The west shore. (Portland, Or.) 1875-1891, November 02, 1889, Page 237, Image 13

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

crane inside the semi-circular trench, and then the
castings themselves are lifted out and rolled outside
for cooling, and trimming, if there be any small im
perfections that can easily be polished off. Then the
pipes are tested by being subjected to hydraulic pres
sure, varying between 300 and 500 pounds, according
to the specifications of the contract which is being
filled. If the pipes are perfect they are dipped in tar,
and when dry are ready for market. But very few of
the castings are condemned, though any imperfection
in the iron or inequality in thickness sends tho pipo
buck to be broken up and put through the cupola
again. In the efliciency of the plant and the general
excellence of the product this institution is not excelled
by any establishment in the country.
The cores about which the metal is run are made
in the building. The center is a gas pipe, with nu
merous holes in it, so it acts as a flue through which
gases generated by the combustion of the hay rope
with which it is wound escape. In an adjoining build
ing are machines employed in twisting rope which is
wound around the center of the core before the coat
ing of clay is put on. That earthy mixture is ground
by heavy machinery and is about the same as that
prepared for ordinary bricks. For the ends and cer
tain other portions flour is mixed with it to give it co
hesiveness. As the core is made it is turned in a sort
of lathe, so the surface becomes perfectly even and of
the requisite size for the inside of the pipe to be cast
around it. The hay rope next tho iron center of the
core burns out from the heat of the metal. Tho cen
ter is thus relieved of pressure, so it can be easily with
drawn and tho clayey coat of the core crumbles and
falls out when the pipo is drawn from the flask. All
the lifting and shifting work is done by tho huge steam
crane, which is a model machine, capable of handling
ten tons at a lift.
From the cupola the metal for casting is drawn off
into a large vessel called tho ladlo, about the shape of
a large iron kettle. The metal is often too hot for
casting safely when drawn, and then it is stirred until
it becomes sufficiently cool, when tho crano lift and
carries the ladlo to tho proper moulds and tho molten
metal is poured in. One ladleful is sufficient for sev
eral pipes of medium size. Of course, tho ladlo is too
hot to handle with tho hands, so it is tipped by means
of a screw that holds it in any position desired. At
intervals during the casting the cinder is drawn from
tho cupola, and when tho day's work is done the bot
tom is dropped and cleaned preparatory to receiving
tho charge for the next day's casting. Tho lime es
caping with tho cinder is blown into fine, glass-like
threads, that float in tho air and collect on adjacent
projections in a woolly body, somewhat resembling
dandelion spikes. This is known as mineral wool, and
it has a market value, but tho demand is so light that
it docs not pay to save it.
The industry thus briefly sketched is tho largest
manufacturing plant in Oregon. Tho company owns
a largo tract of mineral and timber land about Oswe
go, and has a practically inexhaustible ore supply.
This ore yields between thirty and forty per cent, of
metallic iron. Tho limestone used for llux is brought
from llakor county in Kastern Oregon, and the coke
from Puget sound. Tho charcoal consumed in the
fumaco is burned at the company's kilns a few rods
away. There are forty-two of these kilns, which are
of tho liee hive pattern. Kach kiln produces about
5,000 bushels of coal wt month, that being tho amount
yielded by two fillings of fifty cords each of fir wood.
Tho present plant of tho Oregon Iron it Steel Com
pany was newly constructed ami placed In alteration
almost exactly a year ago. Away back in tho (10'g a
mine was opened and reduction works built ami de
rated for a few years, tho first iron produced west of
the Rocky mountains being turned out there, The