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Sunday, April 21. 2013
I was not too optimistic about outdoor work at IRM, after leaving home in the morning with about a half inch of ice and snow needing to be scraped and thawed off the automobile. By mid morning most of that had melted away, and in the afternoon Victor Humphreys took the challenge and he and I dared to open up the Chicago Great Western X 38 snowplow. As he said, we have been working in the shop all winter and both were beginning to suffer cabin fever. Success. The first of the new windows we made in the shop is complete and installed on the rear wall. And the north side opening was opened up and the new window for that fitted into place, ready to install on the next fair weather day.
As Nigel mentioned in his report there were many members on hand but most shuttled back and forth to meetings (an annual ritual at IRM this time of year). Here we see Ray Schmidt, Jeff Brady (hidden by Ray) and Bill Peterson working on the new roof for Michigan Electric 28. If you look carefully you will see the new tongue and groove slats made in our shop going on the carline stringers.
This is the new door we are making for our station. The extensions of the vertical stiles were trimmed off and then some more finish sanding by Victor. At the left of this picture you will see John Faulhaber working on a new children's activity item at the request of Ray Bellock.
In between other tasks Victor found time to add the first coat of primer to the door. Not many steps left now - almost ready to deliver to our Buildings and Grounds Department.
Jim Leonard is making all the sawcuts for the last large ceiling panel for Cleveland Transit System 4223.
Meanwhile out in the carbody for the 4223, Eric Lorenz continues the task of routing and running all new wiring. Look at it all! I wonder how he knows where it all goes?
Sunday, April 21. 2013
Steam Department Update 04-20-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 11:23
Turnout at the shop yesterday was much restricted. Quite a few people were tied up all day a with the rules test and a number more, including me, were out a few hours for the annual safety meeting. Some others, including Tom and Glenn, had to deal with flooded basements at home after the crazy storm during the week.
However a reduced crew made good progress in a number of areas and overcame a few set-backs.
· We continued with rolling the super heater flues into the rear tube sheet and all 8 on the engineer's side are now done. This shows the method used to hold the flue in place at the front while the other end is expanded into the rear tube sheet. Once that is done the flue is held firmly in place.
An alternative motor was located that can be positioned in ways that work around the siphon and allowed us to reach the top pair of flues. This is "really good fun" as you have to work tight up against the top of the firebox. But it works!.
Progress was limited by a few set-backs.
Working in a confined space, yours truly managed to drop the expander, when removing it from the tube we had just expanded. Unfortunately the little rollers jumped out when it landed on the grates. So we spent quite a while digging thru the track bed under the loco to find them. However we did find them and, after re-assembly, everything is worked fine on the next two flues.
Despite all the checking a couple of weeks back, one flue proved to be marginally short of the required length. Luckily the adjacent one was slightly over length so we could cure the problem by removing and switching the two adjacent flues. At the same time we double checked all the remaining flues to ensure we have no such problems on the fireman's side. With this done, both flues were rolled to complete the engineer's side.
We also found an issue with the steel spacer fitted around in the top right flue. The spacer is a perfect, lathe cut, ring of about 5 1/2 inch diameter but the tube sheet is not perfectly flat in this area. So the ring could not fit flush to the tube sheet all around the flue. The beading will not work properly if there is a significant recess or projection anywhere around the ring. The solution involved Collin crawling into the boiler so that he could driver the spacer out to be flush with the tubesheet at its lowest point. This was quite an effort as the space with the tubes in place is a tiny fraction of what it was when the tubes were removed.
However, once this was done, the ring could be carefully ground flush with the sheet all around the hole. This all had to be done before we can safely expand the flue. ASfter all this effort, it should now be ready to expand next week. This shows the spacer with the flue inside. The spacer is now flush to the tube sheet while the face of the flue shows how the spacer has been ground to align with the face of the sheet.
· The remaining small tubes were annealed and brought up to the locomotive for Jerry to finally clean ready for installation. So everything is ready to get the last tubes in.
On the Shay
· A small but determined team started by annealing the 7 tubes for 1630 and then annealed the 43 tubes for the Shay that were swaged last;
· Having taken a break, after 2 hours working on the furnace, we decided that we were real suckers for punishment, moved the tubes around, and swaged the remaining 45 Shay tubes. So all the tubes for the Shay are now swaged and, once the last batch are annealed, will be ready to go back to storage until required for fitting. A big bonus is that we should now be finished with the swager and can free up the access to the heavy work area.
· Dennis was able to start on the smokebox welding. First step was to make good holes and weak areas on the section that is not being replaced.
One of the areas being reinforced is around some of the holes for bolts that secure the front of the smokebox. These have been reinforced to ensure that we have adequate strength in around the bolts.
On the machines:
· Bob Rugg continued with wiring the planer; and
· Bob Milhaupt, who we have not seen in a long time, located and fitted the guards around the backhead drive of the wheel lathe.
So, good progress this week despite the limited number of people available.
Thursday, April 18. 2013
The watchword for the day was - EYES ON THE SKY! There were several waves of thunderstorms which resulted in four or five power outages in the shops. Luckily none of the outages occurred when we were in the middle of a major operation on the machines - such as the Berlin Sander. Lots of rain - SEVEN inches reported by some some towns in the last 24 hours and maybe 2-3 more today (Thursday). Lots of puddles on the grounds and if one of them went up another 2 inches there would have been water coming in the shop. At least one of our regular volunteers woke up at 3 AM to find 18 inches of water INSIDE his basement. Lots of closures, flooding, and more rain in the area.
Dave Rogan, Paul Cronin, and Victor Humphreys are wrestling the heavy station door we recently made through the infeed end of the Berlin Sander. This is a heavy complex machine but one which does a good job of finishing projects, achieving smooth and flat frames on doors and windows, results not easily possible by hand sanding. The operation of this machine in recent months was almost always accompanied by some drama.
John Faulhaber joined the above crew at the outfeed end of the sander as we made pass after pass, checking after each one. With the door done, we moved on to run the two new windows for Boston & Maine 1094 through the machine.
We continue to have a pretty good sized weekday crew working on the Cleveland Transit System 4223 PCC car. Paul Cronin and Dave Rogan are set up to try a fearsome looking circle cutter in a half inch drill motor to cut a hole in one of the new panels.
We were somewhat surprised the first hole went without incident and two more holes were completed in this panel. Then some hand sanding and cleanup - finally primer applied to this by the end of the day. There are many of these narrow panels needed, with holes to accept the bulls eye light fixtures.
The project team had determined that most of the original panels, saved for many years, could not be restored. So the first order of business is shown here as Lorne Tweed, Dave Rogan, and Simon Harrison remove blanking panels installed by Toronto. Then on to trace exactly the length and width, and the openings in a new piece of stock. Cut that out and then on to the next one. Three completed this day.
Yes, you are seeing Nigel Bennett of the Steam Department in our shop prime painting the many panels and parts for the 4223 almost as fast as we could make them. Thanks Nigel, you are always welcome to volunteer to help out here.
Jeff Brady was caught in the act at the table saw as he made new wood repair parts for the roof work on Michigan Electric 28. Norm Krentel was also on site and we saw a steady stream of panel goods leaving the storage shelves and making their way onto the roof.
Rich Witt was checking our first piece of steam bent window beading after the new round top windows for Boston & Maine 1094 came from the Berlin Sander.
Ted Anderson stopped by the shop to check on the windows. Here, he and Rich are checking dimension for planned leaded glass to be made for these. You will see copies of original Pullman drawings for these windows, those found in our Pullman Library and printed by Ted. The wood shop work is about done on these as we completed trimming off the stile extensions and cutting the bevel on the bottom rail.
With all the start-stops caused by the spotty power, Paul Cronin managed to dis-assemble the failed grid box for Chicago Aurora and Elgin 36. He sorted through the parts and cleaned up several grids on the wire wheel, those not too far gone or broken.
Tuesday, April 16. 2013
On April 7th the Ely ceiling in the lounge was painted.
Then on April 14th Buzz hung the refinished light fixtures. The globes will be cleaned and installed very soon.
All images were captured by Jon Habegger. Thanks to Buzz Morrisette, Shelly Vanderschaegen and all others who helped on this ceiling repair project.Thanks to Jon Habegger for the excellent images.
Monday, April 15. 2013
This last Saturday found the Track dept hard at work on our main line replacing some old ties with new. THIS is hard work. Hats off to the track dept for the planning and installation of this program. Earlier in the year a number of trucks delivered 750 new ties to Irm for the main line upgrade. Do any of you know the cost of one tie? It is $33.00 delivered. You can do the math. Its very expensive. When you donate to the Track Fund some of your donations go to the purchase and maintence of the equipment and supplies. This tie replacement program happens every year and it keeps our railroad in tip top shape. Safety is the word.
Sunday, April 14. 2013
Steam Department Update 04-13-2013 Posted by Nigel Bennett in Steam Department at 10:32
Luckily there are days when things go better than planned and yesterday was one of those. There was a good turn out and several teams were able to work in parallel to get a lot done.
· Eric and Collin worked on the ferrules in the front tube sheet and successfully ground all those fitted last week back flush with the sheet.
· The last remaining flue, which we knew to be significantly over length, was loaded, carefully marked for the required length, and then removed to the large band saw, where it was cut to length. After cutting it was reloaded into the boiler. So, with this one in place, all the super heater flues are back in the boiler.
· After this Eric and Collin fitted the remaining ferrules and ground these back flush with the tube sheet, making everything ready for the final stage of fitting the flues, expanding the ends into place. Given the "fun" we had with small tubes moving during the expansion process, we approached this exercise with some trepidation!.
· The set up is in place to expand the tubes into the front sheet. This will be done using a long, universal jointed, shaft driven from a large gearbox now mounted outside the smokebox. In this case the shaft may be a bit heavy to position and care will be required to ensure that it does not pull the expander out of line. However the drive can be mounted once and is already in place. However, it is the firebox end that we must do first.
· In the firebox there is no room to fix a drive as we have at the front. The (large and heavy) motor must be positioned to attach directly to the expander for each flue. The game is to set up a support structure of pipe and timber cribbing that will support the motor behind each flue, with the added challenge that the siphon severely restricts the positioning of the motor. So there was a great deal of grunting and cussing as Phil and I positioned the motor for each flue. Having done this for the first flue, we set about the actual expansion with great care.
Setting the flue exactly to length is easy, involving no more than tapping the flue to drive it into the sheet until the depth gauge shows a minimum projection of 1/4 inch. Jeff and Jerry, at the front, then locked it into place and watched carefully as we started the motor and expander. Everyone watched for any sign of the feared movement of the flue. But there was none. Having found no great tendency for the flue to shift during rolling, three more were processed quite quickly, with the main effort being in moving the motor between tubes.
The way in which this roller operates may explain the lack of movement. As can be seen in a finished tube, this roller carries out three processes in one operation. The tube end is expanded into the hole in the sheet, but the rollers are not simple cylinders, having a recess in the area of the tube sheet. This causes the tube to be expanded more on either side of the sheet. The result is a flare at the open end that will be hammered to form the bead, once we have tested the expansion of the tubes into the sheets for leakage. It also carries out the "prossering" step where the tube is expanded more inside the boiler to secure the tube both sides of the sheet. You can see the groove created by this process. It seems this roller, by starting to deform the tube outwards either side of the sheet first , is effectively locking it into place early in the expansion process.
So 4 of 16 done at the rear. Just hoping the rest go as well as the first four!. The results can be seen by comparing the four lower tubes (expanded) with the ones above where the ferrule can still be seen around the tube,
· Meanwhile Brian did a great job on the cladding sheets. The better! weather ( hard to believe a year ago how hot it was) allowed the work to move outside, albeit with a good deal of warm clothing. This is one of the many dirty and repetitive parts of the work but he made good progress and much of the cladding is now ready for priming.
· Ed made good progress identifying and cleaning the pipe work for the backhead fittings in the cab. The objective here is to have as much as possible lined up for fitting as soon as we can complete the initial hydro test and prove the boiler is water tight again.
· As part of the swaging described below, the remaining small tubes were swaged so that we have them ready to fit into the holes between the super heater flues once those have been rolled at both ends.
· The one set back was that the bucker is still not back from repair. The latest information is that it should arrive next week. Let's just hope that is correct !.
· A very successful swaging exercise in which the remaining 7 tubes for 1630 and 43 for the Shay were swaged in one continuous operation. I have come to believe that the swager is moody!. Some days the jaws do not move smoothly, valves stick and it takes a lot of time and effort to get good results. Others, like yesterday, it starts smoothly, the first (test) tube was no problem and 50 more tubes were swaged as fast as they could be heated, with consistent quality all the way thru.
· There was a good deal of visible progress on the planer this week. First the rebuilt pump was carefully lowered back into its position on the bed of the machine.
Then it was secured into position relative to the motor and the valve block.
By end of day much of the interconnecting pipe work had been fitted. Progress will not be so visible for a while now as the next job is to drill into the floor and fit the anchors. Given the way that this machine operates (the large table with substantial blocks of metal mounted on it, for a combined weight of 500 pounds plus, being propelled back and forth by the hydraulics), it is considered a good idea to have it securely bolted down !.
So, excellent progress this week. If only we can get the riveting under way I will be a lot happier !.
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CL Hogger about Its Here, Its big, Its long, Its needs lots of $
Sun, 06-26-2016 22:40
Do you really think a museum has ANY reason to install 2 tables?
CL Hogger about Turntable successfully unloaded
Sun, 06-26-2016 22:35
Maybe someday.... The sooner you donate to the Roundhouse Fund, the sooner it'll happen. Haha.
CL Hogger about From the Shays point of view
Sun, 06-26-2016 22:27
Raphael, I hate to bust your bubble, but the Shay has always had the wedge plow while it's been at IRM. While I dont know if it was a "factory option" [...]
Dick Cridlebaugh(member) about More from the Silver Pony Crew
Sun, 06-26-2016 21:50
It is good that Pony has a home. I am 80 and a great fan of CB&Q.I hope to be able to come there from East Peoria soon. Bob McCutchen(steam [...]
Ted Miles, IRM Member about From the Shays point of view
Sun, 06-26-2016 09:38
Roger, You all have a fine looking project there. But I while know it was the museum's first operating steam locomotive; i wonder about the [...]
Dave Cook about Steam Department update - Spring 2016
Sat, 06-25-2016 07:22
How is work progressing on UP # 428?
Kirk Warner about Steam Department update - Spring 2016
Thu, 06-23-2016 11:27
The steam department deserves high praise for the high quality of work which they have been producing. The videos that are out on YouTube of the 1630 [...]
Matt Maloy about Diesel Shop update 3/19/2016
Wed, 06-22-2016 18:25
I love hearing from the diesel department. Personally, I think the Illinois Railway Museum has one of the best (if not the biggest and most diverse) [...]
Nick about Steam Department update - Spring 2016
Tue, 06-21-2016 22:53
How is No.1630 doing?
Thomas Kaufman about From the Shays point of view
Tue, 06-21-2016 15:53
Bob Crosby was the engineer of the Shay when I first rode behind it. He was a close friend of my late Uncle Bill Girling of the CB&Q. I am sure Bob is [...]
Thomas Kaufman about From the Shays point of view
Tue, 06-21-2016 15:49
Roger, Really nice to see the Shay in the current condition. when I first started coming to the museum as a young lad in the late 60's this was the [...]
Raphael about From the Shays point of view
Mon, 06-20-2016 22:57
i don't recall the shay ever having a wedge plow.
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