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Perry
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This is an initial draft plan of a proposed Sand-drying Plant scratchbuild. The prototype stood for many years, most of them before my time, at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, although it is now long gone.

The boiler from a defunct loco was adapted for use as the heating source. Presumably the firebox was stoked from within the building. The chimney was extended to a considerable height.

I have no idea where the following very old photo comes from. If it is still copyrighted, please let me know and I will withdraw it immediately with a full apology.

I can find no other source that illustrates the type of plant I wish to represent.





I have roughed it out in SketchUp 8 but this is only a first draft. Further refinement will be required before building can start.



The photo shows something visible either on, or behind, the roof ridge. I don't know at this stage if this was a vent or nothing at all to do with this building.

It should be very quick and easy to build, once the dimensions and details are finalised.

Your comments, observations and suggestions would be very welcome. :thumbs

Perry

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Maybe attached to the building behind, Perry.

What a very unusual build!
My first thought was to comment on the height of that locos chimney.

Perry
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ddolfelin wrote: Maybe attached to the building behind, Perry.

What a very unusual build!
My first thought was to comment on the height of that locos chimney.

I bet it was a humbug to get under bridges or through tunnels, let alone into the loco shed! :mutley

I appreciate your comment on the 'mystery object'. It does look a little bit offset to the roof line, so perhaps it is behind the sandhouse. I can't recall what was behind it, except for the coal yard. There used to be a water tower in the distance, but I don't think it's that. It looks too 'sharp' and near to the foreground for that. It's also the wrong shape. :???:

Perry

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Could it be a ventilator....... its the right sort of shape

The high chimney is indeed unusual..............its much higher than the chimneys on more conventional sand drying plants like the one at Didcot

Perry
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Thanks, John.

I guess a ventilator would have been needed to allow the moisture out of the building as the sand dried. It doesn't look as though it's on the ridge line but could be protruding through the far side of the roof.

I suspect the height of the chimney may have had something to do with the proximity of the station. The object in the top right-hand corner of the photo is the platform canopy.

Perry

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I've tried to intensify your picture but it doesn't reveal much more except that I'm coming to believe it's on the roof.

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I don't think it is on the roof, but is something else which is not connected.

Looking at the shadow cast by the boiler and pipework on the building, the sun is somewhere to the viewer's upper left. So if the vent was on the roof, there would be a shadow on the ridgeline, but at the far end. This part of the ridge is in sunlight, and although the nearer end seems to be darker, this is probably weathering rather than shadow.
Stu

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Perry i agree with Stu the shadow is cast by the ventilator just above the solar panels:lol:

I shall sit back and watch this with interest, what was a sand drying plant for? drying sand for what purpose?

Last edited on Sun Feb 6th, 2011 09:44 am by wogga

Perry
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I'm impressed with all the scientific analysis that's going into this, guys, even if it doesn't resolve the matter. :roll:

HOWEVER!!!!!!!.......

I have just located amongst my 'reference library' ( a ring-binder :oops: ) plans of the station as it was in 1897 - a bit early - and 1923 - still a bit early but helpful.

The plans are copyrighted so I can't post them here, BUT - the 1923 plan does show some structures, including some tanks and a building that appears to straddle the track, which are beyond the Sand-drying Plant and in direct line with it from the estimated viewpoint.

I therefore think that it's safer to conclude that the 'vent' is nothing to do with this particular building and to make other arrangements to 'ventilate' the model. ;-)

Perry

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wogga wrote: Perry i agree with Stu the shadow is cast by the ventilator just above the solar panels:lol:

I shall sit back and watch this with interest, what was a sand drying plant for? drying sand for what purpose?

Sand was dried and put into the sand boxes on a loco. It could then be released through a pipe onto the running surface of the rails to give the loco wheels more grip whenever it was needed.

Perry

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Danke Sehr!

Perry
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I had an old loco body shell lying around in the bits box, so I decided to make a start on the Sand-drying Plant.

I cut the firebox, running plate, buffer beam and various other extraneous bits and pieces off with a razor saw, and tidied it up with a knife and file. It was apparent that the boiler tube wasn't - a tube, I mean. Because of the shape of the body shell, there was no lower half of the boiler. I fixed this by wrapping some 0.005" plastikard around the lower half to fill it out to a tubular shape. It won't need any structural strength as it will be supported by the brick piers.

The piers were made from scraps of 0.040" plastikard, covered with Slaters embossed brick.

I don't have a suitable tube for the chimney yet, so I've stood a piece of biro barrel in place, just to get an idea of the height I will require. It will be longer than the one shown in the photo.

I cut the gable ends of the hut from 0.040" plastikard and covered them with embossed brick sheet. Side wall blanks have been cut but not covered, as I need to mark out and cut various apertures first.

The roof bases layers have also been cut ready for later use.

I temporarily joined the parts together with masking tape, to see if the proportions looked right. I used the plans I made up in Sketchup 8, so I didn't think it would be too far out. The only dimension I hadn't worked out was how far the boiler would project, but this is not critical anyway.

Here is the progress so far:



Perry

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That is looking good Perry and its just mocked up at the moment, wathing with interest.

Phill

Perry
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I have added a circular vent with louvres in one end wall, clad the remaining walls with embossed brickwork, put a framed skylight in the roof with 'frosted' glass, tiled both halves of the roof and started the tidying up.

Still to do are the bargeboards, guttering and downpipes, ridge tiles, door details, pipework to the boiler, sort out slight misalignment of front pier and then.....slap some paint on it! :thumbs The chimney will be added when I get some suitable plastic tube - probably this weekend.





This is not supposed to be a centrepiece model, but will form part of the general collection of small buildings around the MPD.

An outside coal bunker will be added later.

Perry

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Inspired, Perry.  :thumbs

Perry
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MaxSouthOz wrote: Inspired, Perry.  :thumbs
True, Max, but only by the folk on here, many of whom I seek to emulate in the quality of their workmanship, your good self being a prime example. That diesel of yours.....now if I could only build like that! :shock:

Perry

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I'm sure you can.  ;-)

Perry
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Bargeboards, gutters and downpipes, door detailing, ridge tiles and boiler pipework added. Brickwork straightened up on front pier.

The gutters were made by using a scraper close to the edge of a strip of 0.040" plastikard to cut the channel, then scraping the edges to round the profile off. The gutter was then cut to width, allowing it to be attached to the wall with solvent.

That's just about all I intend adding to this project. I don't want it to become a time-consuming super-detailed piece.

All the solvent and glue has to dry now before I give it a coat or two of primer. It would be nice to sort out the chimney first, but it depends on me being able to obtain some suitable material in time.



Perry


Last edited on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 11:04 am by Perry

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Don't tell me you've got no imagination !! You can obviously 'see' what you want to build, right down to the last little hinge or piece of pipework, before you start, and then go ahead and build it completely to plan.
It might only be a little filler building, but it still has character and a consistency with the rest of your MPD structures. Very nice indeed.

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Now once again a smart building Perry.

Phill

Perry
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Stubby47 wrote: Don't tell me you've got no imagination !! You can obviously 'see' what you want to build, right down to the last little hinge or piece of pipework, before you start, and then go ahead and build it completely to plan.
It might only be a little filler building, but it still has character and a consistency with the rest of your MPD structures. Very nice indeed.

That's my point, Stu. As long as I can see what I want to build, be it in a book, photograph or whatever, I can pretty much build it. I just find it almost impossible to build anything purely from my imagination. :???:

I think this little building should fit in nicely once it's painted and weathered though. It didn't take long to build at all.

Perry

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A coat of acrylic primer has been airbrushed on and the new chimney fabricated and fitted.



Another coat of primer to go on, especially as the chimney doesn't have any yet, and it should be ready for painting.

Perry

Perry
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I've just realised that I have not added a photo of the sand-drying plant after it was painted, so to remedy that, here is it:



Perry

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It's turned out great, Perry.  Can you run us through how it actually works?

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It has to wait for the wheels to be fitted, Max.

Top notch, Perry.

Perry
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MaxSouthOz wrote: It's turned out great, Perry.  Can you run us through how it actually works?
The 'cannibalised' loco, whose firebox was inside the building, provided the heat.

Sand was brought in to the building and presumably spread out somehow, perhaps on trays, so that the heat could dry it. Once it was dry it was taken away and stored until needed for the loco sand boxes.

By allowing dry sand to run onto the head of the rails through small pipes, the loco wheels were able to gain a lot more grip when it was needed. Damp sand would not run through the tubes and would tend to clog them, hence the need for it to be dried.

Perry

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Interesting.  Sounds very labour intensive. 

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Yet another cracker for our Forum Index from Perry. Cheers mate.

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It's certainly a good looking model Perry. :thumbs

As Max said, very labour intensive, but then most things to do with steam engines were !!

Whilst I suppose an old loco boiler might be readily at hand, it does seem a strange method of drying something.  Steam is wet by it's very nature and, unless they needed it elsewhere, why would they bother to produce it just because they needed a source of heat ?  It's unlikely that they would use the hot water for central heating because the drying plant wouldn't operate continuously - only when they needed the sand.  I'd have thought an oven would be far more sensible as a means of generating heat.  It could be of course, that the "boiler" was empty and just used as a heat chamber to get some "draw" into the fire.

There are a couple of things I noticed in the photos.  Firstly, it's one heck of a tall chimney to have no stays - I wonder how it coped in a gale and secondly, I do think that "thing" was a ventilator for this plant.

If you look at photos of factories from pre-war right through to the 60's, most of them had rows of those round ventilators.  Given all the "steam" that might be generated by the drying process, they would have to extract that up near the ridge to avoid drowning in the condensation.  (I don't hold with the shadows being wrong theory :roll::roll::roll: - I think they're probably spot on if the vent exited on the far pitch of the roof.)

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Harold Gasson, [GWR Fireman] in his autobiographies refers to such a boiler at Didcot. Usually the redundant boiler of a Dean Goods was used at 165lbs/sq.in. The boiler was lifted off and modified at the boiler-shop by having the regulator removed and replaced by a large steam valve and other back-head fittings removed and blanked. The boiler was placed on an cradle and the end of the house bolted on and a 30ft chimney added supported by stay wires. The town main water supply was connected to the injectors.



Its main purpose was to provide steam for heating, boiler wash-outs, steam lance cleaning, turntables, capstans etc.


It was apparently an unpopular duty for the Fireman on 'Spare Duty' as he was at everyone's beck and call and under the eye of the Foreman. Fuelled by the pit sweepings, rubbish, oily waste but coal was stolen from nearby locos. 

Re sand, from what I have learned from old footplate men, it was simply shovelled from one side of the shed to the other until it was dry, with a No.8 shovel!


I hope this has been of interest,


Doug


Last edited on Mon Mar 28th, 2011 10:11 am by Chubber

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dooferdog wrote:

Re sand, from what I have learned from old footplate men, it was simply shovelled from one side of the shed to the other until it was dry, with a No.8 shovel!


I hope this has been of interest,


Doug



:shock::shock::shock::shock::shock::shock:   It certainly is Doug !!  No wonder they were pleased when smelly diesels came along ..........

Perry
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Thanks, Doug. Very interesting.

I can add stay wires to the chimney once the building is in place on the layout. I couldn't see any on the photo, but I doubt if they would have shown up anyway. I can only just recall seeing the prototype building when I was a child and can't remember any details. It was demolished many, many years ago.

Perry

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Thats a super model Perry..........looks great:thumbs

I know your model is based on a prototype........I wonder if the boiler was also used to supply steam,hot water, heat for a number of other purposes as described by Doug and that just happened to be the most convenient location for the boiler?

Its very rare I can talk with any degree of authority about UK artefacts but in this instance I spent a day at Didcot and took a load of photos of the Sandhouse there which was I believe a GWR standard design.....Brick and Corrugated Iron.......there was no outside boiler or stack and I often wondered where they got the heat from........I suspect it may have been piped in from wherever Doug's boiler was located......maybe I will try and dig further

Whatever.....let me repeat....a great model..........I am really looking forward to seeing all these units in place

Kind Regards

 

Perry
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Thanks, John. :thumbs

I have little doubt that the static boiler would have been used for various other tasks apart from providing the heat to dry the sand. It's a great pity that I have been unable to discover anything more about something I used to walk past when I was a child. :???: I even contacted the local history group in that area but they were unable to provide any more information.

One thing that does strike me as a little curious is the location of the prototype. It was sited between the station and the coal yard, not in the engine shed area. I would have thought that loco sand boxes would have been filled when the loco was being coaled, water and oiled and that therefore the source of the dry sand would have been close by. :shock:

All very strange. Still, it made an unusual and interesting subject to model.

Perry

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Maybe those "spare duty" firemen Doug talked about carried it over to the loco shed in buckets Perry.  Afterall, labour was cheap and plentiful in those days. :roll:

As I said, everything about steam locos was hard and dirty work -but they were wonderful beasts in spite of it.

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Just playing catch-up here.Lovely model Perry!! I shouldn't worry about any "lack of imagination" when it comes to your modelling,as your powers of observation and ability to re-create things in model form are up there with the very very best!
 Top job,yet again.

Cheers,John.B.:thumbs

Perry
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Thanks, John.B.

Your comments are much appreciated, if ill-deserved. :oops:

Perry


                 

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