New Project - Coal Storage Elevator System

A customer has five coal storage tanks (see photo below) already placed on his layout. He asked for an elevator system which would conveyor the coal from his open pit area to the top of the tanks for distribution.

The first few photos show the customer's layout. He used 6 inch PVC pipe to make the storage bins.




We decided on a design, a little unique, consisting of octagonal head houses with an enclosed conveyor going to a shed in the pit area.



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To make the octagonal 'head houses' I cut setup units out of wood - one size as support for the walls and a slightly bigger one for the roof structure. I also cut five 6 1/4 inch wood circles (hardboard with white tops) to represent the tops of the bins to help in making measurements.

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Using the wood setup units I cut two octagonal 40 mil plastic supports for each head house, then the walls. The taller house on the back left of the photo above is where the conveyor will enter. I used the wood piece to trace out the pattern on a sheet of styrene, cut the first plastic piece then used that plastic piece as a setup for the rest of the plastic pieces.

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After building the first 'head house' I found that gluing in the top support would be a lot easier if I left one wall out, glued the top then glued in the last wall.

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I am leaving out one wall on the tall head house until I know where the conveyor will enter. Eventually 'corrugated metal siding' will be glued to the walls. Right now I am not sure whether I will 'tar' the roofs or use corrugated metal.

Next up are the connecting conveyor houses. They form an 'I' shape connecting all four head houses. I don't plan on placing windows on the head houses - only on the conveyor houses connecting them.



Photos (11)
Original Post

Did some more work on the elevator. I need to stop with the conveyor unit on top for a bit pending answers to a couple of questions so will turn my attention to the conveyor shed in the pit and the conveyor itself.

Based on some input from the customer it sounds like the two track the flood bins sit over may not be parallel. One track may be diverging from the other. This will affect the angle of the crossover conveyor house.

Also my plan assumed the conveyor from the pit was going to connect to an end bin but I need to be sure there is enough room in the pit for this. I may need to move the conveyor to the middle bin which means building another octagonal head house.

A view of the top conveyor system

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A nibbler from Micro Mark comes in handy for cutting out window holes in the thicker styrene (080)

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All the pieces are cut assuming parallel tracks and the conveyor connecting to the end head house.

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Discussions with the customer lead to a change in design. I built another head house and moved the taller one to the center bin.

I also started laminating the head houses and roofs with corrugated siding. There are two methods I use to laminate sheeting. For large ares I uses 3M spray contact adhesive. For small panels such as these I use plastic cement but only around the perimeter to avoid buckling.

I decided to use the corrugated siding on the roofs. I will be painting them a different color than the sides.

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Photos (1)

I have finished building and  laminating everything on top of the coal flood bins. Next is the ground level conveyor shack and the conveyor itself. Other than staging the tall head house in the wrong position I think everything is looking good.

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Not sure yet. Since the elevator system is enclosed I was thinking of starting off with dull aluminum or nickel and ask the customer if he wanted any weathering. The conveyor itself will be enclosed per customer specs so may be the same scenario but we are still designing the ground level loading shed. The original design was enclosed with an opening for the conveyor and a door on the opposite end but it dawned on me there must be another opening to load the coal onto the conveyor........ If the shed ends up being open then it has to be dirty. Some more things for the customer and me to mull over.

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Photos (2)

I am finishing up on the coal elevator. The elevator itself is done (no pictures - but will be coming). I will hopefully finish the coal loading shed today. Below are some construction photos. The plan is to build the bin and paint it black then the shed roof and siding and paint it aluminum. There is a cutout on the one side for the elevator. Once the customer gives me some dimensions I need I will build the two support trestles.

Below is a hardboard mock up. The loading shed is supposed to extend up a terraced slope to ground level where a loader will dump in the coal. Overall length came out to about 11 inches.

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The bin assembly. I am using 80 mil thick styrene and H-6 columns with BM-6 base mounts.

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I have already started the roof/siding. More photos will be coming.


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I finished the loading bin, got some critical dimensions from the custom so will be finishing up the elevator and two support bents for it.


Shed roof and sides

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The dump slide

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The finished shed

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Noe need to fit the the elevator to the conveyor house. I needed a critical dimension from the base of the coal bin to the loading shed to determine the proper angle for the support bents. I built the elevator 2 inches longer than customer specs - hope this is enough.

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Photos (10)

I received the info I needed so cleaned up the elevator and built a support bent for it. Fortunately I have a jig for a bent for my gantry crane system so building it was fairly easy. From the customer dimensions supplied (see below) there is room for one bent only.
Next up is paint.



The angle for the elevator is pretty steep. The customer may have to trim the length of the elevator some depending where he places the loading shed.

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Photos (6)

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Mark Boycebriansilvermustangchessie1971AdriaticPat KnToddModelEngineer-JoeChugman

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