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MinerFortyNiner
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I opened a thread on an O scale beehive coke oven soon to be released by Sonora Scale Models here:

http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=2708&forum_id=4" TARGET="_blank">[url=http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=2708&forum_id=4]http://www.freerails.com/view_topic.php?id=2708&forum_id=4



I guess this would be the place for a discussion of these prototypes and how they were used.

:cb:

Herb Kephart
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They look good Vern!

Why don't you do a little piece on the "operation" of turning soft coal into coke?

I'm sure there are folks out there who don't know what was involved.

I wonder--other than the fact that the beehive shape was self supporting, why it took a while to put the ovens in a long continuous arrangement. The round beehives wasted quite a bit of space. 

Keep up the good work!

Herb  :old dude:

W C Greene
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Herb-(to me) the beehive ovens look "quaint" and funky...the large coke ovens that run for many feet look "industrial"...I like the beehives. And I also think that Vern should write a bit about their operation...with photos..

                          Woodrow

bobbyb
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W C Greene wrote:
And I also think that Vern should write a bit about their operation...with photos..

                          Woodrow


I second or is it third that request. I am one of those that do not know about this process. As Mister Woodrow is fond of saying "expiring minds want to know".

Bobby :mex:

MinerFortyNiner
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Thanks, guys.  I am really happy to be able to model these interesting structures on my layout.

Chris Lane (editor of the On30 Annual) also thought this would be an interesting topic, and was willing to let me post of few pictures of my Apache Wells coke plant, which will be featured in an article in the 2011 issue.



I will have a battery of seven ovens served by a single rail siding.  All of the details needed for coke production will be included: a water supply (to quench the ovens when the coke is ready), loading crane, tools and workers.  It has been a very interesting project so far, and I'm only half done!

I did some historical research, and found much information on both the beehive kilns and the larger connected ovens.  I prefer modeling the beehives, but both have been used all over the country near mining and industrial centers.  The beehives weren't as efficient in heat retention and operation as were the banks of rectangular ovens, but I find them interesting.

Dwayne
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Interesting topic. Up in Sudbury, Ontario where my wife lives is the largest nickel mining operation in the world... INCO (International Mining Company). The mine has it's own railroad. Besides hauling ore from the various mine shafts to the furnaces for processing, the coolest part is the line they use to dump molten slag. At the moment that line is running close to a major street which affords folks the chance to see the slag pots being dumped. Very cool to see in person which I've had the opportunity to see.

Some pics of the line here:

http://www.trainweb.org/incorail/gallery/gallery.html

MinerFortyNiner
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Dwayne, those are amazing slag trains, I've never seen photos of such large slag cars.  Fascinating.

Here is a site with photos some stone charcoal kilns located at the site of Corcoran, Arizona, near an old smelter along the Gila River.  The site incorrectly labels them coke ovens, but coal was never hauled in here, the mesquite trees along the Gila River were cut and used to make charcoal.  Charcoal kilns are similar to coke ovens but these are rather large, and they have an interesting ridge with a raised charging door on the opposite side from the unloading door.  These are great examples of native stone ovens.  Note one photo shows a modern door in one, apparently someone made a dwelling out of the oven!

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/20254653

Last edited on Tue Jun 15th, 2010 06:02 am by MinerFortyNiner

madmike3434
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would the real colour of the beehives look like the colour you have made them ?  Would they be weathered more and would the mortar joints show as a different shade ?

Was the stone for the beehives cut with anything to square them off.

 

mike

MinerFortyNiner
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You be the judge of that, Mike...check out the link above.  The Cochran charcoal kilns served as inspiration for these models, but they are intended to be coke ovens constructed of random cut stone.

madmike3434
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a couple of them appeared to be more of a burnt umber shade and an end one was lighter. Guess its all about where the stone comes from.

I was expecting to see a much more of a filthy look, like overly weathered grime, soot on the surface but i guess the smoke drives straight up.

mike

MinerFortyNiner
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The one on the end was actually sealed by someone who tried to convert it into a dwelling.  There's a metal door frame installed in one of the doors!

As for the color, it could stand to be lightened up a bit by drybrushing some light tan on them.  Considering the Cochran charcoal kilns haven't been used for many decades, I imagine the soot has eventually weathered away.  I already dirtied my coke ovens up more than the original weathering, but maybe it's still too subtle.

MinerFortyNiner
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Well, the coke plant is complete...it's good to know the smelter at Sonora Grande will have all the fuel it needs for its furnaces...





 


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