 :  05:12:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ralph, while your structure is getting more and more complex...have you thought about painting yet?
Do you reach every nook with your brush/airbrush later?
Also priming a scratchbuilt item with white or light grey paint will usually reveal incorrections, gaps etc. With a lot of pieces attached you will run into problems reworking these spots, I think.
What does the video recommends here?


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