I started on the collecting main as the next step. The door repair shop isn't quite finished, but I'm at a point where I need to decide whether I'm going to draw the door elevators, or scratch build them. So I decided to move on to something else until I make that decision, and the collecting main seemed the next logical step. After receiving a ton of drawings from Youngstown Steel Heritage, I found a print for an Ascension Column from the YS&T Briar Hill facility that fit the era I'm modeling. They used this Ascension Column up until the early 1960's, when they were replaced. A short time in CAD, and I had a prototype ready to print from a dimensionally correct print. I was fortunate that the print included a "ghost" of the collecting main that was used, as well as the saddle stands for it. I drew these more based on the look of the one on the print, and the dimensions I would need to use the Plastruct HP-24 half round tubing, and Evergreen 0.500 x 0.750 strip. Evergreen 0.080 Angle was used to create the flange. And Evergreen 5/32 I-Beam was used for the outriggers off of the coke battery.
Once I verified the saddle stands were correct height for the assembly, I cut 14 5/32 I-Beams and glued them to the South Battery every 4th oven divider, and squared them to the side of the oven. You can see the 1/16" angle I used to act as the edging for the battery top. This is a detail that Walthers left out, but its an important one. The edging protects the brick surface of the oven top sides. I notched the I-Beams to extend over the top of this edging. From photos I could see this was done on the prototypes, and it adds surface area to the joint as well.
Next came a test fit of the assembly. Everything fit as planned. So it was time to glue all the saddle stands in place. I did this by measuring and gluing the two end stands on first, with the collecting main set into them lose, using it as an alignment jig for the rest of the stands.
Lastly in this step, I added the joints to the collecting main using Evergreen 0.040 x 0.060 strip stock. I had thought about drawing up the joints in cad, so they would have all the bolts, but you won't really see them, and I determined the joints would be too delicate to survive, so I decide to use strip stock to represent these.
Next the main was glued into place, and I started adding the Ascension Columns. This photo is of a test fit of multiple columns to see how the spacing would flow. You can see the joint in the main is missing. But you get the idea.
A big mistake I made was not adding the lamps and wiring them BEFORE I glued the top to the bottom of the collecting main. It was a GIANT pain to wire and pull all of them through a 20" long main. Next time they'll all be wired to a buss made of brass wire. Note to self. Once wired up, I couldn't help but take a night time photograph. You can see the lamp posts aren't glued in place yet. It looks awesome though.
Next was drawing up the ends for the collecting main. I'm building a main that likely never existed, and is a combination of features that I observed from about four different coke batteries. These are a combination of the shape from Briar Hill, and the ends from Thomas. I like Thomas, as it has some kind of exhaust stacks at the ends of their mains, with weighted valve arms on the ends. There are also what I assume is a drain in the bottom of the end plates. Or perhaps a supply line of some type.
The installed end.
Lastly I added the South end stairs to the main, hand railings, the exhaust stack, and lamps. I also added a Tichy Jib Crane to the end of the battery. Thomas didn't have one, but jib cranes seem to be everywhere at a mill and coke works. And it added some interest to the end of the charging car platform.
I haven't finished the jib crane. I need 0.010 and 0.020 wire to assemble it, and those I don't have on hand.
Thanks for reading. If you like this post, subscribe to my blog. And please leave a comment if you have thoughts to share.