Section IV – Mechanicals

There is quite an assortment of “mechanicals”. I put that in quote as some items are more like what could be called infrastructure .. but .. mechanicals is good enough for now:

  • two Belt Elevators
  • a Chain Elevator
  • sprockets with chains
  • pulleys of various sizes with belts
  • the jig
  • steam engine
  • water piping

This list of ‘mechanicals’ may be complete .. it ma not .. so much to do .. so little time.

Belt Elevators

There are two Belt Elevators (labeled conveyors) in the drawing. One is used to move crushed coal, shale etc. from the crusher to the raw coal bin (shown in blue). The other (shown in purple) moves the washed coal to another .. well .. washed coal bin (it actually seems to drop it’s load on a third Belt Conveyor extending from the Washed Coal Bin being driven via chain from the second Belt Elevator power shaft). The two Belt Elevators are driven from a countershaft (green) which in turn is driven by a steam engine via a belt .. as is the crusher from a pulley also on the countershaft.

I just downloaded a conveyor I found at 3D Warehouse which was approximately the right size to act as a stand in. The Belt Conveyors on the drawing are different from a flat Belt Conveyor like I downloaded having buckets attached to the belt.

Chain elevator

The Refuse Elevator seems at least related to a The Belt Elevators but appears to run from a chain vrs. a flat belt.

What can be 3D printed and what needs to be scratchbuilt well have be determined after I get a better idea of what we are trying to replicate in scale. Right now I only have a vague idea.

sprockets with chains

There are two chain drives associated with the Coal Washery with a third that is part of the Washed Coal Bin. That should be taken into account as I believe it is driven via a sprocket on the same shaft as the Washed Coal Bin conveyor belt (I may make more sense of that later).

The conveyor belt taking crushed coal, slate etc. from the crusher (part of the conveyor shown in blue) is driven by chain from a counter-shaft. The second conveyor taking the washed coal (shown in purple) to a Washed Coal Bin separate from the Coal Washery – this third conveyor belt has the receiving end just under the output of the second (purple) conveyor belt. Like I said there appears to be a sprocket on the drive spindle for this conveyor that powers that third conveyor.


A quick count says I have at least six flat belt pullies. Luckily I have done some research on flat belt pullies and also get into determining what size of pulley is needed in my Coal Breaker.

The issue I have here is that the design of a pulley depends on several factors: The HP transmitted, the RPM of the pulley. I can pull some of this information directly or in-directly (inferred) from the original article. How much is inferred and how much directly os not always clear cut – as usual I will make the best (qualified) decision on said numbers. Yes .. it is just a model but it does make a difference in the size and width of the pullies.

jig Box

I have a pretty good handle on the design of this Jig Tank. I have a drawing and a lot of text describing the Jig Box. Here we have a side-view of the “Stewart Jig”, Fig. 34 on Page 115 of Treatise on Coke. This is accompanied with a detailed explanation of the operation.

steam engine

The steam engine is drawn very small. We can get some basic dimensions off of it – assuming that whoever drafted this did so with at least some precision.

water pump/Pipe

Like with the steam engine, the drawing of the pump is really small – but .. we have to work with what we have.


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John Stewart

Hi there,

I am interested in Coal Washers as well for my Birmingham District MRR. I looked through the 1905 Coke reference you used, and saw that the Stewart Washer references the New Castle plant near Birmingham.

Would you be interested in some pictures of the real thing at New Castle?


John Stewart

Hi [what’s your name?]

I have attached one image for a trial.

The original image was made by photographer O V Hunt in Birmingham, a commercial photographer, about 1925 for the coal company. At that time New Castle was owned by the Ramsay-McCormack Coal Company,. I received these images from one of the descendants, Mr. Carr McCormack.

I have posted many of these on my website, and have never had any complaints.

So, if you use them I would say “O V Hunt Photograph, McCormack Family Collection, courtesy of John Stewart,

Let’s see how this image transmits.

John Stewart

John Stewart

Hi Ed I see that there is a 2 meg limit to uploads. I’ll forward the images to you separately. Also there are two articles pertinent from Mining & Minerals, which are cited in your Coke book of 1905 It is interesting to note that the “Ramsay” author is Erskine Ramsay, who eventually owned New Castle Mines with McCormack. Ramsay was a PA mining engineer who moved to Birmingham District and became VERY successful, patenting a number of mining related improvements, including improvements to the Robinson washer, hence the “Robinson-Ramsay” label. I’ll have to attach the pdf files separately as… Read more »

John Stewart


Would you email me direct please to address below and I’ll forward the larger files and the pdfs

John Stewart