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On30 - In A Small Room
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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2018 01:19 pm
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Tom Ward
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I mentioned previously that the seven reverberatory furnaces appear to have been removed between 1910 and 1919.  There is an excellent explanation with videos at the 911 metallurgist website (https://www.911metallurgist.com/blog/reverberatory-furnace) and it was there that I learned that this type of furnace was found to be less efficient than a blast furnace so maybe this is why they were removed.  I'll model the 1919 version so I can leave out this one Roaster House to help reduce the overall size of my smelter.  I'm including the link for the reverberatory furnace for information purposes only.
- Tom

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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2018 01:58 pm
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Tom Ward
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The smelter at Durango had a coal mine and limestone quarry owned by its parent company.  40 beehive ovens were located at the smelter and used to provide Coke as a fuel for the smelting process.  In my effort to reduce the size of the model I'll locate the beehive ovens close to the coal mine which, if included, would be located on the upper deck of the layout.  Wikipedia has a good explanation of the beehive oven and Coke production (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive_oven).
- Tom

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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2018 02:28 pm
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Tom Ward
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The dust chambers connecting the roasters, blast furnaces and the large brick smoke stacks were used to separate ore dust from the exhaust gases.  Before the addition of the Cottrell process baffles were placed in the dust chambers and were cleared periodically by mechanical means or by hand.  In the 1919 drawing a Cottrell Plant had been added to further improve the process.  Here is an excellent explanation of the process used at a smelter in Clarkdale, Arizona (https://www.verdenews.com/news/2014/aug/14/1922-clarkdale-new-cottrell-plant-at-the-smelter-/).  Wikipedia also has a good explanation of the Cottrell process (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrostatic_precipitator), later known as an electrostatic precipitator (ESP).
I'm including a photo of a dust chamber to give an idea of the size.
- Tom

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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2018 02:32 pm
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Tom Ward
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I also found a good photo in Mining and Engineering World (1915) of the carts used to remove the molten ore and slag from the blast furnaces.
- Tom

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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2018 04:39 pm
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Reg H
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Looks like you have a major project ahead of you.

Aren't these fire insurance maps marvelous?

Reg



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 Posted: Wed Aug 29th, 2018 06:24 pm
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Tom Ward
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Yes, those maps are a great resource.  Besides showing the changes over time and the equipment being used they also show the scale footprint.  Made me realize how nuts I am.  A 1/48 scale model of this facility would be over 30' long.  I have about five feet to work with.  I'm gonna have to be very selective here.
- Tom

Last edited on Wed Aug 29th, 2018 09:58 pm by Tom Ward

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 Posted: Wed Sep 5th, 2018 02:53 am
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Tom Ward
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In the 1915 edition of "Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers" beginning on page 219 is a detailed description of the smelting process of lead ore at a smelter in El Paso, Texas.  It begins with the unloading of ore from a boxcar by a crew of four men with shovels, describes shaping a pile of ore into a cone and dividing out a 1/5 sample.  This is used to determine the quality of the ore.  The write-up goes on to describe transporting raw ore by wheelbarrow to a crusher, moved by hand to be first processed by a Godfrey roaster, then transferred to Huntington pots and finally to a blast furnace.  This description goes well with the equipment used at the American Smelter in Durango and makes sense for the building locations.  I have photos of blast furnaces used for processing lead and Huntington Pots but nothing of the Godfrey Roaster.  I do have a description and dimensions of the Godfrey Roadter so I could probably fake something pretty close.  I also found some high res photos of the American Smelter from the early 1900's from different angles showing very small gauge track used for transporting ore, belt systems used for dumping tailings, ore bin locations as well as some great architecture details.  I think I have enough to get started.
- Tom

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 Posted: Tue Sep 11th, 2018 06:27 pm
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Tom Ward
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The web site "Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad" (https://ngtrainpics.photoshelter.com/gallery-list) has a great library of photos, all available for a price.  I restrained myself to five high-res photos of the Durango smelter, ones I hadn't seen before.  Because they were taken from different viewpoints I was able to get a better understanding of how things worked and the relationships between he various buildings.  The pictures I chose were mostly around 1920 which was a simpler time.  In the 1940's the smelter had a completely different look with all new buildings and a much larger operation.  I'd like to post the photos I got from "Friends.." but I need to check with them to see if it's legal.  Currently waiting for a reply.
- Tom


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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 03:12 pm
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Ken C
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Tom

You may find this of interest, "The Story of Lead 1948"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HhdkkdsvTM.



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 Posted: Thu Sep 13th, 2018 03:25 pm
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elminero67
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I'm late to this thread but am really looking forward to watching your smelter model develop



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