Thanks. Ok... I'm not an idiot and I appreciate help from any quarter. Keep paying attention.
Interesting day today. I tackled two of the most daunting aspects of this build: the High Pressure Sphere legs and the curved stair up the liquids storage tank.
I first started by adding some piping for the relief valve line on the Mechanizer vessel. On some of the pictures they show this pipe going straight into the ground. I'm going to run the relief lines to the flare and they will be above ground. Again I added a small piece of styrene angle as a brace for this unwieldy line. This stabilizes it during all the handling that's to come. I also added the angle valves up top and finished up the man way. The angle valves were not included with this kit, but I'm trying to conserve by 1/8" 90° fittings. I had them left over from the boiler house project. Even with the elevated "concrete" bases, the bottom 90° fitting didn't clear the ground so I removed the nozzle and mounted the L directly into the vessel.
Time for the big tank. There are four fitting on top: curved vent line, 2 valved fittings, and a man way. There's another at the bottom which appears to be an output since it connects directly to the pumps which feed the loading rack, and then there's the stairs, rails and platforms.
I used the drill press to put in all the openings so they were square to ground. I had to fill the gap below the nozzles with med CA since the tank curves away from them. Since the valves are "snap-on" fittings and don't have a pipe in them, you need to drill the vessel with 1/8" and insert that size tubing and clamp the valve onto these pipes. I trim the pipes flush and immediately install the 90°'s.
Next up, the ladder. The instructions say cut one side off the stair moldings and then glue it to the vessel. They don't say which side should be facing inward. Al seems to end up cutting bot stair side rails off and just has the treads extending from the tank. I chose to leave the stair side rail on the outside. I marked the start and stop points for the stair on the tank from the plans and taped the stair to the tank working to keep it perpendicular (which it didn't want to be in the worst way). It took a lot of fussing to get it in place and I resorted to gluing a part, then using CA to stabilize and not moving on until that part seemed to be holding. Eventually, I got it all glued and set it aside to dry.
While that was drying I started working on the HP legs. These need to be shaped to conform to the compound curve of the spheres. First I needed to cut 12, 3/16" ABS tubes for the legs. I took a quick measurement from the plans and cut the legs. I'm going to use 1/4" footings which the legs will actually enter so I measured from ground not from the footing top. I have a miter box screwed to my workbench. This is a god send since it frees up my left hand without it worrying about holding the miter box still. Further, it lets me install a bench stop to cut equal-sized pieces that extend out of the box. I used this a lot... really a lot! And the miter box is wearing out and will have to be replaced. The slots are getting oversized so square cuts are a crap shoot.
Fastening the box down is important for another reason. Most razors saws cut on the pull stroke which would pull the miter box off the edge of the workbench making it very unstable. The screws are countersunk below the miter's low point so they don't interfere.
I needed to create some footings. I'm using a left over piece of 1/4" scrap MDF left over from the 2nd distillery building. It was a wall that I had designed wrong and needed recutting. I laid out 12, 3/4" squares and pilot and final drilled them with 3/16", the tube size. Using the drill press insured that the holes were perpendicular to the face and would keep the legs facing north. The scroll saw kerf is very narrow so it doesn't change the layout very much.
I cut them all apart with the scroll saw and touched them up on the belt sander. The legs are a nice push-fit into the footings. I then set them up on the plans to decide how to go forward. The plans had a missing slice and were not accurate so I took the compass and completed the circle. I then marked out six equal spaces using the radius setting on the compass. Amazing that circumference doesn't go into the diameter equally, but the radius can perfectly define 6 equal parts. Isn't geometry wonderful!
I decided to make a base with holes spaced exactly the same as the plan, and put the legs in there.
I guesstimated the leg junction angle and set up a guide on the belt sander and chopped them off. I then inserted them into the bases. They're not glued... just sitting there. I have two thoughts. One is to epoxy the legs into the bases so they're solid before using sand paper stuck to the spheres to put a final shaping to the legs. The other is to install all the cross-bracing (more about that in a moment) and see how stable it is. If it's rigid enough where I can shape the leg tops, I won't need the bases and can put them aside.
The plans call for 4" (scale) channel for the X-bracing on the HP legs. The outside braces are longer than the inner. I was able to cut 3 pieces from each length of channel included in the kit. There are 12 inner and 12 outer pieces needed equaling 8 pieces of channel. Unfortunately the kit included 6. I tried to glue scraps together, and got two more, but I'm still 2 pieces short. Annoying. I'm finding other shortages... check valves, Nozzles. I can order them, but their shipping costs are steep. I'm going to call and see if they'll replace parts since this is a kit. I glued the pieces together using scrap ABS as a spline.
I stopped work on the HP tanks and got back to the big tank.
The stair glued reasonably well and I fixed any loose ones with med CA.
Again, I'm annoyed by the kit. It did not include any specific stair railings where the stanchions are perpendicular to the treads, not the ground. I installed the rails I have which are horizontal rails. I'm not happy with this. Naval "ladders" have this kind of railings, but I'm not so sure about refinery tankage. It also makes terminating the rail at the tops and bottoms more troublesome.
The tank stair starts and ends with platforms. I'm making them conform to the tanks curve by again sticking adhesive sand paper to the tank and sanding the final curve there. I'm putting an ABA angle frame underneath and holding them up with diagonal braces. There will be railings on both. I notched the ABS angle to get it to curve.
Here's the finished bottom platform waiting for the railing. I may need a step or two the platform bottom since that looks like a pretty steep first sep.
Tomorrow (after exercising) I'll finish the big tank and get back to putting legs under the HP spheres. I have to build a lot of pipe racks, add details to the heat, build the flare, figure out how to build a cooling tower and then design and build the ops building. For fencing, I'm going to use brass wire with bridal tulle, AND the jig that came with the Brennen Chain Link Fence model I bought and built for the substation. Brass wire is much easier to handle than the steel included with Brennen. But there's light at the end of this tunnel and it's not a headlight from on an onrushing 4-8-4.