Hazel Mine Tipple - Construction: Support Structure
02/19/2021
This diagram is from the December 22, 1900 The Engineering And Mining Journal where this tipple structure was fully described. It included scaled drawings. In preparation for my building the support structure of the tipple, I studied the architectural design diagram. It includes a scale ranging from 0 to 25 feet, which I copied and rotated 90 degrees and then placed two copies next to the vertical columns. As near as I can tell, the floor of the tipple was supported by 37-foot tall columns (see my orange line on the diagram), resting on the concrete foundation blocks.
Hazel Mine Tipple
The text describes these columns as having been made out of two 10" C-channels welded together to form an H-column. The webbing of the columns was then reinforced with cross-hatchings, as is clearly visible in this end elevation drawing.
Hazel Mine Tipple
For this phase of the construction of this model, I will be building the entire trestle structure as is shown in the diagram. The building-proper I have already completed, so this phase covers the support structure that holds the building up in the air. This diagram shows the tipple as it was constructed in the year 1900. I model 1924, so there were some enhancements made to it over those years. First, a couple of years after its construction, the tipple was extended by two "bays" on the left in this diagram, to cover track #5 (represented by the box car on the left). The last "bay" had no track under it, so I am presuming it was used for loading automobile trucks, which this tipple also supported, for local deliveries of coal. Second, on the right-hand side of the diagram, the tipple was later partially extended to cover the gearing shown in the diagram; the space over the last two bays. That is what my model of the building-proper has. I don't know when that extension was built in the real building. So, this diagram shows 9 columns, but my model will have 11 columns, to cover the two extra "bays" added on the left. I do not know why there were no columns in between tracks #2 and #3. Photos show the same configuration as the diagram. From the diagram above, you can see that there are a total of 4 rows of these columns, so I will be constructing 44 columns.
Hazel Mine Tipple
External Reference:
To build these columns, I bought a bulk pack of Evergreen's C-channel, part #265. These are 0.156" wide, which scales out to 10 inches in S-scale. These strips are 14" long, which scales out to 74 feet in S-scale. However, because the interior "floor" of my tipple building is inset vertically from the walls of the building, some of my columns will need to be longer than 37 feet, so I won't be able to get two columns out of each pair of C-channels. So, by buying the 100-pack (bulk) pack, I can glue two together to create the 44 columns I need, and have a few strips left over as spares.
Hazel Mine Tipple
I realized that I needed to build the basic structure of 11 columns, four times. So, to make an attempt at them all coming out to be the same, I decided to invest in the time to build a jig. I found two sheets of plywood left over in the garage that were nice and straight. I clamped them together to form a 1.5" thick board, and drove in a number of screws to hold them together.
Hazel Mine Tipple
As you might be able to barely make out from the photo, I drew vertical lines where each of the columns are to be on this jig. I based these off of the foundation blocks I already have on my layout, so that they are a good match.
Hazel Mine Tipple
Since I will be gluing two C-channels back to back to form one column, the other purpose of the jig is to allow me to insert those two pieces of strip styrene into the grooves, and then apply glue to the C-channels. This is actually harder to do than one might think. The C-channels in and of themselves are actually still quite flexible, so a jig is really required it you want straight columns. This jig makes it possible. So, I cut my jig on the tablesaw so that all of its edges were perfectly square to one another. I then used the tablesaw to cut the grooves you see in the photo. I cut the grooves just slightly deeper than the width of a C-channel strip, so that both ends of the "C" of the C-channel are pressed against the edges of the grooves. The kerf of my tablesaw blade is just a 1/32nd smaller than the S-scale 10" C-channel strip is wide, so by moving the tablesaw fence over a hair, I got a groove that holds the two C-channels back-to-back reasonably tightly for me to apply glue to their adjoining backs.
Hazel Mine Tipple
There are three rows of horizontal sections that fit between the columns, so I cut those out in the jig in a similar manner. This will allow me to construct the basic shape of the trestle structure in the jig. (We were hit by a major winterstorm, so progress was halted on this for the next 5 days)
Hazel Mine Tipple