Alpha Mill

Outside the fence.
nberrington
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby nberrington » Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:38 pm

Thank you Ralph for taking the time to explain your methods to me. The mill is even more impressive “in the flesh” than I imagined! My projects seem tiny by comparison.
You have certainly given me some ideas to try.

What a magnificent model! Well done good sir.

ralphrobertson
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby ralphrobertson » Mon Sep 30, 2019 4:54 pm

I very much enjoyed our extended chat, yesterday. I must say I hadn't really appreciated just how much work had been required to replicate the relief brick work and other decorative features which George Stott included in his Edwardian era mills.


Thanks Dave, without the input from Howard and yourself this would not have been possible. It has been an interesting journey to say the least!

Thank you Ralph for taking the time to explain your methods to me. The mill is even more impressive “in the flesh” than I imagined! My projects seem tiny by comparison.


Thank you Neil, it was a pleasure to meet you and I hope I managed to give you some ideas to make your modelling more productive. The secret to all this is having the ability to draw using CAD and it is not difficult to learn as we are usually only using lines and boxes which are simple features in drawing packages. The ability to step and repeat is vital when 'bricklaying' and I hope you unlock this feature once you get home, it will save you hours!

Ralph

ralphrobertson
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby ralphrobertson » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:42 pm

Seeing a photo of the mill in S4News 215 - thanks Will - I thought I should post an update to advise where things are right now. Work has been taking place on the groundwork around the mill getting all the doors level with the ground. A card structure was made to get all the heights right and then a layer of setts was laid. The setts were made on the laser cutter and were actually produced by using photos of real sett stones. These were imported into Coreldraw and a matrix built up which could then be replicated and then converted into a greyscale which could be engraved on the laser. Test pieces were made up to see how they could be 'welded' together without seams and the next photo shows some experiments covering this process. This system has also been used in the goods yard on the layout.

20191202_122009.jpg
Sett samples showing how they are made into a single piece. The toothed examples are how they come off the laser and these have been painted in grey primer.


Work has started on the walls surrounding the mill. The position of the gate post is not decided yet, the gate could be wider but until this all gets placed on the layout it won't be glued in. Setts will all be painted in white primer then the joints will be filled in and then it will be coloured appropriately. There is a short row of terraced houses on the left which front onto the road leading into the mill yard. This is now getting well over 4ft long and it is not easy to work on - it will be nice to finally get it onto the layout and join it up to the goods yard which will sit immediately to the right of this photo and at a height close to the bottom of the engine house big windows.

20191202_121552a.jpg


Ralph

JFS
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby JFS » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:40 pm

Looking very promising Ralph - really finished the job off!

Just one query - what is the bit of wall running off the front of the engine room and round in front of the boiler house? It is right in the way of where the lurries would tip into the coal hole!

Best Wishes,

Dave Holt
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Joined: Thu May 28, 2009 9:44 pm

Re: Alpha Mill

Postby Dave Holt » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:10 pm

Ralph,
As Howard says, it's looking very promising but I agree about the wall.
Regarding the sets, my recollection is that they were a light buff/beige colour round that area, rather than grey. The gaps between were filled with tar (which we used to poke with twigs in the summer and get covered - mother not best pleased!)
Dave.

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iak
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby iak » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:00 am

Magnificent to see this all coming together...
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
Robert Fripp


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ralphrobertson
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby ralphrobertson » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:04 am

Thanks Howard and Dave. The problem I have is that with having to change the position of the boiler house because of the position of the mill and engine house on the layout I don't really have much alternative given the positions of the doors bearing in mind that I have copied the architect's drawings making these buildings. In real life this would not have happened, the mill would have been built further away from the embankment but this is how it is for us. The photos will illustrate the situation.

20191203_092634.jpg


20191203_092649.jpg


If you can think of an alternative way to handle this I would be happy to change things but the ground levels, in my mind, need to be dictated by the position of the doors. In real life there was a lot more space to change levels but I only have a limited amount so I thought this was the best compromise.

Ralph

Dave Holt
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby Dave Holt » Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:24 am

Ralph.
Mmm, I hadn't appreciated the height difference between engine house and boiler house doors. As you say, it does create a dilemma. To facilitate coal lorry deliveries, you could widen the upper area a bit? Otherwise, you could argue that the lorries (or carts in an earlier age) would reverse up and off-load from the side? Not sure how practical that would be.
At the Regent mill, the engine and boiler houses were at roughly the same level, so your issue wouldn't apply.
Dave.

JFS
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby JFS » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:55 pm

Hello Ralph,
I was in the picture regarding the need to put the boiler house on the "wrong side", but I am not clear what is causing it to be so high - is there something needing to be hidden "inside" it? I certainly had not picked that up from previous shots.

It was always the case that the boiler fronts were as low as possible - not only to allow for tipping the coal, but because the hotwell needs to be below the condenser, which is below the engine and you can't "suck" the boiler feed "upwards" when the feed water is hot. So anything you can do to lower the boiler house will be a big help. If that were not possible, it would be better to raise the ground level at the front and have the big door in the front of the engine room at the bottom of a pit - this was not that uncommon as that door was "never" opened - it only existed to get big bits of engine in or out - so craning things out of a pit would not be an issue. I can see that would not be easy as it would neam rasing the road and the terrace, but it would make things look better in the yard.

Hope that helps - I am a bit concious that either Dave or I are always the ones causing the issues!

EDIT:- PS I now realise I should have pointed the issue out in response to your post on May 10 - sorry about that.

Best Wishes,

JFS
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:47 pm

Re: Alpha Mill

Postby JFS » Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:23 pm

Perhaps something like this?

Yard levels.jpg


With a slope towards the street, might it be doable?

Good Luck!

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:06 pm

JFS wrote:Perhaps something like this?

Yard levels.jpg

With a slope towards the street, might it be doable?

Good Luck!


This might be way off base ... but might not the delivery come from the far side ? So there is an access road bound by the retaining wall coming in from off scene? .... with steps down to the front access?
doc20191204161501_001.jpg
Tim Lee

ralphrobertson
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby ralphrobertson » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:28 pm

Thanks for the ideas gentlemen. Now that Howard has explained what all the doors are for I am sure I can sort out the levels a bit different, I have to confess to knowing nothing about engine houses and the different doors and what lay behind them. The boiler house can not be changed and it was done this way because of the drawings of Warwick Mill. I turned the engine house round so the big windows are at the front of the building (facing us) and the smaller ones at the rear which is why the roof of the boiler house had to map onto the back engine house wall and the position of the windows. I will play around with Howard's suggestion of basing the level on the base of the boiler house door, this will lift the houses which is actually a good thing as they will then be more visible from the front of the layout. I will mock something up and see how it all fits together.

Thank you.

Ralph

JFS
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:47 pm

Re: Alpha Mill

Postby JFS » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:29 pm

Hello Tim,

Unfortunately not - there was always just a single gate into and out of the mill yard - that way EVERYTHING had to go over the weighbridge. There also has to be some way of getting a lurry to both the engine room and the coal hole - so that limits options. Of course, both the boiler house and the engine room were in the same department and were (obviously) inter-connected by the needs of the technology - so this is the one place in the whole outfit where a break in levels would be avoided.

Cheers,

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Alpha Mill

Postby Le Corbusier » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:35 pm

JFS wrote:Hello Tim,

Unfortunately not - there was always just a single gate into and out of the mill yard - that way EVERYTHING had to go over the weighbridge. There also has to be some way of getting a lurry to both the engine room and the coal hole - so that limits options. Of course, both the boiler house and the engine room were in the same department and were (obviously) inter-connected by the needs of the technology - so this is the one place in the whole outfit where a break in levels would be avoided.

Cheers,


Thanks Howard ... appreciate the clarification. :thumb
Tim Lee

JFS
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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:47 pm

Re: Alpha Mill

Postby JFS » Wed Dec 04, 2019 6:43 pm

ralphrobertson wrote: The boiler house ... was done this way because of the drawings of Warwick Mill.

Ralph


Ah - now I see the issue. Because the Warwick is on a sloping site, whilst the coal hole doors were at the other end, they could open out at yard level which would then slope down to be level with the engine room door at the other end. In otherwords, the boiler house is at a higher relative level at the Warwick than it would be at (say) the Devon which was on a flat site.

I wonder if it would be possible to drop the front wall a bit whilst leaving the rest of the boiler house untouched (dons hard hat and legs it ...)

Best Wishes,


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