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Sunday, February 24. 2013
I do not think I can compete with the Steam Shop news posted by Nigel Bennet, and in any event the turnout of volunteers was lower than recent weeks. Perhaps due to the evening event scheduled. On the down side we now have torn sandpaper on two of the three drums on our Berlin Sander and work will have to commence at once to dismantle the machine and replace the media. Can it be done in a day?
With the Berlin out of service we moved to Plan B, that to continue milling stock for new roof boards for Michigan Electric 28. Paul Cronin and Bill Peterson are set up run all those slats through the shaper, and that is only PART of them.
WHEW! Over 100 pieces done with new grooves milled to match the tongue side. Bill and Paul look as proud as new parents. Maybe that is only the relief at completing the shaper work on the third similar shop order in the last month. Three differing profiles totaling about 2000 linear feet.
Here is what they look like, each only two inches wide. But there was still one more operation since these are to installed above the curved carlines on the roof and need to fit together closely. Just as the carbuilders did, we ran than all through the table saw to create an 8.5 degree bevel undercut on the groove side.
Finally Paul and Bill stack off the completed work for the last time. You would not think that too hard a job, but it gets old and tiresome when every day starts by picking up the over one hundred pieces and now for the last time, stacking off the completed stock.
Victor Humphreys and Bill are pawing through the BUCKET-O-LOCKS to pick out door hardware for the new Chicago Great Western X 38 doors.
Victor measured and cut some glass for the new CGW X 38 windows and here shows that off to to Bill and Paul.
Tim Peters was working on the second door to be restored for Chicago Rapid Transit 1024. How many doors are there on that one car? Maybe FOUR I can count right now.
Keith Letsche was repairing lamp sockets for the 1024. That includes cleaning the many layers of paint, inspecting, and repairing as needed.
On a different bench Bill Wulfert, now becoming known as the King of Lamps, was doing many of the same operations to a production line of lamp bases.
Finally, here is a picture of molding produced by the Pullman plant over 100 years ago. Two similar types are found in many places throughout the 1024 and of course, nothing even close is contemporary today. It presents several challenges to make and will require special tooling to be ground for our machines. All of those steps may take several weeks so it is timely to start contacting suppliers now.
Friday, February 22. 2013
And in the wood shop area, as is our custom, we produced a lot of sawdust and chips. Production is at such a high level, the collection barrel needs to be emptied more than once every day the machines are running.
Victor Humphreys is our 'go to guy' for painting and he does a fine job. Here are the new cupola cab windows for Chicago Great Western X 38 getting the first coat of maroon.
Dave Rogan does careful work in fine tuning the mortise and tenon joints for the second CGW X 38 door. We make it a practice to completely assemble and dry fit the door before gluing, and on occasion, fine adjustments need to be made.
And at the end of the day it is worth it. The second door is in the glue press curing as Dave makes a final check. The first door is done to this stage and can be seen in the background.
John Faulhaber and Rich Witt are trimming a new roof board for the Lake Shore Electric 810. The new boards are being installed from the top down towards the tack molding.
John is on the belt sander now making the final fit fpr this piece. Nothing ever comes out exactly perfect when working on an eighty year old car body, so the last piece is a custom work of art.
And here is the car, outside in Barn 4. Three or four rows of roof boards are done, and the new tack molding has been installed. Wednesday morning it was about plus 7 F and these guys were on the scaffold first thing. At least they were out of the wind!
Henry Vincent has completed the new pieces for the repair on this door for Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36. He has moved forward and is sanding old paint off, and preparing the mating surfaces for new finish before final assembly.
Well, more properly, speaking OF tongues. A good sized crew worked again throughout the day on new roof boards for Michigan Electric 28. I think the goal is for something in excess of 1200 linear feet to be made. That is not a trivial effort. Here are the first boards off the shaper showing the new tongues.
Paul Cronin is acting as catcher getting the stock as it comes off the shaper, and Buzz Morisette is feeding the machine. Not the only two working this project, others helped, but were not in this image. Jeff Brady and Norm Krentel were outside in the barn, working on the top roof sheathing.
Progress was also made with the new Boston & Maine windows - beading, planing, and ripping.
Monday, February 18. 2013
A very busy day in the shop Saturday and a lot of hands at work!
Work continued apace on the second new door for Chicago Great Western X 38. John Faulhaber did a lot of the fussy work of fitting the joints and I pitched in when I had some free time. The second door is ready for assembly and glue up.
The BIG job of the day, volume wise and manpower wise was making stock for new roof boards for Michigan Electric 28. So you will see a lot of pics of those steps. The goal is to have about 1200 linear feet of stock sized and planed for milling a tongue and groove on each piece. Henry Vincent, Paul Cronin, and Buzz Morisette got the ball rolling by running the remaining rough boards through the jointer to make one edge true and straight. I should note that Paul Cronin had knee replacement surgery a little over four weeks ago and he is back in the shop working. TWO THUMBS UP for Paul!
All the wide boards were cut to the needed two inch wide strips and Paul, Bill Peterson, Henry, and Buzz were stacking them completed around midday. But these guys are like the EverReady bunny, they just will not stop. They were ready for MORE!
So we have this stack of something over 100 pieces of stock and the next step is to plane to about 7/16 inch thickness. Buzz, Henry, Paul and Bill took on that task. It is fairly simple if you have two or four pieces, but 100? A lot of handling and the consideration of where do you stack it up along the process.
Buzz and Henry were feeding the stock, and Paul and Bill were acting as catchers. Every 15 minutes or so an intermission was called. We have a pretty good system to collect the dust and chips. But you have to watch the collection barrel and make sure it gets emptied!
Henry and Buzz continue feeding the planer while Greg Kepka pitched in moving and staging still more stock to feed that voracious machine.
Still these guys wanted more. Paul and Henry are at the infeed end of the planer for the second and final pass to produce the finished 3/8 inch thickness. Bill and Greg are at the outfeed end acting as catchers.
Whew! With all that done, now what do we do with it? Bill, Henry, and Paul are stacking off the finished work while others help to clean up the work area near the planer. A BIG job DONE! With much of the center stage area of the wood shop and its machines busy, that did not mean all the other work stopped. You merely had to take a number and wait your turn.
Rich Witt was measuring and laying out cuts on new beautiful mahogany stock for the Boston & Maine windows we are making. That got processed and is ready for the next step.
Tim Peters filled some of his time waiting for machines to be available by cleaning and wire brushing some castings needed in the next steps for rebuilding a door for Chicago Rapid Transit 1024.
Then Tim was back on the saw with a tricky set up for slicing a thin skin of quarter sawn white oak to be applied to one of the stiles on the above door. The skin was not particularly loud but the nearby planer was still howling away, thus the ear protection. Either that or he thought it was cold in the shop and likes warm ears.
Two of our PCC cars saw more work. Frank Sirinek and Mike Stauber were in the shop stripping old paint and cleaning interior panels and trim for the Kansas City Public Service PCC car.
Lorne Tweed and Eric Lorenz continue work on the Cleveland Transit System 4223 PCC car. They claim they were involved in some planning and engineering work, but it looks to me more like something shady was being discussed as I caught them in the act with some drawings and plans.
Sunday, February 10. 2013
It seems a lot of folks like to volunteer in the wood shop, another very good turnout with some rare visitors - first timers or members who do not spend all their time in the shop. The event that is becoming space limited is noon around the lunch table - shoulder to shoulder swapping tales, telling stories, and discussing the work.
The biggest job for the day involved making new tongue and groove boards to replace rotted stock inside the MILW X 5000 dynamometer car. Buzz had jointed the new lumber last Wednesday. The next step was to set up the table saw and rip all the wide planks down to about 2 1/8 inches wide That was a lot of ripping but by noon or so, Bill Peterson, Warren Neuhauser, and Dick Melzer are standing in front of a large pile of the slats. We started that job earlier with John Faulhaber also helping, especially with the fences, jigs, and set up on the table saw and soon to be used shaper.
Next - the wood was marked for the 'best side' and each was run through the shaper to mill the groove and a small chamfer. All in one pass using our power feeder. The crew feeds, monitors and catches each piece. Not heavy work but many hands to do that and inspect each piece coming off the machines.
The second pass through that machine puts the tongue and a chamfer on the other face edge of the boards. We kept the crew busy throughout most of the afternoon.
The result was about 450 linear feet of new stock, here being stacked up ready for priming and painting. We purposely kept the tongues shallow as this will be installed on the inside, (concave) side of the car, and each piece will have to be able to create that inside curve.
Tim Peters was stripping the many layers of old finish off of one of the doors for Chicago Rapid Transit 1024. He put on quite a show acting as a stripper wearing hearing protection. Those were needed since he was right next to the shaper milling operation which is quite loud. He also ran quite a stack of new basswood planks through the table saw and the planer. This was the first steps to making boards to curve over the roof ends on the 1024.
Victor Humphreys applied the first coat of maroon paint to two of the new windows for the Chicago Great Western X 38 and also did more painting on the small quarter round strips for installing the glazing.
Not a lot of work on the new doors for the X 38 since the tongue and groove work was a full time process for many hours. But the door joint final fitting came out well under the direction of John Faulhaber, and we did the planing and finish work on the four solid panels which will fill the lower two spaces on each door. It is sitting in the press, ready to be glued up on Wednesday.
Lorne Tweed and Eric Lorenz are going over all the details for the the window posts on Cleveland Transit System 4223. While many of these are nominally the same, there are also many for special mounting at the front, rear, or near the side doors. All seem to be measurably different from one another.
Dave Fullarton stopped by with a small wood electrical box door, I think he said for the CTA 2000's. Whatever, you can be sure it relates to our rapid transit cars.
John Faulhaber and Rich Witt helped and the new door was made in no time while the shaper crew labored on. Dave moved on to painting it at once with GLYPTOL insulating varnish.
We will close with the WHAT IS IT quiz of the day. Roger Kramer has a box like dispenser removed from the Ladies Room of one of our heavyweight Pullman Passenger cars. We think it held flat folded paper cups for drinking water, if any of you are old enough to remember those.
Thursday, February 7. 2013
This was another busy Wednesday in the shops in Barn 4. One of the volunteers said to me "Wow, there are 17 people here today!" I counted 18, so another weekday record for attendance - and PROGRESS.
The lead photo today has to be Mike Alterio and Frank Sirinek alongside Chicago & West Towns 141. Work has been ongoing to fabricate new parts and linkages and yesterday the brake rigging under the car was COMPLETE! The trolley pole went to the wire, the air compressor charged the brake system, and the brakes were applied from the control stand inside the car. THEY WORKED! This was very much a team effort with many contributing to the success. The tests pointed to some adjustments still needed but the brake cylinder, rods, bars, pins, bushings, new clevises, the many parts salvaged and made new performed as designed.
Dick Cubbage and Jim Leonard are trimming tenons on the bandsaw for a rail on the new doors for Chicago Great Western X 38. It is a fitting job and quite fitting that volunteers new to the work are doing and learning the skill sets.
Each mortise and tenon joint is custom fitted one at a time. As we go along it is too tempting to resist assembling what is ready so far. Jim Leonard, John Faulhaber, and Dave Rogan seem pleased.
Jim is using the disc sander to take off just a 'whisker' to make the joint nearly perfect. The smart folks do this carefully and only a little bit at a time. Slower perhaps, but little risk of taking too much and ruining a piece.
Dave and John are using a tenon jig on the table saw to just shave a bit off the thickness on one side of the tenon.
Results are what count. Near the end of the day Dave, Jim, and John have the entire door assembled for the first time. They look very proud and OUGHT TO BE!
Henry Vincent has been working at repairing an end train door for Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36. He has moved on to the fussy work of plunging mortises (seen here) and trimming tenons for the final fit before the gluing stage.
Buzz Morisette is already at work on new lumber for creating tongue and groove ceiling boards for the MILW X 5000 dynamometer car. Our volunteers yesterday got what I estimate to be over $1000 of new hardwood lumber and hauled it to our site in our truck. It barely had a chance to get warm, and the work was on. Yes the raw materials alone can be costly (donate now to MILW X 5000, CRT 1024, or ME 28) but the value of the fabricated work we do is easily five times that. And we have the opportunity to pass on the skill sets every week to the volunteers.
What would a BLOG entry be without mentioning windows? Volunteer Dave Diaz has returned to the fold to help out, and he and Simon Harrison are working on the metal sash windows for Cleveland Transit System 4223. This PCC car had a lot of window work done last winter in the shops, and now it is time to finish off remaining items to make them ready to install on the carbody.
Sunday, February 3. 2013
The driving was certainly poor in the morning but many hardy souls came out to help. It did not help that GATE 5 was inoperable when I showed up (the first one?) and I was not dressed to brave the snowy winds to unlock the secrets and get it reset. But I did - I wonder what I did right?
Victor Humprheys is applying the first coat of finish grey interior paint to the cupola windows for Chicago Great Western X 38. It is very satisfying to see this taking place, remembering the rough boards and resulting sawdust that got us this far.
John Faulhaber is starting the fussy work of fitting together the first pieces for the new doors for the X 38. Earlier we did the trim work to prepare the rails and stiles at each mortise.
Bill Peterson is working his way into our graces every Saturday. He is willing and seems quite able to take on additional tasks. Here he is demonstrating how we fashion double tongue tenons to fit two matching mortises for the mid rails of these doors. The OJT caption? On the job training!
Victor also assisted in gluing and clamping 9 pieces of wood for the third panel to be made for the new X 38 doors. It is a good thing the glue we are using has a good pot life and we can usually find the seven or so extra sets of hands to do the assembly and clamping.
Buzz Morisette is holding two small pieces of wood. The old brown ragged one is from the head lining of MILW X 5000, our dynamometer car. The new one is a test piece for cutting the profile and groove on new lumber. The shaper is set up now with the proper tooling and ready to go once the new lumber is delivered.
Here, Buzz is routing a fancy profile on a curved piece of new molding that was created for his restoration work on the private car ELY. I am sure the car builders did this mass production fashion, but when there is a will there is a way. We have some very talented and creative volunteers willing to share some of the tricks of the trade.
Lorne Tweed is going over the many windows needed for the Cleveland Transit System 4223 PCC. We are all eager to see enough of the interior panels and trim installed to allow windows in the car sides. Glass is a GOOD thing!
Tim Peters is in the final stages of his window making marathon for Chicago Rapid Transit 1024, with some help here from Bill Wulfert. The few left on this bench are all that are remaining to be able to say they are ALL glued and assembled.
It reminded me of the announcements often heard in supermarkets, but here Bill and Tim are cleaning up layers of old paint from the brass lamp bases and window lifts fro CRT 1024. Someone should be taking time lapse photos of this project, it is moving along too fast to capture everything on these BLOGS.
And of course Rich Witt continues in the Engineering Department. Sometimes we push him pretty hard and are set up and cutting stock as the lines go down on paper. And of course Rich also does a lot of the shop work and finished up a very nice piece today.
Friday, February 1. 2013
Wow! Wednesday was a very busy day in the shop and without spending a lot of time counting, I think I can name SEVENTEEN volunteers on hand. They are a bunch of likable, friendly, hard working guys HAVING FUN and enjoying fellowship with like minded individuals. I may have missed a few names so maybe there were MORE. As a result this will be a long post with lots of pics, and even then some activities did not get recorded. A lot of people, a lot of work, a lot of projects, and a lot of PROGRESS! Over the past few years we invested a lot of time and effort to expand the Barn 4 shop space. Just like in the movie FIELD OF DREAMS - build it and they will come.
Rich Witt continues to be a valuable resource in the Engineering work. You need to have a plan before starting to build anything and he has been involved in producing working drawings and making decisions about two new round topped windows for the Boston & Maine 1094. These prove to be far more complicated than a traditional rectangular window for our railcars.
Ted Anderson is the Curator of our Pullman Library and he found original plans and drawings for these type of windows. Ted reviews them with Rich, and we were pleased to determine that many of our choices and decisions are justified and were the way the originals were constructed. In this case we needed to make common sense choices based on historical examples since the remaining one window is in bad shape and has been patched several times, Not much of the original fabric to go by.
Progress continued on the scheduled winter shop work for Chicago Great Western X 38. John Faulhaber and Dave Rogan are laying out and preparing pieces for gluing up another of the four solid panels needed for two new doors.
Victor Humphreys was adding the first exterior primer paint to eight new completed windows destined for the X 38. There are many steps to making a new wood sash and almost as many for the finishing process, with only being able to do one side at a time and waiting for drying time.
John Faulhaber breathes a sigh of relief beside the rails and stiles for the X 38 doors. Drilling square holes with a rotating drill is a touchy operation requiring some care and finesse. Note all the completed slots (mortises) in the stack of parts beside him.
Jim Leonard is laying out parts for one of the doors after he helped cut the tenons. This should give you a good idea of the size and shape for these heavy doors. Now for the fussy work of custom fitting each of the eight mortise and tenon joints to allow assembly.
Dave and John have assembled one of the solid door panels they prepared in the morning and are trying to use almost every available clamp in the shop to hold it flat and square. New volunteer Jim Foraker is learning and helping at the same time. WELCOME ABOARD, Jim!
Lets move on from the snow plow work to Henry Vincent continuing his careful work to repair a train door for Chicago Aurora & Elgin car 36.
We have talked before here about our efforts to bring an old larger table saw back to life. Jim Leonard is working to clean the innards and outards(?) of the disassembled motor for the saw. Also this week a troublesome motor bearing problem was resolved with some machine shop work (Thanks Rod), so we may be close to reassembling and testing the motor.
Jim Heinlien helped a lot as we strip and clean the failed paint finish from the saw. Jim Foraker is just outside this view but he pitched in on the task.
The next few relate to the PCC car, Cleveland Transit System 4223. Lorne Tweed is studying old prints as he tries to decode the many parts removed from the car maybe 20 years ago.
Jim Leonard is busy cleaning up some of those old CTS 4223 panels. They were primed at the time of removal but primer is somewhat of a porous coating and years and years in storage has not been 100% kind to them.
After the panels have been cleaned up we see Lorne wiping them down to remove any dust and debris before adding new primer. There are many panels and no two seem to be the same. Many had received the new primer by the end of the day.
Last week we showed you how we made a new mahogany bottom rail for a rear window in Indiana Railroad 65. Jon Fenlaciki quickly checked the work and set about sanding the many layers of old paint. The new wood is the piece on the right side with no paint as you view the image here.
Tim Peters is not to be outdone in his quest to manufacture 72 new windows for Chicago Rapid Transit 1024. He is now to the stage of making the new clerestory windows, each with three lites or panes of glass.
After all, how much window work can you do? Frank Kehoe and Tim are working on creating the right dimension stock for more 1024 tack molding. With the upper tack molding under their belt, they are now working on the lower tack molding, this one mounted where the lower hip roof meets the car sides.
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Steve Krause about 1630 Normal running
Sun, 05-24-2015 15:50
And I really appreciate the work! Got a lot of fine images with the sunshine yesterday, and got to briefly introduce my daughter to the cab courtesy [...]
Nigel Bennett about 1630 in service
Sun, 05-24-2015 10:53
Tim, Good idea. I will talk to our store manager about this. Nigel
Tim about 1630 in service
Sat, 05-23-2015 22:32
Awesome train, my son loved his first ride today. I just wish you guys sold some nice photos or artwork of this great train. I would love to buy [...]
C Kronenwetter about 1630 in service
Sat, 05-23-2015 18:13
Very nicely done, Nigel. Thanks to the steam team for all of their hard work!
Mark Poynter about 1630 in service
Fri, 05-22-2015 09:53
Well done and many congratulations to the entire steam crew! I'll be coming to IL from MT this summer and will see 1630 on July 4th.
Zach Kaye about 1630 in service
Thu, 05-21-2015 22:51
Awesome!!! Coming down for the event this Monday. Can hardly wait to see her in action!!!
Roger Kramer about A Major Announcement
Wed, 05-20-2015 21:47
Hello Warren The Mt. Harvard has the Pullman Mechanical system. Basically two Spicer drives one off each axle One runs the generator and the other [...]
Charles Dahle about A Major Announcement
Wed, 05-20-2015 17:17
Many thanks to Mark and Jon for all their efforts toward the RPO weekend. I was able to attend and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Vince about Steam Department - Fingers crossed!
Wed, 05-20-2015 07:53
Good luck to all the folks who have worked to get 1630 back in action!
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update April 2015
Tue, 05-19-2015 22:21
Dave, A long day today but #1630 is complete and ready to be coaled and watered tomorrow. Unless anything unexpected shows up in the steam [...]
W Newhauser about A Major Announcement
Tue, 05-19-2015 19:14
Nice car! Can't wait to see it. I'm wondering what type of electrical/mechanical systems does it have?
Brian J. Patterson about A Major Announcement
Mon, 05-18-2015 23:05
Hello, Roger, Raphael, and all. 1. Roger, thank you for your efforts to get this car for IRM. It will make a great addition to our [...]
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