Continuing Saga ... PetroChem Ops Building Construct Started

Making some nice progress here on the refinery! Thought you might like to see some of the below images since you are doing a Sinclair refinery:

Above views taken at Sinclair's Casper, WY refinery. I like the old time look of the sign!

 

   

 

Hope that these pictures of of help to you for signs and detailing the finished refinery on your layout.

Those pics are great! I'll probably have to built a big bill board sign like the last picture. 

Got back from the trip back East and it was a doozy. Five hotels in 6 days. When my wife got up this morning I reminded her that the bathroom was "That way". After being in so many different rooms and beds I could have been running for election. It's no wonder that rock stars have those big buses so they're waking up in the same bed even though they're in a different city.

So, finally back in the shop putting in some more refinery piping. 

But first, I want to share this. I worked with Walt Gillespie at Rusty Stumps Models to 3d Print the Victorian details for the elegant Bronx corner structure that I drew earlier this year on SketchUp. I was planning on just having one each of each detail and then resin casting the rest, but after the sample was printed I asked Walt to print all the parts I would need. The good news: they came out amazingly. The printer he has produces very high resolution acceptable for O'scale with little or no graininess. Just a little touch-up and they'll be perfect. The bad news: Walt isn't going to produce any more custom work since he needs all his time to produce his own products.

3d Victorian Parts

Here'a close up of the cornice details which would have been a real bear to scratch build.

3D Cornices

And here are the large window eyebrows.

3d Big Eyebrows

As a reminder, here's the building they're eventually going to become part of. There are little doodads under each cornice that I wanted to print, but they're too small so I'll do them by hand.

Bronx Doc Center Comp

I didn't do the first floor window tops since their straight parts and I can build them out of styrene strips. It was all the fancy curved stuff that presented the biggest challenges. Having those cornice assemblies. I had him also make those difficult oval windows in the mansard roof. I still have the rest of this building to figure out, namely, do I use brick sheet or have it all laser cut like the distillery. I have time to make that call since I still have a lot of work to do on the refinery. 

So with no further ado, here's today's refinery progress.

Finished the second and third pipe sets for the methanizer, and figured out where I'm going to pierce the reflux drum for the heat exchanger water lines. I was only working for about 1.5 hours today. Tomorrow more will be accomplished. I'm leaving the newest line white. I have one more support to install, plus the picture doesn't show the support holding up the left end near the curve. Water lines will go into the right side of the red reflux drum.

Refinery 3rd Methanizer Pipe

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Piping work continues... got the water lines installed to the cooling tower, finished the piping from the major platform, got most of the pipes to the distillation column in, piped in the big blue tank, and ran out of large size pipe elbows which is going to stall the project since the flare lines are going to be big pipe with some scratch-built manifolds.

Plastruct small diameter piping is frustrating. The elbows seem to be push fit and they do offer resistance when you insert the pin into the pipe, but then it falls apart. This makes pipe fitting very challenging since I don't want to CA the  joints before I get the sizes measured. If you look at it the wrong way, the piping system falls apart and you spend lots of time putting it all back together until you reach the point where you can glue it all together.

First up was the cooling water piping. I laid out the position for the nozzles using a surface gauge, and then drilled parallel to the tank's axis so the nozzles would point straight out even though the tank end was domed. They were a bit loose and wanted to turn facing along the curve, so some medium CA froze them facing straight ahead. I still need to paint them.

Refinery Cooling Water Nozzles

Piping runs weren't too difficult except getting the water outlet fitted on the cooling tower bottom. It's pretty far back and I had to reach around a lot of complicated stuff to trial fit and measure. I didn't break anything.

Refinery Cooling Water Outlet

Here are the two pipes fastened in place. I sprayed them Tamiya base metal rattle can in the shop before installation. I'm going to install a valve on the outlet line. The Plastruct valves snap over the pipe so I don't have to break the pipe to install. I have to paint the support posts concrete color.

Refinery Cooling Water comp

For the remaining piping to the platform and distillation column I used the Plastruct scheme of running a long pipe across many racks using pipe T's to tap into them. This stabilized the run and made it a little easier to get it together... note that I said a "little easier". The falling-apart-piping was still happening. I did this both for the distillation column piping that went to the platform and the long run from the big blue tank.

Refinery Blue Tank Piping 2Refinery Platform Piping Comp

And here is an overhead shot showing the current status. Should have piping done sometime next week and will start working on the ops building and the chain link fencing. There is still all the flare piping to run, and there's two more pipe stubs that don't have anything on them coming out of the sphere bottoms. Lastly, there's two lines running to the heater that has to be installed, and that would be that.

Refinery Piping Status

 

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Max, I've restored your sight... I fixed the missing pictures. I am assuming that's what you were referring to.

While we were in Hawaii, I got the word from Heaven Hill Brands that the Bernheim Distillery was now on permanent display at their Bourbon Experience Center in Bardstown, KY. It was finished just in time for the yearly Bourbon Festival that takes over the region. Unfortunately, due to our relaxing in Hawaii, I was unable to attend. Here's what the display looks like. I don't know from this image if they hooked up the power for the lights.

IMG_7060

I also don't know from this image what, if any, descriptive material was on display with the model. I will be seeing the Heaven Hill folks this evening and I'll find out more.

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Thanks all!

We have a Kenmore (Whirlpool) dishwasher where the wheels on the lower tray started falling off. They're held with a press-fit pin/axle and it just wore away and released a number of the wheels. One of them ended up falling on the drying coil and then melted and burned to it. At the same time the Whirlpool HE front-load washing machine starting giving an error code and shutting down. We got a twofer with one service call seeing both appliances. The dishwasher was an easy fix. The tech scraped the melted plastic off the coil and said run it a couple of times empty to remove any residual plastic and I ordered and installed a new set of wheel trollies. The washing machine needed a new water inlet valve and it was all installed today. Why am I telling you this... well... this plus getting my Acura serviced really cut into the shop time. But... I did get more done.

First I tied in the blue tank line that went to the demethanizer and ties into a line from the reflux drum. It's not a perfectly clean junction since the holes in the pipe T are not parallel. It's also a problem since I have a white line tying into a red one. And the white line comes from the blue tank. I'm not sure what I want to do about this.

Refinery Liquid Line Add-on

I got most of the flare line installed until I ran out of elbows. In fact, I heat bent two pipes (poorly) for the medium-sized tubing which I had only two elbows left. I put them in the foreground and the bent tubes in the background. These four pipes come from the HP spheres' relief valves and tie into a long header that runs downstream.

Refinery Flare Lines 1

The problem with the heat bending was it still kinked. If it was brass I would have used my K-S spring tube benders. I didn't want to start bending and soldering brass for this application. Brass is difficult and expensive. The big line runs the length of the site, turns 90 up a bit and makes a right turn towards the back. I then held the pipe sort of horizontal by taping it to a square. I also made two more tall "concrete" pipe supports to hold it all up. I've made a lot of pipe supports. I don't know if this is prototypically correct, but the pipes would sag a lot without them. Butyrate pipes isn't as stiff as steel...

Refinery Flare Lines 2

I then set the length of the individual downcomers, and then marked this location on the big pipe. I didn't have 90 degree T's in this size so I drilled the pipe so the medium pipe could be inserted and glued.

Refinery Flare Line 3

And then I tied in the relief line from the distilling tower into this line, and finally measured and cut the pipe to join into the flare's knock out drum. Still remaining to be attached is the yellow relief line from the demethanizer. For some reason, I could find no relief valves from the tanks on the platform, nor is there any space for any. Furthermore, I am completely out of relief valves.  All these relief lines will be disassembled and painted yellow.

Refinery Flare Line 4

I ordered a ton of elbows from my LHS who is getting them from Walther's. It helps my hobby shop and I don't have to pay shipping. I don't need a ton to finish up. I'll have some left over pipe for other projects.

I also started running the last 1/8" line from the blue tank's pump to the heater. I installed a large diameter pipe into the heater's inlet so I'm going to make a tapered transition piece to put the 1/8" into the big line. There's another line from distillation that goes to the heater too... the bottoms. The last line to hook up will be the steam line from the heater to the flare. And that will end the piping exercise. The model's getting very busy looking which I like. I have two more light poles to install... one's going next to the un-built ops building. I have a lot of detail painting to do on all those un-painted pipe supports and some of the piping which I didn't airbrush. I could probably air brush some of it by selective masking of the surrounding stuff. Then there's ground cover which due to the complexity will not be as easy as it usually is, and then the fencing. Another month and it will be lit up. I also have to plug some holes that were made before the design changed.

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Thanks Pat... it's that old Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times." Sometimes "interesting" is good and sometimes it's not so good. I consider all the piping "good".

Continued working it all together today with the completion of the two pipes to and from the heater, painting the line from the blue tank and installing it, and finishing up with the steam line from the heater to the flare.

I had some interference with the bottoms line coming from the distillation column to the heater so instead of making everything askew I jumped the piping that was causing the problem. After fitting all this and making more pipe stands, I rattle-can sprayed the pipe with Tamiya Bare Metal. You can see the finished color in some later pictures.

Refinery Pipe Interference

I also laid in the last piece of the other line that went from the heater to the blue tank's pump. I did make a transition piece, but to go from the 3/16" tubing to the 1/8". I just chucked the piece in the lathe and tapered it with the compound set on a shallow angle. The tapered portion is at the lower left of the blue line. You can see the silver pipe now going from the still to the heater. I added another light pole here. I have one left for the ops building. The heater pipe will be painted light blue to match the piece coming out of the heater.

Refinery Blue Pipe Install 2

Here's the other end of the blue line.

Refinery Blue Pipe Install 1

Just for fun I placed my mobile crane into the scene. The cable isn't riding on the hook's pulley correctly so I couldn't extend the boom further. I bought this at York 2 years ago from DHS models. I'm a sucker for construction equipment models.

Refinery Crane pose

And another overhead shot showing current progress.

Refinery Status 10-4 

Believe it or not, there's only one more pipe to install which is being held up by waiting for the elbows to arrive. It's the flare pipe from the demethanizer to the flare manifold pipe and paint the whole deal yellow. I also have to create some kind of gas apparatus for the gas line to the flare. I'm thinking of a cabinet with the gas line coming from the ground into the cabinet and from the cabinet to the gas line on the flare. I'll have to cobble some gribblies to make it look technical. Lastly, I think the big red demethanizer needs a work platform next to it so workers can access those valves on top. I have stairs and railings left over and am getting some more H-beam to provide support. Onward and upward!

Tomorrow's the St. James art fair here in Louisville so refinery work will continue on Monday. Have a nice weekend.

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Well... happy day after Columbus Day. My parts came in yesterday so I was able finish the flare line thus completing 99% of all the pipe work. Left to do is the gas line to the flare. And that's a complete and fully functional petrochemical plant.

I had the relief line from the demethanizer turning downward and then outward not knowing how to install it when the plant was complete. At first I tried to adapt the rest of the piping to conform to this scheme, but quickly realized that it was much better to take it directly off the top of the tank to the header. So that's the way I did it.

Refinery Last Flare Line

To install the other end I drilled the header with the #30 drill so it was a nice tight fit with the 1/8" pipe, shaped the new line to conform to the header's curve, and held it together with the 1/8" pipe inserted into the larger diameter tube.

Refinery Last Flare Line Joint

It came out strong and at the right orientation. I took all of the flare piping into the shop a painted it all yellow. After reinstallation and gluing it all down, I touch up the yellow where it scraped off in handling.

There was one more pipe to build; the connection from the knock out drum to the flare itself. This was a fun little pipe to assemble since I'm getting very good at measuring, cutting and fitting these things. It needed a valve, but I was all out of the largest diameter gate valves. I had a #6 valve which wouldn't fit over the #8 pipe without breaking so I ground it out so it would be a flush fit and then used a 1/16" piece of brass rod to securely fasten it to the pipe. I then painted this too yellow with detail painting on the valve. I also mixed up some light blue and finished up the steam line from the heater to the flare.

Refinery Flare Line Hookup

So all that's left is the control cabinet for the flare gas line which I'll build tomorrow or Thursday.

I measured the demethanizer for the work platform. It comes out to 38 scale feet long, 4 feet wide and 9 feet off the ground. I didn't have any heavy sheet stock that long so I spliced two pieces together. I then glued these to one of the new H-beams I received yesterday. I'm using some of the Plastruct 1/8" sheet for foot pads and H-beams for the vertical supports. I set the surface gauge at 2 1/4" stacked all the pieces up and scribed the vertical H-beams for the length, cut them off and glued it all together.

Refinery Demethanizer Work Platform 1

After fitting a piece of Plastruct railing to this length, I found that taking about 1/8" off each end will perfectly align the railings vertical stanchions with the platform and simplify the build. I'll have this build tomorrow with the stair on one end. Then the control box, and the ops building and it's chain link fence time.

So here's the complete piping from four views.

Refinery Piping Complete 4

Refinery Piping Complete 2Refinery Piping Complete 3

Fascia boards go on after all the wiring work is done. Should be before ground cover goes in. Speaking of ground cover. I'm trying to decide to put in the fencing before ground cover or after. I put the fence in after ground cover on the substation. It was a pain since the gravel got into all the holes that were pre-drilled for the fence posts. But... putting the fence in before makes it more difficult to get the ground cover one without doing any damage. I think I'm putting the fence in first.

Refinery Piping comp 1

These pictures were shot with the iPhone 7. When it's all done, I'll take better shots with the Canon Eos and photo stacking post production. At the telephoto setting on the iPhone you do lose focus. I didn't buy the iPhone 7Plus with a real telephoto lens, but it's too big for my pocket or my hands.

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Thank you gentlemen! But work is not complete AND a milestone was reached today with the activation of the lighting and beginning installation of the fascia board. 

Here's a taste and then I'll provide some more details.

Refinery Night 6Refinery Night 8Refinery Night 13Refinery Night Across Trains 3

I used four ground bus bars to feed the 12vdc to the 16 LEDs. I had one more 12VDC converter in my electric junk box. I replaced its output cord with some red/white zip cord since I needed it longer to get from the power strip on the other side of the ravine over to the refinery. I brought the feeder leads to a pair of bus bars under the left side of the refinery base. I couldn't get the screws to work properly, but then realized that the terminal screws were square drive. With the correct bit in the power driver no problem. I hooked up all the lighting on the left side that could reach these two buses. I then added two more buses towards the right side, fed a feeder to the first two buses, and then hooked up all the right side lighting through that bus. All the lighting except two worked. The light post on the extreme right side next to the heater was not working. It needed an additional jumper to reach the second set of bus bars and I thought it may not be continuous. But I tried my one last unassigned light pole to it and it was hot, so something was wrong with the light pole itself. I pulled it out and installed the one that I had just tested.

The second light was the left end of the loading platform. If this pole was not functioning that would have been a BIG problem. But I noticed underneath that I drove a wire-clamping staple right through both conductors so it was a direct short. I pulled the staple and the light went on. Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one.

Took lots of pictures from all over the room and attempted to make a movie of the flare tower's lights blinking. I have to edit it and then I'll post it on YouTube.

I had some time left so I thought I start putting on the fascia since all the wiring is done. Starting at the left end I fastened the Masonite as close to the left end final curve as possible. I'll use a small piece to close up that space.

Refinery Fascia 1

For the right side, I butted the next piece to the first and clamped the two together with a quick clamp and then drove the first screw. Before screwing anything I scribed the center line of the OSB layout base onto the Fascia and pre-drilled the holes with a countersink pilot drill on the drill press.

At the far right end, there was no way to bend the Masonite around that radius. I tried and it fractured. So I brought the fascia to a smoother angle and drove some long screws through the fascia into the layout. For a lower screw, I pre-drilled a backup block and held it behind the existing fascia so the lower screw had more material to bite other than 1/8" Masonite.

Refinery Fascia 2

I'm going to fill that wedge-shaped space with some more OSB and I traced the shape onto a piece of scrap. (That's 3rd Rail J1-a sitting there. It was my first steam engine).

Refinery OSB Filler

I'll cut this piece out tomorrow. I also will remove part of the existing fascia that lies behind the curve so I can add some splice blocks underneath to hold this patch. There will be some minor filling needed on the left end. The fascia will be painted green when the ground cover is finished.

The last thing I did today was place the Ops building plans onto the layout to determine its position. The best approach is facing directly outward which gives some clearance on the left side and some parking area in front. I have some more space in back in front of the tracks and I'll add a sliver of Masonite to bring that space up to the refinery's level. You can see that area on the left that needs filling.

Refinery Ops Bldg Fitting

And here's one more dramatic picture.

Refinery Night 5

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Trainman2001 posted:

Thank you gentlemen! But work is not complete AND a milestone was reached today with the activation of the lighting and beginning installation of the fascia board. 

Here's a taste and then I'll provide some more details.

Refinery Night 6Refinery Night 8Refinery Night 13Refinery Night Across Trains 3

I used four ground bus bars to feed the 12vdc to the 16 LEDs. I had one more 12VDC converter in my electric junk box. I replaced its output cord with some red/white zip cord since I needed it longer to get from the power strip on the other side of the ravine over to the refinery. I brought the feeder leads to a pair of bus bars under the left side of the refinery base. I couldn't get the screws to work properly, but then realized that the terminal screws were square drive. With the correct bit in the power driver no problem. I hooked up all the lighting on the left side that could reach these two buses. I then added two more buses towards the right side, fed a feeder to the first two buses, and then hooked up all the right side lighting through that bus. All the lighting except two worked. The light post on the extreme right side next to the heater was not working. It needed an additional jumper to reach the second set of bus bars and I thought it may not be continuous. But I tried my one last unassigned light pole to it and it was hot, so something was wrong with the light pole itself. I pulled it out and installed the one that I had just tested.

The second light was the left end of the loading platform. If this pole was not functioning that would have been a BIG problem. But I noticed underneath that I drove a wire-clamping staple right through both conductors so it was a direct short. I pulled the staple and the light went on. Whew! Dodged a bullet on that one.

Took lots of pictures from all over the room and attempted to make a movie of the flare tower's lights blinking. I have to edit it and then I'll post it on YouTube.

I had some time left so I thought I start putting on the fascia since all the wiring is done. Starting at the left end I fastened the Masonite as close to the left end final curve as possible. I'll use a small piece to close up that space.

 

For the right side, I butted the next piece to the first and clamped the two together with a quick clamp and then drove the first screw. Before screwing anything I scribed the center line of the OSB layout base onto the Fascia and pre-drilled the holes with a countersink pilot drill on the drill press.

At the far right end, there was no way to bend the Masonite around that radius. I tried and it fractured. So I brought the fascia to a smoother angle and drove some long screws through the fascia into the layout. For a lower screw, I pre-drilled a backup block and held it behind the existing fascia so the lower screw had more material to bite other than 1/8" Masonite.

 

I'm going to fill that wedge-shaped space with some more OSB and I traced the shape onto a piece of scrap. (That's 3rd Rail J1-a sitting there. It was my first steam engine).

 

I'll cut this piece out tomorrow. I also will remove part of the existing fascia that lies behind the curve so I can add some splice blocks underneath to hold this patch. There will be some minor filling needed on the left end. The fascia will be painted green when the ground cover is finished.

The last thing I did today was place the Ops building plans onto the layout to determine its position. The best approach is facing directly outward which gives some clearance on the left side and some parking area in front. I have some more space in back in front of the tracks and I'll add a sliver of Masonite to bring that space up to the refinery's level. You can see that area on the left that needs filling.

 

And here's one more dramatic picture.

Refinery Night 5

WOW!    Fantastic, Myles!

Trainman2001 posted:

Thanks guys (as always). I need to add some petrochemical smells...

Trainman2001 posted:

Thanks guys (as always). I need to add some petrochemical smells...

That would mean a leak, a mistake....

Trainman2001 posted:

Thanks guys (as always). I need to add some petrochemical smells...

....kinda like whatever is happening with the composer right now.

I never smelt much except the occasional filling spill around here. The "enternal flame"  of burn off stacks take care of most the normal fumes. I think the storage facilities had more regular fumes than processing.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





There's actually enough organic chemical smells in my workshop all the time to provide the ambience.

Exercise day... finally getting back to routine since the Hawaii trip. What did get accomplished was finishing the assembly of the new work platform and started building the flare gas control cabinet.

I adjusted the platform length so it came out to an even number of Plastruct ABS railing spacing. I took about 1/8" off each end and it worked. I glued on the railing and then went about fitting the steps. Plastruct ABS stairs have a notch at the top that nestles into the platform to which you're gluing it. I cut a piece of 1/8" Masonite as the concrete bottom step and measured the staircase so it would work out reasonably well at the bottom. After cutting, I luckily found out that the Plastruct stair railing also fit with a an even number of rail sections. This too was glued onto the stair. Then this assembly was glued to the platform with some help from medium CA and Tamiya solvent cement.

Refinery New Platform Build

Took this assembly to the refinery to see how it fit. The foot pads' width on the tank side kept it from closing in tight and the flare pipe ran right down the middle of the platform. Too bad I didn't think about this platform before I ran that pipe since I could have raised it above a O'scale plant operator's head. That train has left the station. I'm not touching that pipe! So I trimmed the foot pads to give me a bit more clearance. Our worker will still have to climb over that pipe to get to the other two valves. I won't tell OSHA if you don't. Plastruct should have included this platform on their plans since those valves would be unreachable without it.

Refinery New Platform Fit

I took the assembly outside and gave it a coat of Tamiya primer gray and left it to dry over the weekend. I did refit it back on the layout to see what it looked like. Now that I'm studying this picture, I may modify that pipe after all. I can move the vertical portion back to the relief valve. It would require and new pipe support. It's not too hard to break those pipe joints plus I now have a lot of large elbows and large pipe to make new stuff if I have to. It would make that platform much more sensible.

Refinery New Platform Prime

For the gas control cabinet, I'm just cobbling together some 0.040" styrene with some 1/8" square legs. I'll put on a pair of separate doors and hinges to provide some interest and will have a gas inlet and outlet. The inlet pipe will come out of the ground and the outlet will go to the gas line on the flare. This is a very early picture so the box looks pretty crude. It needed to dry overnight (or Monday) before I can finish sand it.

Refinery Gas Control Cab 1

 

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Myles, there are several ways you may produce a chemical smell for your plant.  Anything with fragrant hydrocarbons will do it, and that can range a lot, all depends what products/catalysts are utilized in that particular unit.  Looking at your lighting reminds me of operating cranes in the plants at night.  The main difficulty, at times, was being able to see the flagman due to the glare of the lights and their reflection off top glass of the cab in units where it was not permissible to have to top window open due to unit product and hazards.  Or, having to convince a flagman to not place his hand(s) in front of a light and post.  Their hand is immediately hidden in the brightness of the light, best they stand to the side, between light poles.

The electrical sub station in the foreground looks fantastic !  But, of course it would, knowing your skills and talent.

Jesse   TCA   12-68275

Well Jesse, I kind of added some smells today when I rattle-can sprayed the Tamiya bare metal onto the gas cabinet and new platform. Basement has a nice pleasant petrochem smell today. My basement is very dry and has no musty smell at all. I really dislike that smell. 

Took a day trip to Marysville, KY on Saturday. It's a neat river town about 55 miles southeast of Cincy on the Ohio River. It's kind of a place that time forgot and is a real diamond in the rough. There's two reasons why it isn't flourishing as a tourist destination that I think. First, the town council seems reluctant to really attract artists and the real food scene that a tourist attraction needs. I don't know why they're so. Second, there's an imposing concrete flood wall that blocks street level views of the river. There's a plan to put a walking/biking trail on the river side of this wall that could help, but to get a river view you have to be on an elevated floor. It's keeping this city from washing away when the Ohio frequently floods.

But the architecture is precious! Lots of late 1800s and early 1900s Victorian, and new empire/french. Turrets and fancy stone work typify this very American town.

Maysville KY 1

I believe this is the Cox building.

Maysville KY 2

Maysville KY 3

How'd ya like to 3D print this iron work?

Maysville Wrought Iron

The problem is typified by the fact that all the businesses save a few were closed at 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays. We got there about 3:10. Even the museum was closed at 3:00. They have a noted miniatures collection there which I wanted to see. "Dollar short and a day late!" You can't bring a town back to life if everything shuts down at 3.

The town on my layout is too small to include all the neat architecture that I think I'm capable of building these days. I noticed something interesting (to me at least). The Nighthawks Cafe building is three and a half stories and the Bronx building is four, but towers over the Nighthawks. I got worried that there was something inherently wrong. It turns out that ceiling height really makes a difference. On Main Street in Marysville, there were three story buildings that were almost a complete story equivalent higher than an adjacent three story building. The difference? The obvious higher ceiling heights of the more regal looking building than its neighbor.

So... I'll have two buildings of differing heights based on their internal dimensions and both will be correct and consistent with the real world.

Back to the refinery: The piping is now officially 100% complete with the addition of the gas control cabinet next to the flare. I decided to not modify the relief line on the demethanizer. I started to wiggle it to see if it would come apart easily, and of course, it would not. I decided not to make a mess of a beautifully installed and painted pipe run so I left it alone.

I painted the new platform and the gas cabinet and installed both on the layout. I then cleaned up the work bench a bit and am getting ready to make the ops building. Here's the completed unpainted gas cabinet. The doors are 0.010" styrene overlays with some small round rod as piano hinges. For the latch, I cut out some plastic and scribed some lines. I took the cabinet to the layout to capture exactly where the gas line should tie into the cabinet to line up with its mating half on the flare tower. I then marked and drilled that location. Before painting I glued the bottom and side pipes in place.

Refinery Gas Cabinet 2

I painted the new platform with the same scheme as the others, bare metal walkways and stairs, yellow railings and Japan IDF green for the structural steel. Bases were painted concrete color. Gas cabinet is also bare metal with orange piping. I still have to paint the vertical "concrete" pedestals holding up all those pipes.

Refinery Gas Cabinet 4

Here's the new platform installed next to the demethanizer.

Refinery Demeth Platform Comp 1Refinery Demeth Platform Comp 2

To me, walkways, stairs and ladders really jazz up and industrial installation. You can't have too many of them.

Talked to Andre Garcia recently and we're going to probably cut the Bronx building sometime in December. Now that I've invested in the 3D printed parts, I really need to get it built. I finished up the laser-cutting drawings today. Andre is out of pocket for at least another month so I'm holding onto the drawings until he's ready to act on them.

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Ops Building construction has begun.

I'm using Evergreen styrene corrugated metal siding for this building. The patten runs horizontally on the sheet, but it needs to be vertical on the building. This meant cutting the sheet to the wall height and then splicing pieces together to generate the width I need.

I started cutting and gluing on the ends. Of course I had to design a "simple" rectangular building that has two different roof heights AND both roofs are slanted. This complicates splicing and cutting since I'm no longer cutting square edges. Just as a reminder he's my design. I've changed the front windows due to availability of some Grandt Line products at Scale Reproductions, Inc. It's an "as built" versus "as designed" decision.

Ops Building

One side was made with two pieces, the other with three so I could use up some smaller pieces. I added a styrene strip on the seam to reinforce it. When painted the seams will be very hard to see. 

Refinery Ops Ends

The front and back are two different heights, so of course I made them the same side... at first. As you'll see in the next picture, my front is too tall. I had set the caliper to the rear height and cut the front pieces to that height. I didn't realize it was wrong until I was test fitting the front to one of the ends and the front was WAY TOO TALL. It was not too big a problem to cut it down to the correct size.

I laid out the window heights using a surface gauge on the granite surface plate, but laid out their widths using the digital calipers as a marking gauge. I transferred the window measurements from the windows using the same calipers. I went for a slip fit only to maintain a nice alignment. I cut the openings using a #11 bladed knife and then my MicroMark corner cutter. I don't use this tool much, but when needed it's very neat having razor sharp edges at a perfect 90°. I chuck in the drill press so I can provide controlled pressure and keep it well aligned.

MicroMark Corner Cutter

After notching the corners I would go back and scribe on side a bit deeper until it breaks free and then pop out the scrap piece. Some careful scraping and sanding opened any holes that were too tight. This is the too tall front.

Refinery Ops Front 1\

The back only gets a door which I'll cut tomorrow. After cutting the front to the proper height I needed to reinforce the width so I glued on a piece of 1/8" square stock. The bits of scrap in this image reinforce the splice.

Refinery Ops Front 2

The windows seem a little big now that I look at this, but I'm going to stay with it. If I want to put an interior inside you'll be able to see in better. I'm thinking of mocking up a control panel and instrument board. I'll see how I feel. For the upper level windows into the garage I have some windows left over from the distilleries that could serve nicely.

A while ago I broke my piece of plate glass that I used as an assembly surface. I hadn't replaced it and was working on the cork surface of my auxiliary work bench. A couple of weeks ago I found a piece of Corian that was stored under the cellar steps. It was the blank that remained when they cut out the sink opening out of counter top in the kitchen. This was done by the previous owner. Well... this stuff is terrific. It's dead flat and tough. I tested it with solvent cement and it had no reaction. I then put some CA on it and after curing popped right off, so CA doesn't affect it either. It's now my new work surface. And like our kitchen counters, it doesn't show dirt at all.

New Work Surface

 

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Myles:

From past experience no matter how closely I match the corrugated panels the seams are always apparent after paint (at least to me).  Fortunately for 'metal' siding there are two methods I use to hide the seams. One is if the seam is located strategically to allow a drain pipe to cover it. The other method I use a lot is to cut a thin strip of corrugated sheet (two or three grooves wide) and place over the seam. To me it looks better than the bare seam.

Steel Maintenance Shed 001

 

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Trainman2001 posted:

 

A while ago I broke my piece of plate glass that I used as an assembly surface. I hadn't replaced it and was working on the cork surface of my auxiliary work bench. A couple of weeks ago I found a piece of Corian that was stored under the cellar steps. It was the blank that remained when they cut out the sink opening out of counter top in the kitchen. This was done by the previous owner. Well... this stuff is terrific. It's dead flat and tough. I tested it with solvent cement and it had no reaction. I then put some CA on it and after curing popped right off, so CA doesn't affect it either. It's now my new work surface. And like our kitchen counters, it doesn't show dirt at all.

New Work Surface

 

Nice to see you're back at it again!

Not that you need one now but your new assembly surface should anyone else reading this be interested in one for themselves should check with their local place that does kitchen cabinets/countertops. There is a surplus/outlet type of store 1 hour southwest of me that also does new kitchen cabinets/countertops as in design, make and install. They usually have a few pieces of surplus cutoff countertops in short lengths - both straight and with a 45 degree cut at one end - plus pieces cutout to provide a sink opening. I've picked up a few of these "sink opening" pieces for 99 cents each there while short (3 to 5 foot long) countertop sections are usually $1.99 to $7.99 depending upon size, color and counter edge styles including backsplash or not. The short countertop sections I can use as shelving when I want a nice sturdy shelf for heavy objects in the garage, basement and/or sheds. Cheaper than the typical pressboard shelves one sees in the hardware store and unlike those these won't sag over time if long shelves are not required since these are cutoffs after all.

OK, I'll let you take over again and resume the refinery construction...

645, that's a great idea. I also thought that every countertop has a sink cutout that scrap somewhere. And to think that piece was sitting under the steps for over 8 years and I didn't even know it until a couple of weeks ago. It's working well in its new application.

Joe, I'll be using some small styrene angle on all the corners and trim boards where the roofs meet the sides. I'm not too worried about the seams showing up they're not to obvious and I tried to shape the cut so the corrugations didn't appear disrupted.

Jesse, I should mark those drawings, but then I'm only building one of these. The distillery, on the other hand, could be built by others so getting those drawings right is critical especially when cutting with a laser.

I finished cutting the opening out of the end and back walls and added edge and other reinforcement to stiffen the flimsy sides. I then added corner posts to all four ends of the sides in preparation of joining them to the front and back. Using the angle block on the surface plate, I glued the first end to the back, and the other side piece to the front, and then combined the two halves into a complete building. I took the building to the layout to try it out for size and it will work well. As I noted before, I will add some more Masonite between the refinery base board and the track to support the rear of the ops building.

Refinery Ops Site Fitting

I needed to make a floor (although I may end up not using one) and decided to attempt to use scrap pieces cobbled together. After squaring them up and cutting to size, I spliced two pieces together with an additional piece of Masonite scrap and then used "gravity clamps" to hold them until the Aleen's set up. I then moved it and use spring clamps so it can dry overnight.

Refinery Ops Floor Gluing

The floor is necessary if I'm going to put in any interior partitions or detailing.

For the clerestory wall and windows, I spliced together five pieces of scrap all cut to the correct height on the Duplicutter. While drying I installed two pieces of Plastruct I-beam to provide support for the upper works and a place to which to glue the clerestory wall.

Refinery Ops Upper Facing Supports

I temporarily clamped the clerestory wall to the to the supports for a trial fit. Once the splices dry completely, I have to cut all the upper window openings. This will be a bit tricky since it could all fall apart. The laser cut windows fit nicely and are actually the lower sash portions of the distillery windows. I had Andre cut two lower sashes for each window mainly because it was easy to balance out the drawing and give me some spares. Now they're going to come to good use. I didn't throw out any extra laser-cut parts since they can find other uses.

Refinery Ops Upper Facing

Since I have these sashes as drawings, I can bring them into the ops drawings and do a good layout and fitting BEFORE I actually cut any styrene. Tomorrow will be a good long work session and I should get a lot of this building done. I may also draw up a control panel diagram that could be used to mock up a small control room for the plant.

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More work today on the ops building. Got the clerestory constructed and installed along with the overhead garage doors. Prepared the building for roofing and realized I'm out of Evergreen Standing Seam Roofing and will have to buy it tomorrow. Came up with a better way to mount the building with a larger Masonite base which solves a couple of problems while creating a few more of its own.

I drew the clerestory design in Adobe Illustrator to get the window spacing and hole sizes. Since I already had an Illustrator version of the clerestory wall AND an accurate set of the laser-cut windows I was able to combine both in one drawing. I tried two ways to do it and chose the top drawing.

Refinery Ops Clerestory Windows

I then cut this pattern out and with a little spray glue attached to the clerestory wall. The butt joints in the wall were very weak since the surface area was almost non-existent. I cut out the entire window opening including the material between the windows since I felt it would be next to impossible to just punch out the window spaces without having the in-between pieces fall apart.

Refinery Ops Clerestory Pattern

I glued the windows with a couple of drops of medium CA starting at the left end, and then added back the in-between pieces until I got to the other end. It needed just a very small amount of material removed to get the last window set in. The window sets were also glued to each other using Medium CA. This assembly was glued with solvent cement to the Plastruct cross-pieces. When set I added some 1/8" Evergreen styrene angle to trim off the corners.

I also added the same angle to all the corners.

For the overhead doors I'm using some Evergreen 1/2" spaced Standing Seam Roofing leaving out the thin plastic strips that simulate the seams. These look like very convincing overhead doors. Before installing I trimmed out the opening with angle. The doors themselves needed some internal adjustments to clear some of the reinforcing material inside the walls.

Refinery Ops OH Door Rt

To better support the roofing I made some I-beam rafters (on their side) to fill out the inner portions. This is when I realized that the roofing material was absent. To keep the beams from interfering with the roof, I coped out the ends so they just sit on the 1/8" square wall reinforcement. It took solvent and CA to get these pieces to stay put.

Refinery Ops Roof Supports

I didn't like the floor idea I made yesterday. Instead I'm going to use a larger piece of Masonite under the whole deal and running back to the track. I'll fair this into the rest of the site with Sculptamold when I'm ready to install it. This will give me a better surface upon which to do roadways and landscaping. I'll cut this piece to shape when I do the filler piece for the fascia when #1 isn't home since the saber saw makes a terrible racket. In looking at the picture below, I'm realizing that the roof supports might be better if they're attached to the roof not the building since they're now going to get in the way putting in interior details and lighting. I would also need the same thing on the rear roof. I'll pop them out and do it differently stiffening the roof from its bottom.

Refinery Ops New Base Idea

During today's work I received an unhappy phone call that we were expecting. A very old and dear friend from Pennsylvania passed away last night after a terrible fight with metastatic pancreatic cancer. He was under treatment for over a year and half, which by itself is remarkable since from its detection it had already spread to the liver. As it was he had survived lymphoma for over 12 years. The two cancers were unrelated. So... we're heading back East on Sunday to attend the funeral and spend time with family and friends. I may get some work done tomorrow, but if I don't I be back is a while.

 

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Very short work session today and then we're on the trip. 

Last night I drew a scale model control panel and graphic based on the piping of my plant. I did it in Adobe Illustrator and printed it out on glossy photo paper. I then coated it with Grumbacher Final Fixative to protect it. 

Refinery Ops Control Panel

The base was cobbled together from some left over 0.040" thick styrene (Standing Seam Roofing) with some 1/8" square corner reinforcements. The graphics were attached using MicroMark Pressure Sensitive Adhesive applied to the styrene backing. The bottom was painted Tamiya Sky Gray. The instruments are basically controllers with needle readouts and switches. 

Refinery Ops Control Panel

This will be viewed from 15 feet away behind some windows. No one's going to see it, but it will make for some interesting photography. At the angle the instruments are displayed, you won't know they're there either. Crazy, eh?

I made a partition wall between the shop and control room using some 3/16" foam core. And then cut a hole in it for the shop doorway. The wall needed some strategic notching to clear the reinforcements.

Refinery Ops Partition

Before cutting the door opening I placed the control panel in its future position to see how it works.

Refinery Ops Control Panel Position

Lastly, I cut partition walls for the future restroom. This will be a black box and just be a door visible through the front windows. It will not be lit, nor will it have any bathroom appliances, even though they're available from Plastruct. Walls are glued together using Aleen's PVA.

Refinery Ops Bathroom Walls

I wiped down the exterior with alcohol in preparation for priming and metallic paint, but ran out of time. Doubtful I will do anything on it tomorrow (Saturday) as we'll be preparing for the trip and we're leaving early Sunday.

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