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Bill Fornshell
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Ore Smelter

I have been making a bunch of mockups of mines and now need a smelter to send my ore to.

Really good information has been hard to find.

NGSL-G had an article in the May / June 1983 issue called "Smelters" by George Konrad. The article had drawings for what it called a "Rectangular Smelter" or "Blast Furnace". The article also had a building side view scale drawing of a typical "imagineered" smelter layout.

I scaled the drawing for HO and made a card stock mockup of the smelter and the building. You can see the drawing on some of my the pictures of the card stock mockup. I only had a side view so I had to guess at the building width. The article has pictures of three different smelters, one from Blackhawk, one from Leadville and one from Durango.

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The building was made to load the ore along the top of the short side of the roof. Notice the arrow pointing toward the hopper inside the top left of the building. Copying this feature could allow me to reduce the number of storage bins outside the building for the fuel, ore and flux or limestone. It would also allow me to reduce the size of the building and build it into the side of a hill and run tracks along what would become the top backside of the building.
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One example of a smelter that had a model made from the prototype is the Raggs to Riches Rose-Walsh Smelter kit in HO. The web site has many good illustrations of the smelter kit buildings and one picture of the prototype that was in Silverton, Co. The prototype was built in 1894. I bought one of these kits when they came out a couple years ago. It needed a bigger space then I had at the time so it has stayed in its box. I like the design of the prototype and may try and compress the building to fit a smaller spot.

Whatever I decide I expect to make several more smelters mockups.

http://www.raggstoriches.biz/RWSMainpage.html

Tramcar Trev
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Looking good. Im used to cruder prototypes than you're copying. Do a google search there are heaps of images ranging from antiquity to modern....
I like this one I photographed at Wool Bay in South Australia.

Attachment: Lime Kiln.jpg (Downloaded 153 times)

Bill Fornshell
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Hi Trev,

Thanks for the comment and picture link.

I have added A track next to the top of the Smelter building roof to discharge Ore and the Limestone (used as the Flux) into the building.

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Tramcar Trev
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Another idea, a smoke creator to make clouds of polluting smoke will give you realism... I have made some 12V fan assisted ones if you need the details...

Last edited on Wed Feb 25th, 2015 05:26 am by Tramcar Trev

Ray Dunakin
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Cool project. I like the way you've done the mockup.

Bill Fornshell
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Hi Ray,

Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

I have added a covered loading area to the front of the Smelter.

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And just what every respectable Smelter needs to deliver their gold and silver to its costumers, a McKeen Motor Car.

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The end wall will get a few doors or some other type of openings.

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W C Greene
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Howdy Bill.. I just wish that the smelter I need was as compact as yours! Your smelter occupies about half an acre, mine needs about 100 acres!!! Oh well, mine will be drawn on the wall and I will use lots of imagination. I like yours though. Are you planning a McKeen ore loco??? LOL

Woodie

Bill Fornshell
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Hi Woodie,

Thanks for your comment.

I looked at the Smelter drawing Keith post but couldn't really tell much about. I was going to ask him for more information but decide to do some searching on my own. I will be waiting to see how yours turns out.

The one I am building is smaller and I guess somewhat more compressed then most of the ones I have pictures of. In its current version it has a footprint of about 20" by 11".

As for the McKeen Motor Car, long ago John Wayne was in a movie called "The War Wagon". I thought about that movie and decide one or more of my McKeen Motor Cars might work as armored ore carriers. I might even make a McKeen Motor Car, shot-up, and in a ditch somewhere on the layout as a result of a robbery attempt.

I found this old Trailer posted on youtube for the movie:

http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=aaplw&p=War+Wagon

I looked for the movie on Netflix but didn't find it. Then looked on ITunes and they list it in SD for $2.99. I am loading now so I can watch it again.

Bill Fornshell
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I raised the front roof line so I could add what looks like loading bays. While I am thinking about other details I will start building a temporary terrain model for the Smelter to sit on.

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NevadaBlue
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This is an impressive project! Nice work so far, very interesting. Watching from here...

Anton D
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watching also

fanai
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I want to watch this

elminero67
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Good to see someone model a smelter! Was the smelter you mentioned in Silverton primarily a silver smelter?

Bill Fornshell
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elminero67 wrote:
Good to see someone model a smelter! Was the smelter you mentioned in Silverton primarily a silver smelter?
Hi,

From the 75 page instruction book:

"By 1896 the Silverton Railroad was delivering approximately 15 cars of ore per day. The smelter could handle 100 to 140 tons of low grade copper ore per day, using 25 to 30 tons of limestone for fluxing. Before closing the plant processed 100,000 tons of copper."

So no silver ore noted. Wish I could tell you more,

Bill

elminero67
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That makes more sense.

oztrainz
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Hi all,
if they had a tankhouse and were electrolytically refining the blister copper from the blast furnace, then they would have been getting some silver, gold, antimony and possibly platinum from the "impurities" in the smelted copper, but silver as a major product direct from a copper-smelting furnace - No, it just doesn't work that way


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