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Peter's Model Railroading | The Layout | Stops | The Hazel Mine Complex | Hazel Mine Tipple
Tipple Installation


With the tipple's support structure finished, the next logical step is to start putting these large components down and permanently attaching them to the module. However, the problem that has arisen is the fact that the support structure has warped a bit in all three dimensions. Some of these warps should be able to be to rectified by sheer clamping force, but some of them are more dramatic, some even possibly requiring "surgery". Then there is the prospect of having to make the 44 contact points glue up at the same time in their correct locations. This all looks like it might be fraught with failure, which is not an option after having spent so much time on the building's construction.

So, my first step is to form 88 brass angle anchors that I will glue to the foundation blocks in the positions in which the support structure's columns should sit. I can then do a dry-run of fitting it to the module, and make all the necessary changes to the structure while it is still loose.

I think the lesson learned here is, that if you are going to build a structure out of strip styrene, do so while having it be attached to a solid foundation (layout, module base, sheet of plywood, etc.). That way the warping will be minimal and should be able to be corrected as construction progresses. Doing it the way I did it (free flowing), allows for it to contort in whatever direction it felt like. I suspect that the drying of the MEK glue causes slight shrinking of the styrene pieces at the glue joints. Although that doesn't quite explain the continuing warping weeks after the construction has been completed.

I am cutting a bunch of these 90-degree angles out of 0.010"-thick brass sheet to form the anchors to which the base of the coal tipple support structure will be mounted. Here is an in-progress photo, as cutting brass (if you don't do that very often) is a bit hard on the hands, so it is taking a few sessions to complete.

Here's a close-up of the angle brackets I made. They are a scale 6" wide (fits within the cavity of a 10" C-channel) and each fold is a scale one foot long.

I marked the center of each of the concrete foundation blocks, making sure that they were perfectly in line with each other.