ore dock

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by Kevinkrey, May 25, 2007.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    I have an HO DMIR layout but need to build an ore dock, I cannot afford a walthers kit on ebay because i would need to many. It will probly be 10" tall and about 5' long. Any suggestions; plans, materials, tools, etc. I have never taken on such a big project on my layout except building it which I am still doing.
  2. kirkendale

    kirkendale Member

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    Great project, here are some questions that will help to determine the design.
    How many cars are you planning to have on it? Single tract or double? What era are you in, will this be a wooden, steel or concrete ore dock? Many have a very long lead up to the actual dock; have to rise high into the air to be able to dump down. What will your scenery around the dock be like? You could have the dock be off from a cliff. That would justify no lead track. Will you be going along the shore line/cliff edge or out into the lake with water on both sides?
    ???
  3. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    the ore dock will have two tracks. I was only going to have 4' but I have DMIR mini-quads from walthers which are 13.5" long, so Id have room for only 3 mini quads, increasing dock to 5' long will allow for 4 mini-quads. so I will have 16 ore cars on each track at full capacity. The dock is offset from the layout and is at same hieght ( ground slopes down to water). The dock will be a steel dock representing DM&IR dock 2 in two harbors, MN. It will be steel with newer conveyer style chutes to load wider 1000' ore boats. The dock is sitting along a wall with a mirror to give impression of bigger. There will be no scenery other than water and land dock is on. ​
  4. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    WOW, this thread is old, one of my firts posts, (brings back many memoriessign1)

    Any way, I think it is almost time to start, I still have to build the benchwork at the location, but other than that I am ready, I have tracks comming out of my yard that lead to nothing, they need an oredock.

    Today at a train show I bought the book Ore Docks and Ore cars of the Great Lakes, which should come in real handy. When I get time, let me post pics of a scratch ore dock from the train show today.
  5. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    Feel free to ask anything about the Walthers kit, as I still have yet to start building mine. Hope you've had a chance to look at the photos I posted in my thread of some of the components.

    I'm still a bit unsure of how I want my dock to 'meet' with the land. Do you have any pics of your layout yet showing this area? I will need a pretty steep embankment, which may require some retaining walls to make it look right.
  6. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    My ore dock will have its very own section of benchwork. This benchwork will be one foot lower then the rest, allowing the oredock to be the same height as the ground (now I am having thoughts of a small incline to the oredock). But anyway, I will post pics of the bechwork as it goes up. I have seen photos of your walthers, but my oredock will be 5 feet long, not including the approach, so I would need several expensive walthers kits. I will scratch build it.

    Here are some pics of a scratchbuilt N scale ore dock I saw today, the chutes were even operable. Maybe these pics will give you some ideas.

    Attached Files:

  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Nice looking model! Kevin, have you ever seen the ore dock model in the Army Core of Engineer's Museum at Canal Park in Duluth. It appears to be HO scale judging by the ore cars on it.

    Ralph
  8. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    I have, but it has been a while. The model in the photo is N scale and ver basic, looks pretty easy to build, mine on the other hand , like the one in Duluth, an HO scale mamoth model, should be tricky to build. It will take some time and ALOT of patience.​
  9. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    I'm guessing it may be helpful to create a jig of some sort that will help you make multiple exact copies of the dock's support structure, sort of like many modelers do when scratch building long wooden trestle projects.
    Ralph
  10. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Seeing how the structure is so big, I was thinking of making a wood frame and attaching styrene to the wood. Then the rest which is also styrene could be glued to the styrene "case". The wood frame could be very light, I just thik it would help give the structure strength. The ore dock will be along a wall and be as though it has been cut in half, so the wood frame could be attached to the wall and the legs would be more or less hanging from the dock, of course, they would connect to the dock and benchwork.​
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Kevin, I think that introducing wood into the construction might unduly complicate things. I've had good success using 4'x8' sheets of .060" styrene for large structures. You can get it in various thicknesses, too. Check in the Yellow Pages under "Plastic Suppliers". I use a long aluminum straightedge and a utility knife to cut the big pieces, and for bracing, I cut 1/2", 3/4" or 1" wide strips and cement them, at right angles to the surface, on the unseen side of the structure to provide rigidity. For large styrene structures, the big sheets offer a real savings (about $25.00 for that 4'x8') and if you use lacquer thinner as the cement, you can save even more, as it's under $20.00 per gallon.

    Wayne
  12. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Well Wayne, Ive thought scratching and ore dock would involve many nights quietly sitting at the workbench with my bondene and MANY parts that are too small to hold, I guess I was a little off. I cant even fit a 4'x8' plywood sheet downstairs. wall1

    I was thinking of a small 1/4" plywood box that could bolt to the wall along the ore dock. I could then attach the oredock to the wood. The wood would support the ore dock and probably be more sturdy, do you think I would be better off without using wood? (I might take my own way anyway, but I know that would lead to me crawling back to the gauge admitting I was wrong) But I would never know if I didn,t try:mrgreen:.
  13. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    There's nothing wrong about using wood as the starting point, although you'll need to make the transition to styrene sooner or later. I ran into this problem when I installed the "concrete" (styrene) retaining walls along the grade separation area in Dunnville. The wall was several feet long and part of it was on a curve. The problem was in attaching it to the edge of the 3/4" plywood sub-roadbed. I finally decided to use a heavy-duty stapler to fasten a strip of styrene to the roadbed, then cemented the retaining wall to that with lacquer thinner.
    For joining styrene to flat expanses of wood, contact cement works well. I have found that "priming" the surface of the styrene with lacquer thinner, before applying the contact cement to it, gives a much better bond. The 4'x8' styrene sheets, incidently, can easily be transported by rolling them up and taping them with Scotch tape.
    All of my larger structures, like GERN, the Dunnville station, and Languay Pump & Compressor are built from or braced with .060" sheet styrene, and all have retained their integrity and trueness. While GERN has been fastened in place by the application of scenery, the others are still removeable and are very structurally stable.
    [​IMG]

    That troublesome retaining wall, by the way, can be seen in the photo below, to the left of the track, and extending from the extreme foreground all the way past the distant curve. The building in the distance to the left of the curve is National Grocers, a large multi-structure complex of DPM modular parts, braced, roofed and backed (as seen) with .060" sheet styrene.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Either method will work, and neither is the "right" way. ;) I simply find it easier to work with a single material if possible.

    Wayne
  14. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Fine, you have swayed me. I will use styrene. Rough sizes, 5' long, and about 5" wide and 6" tall. There will be 4" tall legs connecting it to the benchwork making it a total of 10" tall and it needs to support ore cars and modern 6 axle locomotives. it is basically a 5'x5"x6" box with legs. How should I brace the box, and connect the legs. I got a Chopper from Northwest Shortline for Christmas which should be good help. Thanks for the help. This is a HUGE project for me and I will need as much help as possible, but the Guage is good for that.

    P.S. I could not find any suppliers of sheet plastic. Only specialty plastic products. I went to yellowpages.com and looked at suppliers websites. Where to look now?
  15. DrGeologist

    DrGeologist Canadian Down Under

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    Evergreen Scale Models supply styrene sheets:

    Sheets
  16. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    the largest they have is 1'x2', Wayne is telling me to go for 4'x8', alowing me to have one solid piece the length of the dock. But know I am thinking and the side of the dock will not be flat, I was thinking of using large board and batten siding along the length of the dock. Wayne..........?
  17. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Kevin, I googled styrene plastic suppliers in Saint Paul Mn and found this
    Plastics in Minnesota . Scroll down the page to number 12: even though they're in Wisconsin, they say that they serve Minnesota and have a contact address. Give them a try, perhaps they'll know of others closer.
    To brace the structure, simply cut multiple 5"x6" rectangles and use them as spacers along the length of the structure, so that the entire length is divided into a number of compartments. You could also put a solid top on the whole thing, and paint the area where the tracks will go black, so that when the track is installed, it'll look like there's an opening beneath it. I'd place these dividers about 6" or 8" apart, and put a bottom in the two end compartments and at least one in the middle. If you're concerned about the sides bowing in or out between these spacers, cut some 1/2" strips off the sheet, and cement them, on edge, on the interior of the structure along the bottom edge. Trim the length so that the ends of each brace can also be cemented to the cross-wise spacers. Hopefully, the simple sketch below will illustrate sufficiently.
    In the top view, the 5"x6" ends and spacers are in place.
    [​IMG]

    In the bottom view, with the whole assembly viewed upside down, the two end bays have solid "floors", while the two middle bays have the 1/2" reinforcing strips cemented in place on the inside faces of the front and back walls. The solid floors are necessary to prevent the front and rear walls from skewing in opposite directions, thereby making your three-dimensional model into a "flat". ;)
    For visible, but mostly non-functional bracing, Evergreen has "H" columns, "I" beams, and channel in various sizes, or you could make your own from thinner (.010" or .015") sheet or strip stock. I'd use sheet stock of similar thickness to make the chutes.
    Don't let the enormity of the structure overwhelm you. Most of the components are simply multiples of fairly simple shapes - time consuming, but certainly attainable. If you want to see an inspirational example of this, check out the scratchbuilt Hulett unloaders, in N scale, in the October 2007 issue of RMC. :-D And there are lots of knowledgeable people here to help you out if you get stuck. :yep:

    Wayne
  18. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Benchwork going up

    Well, I am making forward progress on the ore dock. I have a good chnk of the benchwork done. It is basically steps down to the water level. I just need the base to support the ore dock.

    I think I will start out an awfull lot like the model Dr. Wayne gave me. But I think I will see how much the plastic company would charge to build the box and bracing for me, they say they can weld the plastic:thumb:. Then from there it is all me.
  19. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

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    Here are pics.

    Attached Files:

  20. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Any decent solvent cement for styrene, including lacquer thinner, will give you "welded" joints. The solvent melts the plastic at the point of contact, and when it evaporates, the two pieces solidify as one, fused together.

    Wayne