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Sunday, February 17. 2013
Steam Department Update 02-16-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 12:33
It was a productive day at the steam shop although the weather was rather unkind, given our priorities.
On 1630 the whole focus was upon continuing the fitting of fire tubes. As noted last week, our first priority was on trying to make the smaller air motor work with sufficient power to drive the tube rollers and so avoid trying to handle to the large motor in confined spaces.
Moving the Sullair to the North end and rigging a holding reservoir to assure minimal pressure drop as the motor works should have been simple. It took Phil and me rather longer with a few challenges such as melting the wheels out of huge blocks of ice that had frozen it to the ground !. However, Glenn's good work over the summer paid off. The compressor starts well even at 15 degrees.
The effort was a success. The smaller air motor with this enhanced air supply will successfully drive both the straight and flaring tube rollers. This unimpressive looking reservoir, close to the locomotive, proves invaluable in maintaining pressure as the tube is rolled.
The results were impressive. We were able to both largely complete expanding the tubes in the firebox and reach about 25% completion of rolling at the smokebox end.
We now have just two tubes in the main area to refit. We decided to expand all tubes before addressing the ones where the ferrule "popped" during expansion. Only one did so this week. So we have that and the one from last week to refit before we have all fitted (aside from those between the super heater flues).
Rolling the tube ends is now a rapid process but is driven by preparation for the next step, which is flaring those tubes that are to be beaded after the first hydro test. These need to be fairly accurate to 1/4 inch projection at each end and the flaring is more effective if the length is adjusted before this is done. So, next week, a number of tubes that have excess length will need to be cut back to 1/4 inch with the angle grinder before flaring. This was expected. The tube sheets are not flat so each tube length is unique and must not provide less than the required projection, so you cannot hope to get each tube correct to 1/16th as they are fitted.
Here you can see some of the tubes (for example the two just left of the lowest super heater flue) that project further and will need to be trimmed before flaring.
Hopefully in the coming weeks we can get two teams working. Once the smokebox end of a tube is rolled, the firebox end can be flared. So it should be possible to have teams working in both firebox and smokebox at the same time. The developing number of tubes with blue paint marks is an indication of substantial progress
In other areas:
· The move of the McCabe was completed. This location will allow it to be used without further movement but keeps it out of the way.
· Jeff managed to get the scissor lift moved to the shop despite the icy conditions. This will allow work to start next week on installing the new air system into the South shop.
A demonstration ride on the lift provided a rare opportunity for a look at work in the shop from above. Looking the length of the shop, Jerry is relocating material to make way for the McCabe and, at the far end, work continues rolling tubes into 1630.
Looking toward the West wall, the team is working on the shaper.
· Stu and Mike worked on reassembly of the planer. Sorting out how the levers should link to the hydraulic control block appears to be a challenge judging by Stu's expression!
So, overall another week of good progress.
Friday, February 15. 2013
I suppose many of my regular readers here are wondering where the report for this week is. I will try to explain. Departing from the usual format, the commercial comes first.
I have spent a substantial number of hours this week, going over donation reports and constructing our own ledger sheets. Other departments are doing the same. GOOD NEWS! It is looking from our unofficial tallies that we are very close to reaching the funding goals for Barn 14. That does not mean the donations should stop. To my knowledge no single piece of equipment has its own restricted fund balance high enough to pay its own way in 100%. But each department realizes the importance of this opportunity and other funds can legitimately be applied to the project to reach full funding. There have been unspecified donations to the project and in the past the Board of Directors has 'shared' that out to five departments. Each department has received donations for indoor space for their equipment and that may be applied to one or more cars under their umbrella. And finally, each department has other donations not specifically for one car or project. That may also be partitioned to get the most cars inside the quickest.
The final thing to mention is we are working to an estimated cost of the project, and we should not be surprised if the bids come in and the total rises marginally. I would consider a good, really good, estimate to be within 5%. So you all have the chance to continue your remarkable support of any particular car or locomotive, any particular department fund, and know it will yield results soon. For the rest of us, we are anxiously awaiting the confirmation from our Financial Department that our unofficial numbers are accurate. On to the news.
I always like to start the reports with progress on the Chicago Great Western X38 snowplow. Why not? It is my department project and my team. Here, Dave Rogan is trimming just a whisker of thickness from a door stile tenon. Our motto is you can always take more off but not moron. Hmm, that did not come out quite right, but I am giddy with the prospect of the Barn.
Dave, Jim Leonard and Rich Witt are assembling and fitting the parts together for the second new X38 door. The first door fitting is complete and it was assembled and put into the press after gluing.
This view shows Victor Humphreys and John Faulhaber with a pile of new lumber on the cart. It has just gone through the planer and is destined to become many feet of tongue and groove millwork for the new roof on Michigan Electric 28.
The wide lumber is ripped to two inch wide slats before being ready for the shaper to do the T&G milling. These are LOOONG boards and a dedicated crew of five ran them through the table saw at the rate of one cut every fifteen seconds or so. Seen above are Victor, Buzz Morisette, Jim Leonard, Jeff Brady, and Dave Diaz.
Dave Diaz also painted a whole slew (is that the technical term?) of window post caps for Cleveland Transit System 4223.
Henry Vincent is at the small band saw trimming tenons on a new bottom rail for the door work on Chicago Aurora & Elgin 36.
That is the sequence on any wood work project, perhaps more so when you are patching in new wood for a repair, such as this work for CA&E 36. Henry is touching up the thickness by hand sanding as he fits, and then perfects the fit.
We continue to move ahead on two new windows for Boston & Maine 1094. Here, Rich Witt is working on a masonite template for the top shape of these windows. It will be critical to using that to guide two routing operations, establishing the needed cross sections.
Buzz has a good eye and a careful hand and this final version of the template is being checked by Rich. Smooth!
Gerry Detloff is applying the first piece of new tongue and groove wood slats to the roof of Lake Shore Electric 810. We made those only a few short weeks ago and despite the cold temperatures, Gerry was out in the barn nailing them on.
And as usual a lot of other work went on. One that comes to mind was making a new wood piece for the awning on the Frisco Decapod in the Steam Shop.
Sunday, February 10. 2013
Steam Department Update 02-09-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 13:52
While it was a part day in the shop for me, as I attended the Board meeting in the morning on behalf of the department, a larger team braved the snow and ice and good progress was made in a number of areas.
· the first of the cladding sheets, as well as a number of cab fittings were brought down from storage above the machine shop for inspection, cleaning and painting. There is a great deal of this to be done in preparation for the time when we will be able to start refitting them. Much of this is an unpleasant, dirty job as the sheet metal must be wire brushed to get rid of rust and bits of lagging. However there is now an area set up to allow cladding sheets and other parts to be painted and allowed to dry (at the opposite end of the shop from the dust generated by the cleaning process!).
Above are some of the first results including sections of the cladding, that make up the covering of the boiler backhead in the cab, and the mounting plate for the pressure gauges.
· on the tube fitting there was significant progress, more in the areas of developing processes for the next steps than in fitting large numbers of tubes.
o While I was at the meeting, Collin and the guys completed removal of the rogue tube from last Saturday and put a new one in.
o The new roller has arrived and we spent a good deal of time working out how best to use it.
This roller is designed to both expand the end of the tube and simultaneously flare the projecting end of the tube, ready for beading. We used this to start work on the smokebox tube ends. The size of this roller should allow it to be used on both the firebox ends and those tubes at the smokebox end that require beading. Because it is a great deal easier to work in the smokebox we decided to work out how best to use it on smokebox tube ends. This proved to be a very good decision. It certainly does expand and flare the tube ends quickly and effectively. Once in place and properly driven, the process is complete in maybe 30 seconds.
The snag that became obvious was that the additional force required to turn this roller, as it not only expands the tube but flares the ends at the same time, is more than our smaller air motor can provide. This is a significant issue. The smaller air motor weighs about 30 pounds and can be reasonably controlled by one person. The bigger one drives the expander with no problem but weigh 50 pounds or more. Manually supporting and locating this beast on to the expander for every hole, which we can easily do with the small motor, is pretty exhausting work for two people, as Phil and I found out. Some more development is required. While we certainly could expand the smokebox ends this way it would be slow. The operators require frequent breaks!!. Next week we will need to explore other options. We probably need to find ways of supporting the motor in places from which we can drive the expansion of multiple tubes using the flexible drive shaft, rather than attaching the motor directly to the expander and therefore carrying the full weight of the motor to every tube end. Clearly we need to develop methods that can also be used in the firebox. ... If the big motor is tough to handle in the smokebox it will be a nightmare in the firebox with the arch tubes in the way!.
o Despite this we successfully expanded a number of smokebox ends. I have changed the progress measures to reflect the way we now expect to work. At the smokebox end only some tubes need to be flared (those that will subsequently be beaded) and we will do this simply by using a different roller for the expansion. So this weekend we actually flared 7 and left 4 un-flared as they will not be beaded. However in all cases this did all that we need to do to the tube before the first hydro test. At the firebox end, flaring will be a separate step. Beading will not be done at either end until after the first hydro test (so that any leakage can be corrected by additional rolling).
Here you can see the results on the tubes directly below the super heater flues from column P and to the right where the ends are now flared when compared to the raw tube ends in the rows below.
o At the firebox end we continued to fully seal tubes that were previously set into place. Unfortunately we still hit an occasional one that shoots out the ferrule in this process and needs to be replaced. This seems to happen with those tubes that were originally set with the roller rather than they expander. At least we are now largely thru the ones that were set in this way.
· The sight feed lubricator was located and Jerry started work on cleaning and checking this essential component.
· The ring spacer required for the one super heater flues with an extra large hole was completed ready for refitting of the super heater flues.
In other areas:
· Jerry and Mike made good progress on clearing the shelving at the South West corner of the shop to make an area against the wall to store the McCabe flanger. This will be a major improvement. The flanger is, on occasions, a critical machine and had a major role in producing the patch. However, between those occasions, it a huge lump of metal that cannot readily be moved any great distance and takes up a lot of useful space!!. So the objective is to provide a storage space against the wall to free up useful space in the fabrication area when it is not required. It would be really nice if we could store it out of the shop in a container. However, it is so heavy that only the large Buildings and Grounds forklift can handle it .......... and that does not fit thru the doors of the shop!
· Mike started on rebuilding the air pump for #428. He has been doing a lot of research on the cross compound air pumps and will look after all of them. He also checked out the valves on 1630's pump which looks to be in good shape after the work done a couple of years back.
· Tom continued with machining the shoes and wedges for 428.
Above shows one of the shoes that will position the axle boxes in the frame. These are new iron castings as the originals were worn beyond repair. Each must be planed to exact dimensions to enable the eventual refitting of the axles. A slow and tedious process as each axle box requires one shoe and one wedge.
So, overall another week of good progress.
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.
Saturday, February 9. 2013
BLOG EXTRA! Silver Pony On Its Feet Posted by Robert Kutella in California Zephyr Silver Pony at 05:25
Late breaking news. The following are the raw pictures sent to me overnight by Jon Fenlaciki. Two large cranes were hired and the Silver Pony is back on wheels. I do not have the whole story so the pictures will have to speak for themselves, but a step that has taken three years has been accomplished.
Many members were on hand to help on a FRIDAY, no less. They included Jon Fenlaciki, Nick Kallas, Rod Turner, Max Tyms, Bob Olsen, Mark Secco, and Jim West.
Friday, February 8. 2013
The Ely, The Continuing Story... Posted by Roger Kramer in Passenger Car Department at 20:35
The ceiling of the ELY is finally progressing to the point where new ceiling panels are being installed. Buzz and Shelly are accomplishing most of the upgrade. The first picture, just for a review of the progress, shows what the ceiling looked like a couple of weeks ago. Now to the latest efforts. Last Sunday, Shelly painted the roof boards a dark brown color to protect them from the future elements. Next, the reader can see Buzz at work installing the first white panel. It's not easy working over head especially when it's cold outside and in the car. We do have an electric heater but it does not really warm the car.
These last few pictures give you an idea how much has been accomplished.
The ELY last ran on a railroad as Nevada Northern 10 Please consider making a donation to the Ely Fund! RELY You are also invited to take a tour of the Ely in Barn 3 this spring and view for yourself the progress.
Please remember the Barn 14 restricted fund!! RBARN14 Roger
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