At the moment, the focus is on the final track work at the railways. I had the ‘liquid nails’ out and decided to ‘nail’ a few rocks along the tracks at the Big Nugget Mine. A few terraced houses will appear on top of the rocks.
With the roof up and the chimney in the engine house can be put into service.
With the trusses up and the winding gear in the engine house is ready for a roof.
The poppet head will not work without an engine to hoist the cages up from the underground. The previous purchased steam roller has now been modified. The back with the coal bunker has been cut off and the rest mounted on a ‘concrete’ base. The fly wheels are from the front rollers. A safety valve and a whistle have been mounted on the top. The coal bunker has been replaced by a stack of firewood made from eucalyptus twigs.
Images of old gold mines all show fully enclosed buildings housing the steam boiler. I don’t want the engine hidden from view, so the ‘poor’ fireman will only be protected from the elements by a tin roof.
Summer (!) holidays meant no work done in Wombat Creek.
Back to the Australian winter and work has re-started on the poppet head. A shaft for the two ‘cages’ going up and down from the mine is in place, and floor boards are down on level one and two. The green doors are probably not true to the original poppet head at the Golden Hind Gold Mine, but I think they tie in with the colour of the wheels at the top.
Since the last post the poppet head has seen some progress. At the top the bearings for the two wheels are in place and at lower levels support beams are ready to receive the deckings. The whole structure has been stained. Not the colour I expected, but the colour I got! You never know what the weather will do to your timber works.
The main frame of the poppet head has been made from 36 pieces of balsa wood. Still to come is ‘flooring’ at level 1 and 2, stairs from the ground to level 1 and ladders between the three levels. Two wheels are to be installed at the top. They have already arrived by train. To save money the mine manager has decided to reuse the wheels from the steam roller! At the moment the boiler sits in an unusual position. Later it will be properly propped up.
I have a drawing of a poppet head from the Victorian goldfields. I can’t read the scale, but I have made a mock-up in a suitable size to get an idea how it will fit the space available. The base is a bit wide, but the height is right. I don’t want to change the proportions, so I will try to arrange the other features of the mine around it.