Well the first "draft" of the coal stage is now complete. I am fairly happy with the results although a lot of thought will need to be put into the next one.
It has been a learning experience with most of the issues becoming apparent in hindsight.....ahhh hindsight...
I overcame the issue of "checking out" or rebating the piles to fit the bearers by utilising a jig fabricated to fit 20 precut piles at a time. I utilised the Dremel routing table that i bought years ago & it worked a treat. I will now set about making a jig that holds at least 40 piles so that enough for one stage ( 39off ) can be machined at one time. This will ensure uniformity & consistency & i will research out a proper fluted router bit as this well to enhance the finish also.
Once i have this all figured out i will write a post dedicated to this procedure as the machining of these piles & rebates is a pain by hand & the Dremel setup is relatively cheap & easy.
The stage took about 1.5 productive hours to assemble when you subtract waiting time for glue to dry.
I made a an error with lining up the underdeck outer joist on one side which caused the vertical sheet bracings to not be flush with the outer joist & piles where they transition. These need to be lined up during the earlier phase of construction...you live & learn. While talking about these bracings it is also obvious by the photos that i overstated the bolt detail & i will need to shrink these down on the next one.
The placement or spacing of the bearers & attached piles also needs to be accurate or the sheet bracing will not end up in line with the middle of the piles.
The only other omission is the bolt detail inside the vertical sheets or bin sides. I guess in service the bins would be full of coal & the inner surfaces would not be visible...but i will include in the next draft.
With all the above issues in mind i decided not to add the extra Grandt Line bolt detail to the rest of the finished structure...I will save them for the next draft.
When all is said & done the timber components are all of prototype dimensions & i think even this first draft looks the goods over a plastic or white metal offering & that is where i want to be as after all my mantra has always been...if it was timber in prototype then why not in model form.
I think now a change of pace is needed & this weekend will spend some time roughing out an elevated water tank base in timber...I love winter!!!
As per normal any comments or improvement tips are certainly encouraged as all issues need to be addressed if this is ever going to see the light of day as a kit. In the event this happens...it needs to be right.