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After many hours of research and I must admit times when I thought I had finally taken on something beyond my ability It suddenly come to me why not go it alone leave the book and the internet aside and build your own blast furnace your way. here is the pouring Floor building in early stages lots of work yet but I'm on the way at last.DSC01349DSC01351DSC01352 I am happy with it. Roo.


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Fantastic building,nothing short of true art,my friend!!

I'm doing the same thing. I thought my nerves would never stand the shock of trying to set up a paper mill with all its many parts,so I remembered another design shown years ago in Model Railroader Magazine. It used HO kits to kitbash with. I have the kits here & decided I can make true to life buildings that please "Me." I also thought in building my grain elevator,I would use old Metamucil cans to represent silos. I put 2 of these together for 1 silo. But as I have a shelf above the "silos,"I thought,"I can't put my elevator here as there's no room above the silos for the headhouse!" After months of fussing over this,I came to my senses&thought,"you've got great track room at this location,until you get benchwork up to allow a better location,make this the elevator site&start loading grain trains!!" So that's my approach, also.

Great post Roo!! Fantastic work!!

Al Hummel

Roo posted:


After many hours of research and I must admit times when I thought I had finally taken on something beyond my ability It suddenly come to me why not go it alone leave the book and the internet aside and build your own blast furnace your way.

That tends to make things move forward!

here is the pouring Floor building in early stages lots of work yet but I'm on the way at last. I am happy with it.

And, that's what counts!

I commend all your hard work.  I worked in the Open Hearth in the Briar Hill Mill that Youngstown Sheet and tube had.  I never worked the Blast Furnace, but used to meet with my uncle who delivered the molten Iron.  He worked for P&LE.  They used to bring the molten iron down from the Blast Furnace in Campbell.   I worked the narrow gage RR that delivered the scrap, limestone and ore pellets to the furnaces upstairs and pulled the poured mold out and transported down to the stripper crane for the blooming mill.  It was an interesting time.

Thanks everyone for your kind words and I liked that Photo.

Out of all the books and articles photo's etc that I have collected on the steel industry one of my favourites is the "South Buffalo Railway" by Stephan M. Koenig. The photos of the furnace's in the book are what I have tried to base my version on or what inspired me. A wonderful book.

My version of the pouring house will be slightly different to some of the other models around I choose to enclose most of the pouring floor (it will still be there but not easily seen) that way at my leisure I can finish the interior which is really a model in itself. I will try to get the walls together today and place it on the layout that way you will hopefully see what I am trying to accomplish......heavy industry in O scale. Thanks again. Roo.


I don't think that picture is of the "Point" in Pittsburgh.     I think it is about 3-5 miles upstream on the Monongehela River where the J&L plant was located.     The J&L Plant where I worked in the 60s was located a mile or up stream on the Mon from the Smithfield street bridge on the "South Side" of Pittsburgh, which was a few miles from the Point.    The plant straddled the river and I remember they had their own bridge across the river to move hot metal cars from the Blast fces on the north side of the river to the rest of the plant on the south.     I do not remember much more about the location or the facilities.    

When I was driving to and from work, I had to cross the end of the Smithfield st bridge to get to the plant up river.   

There was never any steel mill facilities on the "Point" when I was growing up in the area, even before the big facelift in the 50s when tore down a lot of the old landmarks in downtown Pittsburgh.   


Because I have always been interested in operation (switching cars) more than just looking at trains running continuously, not that there is anything wrong with that, I have a system for the Blast furnace in the form of small kitchen timers one for each of the two operators at the steel mill site. An operating sessions lasts all day and during the session we 'tap" the furnace which is every hour four times a session when the bleep occurs the operator drops everything and prepares the Hot metal cars for movement, five minutes after a second bleep and the slags cars are moved we found that this was the only way we could control movements for the furnace the rest of the time the operators are busy with the raw materials, Foundry and Rolling mill. Don't take this job on if you want an easy day! Then there is the branch line to run with it's interchange sidings, freight and passenger service it's an interesting day. Roo.



I have made some more progress slowly it's very hot here at the moment and because of the size of the structure and the mess you make filing, cutting and fitting I work in the garage on a large table the building is not air conditioned and the temp sometimes gets as high as 103degs so I don't spend a lot of time out  there, usually early mornings when it's still cool. The roofs apart from some minor trimming are finished it's getting close to adding some details like stairways and handrails. Roo.


If you read this have you a photo of your Blower or compressor house?








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Blast Furnace adding figures. Click on the underlined phrase to link.  We had done this thread 2014, A great tutorial of just how steel is made.  At the time I thought we were pretty much out of the iron ore/coke ovens/blast furnace production of steel, not true.  Still a lot of metal made this way. 

Again thanks to Roo for a great build, and Dave Minarik, three years ago,  and all who contributed.   

Mike CT

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J Daddy's first picture shows the Hot Metal bridge across the Monongahela River.   The bridge is still there part of the Great Allegheny Passage bike/hike trail, Pittsburgh to Washington DC. 

J&L, Aliquippa Works, along the Ohio River,  made steel well into the early 1980's.  It is now gone, replaced with a drywall factory.   Midland, PA, once Crucible Steel/Colt industries is also long gone.  One of the interesting projects, that got done, at Babcock and Wilcox, Steel, Beaver Falls, and Kopple, PA, the main melt shop, was the Continuous Caster (late 1980's).  Without the Continuous Caster, they would probably not be making steel, there today, Kopple, PA.  Babcock and Wilcox, eventually became McDermott Steel.    

Last edited by Mike CT

Thanks Mike CT for the lead on the thread I thought I had viewed most of those photos on Dave's thread but there were some I missed. I stop and start on this project because I do everything on the layout except the electrical and that keeps my mate Bruce Temperley very busy as it's not just wires it's control panels modules for the Locomotives and of course the general wiring with over 70 turnouts there is a lot for Bruce to keep up with he also does the operation plan every week as well which is a big job so the rest is up to me. I'm slowly getting there have to leave off a lot of the detail that Dave has put into his wonderful models I can live with that. In between all this I am modifying some Atlas switchers for Steel Mill work you can see one in the photo not finished yet. Bruce and myself spent all the Morning doing the Decals for the locos I'm lucky to have him he is very good with CAD. Thanks for all the kind words. Roo.





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Here is a photo of the "other" side of the pouring floor the photo also shows the highline that little spur comes in handy for a switcher the highline is a busy place and rates it's own locomotive, the other photo posted are side dump cars now assigned to limestone traffic between Waterside and Republic Steel Highline. Roo. 






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I took a break from the Pouring floor building and started putting the roofs on the Foundry and the Rolling Mill just the basic sheets at the moment but certainly made a difference. The first photo is the Rolling Mill it will have a corrugated sheeting roof and lots of ventilators one day.... The Rolling mill roof is removable to see the details that aren't there yet one day........Regards. Roo.



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Photo 1. Coke train switching the High Line, slag train preparing to leave, Hot Metal train leaving....... Steel Mill railroading at it's finest. Yesterday's operating session.

Photo 2.  Five locomotives in the photo three working one on stand bye and one in the shops. Eventually all locos in the mill area will be blue.... Roo.






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