Monday, June 26, 2017

Pyridine Plant #3

The West wall of the plant is done. A filter and a vent adorn this wall.  Primarily as a cover to some windows I screwed up.  I was using this side to experiment with how I'd use the spare Walthers windows, and in the end, gluing them from the back (as intended in the kits they came in) and adding a window sill was the way to go.  A square for making sure the windows are square before gluing is a must.  At least one of these isn't the greatest.  But I'm probably the only person that would ever see that.  OCD sucks at times, but it's a necessity of any fabricator, scale or life size.  The vent is the typical corrugated material with a frame, and the filter is a left over Walthers Modulars modern roll up vehicle door, with the frame completed.  
I'm going on vacation, so I'm trying to ensure I have the four walls done before I leave, as I'd like to come back and dive in on the "fun" part (all the piping and columns). I have to complete the East wall yet. But it's just adding the windows, a stoop with door, and I think I'll add another door to the third floor on that side, and run a walkway from the stair tower to it. The main building should be ready for paint by the end of the week.  And I can paint it, and then wash in the mortar before doing all the pipes, tanks, and columns.  I don't anticipate this plant taking 5 months like the Benzol Plant did.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pyridine Plant #2

I spent the evening figuring out the building walls.  The wall where all the pipes and tanks will go is finished, with exception of minor sanding.  And I have the wall facing the rectifying columns and other pipes fabricated.  Also, I used this wall to layout the wall opposite, before gluing it together.  As seen in the photo below, the walls are just standing there.  Nothing is glued yet.  The windows will end up equidistant, vertically, between the pipe supports.  And I'll likely use these as reference for where the external walkways are for the pipe structure.

I'm not sure if I will, but I plan on building a stair tower just to the right of the little gauge house.  I've not built one before, but I have a good video on their construction.  I just need to watch it a few times and get it down in my head before I start making it.  Also, I'll be adding a stoop and door just below the window on the right.  I also found a great roof in my scrap box that I plan on using.  Is a tin panel type roof, with some great gutters that are molded in. I plan on getting the building built first, sans roof, and then build the pipe/tank assembly.  I think this is the best way to do this, as then the building can just lay on it's side while I'm building the pipe/tank section. Rather than try to assemble the building while having to handle the bulky pipe/tank section. I should be able to work on this a bit more tomorrow night, and hopefully get all the wall sections done and glued in place.

Pyridine Plant #1

I'm starting on the Pyridine Plant.  What's a Pyridine Plant? It's part of the By-Product Coke Works, and Pyridine is used as a precursor to agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals and is also an important solvent and reagent. Pyridine is added to ethanol to make it unsuitable for drinking (see denatured alcohol). It is used in the in vitro synthesis of DNA,[9] in the synthesis of sulfapyridine (a drug against bacterial and viral infections), antihistaminic drugs tripelennamine and mepyramine, as well as water repellents, bactericides, and herbicides. Some chemical compounds, although not synthesized from pyridine, contain its ring structure. They include B vitamins niacin and pyridoxal, the anti-tuberculosis drug isoniazidnicotine and other nitrogen-containing plant products.[10] Historically, pyridine was produced from coal tar and as a byproduct of coal gasification. However, increased demand for pyridine resulted in the development of more economical methods of synthesis from acetaldehyde and ammonia, and more than 20,000 tonnes per year are manufactured worldwide.

A modern Pyridine Plant in India:

Dean Freytag, I think maybe unknowingly, built one (although very simplified) and it is included in his book from Walthers on Steel Making and Modeling: 

I built a similar one for the Military Society Of Model Railroad Engineers in Alaska as well:

And here's an example of one built by my friend Donald Dunn:
Photo Donald Dunn

Photo Donald Dunn

So, for my next one, I'm looking to back date it to 1951.  I could use a corrugated siding again, but I thought it would be fun to do it in brick, like many of the other structures in the Coke Works on our layout. In the East, you see many structures in a coke works or a steel mill that are brick.  Brick was cheap, and so was labor before and after WWII.  And I thought it would lend more of an early feel to the project if it was brick.  I'm using Walthers Cornerstone kit 933-3705 United Petroleum Refinery for this project of course.  As photos of Pyridine Plants are seemingly few and far between, it's a guess what is to be modeled, and where all the pipes go.  Also, I want to pay homage to Dean, who was a "telephone" friend for years, and inspired not only myself, but 1000's of other steel mill modelers.  So I want this new Pyridine Plant to have a look and feel of the original one Dean built.

I'm also using a spare base from a Walthers 933-3045 Vulcan Manufacturing kit. The new plant I'm building will include some of the rectifying towers, etc, that you can see in the photo of the one in India.  It'll also give the plant some more "depth" for interesting things to look at.  I know this is a bit of a departure from the Benzol Plant's prototype modeling. But again, it's an homage to Dean and an imagined prototype, not an exact copy.  I wanted to include it in my industry, partly because it adds something most people either don't add, or don't know about, and for Dean.  So it'll be a discussion starter too.  And it generates another load out for operating sessions.  Both my 1951 edition, and the 1964 edition of The Making, Shaping and Treating of Steel show the Pyridine plant in the diagram of a By-Product Coke Works.  Below are photos of the modified base using parts of the base plate from the Refinery.

Just need to sand down the filler, add more if needed, and finish sand.  And I'll add some "cracks" in the concrete and light sand again before moving on.  I like sanding "concrete" base plates before doing anything else, as the smooth styrene bases never look like concrete once painted.  Concrete for this type of application is usually rough.  And this should look like that too.  Where the chimney was for the Vulcan Manufacturing, I'm going to add a small pump house that's actually the collecting main valve house from the Coke Oven kit.  And the one I have just happens to fit the registers for the chimney pretty much exactly.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Making, Shaping & Treating of Steel, Part Deux

A few weeks ago I wrote about how great the 1964 edition of this book was.  I was curious if a previous edition would be much different. So I located a 1951 edition, and purchased it.  The layout at the club is set in the Transition Era, so I figured 1951 would be great.  I ended up having to order two copies (which I was lucky to find), as the first copy was "lost" by the postman.  They almost lost my second copy, but through a bit of complaining, and several telephone calls, it arrived today.  I was surprised to see that it's physically smaller in size.  About the size of a school dictionary, or a family Bible.  The thing I found that was vastly different, is that it has fold out illustrations of plants or operations, rather than simple flow chart diagrams.  It's wonderful to see these.  The one for the By-Product Coke Plant is so detailed, you'd need a comparator to see where all the piping goes.  Just a fabulous resource.  I got mine on Amazon for $25 with shipping.  I intend to order a 1940 edition, and there is a 1920 edition I want as well.  The 1951 edition is for sure a must have resource for anyone modeling the Steel Mill industry.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Benzol Plant #4

Without looking at previous photos, it would appear that I haven't done anything to the casual observer.  But I've done a good bit, considering it's Summer, and there are tons of other activities that take me away from the modeling tabel at night.  The Rectifing building is now glued to the base plate, and stoops have been added to both door locations, along with foundations, railings, and all the windows. I've also weathered the building and windows.  I started the walkway from that building to the Agitator Tower this evening.  And lastly, I added the piping from the Agitator to the Pure Oil Still Tank (tank below the Agitator tower). All that's left in that circuit is the pipe from the Still into the Rectifyer building, and then out from there to the storage tanks and loading platform.  Which can be built later.

I have to comment, there is a crazy amount of piping on this model for the overall size of it. It's taken hours and hours to make and add it all.  And I'm sure I'm missing some.  I did discover where the Wash Oil Cooling Coils were supposed to go in the flow chart of a plant like this, in the U.S.S. book that I posted about earlier.  The physical location is a mystery, but I belive it went on the roof of the tin building, based on the fact this space if empty in the photographs of the actual Thomas plant.  And it makes no sense to put the Light Oil Condensors on a "third floor" platform, if the second floor was free of anything.  So I plan on making the cooler, and putting it on that second floor, and then piping it in. I'll likely add this later, after I've gotten my Formlabs Form2.  As I can draw up the cooler, and then copy it 5 times, as the cooler is shown in the diagrams having 6 sets of coils. And then simply print it out and put it in place. I can't wait to get that printer.....

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Making, Shaping & Treating of Steel, and other matters.

I haven't made a blog entry in about two weeks.  Much like anyone reading this I'm sure, family, Summer and work are occupying more of my time lately.  Work for certain.  I travel a bit in the Summer for my work, and that puts a dent in modeling.  I have gotten more done on the Benzol Plant.  It's almost finished, I think.  I say, "I think" because every time I think I'm about done, I notice another detail, or something else that needs painted, etc.  I was experimenting with using Humbrol Acrylic paint for the concrete pad that everything is glued to.  Fail.  I either couldn't get the mixture right, or the paint was old.  I don't see the store I bought it from selling a huge amount of Humbrol anything.  A 30 year old jar of Testors Grey mixed right back up with some BB's added, and was a bit closer to the color I was after.  I also got all the windows in the Rectifier building, as well as the foundation on.  I could probably post a photo of that, but it would seem boring I think.  Windows and a foundation aren't much to look at.

I also picked up a copy of the book below.  It's the 1964 edition.  And it's awesome.  I originally heard of this book when I asked a question on the FB Steel Mill Modeling page, and someone answered and referenced it.  I wondered how much it would be, and so looked around the Internet.  $25. I figured, what could go wrong?  Well, I'm here to tell you, if your modeling Steel Mills, this book is a must have.  I would suggest getting an edition that is closest to the era you're modeling.  They seem to have random issue dates.  But it looks like about twice a decade.  The books earlier than say, 1950, go up steeply in price.  But all are less than $100.  And anything after 1950 seems to be about $25 average.  Packed with flow diagrams for just about everything that goes on in an Integrated Mill.  The Blast Furnace Diagram and the By Product Coke Works diagram were most illuminating.  Also, a diagram for a Portland Cement works.  I had no idea slag was used in making Portland Cement.  Also, how a Sinter Plant works.  The second half of the book is about rolling mills.  A ton of formula's you'll never use, but tons of definitions, diagrams and photographs that will answer just about any question you could have on how to model a mill.